10 Insane Diets No One Should Ever Try


10 Insane Diets No One Should Ever Try
Credit: America! We all did this together.

Out with the toxins and in with the toxouts.

It's a new year, and that means itemized self-loathing. It also means that after a month of effort, you're ready to quit your New Year's resolutions. Since you're reading this in English, I assume you resolved to lose weight, or possibly to learn good the spelling for make much big dollars in email schemes of confidence. Either way, I can help you, the same way I helped that Nigerian prince when he needed to lose weight.

Right now you're probably saying, "Dieting -- who has the time?" And it's true that healthy food takes longer to swallow because it's not lubricated with partially hydrogenitalized soybean-like oil product. Unless you're a celebrity with an army of asparagus-wielding personal trainers, you're probably an avalanche of lard. That doesn't mean you can't eat a more nutritious diet and grow fatter regardless.

But what is healthy eating? I've studied all the diets, and the only thing they all agree we should eat is half an avocado.

10 Insane Diets No One Should Ever Try
Hemera Technologies/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images

But I don't recognize your bullshit moderation.

What Works:

There's one definite way to lose fat: eat fewer carbs and exercise. Unless it's eat high-carb and move moderately. But definitely avoid saturated fats ... unless you should pursue them? Or something. It's all very confusing. Also: trans fats. You should definitely know the term "trans fats."

Some people struggle with weight no matter how well they eat and exercise. They may find (short term?) success with high-protein, low-carb diets. Such plans either focus on meat (Atkins, Inuit, T. rex) or emphasize greens (Paleo, Ketosis, Soylent Green).

Intermittent fasting combined with hearty eating also produces good results. Wait, seriously? OK, our bodies are plainly screwing with us. Owning a human body is like dating a passive-aggressive control freak.

min rd
Leonardo da Vinci via Wikipedia

Just tell us what you want, Darren!

Along these guideposts, the path to weight loss is pretty well marked. The only reasons diet books are still being printed and promoted are:

1. People are stupid and lazy
2. Book publishers like easy money
3. News agencies like easy content

There are innumerable weight loss systems out there, most equating "weight loss" with "caloric deficiency" and "system" with "crap a person in Los Angeles made up." They're all basically the same diet, but one might starve you on a diet of carrots, while the next starves you on a diet of cabbage. And a third lets you have both, but you can only eat them while enduring tapes from the Jonestown massacre.

I'm not saying you won't lose weight on most of these regimens, since they all advocate exercise and most include better eating habits. I'm just saying you could eat nuts and fresh greens at 1/8 the cost of paying some hippie in a lab coat for placebos and bad advice. Let's examine these stupid but real diets and then propose our own meal plans that are more insane, and therefore more effective.

The Ice Cube Diet

Hungry? Curb those cravings with an ice cube! You won't actually trick your body into thinking it's food, but you may trick yourself into paying for hoodia gordonii ice cubes, even though there are scant data to suggest that those trigger weight loss or suppress appetite.

But hey, you're smarter than that -- you'll just eat plain ol' ice cubes and let your body heat them up to 98.6 degrees. Now you've switched to the Ice Diet, and the calories will literally melt away!

Sorry, but that's not going to happen, because of physics.

10 Insane Diets No One Should Ever Try
Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images

Crusher of all our dreams.

You'll never improve your life or health if your meal plan for the week only contains three ingredients, two of them are water, and all of them make you miserable. Remember why you went on a diet in the first place? To be happier with your life?


If you want to burn calories, go right to the fuel tank. Hyperventilate your way to a thinner you with Air-Tense x979! This patented system of forceful respiration oxygenates your blood beyond all reasonable levels, triggering a fat holocaust! Lungs are given an intense workout while fat cells are burned in an inferno of oxygen. Comes with paper bag and tank of oxygen, affordable at $199 per year. No smokers.

The Facial Analysis Diet

This one's brilliantly conceived, because it involves famous people's favorite activities of staring at themselves and pretending they're introspective. How can any discipline with "analysis" in its title be nutso?

Shame on you, Hermitage House

Also the basis of Scientology.

The facial analyst looks at your face to determine your deficiencies and invents a diet tailored to your personal gullibility. Like many other diets in this article, it was created by a naturopath, the career choice for people who find science too hard. But the real root of facial analysis is iridology, which in turn is based on the cackles of charlatans.

Iridology (from the Greek, meaning "Let's see if they fall for this one") says that by examining the colored portion of the eye, one can detect physical ailments in a holisti- LOOK OUT! Here comes proof that it's bullshit!

10 Insane Diets No One Should Ever Try
Goodshoot/Goodshoot/Getty Images

Except that part where I diagnosed true beauty in your eyes, girl.

There are plenty of pseudosciences out there, but only iridiology's origin story involves a crankjob who broke an owl's leg and then compared its eyes to a human's several years later. And if you're the kind of iridologist who scoffs at that legend, that's even worse, because without it there's no reason to invent iridology. Your discipline just becomes something a guy created for fun back when doctors still scoffed at soap.

The advice in this diet might be right on, but that doesn't mean it has any relevance to your face beyond "Stop pile driving Cheetos into your mouth, you monstrosity." The truth is you can only diagnose someone's maladies by staring deeply into their eyes if they're suffering from jaundice or a broken heart.

10 Insane Diets No One Should Ever Try
Jochen Sands/Digital Vision/Getty Images

"My professional opinion is you've lost that lovin' feeling. Now it's gone, gone, gone."


Facial profiling is expensive, because only Julliard-trained actors can deduce a dietary profile from someone's face without bursting into laughter. Fortunately, there's one diet we're all equipped for in our BIOS settings, and that's the Thanks for the Mammaries Meal Plan. Eat anything you want in this dairy-based regimen, as long as it's made from human breast milk.

10 Insane Diets No One Should Ever Try
Digital Vision./Photodisc/Getty Images

A wealth of cheeses and butters that taste like cigarettes await you!

You don't have to give up any of your favorite flavors; just ask your supplier to eat, say, liver and onions, then wait a day. You'll swear you were drinking real liver and onions in milk. From a human.

This is a great way for couples to lose weight as she struggles to produce enough milk for a full-grown human and her partner subsists on a baby-size serving of calories. The best part is it's barely dangerous to both parties at all!

The Blood Type Diet

You don't normally encounter this much blood and bullshit together outside of a slaughterhouse dumpster, so I'll try to explain: Supposedly your blood type dictates what kinds of foods you naturally prefer. But the only sustenance all four blood types are expected to swallow is this gigantic load.

10 Insane Diets No One Should Ever Try
George Marks/Retrofile/Getty Images

Or don't eat anything. See if your blood cult god gives a shit.

It's not that the author, Peter D'Adamo, is wrong; it's that he's so wrong, he deserves his own show on the History Channel. People haven't been this mistaken about the influence of blood type since Japan decided it only had use for the branches of science that build panty-sniffing robots.

The words "doctor" and "blood type" automatically make people think there's science here they can't comprehend, but the good news is that your ignorance actually qualifies you to be the inventor of the Blood Type Diet. If real scientists hadn't discovered terminology for him to appropriate, D'Adamo's understanding of how blood works would sound no more legit than a witch telling you which of the four natural elements characterizes your soul.

10 Insane Diets No One Should Ever Try
frentusha/iStock/Getty Images

"You're fireborn, so you're going to want to eat a lot of dried wood and coal."

And yes, he's is a doctor of naturopathic medicine, but since I'm writing this from New York, legally speaking, I think I am, too. The differences between us are that I don't claim that you can extract a genetics-based diet from fingerprints and jaw angle, whereas he is a rich man.


Since the Blood Type Diet is completely made up of properties your body doesn't actually possess, why not try twisting your spine to health? That's the principle of the Extenz E-Z W8 Loss System. It works by reeeeeeally stretching out that spinal column to extend the distance food must travel to reach its intended destination. Additionally, when vertebrae are sufficiently spaced, they'll release witherigestone, the hormone that causes skinny to happen.* Bonus: you'll be taller.

*Source: Studies

The Master Cleanse

The famous Master Cleanse instructs you to starve yourself for 10 to 40 days while drinking diluted acids and capsaicin to trigger metabolic change.

Yes, you will definitely lose weight if you stop eating food for a goddamn week. Of course, you could do that without paying anyone money, but then you'd have to make up your own nameless batch of "toxins" to pretend you were expelling from your body.


If you're going to spend money to give your anorexia a new name, you should have something to show for it. That's why my revolutionary new Medal of Horror Diet lets people know how committed you are to ... well, for legal purposes we can't call it healthy living.

Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images

First place in the Hunger Games.

Here's how it works: Eat nothing and wear a wafer-thin metal medallion around your neck at all times. When you can bear the thunderous pangs of famine no longer, take off the necklace and eat anything you want -- as long as it's served on your neck-wafer, which you must also eat.

While effective, this diet of precious soft metals is expensive. As such, it is very popular among rich people, who think cost equals quality and don't know any better, poor dears.


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!

10 Insane Diets No One Should Ever Try
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:

Shredded wheat
Rusty nails
An entire dog, without chewing
Congress's pledge to protect the middle class
Scorpion venom
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.

10 Insane Diets No One Should Ever Try
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.

10 Insane Diets No One Should Ever Try
bowie15/iStock/Getty Images

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!

10 Insane Diets No One Should Ever Try
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"?

10 Insane Diets No One Should Ever Try
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?

10 Insane Diets No One Should Ever Try
Jezperklauzen/iStock/Getty Images

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.

10 Insane Diets No One Should Ever Try
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.

10 Insane Diets No One Should Ever Try

Pictured: dinner

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.

Bone Powder

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."

10 Insane Diets No One Should Ever Try
Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images

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.

Brendan recently talked fitness with Instagram star Jen Selter. Visit his new website!

Related reading: Brendan solved the obesity problem with video games and then bulked up with Barbecue for Bastards.

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