It seems like every few months there’s a new trendy diet that is backed by a celebrity or influencer. The person advocating for the diet looks great, so why won’t you, too?
With the help of social media, diet trends have become daily conversation. As a nutritional therapy practitioner, I help clients sift through the noise and find the “diets” (lifestyles, really) that best fit their goals and situations. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular 2022 fad diets and see what we can learn!
While intermittent fasting is not new, skipping meals specifically for weight loss is a relatively new concept.
Intermittent fasting refers to extended periods of intentionally not eating. It creates some structure by designating “eating windows” which give your digestive system some rest during the day (rather than just snacking all day like many do).
Intermittent fasting DOES help many lose weight, but most studies on IF have been done on men, making it unclear if the same benefits would apply to women without added, unnecessary stress. Male and female bodies handle stress differently, so extended periods of fasting could potentially add stress to the female body.
Like IF, Keto is not new to the diet space, but it continues to gain in popularity.
The keto diet is an extremely low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet, and protein recommendations tend to range from low to moderate. For some people with issues regulating their blood sugar, a Keto Diet may be beneficial.
However, switching to a Keto Diet could be too extreme for some people with blood sugar issues. Cutting out carbohydrates altogether can also result in losing some important nutrients, which can ultimately cause more problems than it solves.
Meal Replacement Smoothies & Shakes
As we navigate this new post-pandemic world, our lives are ramping back up — and quickly. The modern pace led to a rise in meal replacement shakes, which, in theory, sounds amazing.
While a shake may be more convenient, there are actually some serious drawbacks to regularly reaching for a liquid meal over a solid one. Almost every “pre-made” shake is filled with artificial ingredients like sweeteners, and some even have preservatives or colorings. Drinking your meals can also impact your digestion, increasing hunger levels (defeating the purpose of a diet in the first place!), and screw with gut health.
Drinking a delicious smoothie once in a while is great, but don’t fall for the liquid diet trap.
Since fats have the highest calories per gram (9 cal per gram), lower-fat foods have less calories. Therefore, reducing overall fat in your diet can reduce total calories, which is what makes this diet alluring in theory. After all, weight loss is simply about calories in versus calories out.
However, fat is an essential macronutrient that carries tons of micronutrients our bodies need. The main vitamins you lose with a low-fat diet are vitamins A, D, E, and K because these are all fat soluble.
Balancing your fat intake can be helpful for a healthy weight, but making sure you’re getting enough fats is important for a healthy body.
A personalized approach is actually the number one diet trend of 2022, and for good reason! This type of hands-on, highly-specific diet takes into account each individual’s needs, lifestyle, and much more to create a plan.
A good professional nutrition coach can help establish macronutrient targets, recipes to utilize, and so much more. While the barrier to entry with a personalized diet is higher (coaching costs, more diverse grocery bill, etc.), it really is the best way help you be more successful with your goals.
Whatever route you decide to take, consistency is key. Yo-yo dieting or jumping from one fad to the next never works longterm. Make a plan (either based on your own research or with the help of a pro) and make the life changes you’ve always known you’ve wanted.