"Fad diets don't work. Trust me - I've tried almost all of them."

Image: supplied

I started my first diet at the tender age of 11. I had always been a chubby kid, and a number of influences led me to believe that not only did I need to be “skinny” (note: not healthy) to be happy, but also that a drastic diet was the only possible way to get there.

It was a time when young girls wanted to look like Paris Hilton or Christina Aguilera, and there wasn’t a whole lot of body type variety in Hollywood — or the media, for that matter. Is it any wonder so many of us have body image issues?

As 2015 wrapped up, I came to the realisation that my New Years Resolution for the past decade has, without fail, been to start a diet. Every. Single. Year. Here’s a definitive list of every ridiculous eating plan I’ve subjected my body to in this time. And, *spoiler alert*: Not one of them worked.

The 5:2 Diet

Is it just me, or are everyone’s parents on this diet? I can see why it works on paper, but it seems like a fancy way to be hungry.

The Paleo Diet

With a focus on unprocessed and whole foods, paleo is supposedly similar to the diet of our ancestors. That’s all well and good, but I simply don’t want to live in a world where I can’t eat grains.

Watch: Meaghan Ramsey discusses the effects of low self-esteem. (Post continues after video.)

The “drink this expensive tea” diet

If you’re a tea fanatic like me, this regimen sounds like a dream. What they don’t tell you is the majority of so-called “weight loss” teas are just fancy laxatives. Hello poop city.


At least you’re full from all the protein, but that lack of fibre will get you. Goodbye poop city.

The South Beach Diet

I recently went to South Beach in Miami, and found no evidence the tanned and toned people who live there follow this diet.

"It turns out the best way to get a 'beach body' is to take your body to the beach." (Image: Supplied)

The Lemon Detox Diet

Somehow I actually believed not eating and drinking lemon juice with cayenne pepper would lead to sustainable weight maintenance.

The Sleep Diet

This one comes from a 'reputable' source – ex-playboy bunny Kendra Wilkinson. Kendra mentioned her "sleeping diet" on an episode of the “Girls Next Door” where a dieter simply sleeps through breakfast and lunch to avoid eating. Yeah. Pass.

Sleep through mealtime? No thank you.

The Cabbage Soup Diet

The only grams you lose from consuming oodles of cabbage soup is what you excrete in the form of breaking massive amounts of wind.

Weight Loss Shakes

The advertisements lead you to believe you’ll be enjoying delicious, creamy chocolate milkshakes. In reality, you’re drinking watery Milo and dreaming of food that involves chewing. (Post continues after gallery.)

The Military Diet

I still have flashbacks when I’m alone at night to forcing a piece of dry bread topped with a cup of tuna into my mouth. And not even the nice olive oil tuna — the tasteless, soaked-in-spring-water stuff. The horror.

Juice Fasting

Once reserved for the hippy-hearted yogis of the world, the invention of mainstream juicing appliances saw juice fasting become a popular way to "detox" your body. Not that you have a liver specifically designed for that process or anything.

"You know what? These vegetable things really seem to work." (Image: Supplied)

The 27 day diet

I thought to myself, “If Doctor Phil recommends it, it must work.” It was a successful three days…

Not through lack of trying, I finally made the life-altering realisation that diets don’t actually work. It seems many of us will try just about anything to lose weight, yet needless to say not a single one of these regimens delivered the promised results.

I can’t help but wonder where I’d be if I had put all the energy and effort involved in following them into just making healthier lifestyle choices.

What's your approach to healthy living?

You can find out more about Sarah's (relatively) healthy lifestyle changes on Sarah in Shape.