Fad diets are deemed to be a quick-fix solution to weight loss and they are usually brought to our attention by celebrity followers rather than certified nutritionists. In the past number of years, it’s fair to say that we have been inundated with fad diets, from the grapefruit diet to the cabbage soup diet and many more.
This interactive timeline by Evoke.ie, a leading source of news in Ireland, tracks some of the most well-known fad diets of the 20th and 21st Centuries, from the famous Atkins diet to the South Beach diet and much more. It charts the origins of each diet so you can get an idea of how the fad diet culture has developed over time.
1. 1930s: The Grapefruit Diet (Not Healthy)
This diet involves having grapefruit or grapefruit juice with every meal while cutting back on calories. As reported by the DailyMail:
The researchers found that when the mice were fed fatty food for three months, those given grapefruit juice to drink gained up to 18% less weight than those given water. They also had lower blood sugar and insulin levels – despite eating the same number of calories and doing the same amount of exercise as the mice who drank water. In fact, grapefruit juice was as good at controlling insulin as the widely used diabetes drug metformin, the journal PLOS ONE reports.
2. 1950s: The Cabbage Diet (Not Healthy)
The cabbage soup can be eaten at any time you feel hungry during the day, and you can eat as much as you wish as often as you like. It’s a short-term weight loss plan that lasts for 7 days.
The only reason why this diet works is because of the huge caloric deficit it creates from just eating cabbage. Do not try this one ever!
3. 1970s-1990s: The Atkins Diet (Works But Not Necessarily Healthy)
The body is an engine; carbs are the gas that makes it go. Limiting carbs makes the body turn to an alternative fuel – stored fat. So sugars and “simple starches” like potatoes, white bread, and rice are all but squeezed out; protein and fat like chicken, meat, and eggs are embraced. Fat is burned; pounds come off. Essentially, the Atkins Diet is a low-carb diet.
4. 1995: The Zone Diet (Good)
The Zone Diet is a long-term solution to developing healthy eating habits. Rather than just focus on one ingredient or category of foods, the Zone diet calls for a specific ratio of carbs(40), fats(30) and proteins(30).
5. 2003: The South Beach Diet (Good)
The South Beach Diet is lower in carbohydrates than is a typical eating plan, but not as low as a true low-carb diet. It’s kind of a mix between the Zone diet and the Atkins diet.
6. 2005: The GI Diet (Good)
The GI diet is an eating plan based on how foods affect your blood sugar level. The idea is to eat foods that slowly release sugar into your bloodstream such as quinoa and fibrous vegetables.
7. 2010: The Paleo Diet (Good)
This diet is based on the types of foods presumed to have been eaten by early humans, consisting chiefly of meat, fish, vegetables, nuts and seeds, and fruit, while excluding dairy or grain products and processed food.
8. 2015: The Sugar Free Diet (Good)
Considered by far the simplest and most effective diet of all times, the sugar free diet consists of removing all kinds of processed foods and junk food high in “added sugar”.