Diet culture has been prevalent. However, now more than ever, an unrealistic body type is being perpetuated on social media. A body standard that is unhealthy at best and racist at worst. The Kardashian-Jenners are known to be the trendsetters of the hourglass body type, and they themselves struggle with the standard.
Being “thin” with blue eyes and blonde hair is the Eurocentric ideal, obviously ignoring people of color. The Greek Goddess of sex, love, and beauty- Aphrodite- is drawn with curves. It is clear that the current standard is deeply vested in racism.
Weight loss plans and fad diets have stood the test of time and helped countless people lose weight successfully. When it comes to fad diets, it’s not hard to find popular diets on the internet.
Here are some of the most damaging diets that were promoted.
- The Hollywood 18-Day Diet
This diet was combined with another popular diet called The Cigarette Diet, wherein women were encouraged to skip meals and replace them with smoking. The brand Lucky Strike even advertised their cigarettes with thin, sexy women taking a drag. Their slogan was, “Reach for a Lucky, instead of a sweet”.
The Hollywood 18-Day Diet instructed women to cut out all food and drinks except oranges, grapefruit, toast, eggs, and a lot of cigarettes (basically chain smoking). The calorie intake goal was 585 calories (the current minimum is 2000 calories per day).
2. The Tape Worm Diet
Credit goes to silent film actress Barbra La Marr. Her body type was typecasted, hence, keeping it up was extremely important for her status as an icon in flapper culture. She took up the experimental Tape Worm Diet to do so.
Allegedly, she would take a small pill with a tapeworm inside so it would grow inside her. The “logic” is that the tapeworm would consume the food instead of it getting to her. Real for Barbara or not, this diet did become extremely popular and just…ew.
3. The Atkins Diet
Created by Robert Atkins after putting on depression weight himself. Dr. Robert came across research by Al Pennigton theorizing that the perfect diet was a no-carb and high-fat diet. If you have no carbs, only fat will burn. Hence, he created it in 1972 and named it after himself.
It is the world’s first keto diet. The diet works, yes, but it is very bad for the body, causing heart problems due to high-fat consumption. It’s still a popular diet, for someone reason.
4. The Master Cleanse
When Beyoncé needed to lose weight for her role in Dreamgirls, she went on the infamous The Master Cleanse diet. The concept has existed since the 1940s. During the cleanse, which usually lasts about two weeks, the dieter drinks only fresh lemon juice mixed with water, pure maple syrup, and cayenne pepper.
In addition to the restriction, people are also encouraged to use mild laxatives. While it is a speedy way to drop a few pounds, it is not a long-term or healthy way to lose weight.
5. The Zone Diet
Supposedly, once followed by Jennifer Aniston to help maintain her slim Friends bod, The Zone Diet involves eating one-third of a plate of lean protein at every meal.
It is measured through the size of your palm, about two-thirds vegetables and some low-sugar fruit, plus a bit of monounsaturated fat such as olive oil, avocado, or almonds. This diet claims to reduce inflammation and result in the loss of body fat. However, it is not a sustainable diet and can lead to binge eating disorders.
6. Juice Diets
The idea of “detoxifying” juice “cleanses” became big in 2007 when celebrities started crediting the aforementioned Master Cleanse. Juice diets vary from substituting one meal with fresh juice to consuming nothing but fresh juices for some time.
While there are nutritional benefits to juice, it is better to consume fruits and vegetables in their whole form.
7. Diet Teas
Ding ding ding. Red flag. Although a favorite of Instagram models and reality show moguls, diet teas, juices, cleanses, and pills are not good for you.
While diet teas may help people achieve rapid weight loss, they’re unhealthy and unsustainable, just like the weight loss that they produce. Usually, these products are laxatives, so the weight loss is water weight. No calorie burning. Once you drink water, you’ll put that weight on.
8. Nushrat Bharucha’s Unhealthy Diet Tips
Nushrat Bharucha, very infamously, advised people to give up salt, sugar, milk, curd, and wheat. In her other videos also she is seen promoting an unhealthy eating style along with the aforementioned restrictions. Dieticians and health experts emerged to slam the actress for promoting an unhealthy relationship with food.
Avoiding food groups is promoted only if one is allergic or sensitive to that group. While it is better to avoid processed fats and added sugar, the actor’s diet advice promotes eating only with the intention of filling the stomach and not the soul. This lifestyle can harm one’s mental health.
9. The Kardashian diets
The Kardashians are the Queens (Kueens?) of promoting the most harmful diets. They have all promoted laxative-like teas and pills. Kim, taking it a step further, has promoted diet suppressant lollipops to her young fan base. You know, the lollipops that can cause anorexia in young people and promote unhealthy relationships with food and the body.
Amidst controversy, Kim wore Marilyn Monroe’s iconic “Happy Birthday” dress. However, in order to do so, she promoted an extremely unhealthy diet. She lost 16 pounds in 3 weeks by wearing a sauna suit twice a day, doing extreme treadmill running, cutting out sugar and carbs, and only eating tomatoes.
The beauty mogul added: “I didn’t starve myself, but I was strict.” Okay, Kim.
According to studies, 90% of these diets were failures. Obviously. Go get a snack and live your life. Who cares about your external capsule’s shape?