Low carb, high protein, low fat... so many diets to choose from! We take a look at the diets of our lifetime, from the 1980s Scarsdale Diet to the recently popular "Paleo Diet." Some work, some don't! Which have you tried?
17 Most Popular Diets
1. Ayds Diet
Ayds (pronounced as "aids") was an appetite-suppressant candy which enjoyed strong sales in the 1970s and early 1980s. It was available in chocolate, chocolate mint, butterscotch or caramel flavors, and later a peanut butter flavor was introduced. The active ingredient was originally benzocaine, presumably to reduce the sense of taste, thereby reducing the urge to eat.
By the mid-1980s, public awareness of the disease AIDS caused problems for the brand due to the phonetic similarity of names. The product's name was changed to Diet Ayds (Aydslim in Britain), but it was eventually withdrawn from the market.
2. Scarsdale Diet
For all the excess that was the '80s, dieting was uncharacteristically strict. The Scarsdale Diet was considered hardcore, composed of a 2-week high protein, low-carb, and extra-low-calorie diet (1,000 calories or less per day). This is a low-fat, high-protein diet. Grapefruit in the morning with a slice of toast, black coffee, water.
Lunch and dinner include fish, leafy vegetables, roast lamb, diet sodas, tea and soda water. Lean meat is preferred. No oil, no mayonaise, no substitutions, no alcohol. This diet received a boost in sales after its creator, Dr. Herman Tarnower, was murdered by his lover in 1980. The goal of this diet was to help you lose 20 pounds in 14 days.
Related: Look 10 Pounds Thinner, Without the Diet
3. The Beverly Hills Diet
The original diet was a high in carbohydrate, low protein regime with very low calorie content. The new versions are less extreme than the original diet. Judy Mazel's theory was that the body needs certain enzymes to digest food. If you don't eat the right enzymes, your body turns what you eat into fat. She talks about "food combining" and "conscious combining" because her diet requires that you eat certain foods in certain combination, usually nuts and fruit, and that you never mix fruit and protein. Mazel believes that if you mix certain foods, you "confuse the enzymes" and thus gain weight.
The first ten days you are only allowed to eat fruit. On days eleven until nineteen, you eat only carbohydrates, sometimes fruit only and sometimes vegetables only, and no animal proteins. On day twenty, you can eat animal proteins. The Beverly Hills Diet lasts forty-five very food-restrictive days.
4. The Grapefruit Diet
The diet is based on the claim that grapefruit has a fat-burning enzyme or similar property. The grapefruit diet is a low-carb diet, which significantly limits the amount of fruits and vegetables one eats while encouraging meat intake; the combination of these high-fat, high-cholesterol foods with grapefruit was said to burn fat.
The grapefruit diet restricts consumption of carbohydrates by eliminating sugar, sweet fruits and vegetables, grains and cereals. Though the grapefruit diet originated in the 1930s, it came to popularity in the 1970s, and is still used today for people who want to drop a few pounds fast for an event because it only lasts for 10 to 12 days. It was re-popularized in the 1980s and nicknamed the "10-Day, 10-Pounds-Off Diet"
Related: Weight Loss Tips to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth
5. The Cambridge Diet
The Cambridge Diet is an extreme low-calorie diet dating back to the 1960s. Originally used in British clinics, The Cambridge Diet works by forcing your body into a state of ketosis. This occurs when the body does not receive all the calories it needs to function properly and is forced to turn to fat stores in order to function. Depending on the step you are on and the amount of daily calories you are consuming, the weight loss can vary.
6. The Cabbage Soup Diet
This diet was designed around heavy consumption of a low-calorie cabbage soup over the time of seven days. It is generally considered a fad diet, in that it is designed for short-term weight-loss and requires no long-term commitment. It has inspired several copycats based on similar principles. The typical claimed intent of the diet is to lose 10 pounds (4.5 kg) of weight in a week, though nutritional experts point out that it is nearly impossible to lose that much fat within a week. This has given credence to claims that much of the weight lost is water.
Related: What Is the HCG Diet?
7. Atkins Diet
The Atkins Diet operates on the premise that eating carbohydrates increases insulin levels. A high insulin level tells your body to store energy. Throughout the '80s, people became aware of the association between red meat and heart disease, and the idea that carbohydrates were the answer to a longer life. By eliminating carbs from the diet, Dr. Robert Atkins says your body will begin burning fat for energy, and his diet has become hugely popular with people who can live on steak and bacon and eggs!
8. The Zone
The Zone is another diet that targets insulin control, but unlike Atkins, it does not eliminate carbohydrates entirely. Meals include 40 percent carbs, 30 percent fats and 30 percent protein. The carbohydrates must be unrefined, and total caloric intake per day runs around 1100-1200.
9. South Beach Diet
The South Beach Diet, created by Dr. Arthur Agatston, centers on eating good carbs versus bad carbs and controlling insulin. This Miami Beach cardiologist created this diet in the 1990s to refute the idea that low-fat diets do work over the long haul and the South Beach Diet was voted the most popular diet of the new millennium.
10. Mediterranean Diet
Between 27 and 34 percent of people in the US are obese, compared to Italy and France, where only 7 percent to 10 percent of the population is considered overweight.
The Mediterranean Diet urges you to eat the way southern Europeans do, which includes olive oil as the main source of fat. It incorporates food made from plants, fresh fruit as the typical daily dessert, dairy products (principally cheese and yogurt), and fish and poultry consumed in low to moderate amounts, zero to four eggs consumed weekly, red meat consumed in low amounts, and wine consumed in low to moderate amounts.
See the Complete List Here.
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