Illustrated by Zhang Qingyun.
It's officially that time of year again. Everywhere we go, someone's talking about their resolutions for 2014 — and most of these resolutions seem to revolve around eating. Whether it's cutting out carbs or loading up on high-energy, low-fat foods, significant dietary changes are one of the most common resolutions out there. Perhaps unsurprisingly, January 1 sees more diet-related Google searches than any other day (and, these searches outnumber exercise-related queries more than two to one).
While 2013 was undoubtedly the year of the Paleo diet, it looks like 2014 might see a new trend sweeping the diet-conscious among us. According to new data from research firm Experian Marketing Services, the Metabolism Miracle diet is the second most popular diet search on Google, just behind Paleo. But, of all the diets we're searching for, it's experienced the biggest rise in popularity in the last year, signaling a possible shift in the diet world toward this new program.
So, what is this mysterious new Metabolism Miracle? Much like Paleo and other popular diets like Atkins and Dash, the three-step Metabolism Miracle focuses on lean protein and vegetables, cutting out most refined sugars and carbs in steps one and two. Luckily for the carb-lovers among us, the plan doesn't require you to give up carbs entirely: Small amounts of complex carbs are allowed in the first two steps, while larger servings are prescribed in step three.
What sets this diet apart from other low-carb options out there is the claim made by the program's founder, Diane Kress, that up to 50% of dieters fail to reach their weight loss goals because they have a different metabolism than their peers. Called "metabolism B," this "alternative metabolism" is a genetic trait that makes it more difficult to overcome cravings, as well as causes carbs to turn into body fat more readily. Kress claims that low-carb-centric step one, which she admits is "not nutritionally sound" for long periods of time, is necessary to help those with metabolism B to overcome their disadvantage and reset their body to maximize weight loss.
There's only one problem though. While Kress cites personal and professional experience to back up her theories on metabolism B, there's no scientific evidence out there right now to suggest that an "alternative metabolism" exists at all. Yes, studies have shown that cutting carbs can lead to weight loss — so, from that standpoint, the Metabolism Miracle might prove effective for some dieters. But, this whole metabolism B thing seems like a marketing trick to us. Not to mention that any diet with the word "miracle" in the title should be taken with a healthy serving of salt.
What do you think? Will you try 2014's breakout diet? Sound off in the comments below.