11/05/2018 13:42 SAST | Updated 11/05/2018 13:42 SAST

From 'Seriously?' To 'Eeuw!' — These Are The Most Popular Freaky Diets In 2018

The lengths we go to to fight the flab...

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While we may have stopped making ourselves sick by swallowing soap and tapeworms in the name of dieting [as many did in the early 1900s], it seems some freaky diet fads are still going strong.

According to recent research by Glotech Repairs — based on Google trends and a public survey — eyebrow-raising diets like the placenta diet and the acidic apple-cider vinegar diet have received many clicks on internet search engines.

"Our research was really interesting to compile, and just goes to show the lengths that people are willing to go to lose weight," said the company's Mark Reeves.

Freakier diets still going strong

1. Placenta diet

People are putting placenta on their plate — search-engine interest in this diet has increased over 300 times in the past 10 years.

Some mothers, including celebrities like Kim Kardashian, have hailed the "health benefits" of eating their placentas, despite researchers warning against this diet trend.

2. Juice cleanse

Google searches for enamel-eroding juice cleanses rose by 850 percent in the past decade. At their most basic level, cleanses are meant to cleanse your body naturally of any toxins; a job already adequately performed by your liver and kidneys.

3. Acidic apple-cider vinegar diet

Searches for this type of diet have also drastically increased.

The 1950s saw this diet come to fruition, with users being instructed to drink a cocktail of honey and vinegar in equal measures. One of the latest versions claims that three teaspoons of the concoction before each meal will curb cravings and fight fat.

Other diets on the increase

1. 5:2 diet

This diet, which allows users to eat a 500-calorie-restricted diet for two days and whatever they like for the rest of the week, has risen in popularity by 1,900 percent in the past decade.

2. Paleo diet

The Paleo diet instructs people to eat plenty of grass-fed meats, fruit and vegetables and whole foods like nuts and seeds. Some versions let you consume low-fat dairy produce. It is getting almost 15 times more internet searches than before.

3. Mediterranean diet

The diet promotes a healthier heart and is high in vegetables, fruits, legumes, pulses, grains, fish, and unsaturated fats such as olive oil — and very little dairy or meat. Not only is it a popular search, it was voted as the best diet for 2018 in the US News Best Diets Ranking.

Diets on the decrease

1. The Zone diet

This diet has decreased in interest by 78 percent over the past decade. Well-liked by celebrities, it involves eating a ratio of carbs, fat and protein with every single meal.

2. Atkins diet

Search-engine interest in the Atkins diet has dropped by half. In the 1960s, Dr Robert Atkins founded this low-carb, high-protein diet.

3. Keto diet

By eating a lot of fat — over 70 percent of calories in some plans — and very few carbs, this diet claims to put your body into a state of ketosis, in which fat is burned instead of carbohydrates. It was at the bottom of all the diets ranked.

Dieticians recommended that weight is lost at a rate of 0.4kg to 1kg per week, rather than crash dieting, so that the metabolism and the body can adapt over time — which is a better way to ensure the fat will stay off.

"Sticking to a calorie-controlled diet while doing the recommended amount of exercise is one of the best ways to keep weight down," said Reeves.