It is only a recent development that a majority of fab body fanatics have started taking the health factor into consideration. Because the history of dieting – and we are talking early and mid 1900s – rates near to zero on the healthy scale. These unwise diet fads stand proof of that.
The Cigarette Diet
Today if you ask anyone about the health benefits of a smoke they’d probably think you’re crazy. But during the first of the 20th century it wasn’t uncommon for cigarette brands to advertise their products as advantageous for health. Several companies even claimed that their cigarette could help shed weight!
The Hallelujah Diet
This “Jesus-loving” diet was formulated by US reverend George Malkmus in the 1990s. The diet included eating only those foods that Adam and Eve consumed in the Garden of Eden, which were mostly fruits and veggies. We are not too sure about apples though.
The Fletcherism Diet
Horace Fletcher looked at his plate more as a workout regime for his mouth because he was the proud founder of ‘Fletcherism’. The practice involved chewing each mouthful of food for at least 32 times, or until it was in liquid form. Also known as “the great masticator”, Fletcher believed that his method could help people stay healthy and loose weight.
The ‘Byron Diet
Lord Byron might easily be the earliest flag bearer of diet regime. The Victorian poet was often termed ‘fatphobic’ for his obsession with looking sickly thin and pale for which he stuck to mostly hard biscuits and soda water and potatoes drenched in vinegar. Byron at his slimest weighed 9st 11lb (~62kg).
The Tapeworm Diet
This diet, though theoretically sound, is practically crazy! According to popular theory, if you ingest a tapeworm along with your food, the parasite will eat up what you consumed and hence you loose almost zero weight! Famous opera singer Maria Callas lost a good amount of weight in 1950s by following this diet.
The Grahamite Diet
Presbyterian minister Sylvester Graham (also regarded as The Father of the Graham Cracker) advocated the consumption of Graham flour to cure the body of “physical lust” (read, civil disorder; sexual excess; illness, etc.). His followers – The Grahamites – lived off of a vegetarian diet that comprised bread made of the flour, vegetables and water.
The Lulgi Cornaro Diet
If you thought dieting was a fairly new concept then think again. The first bestelling book on loosing weight was released in 1558 by Venetian Lulgi Cornaro called The Art of Living Long. Cornaro lived by only 400g of food everyday which was later reduced to just an egg a day! Interestingly, the man lived up to see his 98th birthday!