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The Weight-Loss Soap, Baby Food and Microbiome Diet
More Crazy Diets

Diet plans come in all shapes and sizes, but many have a theme. Lower fat, lower carbs, higher protein, food restrictions or fasting. They tend to be relatively straightforward, and if the dieter is careful, low risk.

But if you’re promoting a diet, those safer options won’t get you publicity. You need a “hook,” something that only you recommend to gain interest and traction. Unfortunately, that’s an opportunity for con artists and grifters. Here are three of the more unusual diet plans I’ve encountered over the last 20 years.

Aoqili Diet Soap Aoqili Diet Soaps

Imagine taking a shower and washing the fat away. That's the promise of aoqili diet soaps. This is part of the sales pitch.

Aoqili is a unique soap made from the elixirs of undersea plants and rare seaweed. It softens the skin while sending defeating agents to penetrate the subcutaneous layer and assist in the elimination of fats.

There are vitamins and minerals in Aoqili soap that help reduce the accumulation of fluids. Over time your body will become slender and your skin more tender. It causes neither stimulation nor aches. It's simple, convenient and relaxed weight control reported on TV programs like Prime Time, A Current Affair and Hard Copy.

The marketing pieces claim it's gone through rigorous scientific studies that prove it can cure 12 types of edema while cleaning out pores that cause acne. There's more, but you see where they're going.

The claims are so extravagant and unbelievable that I found it hard to believe anyone bought them. But sadly, there is quite a substantial number who have chosen to give up their money to liars and scammers. The reality is that there is no soap, cream, lotion or topical ointment that will make you lose weight. And if they're so willing to lie about what the soap can do, you can be sure they won't care about what goes into it. Don't trust them, and don't buy that soap.

The Baby Food Diet The Baby Food Diet

The diet plan is in the name. Instead of regular food, you eat jars of baby food throughout the day. Each small jar typically contains between 20 and 90 calories.

The idea behind the plan is that each jar you eat makes you aware of the calories you’re about to take in. You eat slower because of the time it takes to open the container. The goal is to help you break unhealthy habits. Also, baby food tends to be minimally processed, so you don’t get a lot of empty calories.

Nutritionists have sounded the alarm about this diet because it’s hard to get a balanced meal if all your food is pureed. Many baby foods have added sugar, and they tend to be lower in protein. They also lack much of the fiber people need to prevent heart attacks and stroke.

The long-term problem with the baby food diet is getting off it. If eating baby food is the only way you can take-off weight, that means you haven’t learned healthy eating habits. Once you put the jars away, the weight will pile back on.

The Microbiome Diet The Microbiome Diet

One of the newest “clinical” diet plans looks at what’s in our stomach to make recommendations. Our gut microbiome is a collection of all the microbes like bacteria, fungi and viruses that live inside us. Companies send you a gut-testing kit and then make recommendations based on the results.

The most obvious problem with this approach is that all the things we eat change and shape our gut microbiome. If you’ve been eating a poor diet, your microbiome will reflect that. This diet plan makes food choices for you based on that unhealthy gut composition.

Research has found that we can re-shape our microbiome in as little as ten days, so these programs would have to continually run tests and make adjustments based on the changes your body is experiencing. Even if you could continuously monitor your microbiome, very little research shows what specific foods might improve it. Skip this plan until there’s actual nutritional science behind it.

You don’t have to go crazy to lose weight. The most successful weight loss clients we have, followed three simple rules. Eat more whole foods, exercise at least three times a week and sleep at least 7-8 hours a night.

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CAUTION: Check with your doctor before
beginning any diet or exercise program.