4 Diet Trends to Try in 2024 and 3 to Avoid   

4 Diet Trends to Try in 2024 and 3 to Avoid

Overhead view of a hand holding a cell phone, taking a picture of a mixed fresh green salad.

April 02, 2024

Clinical Contributors to this story:
Dena Arumugam, M.D.

From TikTok to blogs to Facebook and Instagram, it’s hard to avoid content around the latest diet trends, with promises of easy weight loss. But which of these trends are merely fads to avoid, and which ones bring the possibility of healthy weight loss and management?

Our expert, Dena Arumugam, M.D., FACS, a bariatric surgeon at Jersey Shore University Medical Center, shares her thoughts on the hottest weight-loss trends for 2024. 

Weight-loss Trends to Try

Intermittent fasting: With intermittent fasting, you delegate all eating to six to 10 hours a day—for example, noon to 8 p.m.—and the rest of the time you are limited to water and black coffee. Dr. Arumugam says intermittent fasting can support weight loss and brain cognition, among other benefits. The goal isn’t to eat everything in sight during your eating hours; you should eat sensibly. Intermittent fasting might not work for you if you are at work during your eating hours.

Injectable weight-loss medications: “I think the new weight-loss medications like Mounjaro and Ozempic are at their peak in popularity,” Dr. Arumugam says. “They can be a great add-on to healthy eating and exercise, and they have a lot of potential to help people.” But weight-loss medication is not for everyone. “We don’t yet know enough about keeping people on these medications long-term or changing medications,” adds Dr. Arumugam. 

Lean protein/limited carbs: “The diet that I recommend the most often is high in lean proteins, eliminates most processed foods and limits complex carbohydrates,” Dr. Arumugam says. This diet provides a lot of nutrition, keeps you full and helps reduce blood sugar levels. Another benefit of this type of diet is that it’s not completely restrictive, so you can still have a little rice or pasta—just not make them the center of the meal.

Small diet changes: Ultimately, making realistic lifestyle changes is what will work: healthy eating and being physically active. “Making small, doable changes gradually over time can lead to big changes,” Dr. Arumugam says. “For example, if you are a big soda drinker, start by cutting down by 50 percent.”

Weight-loss Trends to Avoid

Going all-in: “Some people find that an all-in approach at the beginning of a diet can be helpful, but it’s hard to maintain long term, and then they switch to all-out,” Dr. Arumugam says. A more gradual change is easier to maintain. Don’t be so restrictive; it’s more achievable in the long term.

Continuous glucose monitoring: A growing trend is continuous glucose monitoring advertised as a weight-loss tool. Continuous glucose monitoring is not useful for people with good insulin release—it’s only helpful if you have diabetes or prediabetes.

Keto: Popular for the past several years, keto focuses on proteins and fats while eliminating carbs. “My opinion on these fad diets is that they are doable short term but hard long term,” Dr. Arumugam says. “Also, keep in mind medical conditions you might have. For example, keto might worsen high cholesterol or heart disease.”

Exercise Is Always on Trend

No matter which diet you choose, don’t leave out the exercise component. Strive for about 150 minutes of moderate-level exercise per week.

“Add that to your normal daily activity, on top of any movement you are doing at work or around the house,” Dr. Arumugam says. “Just get your heart rate a little elevated with a bike ride or brisk walk.”

Next Steps & Resources

The material provided through HealthU is intended to be used as general information only and should not replace the advice of your physician. Always consult your physician for individual care.


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