Revisiting the Graveyard of Fad Diets Past

There was the cabbage soup, Scarsdale, and all-juice diet, but where are they now?

By Denise Mann
WebMD Weight Loss Clinic - Feature

Reviewed By Brunilda Nazario

Picture a graveyard filled with fad diets past: the cabbage soup diet, the Beverly Hills diet, the grapefruit diet, the Scarsdale diet, the Hollywood juice diet, to name just a few.

Many quick-fix fad diets have seemingly been put out to pasture, but what, if anything, has replaced the fad diets of yore? Are carbs the new calorie? Or have fad diets been usurped by sound nutrition advice based on the food guide pyramid?

"I really think there is a definite trend away from fad diets," says Charleston, S.C.-based wellness expert Ann Kulze, MD, the author of Dr. Ann's 10-Step Diet: A Simple Plan for Permanent Weight Loss and Lifelong Vitality.

While "there are certain individuals out there that go for these fad diets, I definitely think they have worn out their existence," she says. Basically, fad diets are not convenient or sustainable long term.

Rest in Peace

Fad diets of yesteryear included the cabbage soup diet where followers ate nothing but homemade cabbage soup to drop 10 pounds in seven days; the grapefruit diet, a 12-day plan that involves eating 'fat-burning grapefruit or grapefruit juice with each meal to lose 10 pounds; the Scarsdale diet, a low-carb eating plan that restricts calories to about 1,000 each day and shoots for dropping 1 pound a day and 20 pounds in two weeks; the Beverly Hills diet, created by actress Judy Mazel is all about food combinations so food is not stored as body fat; and the Hollywood 48-Hour Miracle Diet is based on consuming a "miracle juice" so that in just 48 hours you will cleanse your body and lose up to 10 pounds.