10 Diets from History You Won't Believe Existed

Ancient people eating and drinking


Weight-loss methods have been existing as far back as the 20th century BC. Through all these years, people have tried various methods to achieve their weight goals. Some go through healthy diets and exercises but when they are not enough, they turn to the weirdest ways to achieve a desired lean or a slender physique.

Dieters are known for taking extreme measures to achieve their weight-loss goals. From Cigarette Diet and Starvation Diet to Vinegar Diet and Tapeworm Diet. They might sound strange but all these prove that desperate dieters take desperate and extreme weight-loss measures.

Here are 10 bizarre diets you won't believe existed.

1. The Vinegar Diet

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

The legendary British poet George Gordon Byron was widely known for capturing the imagination of Europeans with his highly influential Romantic Poetry during his lifetime. But Byron was also terrified of becoming fat as he was convinced that it would resort to sluggishness and stupidity. He developed an obsession with dieting. He popularized the Vinegar diet in the 19th century. It involves daily drinking of vinegar and plenty of soda water. He at times enjoyed potatoes drenched in vinegar.

2. The Cigarette Diet

Man smoking
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

It is difficult to believe that smoking cigarettes could be seen as dieting but in the 1920s, it was heavily promoted by cigarette companies. It involves consuming tobacco, often in the form of cigarettes to lessen one's appetite. The nicotine in the tobacco reduces hunger and cigarettes were used to replace eatables. It was created by Lucky Strike cigarette to both promote cigarettes and weight loss. Several other cigarette companies bragged about the appetite-suppressing qualities of their products during the era.

3. The Tapeworm Diet

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

The tapeworm diet was practiced by women mostly, in order to eat without gaining weight. It involves ingesting baby tapeworms in the form of a pill and letting them live off your digestive juices. The tapeworm cysts will reach into the intestines and absorb the excess calories in your body into theirs and grow larger until they're removed.

4. The Sleeping Beauty Diet

Woman sleeping in bed
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

It is common knowledge that you can't eat when you're sleeping. The King of Rock ‘n’ Roll Elvis Presley was known to have indulged in this type of diet during his later years. Elvis struggled with weight gain and obesity and his doctor recommended the use of extra sleep as a guide to weight loss as it's hard to eat while you sleep. Adherents like Elvis would heavily sedate themselves and sleep for days.

5. Fletcherizing

Man eating Barbecue Ribs
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Horace Fletcher, an American faddist believed that prolonged chewing precluded overeating, led to better systemic and dental health, helped to reduce food intake, and consequently, conserved money. Fletcher insisted that you had to let food actually liquefy into a puddle of goo inside your mouth. Only then were you allowed to swallow. He credited this habit for not only dramatic weight loss results but believed it could also cure alcoholism, anemia, and insanity.

6. Starvation Diets

Women in medieval clothes
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

In Victorian England, women were raised to be docile and dutiful and girls were laced up with tight dresses which was meant to restrict the growth of their bodies and contain them within small shapes and patterns. They would intentionally starve themselves in order to live up to the Victorian concept of frailty.

7. Avoid Swamps Diet

Swamp with a quagmire in the autumn forest
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

In 1727, Thomas Short wrote a dissertation “The Causes and Effects of Corpulence,” in which he suggested that overweight people tended to live near swamps and that they are heavy because they lived near a swamp. He recommended that they should move farther away from the swamps to lose weight.

8. Cotton Ball Diet

Cotton Ball
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

This is one of the most bizarre diets in history. It is an extreme diet and has often get hammered on as dangerous and harmful by medical professionals. It involves eating cotton balls dipped in soup, orange juice, lemonade or other liquids. The adherents of this diet believe that it helps fill your stomach without eating enough calories to gain weight. While it is known that cotton balls contain fiber, professionals have warned that ingesting cotton balls can cause permanent intestinal issues.

9. Graham Diet

Graham flour
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

In the 1830s, Sylvester Graham, a Presbyterian priest, proposed that overweight people were the way they are because they engaged in too much sexual activity. He decided to cure the strong craving for sex(physical lust) with the “Graham Flour.” His adherents, known as “Grahamites” lived off of bread made from coarse graham flour, vegetables, and water. Graham believed that his diet would aid sexual abstinence and would in turn prevent masturbation which he thought caused “blindness, diseases and death.”

10. Slimming Soaps Diet

Woman using bath soap
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Slimming soaps came to notoriety in the early 1930s. Soaps such as “Fatoff” and “Fat-O-NO” claimed to be capable of washing off fat and urged users to slim down by just bathing with their products. Despite their claims, these soaps had no records of achieving its feat/purpose.

15 Knock Knock Jokes That Will Have You Laughing Out Loud

Laughing Out Loud
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Here's a collection of 15 timeless classics that promise to bring a smile and maybe even a groan.

Click Here For 15 Knock Knock Jokes That Will Have You Laughing Out Loud

12 American Foods That People From Other Countries Are Obsessed With

Philly Cheesesteak
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

American cuisine is loved worldwide for its bold flavors and hearty portions. From coast to coast, here are 12 American foods that have won hearts across the globe.

Click Here For 12 American Foods That People From Other Countries Are Obsessed With

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *