Weirdest Diets Where People Lost Weight

Over 300 Ranker voters have come together to rank this list of Weirdest Diets Where People Lost Weight

The weirdest diets where people lost weight are those strange fad diets, often popularized by celebrities, who through the most bizarre processes, actually work. So if you're fed up with the traditional diets, read on to learn about some of the strangest ways people lost weight through weird diets. Which is truly the weirdest? Vote on your picks below.

Losing weight is quite often a matter of consuming fewer calories than you burn. How you get this to happen is a whole lot more complicated, as these diets prove. Take the Twinkie, Starbuck,s or Taco Bell Drive Thru diet, for example. All three promote eating foods that wouldn't necessarily be considered healthy but at a caloric deficit which inspires weight loss. If calories in are fewer than calories out, regardless of where those calories come from, you'll likely lose weight.

Other fad diets are straight up dangerous, though effective. Those which rely on fasting, like the cotton ball diet (yes, people eat cotton balls on this one), the Breatharian diet (where cult members... followers, consume only sunlight) and the lemon detox diet (because who says mixing cayenne pepper, lemon juice and maple syrup isn't delicious) all work, since followers are not eating real food, causing a huge (and pretty unhealthy when done in excess) caloric deficit.

Like all things you read on the Internet, all strange dieting advice, especially for weird fad diets, should be reviewed by a medical professional before taking them as the gospel. While many of these weird diets actually work, some are straight up dangerous as well. Stay healthy, folks.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY

  • Tapeworm Diet
    Photo: Unknown / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain
    144 VOTES

    Tapeworm Diet

    Ever wish there was some magical monster who lived in your gut and ate up everything you ate so none of it hit your hips? Welcome to the tapeworm diet! While not legal to import or sell in the US, some extreme dieters actually use these creatures to quickly and nearly effortlessly lose weight.

    The tapeworm, which is actually a parasitic infection, can inspire weight loss and can control the appetite of its hosts but can also cause abdominal pain, upset stomach and death.
    144 votes
  • 2
    133 VOTES

    Cotton Ball Diet

    Want to feel full without actually consuming any real food? That's exactly the idea of the cotton ball diet. Instead of eating, those on the cotton ball diet dip cotton balls in orange juice or water then swallow them like actual food. The wet cotton balls, which average about five per serving each "meal," make the stomach feel full and reduce that urge to eat actual food. The best part? They are zero calories, no fat and carb-free!

    The diet works because instead of consuming actual food, those on the cotton ball diet eat just cotton balls, which are not digested. That however leads to some pretty scary, not to mention gross, digestive problems. So while those on the cotton ball diet are sure to lose weight, they might also develop life-threatening obstructions in their digestive tracts as a result.
    133 votes
  • 3
    102 VOTES

    Breatharian Diet

    Part diet and part pseudoscience, breatharianism is the theory that food and water is not really essential for survival in this world, that one can live off of sunlight - you know, like solar panels. Actress Michelle Pfeiffer once admitted to being involved in a cult who practiced this diet, which is similar to Madonna's diet which involves swallowing air rather than food.

    In reality, not eating will cause most everyone to lose weight without all that pesky cult stuff. Also in reality, fasting can be incredibly dangerous and there have been several instances where this process has caused death.
    102 votes
  • 4
    82 VOTES

    Eggs and Dessert Diet

    While the egg and dessert diet isn't that weird, it does fall on this for the fact that it encourages indulging in sweets like cakes, cookies and brownies… for breakfast. While the actual science behind the weight loss might be more psychological than anything substantial, according to a 2012 study, those who ate one sugary treat with breakfast lost more weight over a 32 week period than those who didn't.

    The diet maintains that those who indulge during their first meal of the day are less likely to indulge later plus the serotonin rush at breakfast leads to a happier rest of the day with fewer cravings. Like any diet though, one cannot simply eat eggs and cake for breakfast then whatever they want the rest of the day. A caloric deficit and exercise are required.
    82 votes
  • The Twinkie Diet
    Photo: Evan-Amos / Wikimedia Commons / CC0 1.0
    94 VOTES

    The Twinkie Diet

    Yes, really, this is a diet filled with Twinkies, crunchy Doritos, chocolatey Oreos and sugary cereals at all hours of the day and night. Instead of consuming typical "healthy" meals, one Kansas State University professor ate Twinkies, cakes and other convenience food every three hours. At the end of 10 weeks, he had lost 27 pounds.

    But it wasn't overindulgence in junk food that caused the weight loss. the professor limited himself to 1,800 calories per day, enough to cause a deficit and prompt weight loss. In the end, he succeeded with his goal - to prove that regardless of the nutritional value of food, eating at a caloric deficit is what causes weight loss, plain and simple.
    94 votes
  • Beer and Sausage Diet
    Photo: J. Kenji López-Alt / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain
    93 VOTES

    Beer and Sausage Diet

    Many diets will restrict calories from alcohol and fatty processed meats but not this one! The beer and sausage diet is just like it sounds. Those following the diet consume high quality sausage, sometimes with a bun or toppings like peppers, onions or mustard, and craft beer. The protein-heavy sausages are filling while the beer can help speed up the metabolism.

    But like everything, moderation is key. In this success story, an Arizona man lost nearly 20 pounds in 30 days on the beer and sausage diet, though he enjoyed both in moderation. The man consumed only an average of 1,500 calories per day, which was enough to cause a calorie deficit which inspired weight loss. While this is a weird diet, any diet that includes beer and sausage at every meal might just be brilliant too.
    93 votes