A Brief History of Extreme Diets

Tapeworms, cotton balls, and cigarettes—not exactly the breakfast of champions, but at one point these (and a dozen other items) were featured ingredients in the craziest diet menus of all time.

See also the never-eat-again diet.

2012 Honestly Healthy Alkaline Programme:
Advocates eat mostly alkaline (instead of acidic) foods to keep their pH between 7.35 and 7.45.

2013 The Cotton Ball Diet:
Reportedly popular among models, who dip the medicine-cabinet staple in juice then eat it instead of real food.

2013 The Aztec Diet:
The three-part plan teaches you how to eat a diet primarily made up of chia seeds, quinoa, corn, and fish—though we're pretty sure the ancient Aztecs didn't exist on chia-seed smoothies for days on end.

Slide 2: Photo courtesy of Photo courtesy of Getty Images; Slide 3: Photo courtesy of Stephanie Gonot; Slide 4: Photo courtesy of Getty Images; Slide 5: Photo courtesy of Stephanie Gonot; Slide 6: Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
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