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A Complete Guide to 2013's Rising Fad Diets

2013 was a year of fad dieting, juice cleanses included. Photo from Getty Images.
2013 was a year of fad dieting, juice cleanses included. Photo from Getty Images.

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2013 was the year for twerking, pantsuits a la Scandal, Walter White hats, and, of course, fad diets.

January 1 is the most popular day to search for diets, according to Experian Marketing Services, as people look to kickstart the new year and shed holiday-accrued baggage. Experian's data miners studied five million internet users and found that these nine diets were the most heavily searched over the past two years. A full guide to the fad diets of the moment is below—beware, carb-scarcity and sweets deprivation await.

The Metabolism Miracle diet includes an eight-week carb rehab followed incorporating healthy carbs.

Metabolism Miracle Diet
US nutritionist Diane Kress based the Metabolism Miracle Diet off a premise that some 50 percent of dieters suffer from an alternative metabolism Kress refers to as Metabolism B, a condition which makes the body convert carbs from food into excess body fat more easily. The Metabolism Miracle Diet follows an eight week spring cleaning routine of "carb rehab," followed by phases of incorporating healthy carbs and maintenance routines. They diet also recommends 30-minute exercise routines and not going more than five hours without eating.

Dash Diet creator Marla Heller. Photo from

Dash Diet
The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension diet is the work of author Marla Heller who, in 2012, came out with the book, "The DASH Diet Weight Loss Solution." This diet purports to prevent high blood pressure by discouraging sodium while promoting potassium, calcium, and magnesium. It takes a practical approach to average meals, monitoring sodium levels as well as intake of red meat, sweets, dairy, and fat.

Heart Healthy Diet
Targeting concerns like heart disease, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol, this diet, backed by the American Heart Association, calls for an increase in consumptions of foods high in omega-3 fatty acids such as fish, and a decrease in salt. The diet also calls for a limit in sugar, red meat, whole-fat dairy, shellfish, and egg yolks.

Beyoncé has tried the "lemonade diet." Photo from Getty images.

The Beyoncé Diet
Back in 2006, Queen Bey dropped 20 pounds for her movie "Dreamgirls." She told Oprah she went on the Master Cleanse—a liquid diet—to lose the weight quickly. Also known as the "lemonade diet" or the "salt water flush", Mrs. Carter drank a lemonade concoction made of lemons, cayenne pepper, and grade B maple syrup nine times a day. She also took an herbal laxative tea at night and drank a salt-water flush in the morning in front of the mirror. A site that sells the mysterious concoction says the combination of vitamins and calcium is a calorie burner and guaranteed detox. One writer for New York Magazine detailed how she [barely] survived and felt like a new woman after trying this system, although she did have a cheat day (something Beyoncé also indulges in) with pizza and wine.

Bodybuilder Diet
If you're looking to bulk up this year (dudes), you're most likely searching for the bodybuilder diet, which stresses basics like staying hydrated and limiting processed foods but also suggests eating six times a day. The program encourages starches, protein, fruits, vegetables, and oils, but notes that eating starchy carbs, like rice, bread, and pasta is key to getting and maintaining muscle.

Juice bars have been popping up all around the country.

With juice bars sprouting all across the country and folks like Gwyneth Paltrow singing their praises, juicing has become all the rage. Advocates for juice cleanses say they felt bloated and craved junk food prior, and emerged feeling refreshed. And while health experts say the weight loss doesn't last, juice fanatics still pay up to $80 a day for juice diets from purveyors like Cooler Cleanse and BluePrint.

The HCG diet involves low-calorie eating and maternity hormone injections. Photo from Getty Images.

HCG Diet
Emerging in the spotlight this year, and even appearing on The Dr Oz Show, the HCG Diet consists of low-calorie days accompanied by an injection of human chorionic gonadotrpin typically associated with maternity treatments. The diet comes with some wonky rules, such as prohibiting exercise and the use of body products, and allowing only one vegetable per meal. The HCG injections are said to reduce hunger, retain body muscle and increase hormones.

Foods allowed and not allowed on the Paleo diet. Image via.

Caveman Diet
Also known as the Paleo diet, this way of eating supposedly mimics the food of our primitive ancestors. Proponents dine primarily on fish, eggs, grass-fed pasture-raised meat, vegetables, fruits, and nuts, while excluding food categories like legumes, dairy, grains, potatoes, refined salt and sugar, and processed oil. The high protein intake and lowered glycemic and carbohydrate load is said to optimize health and help with weight loss.

The ABC diet, which is popular on Tumblr, calls for a dangerously low calorie intake.

ABC Diet
Perhaps the most disturbing of the bunch, the Anna Boot Camp diet is an extreme low calorie diet consisting of five days of fasting, followed by two days of 100-800 calorie consumption. The diet frequently pops up on communities like Tumblr, a platform which has had its struggles with pro-thinspo users. ABC's site refers to itself as a "pro-anorexia" diet, and lists some risks including malnutrition, fatigue, paranoia, calorie obsession, depression, and participation in dangerous eating rituals.

· Trainer Tracy Anderson and the Epidemic of Self-Sabotage [Racked]
· The Man Repeller Shares Her Diet: "I'm Semi-Raw, Actually" [Racked]