Ogg: Me hungry.
Ogg’s mother: Ogg must eat wildebeest.
Ogg: Ogg want cake.
Ogg’s mother: Cake not invented yet. Ogg must eat wildebeest now.
You see? It used to be just that simple. You ate what was there. If you lived in a hunter-gatherer tribe, you ate the roots and berries your mother gathered. Or if you were a European peasant in the middle ages, you ate turnips and gruel. Mmmm! Turnips and gruel!
Oh, man, there are so many choices. You have to put a lot of thought into what you want to eat, so most of us have at some time or another decided to try a crazy diet. The number of people who have successfully lost and kept off weight on most of these extreme diets is approximately zero, but that has not always stopped us, unfortunately. Hopefully we’re all a little smarter about things now.
When Good People Try Bad Diets
At one point, I cut all added sugar, grains, dairy, beans, alcohol and processed foods for about six weeks. Since I generally make most of my food from scratch anyway, it wasn’t that difficult, and I learned how to make my own yummy mayo in order to avoid the tiny bit of sugar in the jarred stuff. I intended to do it for a month, but at that point I hadn’t lost any weight or experienced any of the other amazing changes I had been promised, such as better sleep or lighter moods or anything else, so I gave it another two weeks to give it every chance of working. Nope. This diet wasn’t necessarily bad for me; I did eat even more vegetables than usual. But I did not lose one ounce. At the end of six weeks, Mama had a big glass of wine and a cookie. Mmmm!
Food has two purposes: to nourish our bodies and to give us pleasure. Please do not try any of these very, very bad ideas.
The Ten Stupidest Diets Ever
… or at least ones that make me want to never diet again.
The Cabbage Soup Diet
The cabbage soup used in this diet is a perfectly fine soup, filled with healthy vegetables. Feel free to make cabbage soup and have it any time you like! But do not eat nothing but cabbage soup three times a day for weeks at a time. You will be hungry, protein deficient and very, very sad. Also, you’ll be so gassy your family will desert you.
The Shake Diet
You buy some kind of special shake, usually chocolate or strawberry, but sometimes more exotic varieties are offered. The shake is supposed to fill you up just like real food would, but this is untrue. All you can think about is your next meal. At some point, you check the label and realize what you are really drinking is essentially baby formula with some kind of artificial flavoring added to it. Then you begin to crave pureed green beans and it’s all over at that point.
The Pineapple Diet
Yes, we all like pineapple, and yes, pineapple is a yummy fruit. But if you try to eat nothing but pineapple for days on end, your blood sugar will be off the charts and you’ll have uncontrollable urges to do the hula and then, probably, to stab people.
The Tapeworm Diet
OK, we don’t know anyone who has ever tried this one. But way back when, desperate people infected themselves with tapeworms on purpose. Seriously. Apparently, if you’re infested with parasites, you do lose weight. (Shudder!)
The Ice Cream Diet
The idea behind this diet is that you will not feel at all deprived by your restricted diet if you also eat ice cream every day. (I could get behind part of this diet — the ice cream part of it.)
The Liquid Diet
You live on some kind of juice or broth for days at a time. It’s a great way to feel miserable while also ruining your metabolism and peeing constantly.
The Salad Diet
It sounded like a great idea at first. Salad greens are good for you, and you can add in all kinds of beans, chopped vegetables, bits of chicken or anything else that sounds good. But it turns out to be a rather sad breakfast, especially when everyone else at the table is eating pancakes.
The Zero-Carb Diet
Yes, eggs fried in butter and grilled meats taste good. But after about seven minutes on a high-fat, zero-carb diet, you’re going to feel very sad. It might not take seven minutes. Also? You will not poop on this diet.
Intermittent Fasting Diet
Lots of people swear by restricting all their eating into an eight- or 12-hour window, and if you eat healthy food during that time frame and you feel OK, fine. But you might not lose any weight. In eight hours, I can eat approximately one refrigerator of food, just so you know.
The Grazing Diet
This is the opposite of Intermittent Fasting. The idea is to keep your metabolism up by constantly grazing. You know who constantly grazes? Really large animals like cows. If you are eating healthy foods and you feel better eating multiple small meals, we will not call you out on it.
The right way to eat is the way that makes you feel best, and if you think you need some professional help in figuring that out, we beg you to talk to a licensed dietitian, not to your cousin Karen who is on a different diet every time you talk to her. Be healthy, friends. Eating disorders are no joke.
Sophia Sinclair is Curvicality’s sex and relationships writer and the author of the Small-Town Secrets romance series, available on Amazon. Reach Sophia at firstname.lastname@example.org.