Diet trends are always changing — and every January a few stick out as particularly popular for those looking to improve their health in the new year. These four diets will surely be talked about as 2019 comes around.

Your Health | 3 years ago

Which Diets Are Going to Be Popular in 2019?

Diet trends are always changing — and every January a few stick out as particularly popular for those looking to improve their health in the new year. These four diets will surely be talked about as 2019 comes around.

For many Americans, the dawn of a new year means it’s time to, once again, hit the gym and clean up their eating habits. Heading into 2018, the top new year’s resolution was “to eat better and exercise more,” with 37 percent of respondents listing that as their top goal. As we move into a new year, 2019 looks to be no different, with several diets already garnering buzz. But before you dive into a diet, it’s worth remembering that a diet shouldn’t be restrictive — it should instead be a positive lifestyle change that makes you feel good inside and out.

“The new year gives us an opportunity to reflect on the past and set new goals or resolutions for the future,” says Atrium Health registered dietician Tricia Azra, RD, LDN. “I think people desire to improve their lives, and setting New Year’s resolutions can be a fun and engaging way to motivate ourselves to reach our goals.”

Azra spoke with us about a few of the diets people are using to reach these lofty fitness goals:

Low carb diets: Low carb diets — such as the keto diet — have grown in popularity over the years, especially among younger people. These diets are partly popular because of how straightforward they are. All they ask is that you trade in carb-heavy foods like bread and rice for high-protein or high-fat options like meat, dairy, or vegetables. Despite their popularity, these diets have also run into controversy, with some nutritionists suggesting that these diets rob practitioners of key nutrients such as healthy whole grains or even fruit sugars.

Azra reminds us of the importance of a balanced, nutritious diet, regardless of the diet trend we follow. “A nutrient rich diet is essential in helping us build a strong immune system and protecting us against developing chronic illnesses such as heart disease, some cancers, Alzheimer’s disease and inflammatory diseases to name a few,” she says. “Even a person with a healthy weight, but with a poor nutrient intake can still be at risk for poor health and chronic illnesses.”

Intermittent fasting: This eating pattern, which advocates for eating during only a certain window of time every day, has grown in popularity, even if it doesn’t necessarily advocate for specific foods to eat or avoid. It’s instead something of an eating style, helping people cut down on overeating and lower their calorie intake. While caloric deficits are necessarily for losing weight, you must be careful if you plan on exercising while intermittent fasting.

“What you eat and how much you eat determines the amount of energy you have available to support your physical fitness plan,” explains Azra. “If your diet excessively restricts calories or food groups, this could lead to less energy available for exercise.”

The Mediterranean diet: Inspired by the eating habits or Greece and Southern Italy, the Mediterranean diet is simple and encourages eating plenty of foods you probably love. to Given its emphasis on improved heart health and its advocation of yummy options like fish, nuts, and even wine, the Mediterranean diet doesn’t seem to be going out of style anytime soon.

“I’m a fan of the Mediterranean lifestyle diet because it’s very rich in nutrients from whole grains, fruits, vegetables, healthy fats such as olive oil and fishes rich in omega 3, and also includes a smaller amount of protein from lean meats and dairy foods,” says Azra. “Many studies have shown the Mediterranean eating pattern to be very health protective.”

Volumetrics diet: This is one you maybe haven’t heard of. The Volumetrics diet touts itself as a diet plan that focuses on the energy density of foods. This means it emphasizes foods with a low-energy density and high water content, like fruits and vegetables. In short, this diet encourages people to fill up on low-calorie foods — though limiting calories does not mean you should be skipping meals.

“If you’re skipping meals throughout the day, you won’t have enough energy to fuel your day both physically and mentally,” says Azra. “This creates an energy drain, less motivation to exercise and often times can lead to overeating in the evening hours.”

Before you get started on these lifestyle changes for the new year, Azra urges careful consideration and an emphasis on broader lifestyle changes rather than quick fixes. “I think the most important thing to remember when selecting an eating style or diet plan is to be sure not to label yourself too strictly according to the diet style,” says Azra. “Always be sure to choose a style of eating that you can sustain comfortably otherwise it’s just another diet.”