1) The Morning Banana Diet, Japan
This wacky diet was started in 2008 by a pharmacist looking to help her overweight husband, who subsequently lost 37 pounds and wrote about it on one of Japan’s most popular social networking sites.
The diet is simple: a banana and a glass of room temperature water for breakfast, whatever you like for lunch and dinner and bedtime before midnight.
A popular singer who appeared on television about the diet triggered a shortage of bananas across the country.
That year it was common to find most supermarkets out of bananas before noon and Japan was forced to increase banana imports!
Banana holders at the 100 Yen Store: JackBunny
2) The Air Diet, France
Despite the popular notion that all French women are naturally slender, they are just as obsessed with dieting as the rest of the world.
The February 2010 issue of French women’s magazine Grazia advocated the “air diet” which involves the work of eating—preparing food, placing it on a fork or spoon, lifting it to your lips—without the actual pleasure of , you know, eating it.
Most people would call this anorexia, but the magazine is sincere. It even includes a recipe forsoup that contains nothing but water and salt—helps you lose weight and save money!
3) The Caveman Diet, Sweden
This diet became popular with a study released in 1993 by a group of Swedish nutritionists looking at the detrimental health effects of the modern diet.
The “caveman” diet attempts to replicate the presumed diet of wild plants and animals that humans would have eaten in the Paleolithic era—roughly 10,000 years ago.
The idea is that we are genetically the same as our earlier ancestors and that most modern health problems can be attributed to the changes in diet brought about by agriculture.
Foods allowed include meat, fish, vegetables, fruit, nuts and roots—no dairy, grains, legumes or processed sugars or salts.
The health benefits of the diet are hotly debated and though many lose weight by going “caveman” it is criticized for being an unsustainable diet.
4) The Sandwich Diet, Spain
Spanish women, thought to be among some of the most beautiful in the world, have a fad diet of their own.
Women who have tried the sandwich diet swear by it and some have claimed you can lose up to thirteen pounds just by substituting a sandwich for one of your regular meals.
The dieter can use two pieces of multi-grain bread and whatever they like in between, but no side dishes.
Having to fit your whole meal in between two pieces of bread may be a good way to cut down on food intake. Or it might just inspire towering sandwich concoctions.
5) The Fork Diet, France
Another strange weight loss tip from the svelte French is the “fork diet.” The dieter eats only foods that are meant to be eaten and prepared with a fork.
You can eat what you want at breakfast and dinner so you won’t feel deprived, but dinner is strictly forks-only.
Some dieters allow for preparation with a knife, but dedicated fork-ists insist on only using a fork in preparation—so no spreads, nuts, soups, sandwiches, steaks…the list goes on and on.
The fact that the diet also excludes fresh fruit makes it a rather silly diet plan. And what if you’ve got an especially sharp spork?
6) Kangatarianism, Australia
The new craze to hit Australia is kangatarianism—the exclusion of all meat from one’s diet except for kangaroo.
Eating kangaroo meat is considered more environmentally friendly as well as humanitarian.
Kangaroos produce a low level of greenhouse gas, require no extra water or land, are less destructive then cattle and can be killed humanely and without drugs.
The ultimate in free-range, organic meat, kangaroo is also low in fat and high in protein.
Cutting back on fatty red meats in favor of kangaroo is seen as an important tool in curbing Australia’s obesity epidemic.
Kangaroo for dinner: avlxyz
7) Kiddie Diets, US
In a town obsessed with glamour and good looks, two of the hottest (and strangest!) diets that are sweeping Hollywood are the baby food diet and the cookie diet.
Yes, in order to lose weight, you’ve got to eat like a toddler. The baby food diet is what you might have guessed; eating only jars of pureed carrots and mashed bananas.
Celebrities like Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon have used it, saying it’s great for portion control. Most baby-food is preservative-free and heavy on the fruits and vegetables.
The cookie diet features several low-calorie meal replacement cookies baked with nutrients and appetite suppressants.
There are several different brands of diet cookies on sale in Hollywood. Sounds like a great idea—but you’ll have to sit at the kid’s table.
8) The Natto Diet, Japan
Japan has had its share of fad diets based on dubious nutritional science, but this one was a straight-up hoax.
Natto is a sticky substance created by fermenting cooked soy beans. It’s a great source of protein, but it has a strong smell and is generally not well liked by many people.
In early 2007 a Japanese television health program broadcast a show about the amazing weight-loss potential in eating two packs of natto per day, thanks to the isoflavins in the gooey food.
Natto was suddenly trendy and dieters hungry for the next weight-loss wonder food rushed the supermarkets and cleared out the shelves.
However, the show later admitted that the data was fabricated and apologized to their viewers.