Almie Rose
May 11, 2013 9:00 am

Fad diets, often known as crash diets, are all about avoiding the whole working hard, eating right and exercising approach to weight loss. Instead you take dieting to a whole new drastic level in hopes of losing some weight or looking leaner in a matter of weeks or days. And the weight you lose anyway is just water weight and then when you’re done with the diet you eat everything in your fridge and other people’s fridges and you feel even worse than before.

Here are the 10 most ridiculous fad diets that I could find. The more drastic and unheard of, the better the ridiculousness.

10. The Wine and Eggs Diet

The first time I ever heard of this diet was from the blog Peculiar Beauty. They posted an excerpt from the Vogue Body And Beauty Book containing this masterpiece of diet ridiculousness. A sample of a meal plan, via Peculiar Beauty:

1 egg, hardboiled
1 glass white wine (dry, preferably Chablis)
Black coffee
2 eggs, hardboiled
2 glasses white wine
Black coffee

For dinner on this one you’re permitted steak and whatever remains in the wine bottle but I’d be long asleep by then.

Amazing! I found even more info from the website Their diet includes more than just eggs and wine, except for dinner.

Dinner 6-9 pm (580 calories)

Eat 4 eggs with black pepper

Drink 1/2 bottle of wine

Drink 1/2L water

Drink black coffee / tea

Yes, that’s not a typo, it really says half of a bottle of wine for dinner. Every night. With 4 eggs.

9. The Blood Type Diet

This diet claims that each blood type has its own distinct diet and this is the key to weight loss. This diet is based on science if you consider science “making stuff up”. A quick search online will show you all of the criticism against this diet or you could not do that and instead just use logic. If you look at their website hoping to find what a Type A should eat differently from a Type O, you will not find that, but you will find that all programs for all blood types include their special vitamins that you can conveniently buy online!

8. The Lemonade/Master Cleanse Diet

I think we’ve all heard of this one. Beyoncé famously went on it for a few days to lose weight for Dreamgirls. Because, you know, if she hadn’t done that we would have all vomited in disgust at the sight of her. This diet has actually be around for 50 years. Basically you make your own gross lemonade and drink that and only that for up to 2 weeks. If you want to become an extremely angry person who passes out, follow this recipe.

From WebMD:

A single serving of the Master Cleanse drink consists of:

  • 2 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons grade-B organic maple syrup
  • 1/10 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 10 ounces filtered water

After following this fast for 4-14 days, dieters are urged to slowly ease back into eating solid food, starting with items such as vegetable soup, followed by fruits and vegetables.

I tried to do this once and I gave up after 4 hours. I have zero regrets.

7. The Baby Food Diet

There’s nothing gross or bad about baby food but for whatever reason, the idea of adults eating it grosses me out more anything. I can’t imagine waking up in the morning and thinking, “Better grab my jar of mashed peas” and then eating it at the kitchen table while reading the paper. Although I never eat at the kitchen table. And I never read the paper. I eat on my living room table, in front of my laptop, like an animal. Happy??

There aren’t really any strict guidelines enforced by The Baby Food Diet other than eat baby food. Here’s what WebMD offers.

The basic plan calls for eating 14 jars of baby food throughout the day, with an option to have a healthy adult meal at dinner.

Another option is to have three healthy adult meals per day, swapping higher-calorie snacks for baby food.

Hey, cute idea for a scene in a sitcom: mom is feeding a baby and her friend comes over and they gossip and catch up and then the mom feeds the baby and the friend points at the baby and says, “I’LL HAVE WHAT SHE’S HAVING!” and the room goes silent and their friendship dies.

6. The Cookie Diet

There are lots of different kinds of Cookie Diets on the market, The Hollywood Cookie Diet perhaps being he most popular. However, it all started with Dr. Siegal’s Cookie Diet in 1975. Basically his cookies are meal replacements and they’re not delicious cookies. On his plan you would eat six cookies during the day (about 500 calories) and then have a dinner consisting of 300 calories. That makes this a diet of 800 calories. It will also turn you into a temperamental, unpredictable, angry, cookie consuming muppet. That’s right, I’m talking about Oscar the Grouch. Oh, and I guess also the monster who eats cookies. What’s his name? Phil?

5. The Grapefruit Diet

On this diet, you will consume so much grapefruit that you will wind up hating yourself. The good news is that you only do this for 12 days in a row, and then take 12 days off, and then back again and so on and so forth. The bad news is that once you go off of this after 12 days and eat normally, you’re going to gain all of the weight back, which is why you go on it again, and the next thing you know you are doing this for the rest of your life and wondering what happened to you and you grow a beard and cry and scream, “WE HAVE TO GO BACK.”

Menu sample (From

1/2 Grapefruit or 4 oz. Grapefruit Juice (unsweetened)
2 Eggs (any style)
2 Slices Bacon

1/2 Grapefruit or 4 oz. Grapefruit Juice (unsweetened)
Meat (any style, any amount)
Salad (any kind of dressing)

1/2 Grapefruit or 4 oz. Grapefruit Juice (unsweetened)
Meat (any style, any amount) (fish may be substituted for meat)
Vegetables (any green, yellow, or red vegetables cooked in butter or any seasoning)

Bed Time Snack 
1 glass tomato juice or 1 glass Skim milk

The bed time snack part is the part that really confuses me.

4. The Joan Crawford Diet

Joan Crawford was a legendary movie star who may sadly be best known for Faye Dunaway’s portrayal of her in the film Mommie Dearest, in which she beats her child with a wire hanger. She was very disciplined about her diet and exercise. In an article on Crawford in Vanity Fair in 1936, the writer describes what she eats.

Except for six or eight cups of coffee a day and about a package of cigarettes, her diet is spartan. She is always conscious of the way that she appears to her public, and is continually concerned about her face and figure. When she is working on a picture, she drinks a cup of hot water when she is called at six o’clock, has fruit juice and coffee for breakfast, a salad for lunch, and dinner without white bread or potatoes. She drinks wine now and then, but no hard liquor.

Her 6 AM hot water ritual is also seen in Mommie Dearest. While Crawford’s diet didn’t necessarily become a huge fad, it did inspire other dieters to pick up the ole hot water before eating trick.

3. The Cigarette Diet

The Cigarette Diet was really more of a successful ad campaign for Lucky Strike in the 1920s than a structured diet plan. The idea of models and actresses smoking to curb their appetites as a way to lose weight is cliche at this point, but this was a totally new concept at one point. Targeting women, Lucky Strike’s slogan was “Reach for a Lucky Instead of a Sweet” and it worked. Cigarette sales went up and women thought they were being healthy by replacing sugar with nicotine, because no one realized at that time that instead of reaching for a sweet, you were reaching for wrinkles around your mouth and potential cancer.

2. The Drinking Man’s Diet

Sweet sassy molassy, this is the diet for me. Created in 1964, this is basically what we could call The Don Draper Diet. From

The Drinking Man’s Diet was a small pamphlet published by San Francisco jet-setter Robert Cameron, who sold over 2 million copies in 13 languages. Not a single medical professional would recommend it, however it is still popular and still in print.


1/4 cantaloupe or 4 oz tomato juice
Ham or bacon, 2 slices
1 egg
Coffee or tea


Dry martini or whiskey and soda
Broiled fish or steak or roast chicken
2 glasses dry wine
Green beans or asparagus
Lettuce and tomato salad with Roquefort dressing
Coffee or tea


Martinis or highballs
2 stalks of celery stuffed with pâté
Shrimp cocktail
Beef, pork, lamb, veal chicken or turkey
Green beans, 1 cup, brussel sprouts, 1/2 cup, or cauliflower, 1 cup
2 glasses dry wine
1/2 avocado with French dressing
Cheese: Roquefort, Swiss or cheddar
Coffee or tea

Please note the advocation of both a cocktail and 2 glasses of wine in the same meal. Please note that cheese is a mandatory part of dinner. Please note that this daily meal plan is easily 3 times a recommended caloric intake for an average woman and probably twice as many for an average man. I have no idea what this diet was supposed to help the dieter accomplish, other than a massive hangover. Amazing.

1. The WWII Ration Diet

This diet is probably the newest out of all of these. Found on the blog The 1940s Experiment (which unfortunately appears to be about a 1940 sexperiment if judged by the URL) adapts the skimpy rations people had to make do with during WWII as a method of weight loss. During the war supplies were scarce and here is what an average adult was allotted for just 1 week:

Weekly ration for 1 adult

Bacon & Ham 4 oz
Meat to the value of 1 shilling and sixpence (around about 1/2 lb minced beef)
Butter 2 oz
Cheese 2 oz
Margarine 4 oz
Cooking fat 4 oz
Milk 3 pints
Sugar 8 oz
Preserves 1 lb every 2 months
Tea 2 oz
Eggs 1 fresh egg per week
Sweets/Candy 12 oz every 4 weeks

Based on only these ingredients with only these measurements, you create meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Let’s see if this one catches on.

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