Over the past few years, TikTok has skyrocketed in popularity and, contrary to what some believe, it’s not just for Gen Z, but people of all ages, with different interests and hobbies.
The beauty of TikTok’s For You page is that it’s one of, if not the best, social media algorithm out there. From books to football, dating to skincare, there’s thousands of videos on TikTok which are dedicated to specific topics, and the algorithm is great at tailoring the app to the interests of each individual.
This is also the same for food. It’s likely that you’ve scrolled past a few recipes on TikTok, since it’s short video format makes it easy to digest simple recipes, so much so that FoodTok is now a mighty competitor for YouTube’s alternative, FoodTube. But this also means that many people are sharing their diet tips on TikTok, whether it’s to purposely lose weight, or improve their long-term diet to support their lifestyle. From vegan to dairy-free, keto to juice cleanses, there’s a TikTok for almost every single diet out there. For people who have food sensitivities, TikTok can be an ideal place to get inspiration for your latest recipe.
But, not all diets are equal. Some diets are not only difficult to maintain, but can also be downright harmful.
To mark National Nutrition Month, we have analyzed the views on over 50 diet trends on TikTok to reveal which ones are standing out to the scrollers, and which trends are beginning to be exposed.
We then took the top three most popular hashtags of each trend, and calculated the total number of views for each trend, to create an index of the most popular diet trends on TikTok.
The top 10 trends can be found here:
|Rank||Diet trend||Hashtags||Total views of hashtags|
|1||Keto||Keto + KetoDiet + KetoRecipes||10.3 billion|
|2||Calorie Counting||CalorieDeficit + CalorieCounting + LowCalorie||5.6 billion|
|3||Low carb||LowCarb + LowCarbRecipes + LowCarbSnack||4.5 billion|
|4||Vegan||VeganRecipes + VeganDiet + VeganFood||3.6 billion|
|5||Vegetarian||VegetarianDiet + Vegetarian + VegetarianRecipe||2.3 billion|
|6||Gluten-free||GlutenFree + GlutenFreelife||1.6 billion|
|7||Intuitive Eating||NonRestrictiveEating + IntuitiveEating + IntuitiveEatingJourney||899.5 million|
|8||Holistic Health||HolisticHealth + HolisticHealthTips + HolisticRecipes||688.2 million|
|9||Intermittent Fasting||IntermittentFasting + IntermittentFastingResults + FastingMode||611.7 million|
|10||Dairy-free||DairyFree + DairyFreeLife + DairyFreeRecipes||399.5 million|
The most popular diet trend on TikTok is keto.
Ketogenic diets, which are an extremely low carb, high fat diet, beat out popular diet lifestyles such as vegetarianism, veganism and intermittent fasting with over ten billion views.
A keto diet often consists of no more than 50 grams of carbs per day, meaning those who follow the diet omit the likes of white bread, sugar, pastries, potato chips and even bananas.
While some people opt for keto as a crash diet, since the lack of carbs means people often lose weight very quickly in the first week or so, many people also live a healthy lifestyle with a regular keto diet, with almost three million members on the Reddit sub.
TikTok is a great tool to help people to get creative with their keto lifestyle. From sandwiches which use egg instead of bread, to potato-style salads which use cauliflower instead, there’s thousands of alternatives out there. And with 550,000 searches a month on Google for ‘keto diet’ by Americans, it’s showing no sign of slowing down.
Keto has faced some dispute by a select number of people on TikTok, who follow parents on the platform who give their children a keto diet, swapping out the likes of mac’n’cheese for chicken lettuce wraps. The parents have argued that they don’t place their children on keto to promote weight loss, but instead to give them the tools to build a healthy relationship with food, and understanding how it affects their body.
Calorie counting is still rising
With almost five billion more views than that of intuitive eating, which promotes the opposite values, calorie counting is another popular TikTok trend. Calorie counting isn’t for everyone, but as one pound equals around 3,500 calories, the process can make losing or maintaining weight more transparent as people know more about what’s actually going into their body. It can also provide structure to people’s daily diets, and help people to feel more accountable.
However, it’s important to not only make sure that you’re having a healthy amount of calories per day for your own personal needs, but not to get too obsessive over calories every single day. If you want to have a treat, don’t worry if it goes over your calorie count for the day.
According to LiveStrong, women should consume a minimum of 1,200 calories per day, and men 1,500. However, this doesn’t mean that you have to limit yourself to so little – you can undertake a safe weight loss plan by cutting 500 calories per day down from your current diet.
Meat-free diets are still on the rise
Plant-based diets, including vegan and vegetarian diets, are among the most popular on TikTok, with the trends having over five billion views between them. Following the launch of documentaries like Seaspiracy, The Game Changers and Before the Flood, many people are striving to experiment with a more green-friendly diet and lifestyle.
The amount of vegan offerings have massively increased in recent years, as businesses realize the huge benefit of offering more than one meat-free plate on a menu. As McDonalds launches the McPlant, and Chipotle knuckles down on its vegan burritos, there’s more options available for those who are conscious about the climate, or simply don’t want to eat animal products.
Vegan recipes on TikTok include katsu curry, sheet pan quesadillas and vegan ‘chicken’ wings using a wheat-based food called seitan, which itself has over 600 million views on the platform.
Gluten-free videos are catering to the millions
Research estimates that 18 million Americans have a gluten sensitivity. Those who suffer from a gluten intolerance can suffer from abdominal pain, anxiety, brain fog, bloating and fatigue when they consume gluten, which is in many of our everyday foods, such as pasta, flatbread, bagels, flour tortillas and even ketchup.
With Google searches for ‘gluten free’ increasing by 82% in the last year, there are hundreds of thousands of videos on TikTok for those with the intolerance, to ensure that they can look after their gut without discomfort.
Anti-diet trends are rising
Some people are sick of the diet culture that has been around for years, believing that there is no ‘right’ way to achieve a healthy body without causing constant anxiety about what you’re eating.
Instead, there’s almost 900 million views of videos around intuitive eating, which rejects the entire diet mentality, encouraging people to simply eat when they’re hungry, and stop when they’re full. No food is off-limits, providing you have no sensitivities, in order to avoid demonizing certain foods like cookies, pizza and chocolate. For people who practice intuitive eating, they often find that they binge less and eat fewer high-sugar foods, as they’re not labeling certain foods as ‘bad.’
Similarly, holistic health nutrition does away with counting calories and instead asks people to eat whole, raw foods which reduce the chances of overeating by keeping you fuller for longer, staying hydrated and being more mindful of your portions and how they make you feel.
TikTok’s stance on diets
While some diets can improve our health, others promote dangerous weight loss. Officially, TikTok does not allow content which promotes or glorifies eating disorders, and last year launched a new initiative to connect users to helplines.
For example, one new craze, water fasting, has over 42 million views on TikTok. The fad diet promotes not eating or drinking anything in the space of 24 hours – besides water. This diet can be especially damaging for people with diabetes, or anyone with a history of disordered eating. When you try and search for the hashtag, TikTok brings up the contact details of eating disorder helplines instead of showing you any videos.
Other fad diets which were included in the top 50 include juice diets, which had 62 million views, liquid diets on 35 million, and the cabbage soup diet, with over 5 million views. The latter, whereby people consume the soup throughout the day, is an extreme, short-term diet which promises quick weight loss, though we discourage it. The diet can cause you to suffer from weakness and dizziness, and the lack of calories can also contribute to loss of concentration and a nutrient deficiency, too.
The full list of the top 50 most popular diet trends on TikTok are below:
|Rank||Diet||Hashtags||Views of hashtag/s||Total views|
|1||Ketogenic||Keto + ketodiet + ketorecipes||7,400,000,000 1,500,000,000 1,400,000,000||10,300,000,000|
|2||Calorie counting||CalorieDeficit + CalorieCounting + LowCalorie||3,700,000,000 855,700,000 1,100,000,000||5,655,700,000|
|3||LowCarb||LowCarb + LowCarbRecipes + LowCarbSnack||4,000,000,000 488,000,000 49,200,000||4,537,200,000|
|4||Vegan||VeganRecipes + VeganDiet + VeganFood||2,100,000,000 18,200,000 1,500,000,000||3,618,200,000|
|5||Vegetarian||VegetarianDiet + Vegetarian + VegetarianRecipe||970,900 2,300,000,000 50,000,000||2,350,970,900|
|6||Gluten Free||GlutenFree + GlutenFreeLife + GlutenFreeRecipes||1,500,000,000 72,000,000 85,900,000||1,657,900,000|
|7||Intuitive eating||NonRestrictiveEating + IntuitiveEating + IntuitiveEatingJourney||4,100,000 884,000,000 11,400,000||899,500,000|
|8||Holistic Health||HolisticHealth + HolisticHealthTips + HolisticRecipes||682,100,000 4,900,000 1,200,000||688,200,000|
|9||Intermittent Fasting||IntermittentFasting + IntermittentFastingResults + FastingMode||556,900,000 31,900,000 22,900,000||611,700,000|
|10||Dairy Free||DairyFree + DairyFreeLife + DairyFreeRecipes||371,400,000 3,800,000 24,300,000||399,500,000|
|11||RawFoodDiet||RawFoodDiet + Rawfood+ Rawfoodie||20,300,000 330,300,000 108,100||350,708,100|
|12||Anti diet||Antidiet +antidietculture + antidietdietitian||211,200,000 86,300,000 10,400,000||307,900,000|
|13||Sugar Free||SugarFree +SugarFreeLifestyle + SugarFreeRecipe||296,800,000 6,100,000 3,100,000||306,000,000|
|14||WeightWatchers||WeightWatchers + WeightWatchersGreen + WeightWatchersBlue||158,500,000 9,800,000 6,300,000||174,600,000|
|15||Paleo||Paleo + PaleoRecipe + PaleoDiet||113,600,000 2,000,000 16,200,000||131,800,000|
|16||Juice Diet||JuiceCleanse + JuiceDiet + DietJuice||49,000,000 10,000,000 3,000,000||62,000,000|
|17||Flexible dieting||FlexibleDiet + Flexibledieting + Flexibledieter||9,100,000 50,600,000 163,800||59,863,800|
|18||Volume Eating||VolumeEating + VolumeEatingRecipe + HighVolumeEating||58,500,000 803 687,200||59,188,003|
|19||Carnivore Diet||CarnivoreDiet + TheCarnivoreDiet + DietaCarnivora||54,000,000 47,100 3,700,000||57,747,100|
|20||Whole30||Whole30 + Whole30Challenge + Whole30recipes||42,800,000 2,000,000 7,300,000||52,100,000|
|21||LowFodmap||LowFodmap + Lowfodmaprecipes + LowFodmapDiet||40,100,000 1,200,000 8,700,000||50,000,000|
|22||Macro counting||MacroDiet + Macrotracking + TrackingMacros||12,200,000 9,500,000 27,000,000||48,700,000|
|23||Low fat||LowFat + LowFatRecipe + LowFatDiet||40,600,000 4,400,000 812,600||45,812,600|
|24||AlkalineDiet||AlkalineDiet + alkalinediets + Alkalinevegandiet||45,200,000 132,100 126,200||45,458,300|
|25||Liquid diet||LiquidDiet LiquidDietChallenge LemonadeDiet||34,700,000 232,400 312,700||35,245,100|
|26||MediterraneanDiet||MediterraneanDiet + mediterraneanrecipes + mediterraneandietfood||34,400,000 20,600 49,800||34,470,400|
|27||Baby food||BabyFoodChallenge + BabyFoodDiet||32,800,000 150,900||32,950,900|
|28||Noom||Noom + Noomdiet + NoomRecipes||25,600,000 171,900 15,100||25,787,000|
|29||Optavia||Optavia + OptaviaResults + OptaviaWeightLoss||17,400,000 203,300 4,000,000||21,603,300|
|30||Flexitarian||Flexitarian + FlexitarianDiet + FlexitarianMeals||18,500,000 242,700 1,104||18,743,804|
|31||Anti Inflammatory Diet||Antiinflammatorydiet + Antiinflammatoryfood + Antiinflammatoryjuice||11,400,000 6,900,000 134,200||18,434,200|
|32||SlimFast||SlimFast + SlimFastDiet + SlimFastShakes||15,200,000 577,700 175,800||15,963,500|
|33||High carb||CarbLoading + HighCarb + HighCarbDiet||1,600,000 12,700,000 165,700||14,465,700|
|34||Fruitarian||Fruitarian + FruitarianLifestyle + FruitarianBaby||13,000,000 1,000,000 436,600||14,436,600|
|35||High fat||HighFat + HighFatDiet + HighFatLowCarb||9,000,000 2,100,000 1,800,000||12,900,000|
|36||Atkins||AtkinsDiet + Atkins + AtkinsRecipes||1,300,000 8,100,000 5,717||9,405,717|
|37||Macrobiotic||Macrobiotic + Macrobioticfood + Macrobiotics||4,600,000 575,600 2,700,000||7,875,600|
|38||FertilityDiet||FertilityDiet + InfertilityDiet + FertilityNutrition||5,400,000 647,600 1,300,000||7,347,600|
|39||WholeFoodsDiet||WholeFoodsDiet + WholeFoodsNutrition + WholeFoodDiet||4,800,000 220,600 1,600,000||6,620,600|
|40||ArmyDiet||ArmyDiet + Army_Diet + Army_Diet_Plan||5,900,000 19,200 89||5,919,289|
|41||Blue Zone||BlueZoneDiet + BlueZones + BlueZonesKitchen||283,000 4,500,000 266500||5,049,500|
|42||Cabbage Soup Diet||CabbageSoupDiet + CabbageSoup + CabbageSoupDietRecipe||2,900,000 2,100,000 43,900||5,043,900|
|43||Glycemic Index||GlycemicIndex + LowGlycemic + LowGlycemicIndex||3,400,000 1,500,000 94,300||4,994,300|
|44||Starch Solution||StarchSolution+TheStarchSolution+StarchSolutionApproved||1,800,000 1,700,000 372,800||3,872,800|
|45||Mind Diet||MindDiet + MindsetDiet + DietMindset||57,400 2,200,000 17,500||2,274,900|
|46||AIPDiet||AIPDiet + AIPFood + AIPrecipes||1,700,000 10,700 323,200||2,033,900|
|47||Dash Diet||DashDiet + DashDietJourney + Dash_Diet||1,100,000 38,100 4,207||1,142,307|
|48||Blood Type Diet||BloodTypeDiet + BloodTypeDietJuice + BloodTypeFoods||977,400 1,235 123||978,758|
|49||Nordic Diet||NordicDiet + NordicFood + NordicSuperfood||194,900 336,900 2,440||534,240|
|50||Gaps diet||GapsDiet + GapsDietFoods||361,200 3,675||364,875|
Kerri Ferraioli, expert nutritionist at YorkTest, commented on the research:
“With over one billion monthly users worldwide, TikTok has already cemented itself as one of the social media giants. It’s also one of the most influential platforms, which is why we did this research to get a clear picture of what diets are currently popular among its audience.
“What’s important is that, before you undertake any type of diet, you consult a doctor. If you’re aiming for weight loss, avoid any crash diets which promise a huge amount of pounds lost in the first week. Instead, a healthy aim is one-two pounds a week. This will ensure that your weight loss process is maintainable, instead of dangerous crash diets which often lead to people consuming more due to hunger.”
This research was done by searching for two or three common hashtags for 50 diet trends on TikTok.
YorkTest then added them together to come up with a total sum of the views for each trend on TikTok.
This data was correct as of 18 February 2022.