Trying to Keep Up with Diet Trends?

What You Need to Know

Popular diet trends

Popular Diet Trends

There are more people on a diet than ever!

I am sure you know someone that is ‘gluten free’, ‘dairy free’, on the keto diet, on the macro diet (when I googled ‘how many diets there are’ I couldn’t get an exact number, but there are currently several lists of the ‘9 most popular diet trends’ circulating widely).  The list of diet trends or different ways to eat is endless and if so many people are on these-why aren’t we healthier and happier?

Why Aren’t Diets Working?

Lots of reasons

I belong to a Nutrition and dietetics e-mail list that sends out weekly nutrition updates.  The one from a few weeks ago, really caught my eye ‘More Americans on diets from a decade ago, report finds’  1 .  Why aren’t these ‘diets’ working?  Furthermore, why do people deprive themselves of so many meal times and foods, with little to no results? As a teacher and a dietitian, I always tell my clients and students:  diets don’t work because they don’t fit into your life very well and they don’t teach you how to eat when ‘life happens’, (which is all the time).

The Most Common Reasons Diets Don’t Work

 But there are a lot more

  • Popular diet trends eliminate foods entirely and/or adhere to strict guidelines for when you can or can’t eat. In addition, the ‘rules’ of the diet don’t fit into your lifestyle, so you fall off the wagon pretty quick.  In other words, makes you feel like a failure.  And, then you start a new diet all over again and it becomes an endless cycle.  It’s important to realize the ‘rules’ that you choose to follow, can actually fit into your lifestyle. 

  • The ‘free’ part of a diet trend, as an example gluten-free, is often replaced with foods that are made with rice powder, coconut flour, or some other substitute.  Well, these options are usually just as calorie-laden as the original bread version.  It may seem healthier, but it most often is not. Read the nutrition facts label to find out what is in your food.  Use this article from a previous post to figure out how to read a label. 

We are surrounded

  • We are in a culture where food surrounds us.  As a result, we are bombarded with popular diet trends; unhealthy food is everywhere. Anywhere you go, there is a vending machine, snack basket, food cart or candy at the register; the list is endless.  You start the day out with the best intentions, but minute by minute, hour by hour, our will power declines, we get tired and by the end of the day we buy the sugary/salty snack that has been staring at us all day!  I do it too.  To combat this, try and put healthy snack options in your car (and don’t starve yourself all day. Eat to fuel your day!!).  

  • When we do finally give in and buy that treat, do you ever notice that all the candy bags and chip bags are in a ‘shareable’ size? With this intention, you truly are eating more because that is how snacks seem to be packaged anymore.  When I go on road trips with my kids, we always stop at gas stations to use the restroom and of course we have to walk through the maze of chips and candy to get to the bathroom, which then prompts the endless ‘ I want that, I want this’.  To combat this a few years ago, I finally told my kids, “If you can find the candy or chips you want in a single-serve container, I will buy it for you”.  This turns it into a game and you would be amazed at how hard it really is to find a single serve container. As a matter of fact, try it for yourself. 

This list is endless, but I find myself repeating the above things more often than not to clients and students.  

My Tips and Tricks

I have a lot, but these are the most common

Personally, I don’t follow any strict diet or popular trend.  However,I do eat a LOT of fruits and vegetables and try to include them in all my snacks and meals.  Furthermore, I also snack often throughout the day to prevent that ‘hangry’ feeling in the late afternoon.  Additionally,  when I eat dessert (which I do often) I use small coffee cups for ice cream (my favorite dessert) or buy the small but really good chocolates (Lindt or Godiva squares) and then throw them at the top of my pantry where I can’t just grab one on the fly. 

What Works Best?

It Depends on You 

I wish there was one popular diet trend that would work best.  Unfortunately, there are none.  You have to look at your weakness and try to make a plan that will work for you.  However, there are lots of tips and tricks out there and you may have found one that works for you. If you have, let me know!  I would love to add it to my arsenal of tips and tricks to share with others. 

Lastly, while we can’t control the ‘trends’ or the constant supply of snacks everywhere or the size of the treat, you can make some minor adjustments in your day to increase your chances of success.  Above all, make sure that any new eating plan you choose will actually fit into YOUR life so that you can stick to it!

To your health. 



Get your Free WR Guide:
Perimenopausal and Menopausal Nutrition

Provide your name and email address and you’ll be redirected to the free guide to read, download and/or print.  You will also receive future WR Guide blog posts to help you achieve your nutrition and exercise goals.