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  • Writer's pictureJane Webber Nutrition

Diet Trends for 2023. What to expect.


Hello 2023 and Goodbye 2022


As a nutritionist, I am often asked what diet trends are in vogue, and what diet is best for X, Y and Z.


For losing weight I always suggest not going on a calorie-restrictive diet as in the long run they don’t work, but focusing on healthy eating habits. Yes, you need a calorie deficit to lose weight, but healthy eating with the correct portion sizes is the way forward.


What weight loss diets, whether they are faddy or not, does the nutrition industry think we will see in 2023? My thanks to registered dietitian Helen Bond for her great webinar and for her ideas and thoughts.



It’s fact that about two-thirds of the adults in the UK are classified as being overweight or obese. We know that in 2021, according to Google, around 1.4 million Google searches for “how to lose weight fast” were made, which is about 3 searches per minute.


Most health professionals will tell you there is no magic bullet, no quick and easy way to lose weight fast, so it stays off. The weight may come off, but it rarely stays off in the long term.


Let’s take a look at some of the trends to expect in 2023. Remember I am not endorsing any of these.


VERY LOW-CALORIE DIETS (VLCDs)


Seen the book in your local bookstore? Michael Mosley’s “very fast 800 diet”?


They fell out of favour for a while, but they are back!! In fairness, Dr Mosley’s version is about “real food” but remember the others in the block.


Meal replacement drinks and bars, such as Lighter Life, Cambridge Diet Plan – 1:1, Arbonne, Juice Plus, etc. have introduced new products, so we are expecting these to become more popular during 2023. Many of these MLM products and being promoted as ways to create your own business opportunities, so with the cost of living rising we may see more people offering these products.


What’s to like?


Research has shown that they do play an important part in medically supervised rapid weight loss for people living with obesity who are required to lose weight for surgery, diabetics etc. Meal replacements are good for people who have little self-control.


What’s not to like?


They don’t help with the skills needed for long-term healthy eating and when people returned to eating “real” food, then they find it hard.

Trying to survive on 800 calories can be hard in the long term, especially if your food choices aren’t great. You may not get the essential nutrients required for your body. You may feel light-headed, dizzy, or suffer from poor concentration. Plus, some of the meal replacement shakes use sweeteners that may trigger IBS.


MICROBIOME DIETS


These testing kits give you a breakdown of your gut microbes and use the information to give you dietary recommendations to reach your healthy weight.


Not widely available, the ZOE project currently has over 200K people on their waiting list.


What’s to like?


The Zoe project certainly has some good research behind it, so getting personal feedback about your gut is intriguing, plus it will feed into the PREDICT study which is the world’s largest ongoing nutritional study about this topic


What’s not to like?


We still don’t know how relevant the gut/food at a population level applies to real individuals. So if 2 people have similar results do they necessarily have the same responses to specific foods? The main advice from Zoe is to eat fibre-rich plant foods to keep your gut happy!


Metabolism Hacking Diets


These monitor fuel utilisation or glucose responses to losing weight. Some use home carbon dioxide breath monitoring to see if they are burning fat or carbs as fuel. One uses continuous glucose monitoring to guide food choices.


I am sure we will see more enter this sector in 2023.


What’s to like?


Glucose monitoring has the potential to be useful for people with insulin resistance or diabetes as it can discourage the overeating of ultra-processed foods.


What’s not to like?


They are expensive and wearing a glucose monitor can be invasive and may you to become over-anxious about your levels. We can’t assume that weight gain is all about calories in and out. That’s too simplistic


DNA Diets

Can the analysis of your DNA inform which diet is best for you? They can tell you so much about yourself, but not necessarily if a particular food will help you lose weight or gain weight.


I recently did a quick video that put these, with blood test diets under “fad” weight loss diets and I stand by this and I offer DNA personalise wellness service! Why did I put them under “fad” for weight loss?


What’s to like?

They can tell you if you have sensitivity to carbs, and what type of exercise may be more beneficial for you. If you have the genetic variant for coeliac disease, how quickly do you metabolise alcohol or caffeine?


What’s not to like?

Therefore I put them in “fad” for weight loss. The science is too unsophisticated to be used for true custom weight loss plans. Results are showing that people who dieted according to their DNA results didn’t shed any more weight than someone who didn’t have their DNA tested.


If you are doing a diet based on your DNA, then this is where someone like me comes in to guide you and I don’t offer weight loss plans based on your DNA, but a whole personalised wellness package based on your DNA.



APP-BASED BEHAVIOURAL CHANGE DIETS


My feed is full of sponsored ads for Noom and Second Nature that help people who want to lose weight by thinking about food and their fitness in a different way.


You get mini lessons about changing your mindset, get motivation messages and be asked to track your food, exercise etc.


What’s to like?


This approach has good results. Second Nature has received backing from the NHS. Noom says that 78% of people lose weight whilst using the app. The guided lessons are good for people who need some support and motivation.


What’s not to like


Not everyone like apps on their mobile phones, plus they need to have a smartphone. Sometimes the messages may sound “false” or “trite”

They very much encourage you to cook from scratch, so it may not work for busy people or people who don’t like to cook.


Plus they work on calories and we know weight loss isn’t just about calories



MEAL KIT DIETS


During the pandemic when we couldn’t go out or didn’t fancy queuing at a supermarket, the rise of meal kit delivery services grew rapidly. We are seeing new options arrive and currently, they are still popular.


There are companies with weight loss in mind, such as The Good Prep, Hello Fresh, Jane Plan and Balance box. Some can be pre-prepared and just reheated or they can be sent as ingredients to cook.


What’s to like?


Most of these companies employ registered dietitians or nutritionists, so the meals are well-balanced. They can be a healthy way to manage your weight.


They are portion controlled, so no need to add more and they help avoid unhealthy supermarket decisions if you only rely on the meal kits, but this is rare.


What’s not to like?


They don’t tend to work for families and there isn’t a lot of flexibility when it comes to the ingredients.


The pre-prepared meals don’t teach cooking skills and some of the cook-chill meals may be less nutritious due to the decline in essential vitamins and minerals.



KETO / INTERMITTENT FASTING COMBINATION DIETS


2 diet crazes combined!!


Both separately have been very popular, and they don’t show any signs of waning.


Keto is hard to follow for a long time, it is based on very low carbs, 5-10% and high fat 70-80%


Intermittent fasting – currently the most popular is 16/8, so only eating in a 8-hour period.


What’s to like?


If you are determined to stay in ketosis, then IF may help the body to reach this state and maintain it.


What’s not to like?


Research is continuing in clinical trials and a 2021 review suggests that the downside could include high LDL and increased risk of cancer.



PLANT-FOCUSED DIETS


It’s January, so many people will try a vegan diet, either for health or environmental reasons.


In 2023 we will see more flexibility and involve reducing but not eliminating animal products.


What’s to like?


This is a trend that is easy to follow and get on board with. It’s all about balance and not being dependent on 1 food group.

What’s not to like?


Nothing really, but remember some plant-based diets can be low in calcium, but having dairy alternatives will help



Moving forward in 2023…


Obesity is just about overeating but is more complex than that. It can be genetic, biological, or psychological and most definitely your environment makes a difference.


There is no one-size-fits-everyone approach that can be used by health professionals, plus there is no single solution or magic pill


The world is full of conflicting advice, just look at the newspaper, adverts, social media, books etc.


Personally, I am looking more at IF, so only eat in an 8-hour window, so I have stopped having a very early breakfast and trying not to eat over 8 pm. It may mean I am doing a 14/10 version, but I will try this for 6 months to see how I get on.


Thanks for reading and if you want to have a free chat about your healthy eating and lifestyle plans, then please get in touch.













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