These are the 8 most searched-for diets of 2018, and they are seriously weird

Twisted: Unserious food tastes seriously good.

We are really weird about our food. Just as we’re constantly told how unhealthy most of us are becoming, more people than ever are committed to pursuing strange rules around what they are and aren’t allowed to eat. The middle ground between massive over-indulgence and monkish celibacy seems to be getting smaller and smaller.

Many of the most popular diets can sound pretty reasonable to most sensible people. But, as 2018 has gone on, some of us have decided that normal eating doesn’t quite cut the mustard. As a result, we have been looking for an increasing number of strange ways to control our food. Thankfully, Google is on hand to shed light on a situation that’s fast becoming very silly. These are the most searched-for diets of 2018.

diet sandwich Credit: Pixabay/stevepb

1. Pegan Diet

You’ve probably heard of paleo and veganism, but what happens if you smash the two together? First described on the blog of Mark Hyman, the fad focuses on a 75% plant-based approach to food, with sustainably raised meat and fish used as a “condiment”. With search requests up 350% on 2017, pegan dieting is definitely on the rise.

2. Omad Diet

Every diet involves restricting something or other, but few take it as far as the Omad diet plan. An acronym that stands for “One Meal A Day”, this approach advocates the idea of “intermittent fasting” in order to boost brain and body function. Even though the science is seriously sketchy, searches have still been up 650%.

3. Carnivore Diet

Vegans and veggies may be on the march, but meat lovers aren’t about to give up just yet. Unsurprisingly, the carnivore diet focuses on flesh, requiring participants to only eat animal products, totally ignoring carbs altogether and presumably ruining your colon in the process. According to Google, searches have increased by 900% in the previous 12 months.

4. Vertical Diet

Normally, you’d expect eating advice from a man nicknamed “The Rhino” to be taken with a pinch of salt. Nonetheless, the vertical diet has been a big deal in 2018. The diet basically involves eating as many calories as possible, with an emphasis on steak and rice, in order to quickly increase muscle mass. Searches were up a whopping 1,250% this year.

5. Optavia Diet

It might sound like the brainchild of a forgotten Roman emperor, but the optavia diet plan is actually incredibly new on the scene. Less of a diet and more of a scheme, Optavia has been described as “Weight Watchers for millennials” and has been searched 1,400% more this year than last.

6. Keto Diet

One of the more well known fads from 2018, keto dieting revolves around putting your body into a state of “ketosis”. By all but eliminating carbs from your diet and replacing them with fat, keto advocates claim that you can dramatically and rapidly increase weight loss. Searches have increased by 1,800% this year as the craze has captured public imagination.   

7. Noom Diet

Another millennial-friendly, stupidly-named diet group, Noom has made a name for itself in 2018 by advocating an approach that emphasised long term, sustainable results. Advocating a communal, personalised approach has seen Noom’s searches increase by 1,950%.

8. Dubrow Diet

Clearly, all these diets have had bumper years, but none come close to the searches of the Dubrow diet. The brainchild of Helen and Terry Dubrow, the plan is another to have a focus on intermittent fasting, though this arguably has less to do with the plan’s massive popularity than the Dubrow’s semi-celebrity status. Searches for “Dubrow diet” have gone up a whopping 5,000%.

Watching what we eat is part and parcel of modern life. Obviously, we can’t all eat exactly what we want the whole time. That being said, maybe we should take a moment to think about whether following ideas at the wackier end of the spectrum is a great idea.