Today I’m sharing about the 9 most popular diets that are trending right now, and how you can determine the best one (or ones) for your body and goals.
I’m not a big fan of the word “diet” because to me it means a temporary period of time. Having results that last forever is all about finding or creating a healthy “lifestyle” that works best for you. It’s something you never stop doing.
Your healthy lifestyle is a journey—not a destination.
After studying over 100 dietary theories in nutrition school I learned that what works best for me is a combination of three diets. So I tweaked them out to fit my lifestyle and goals and now I just live in the flow of that combo.
Maybe that sounds like something you’ve been wanting to do in your own life?
So I’m sharing a little about each diet with links where you can learn more if that diet sounds like a good fit for your goals and lifestyle.
And hey, maybe you’ll end up just like me with a combo diet that not only helps you achieve your goals, but maintain them too. 🙂
**My policy on my blog is to share resources that I’ve personally found helpful and informing for you and other people to use as a starting point for your own research, and to make your own decisions with the care of your doctor.**
9 Most Popular Diets
(Similar diets: The Mediterranean Diet)
The DASH diet is a dietary pattern promoted by the U.S.-based National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute to prevent and control hypertension. It promotes well balanced blood pressure and is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy foods; includes meat, fish, poultry, nuts, and beans; and is limited in sugar-sweetened foods and beverages, red meat, and added fats.
DashDiet.org says, “January 3, 2018. DASH diet ranked best diet for 8th year in a row by US News & World Report. Also best for diabetes, heart health, and healthy eating. Originally designed to lower blood pressure, the DASH diet is very effective for weight loss, lowering cholesterol, and managing or preventing diabetes.”
I found a good pic of what your plate would look following the DASH diet here.
Since DASH is similar to the Mediterranean diet, it’s one of the diets that has worked really well for my body.
(Similar diets: Atkins, Bulletproof, Dukans)
Advocates you can lose weight while eating protein and fat, keeping carbs very low, and you shouldn’t feel hungry or deprived. By severely limiting carbs to 50 grams or less, this diet forces your bod to burn fat for energy, a process known as ketosis.
The difference between the Keto Diet and Atkins & Dukans diet is that the keto plan doesn’t work in phases.
How Keto differs from Bulletproof: While the Bulletproof diet does utilize intermittent, cyclical ketosis but discourages long-term ketosis for everyone due to a number of factors including thyroid or hormone imbalance, adrenal fatigue, poor sleep quality, and extremely dry eyes, to name a few. It’s also clear that for some people, permanent ketosis is not optimal.
I found a lot more info and a Keto Diet food pyramid here. Super informative!
When I experimented with this diet I actually struggled a little with hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). I have a blood sugar monitor so when I felt “off” I checked my readings and it was super low. Some research led me to believe the reason this happened was because of my progressive fitness training…and perhaps genetics play a role too. I know lots of people who train that do keto with no issues…but I just couldn’t stick with it.
(Similar Diet: Whole30)
The Paleo Diet is based on the types of foods presumed to have been eaten by early humans, consisting chiefly of meat, fish, vegetables, and fruit, and excluding dairy or grain products and processed food.
Whole30 is often referred to as “a stricter form of Paleo”. While that’s true, they both serve different purposes. The Whole30 has more on it’s “off-limits list” than Paleo does but is intended as a short-term reset for your body, hence the 30 part of its name for the 30 days you’re supposed to do it.
Paleo is one of the diets that really works good for my body. I found a food chart showing what you should and shouldn’t eat along with how your plate will look here.
(Similar programs: Sugar Detoxes, My 10-Day Purify Your Gut program)
Whole30 is a 30-day fad diet that emphasizes whole foods and during which you eliminate sugar, alcohol, grains, legumes, soy, and dairy from their diets.
So really you shouldn’t view Whole30 as a “diet” but more so as a 30-day challenge to reset your body.
Head over to Whole30’s site here to get tons of info and all the official rules.
(Similar diets: DASH)
The Mediterranean/Zone Diet is all about balancing your plate at each meal with 1/3 low-fat protein, 2/3 low-glycemic-load colorful carbs with a dash of monounsaturated fat. The diet claims to reduce diet-induced inflammation, which has been shown to be a huge factor in lots of critical health issues.
This is one of the diets that really works awesome for my body. To get an idea of some recipes and other info & tips, head over to Dr. Sears site here.
6. Vegetarian & Vegan
There are varieties of these diets as well: an ovo-vegetarian diet includes eggs but not dairy products, a lacto-vegetarian diet includes dairy products but not eggs, and an ovo-lacto vegetarian diet includes both eggs and dairy products.
Many doctors and nutritionists agree that a diet high in fruits, vegetables, and nuts can lead to amazing health benefits. There’s also research suggesting that reducing or eliminating red meat and processed meat from your diet may cut your risk of heart disease.
Research also has shown that a vegan or vegetarian diet may lower your risk of getting type 2 diabetes. And a 2011 study found that vegetarians had lower triglycerides, glucose levels, blood pressure, and body mass index (BMI).
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics warns of the risk of vitamin B12 deficiencies in vegetarians and vegans. Vitamin B12 is found naturally only in animal products. A lack of vitamin B12 can lead to anemia and blindness. It can also cause muscle weakness, tingling, and numbness. To counteract the increased risk, vegans should include B12 supplements, or fortified cereals and veggie burgers.
Be careful though, not to fall into the trap of eating a lot of processed foods with added sugars and other filler ingredients. The most healthy way to follow this plan is to focus on whole, real, fresh foods and using organic beans, soy, nuts, seeds, whole grains, quinoa, etc. for sources of protein.
Membership (in-person or on-line) is required for the full benefits of the Weight Watchers Diet, which nowadays has gotten quite popular thanks to Oprah Winfrey. The primary plan is that no food is off limits, but based on counting “points” your body goes into a calorie deficit.
Using this point system enables you to buy your own foods at the store or eat out whenever you want. You could also opt to purchase frozen meals that already have the points breakdown listed on the package for your convenience.
I’ve noticed this one getting super popular lately…and honestly I never viewed it as a “diet” before now. Intermittent fasting has been around for a while, more recently getting credit for being the diet you can eat whatever you want and still lose weight.
The premise of intermittent fasting is that you can eat within an 8-hour window while fasting for the remaining 16 hours. Most of the people I’ve followed who do this, follow those rules strictly for 6 days while enjoying the 7th day as a “free day.”
The most popular windows I’ve read about (and personally tried) for when to eat are: 11am-7pm, 12pm-8pm, & 1pm-9pm.
However for best results you should eat whole, real, fresh foods (skip processed) as often as possible during your 8-hour window of eating.
Many people think that “body type” just describes the way someone looks. In fact, your body type can also provide information about how you respond to food intake and about your hormonal and sympathetic nervous system (SNS) characteristics.
I love how Precision Nutrition breaks down the three body types in detail—ectomorph, mesomorph, and endomorph.
PN goes on to say that whether ecto, meso, or endomorph — can determine what sports suit you best, as well as what you should be eating to fuel your activities.
Ectomorphs are thin individuals characterized by smaller bone structures and thinner limbs.
Mesomorphs have a medium sized bone structure and athletic body, and if they’re active, they usually have a considerable amount of lean mass.
Endomorphs have a larger bone structure with higher amounts of total body mass and fat mass.
The Body Type Diet is the other diet that works awesome with my body.
Through all my diet and exercise experimenting, I’ve found that what works best for me is a combo of a few different diets (mediterranean, paleo, body type) and progressive fitness training regimens (HIIT, weights, circuit, & some power yoga). Of course I had to try out a lot of different things to discover this about my body.
And that’s what I encourage you to do too. Read about each one and list all of them that catch your attention. Weigh out the pros and cons and compare that alongside your goals, lifestyle, comfort level, etc. Then experiment until you find what works best for you. That part will take some time and commitment on your part, but it will be SO WORTH it.
Keep it fun and never give up on what you truly want most in your life. You’re not alone. If you need any help at all just shoot me a comment below. I’m happy to try to help you out any way I can.
PS: Do you need a little help taking the next steps with learning the best diet for you? Then my 30-Day Weight Loss & Fitness Challenge can totally help You! This program offers so much more than just a typical challenge and it’ll open your eyes to lots of fun and easy ways to rock your healthy lifestyle. Head over here to learn more.
PPS: One of my biggest passions as a health coach and healthy lifestyle mentor is to inform and educate people about the importance of digestive health. No matter what “diet” works best for you, adding in a probiotic supplement can further benefit your health goals.
I’m passionate about this because discovering probiotics and getting my gut healthy was a life-saver for me. I encourage you to do your own research on Gut Health and Probiotics…it could totally be a life-saver for you too! Here are my favorite probiotic supplements right now.