12 Weirdest Diets: Do They Work?

As we are full force in swimsuit season, it’s hard not to notice how a lot of marketing and advertising focuses on new health foods and other tools to help make losing weight easy. Throughout history, doctors, trainers, and all sorts of other health care workers — professional and otherwise — have tried to come up with the one definitive diet that can help everyone shed pounds and sculpt their bodies into a lean and trim shape.

While there has been lots of advancement in this field, many of the so-called diets that have been proposed are utterly laughable today. We’re going to break down some of the weirdest diets in history and see whether they actually work.

Apple Cider Vinegar Diet

Apple cider vinegar has been touted as a miracle substance for centuries. It’s been used to help cure colds, clean counter tops, get rid of bacterial infections, and scour off stubborn hard water stains. It seems impossible that one substance can do all these things — and unfortunately, it is.

The apple cider vinegar diet suggests that spoonful’s or pills filled with apple cider vinegar should be swallowed before every meal, and this weight loss regime had many fans for decades. Now, most people realize that it was the low-calorie diet that was prescribed alongside the vinegar that actually led to most people’s weight loss.

Hoxton/Sam Edwards / Getty Images

Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting is less a diet and more a way of life. Instead of eating three regular meals per day, people practicing intermittent fasting spend anywhere from 12-18 hours a day abstaining from food. Then, they eat one or two regular meals during the period of time where food is permitted.

Experts recommend building up to this extended period of fasting. Some people claim that they feel much more energy when they’re not eating all the time, while others are unable to get through the full fasting period without feeling weak and exhausted. Those who are fasting are encouraged to drink plenty of water to keep their body hydrated.

a_namenko / Getty Images

Shangri-La Diet

The Shangri-La diet, which was invented by psychologist Seth Roberts, aims to break the association that all calorific food is tasty. His method for doing this is to drink one to three tablespoons of olive oil and one to two tablespoons of sugar water between meals. The theory being that these high-calorie, low-flavor foods would teach the body to stop associating flavor with calories.

Roberts also suggested that people stop smelling food (so they would want it less), and that they should eat bland food whenever possible. The end goal was to eliminate cravings, so our bodies would naturally want less food.

Michelle Arnold / EyeEm / Getty Images
1 of 4