When Kim Kardashian made headlines by losing 16 pounds in just a few weeks to fit into Marylin Monroe's dress to wear to the Met Gala, searches for how she shed the pounds so fast went sky high. Not to diss the cultural icon or her blonde bombshell predecessor, since watching an old tape of Monroe singing a breathy Happy Birthday to JFK is part of American history, but Kim Kardashian's diet is certainly not having a lasting impact on the American psyche. (By all accounts she simply cut out carbs.)

New search data shows that more people are skipping the quick fixes, and a recent poll by the Mayo Clinic found that most dieters are seeking lasting health solutions when it comes to their approach to diet. That said, we are still influenced by celebrities, but some we embrace (like Adele and Rebel Wilson who lost weight for health reasons), and others we just glance at and move on (sorry, Kim).

People Are Losing Weight for Health Reasons

The real story is that Americans want to lose weight for health reasons rather than appearance or status, and fad diets like keto are on the way out, according to search data compiled last month by Barbend, the fitness site. Backing this up, the Mayo Clinic surveyed 200,000 people and discovered that 83 percent are motivated by the health benefits of weight loss rather than status or appearance. That's more than five times as many people said they are seeking to lose weight for other reasons.

Celebrities and Their Diets Still Hold Sway

But celebrities continue to influence people's behavior, including how consumers approach losing weight. Now, the top celebrity searches are those who have shed extra pounds for their health, as Adele did recently, or for personal reasons, to feel their best and not get saddled with someone else's expectations of what they should represent, as Rebel Wilson did when she lost 80 pounds despite Hollywood casting her as the character "Fat Amy."

Celebrities from Ariana Grande (who is vegan) to Kate Middleton (who is mostly plant-based) are high on the list of searches for diet inspiration, according to Google search data.  Monthly searches for “Kate Middleton diet” received over 4,400 results worldwide last month, while “Kendall Jenner diet” received over 8,800 in the same four weeks, and people are still searching for how Adele lost weight and kept it off, even over a year after her initial weight loss on the plant-based Sirtfood Diet came to light.

Plant-Based, Pescatarian, and Flexitarian Diets Are Popular

For a healthy and balanced diet that allows for nutritious foods and steady, lasting, sustainable weight loss, a plant-based diet works better and is healthier in the long run than fad diets like the keto diet, which appears to be on the way out, if you can rely on the search data.

The team at Barbend, a strength sports and fitness site, analyzed diet searches and discovered that right now, Intermittent Fasting, plant-based diets, or mostly vegetarian approaches, and certain celebrity diets are the most popular around the world.

When added together, Pescatarian, Plant-Based Diet Flexitarian Diet, and Alkaline Diet (which is mostly plant-based as well) make up the second most popular approach to losing weight, after Intermittent Fasting, or IF, which can also be done on a plant-based diet, by simply restricting eating windows to 6 or 8 hours a day and fasting for the other 14 to16 hours.

The Most Popular Diets by Monthly Searches


Monthly Global Searches

Intermittent Fasting


Pescatarian Diet


Keto Diet


Dash Diet


Paleo Diet


Plant Based Diet


Atkins Diet


Alkaline Diet


Dukan Diet


Flexitarian Diet



What is an Intermittent Fasting Diet?

Intermittent fasting is now the most popular diet in the world, with 1,200,000 searches a month globally, and it has kicked keto out of the top spot, which is good since keto diets are not considered heart healthy in the long term.

Intermittent fasting is simple and anyone can do it, even on a plant-based diet. The technique involves expanding time between meals so that you restrict intake to 6 to 8 hours or less, and fast for the other 14 or 16 hours. Most people's schedule allows this longer fasting interval to take place between an early dinner (no later than 7 p.m.) and a late first meal of the day, at, say noon or 1 p.m. or even later if you can last that long.

Some Intermittent Fasting diets call for two nonconsecutive days a week of a low-calorie intake, defined as eating 25 percent of your normal intake, or about as 500 calories in total, and then eating a normal amount for the remaining five days. There are many methods to the diet, but the 16:8 (16 hours of fasting and 8 hours of eating) or what's known as the 5:2 method (five normal days and 2 low-calorie days) remain the most popular.

What is a Pescatarian Diet?

Popular among celebrities like Olivia Wilde, Ben Stiller, and Kaley Cuoco, the Pescatarian diet is a mostly plant-based approach where the dieter loads up on healthy whole foods like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and legumes or pulses and also eats fish and other seafood.  This diet excludes meat and dairy and avoids all other animal products.

The Pescatarian diet is known to be heart-healthy and has been linked in studies to a lower risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. It is rich in Omega 3 fatty acids found in fish, and low in heart-unhealthy sat fat.

What is the Keto Diet?

Once the darling of celebs and trainers and fad dieters alike, keto was used by Vanessa Hudgens, Adriana Lima, and many others to lose weight fast. The problem with going keto by lowering your carb intake to 10 percent of less of your daily calories is that it is incredibly hard to sustain. The second notch against it is that so many of your calories come from fat – a whopping 70 percent – that most people approach it by eating bacon and other high-fat foods and often these are high in saturated fat, which is terrible for long term heart health.

Keto is essentially any very low carb, high-fat diet, which forces the body into burning fat for fuel, and as it does so it releases ketones, which can be damaging to the organs and can leave scarring. Any diet that cuts out added sugar and simple carbs can help you lose weight, but keto has been proven to be both impossible to sustain and also unhealthy in the long term.

What is the Dash Diet?

Jennifer Hudson and Jessica Simpson both have talked about doing the Dash diet, which receives 191,000 search results globally each month. This diet focuses on fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, as well as lean meat and low-fat dairy.

The Dash Diet has been touted as a way to lower the risk of heart disease, obesity, and high blood pressure. On the Dash Diet you focus on eating foods that are low in saturated fat and sodium, and high in fiber, lean protein, as well as the minerals magnesium, calcium, and potassium.

What is a Paleo Diet?

Celebrities known to have tried the Paleo Diet are Jessica Biel, Uma Thurman, Matthew McConaughey, and others. The paleo diet is supposed to mimic what our ancestors ate many thousands of years ago, so it includes meat as well as fish, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, herbs, spices, and heart-healthy fats.

By following a whole food diet and leading active lives, hunter-gatherers are presumed to have lower rates of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. The diet avoids anything artificial, including processed foods, refined flour, added sugar, and anything you would buy in a bag or a box at the grocery store (like chips, crackers, pasta, and cookies).

What is a Plant-Based Diet?

Plant-based diets have been on the rise, and celebrities like Jessica Chastain, Ariana Grande, Venus Williams, Jared Leto, and Travis Barker, among many others, are known to take a plant-based approach.

The plant-based diet has 104,000 global searches every month and consists of eating foods like vegetables, fruit, whole grains, legumes, and mostly whole foods that are derived from plant sources. Meanwhile, a plant-based diet involves avoiding anything made from an animal, bird, or fish, which includes meat and dairy.

Because the diet is high in fiber and low in saturated fat (which comes mostly from animals but also can be found in coconut and palm oils) a plant-based diet is considered one of the healthiest approaches to weight loss. It is not to be mistaken for a vegan diet, however, since a vegan diet can include added sugar or processed foods, and a plant-based diet is meant to avoid junk food as well as highly-refined carbs.

A healthy plant-based diet is rich in foods you could grow such as leafy greens, vegetables, whole grains, pulses, legumes, nuts, and seeds. Some people also include meat substitutes such as soy or seitan, mycoprotein from mushroom-like fungi, and other minimally processed plant-derived protein sources. A well-balanced, plant-based diet can lower body mass index (BMI), as well as lower cholesterol levels and reduce chronic diseases including type 2 diabetes, and heart disease, and even offers protection from some cancers like breast and prostate.

What is an Alkaline Diet?

Stars such as Victoria Beckham, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Kelly Ripa all talk about following an Alkaline Diet. Basically, you work to create a PH balance in the body that is not acidic by alkaline, and the way you do that is by eating more plant-based foods than animal products or processed foods that contain refined flour and added sugar.

On an Alkaline Diet, the goal is that 80 percent of the foods you eat should be alkaline (which includes fruits, vegetables, nuts, and legumes—and specifically fennel, broccoli, grapefruit, and kale, which are considered the most alkaline foods you can eat. The rest or 20 percent of your calories can come from foods that turn acidic once in the body, including wheat and dairy, coffee, added sugar, meat, and also fish.

The Alkaline Diet is low in saturated fat and also calories, so it can be an effective lifestyle approach to healthy weight loss and also key to maintaining healthy body weight. Because you are eating 80 percent of calories from plant-based foods the Alkaline Diet has been associated with a lower risk of heart disease and stroke. By avoiding red meat and processed meats, you keep saturated fat low, and cholesterol in check, and are healthier in general.

What is the Dukan Diet?

Kate Middleton's diet is also popular with 60,000 search results globally, the Dukan diet is the ninth most popular in the world. This diet involves eating high protein foods and reducing the intake of carbs and fats. It focuses on natural foods rather than packaged or processed foods and encourages daily physical activity.

What is a Flexitarian Diet?

Michelle Obama, Katy Perry, and Oprah all call themselves flexitarian, as do more than half of all Millennials surveyed recently. The flexitarian diet is a term that encompasses any attempt to eat mostly plant-based foods while allowing a small amount of meat or other animal products in moderation.

Flexitarian is growing and 54 percent of Millennials self-identify as flexitarian, which is shown in studies to improve health and also is better for the environment, since factory farming of meat and dairy, as well as poultry, is one of the largest contributors to greenhouse gases. Raising crops for food produces less than one-third as much CO2 equivalent or methane into the atmosphere as animal farming.

Foods that are the staples of a flexitarian diet are similar to those eaten on a plant-based diet (such as vegetables, fruit, whole grains, pulses, legumes, nuts, and seeds) with the occasional lean meats such as fish or chicken. Dairy products can also be eaten in moderation on a flexitarian diet.

Celebrity Diets Are Popular

With 9,300 searches Adele's Diet is the most popular celebrity weight loss approach searched. She used a plant-based Sirtfood Diet to shed the initial pounds and has kept most of the weight off by adopting a healthy lifestyle that combines diet and exercise.

Kendall Jenner gets searched often with 8,800 monthly results, and by all appearances, she doesn't diet but lives a healthy, active lifestyle and exercises regularly.

Rebel Wilson's diet is also frequently searched, which is a diet based on self-care, health priorities, and eating vegetables and lean protein, but smaller portions overall.

Search Term

Global Monthly Searches

Adele diet


Kendall Jenner diet


Ariane Grande diet


Kate Middleton diet


Jennifer Aniston diet


Rebel Wilson diet


Bella Hadid diet


Gigi Hadid diet


Khloe Kardashian diet


Kim Kardashian diet


Beyonce diet


Kourtney Kardashian diet



More From The Beet