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7 Off-Beat Diets You Should Know

Katie Fetting-Schlerf
August 3rd, 2012 7:11pm EDT

Fork with Tape Measure

It seems there is a diet for everything.  Type something edible into your search browser in conjunction with “diet” and odds are there’s a weight loss plan for it.  Some of these diets, however, are a little more out-there than others.  Below are seven of the more interesting diets.

The Burrito Diet

Matthew Lisk came up with this plan after struggling with yo-yo dieting and weight issues for his entire life.  Wrapping vegetables and other healthy fare inside of tortillas allowed Lisk to take and keep the weight off, while giving him the illusion of eating a burrito.

Another version of this diet attributes its effectiveness to jalapenos and capsaicin, an element found in the little green devils.  According to some research, capsaicin allows people to burn almost twice as many calories as a non-pepper eater.

The Fork Diet

Plain and simple, if you can’t eat it with a fork, it’s prohibited under this diet plan.  It makes sense if you think about it—stabbing a potato chip takes a lot of talent.  You’re not permitted to use knives either, consequently eliminating many of the fattier meats (like sausage) and cheeses.  Eating with hands is also off limits, so no pizza and sandwiches.  In the strictest form of the diet, participants aren’t even allowed to use knives to PREPARE the food.

The Cookie Diet

Easily one of the more counter-intuitive strategies, the Cookie Diet is the brainchild of Dr. Sanford Siegal, who advocates frequent eating of—you guessed it—cookies!  The principle behind the weight loss plan is that if you consume a cookie (or, in some cases, a couple) every two hours, you will stymie hunger.  You are permitted a 500-700 calorie “regular” dinner as well.

The Apple Cider Vinegar Diet

Though there is very little evidence of the efficacy of the Apple Cider Vinegar Diet, proponents like supermodel Heidi Klum believe it works.  By consuming a few teaspoons of apple cider vinegar, advocates believe they can burn fat while removing cholesterol.  Many doctors urge caution, however, as the acidity of the vinegar can damage your throat.

The Coffee Diet

Think your coffee pods are just yummy?  Well, they may be slimming as well.  According to some experts, caffeine can stimulate your metabolism up to 10% (which for many people translates to 200 calories per day).  There is some debate, however, as to whether the Coffee Diet is a net win or loss; some research suggests coffee may alter blood sugar levels.

The Hot Dog Diet

If you like hot dogs—and don’t care about being completely malnourished—this may be the diet for you.  You eat hot dogs.  Lots and lots of hot dogs.  Breakfast, lunch, dinner.  Hot dogs.

The Paleolithic or ‘Caveman’ Diet

The basic concept of this diet is that you’re only permitted to eat things available to our prehistoric counterparts, i.e. fish, pasture-raised meats, vegetables, nuts, etc.  It remains controversial, however, as many nutritionists and scientists don’t think there’s a causal relationship between the food of our ancestors and modern healthiness.

In the end, none of these fad diets can replace nutritious eating.  As one who stopped evolving my dietary practices at the Food Pyramid, I have to admit that a lot of these diets just don’t make sense.  Eating anything exclusively three times a day will probably lead to weight loss (from taste bud boredom if nothing else), but your health will suffer.

Katie Fetting-Schlerf is a Seattle-based blogger who will soon be creating a potato-skin-based diet, guaranteed to rapidly increase her pants size.  When she’s not writing about K-Cups and caveman diets, she enjoys drinking K-Cups and acting like a caveman.

Photo Credits: istockphoto