We who roam in health and fitness circles hear a lot about good diets and bad diets, not to mention the sheer number of blinky punch-the-monkey badvertisments touting The Best Diet EVAH! that we are subjected to on a daily basis. But did you know that researchers have examined all the diets out there and crowned the worst diet ever?
In a society that has embraced everything from the Banana Diet (eating only bananas and lukewarm water for breakfast) to the Banana Bag Diet (no food, just nutrients in an IV drip) to the Bananas are Satan Diet (a.k.a. Atkins), you’d think it would be hard to choose the worst diet ever. But intrepid researchers from Duke University have taken on humanity’s plight as their own and examined them all. So who took the rhinestone tiara? The Cabbage Soup Diet.
That sound you just heard was my brain grinding gears. Um, what? The researchers claim that the Cabbage Soup Diet is the worst because it is so deficient in protein (no mention of the bruises suffered from people being physically ejected by their partners from bed after bubbling the covers with their nocturnal emmissions). Which I can kind of understand. I mean wasn’t the Gulag sort of the ultimate human experiment in surviving on the broth of flatulent vegetables? It certainly didn’t promote health.
But the worst diet ever? At least the Cabbage Soup Diet incorporates an actual vegetable. I would like to nominate my own suggestion for Worst Diet Ever: The hCG diet.
hCG stands for human chorionic gonadotrophic hormone which for people not intimately acquainted with uteruses, is otherwise known as the pregnancy hormone. I was orginally introduced to this hormone when I experienced my first miscarriage. Drawing blood, the lab can do a count of your hCG levels – which in a normal pregnancy will double every 24 hours. In a miscarriage it stays stagnant or falls. It’s important because it is the hormone that tells the fetus to grow.
In the hCG diet, the orginator Dr. Simeon instructs you to inject this hormone (sometimes via the urine of pregnant women) into yourself every day for 23 days. In addition to the funfunfun of daily injections, the diet asks you to gorge on all the fatty food you can for the first two days to make sure “your fat cells are filled to max capacity.” Starting with the third day you are to eat only 500 calories a day and have no sugar or starch of any kind until you finish out the injections. The claim is that the hCG will suppress your appetite so much that you will no longer care that you are only eating 500 calories a day.
Now, if the description alone isn’t enough to warrant the Worst Diet Ever title, here is some additional evidence:
– Clinical studies on hCG have shown no measurable effect on weight loss or fat loss when compared to a placebo.
– The main proponent of this diet, infomercial guru Kevin Trudeau, who has already been jailed for fraud, now has a federal injuction against him and the diet.
– The original book, Pounds & Inches by Dr. Simeon, is being investigated by the Federal Trade Commission for deceptive advertising.
So you are on a starvation diet with no carbs developed by known hucksters plus you have to inject yourself daily with urine. See? Worst diet ever!
Do I win?? Any other nominations for the Worst Diet Ever? What’s the worst diet you’ve ever tried? (And no, I have never tried this one nor will I ever consider doing an Experiment on it so don’t ask.)