The Cotton Ball Diet
If there was a single fallacy we were brought up with in the last 100 years, it's that celebrities know what they're doing. When an ugly person eats textiles, it's either an A&E program or the first act of Dracula. But when a beautiful person does it, ooh, suddenly it's the hot new trend that's sweeping a world forsaken by God!
Kim Kardashian via Instagram
Season 2: smearing bodily fluids on themselves
Enter the Cotton Ball Diet, which -- uh-uh, no way is this a real thing. There can't be more than 100 people practicing this who didn't come preloaded with every other eating disorder. If you're honestly swallowing cotton instead of just NOT EATING for a day, you're not only suffering some kind of body dysmorphia, you're not even good at it. It takes way more willpower to eat textiles than to just deny yourself food for the day, and in both cases, you're not part of a trend, you're a victim of a mania.
Here are some other indigestible things you can swallow to fill up if cotton isn't available:
An entire dog, without chewing
Congress's pledge to protect the middle class
Your own hair
That last one has the bonus of being a cheap snack that's always handy! And you'll spend a lot of calories regenerating the keratin.
Olena Pantiukh/iStock/Getty Images
Protein ain't cheap.
If it didn't exist, such a diet would be inconceivable to all but the reddest names in hell's ledger. But that won't do for you. You have gazed into the acidic maw of human depravity and found it wanting. You need a diet so abhorrent that to know its details would explode a weaker heart. You need ... Solution 23.
We do not discuss Solution 23 with those of Theta-rank security grade or lower. However, this is what is publicly known.
Developed in 1971 by Dr. Nils Terroir Terreur, Solution 23 begins with random, indiscriminate attacks on fat cells throughout the body. In Stage 1, fat learns that fear has a name, and it is Solution 23. Adipose tissue stays at home, afraid to go out and multiply. As night falls, white blood cells impose a curfew prohibiting fat from venturing out after midnight.
If you ever want to see your toes again, you will follow this diet's strict demands to the letter.
Phase 2 is even more obscure, but involves targeted strikes on highly populated fat deposits. At this point, lard should be willing to negotiate. If not, Solution 23 enters its third and final stage: the Omegacrom Paradox. No one has ever regained weight after Step 3.
Ear Goddamn Stapling
There are lots of people who will explain to you why acupuncture works, but all of their explanations boil down to "ancient" and "qi." I don't know why you wouldn't challenge beliefs older than electricity in a world where we can't even trust our grandparents not to be racist. But if you want to accept all knowledge untested, enjoy your trepanation, and I hope the demons stop hounding you soon.
Peter Treveris via Wikipedia
Trepanning is even older than acupuncture, and therefore more wise.
And I'm not saying qi isn't a real thing, but it's no more measurable than the worldwide joy of children. Although the latter is observable, so yeah, I guess I'm saying qi doesn't exist.
Anyway, ear goddamn stapling is exactly what it sounds like, and somehow this redirects the fictional ley lines of your body, and it may cause serious health problems, including but not limited to having your goddamn fuckball cockshit ears stapled up.
Listen, hippies, eons of natural selection didn't mold your body to thrive by closing the same orifices that let it hear tigers approaching. Your appetite probably decreases after this procedure because your entire system goes to red alert because your goddamn nuclearfuckbomb ears are closed. If anyone tells you holistic healers know secrets medical doctors don't, ask them which group preaches that ears want to be closed but colons need to be flushed.
Jabbing your entire body with needles is totally metal, but not as metal as the Viking life. In the Viking Diet, practitioners eat only what they can steal through violence. No smuggling, no swiping, no shoplifting: pure mayhem is how you get your nutrients. If it wasn't pillaged, put it back! Except on cheat day, when you eat salted fish soaked in lye. METAL!
Michael Bernhard Valentini
And if that doesn't work, try moxibustion, which is acupuncture with FIIIIIIIIIRE!
Now we come at last to the unabashed Final Diet, not only on this list, but in life and, indeed, the concept of dieting itself. Breatharianism is a carnival of wackadooery that's less about weight loss and more about respect for all life. But don't take my word for it. Visit their website in that link there and count how many times you ask yourself if it was designed by a victim of schizophrenia.
Breatharians believe that acting like you're too good for food will force your body to subsist on air and light. After much preparation and meditation, practitioners can harness their sheer willpower to starve to death.
Foregoing food in favor of some humanized brand of photosynthesis is a uniquely "spiritual" middle-class person's brand of bullshit. Was there ever a Breatharian practitioner who uses the name they were born with instead of some Aquarian crap like "Euphoria Starbreather"?
Jeffreyjohnmcleod at en.wikipedia
I wrote the previous paragraph before I even knew this woman existed and was blaming dead people for following her philosophy wrong.
Bonus: Does it cure other diseases? You don't have to be a doctor to say YES! And in fact, you're probably not!
In a world where all human life is precious, Breatharians prefer to pretend they're plants, which even vegans -- traditionally the touchiest of dieters -- admit we are free to mow down. This is the diet for the twaddlehead who looks at the Master Cleanse and thinks, Why stop there?
If you honestly believe the body you're piloting can break the laws of physics and start generating energy without any plant cells, you're either insane or a reincarnation of the Buddha. And since nobody considers themselves insane, welcome back, Prince Siddhartha! But isn't it selfish not to put your miracles to the benefit of mankind? Why not cure our ills with The Carcinoma Diet?
Picture this morsel slathered in marinara and interferon.
Yes, in this healing new plan, you can eat anything you want as long as it's a cancerous growth! Good luck finding a pizza with tumors; your lot is to excise the woes of your fellow living beings. Once you've located an animal or -- hilariously -- a crown of broccoli suffering the debilitating disease, its wounds are yours to consume ... before the cancer does!
Diets I Made Up That Turned Out to Be Real
The unfortunate truth of satire is that it can never keep up with reality. Here were my top three craziest diet ideas ... all of which were beaten to the punch by famous people.
The All-Vinegar Diet
I'm gonna be honest -- I invented this one as a sarcastic reply to the Master Cleanse. Then I found out Lord Byron did exactly this. But let's pretend he didn't!
On cheat day you can eat anything pickled except actual pickles, which are cucumbers and therefore real food.
The rest of the week you binge on any flavor vinegar you want, including cider, balsamic, white, and moderate amounts of soy sauce. Once a month, you get a half day to eat all the cabbage soup and grapefruit you can devour. Go crazy! You've earned it! May cause ulcers.
Thomas Phillips via Wikipedia
It does make the front row of poetry readings unpleasant, so beware of that.
Beaten to the punch by: A lunatic poet.
(Not to be confused with the Only Oil & Vinegar but Never Both Together Diet.)
The Smell Food Diet
No fancy tricks here! Just as it says, this meal plan provides "aromatic sustenance" with a lean 25 calories per day in the form of putting your face near piping hot foods and inhaling deeply.
Beaten to the punch by: The Air Diet
I liked the air diet better when it was called anorexia and didn't waste everyone's time and gas bill by simmering up a kettle of saline solution and pretending it's food. Also, my version is better because you don't waste time pantomiming dinner. Are you trying to lose weight by pretending to eat food? You're an adult, for God's sake.
This vegetable-focused diet includes liberal sprinklings of pulverized bones for rich nutrients and horrendous flavor.
Beaten to the punch by: The Last Chance Diet
In the Last Chance Diet, you only consume 400 calories a day, and none of it is a Snickers bar. Instead, you get all the parts of the cow that Roger Linn presumably bought off slaughterhouses on the cheap because they don't even go into hot dogs. Then he doused them in every chemical he could find, because it was the '70s and that was considered a good idea. Linn was yet another "doctor" in that he practiced osteopathy, which is (guess what?) a naturopathic notion founded by a guy who claimed he could cure a child's whooping cough "by a wring of its neck."
Really didn't figure we'd use this picture of a dead kid for two articles in a row, but here we all are, trying not to weep.
Look, if you want to lose weight for health reasons, don't try any diet that's obviously damaging to your body. It's not worth it. I don't know about you, but I'd rather die happy at 75 than miserable at 80.
If you're trying to lose weight because somebody told you that only one or two body types look good, ignore them and keep on enjoying life. If they still try -- whether for sadism or profit -- to talk you out of being yourself, don't worry. I can teach you a naturopathic treatment for whooping cough that also cures such bad behavior.