Making the decision to lose weight is a special kind of torture. You want to feel better about yourself, and you think making an external change will cause an internal one. Nobody wants to wait to feel happier, so even though you know the real secret to losing weight and feeling healthy is to eat less calories and to exercise more, you keep your eyes peeled for tips and tricks.
Losing weight the "old-fashioned" way takes so long! Why waste your time as the weeks go by when you could be losing half your body weight in a matter of days! It's a mindset most of the women (and some of the men) I know have fallen victim too. It's an easy trap to step right into, and with more diet trends coming fast at you every waking minute, it's no wonder!
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Hindsight is absolutely 20/20. When it comes to diet trends, that's still true. It's beyond easy to look back at the gimmicks we've fallen for in the past and laugh at ourselves. But maybe in addition to laughing, this list of diets-past can serve as a reminder the next time we think of jumping on the next trend-diet bandwagon.
1.) The Fat-Free Diet
It wasn't so long ago that everyone was all about fat-free foods. It seemed like fat was the worst thing we could put into our bodies. Because of this trend, we got Snackwell's cookies, which we all binged on instead of loading up on fruits and veggies. Just because there's no fat doesn't mean you should eat 10 boxes.
2.) The Atkins Diet
This one leaped in the face of the fat-free diet -- this one was all fat, all of the time (until recently). Forget fruits, vegetables, legumes, and of course bread -- putting anything other than fat in protein in your body was a bad idea on this diet. Sure, you'd lose weight, but look at a cookie and you'd gain back the weight plus 10 pounds extra. Still, for a brief time the entire country was only eating bacon, and I miss those days.
3.) The Macrobiotic Diet
For this I blame Gwyneth Paltrow, as I do so many things (kidding, heart you Goopie). This diet was popularized in Japan and was originally touted in America as being helpful to cancer survivors, though doctors disagree. It soon became an excuse to eat only grains and vegetables as a guide to being thin and living forever. We are all still mortal, and a person can only drink so much miso soup.
4.) The Sandwich/Soup/Cereal Diet
This is advertising dressed up as a diet. A popular sandwich chain set up the model -- eat their sandwiches for lunch and lose weight! A chain reaction quickly rolled out; soon people were eating only soup for lunch, or cereal for breakfast and lunch. Sure, it's easy to drop some pounds when you aren't getting enough calories, but that's setting you up for disaster.
5.) The Grapefruit Diet
Also known as the 'Hollywood Diet,' this one promises you a loss of 10 pounds in 12 days. Tempting! Also -- exceptionally dangerous and not geared toward long-term results. This one combines all the fattiness of Atkins with all the starvation of ... starving yourself! The diet consists of consuming 900-1,000 calories a day, well below the minimum standard of 1,200. Barf. Wait, don't -- you need the calories.
6.) The Cabbage Soup Diet
This one promises 10 pounds gone in 7 days! What it does not tell you? Every day you will be eating a bland cabbage soup that will make you fart so badly that you will have no friends to show off your weight loss for at the end of the diet. Hurray! Gross!
What diet from days gone by have you tried and loved or hated?
Image via Lauren Manning/Flickr