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Yahoo! users start the New Year with plans to lose weight

New Year's resolutions are something of a ritual in numerous countries, with millions of people the world over vowing to turn their lives around and 'do things better' over the next twelve months.

And while some may make plans to save money, travel, start a blog or lower their cholesterol, it seems that most of us are looking for the latest information and expert advice on how to lose weight fast – which for tech-heads means turning on their laptop to do a quick online search.

Multinational internet corporation Yahoo! has released its top search results for the last seven days – which just happens to coincide with week one of most people's improvement plans – listing key terms that are lighting up computer screens around the globe.

Kicking off this year's search results is none other than the Atkins diet – a favourite of celebrity actors Jennifer Anniston and Renee Zellweger, as well as singer-entertainer Robbie Williams – the controversial eating plan, which encourages dieters to cut down on carbohydrates and increase their intake of meat, is proving popular with online consumers.

Also on the list was the HCG or human chorionic gonadotropin diet, which is an ultra-low calorie diet with its roots based firmly in the latest scientific research to come out of British endocrinologist Albert Simeons' lab.

Those with a desire to bring out their inner cave-man have jumped on board the Paleo diet, ensuring that this 'lifestyle' change comes in at number three on most people's searches.

Dr Phil may be having an impact with women after promoting the Pink Method diet on his show and watching it become an internet hit.

The program combines healthy eating plans with exercise in a bid to get women off the couch and on the treadmill in order to lose weight.

But he is not the only celebrity health expert to influence the eating habits of everyday viewers, as rankings for the Dr Oz diet quickly proved the Oprah spin-offs are attracting their share of on- and off-line audiences.

Posted by Aimee McBride