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Diet Programs: 2018's Most Popular Diets

Despite what your buddy from high school who posts shirtless pics on Instagram might have you believe, there are multiple legitimate diet plans in existence. CHOMPS certainly fits into most successful nutrition plans, but we aren’t here to plug, we are here to educate. This is a blog, not a billboard.

You can find information on several popular diets right here on the CHOMPS blog. So far, we have covered The Keto Diet, Whole30, Paleo, and Counting Macros. There are several popular diet programs that you may be considering, and we will attempt to cover 2018's most popular. This overview of the many diets is a good place to start, but please dive deeper into the blogs that sound right for you. The main thing to figure out is what your goals are, and what you can realistically stick to.

There isn’t a diet out there that works for everyone.

Most diets are very up-front about this. Somewhere in the introduction, one will find a statement regarding the specific needs that the diet is meant to satisfy. Your goals and your body type are unique. In addition, some foods may be harder for one person to avoid than another. If everyone on Earth preferred their burger without pickles, they wouldn’t come with pickles in the first place. Some of you just flinched at the thought of pickles. That’s okay. We can’t all be pickle-people. They will not be required by any of the diets we will be discussing.

For the pickle-people, please turn yourself back into a human. Your family is concerned.

What to think about when choosing a diet

1. What is the target you are trying to hit?

2. How long is your timeline?

3. Is it hard for you to stick to something that is very specific and restricting?

4. Are you looking for a diet that has a beginning and end, or is the goal to make a lifestyle choice that will shape your habits going forward?

If it is hard answer some of these questions, then don’t worry. We are here to help. 

For those who want to slim down and get lean:

Let's say you've been invited to an event in just over a month, and you have to lose a few pounds to fit into the outfit you want. You have a measurable target - the weight you want to lose- and a short time frame. 

If you know that you would be comfortable sticking to a diet that is more restrictive and specific, then you’ll want to check out Whole 30. It is generally set on a 30-day schedule, requires good strength at resisting temptation, and is a great plan for those who are looking to lose weight. We’ve started out with a diet for a person whose goals are relatively simple. There is not much ambiguity to weight loss.

If you are looking to add muscle definition and burn fat

If fitting into tighter clothing isn't your goal, then you're probably not looking to decrease your size. Another goal you may have is to build lean muscle and burn excess flab and fat. You don't necessarily need a specific target or time frame either. There are plenty of diet and lifestyle adjustments that will help burn fat and stay fit. This is NOT to say that something like Whole30 would be a bad fit, but you might find that the Keto diet suits these needs more closely. The Keto diet can be worked in as a new lifestyle, although doctors and nutritionists do believe that it is beneficial to enter what is called “ketosis” on intervals, with breaks in between. 

A less restrictive approach

And what if you're trying to get GAINS? We haven't gotten into a solution for those who want to bulk up and just add mass. This next diet is of value to that group, as well as anybody who is not looking to totally restrict themselves with a very specific diet. 

Counting Macros is a way to diet and eat responsibly, and with a plan, without it controlling your life. The acronym IIFYM stands for If It Fits Your Macros,” and that is exactly the idea. You can eat what you want, when you want, as long as you keep the equation in mind and fit the meal in properly. Counting macros allows you the tools you need to track your diet, and the freedom you want to continue to enjoy your favorite foods. It isn’t a prescription for a dramatic change in body type overnight, but that is preferable to something so dramatic that he abandons it too early. Calculations are available for bulking, cutting, and other body goals.

Dieting for overall fitness

Now, what if you are an athlete or serving in the military? You may have specific fitness goals that you are trying to hit. This could include a run time, push up count, or weight lifted. Some of us diet to supplement overall fitness. Working out is an important component of the plan for The Paleo diet is a good way to stay in shape, and allows for the foods your body can use when you are active.

It is all about clean eating and getting well-rounded nutrition. Eating the way that nature intended is what paleo is all about. Unfortunately, the diet does call for swearing off of cheese, which may be hard for some. Consider factors like that when choosing a diet to try.

If there is anything we know about fitness and nutrition, it is that everyone is different. Narrow your options down to two of the above goals with which you identify most. Read up on the diets we recommended, and you’ll have a great idea of where to start. Pick a plan that meets your needs and your time frame. Don’t be overzealous. It is true that the best diet is one you can stick to. Do your homework, prep your meals accordingly, and plan for those cravings and temptations. If you give yourself the tools you need, and set yourself up for success, then the outcome will be tremendously rewarding!