It’s every snack cravers dream diet: eat cookies all day and still lose weight. Jennifer Hudson co-signs on it. So does Kelly Clarkson. Dr. Sanford Siegel’s Hollywood Cookie Diet is the hottest (and best-selling) diet craze of 2009.
The premise is simple: eat six 90-calorie cookies a day and a 500-calorie meal for dinner. Except, nutritionists aren’t advising we dip into the cookie jar just yet, citing that a diet so low in calories is just another half-baked quick fix.
Sound familiar? The experts aren’t saying anything we haven’t heard before. Read on for more memorable fad diets we surely tried through the years…
After years of boring low-fat diets from the 90’s the Atkins diet came in like every foodie’s caped crusader, extolling the virtue of guilt-free grubbin’ on favorites like steak, bacon and eggs. Creator Dr. Robert Atkins’ book ‘New Diet Revolution’ shot up to the New York Times bestseller list after celeb endorsements. But experts warned that a diet high in saturated fats could lead to heart disease.
Beyoncé sang the praises of this liquid diet after slimming down for Dreamgirls. Alternative practitioner Stanley Burroughs created it as a detox some 50 years ago and unlike other low caloric diets, the master cleanse only allows for a concoction of water, lemons, cayenne pepper and maple syrup. We’re talking lemonade every day, all day. Side effects include irritability and lethargy. Even Bey admitted feeling cranky, and gaining all her weight back.
When Oprah featured a story on a new exotic “superfood” from Brazil, marketers went to work and began promoting it as a weight loss supplement to help flatten tummies and burn fat while sleeping. Oprah has long disassociated herself from the claims but marketers continue to sell the acai berry (pronounced a-sigh-EE), and consumers continue to buy it. Experts say there isn’t enough research to back up weight loss claims.
Everyone had an auntie on the cabbage soup diet growing up. The workhorse of all fad diets, this simple plan promises weight loss of up to 10 pounds in 7 days, granted every meal consists of a bowl of cabbage soup. Aside from a reputation for making those on it drop gassy bombs, experts warn the cabbage soup diet contains too little nutrients and could lead to rapid weight gain once stopped.
Taking food from the baby is never cool. Celebs like Reese Witherspoon and Desperate Housewives’ Marcia Cross reportedly replace a few meals a day with toddler portions of pureed fruits and veggies. Because baby food jars are designed for, um, babies, the caloric intake is often not enough for adults, say nutritionists.
Those who use it swear by vinegar’s ability to cut through fat, therefore leading to weight loss. Just ask Heidi Klum and Fergie. Though vinegar has long been used as a health tonic, it’s popularity as a weight-loss aid came in to light in the 50’s with publication of Folk Medicine by Dr. J.C. Jarvis. But with little scientific research to support the claim, ACV remains a folk remedy.
Admit it. You tried popping a few Dexatrim or Acutrim back in the day. Diet pills have long been a go-to for quick weight loss. In the early 00’s the popularity of pills containing ephedra peaked, but soon tanked after 23-year-old Baltimore Orioles pitcher Steve Bechler died during training because of the supplement. Experts link diet pills to higher risks of heart attack and stroke.