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The Top-Searched Diet Plans of 2012

Michael Phelps Diet

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Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps also took gold on Google, where his eating plan was the No. 1 most-searched diet term. Phelps reportedly consumes a whopping 12,000 calories each day (apparently a typical breakfast for him includes an egg sandwich, pancakes, a five-egg omelet, grits, and French toast), and while his six-pack clearly can handle the load, it's best to avoid this diet plan unless, of course, you are Michael Phelps.


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Originally introduced to the market in 2004 under the name "Sprinkle Thin," Sensa gained popularity after Millionaire Matchmaker star Patti Stanger credited the plan for helping her lose 30 pounds. The "sprinkle diet" is fairly easy to follow: Designed to work with your sense of smell, you simply dust the "tastants" (specially designed food flakes) over your food to inhibit your appetite and encourage you to eat less.

You may want to think twice before you go crazy with the sprinkles, though: An investigation by ABC News revealed that the research behind Sensa was not peer-reviewed as creator Alan Hirsch previously claimed, nor was it endorsed by the Endocrine Society, though Hirsch says it is.

RELATED: Ditch the diet in 2013! Try this non-juice clean eating plan instead.

Raspberry Ketone Diet

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The main antioxidant present in raspberries, ketones have been shown to increase the production of adiponectin (your fat-burning hormone) as well as increase the burning of already-stored fat in the body. But stop before you dive into a bushel: There's no way to naturally consume enough raspberry ketones to reap the weight-loss benefits, so if you're interested, you'll have to take a supplement.

hCG Diet

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Despite being called dangerous, fraudulent, and illegal by the FDA, this diet fad continues to tempt those who want to slim down. Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), a hormone produced by the body during pregnancy, has been used in the medical community for different purposes over the years but surged in popularity after reports that it could help you lose weight.

Unfortunately, there's no research to support the claim, plus hCG supplements are costly and contain almost no actual hCG, and then there's the severe calorie restriction the diet calls for. Instead of sticking yourself with a needle, simply stick with regular exercise and a healthy diet.

Adriana Lima Diet

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In 2011 Victoria's Secret model Adriana Lima raised eyebrows everywhere when she admitted that nine days before the Victoria's Secret annual fashion show, she cuts out all solid foods and consumes only liquids.

This year jaws dropped when she strutted her stuff on the runway at the annual show only eight weeks after giving birth to daughter Sienna. Learn her eating plan and intense workout (and we mean intense!), then check out the favorite healthy foods of other VS models.

Atkins Diet

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Falling from the No. 1 spot to the No. 6 spot this year is the king of the low-carb craze. Controversial in both the U.S. and abroad, proponents argue that the Atkins diet is a healthy way to lower your "bad" cholesterol as well as lose weight quickly, while critics say it's not sustainable for lasting weight loss.

Although starting with the plan's super low-carb diet and progressing through the phases to add slightly more carbohydrates has been shown to be moderately successful for tightening your belt, the fact that you're allowed to eat fatty foods with abandon worries most health experts.

Body by Vi (ViSalus)

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Depending on who you ask, the Body by Vi challenge is either a cult, a pyramid scheme, or a healthy way to jump-start your weight loss. The program, created by ViSalus Sciences, combines vitamins, shakes, and supplements along with meals and online support to reportedly help you lose weight, gain energy, and even win prizes and money.

Although meal replacement and protein shakes can be a healthy supplement to an already sound diet, Body by Vi relies on "social marketing," meaning the people who sell it have an incentive to help you jump on the bandwagon (for every two people a promoter convinces to purchase the product, he or she receives a month's supply free). Stick to finding support on Facebook or weight-loss blogs where nobody is pushing anything.

Green Coffee Bean Extract

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Green coffee bean extract supplements come from the unroasted seeds (or beans) of the coffea plant, and are then dried, roasted, ground, and brewed to produce coffee products. The pills' weight-loss powers are iffy, though. Some studies have shown that certain green coffee bean extract supplements can help you lose weight. If you want to give them a try, it's important to pick a reputable brand, because not all actually include chlorogenic acid extract (the green coffee bean antioxidant) and to choose supplements that include at least 45 percent chlorogenic acid because any less than that hasn't been tested in weight-loss studies yet.

Gluten-Free Diet

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An increased awareness of gluten intolerance, gluten allergies, or celiac diseas has led many people to try a gluten-free diet. In fact, in 2010, sales of gluten-free products jumped 16 percent, according to CNN.

That said, going without gluten isn't necessarily healthy, and many packaged gluten-free foods contain excess amounts of sugar or fat to make up for the lack of the protein. The best way to try the diet is to eat more naturally gluten-free foods such as veggies, fruits, and quinoa, and don't forget to consult a doctor or dietitian to make sure you're not missing out on any key nutrients.

Marisa Miller Diet

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Supermodel Marisa Miller sent the world abuzz when she told Women's Health her diet secret: "Spend more time wearing less! I don't think I could eat a plate of nachos naked—could you?"

Experts agree that eating mindfully will help you eat healthier and possibly slim down. Going buff is up to you though!

RELATED: Dieting won't help you lose weight unless you also exercise. Check out the 10 most popular fitness classes celebs are flocking to!


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