The most popular diet of the year is none other than the incomparable Jillian Michaels. It’s not entirely surprising when you consider she’s been one of the most consistent players on our list since 2008, with her online brand, detox product, and earliest workout DVD ranking each year. In fact, the latter two were both on last year’s top ten list. We expect to see Curves, ranking for the first time since 2008, as the Biggest Loser trainer just announced a new partnership with Curves.
What is most surprising is how Jillian Michaels knocked the giant that is Weight Watchers out of the number one position. That’s only been done once before, by 17 Day Diet in 2011. Even that year Weight Watchers held on to number two, but this year they slipped in to the fifth most popular spot.
And 17 Day Diet grabbed ranking number four, hardly losing any ground since its overwhelmingly popular release in late 2010. Its position on our annual Most Popular lists, ahead of Weight Watchers once again, will no doubt help with the release of 17 Day Diet: Breakthrough Edition on the 31st.
The only constant between last year’s list and this – Medifast. They’ve got number 3 on lock, with the meal delivery diet staying strong in the top ten since 2010.
Another staple of our list fell pretty hard this year, with hCG falling down to number 14. No, the supplement boom isn’t over, as its disappearance only made room for brands like Skinny Fiber (a shocking number 2) and Plexus Slim (at number 6) to move on up the list. Dr. Oz-endorsed Raspberry Ketones (17) and Green Coffee Bean Extract (20) were other weight-loss-by-pill categories that did especially well this year.
2. Skinny Fiber
4. 17 Day Diet
Baby food is for babies? Not exclusively. Hollywood A-listers are eating baby food now. The Baby Food Diet, made famous by Tracy Anderson, is for those who want to control their food portions and curb cravings with pureed fruits and veggies. The diet works for celebrities, but for those who would rather not revert back to their infant days it isn’t an ideal diet.
I asked our resident dietitian Mary Hartley, RD if the serving size of a baby’s jar would satisfy grown adults? She tells us, “No. A little four-ounce jar of pureed baby food ranges from 40 to 80 calories, and so an adult would need many, many little jars if the diet consisted only of baby food.”
The jars of baby food might make reasonable replacements for snacks during the day, but frankly, just eating the whole fresh fruit or vegetable is going to be far more satisfying, as many if not less calories, and none of the preservatives or other additives common to jarred baby food. (more…)
Fact-checked or not, there’s nothing quite like a celebrity endorsement to make a diet’s popularity skyrocket. In 2011, we saw a number of diets get big attention thanks to “inside sources” claiming they were the secret to a star’s slim figure. On the other hand, many diet plans are willing to write big checks in order to put a celebrity face on their advertisements. Here’s a look at the biggest celebrity diet trends of the past year.
1) Dukan Diet
After mother-of-the-bride Carole Middleton said she lost a few pounds on the Dukan Diet, rumors flew that the Duchess of Cambridge was also following the super-low carb diet. Although it was never confirmed that Kate was dieting at all, The Dukan Diet by Dr. Pierre Dukan quickly became a best seller in both the United States and the United Kingdom.
Named one of the worst celebrity diets by the British Dietetic Association, the mushy origins of this diet go back to Madonna’s glory days. Supposedly created by celebrity trainer Tracy Anderson, the diet blew up in 2011 when tabloids claimed that baby food was the secret to Lady Gaga’s slim figure. The star refuted the claims, but this did nothing to quell the diet’s popularly.
The Baby Food Diet has taken Hollywood by storm but as more Americans who want to lose weight are jumping on the jarred, pureed food bandwagon, nutrition experts and parents are questioning whether the diet is safe and effective.
“Meeting adequate nutritional needs while following a diet that promotes eating small portions of low calorie pureed foods isn’t so easy,” said Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, nutrition expert for FoodNetwork.com and mother of three. “Jars of baby food vary from 15 to 100 calories so it can really be up to the dieter to mix and match various food groups to meet dietary needs.”
While eating baby food alone can put a person at risk for certain vitamin and nutritional deficiencies, there are variations to the diet that can make it healthier, more accessible and more sustainable.
Last spring, the British tabloid Heat wrote that Lady Gaga “has embarked on a dangerous ‘baby food diet’ in a bid to stay slim.” The rumor was quickly squashed by Gossip Cop, who confirmed with one of the star’s reps that it’s “not true.” Other celebrities reported to have done the diet include Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston, but we have yet to see any confirmation of these rumors.
Nonetheless, the “Goo Diet,” created by Madonna’s trainer Tracy Anderson, is seeing a resurgence as bathing suit season hits. The Daily Mail reported that baby food sales have spiked by 20 percent in the UK. The basic idea is that you substitute jars of baby food for solid meals. One version recommends eating 14 jars per day, and another plan recommends adding a healthy dinner at the end of the day.
While some claim that you can lose as much as 20 pounds in six weeks on this diet, health experts say the fad diet is far from healthy.