10 Fad Diets to Steer Clear of This Bathing Suit Season

10 diets that should make you want to run (for your life).

It’s okay to be a little freaked out by the prospect of stuffing your pale, corduroy-shielded backside into a bathing suit in just a few short weeks. It’s also okay to cut back on the pasta and do a few extra squats or lunges at the gym in preparation for the yearly “unveiling.” It’s even okay to learn a few new toning moves from women’s magazine articles with titles like, “6 Weeks to Your Best Bikini Body Ever!”

What’s not okay, however, is undertaking a faddish, questionable, and gimmicky diet in order to drop pounds as quickly as possible. If you want to lose weight, eat veggies and lean protein, avoiding processed foods, carbs, and alcohol. Skip these shams, along with any “doctor” who tells you that you can lose weight by eating cookies all day. (Hint: Not true.)

Any [Single-Ingredient] Diet

These have been around for decades, employed by high-school girls desperate to look skinny for prom. The cabbage soup diet. The grapefruit diet. The anchovy diet. Most of these schemes promise unlimited amounts of the magic ingredient (“You can have all the cabbage soup you want!”), as if consuming 900 percent of your daily allowance of beta-carotene makes up for not consuming any other vitamins or nutrients.

The Feeding-Tube Diet

For the busy woman who simply has no time to think about eating, a feeding-tube diet (technically called the K-E Diet, short for ketogenic enteral nutrition) may be the perfect solution. Pioneered in Europe, this ten-day regimen involves inserting a nasogastric tube to deliver liquefied nutrition, and promises that patients can lose up to ten percent of their body weight in only ten days. This diet is popular with self-obsessed brides-to-be and women who contemplate ingesting tapeworms.

Die Fat or Get Tough

Are you fat? If so, it’s your fault. As the book’s website says, “Get ready for a 2,000-volt cattle prod to your consciousness.” You think like a fat person, therefore, you’re probably going to die. Sorry. You’re not fat because of portion sizes, cortisol, or your thyroid – you’re fat because you’re weak and pathetic. Doesn’t that make you feel better? Get tough like Steve Siebold, the writer, so you can be an awesome winner like he is. (Note: The website doesn’t specify exactly what a fat person “thinks like,” but it’s safe to say that his diet plan probably involves yelling at your thighs until they disintegrate in submission.)

The Paleo Diet

Also called the “Caveman Diet,” because it’s modeled on how cavemen ate. (Supposedly.) No wheat, no carbs, no sugar, no alcohol, no beans, no corn, no dairy. Sounds reasonable, right? Except that you replace bread and milk with meat. Lots and lots of meat. Bacon, sausage, beef, ham, meat three times a day. Meat as snacks. Meat for dessert. Meat. Meat. Meat. Avoid this diet for the sake of your cholesterol and the environment.

The Cookie Diet

What’s not to love about a diet that allows you to eat cookies? The fact that these aren’t so much “cookies” as they are “low-cal bran clumps,” for one. Also the fact that this diet only allows you to consume about 1000 calories a day, which is far too few for any healthy adult.

The Apple Cider Vinegar Diet

Can drinking pure apple cider vinegar with every meal help increase your metabolism, curb your appetite, and decrease bloating? Well, the jury’s still out on those claims, but apple cider vinegar definitely reduces your appetite. Drink a shot of it before meals and you will find that you’re not as hungry as you thought you were. In fact, you’re downright nauseated. Weight loss achieved! But the vinegar rotted your teeth away, so there’s that.

The Texas Firefighter Diet

Texas currently has the twelfth-highest obesity rate in the country, so the author of this book will pardon us if mentioning Texas firefighters doesn’t instantly conjure up images of svelte, manly fitness. The secret to this diet, created to curb obesity among firefighters, is eating fewer barbecued ribs and more vegetables. Shocking.

The Sleep Diet

Sleep – your doing it wrong. Lucky for you, author Michael Breus has the answer. If you sleep better, you’ll lose weight. Here’s how it works:

Step 1: Sleep more.
Step 2: ??
Step 3: Your metabolism is raised, burning fat and decreasing cravings. Congrats! You’re skinny!

The Hot Diet

After carefully studying 104,000 people, the author of this book noticed that fat people tended to drink beverages with ice while they ate. Thus, ice is the enemy. Science has spoken – only consume warm things.

The Jesus Diet

What Would Jesus Eat? Well, He would probably have eaten a lot of fish, whole grains, fruit, vegetables, red wine, and olive oil. Nothing processed and not too much red meat (saved for special occasions) or pork (unkosher). Actually, this one makes a lot of sense, so go for it. Just remember that once you reach your goal weight, you’ll have to cover up at the beach, because He demands modesty.

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