6 Crazy Global Diets

on February 19, 2014


The Lemon Diet, New Zealand

When life hands you lemons, add water, cayenne pepper and maple syrup. Adherents of the lemon diet are advised to drink several glasses of the warm elixir and consume nothing else all day. The craze began in New Zealand, and extreme dieters all over the world have since embraced the lemon diet as a fast way to shed unwanted pounds. Although this strategy might help you lose some water weight, you’ll most likely gain it all back once you start eating solid food again.

The Cotton Ball Diet, U.S.A

We’re chagrined to admit that this strange diet trend is a homegrown one. The so-called “cotton ball diet,” which has been adopted by runway models and image-conscious teenagers alike, involves soaking cotton balls in orange juice and swallowing them whole to create a feeling of fullness. Because cotton balls are actually blends of polyester, this extreme diet tactic can create painful stomach blockages or cause damage to the intestines.

The Monomeal, India

Monogamy meets diet in this Indian diet trend. For one meal a day, variety is banished and a plate can only contain one type of food, typically a fruit or vegetable. Proponents say the digestive system benefits from a focused plate.

Leek Water, France

French women are famous for maintaining slim physiques while regularly indulging on cheese and breads and wine. How do they do it? Leek water—a concoction made by boiling leeks in plain water—might be the secret to the coveted Parisian physique. The leek detox, which has gained many adherents in France, involves drinking leek water throughout the day, even replacing meals with the oniony cocktail. We say, “Non, merci.

Tongue Patches, Venezuela

Before you swear that you’d do anything to lose that extra 5 pounds, hold your tongue: In Venezuela, one popular weight loss method involves having a mesh square stitched onto the tongue to make eating terribly painful. A Beverly Hills plastic surgeon is credited with devising the dangerous method, which can potentially cause ulcers or infections in patients.

Israeli Army Diet, Israel

Allegedly based on the diet of the Israel Defense Forces, this 8-day diet instructs dieters to eat the same food item for two days at a time. Across the 8-day span, dieters consume a set progression of foods: apples, cheese, chicken and salad. This fad diet is alleged to stem back to the 1970s, and current proponents swear it’s the secret to the good looks of Israeli soldiers.