These are the worst diet and exercise fads. And you’ve probably done them all.

We’ve all done it. You have a big event coming up and you’ve bought a dress two sizes too small. But you’re determined to fit into it because, let’s face it, it was such a bloody bargain and you just love torturing yourself this way.

So if you’ve ever been a woman, read a woman’s magazine, watched daytime TV, or sat through a lonely New Year’s Eve, you’ve probably embraced at least one of these fads in your lifetime:

1. Your brand new ab roller arrives and you’re feeling so smug that you’ll have flatter abs in just two weeks.

And for the next four days you’re ab rolling like a pro. But then Day 5 rolls around (see what I did there?) and you begin to question whether this whole ab rolling business is all it’s cracked up to be. By Day 7 the ab roller is banished to the wardrobe in the spare room, in the middle of a breathless tantrum, and you’re back to eating chips in front of Home and Away. But don’t feel too sorry for the discarded ab roller, it’ll never be lonely. Over the years it’ll be joined by a near new treadmill, some kettlebells, a Pilates ball, a briefly used rowing machine that was inspired by a House of Cards marathon and a whole bunch of free steak knives.

Watch: not turning up to the gym? Sam Wood gives us five exercises you can do anywhere. Post continues after video.


2. You decide that exercise is not for you and turn your attention to cutting some things out of your diet. Like all of the things.

You know that if you just eliminate a few things from your diet, you’ll be down to your goal weight in no time. You start with carbs, and then dairy and then you totally eliminate meat from your diet. By Day 5 you’re living on grapefruit and are totally convinced that you’d be a shoe-in for the next season of Survivor. By Day 7, you’re a crying mess on the kitchen floor, sniffing the inside of an old Mars Bar wrapper, and your family/housemates are ready to vote you off the island.

3. It’s the 4th of January and you’ve signed up at the local gym and you’re soooo determined not to be that person who never shows up.

By the 4th of June you’re willing to admit that you’re NEVER EVER EVER in a million years going to that gym. And every fortnight when the gym membership is direct debited from your account you’re reminded that you are in fact that person. And deep down inside you know that you’ll probably do it all again next year. Sigh.

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"You start with a George Foreman grill and soon you have a cupboard full of juicers and blenders and nutrient extractors." Image via iStock.

4. You decide you just need the right equipment to cook yourself some healthy meals at home.

Because regular pots and pans won’t do, you guys. You start with a George Foreman Grill and soon you have a cupboard full of juicers and blenders and nutrient extractors. Then you realise you can get one machine that could do all of this for you. Enter the Thermomix. You have now joined a cult. Congratulations. You spend three blissful weeks Thermomixing your life into perfection before your real life takes over again and you forget all about making your own salmon mousse.

5. You decide that if you just had the right motivation you would totally work out at home.

So you stock up on work out DVDs, clearing your local JB HIFI of its entire collection of Billy Banks Tae Bo and Zumba. Dressed head to toe in activewear you head into the living room ready for war. Thirty minutes later you’re dripping with sweat, swinging one arm in the air and pulling out your wedgie with the other, while some chirpy woman in a high cut, purple leotard tells you over and over again that ‘YOU CAN DO IT!’ And for years you’re reminded of this moment every single time your hand brushes past that sad stack of DVDs to pull out The Notebook for the 1354th time.


"You now know the true path to health is through uploading photos to Instagram of acai smoothie bowls." Image via iStock.

6. You’re sure that one day you’ll find that elusive perfect diet that will change your life forever.

You know that French women don’t get fat, you’ve tried the Mediterranean diet, the New Nordic diet, the Okinawan diet and you even spent a week only eating foods that were blessed by a monk at the foot of the Himalayas. Enough said.

7. OK you’ve realised all those fad diets just weren’t for you and you’re embracing wellness from now on.

You’ve come to the conclusion that all those fads were just ridiculous. You now know the true path to health is through uploading photos to Instagram of all those acai smoothie bowls you’ve spent hours putting edible flowers in #nourish.

Someone please pass the kale.