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What's the Most Popular Diet in the World?

Which diets are the most searched for on the Internet?

By
Monica Reinagel, MS, LD/N, CNS
3-minute read

Where do people go to find out how to lose weight? The Internet, of course. And, according to research conducted by Aetna, two very similar diets top the list of the diets that people Google most frequently: Dukan and Atkins.

See also: What is the Dukan Diet?   

I think I understand why. Both of these extreme low carb diets promise—and usually deliver—quick and dramatic weight loss. Most of the initial weight loss is water, of course—water weight that will come right back the minute you reintroduce carbohydrates into your diet. But seeing that number on the scale plummet gives dieters a huge psychological boost. I get it.

Deep down, I think most people suspect that low carb diets—and the pounds that they help you shed—aren’t sustainable. But, slow, steady, sustainable weight loss—the kind you get by making small but lasting changes in your eating habits and lifestyle, the kind of weight loss that you’re likely to be able to maintain for years or decades—is boring. It takes too long. There’s not enough positive feedback to keep you motivated.

Deep down, I think most people also suspect that extremely restrictive diets aren’t all that healthy. They’re more likely to result in nutrient deficiencies. They isolate you from your friends, family, and limit your social life. They become the centerpiece of your life, dominating every thought, plan, and spare moment and pushing other aspects of a healthy, balanced life aside.

But dieters are desperate people—and so they make a sort of bargain with the devil. I’ll just do this crazy diet to get the weight off fast. Once I’m at my goal weight and feeling good about myself, it’ll be easy to transition to a more sustainable, balanced approach to maintain my sleek new body.

Millions of people (maybe you?) made that deal with the devil (again) this week. Maybe this time will be the time that it all comes together. Maybe it won’t.

Either way, I want you to put March 12th on the calendar. That’s when I’ll be teaming up with Get-Fit Guy Ben Greenfield and Savvy Psychologist Dr. Ellen Hendriksen to present something we’re calling the Whole Life 360 Reboot—a full day, immersive and interactive program designed to help you clear the cache of outdated routines, attitudes, beliefs and regimens that no longer serve you and replace them with a sleeker, simpler and more sustainable approach to whole body health.

If by hook or by crook you’ve lost a bunch of weight are in the market for a sane way to maintain, this event is for you. If you fell off your diet January 2nd, this is for you. If you are perfectly happy with your weight but are looking to take your health and fitness and well-being to the next level, this is for you.

Those of you who live in the Metro NYC area will have the opportunity to join us for the live event. But we haven’t forgotten about all of you who hail from other parts of the U.S. and the world. The entire event will be captured in high definition audio/video and made available on demand shortly after the conference concludes. Registration for the live event is underway here. If you’d like to be the first to know when the digital version is ready, send me an email and I’ll be sure to notify you.

Until then, let me know what aspect of your diet and nutrition you’re working on these days and how I can help!

About the Author

Monica Reinagel, MS, LD/N, CNS

Monica Reinagel is a board-certified licensed nutritionist, author, and the creator of one of iTunes' most highly ranked health and fitness podcasts. Her advice is regularly featured on the TODAY show, Dr. Oz, NPR, and in the nation's leading newspapers, magazines, and websites. Do you have a nutrition question? Call the Nutrition Diva listener line at 443-961-6206. Your question could be featured on the show.