Intermittent fasting was the hottest diet trend of 2019, according to Google. Here’s what else topped the list.

Intermittent fasting was a hot topic in 2019.

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Intermittent fasting was a hot topic in 2019.
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lacaosa via Getty Images
  • Google recently released its “Year in Search Trends” for 2019.
  • Among the most popular diet trends were fasting, plant-based diets, and cutting out sugar and carbs.
  • The once-popular keto and carnivore diets have fallen off of the popular trends list this year, however.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more.

Even though research shows that adopting a healthy eating plan you can stick to for life is a better tactic than yo-yo dieting, people are always intrigued by the latest strategy for losing weight in a hurry.

And in 2019, those strategies tended to fall into three patterns: slashing sugar and carbs, adding more plant-based foods, and restricting eating to certain hours of the day or to certain days of the week, according to Google’s annual ‘Year in Search Trends’ report. Plans that aim to control weight by manipulating your body chemistry were also popular.

Given that more than 9 in 10 internet searches in the world are performed on Google or its subsidiary YouTube, the search engine’s list of trends is probably a decent gauge of what diets people were trying this year.

But, keep in mind that Google’s annual trends are based on which search terms had the biggest spike in 2019 compared to 2018. That means some oddball diets may have landed on this top-10 list simply because they’re new.


10. The no-sugar, no-carb J. Lo Diet challenge was trending last January as a way to reset for the new year.

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Jennifer Lopez turned heads in her “Hustlers” performance this year.
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STX Entertainment

Jennifer Lopez announced last January that she was doing a 10-day diet challenge, completely cutting out carbs and sugar. Her Instagram post about the challenge caused an immediate spike in Google traffic for the “J Lo Diet.”

On the advice of her nutritionist, she temporarily cut out starchy vegetables (like squash and potatoes), dairy, fruits, and grains, in addition to sweeteners, candy, and pastries.

Instead, the singer and actress ate leafy greens, cruciferous veggies like broccoli, and lots of fats and protein from meat, nuts, seeds, seafood, and eggs, Cheatsheet reported.

Now, Lopez, who turned 50 this year, stays fit by also reportedly cutting out caffeine and alcohol from her diet and making sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day.


9. The endomorph diet aims to help people eat right for their body type.

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“Endomorph” describes a body type with a higher percentage of fat and less muscle mass. The term was coined in the 1940s.
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Marina Skobliakova/Getty Images

The endomorph diet is based on one of three basic human body types described in the 1940s by psychologist William Sheldon.

“Endomorphs” are people who tend to have larger bodies and a higher percentage of body fat, and who have more trouble gaining muscle and losing weight.

It’s also believed that endomorphs may have slower metabolisms or be more likely to convert calories to fat than other body types because they can be more sensitive to carbohydrates and insulin, according to proponents of the diet.

The endomorph diet aims to keep people with this body type healthy and fit by cutting down on carbs and sugars, particularly refined and processed foods, and emphasizing healthy fats and proteins.

Since the diet is based on simple principles of healthy eating most nutritionists agree on, it would likely be effective for most people regardless of body type.


8. “No carbs no sugar” diets were a broader trend fueled by New Year’s resolutions, lasting into March.

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Many foods contain carbs and sugar, including some that can be healthy.
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Shutterstock

An extreme version of other carb- and sugar-shunning diets like keto and the FODMAP plan, the no-carbs, no-sugar diet was a hot topic trending in early 2019.

However, cutting carbs, and even sugars, means leaving out foods that have proven health benefits, including fruit, whole grains, and legumes.

According to Google Trends, most people lost their resolve a few months in, as searches for “no carb no sugar” gradually dropped into March and April.


7. The “sirtfood” diet was trending in late October, thanks to Adele, but its low-calorie, restrictive plan isn’t sustainable.

The sirtfood diet peaked in popularity in late October after Adele was spotted looking significantly slimmer at the rapper Drake’s birthday party.

The singer was first reported trying the diet in 2017, requiring her to eat lots of “sirtfoods” to supposedly regulate the body’s metabolism, inflammation levels, and aging.

Sirtfoods, a “food group” not actually considered such by nutrition professionals, include green tea, citrus fruit, parsley, kale, capers, blueberries, apples, and even red wine.

At the start of the diet, you’re supposed to restrict yourself to just 1,000 calories a day for three days straight. On days four through seven, you can eat 1,500 calories.

The restrictive nature of the diet means it’s likely not sustainable long term for weight loss, and the short list of foods it provides could limit nutrient intake.


6. The Dubrow diet, a celebrity fasting trend, is back again after trending in 2018.

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The Dubrow Diet comes from the reality-TV husband-and-wife pair Heather and Terry Dubrow.
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Tommaso Boddi/Stringer/Getty Images for Evine

Celebrity couple Terry and Heather Dubrow, who rose to fame after stints on various reality TV shows, have touted a diet plan that is essentially a version of intermittent fasting, a regimen in which dieters spend up to 16 hours a day fasting.

The Dubrow diet consists of three phases: First, there is an extremely restrictive phase, with no alcohol, small portion sizes, and a lot of veggies and low-fat foods for the first two to five days. Then the diet opens up to include more foods and brings back alcohol. The third and final phase is more relaxed and focused on maintenance.

Throughout all phases, though, dieters fast between eight and 12 hours a day.

The couple claims that 100 adults who tried the diet for six months under the Dubrows’ supervision lost 33 to 86 pounds.

It could simply be effective because it keeps people from mindlessly snacking all day, but fasting also has the potential to increase ketone levels in the body, which can promote fat loss.

Still, rapid weight loss doesn’t always lead to long-term results, and fasting can be dangerous for certain populations including people with a history of eating disorders.


5. The branded GOLO diet made a comeback in 2019, after being the top diet trend in 2016.

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The GOLO diet is based on a brand-name supplement that claims to regulate glucose, insulin, and hormone levels for weight loss.
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iStock

GOLO is a brand-name diet program that promises to help you lose weight by managing insulin with a dietary supplement, fitness plan, and eating plan.

The plan relies primarily on a proprietary supplement called “Release,” which claims to balance hormones, control glucose levels, and “optimize” insulin intake.

It also promotes common-sense principles like exercising regularly, eating whole, unprocessed foods, and limiting porition sizes to lose weight.

The whole package costs money though, with most plans starting around $50.

The science behind it is unclear – many of the studies showing the diet’s effectiveness were designed and funded by the company itself.


4. The 1,200-calorie diet strictly limits daily food intake.

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The 1,200 calorie diet is exactly what it sounds like.
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Shutterstock

Trending last January and gradually losing popularity throughout the year, the 1,200-calorie diet is exactly what it sounds like – limiting total daily food intake to 1,200 calories to lose weight.

Unfortunately, nutrition isn’t quite that simple: People’s calories needs vary widely based in height, weight, gender, age, and activity level.

A common baseline estimate, if you’re trying to lose weight, is to calculate your own unique calorie needs, and then subtract 300-500 calories a day from that number. For most people, that winds up being around 1,500 to 2,000 calories daily.

While some people might be able to manage on 1,200 calories, that number may be too low for others, and actually interfere with weight loss in addition to causing other side effects like low energy and moodiness.

Increasingly, nutritionists have argued that the quality, not quantity, of the food you eat is the most important factor in health (and healthy weight).


3. The app-inspired Noom diet has stayed popular after trending in 2018.

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Noom is backed by more evidence than many trending diets.

Noom is a weight-loss app that provides users with individualized feedback.

App users enter in how much they weigh along with data on how often they’re exercising, eating, and sleeping. Then they get advice in personal and group messages from human coaches as well as access to online resources, like articles on how to eat local food and tips for sleeping better.

The app is getting good results for people with prediabetes: In 2017, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention listed Noom as one of its recommended, evidence-based, Type 2 diabetes prevention programs – a first for a smartphone app.

“We know that the program is above the requirements,” Noom’s president and cofounder, Artem Petakov, said when the news was announced. “The CDC requires that 40% of participants lose 5% of their weight, and Noom demonstrated that 51% achieved 5% weight loss.”

Prices for the program range from $16 to $60 a month, depending on how long you agree to subscribe.


2. The Dr. Sebi diet had people exploring plant-based eating, but relies on bogus claims about “cleansing.”

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The Dr. Sebi diet, whose founder was not an actual doctor, isn’t backed by science.
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KarpenkovDenis/iStock

The Dr. Sebi diet was inspired by a deceased herbalist who, although known by that title, was actually named Alfredo Darrington Bowman, and didn’t have a medical degree.

His nutritional plan is a version of the alkaline diet, which aims to restore the body’s pH level. Dr. Sebi’s specific plan relies on plant-based foods, which will allegedly “cleanse” the cells of mucus build-up. There’s no scientific evidence to back up these claims.

The specifics of the diet are hidden behind a paywall on the Dr. Sebi website, but the plan includes cutting out wheat, animal products and alcohol, and drinking a gallon of spring water a day.

The Dr. Sebi diet also recommends a list of branded products available on the brand’s website.

Although Dr. Sebi himself died in 2016, his nutritional plan lives on, with searches for his diet spiking periodically throughout the year.

This diet was part of a broader trend of people cutting back on animal products in their diet for a variety of reasons including their health, ethical concerns, and to protect the environment.


1. Intermittent fasting was the No. 1 diet trend of the year.

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Limiting meals to a certain time period, and cycling between fasting and eating, is a popular eating plan backed by growing evidence.
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lacaosa via Getty Images

Intermittent fasting, or restricting your eating to a limited time period each day, was the most popular searched diet term of 2019, according to Google.

Styles of fasting vary – some people swear by eating within an eight-hour window, and fasting the other 16 hours of the day, while others will fast for two days a week, and eat normally the other five.

Increasingly, researchers are discovering that giving your gut a break now and then in this way can deliver huge health benefits.

Periodic fasting can help some people ward off diseases including diabetes, high cholesterol, and obesity while also boosting the production of a protein that strengthens connections in the brain and can serve as an antidepressant. It’s also been shown to help with weight loss, even if you don’t cut calories.

Side effects of fasting can be fatigue, muscle aches, and dizziness, though, and it’s not recommended for people with high calorie needs such as people who are underweight, younger than 18, or pregnant. It can also be dangerous for people at risk of eating disorders.

Scientists are at work on novel drugs that could one day mimic the health-boosting effects of being in a low-calorie state, without starving people.

Read more:

The biggest diet fads of the decade, from high-fat keto to intermittent fasting

The keto diet fascinated Americans most in 2018. Here are the top 10 diet trends of the year, according to Google.

The science behind Adele’s ‘sirtfood’ diet and 24 other bizarre celebrity weight-loss plans