New year new you? 2023 dieting trends

Ready to start 2023 with a health kick?! As a nutritionist, I am always very interested in looking at the “diet trends” on social media and magazines – so much information, some of it good but also not always accurate or relevant.
Below are the major trends I have spotted in the last months, which will be discussed a lot in the new year. I have analysed these trends objectively, highlighting the pros and cons. 


Something to be mindful of is that one size doesn’t fit all when discussing dietary patterns. This is especially true when considering strict regimes or cutting out food groups, as a health specialist should monitor and suggest these interventions. 

App-based behavioural change diets

So many new and not-so-new apps! I have seen them on my social media feed, recommended by trainers and friends, and in magazines – they are everywhere!
Behavioural change is critical in creating habits that stick for life, and feeling accountable can help with the commitment needed to make this change happen. The only thing I will be cautious of is the “one size” fits all approach many of those apps offer and the focus on weight management only. 

Anyway, these apps are a good first step to start thinking about health and nutrition differently and making the steps towards different dietary patterns, start implementing new habits and gaining some knowledge about nutrition.

Meal replacements

Something I have seen more and more in the last months is meal replacement snacks and shakes – something I believed was done and dusted for years! Replacing meals diets are usually focused on providing a very significant kcal deficit, which can lead to weight loss.

Such an intervention, if monitored by a registered specialist, can be a stepping stone for clinically obese patients needing to lose a substantial amount of weight before undergoing surgery. But it is not something I would recommend as a quick fix to lose some extra pounds gained during Christmas or to fit in a dress you are planning to wear in a couple of weeks.

Meal replacements lack the complexity of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants real food has. Going down this route won’t help to improve the relationship and education around food nor improve overall health, meaning that the weight can creep up once real food is reintroduced for most meals.

Ozempic/diabetic-approved drugs

This is the most alarming trend I have seen in recent months: using drugs such as Ozempic or other semaglutide drugs for weight loss. It started in the USA and is picking up in the UK too, and is described as “Hollywood's worst kept secret” behind many celebrities' sudden weight loss.

Semaglutide medications are prescribed to type 2 diabetic patients to increase a group of metabolic hormones called incretins, which increase insulin secretion, slow down digestion and decrease appetite. Because of their action on metabolic hormones, semaglutide can have a secondary effect of weight loss, which is often part of a holistic strategy of diabetes management in clinically obese patients.

These drugs should be prescribed and taken with strict medical supervision, as side effects can include pancreatitis, dizziness, digestive distress and kidney damage. Semaglutide needs to be injected, so there is always a risk of infection or skin reaction on the injection site. Using those drugs if not diabetic or recommended by a registered medical doctor, can do far more harm than good for your health. 

Metabolism hacking diets

So many new exciting devices became available on the market in the last years, from lumen to more advanced glucose monitors. I recon we will see more of that in the years to come!

While I believe that is a fascinating exercise to monitor how your body reacts to exercise and carbs intake, our metabolism is influenced by many more factors.
Using those devices is critical in diabetes and pre-diabetes management, and in no-diabetic patients can help focus the attention on moderating processed carbs, increasing exercise and start thinking differently about food intake patterns.

Despite those positive aspects, an effective diet which can bring health benefits in the long run should have a more holistic approach, taking into consideration micronutrients and how to create new habits that can integrate into the individual lifestyle.

Keto intermitting fasting diet

This is a curious one – the “eat like a bear” diet, basically a ketogenic diet with a long (up to 16 hours) fasting window. The ketogenic diet was developed for epilepsy management and should be monitored by a dietician or GP. Whilst some studies highlight some benefits of the ketogenic diet on diabetes management, others show the potential negative impact on lipid levels, and cardiovascular and kidney health.

Intermittent fasting is another controversial topic, with so much research highlighting impressive benefits on overall health, and others considering the impact it can have on metabolism and hormonal health in certain individuals.
Two diet trends together are not better than one, and specific dietary patterns should be fully understood before being implemented by an individual. 

Is important to understand we are not bears, and that we have very different needs from wild animals. A diet that advocates eating like a wild animal, should set alarm bells. Probably the best option is being moderate – a good fasting window (meaning no snacks after an earlyish dinner) can have a positive impact, but stressing out or going hungry to try not to eat for as many hours as possible will not.

A ketogenic diet should always be followed if recommended by a medical doctor, as cutting out or going overboard with specific food groups without medical supervision is not recommended.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Nutritionist Resource are reviewed by our editorial team.

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London, W1S 1HP
Written by Lucia Stansbie, Registered Nutritional Therapist, Dip CNM, mBANT, mCNHC
London, W1S 1HP

Lucia Stansbie, BANT registered Nutritional Therapist founder of Food Power Nutrition

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