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A Crash Course on All Those Fad Diets You Keep Seeing Everywhere

October 10, 2018

Whether Vinny from the Jersey Shore first got you hooked on @ketoguido or your BFF finally convinced you to try Whole 30, one thing’s for sure: Fad diets are everywhere. Feel like you can’t keep up with the latest offering? Well, you’re in luck! We’re here to give you the details on keto, Whole 30 and more diets.

Satiating Diet

Unlike most traditional diets, the satiating diet encourages participants to fill up on nutrient-rich foods. We're talking foods that are high in protein, fiber as well as consuming lots of fruits and veggies. Seriously, nothing is off limits. The satiating diet is not about setting restrictions, but about choosing healthy foods that will help you feel satisfied.

Archetype Diet

Is there a connection between self-worth and eating patterns? If you ask Dana James, a board-certified nutritionist, functional medicine practitioner and cognitive behavioral therapist, the answer is yes. In her book, The Archetype Diet, James says that before determining what foods you'll be adding to your plate, you first must learn why you eat (or overeat). It is only after coming to terms with these two factors that you can begin an enlightened relationship with food.


Counting macronutrients – or macros – is one of the newest diet trends in the wellness space. Popularized by the hashtag #IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros), it calls for users to track their macro intake, comprised of fats, carbohydrates and protein. Of course, the number of macros you’re consuming goes hand in hand with whether you’re looking to lose or maintain your weight. It has less to do with the types of foods you’re consuming (one quick scan of the hashtag will pull up pictures of ice cream cones and French fries) and more with how much of each macronutrient you’re eating. Apps like MyFitnessPal make it easy to keep track of macros and calories.

fad diet eating plan

Keto Diet

According to Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD, a keto diet is generally comprised of 75-90% fat, 5% carbohydrates and the remaining percent is protein. High fat, low carb and moderate protein is the magic ratio behind the keto diet. An example meal might include avocados, eggs, olive oil and bacon. Bread and grains are a big no-no. The idea behind keto is that once the body is deprived of carbohydrates, the body will begin to break down fat to convert it into energy. This is known as reaching ketosis.

RELATED: Are Collagen Peptides Good for Keto?

Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting is a method of scheduling caloric intake. Matthew Taylor, RD, Ph.D, previously noted to Lively that intermittent fasting is a broad term used to define a period of time in which caloric consumption is restricted to a small intake or no intake at all. There are many ways to divide up the schedule but fasting for 16 hours and eating within an 8-hour window is one example. Realistically, this method isn’t very sustainable since most people’s lives consist of after-work happy hours, snacking and impromptu dinners.

Whole 30

Chances are you know at least one person who’s tried out Whole 30. Created by Melissa Hartwig, Whole 30 has participants eating whole, unprocessed foods for 30 days. Added sugars – real or artificial – alcohol, grains, legumes, dairy and soy are on the “do not eat” list. Fun fact: Vital Proteins products are Whole 30-approved.

RELATED: Is It Safe to Do Keto and Intermittent Fasting at the Same Time?


Also known as “the caveman diet,” the paleo diet consists of eating foods that can be hunted and gathered. This would leave us with a diet rich in lean protein, fruits, vegetables, seeds and nuts. Processed foods, sugar and all grains would be removed. Sound familiar? You may be wondering what the difference is between keto and paleo. Paleo does not place emphasis on macronutrients while keto does. The keto diet restricts majority of fruits and legumes because there is one goal in mind: to reach ketosis. There aren’t as many limitations when following a paleo diet; it still allows participants to eat from whole food groups.

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