Fad diets that allow sweets can be oh-so-tempting since they let you feel like you're getting to cheat. However, most of them work the same way – they just reduce the amount of calories you intake. That sweet treat is just taking the place of something more nutritious like a handful of nuts or half an avocado. There's nothing wrong with having sweets every now and then, but some of these fad diets might go just a tad too far:
1. The Chocolate Diet
When it comes to fad diets, you won't find one with a better name than this one. It's the subject of the book "Eat Chocolate, Lose Weight," and it's a pretty simple diet to follow. You just eat one small piece of chocolate before and after every meal. The chocolate piece should have a cocoa content that is 70 percent or higher, and it should be no bigger than the end of your thumb. You can eat whatever you want for your meals, but you can't have snacks. Apparently the small pieces of chocolate actually make you eat less while curbing cravings for other snacks. Who cares about losing weight – it sounds like this diet might be the key to happiness.
2. The Twinkie Diet
Yes, there is a man who claimed that he lost weight on the "Twinkie Diet." Mark Haub, a professor of human nutrition at Kansas State University, replaced his meals with Twinkies, Little Debbies, Doritos, and Oreos for two months. He actually lost 27 pounds, and his weight loss is easily explained: he just took in fewer calories than he burned. If you do this, you can lose weight eating anything. However, hopefully no one out there is trying the cronut and bacon diet just yet – there's more to food than calories. You also have to worry about all that sugar and saturated fat, and your body probably isn't getting all the nutrients it needs when you're cutting out fruits and veggies and other healthy foods. Haub even supplemented his horrible diet with the occasional can of green beans, and he also took a multivitamin. It might work as a crash-diet, but it's probably not good for long-term health.
3. The Marie Antoinette Diet
This diet lets you eat cake, obviously. However, it's all about when you eat it – you have to have your dessert in the morning. Creator Karen Wheeler thinks that Marie Antoinette stayed so slim because of when she ate, not what she ate. Having her cake in the morning helped her avoid cravings for sweet treats later in the day. While on the diet inspired by the doomed queen, you have a small piece of cake along with a healthy breakfast like yogurt and blueberries. Lunch should be your big meal of the day, and you eat a special "wonder soup" for dinner that's extremely low in calories. It might sound like a pretty sorry supper, but maybe you won't feel too deprived knowing that you can have some dessert first thing in the morning.
4. The Ice Cream Diet
No, this isn't an all-ice cream diet. It's just another diet that requires a little calorie-counting. "The Ice Cream Diet" book simply lays out a healthy meal plan with low-calorie foods like lentil soup and bran flakes. However, the gimmick that sells the diet is that it saves you enough calories for 1 cup of low-fat ice cream every day. This daily indulgence might help to keep dieters from breaking down and eating a whole tub of the dairy treat whenever they finally decide that they just can't stand counting calories anymore.
5. The Slim-Fast Diet
Remember when your mom had a chocolate shake for breakfast, a chocolate shake for lunch, then a sensible dinner? Those shakes were surprisingly tasty if you could get past the crushed-up vitamin aftertaste. I snuck a few from my mom's stash whenever there was no other chocolate in the house and convinced myself that I was doing something healthy by having a liquid meal as dessert with my real meal.
6. The Cookie Diet
If you don't like shakes, you can always replace your meals with cookies. However, you don't get to eat sleeves of Chips Ahoy! and Oreos. Instead you get to chow down on "specially developed diet cookies" when you're on Dr. Siegal's Cookie Diet. You eat six of them a day, then you get your sensible 500-calorie dinner. You will lose weight eating just 1,000 calories a day, but it might be hard to keep that weight off once you quit starving yourself. There's probably a reason why you don't hear much about this diet anymore.
7. The Gummy Bear Diet
I had to include this diet because it's pretty hilarious. And no, it has nothing to do with Romy's fat-free diet from "Romy and Michele's High School Reunion." Instead it's a crazy "detox" diet that fans of Sugar-Free Haribo Gummi Bears accidentally discovered. To go on the gummy bear "cleanse," you simply purchase a five-pound bag of the jelly bears from Amazon. Let's just put it this way: apparently some digestive tracts don't respond too well to the Lycasin used to sweeten the fruit-flavored candy. One Amazon user made a comment about funneling Niagra Falls through a coffee straw.
If you want to eat sweets while on a diet, there are other ways to do it. You can simply count calories to make room for whatever treat you want, or you can try a diet that allows a cheat day.
Would you try any of these fad diets that encourage the consumption of sugar and sugar substitutes?