If losing weight is on your new year’s resolution list, you’re not alone.
Google released its annual Zeitgeist report of 2013’s top searched-for and trending terms across 1,000 categories—and pound-shedding diets were, once again, high on the list.
Unlike last year’s results, which included food fads like the feeding tube diet (remember when that was a thing?) and the NV Diet Pill diet (promoted by Holly Madison and Carmen Electra), the 2013 list indicates a move towards whole, natural and nutrient-packed foods like the Mediterranean and omnivore diets.
So what can you actually eat while on these diets? We broke down the Top 10 eating plans, and matched each with a star who’s tried it. See who got results—and who would never eat that way again.
1. THE PALEO DIET
What You Eat: Anything a caveman would: meat, nuts, fruits, veggies. No refined carbs, dairy or other processed foods—our earliest ancestors didn’t chow down on any of those, so why should we?
Why You Do It: Often paired with a CrossFit or CrossFit-like workout plan, this diet is designed to help you shed fat and gain lean muscle (but not necessarily lose weight).
Who’s Tried It: After facing his multiple sclerosis diagnosis in 2012, Jack Osbourne revealed to Dr. Oz that he was a fan of the diet. “I’m a firm believer in ‘you are what you eat,'” he said. “[Paleo] kind of makes the most sense to me … I eat a lot of bison. I’m really into that as of late.”
What You Eat: No solid food—just juices made from organic fruits and vegetables. Most cleanses last 3-7 days. Some cleansers make their own juices, while others follow trendy regimes like BluePrint Cleanse or Cooler Cleanse.
Why You Do It: Per the name, these diets are intended to cleanse your body of toxins—and to help you shed weight in a hurry, although experts debate their health benefits and effectiveness.
Who’s Tried It: Zillions of celebs, including Blake Lively, Olivia Wilde, Kate Hudson and Salma Hayek. Trim actress Gwyneth Paltrow told The Telegraph that she dabbled in juice cleanses in her 20s, but warned: “Be aware: A juice detox can crash your metabolism and lead to future weight gain.”
3. THE MEDITERRANEAN DIET
What You Eat: Mostly fish, poultry and plant-based foods, like fruits, vegetables, whole grains and nuts. While red meat is limited to a few times a month, a daily glass of red wine is a-okay.
Why You Do It: One study of more than 1.5 million adults found that following the Mediterranean diet was linked to a reduced risk of death from heart disease and cancer. Many also use it as a way to reach or maintain a healthy weight.
Who’s Tried It: After the birth of son Leo with actor Javier Bardem, Penelope Cruz told The Mirror that she stays slim by eating food from her native country, Spain. “I love Spanish food,” she said. “My diet is the Mediterranean diet, which is good food. I eat well but I try to eat healthily.”
4. THE MASTER CLEANSE
What You Eat: Nothing but a juice made from lemons, maple syrup, cayenne pepper and water. And you do this 6-12 times a day.
Why You Do It: The same reasons people do any juice cleanse (see #2 on this list). The Master Cleanse was the original.
Who’s Tried It: Beyoncé may be into vegan diets now, but she put the Master Cleanse on the map when she did it in 2006 to slim down for her Dreamgirls role, losing 20 pounds in just 14 days. “I was very hungry, therefore I was evil,” she admitted on The Ellen DeGeneres Show shortly after. “When we wrapped the movie I was so excited…I ate a whole dozen Krispy Kreme donuts.”
5. THE KETOGENIC DIET
What You Eat: Foods low in sugar and carbs and high in fat -80% of calories consumed come from fat.
Why You Do It: While some treat this as a weight-loss plan, the ketogenic diet is often used as an experimental way to control epilepsy in children. When the body is very low on glucose, it’s forced to burn fat for energy, which has prevented seizures in some children. Doctors warn never to start a child on this diet without medical supervision.
Who’s Tried It: There are no vocal celebrity followers so far.
6. THE OKINAWA DIET
What You Eat: Not much! You restrict your daily calorie intake by 10-40% on this plan, which is modeled after the diets of the residents of Okinawa, Japan—some of the longest-living people in the world—and detailed in New York Times best-seller The Okinawa Program and its sequel, The Okinawa Diet Plan. Meat and seafood are allowed, but the authors encourage you to build every meal around what they call “featherweights:” green tea, veggies and other foods “as low down the food chain as possible.”
Why You Do It: You’ll likely shed pounds by slashing calories, but the primary motive is to live longer—although one recent study debunked the idea that following a calorie-restrictive diet will extend your lifespan.
Who’s Tried It: All quiet on the celeb front: No stars have praised (or denounced) this diet yet. But given his love of Japanese culture, we have a feeling that Councilman Jamm on Parks and Rec would be into it—as long as he could still eat Paunch Burger, of course.
7. THE OMNIVORE DIET
What You Eat: Everything! Merriam Webster defines an omnivore as “an animal that eats both plants and other animals;” from a dieter’s perspective, you’re striving for a healthy balance between the food groups—more veggies and lean meats, fewer breads and desserts—without depriving yourself of anything.
Why You Do It: To lose or maintain.
Who’s Tried It: We’ve never heard Khloé Kardashian call herself an omnivore, but her philosophy on food certainly fits the bill. “I won’t deprive myself because I used to be on diets and I’d never last and so I just try to be more aware of what I’m eating and just in moderation,” she said earlier this year at a launch event for HPNOTIQ’s Glam Louder program.
8. THE FRUITARIAN DIET
What You Eat: Fruit. Ardent followers won’t even eat fruit that has been picked—it has to have fallen off the tree naturally—while more relaxed fruitarians allow up to 25% non-fruit into their daily meals.
Why You Do It: Many fruitarians want to protect the environment, while others are swayed by holistic health factors or the desire to live as simply as our ancestors.
Who’s Tried It: Ashton Kutcher became fruitarian for a month to prepare for the role of Steve Jobs in biopic Jobs; the Apple founder was on and off fruitarianism starting in college. The method acting took a scary turn for Kutcher when the all-fruit diet caused him to be hospitalized two days before shooting started. “I was doubled over in pain, and my pancreas levels were completely out of whack, which was terrifying,” he said.
9. THE PESCETARIAN DIET
What You Eat: Seafood and plant-based foods, but no red meat or poultry.
Why You Do It: Some pescetarians are in it for health or weight-loss reasons, while others refuse to eat meat in the name of animal rights and/or environmentalism.
Who’s Tried It: After “coming out” as a vegan to Conan O’Brien last year, Ben Stiller backpedaled about 30 seconds later, telling the late-night host he eats fish, too. “I guess I’m what they call a pescetarian,” he said, joking that it’s an “awful” diet. “You miss everything … I wanted to have ribs, but I had kale chips.” Seems like a fair price to pay to be an actor as in shape as Stiller. See the Conan clip here:
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10. THE FLEXITARIAN DIET
What You Eat: Everything, but with limits. At least a few of your meals each week are vegetarian.
Why You Do It: The tagline of book The Flexitarian Diet says it all: Proponents see eating less meat as a way to lose weight and prevent disease.
Who’s Tried It: Katie Lee is an avid supporter of cutting meat out of some meals. “Every week, I do Meatless Monday to feel a little healthier,” she wrote in a story for Cosmopolitan.
—Marissa Conrad and Amy Jamieson