We have found 10 diet cures that have gained many followers in their day – even though they are pure madness.
The dream of losing a few pounds has led many to try more or less inventive dieting. We have collected the 10 worst ones here.
1. CIGARET COURSE Origin: 1920s. The cure: The American tobacco industry invented a smart sales trick in the mid-1920s, and it made women join the smoking trend: They began to bet that smoking has a slimming effect. “Take a Lucky instead of candy” was one of the slogans from Lucky Strike. Until then, most men had smoked, but now the number of female smokers has exploded. It has later emerged that tobacco giants Philip Morris and American Tobacco added strong appetite suppressants in the cigarettes to make smoking attractive to those who wanted to lose weight.
The problem: The idea that one can smoke slim is deadly. Because even though one may lose a few pounds, the risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and chronic lung disease increases significantly. Half of all smokers who do not quit die from a disease they have suffered from smoking.
2. DRINKING MAN’S DIET Origin: 1964. The cure: Big steaks and strong spirits – finally a cure for real men! Robert Cameron published the book “Drinking Man’s Diet” in 1964 with the message that carbohydrates were unhealthy. On the other hand, you could safely drink large quantities of gin, vodka, whiskey, and other distilled spirits. The book came out in 13 languages and was sold in over 2.4 million copies in just two years. The problem: A high alcohol consumption increases the risk of several serious illnesses, and alcohol has no dieting effect – on the contrary.
3. THE AMPHETAMINE CURE Origin: 1940s. The cure: Drugs have also been used as a weight-loss drug. The drug Benzedrine, which was amphetamine in tablet form, was used, among other things, to keep the soldiers awake during World War II and the Vietnam War, as it has a strong rejuvenating effect. In the general population, it was soon found out that the pills could be used as a slimming agent because they suppressed the feeling of hunger. However, the effect was modest, and the side effects outweighed the benefits. The problem: The drug is highly addictive, and its use causes heart and sleep problems and in some cases hallucinations and paranoia. Amphetamine is on the drug list and is illegal to use in Norway.
4. THE CHURCH CURRENCY Origin: The beginning of the 20th century. The cure: Slimming guru Horace Fletcher was behind a popular cure that, in short, meant chewing the food so well that it became a liquid mass. Then put your head back and let the food slide down your throat. Anything left in the mouth should be spitting out. Each mouthful should be chewed at least 32 times, but some foods were more stubborn and therefore should be chewed even more times. The problem: Actually, Fletcher was into something, because chewing the food well and eating slowly gives a better feeling of satiety. But Fletcher went too far with his crazy rules. And better not to be that he warned strongly against fiber and protein.
5. COAL COURSE Origin: 1980s. The cure: It got many followers in the 80s and is still a regular on the web. In short, it is about eating cabbage soup seven days a week, and nothing else, and thus one must quickly lose weight. And it could probably be that it works – you get so tired cabbage that you can’t cope with eating so much. The problem: Cures that are based on one food, so-called mono-diets, provide too one-sided nutrition and can increase the risk of illness. And when you finish the regimen and start eating normally, you will probably put on everything again. Another side effect of cabbage soup is that it produces a lot of air in the stomach, and if you focus on a long-lasting cabbage soup diet, it can get troublesome.
6. BLOOD TYPE DIET Origin: 1990s. The cure: Peter D’Adamo’s book “Eat Right 4 Your Type” became a massive bestseller in much of the world when it came out in 1996. The message is that our blood type determines what kind of food we have the best from eating, and what we should keep us away. For example, those with blood type 0 are recommended to eat high-protein foods with lots of meat, fish, birds, and some types of fruits and vegetables, while staying away from dairy products and grains. The problem: There is no scientific evidence that blood type should determine what type of diet is best for us. Therefore, it is difficult to see the cure as anything but a successful attempt to deceive overweight – and make good money from it.
7. BABY FOOD CURRENCY Origin: Around 2010. The cure: Hollywood is always a good place to look when you want to find hopeless dieting. Stars such as Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon have reportedly tried the baby food cure successfully – and whether that’s true or not, it has made countless women around the world do the same. The cure is available in several varieties with more or less fine-grained food. A variation is to replace breakfast and lunch with ready-made baby mugs on glass and then eat a small, ordinary meal in the evening. The problem: Babymos saturates poorly for adults, and it will make dieting almost unbearable to get through – not to mention that your colleagues will look strange to you if you pull up a small glass of banana and peach mash for lunch.