Our Dumbest Diets: An Anonymous Jezebel Retrospective 


It’s January 2015—time to leave that holiday trend called “eating” behind and starve your tender, fragile bodies of nutrients. Oscar-winning director Lee Daniels is doing it! He’s only eating carrots! He’s ONLY EATING CARROTS. To honor this amazing decision, several Jezebel staffers have attempted to extract comparable idiocy from their dieting pasts. Nobody wins.

The Sweet & Sour Chicken Diet

As a sweet simple teen, I somehow came under the impression that American food was the food that was actively bad for you. This resulted in me eating sweet and sour chicken from a local Chinese take-out place several times a week and frequently crying about how—no matter how hard I tried—I couldn’t lose weight. The salt of the tears, tang of the sweet and sour sauce and crunch of the fried chicken blended magnificently, FYI.

– A woman

The Chia Seeds Diet

Earlier this year a friend of a friend proselytized the diet and health benefits chia seeds, which she swore kept her weight down and also maintained her hydration. “You just put them in a bottle of water and drink them all day long!” She had excellent skin and swore her naturally dewy complexion was due to consuming something like 3 tablespoons of chia seeds per day.

This person was also drunk at a bar while telling me this, so I do not know why I bought into it, but I did. Copped a bag of chia seeds at Whole Foods for like, a billion dollars. The thing about chia seeds in water is that they’re easy to drink at first, but with time they begin to form a gelatinous mass, and if you have even a mild gag reflex, you will not enjoy this texture. Quit after a few days; couldn’t take the slime. I still have the bag if anyone wants it.

– Girl w/ medium-length hair

The Bulimia Diet

Would definitely not recommend the bulimia diet. The steps, as I remember them:

1. Be 19

2. Find yourself overwhelmed with generalized self-hatred

3. Binge on things like cereal and cookies, followed by frantic hours on the treadmill, much vomit and the double-fisting of laxatives.

Results: no weight loss whatsoever (actually, not infrequently, a net gain since purging doesn’t really work), a swollen face, strange stabbing pains in my gut and esophagus, hogging of the dorm bathroom, minimal social life. Also, I spent money on bullshit foods like “low fat cheese,” which tastes like something you’d use to punish a wayward astronaut.

The “diet” that did work was a revolutionary thing called “eat when you’re hungry, stop when you’re full, and maybe take five minutes to consider how your stupid feelings and your eating and exercise habits are related to each other.”

– Area Female

The Cabbage Soup Diet

Basically, you eat cabbage soup all the fucking time. Then you fart so, so much that no one wants to be anywhere near you, thereby driving away any and all judgey assholes who think you’re fat. Alone in your home, dying from starvation and gas fumes, you reach your ideal weight loss goals. At least, I think that’s how it’s supposed to work.

– Laptop owner

The Beyoncé Diet

My friend and I once tried to do the Lemonade Diet because we heard Beyoncé used it to drop some weight for “Dreamgirls.” This was the summer before our senior year in college and neither of us was doing anything. The diet consists of no food, and the lemon juice/cayenne pepper/maple syrup combination and laxatives. (We were planning on skipping the laxatives.) We made it through literally seven hours during we which spent the entire time laying on the couch complaining about how hungry we were. We ended up ordering Thai food that afternoon.

– U.S. citizen

Two Diets, Both Scary

5 Day Blueprint Cleanse: The starvation high made my eyes really, really blue.

150 minutes cardio/week + obsessive calorie counting on MyFitnessPal: I lost weight but I was also so fucking boring.

– Person with eyes

The Blogger Diet

Start the day with an enormous black coffee — sometimes two. Enough to make you feel as cracked out as a person not on illegal drugs could feel. Then, write straight through the day, without taking a break. At about
3 pm, rummage around in your cupboards for some chicken broth. Heat up a mug of that. Drink that, and chase it with a cup of hot water. The hunger will help you focus. At around 8 pm, drink one beer. Buzzed, wander half a block to a taco restaurant. Order 5 tacos. Eat 3, really fast. Get sick and as soon as you get home, throw up. Drink a bottle of wine.

Pros: I lost 20 lbs!

Cons: I looked and felt like shit for a long time and my boobs got all flat. I had to buy some new clothes, but they looked stupid on me. The one and only time I sharted happened during this time period, and I can’t prove it, but I’m pretty sure that the diet and the sharting were related.

Noted sharter

The Illegal Drugs Diet

The only diet I’ve ever tried is drugs instead of alcohol. It worked okay.

– I’m a pusher, Cady

The Young Athlete Diet

If by diet you mean “way that you used to eat,” after high school swim practice I would stop at the hot dog stand and get a hot dog, then stop at the nut stand and eat some hot nuts (haha) and then go home and eat a full dinner, sometimes with seconds.

Kate Dries

Images via Getty Images, Shutterstock

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