10 Diets You Probably Want to Avoid

1. The Milk Diet
Even the most die-hard enemy of osteoporosis would probably find it difficult to drink three quarts of milk a day. Not Benito Mussolini. A large portion of his diet consisted solely of moo juice, which he drank to try to quell his stomachaches. He hid this habit from his cohort Adolf Hitler, though, because he thought the habit was "unfascist."

(Image: Blue Blood on the Mat by Athol Oakley)
2. More Milk Diet
OK, maybe there are more milk lovers out there than I thought. British wrestler Sir Athol Oakley maintained his physique by drinking 11 pints of milk every single day for three years. That's 12,012 pints of milk. When asked how he had arrived at that particular amount, he said it was because a wrestler he admired, Georg Hackenschmidt, gave an interview once in which he had professed to drinking exactly that amount. Hackenschmidt met Oakley and informed him that the 11 pints had been a typo - he actually drank just one pint of milk a day.
3. The PBJ Diet
In this case, "starving artist" almost applies. When Ernest Hemingway was writing his works of literary genius, he certainly wasn't dining on filet mignon and caviar. Nope, most of his books were written on a diet of peanut butter sandwiches.
4. A Diet of Weeds
I'd take a diet of PBJ any day over a diet of weeds. Automobile magnate Henry Ford took to eating weed sandwiches on a regular basis after hearing that George Washington Carver - a dietician as well as a scientist - did the same. One story goes that an employee was given the chance to go on an outing with Ford - a prestigious award. When they got back, the employee was asked if he'd like to try it again. "Not if I have to eat another one of those grass sandwiches," he replied.
5. Eating One's Book
As a writer, I have to say this one gives me pause. In 1644, a Danish author wrote a book that addressed how unfortunate the Danes has been since Sweden defeated them in the Thirty Years' War. The Swedes were not impressed. They captured him and held him prisoner for several years until they finally gave him a choice: eat your book or we decapitate you. He ate the book.

6. A Diet of Oranges

Idi Amin

Although dictator Idi Amin bestowed upon himself the title of " His Excellency, President for Life, Field Marshal Al Hadji Doctor Idi Amin Dada, VC, DSO, MC, Lord of All the Beasts of the Earth and Fishes of the Sea, and Conqueror of the British Empire [CBE] jaffain Africa in General and Uganda in Particular", in exile he earned the nickname "Dr. Jaffa". Apparently he ate Jaffa oranges like there was no tomorrow, believing that they would act like Viagra for him. He ate fruit pretty much exclusively during this time period – a pretty amazing change for someone who is said to have been a cannibal.

Photo: The Bad Fads Museum

7. Goldfish swallowing
It's pretty plausible that you've heard of someone who ate a live goldfish. I remember hearing about a kid in high school who ate a live minnow, only to puke it back up and discover it was still alive and kicking. Or flopping, as it were.

Anyway, this fad was goldfish sweeping the nation in the 1930s. Not everyone thought it was such a cool thing to do - many towns made it illegal and a Massachusetts Senator tried to pass a bill protecting the fish from "cruel and wanton consumption." Colleges threatened to expel students for such unbecoming behavior.

The fad passed (more or less) but not until after the record was established at 300+ goldfish swallowed by one man in one sitting.

Photo: Philadelphia Eagles
8. Another bad idea? Glass-eating.
This one has its roots on college campuses too. Tim Rossovich, a linebacker for the Philadelphia Eagles, liked to prove how tough he was by enjoying a nice bite of beer mug or a light snack of a light bulb (pun intended. Sorry). In 1973, a student at Harvard wasn't terribly impressed by Rossovich's stunt, and set out to prove that swallowing glass really wasn't that difficult. After he ate a light bulb, lots of kids around the Cambridge campus started chomping on good old incandescents. School officials put a stop to it as soon as they found out.

Lifebuoy, because we don't need to see a photo of underwear
9. Always Wear Underwear
If you're eating right now, put it down. OK. Now you can read this. In 1994, Renato Arganza, a fisherman, found himself stranded at sea when his boat tipped just off of the Philippines. He clung to a buoy for more than four days. When he was finally found, he told his rescuers that he survived by eating his underwear. I'm sure there's a joke in there somewhere about nutrition and skid marks, but I'm just going to leave that one to your imaginations.

10. Baskin Robbins Ice Cream Diet
Finally, a diet I can get behind. In Howard Hughes' later years, it's rumored that he enjoyed a diet of Baskin Robbins ice cream for most of his meals.

One story even goes like this: he harbored a serious addiction to Baskin Robbins' banana nut flavor. He found out it was being discontinued and panicked, immediately ordering 350 gallons (some stories say 1,000 gallons) of that particular flavor. Less than a week after it arrived, he announced that he was sick of banana nut and only wanted vanilla from that point on.

I can't find any confirmation for this story, though, so take it with a grain of salt. I, for one, think I could probably manage to survive on nothing but mint chocolate chip for the next 70-80 years.

Inspired by the book 5 People Who Died During Sex and 100 Other Terribly Tasteless Lists.

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"He ate fruit pretty much exclusively during this time period – a pretty amazing change for someone who is said to have been a cannibal."

This reminds me of Lemonhead's tribe in Monkey Island.
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I live near the Evergreen Aviation museum in Oregon, home of the Spruce Goose. When you go into the plane and listen to the tour guide they'll tell you the very same story about the ice cream, complete with the names of some of the people who were involved in the purchase. I don't know if that counts as confirmed, but they oughta know. :-)
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When I read the story about Henry Ford, I started laughing.. I constantly give my girlfriend, who is Henry Ford's great great granddaughter, a hard time for eating chocolate for breakfast...I can see that odd diets run in her family. That family defiantly walks the fine line between crazy and intelligence.
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