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Weight loss isn't easy, but it's especially hard because there is a LOT of bad advice out there. I should know, since I lost 90 pounds eight years ago and have miraculously kept all of that weight off. Here's the secret: I didn't follow any of the bad advice, and you shouldn't either. Here are 16 pieces of the worst weight loss advice you'll ever hear, so don't even go there, chica. 

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1. Only calorie counting matters. 1

Back in 1918, physician Lulu Hunt Peters introduced calorie counting but didn't have any recommendations about the types of food you should be eating. So, in her theory, a diet comprised completely of pizza (as long as you stayed under certain calorie levels) was A-okay. 


2. Eat all of the grapefruit you can. 2

In the 1930s we were introduced to the grapefruit diet (that actually became popular in the 70s). The theory is that grapefruit has enzymes that help burn fat, but sadly (for those of us, like me, who love grapefruit) this has been disproven. 


3. Eating ice cream is good for your diet. 3

Oh, to live and to dream. In 1946, Marion White wrote a book that promoted eating 1,000 calories a day and included ice cream in your diet. The whole "diet the ice-cream way" thing was a hit but, sadly, isn't really good for weight loss. 

4. Ingesting a tapeworm is one way to lose weight. 4

Yes, seriously. Thanks to rumors that opera singer Maria Callas lost 65 pounds this way, it became a hip thing to swallow a tapeworm in order to drop the excess weight. Gross!


5. Pray the weight away. 5

Prayer is great if that's your thing, but in 1957 Reverend Charlie Shed released the book Pray Your Weight Away that suggested you simply align your body with the Holy Spirit. This is definitely bad advice.

6. Cabbage soup can help you lose weight. 6

In the 1960s, it became really popular to consume ungodly amounts of cabbage soup (and eat nothing else for seven days) so that you drop the pounds. Even if you like the stuff, though, this isn't exactly a healthy or sustainable regimen. 


7. Actually, calories don't count. 7

In a popular piece of conflicting information from 1961, Dr. Taller published a book titled Calories Don't Count which espoused the benefits of a no-carb diet and having a shot of safflower oil every day. Supposedly, it helped him lose 65 pounds. 

8. Eat pineapple AND look sexy. 8

According to the 1968 book The Sexy Pineapple Diet, it's possible to be sexy and eat pineapple all day. Unfortunately, a 1976 Chicago Tribune review demolished this advice. Sorry, ladies. 


9. The starvation diet actually works. 9

In 1973, it became super popular to actually just starve yourself thanks to a popular quote from the book The Beautiful People's Diet Book by Luciana Avedon and Jeanne Molli. These days, we say NO THANKS!

10. Eat a cookie every couple of hours. 10

Cookies sound delicious and we all know they are, but we also know that they're not exactly good for dropping excess weight. In 1975, physicial Sanford Siegal tried to develop the Cookie Diet which allowed for "specially formulated" cookies every 2-3 hours throughout the day, followed by a 500-700 calorie dinner. 


11. All you need is this weird drink. 11

The Master Cleanser, a drink made with lemon juice, cayenne pepper and maple syrup, is supposedly all you need to drop the weight, according to the 1976 book by Stanley Burroughs that popularized it. 

12. Simply believe that you will be thin. 12

Seeing is believing or believing is being, or something like that, anyway. The 1983 book There's A Thin Person Inside You! by Karen Schoenthaler literally tells you to "stop kidding yourself" and to "decide to be thin." Like, que?!


13. Trick your hubby into losing weight. 13

In another brilliantly annoying and dumb piece of advice, the 1984 book How To Take 20 Pounds Off Your Man literally shows you how to use sneaky ways to trick your man into dropping the pounds. Weird. 

14. Stop eating ALL of the carbs. 14

You've probably heard all about Robert Atkins' low-carb, high-protien diet, which came out in 1965 but gained popularity in the 1990s. The problem is that not having enough carbs actually raises your risk of cancert and heart disease. And who wants to be thin if that's your problem? 


15. Try the air diet. 15

Or, um, don't? Seriously, PLEASE don't. The so-called Air Diet is a weight loss method that involves eating your emotions, along with some water and salt soup. Once again, no, thanks. 

16. Inject yourself with fertility hormones to lose weight. 16

In possibly the weirdest piece of weight loss advice, especially since it doesn't at all deal with your food consumption, in 2011 it became popular to inject yourself with fertility hormones in order to lose weight. It was a fad started by celebrities and we think the fad should just stay away.