Five diet trends no one cares about any longer
Superfoods are the latest cool diet trend, despite the fact that most people couldn't pick an antioxidant or a free-radical out of a lineup. Sometimes knowing why some foods are better for you (clever marketing tool) than others isn't as important as carting around an expensive bottle of acai-blueberry-spinach-blah juice and looking like you do.
Based on the life cycles of past waistline-adjustment cure-alls, the superfood fad will eventually be buried in the graveyard of all past diet fads. So in the interest of accurate trend-death predictions, here is our list of the top five diet trends -- and why everyone quit caring about them.
5. The Cabbage Soup Diet.
Lose ten pounds in a week by gorging on boiled cabbage and bananas? That sounds legit. No one really knows who started this fun and farty fad diet, but fax machines worked over-time to spread the word that medieval peasant starvation soup was the perfect way for neurotic teenage girls to squeeze into size zero prom dresses. And why did this diet trend die off? High sodium, lack of consistent protein and sharting out water weight probably did the trick.
Way too much effort.
4. The Scarsdale Diet.
This miraculous medical diet seemed perfectly fine at first. A grapefruit for breakfast every day -- that's not so bad. Using artificial sweeteners instead of sugar -- not so bad. Calculating an accurate intake of 43 percent protein, 22.5 percent fat and 34.5 percent carbs, and totaling 1,200 calories per day -- aw, shit-burgers: Public school educations did not provide dieters the basic math skills needed to make this diet work. And since this diet was popular in the 1980s, people were also not prepared to give up foods like white rice and white bread. Brown rice and whole wheat bread? There's a trend that will never catch on....
3. The Dexatrim Diet.
Over-the-counter weight loss-medication was so damn easy. Pop some pills, get spun, quit putting anything in your mouth except sugar-free gum and Tab, and watch the pounds melt away. Sure the pills come with a diet plan that includes food and exercise to supplement the brain-buzzes, but how long is the attention span of someone who's jacked up on speed? OTC weight-loss pills are still available today, but Red Bulls and meth is a much cheaper combo.
2. The South Beach Diet.
Developed by a cardiologist and a dietician, this diet plan was meant to help people with heart disease, but became a cultural phenomenon with the introduction of the concepts of "good vs. bad" fats and carbs. You have to love a diet that gives idiots a way to rationalize dunking their heads into vats of guacamole, and the diet also gives an exemption for a fat beer drink-and-drown during Oktoberfest. This diet crapped out in the same way that Seattle grunge murdered hair bands -- something new came along, and people quit giving an Omega 3 shit about it. The Atkins Diet donned a flannel shirt and a pair of Doc Martens, and that was it.
1. The Atkins Diet.
This low-carb revolution has been around since 1972, but didn't get much attention until the early 2000s -- but ultimately, a diet that tells fat-assed Americans that they can chase fistfuls of bacon with milkshakes is going to get noticed.
We will be denied nothing.
Eating fried cheese wrapped in lettuce was much less effort than actually exercising or practicing self-control, and restaurants hopped on this trend and dry-humped it until it came to a record-skipping halt. No Krispy Kreme doughnuts? F*ck that!
The only trendy diet that will ever have any longevity in this country is one that will allow dieters to eat whatever they want, anytime they want, without being hassled to do anything other than camp out on the couch or in front of a computer screen. Atkins ultimately couldn't deliver that, so now we are all hungrily awaiting the next fad diet that will.
Get the Dining Newsletter
The week's top local food news and events, plus interviews with chefs and restaurant owners, dining tips, and a peek at our print review.