2018 was a year filled with diet fads. And thanks to Google, we know exactly which diets rank as the most popular over the past 12 months, based on how often they were searched. What do the numbers tell us about how—and what—we've been eating this year? Many of us hopped on the strategic starvation train; others went high fat, low carb. A diet with the motto, “What would Jesus eat?” also made the cut. Here's the complete list of the 10 top trending diets of 2018, starting from the top.
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It’s no surprise keto is the most searched diet of 2018. The high-fat, moderate-protein, low-carb regimen has a cult following, and it doesn’t seem to be losing traction anytime soon. The goal of the diet is to get your body to a state of ketosis, where you burn fat for energy rather than carbs, which leads to weight loss. Keto loyalists load their plates with foods like bacon, avocados, and cheese, and they steer clear of bread, potatoes, and bananas. If keto sounds like something you could try, just look to dedicated celebs like Halle Berry and Jenna Jameson for inspo.
If this name sounds familiar, that’s because it is. The Dubrow Diet comes from reality TV power couple Heather Dubrow and Terry Dubrow, MD. You recognize her from Real Housewives of Orange County, and he's the Newport Beach plastic surgeon and star of Botched. The diet itself is really just intermittent fasting with a twist. The Dubrows stick to time-restricted fasting, meaning you eat only during a certain time window each day and fast the rest. The diet also has three different phases, specifying how long you should fast and what you should eat.
The Noom app has dubbed itself “Weight Watchers for millennials.” It's a fitness and weight-loss app that guides users through the mental challenge of losing weight as well as the physical challenge. The app not only tells you what you should eat and how much you should exercise, but it also educates you on the reasoning behind healthy practices. The goal is to help you kick bad habits to the curb and adopt healthy ones, leading to weight loss.
The carnivore diet is exactly what it sounds like. You only eat meat; it includes no carbs, including no fruit or vegetables. But before your inner burger lover gets too excited, you need to hear the details. Health contributing nutrition editor Cynthia Sass previously said the diet sounds like “a recipe for disaster.” Go on it, and you'll miss out on vital nutrients that help regulate crucial bodily functions, such as immunity and cognitive activity, she added. There’s absolutely zero research on the long-term effects of an all-meat eating plan, so we suggest avoiding it until there is.
This diet is based on the traditional foods consumed in Mediterranean countries like Italy and Greece. Research backs up the benefits; studies show that people who eat lots of fruits, veggies, fish, whole grains, and healthy fats not only weigh less, but they also have a decreased risk of heart disease, depression, and dementia. (If you ask us, this should have been the most searched diet of the year.) Fresh, non-starchy produce is the star of this diet, followed by whole grains, nuts and legumes, fish, and healthy fats like olive oil.
Remember Medifast—the meal replacement weight-loss program that ships prepackaged meals right to your front door to help you cut back on calories? Well, Optavia is the company’s newest brand. You can choose from a variety of programs, such as the the popular 5&1 Plan, which has you eating six of Optavia’s (smaller) prepackaged meals per day. Each meal is said to include high-quality protein and probiotics, helping you stay full and aid digestion.
Dr. Gundry diet
Steven Gundry, MD, has turned his name into a brand that sells a variety of wellness products, including dietary supplements, skin creams, and of course, the Dr. Gundry’s Diet Evolution book. The aim of the diet is to improve heart health and prevent chronic diseases, such as high blood pressure, by shifting your diet over the course of three phases so you consume more fresh produce and fewer animal products.
Intermittent fasting (IF) is another eating (or not eating) plan that was all the rage this year. The idea is to cycle between periods of regular eating and fasting, during which you severely restrict your calorie intake or don’t consume any food at all. Some people fast for hours, while some go for a full day or longer. The benefits of IF might just go beyond weight loss. Studies have linked it to a lower risk of heart disease and cancer, as well as more stable blood sugar levels.
FODMAP stands for fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols. Uh, what? Put simply, these are types of carbohydrates found in certain foods, such as wheat, garlic, onions, and beans. Studies have shown strong links between FODMAPs and digestive issues like gas, bloating, stomach pain, diarrhea, and constipation. Yeah, not so pleasant. That’s why some people try a low FODMAP diet, especially those who suffer from digestive disorders like irritable bowel syndrome.
The Shepherd’s diet
Known as a Christian weight-loss program, The Shepherd’s diet is the only diet on this year’s list that’s centered around religion. It’s a seven-step system that teaches people healthy eating by looking at tendencies for indulgence that correspond to the seven deadly sins in the Bible. The gist is to rewire the way people think about food. When in doubt, just ask, What Would Jesus Eat?
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