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These Diets Are Generating the Most Buzz on Social Media

These Diets Are Generating the Most Buzz on Social Media

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And no, they're not the ones you'd expect.

While fad diets once were spread by word of mouth and late-night infomercial, social media has become a crucial tool in helping foodies and health nuts alike propel trendy diets into full-blown cultural phenomenons.

This year has been a prime example—Whole 30, the Ketogenic Diet, the Dukan diet, and countless others, have become their own hashtags on Instagram and populate endless threads on both Twitter and Reddit. But the diet that gets most people buzzing on social media isn't actually among those just named.

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A team of researchers at Brandwatch, a data-driven analytics group, released their annual insight report into which diets have flooded the mentions and timelines of America's social feeds, focusing primarily on Twitter. Researchers paid particularly close attention to "influencers" (accounts with robust followings) to see which diets, trendy or not, have earned the most social clout among users.

The most popular diet on social media is —drumroll please—the vegan diet. Veganism was the most talked about diet on social platforms this year among social influencers, with more than 50 percent of all social media leaders mentioning the diet in some capacity. The hashtag #vegan on Instagram has more than 64 million posts alone.

Gluten-free diets were the second most mentioned diet across platforms, which was closely followed by vegetarian diets in third place.

Thinking about going vegan in your own kitchen? Get help:

Brandwatch turned to Instagram and Reddit to learn more about why veganism earned more attention that other buzzy diets, but they couldn't define a singular explanation as to why the vegan diet was the most talked about among users. They did, however, identify that vegans have quite a vibrant online community.

Getty: BSIP / Contributor

While they were researching diets with social clout, Brandwatch also put together a list of the top 25 foods that most engaged social media users this year. The top five most popular foods mentioned aren't exclusively vegan—chicken, chocolate, cheese, salad, and cake took the top spots respectively—but many of the foods on this list have vegan or vegetarian alternatives, which is a category that has seen unprecedented growth over the last year. Ice cream, eggs, butter, pizza, and fish, are all scattered throughout the top 25 (click here to view) and all have vegan alternatives.

As more and more people are experimenting with vegan and vegetarian alternatives, social media has become a place to "vet" these items before trying them. At Cooking Light, we're always keeping an eye on the online community and frequently covering viral products—keep up with us as we identify which vegan and vegetarian items sweep social media next.

Are Instagram Food Trends Destroying Your Diet?

Dietitians wonder if the endless food inspo the app provides is helping or hurting us.

If you&aposre into food, there&aposs a decent chance you use the internet to find new dishes to try at restaurants and on your own. If you&aposre health-conscious, you probably use it to learn about the latest eating trends, ingredients, and superfoods.

One of the most popular sources of inspo? Instagram, of course. But are all these highly appealing, photo-friendly food trends (think unicorn Frappuccinos, glitter coffee, and mermaid toast) convincing us to eat things we&aposd never normally consider healthy in the name of aesthetics? Here&aposs what dietitians have to say.

How Instagram Influences Your Eating Habits

One thing experts know for sure is that social media-Instagram in particular-has changed the way people think about food in general.

"Instagram food trends provide aesthetically pleasing images that also promote a certain lifestyle," says Amanda Baker Lemein, R.D., a registered dietitian in private practice in Chicago. "Because all of us are on our phones throughout much of the day, it&aposs another way to connect with other people seeking to live this lifestyle."

And while that definitely sounds like a good thing, it can sometimes be a double-edged sword. "It is positive that people are looking to improve their lifestyle and I think it can be a great platform to promote healthy eating and help to fight against obesity, but it also may hurt that what may seem healthy on a screen may not be individually the best choice," explains Eliza Savage, R.D., a dietitian at Middleberg Nutrition in NYC.

After all, nutritional needs and preferences are pretty unique. "People may try something in order to post it for their friends, but not really understand that it may not be so great for you," Savage says. "I have plenty of clients who say &aposbut it was paleo&apos or &aposbut it&aposs grain-free granola&apos or &aposit&aposs just a smoothie,&apos but don&apost recognize how the food may actually be thwarting their healthy intentions." (Avoid these seemingly healthy foods before you work out.)

That&aposs where the problem actually lies: It&aposs one thing to try out a food trend you know isn&apost super healthy because you want to (like a unicorn bark milkshake). But what&aposs more concerning is the fact that there are a ton of "healthy" food trends out there that aren&apost actually so great for you-and plenty of people are eating them in the name of health. Where do we draw the line, and is Instagram convincing us to eat a bunch of weird food we wouldn&apost consider otherwise?

The Worst Instagram Food Trends

You probably don&apost need us to tell you that glitter coffee and unicorn toast made with food coloring aren&apost so great for you. But there are plenty of Instagram food trends that at first glance seem super healthy-but really aren&apost.

Extreme Diets and Cleanses

"Anytime someone goes to extremes with their diet, it is unhealthy," says Libby Parker, R.D., a dietitian based in California. "When too much emphasis is on one food or food category, that means you&aposre missing out on other nutrients."

Take, for example, "fruitarians," or people who only eat fruit. "This type of diet looks very healthy and beautiful in photos, but is really nutritionally void of fat, protein, and many minerals, and can be dangerous for diabetics with high levels of carbohydrate and not much protein or fat to balance it out." While doing a diet like this short-term probably won&apost permanently harm your health, it can lead to malnutrition and other health issues long-term. (BTW, the mono meal plan is another fad diet you shouldn&apost follow.)

Parker also takes issue with trendy detoxes and cleanses, which she says are totally unnecessary. "These include dangerous products like activated charcoal (not something we should ingest), juicing (wreaks havoc on our system causing high blood sugar, dizziness, and muscle weakness), and other products like diet tea," she says. "Our bodies are equipped with all the detoxifying equipment they need: liver and kidneys and a drive for homeostasis. No special diets or supplements needed."

All the Healthy Fats

Healthy fats are all the rage right now-and that&aposs a good thing. But too much of a good thing is definitely possible. "There are so many unqualified health claims that are thrown out on Instagram, and people follow them," Savage says, adding that things like unicorn toast and paleo muffins drenched in nut butters and chocolate create a false sense of what is healthy. "I follow a wide variety of Instagram bloggers, and there&aposs no way some of them regularly consume what they post and maintain their weight."

In fact, Savage says that in her experience, people often don&apost realize that eating tons of fat-laden goodies (even ones with healthy fats!) can cause weight gain when eaten in excess. "It is challenging when clients come to me saying they have been having fat balls, paleo cookie bakes, or what have you, and don&apost understand why they don&apost feel well or are gaining weight."

Oversize Smoothie Bowls

"I cringe when I see people posting pictures of oversized a๺í bowls with captions like, &aposStarting my day off right!&apos" says Gillean Barkyoumb, R.D., founder of Millennial Nutrition. It&aposs not that she thinks a๺í bowls are bad it&aposs the portions that push things over the edge. "These bowls are usually two to three servings, covered in toppings like granola and chocolate shavings, and have WAY too much sugar to be considered a balanced meal. An a๺í bowl can be a part of a healthy diet, but you need to consider portion size and ingredients. Unfortunately, these posts don&apost always indicate all the ingredients used so people can be misguided and feel good when they order one at their local juice bar."

Avocado All Day

If you look at all the salads, grain bowls, and other healthy dishes on Instagram, you&aposll probably notice that the people posting them seem to be eating a whole lot of avocado. "Avocados are very nutritious and packed with healthy monounsaturated fats and fiber," points out Brooke Zigler, R.D.N., L.D., a dietitian based in Austin, TX. But a lot of Instagrammers go overboard. "An entire medium avocado contains 250 calories and 23g fat," Ziegler says. "Keep your serving size to a quarter of a medium avocado, which would be 60 calories and 6g of fat."

Pizza Selfies

"The rainbow lattes and food trends are fun and generally not dangerous," says Lauren Slayton, R.D., a dietitian and cofounder of Foodtrainers. "I find it more disconcerting when someone alludes to or poses with a whole pizza or fries, giving the impression that they can eat volumes of crappy food and still look and feel great."

The Upside of Food Instagram

Though there are some trends dietitians would like to see go, on the whole, they think Instagram&aposs obsession with healthy food is a good thing. "Like anything related to social media, there&aposs always a balance of good and bad," Lemein says. In particular, she says the intuitive eating trend (check out #intuitiveeating) promotes a healthy relationship with food by encouraging people to tune in to satiety cues. "I like this approach since it moves away from the &aposall or nothing&apos mentality that so many diets promote," she adds.

Dietitians also love the meal-prep tips that can be found all over the app. "My favorite account is @workweeklunch because she outlines quick and simple recipes and her posts make me feel like I can do it, even with a hectic schedule as a mom," Barkyoumb says. "I&aposm a firm believer that meal prep is an essential tool to stay on track with a healthy diet for anyone with a busy lifestyle." She&aposs also into the traction intermittent fasting is getting on Instagram. "There is a ton of science to support the benefits of IF (including weight loss and healthy aging), but it&aposs not easy to do, so having a community of people on Instagram to rely on for support and guidance is essential."

Follow the Right People

Of course, you&aposll want to make sure the people you&aposre following are legit if you&aposre taking advice from them. Barkyoumb has a three-step plan for success:

1. Follow credible health professionals and dietitians on Instagram, Barkyoumb suggests. Find them using hashtags like #dietitian, #dietitiansofinstagram, and #rdchat. And don&apost be afraid to connect with them for advice. "Reach out to them if you have questions about a specific food trend," Barkyoumb says. (Follow these accounts that post healthy food porn.)

2. As a rule of thumb: "If it sounds too good to be true (like only eat bananas for a week and lose 10 pounds), it probably is," Barkyoumb says. (Read more about how to keep food porn from wrecking your diet.)

3. It can be tough to keep track of all the things you want to try. "Utilize the &apossave&apos function on Instagram to note any healthy recipes you want to try or foods you want to buy during your next grocery run," she says.

How the Internet and Social Media Are Changing the Way We Eat

The Internet came into existence in the 1960’s, but the real advance of the Internet began only in the 1990’s. That was the time when the Internet spread like wildfire and truly started connecting people to each other and to the world. The rate of this penetration was almost staggering, and thus began what we now call the “Internet Revolution.”

A few years down the line, with the growth of social media giants like Facebook and beginning of the “era” of Google, the Internet became a focal point in our lives. Today, we cannot imagine our lives without the Internet. And anything that is so important to us is bound to have a great impact on almost every sphere in our lives – including what, where, when, and how we eat. And that is exactly what has happened.

The Internet revolution and the growing influence of social media in our lives have completely changed the way we eat and perceive food. In my opinion, some of these changes are impacting our society for the better, but there are also certain troublesome things about our obsession with the Internet.

Here are some pros and cons which the Internet revolution has, according to me:

Some Pros

Information is now at your fingertips.

The Internet has definitely made our lives simpler. Say you have 24 hours to spend in a new city and you want to experience the best that it has to offer within that time. What would you do? Go to Google for help, obviously.

And once you decide which places you want to visit, you’ll go back to Google again – this time for the right directions. That is how simple things have become, thanks to the Internet.

Before we had Internet access, we were completely dependent on television to provide us knowledge about foods from across the world. Today, all this information is just a click away. And not just general information about the local food, but also recipes mostly unheard of before, fun food facts, tips on foods hacks, healthy living and what not. Today, almost 90% people go online to search for recipes.

People have realized the power of technology and so the focus is shifting towards combining food and technology for greater sustainability.

“One person’s online suggestion to try a Korean hamburger or a peppermint mocha latte — or more powerful, one person posting an appetizing-looking photo of the same — can reach thousands of people in a day,” writes Harvey Hartman, Founder and Chairman of The Hartman Group. That is the power of the Internet.

Many major enterprises are also bringing more focus upon improving food experiences using technology. Cisco, along with THNK.ORG, has started an initiative called “Internet of Food” to bring food and Internet technology together and solve some major food-related issues like ensuring food safety throughout supply chain. You can find out more about this initiative on Cisco’s blog.

The Internet brings us together in our struggles and promotes health like nothing else.

GIF courtesy of

Another major benefit of the growth of the Internet is the way it is connecting people and making them realize that they are not alone in their hardest battles. People are coming out in large numbers to help each other with problems like eating disorders and raising a common voice against things like fat-shaming and skinny-shaming. This is empowering our global community like never before.

Nothing promotes healthy eating and a healthier lifestyle like the Internet. It is our go-to resource for all kinds of information on healthy superfoods, foods that burn calories and foods that add more calories.

Data collected online is being used to make the customer experience better.

GIF courtesy of

Data mining is being increasingly used by those involved in the food industry to improve customer experience, increase efficiency and even come up with new innovative recipes.

IBM actually created a computer program that creates original recipes in just 5 steps. and observed the buzz that has developed around bacon and completed a data mining project to see if bacon really does make food taste better. Hot-shot food chains also continuously refer to analytics to stay at the top of their game.

Some Cons

The Internet does have its benefits, but there are also some influences I personally don’t appreciate much.

We are losing our spontaneity because of our increasing dependence on the Internet.

When was the last time you visited an unknown place without checking its rating on some popular restaurant review website? Where did the spirit of being adventurous go?

Our generation has grown so used to the comforts technology provides, that we have forgotten what it feels like to take risks and learn from experiments.

Our perception of food is being influenced by online trends.

GIF courtesy of

First, let us start with the way the Internet has skewed our perception of “good” food. Nothing we cook will ever be good unless it is Insta-worthy. Nobody seems to care about how good something might taste because everyone is busy paying attention to whether they can share it on Instagram or not.

#Foodporn is great and so is focusing on the presentation of your plate, but putting the spotlight primarily on that is stealing the limelight from the real essence of food – its taste and its aroma. Something that looks okay might taste much better than something that looks beautifully decked up… you never know.

Online marketing is highly misleading and there’s nothing much we can do about it.

GIF courtesy of

Let us not even start talking about how misleading online marketing can be. All of us have been conned at least once with a product that looks way better on our laptop screens than it is in real life.

Things get worse when it comes to food – you can’t touch it, feel it, smell it or taste it. The only option you have is to believe what the advertisements say and this handicap is precisely what marketers use to their advantage. As a result, the focus shifts more towards building solid marketing strategies rather than creating good and healthy products.

And don’t even think about buying medicines online from just any website. I don’t exaggerate when I say that even governments warn against that.

The viral speed at which trends spread, even if they do not make much sense.

GIF courtesy of

Another major problem with this entire concept is the speed at which a trend spreads. Most people end up following what’s “in” without even properly thinking it through. Why? Because every else online seems to be doing it too.

An example of this is the introduction of the “Selfie Spoon.” Do we need to take pictures of ourselves as we eat? I don’t think so. But this product was still introduced and customers will buy it, because it sounds “cool.”

A recent South Korean trend called Mukbang, which focused on eating large quantities of food at once, was also criticized by a lot of people and for all the right reasons. But the mere fact that it became a trend is enough to prove that the Internet has more influence over us than we’d like to believe.

We sometimes become ignorant of places with not-so-good reviews.

GIF courtesy of

I admit I am as guilty as any of you about relying too much on the Internet to guide me to the best places in my city. But sometimes I am compelled to take a step back and think – why am I killing the buzz that spontaneity brings? Why am I relying on the opinion of others, when I have the option of going around on my own and forming my own opinions about the places I find? Why is a place that doesn’t have good ratings on my favourite review website not worth a try?

Sometimes, by simply avoiding the noise other people create on social media, you might find some great hole-in-the-wall places no website could ever tell you about.

The Internet is killing the regional diversity of food.

GIF courtesy of

World-renowned chef David Chang put the blame of lack of variation in food these days on the Internet. According to him, everything tastes the same and it is all because of the Internet. And it is true, if you think about it. Everyone in the world now refers to the Internet for recipes, and in this process, the dish ends up losing its real essence because everyone is now cooking pretty much the same thing.

Whether positively or negatively, the Internet is surely changing the way we eat, one day at a time. And what we need to learn is to make the most of it but not let it take over our lives completely.

Contemporary Marketing (16th Edition) Edit edition

Scripps Networks Interactive’s brands—Food Network, Cooking Channel, HGTV, DIY Network, Travel Channel, and Great American Country (GAC)—are founded on lifestyles that promote exploration, imagination, and passion within the confines of everyday life as well as the broad spectrum of adventure and global influence. The company’s marketing communications strategy is a natural extension of this kind of lifestyle programming. “It’s talking to people about the right things at the right times, in the right places,” says Jonah Spegman, director of digital media and database marketing for Scripps Networks Interactive.

Marketers at Scripps engage in integrated marketing communications (IMC) not only within each branded television network but also across most of its programming. “A lot of our networks play in the same spaces women age 25 to 54 is a common target audience across most of our networks,” notes Spegman. Many of Scripps’ cross-promotional efforts have a lot of touch points for the same audiences it’s a natural fit. For example, a single commercial might involve HGTV’s speaking to the Food Network audience about an upcoming Design Star episode that features celebrity chef Giada De Laurentiis.

While traditional TV advertising conjures up the 30-second spot with a catchy jingle, advertising at Food Network is much more complex and interactive. Because the audience is so connected to the content of its shows, advertisers actually look to Scripps for ideas and resources that they can use. “Advertisers are very sophisticated now,” observes Traci Topham, senior vice president of interactive ad sales marketing at Scripps. Advertisers approach Scripps looking to integrate with the Scripps social media space. Topham and others develop ideas that their advertising clients may run on the Food Network website or across their own mobile platforms. For example, food manufacturer Kraft might develop recipes with Food Network that consumers can access from their mobile devices.

“We’re programming and selling advertising to all the screens,” Topham continues. Recipes from a single episode of Chopped or Iron Chef may be driven to an advertiser’s website or Food Network’s site, where consumers can access them to try on their own. Nonfood advertisers participate as well. If Lexus wants to advertise its RX Hybrid on an episode of Restaurant: Impossible, Food Network may integrate the car into the show by having host Robert Irvine drive it—then stream that footage online at the Food Network site where Lexus ads are being shown.

Sponsors and other advertisers also want to tie Food Network talent to their own Facebook pages with celebrity testimonials. Some even develop recipes in conjunction with Food Network to post on their Facebook pages. Scripps and Food Network marketers don’t see this as a competitive threat instead they view it as co-marketing. “We try to do a 360,” explains Sergei Kuharsky, senior vice president and general manager of licensing and merchandising. Food Network joins marketing assets with its partners—such as retailer Kohl’s—to gain greater exposure and interaction with consumers. “Generally, in marketing you want that kind of crescendo,” Kuharsky advises. He points out that one of the great advantages of being a media brand with a daily dialogue with an audience is that when the conversation focuses on a topic—such as a television show episode, a particular restaurant, or a competition—something positive happens.

Sales promotions are an important part of the Food Network promotional mix. “Promotions always have the opportunity to generate buzz and excitement around a show,” says Rich Ma, manager of digital marketing for Food Network. “People love to win stuff.” Ma explains that an effective sales promotion must go beyond a simple giveaway. Food Network’s promotional goal is to engage viewers, so marketers tie their promotions to the TV experience. During the series Great Food Truck Race, Food Network marketers created an interactive promotion that allowed viewers to nominate their own local food trucks at the Food Network website, then vote for the “best” food truck in the country. The contest generated buzz for the show as well as for local food truck businesses. “That’s the nature of social,” says Ma. “When you have something that’s hot, people start talking about it and you can add fuel to the fire by contributing to that conversation.” It’s also free advertising— for the network and the local businesses.

Social media is still very much in the growth stage of the product lifecycle, which means that corresponding promotional efforts are as well. Susie Fogelson, senior vice president for marketing, creative services, and public relations at Food Network, acknowledges that she has “far more questions than answers” about the most effective ways to leverage social media in an integrated marketing communications strategy. In fact, she encourages marketers to ask the most basic questions. “It’s being willing to learn, explore, and be a little outside your comfort zone,” Fogelson says.

Questions for Critical Thinking

1. If you were a Food Network marketer, how would you state the network’s overall marketing message?

2. Describe the types of advertising appeals that you think would be most effective with Food Network viewers.

3. In what ways do Food Network and its advertisers benefit from cross-promotion?

4. How might Food Network marketers use sales promotion techniques to build loyalty among viewers?

Wholesome Culture – Social media metrics for success

The brand was founded almost a year ago and has been making waves since then with its message of living life in balanced harmony with nature. Wholesome culture is a fashion brand that is aimed at people who live a plant-based lifestyle. Their mission is to make cruelty-free clothing while encouraging the adoption of vegan lifestyle to help environment and save the animals.

As written on their website,

At Wholesome Culture, we want make sure our clothing is made in condition where people are safe and well-treated.

Most of the clothing we use is made in Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production (WRAP) certified factories.

New Beginnings:

Wholesome Culture is incorporating some of the strategies in their social media engagement that are working well for them.

Increasing brand awareness:

Wholesome Culture adopted viral memes and pop culture trends to spread the word about their mission and Instagram was chosen as the main tool for this. These posts attract the most traffic on their page.

They strategize these posts in a way that these are sandwiched between their content that’s directly related to the product they sell. All of these memes are not just random pick ups but are carefully curated to reflect their core beliefs.

This social media metrics induces engagement with audience in hopes of creating awareness about the brand and its mission.

Additionally, they also use picture stories and videos regarding the subject they strongly advocate. These posts also gauge a lot of engagement with their audience. Wholesome culture is also very active in replying to their customers and audience.

Sentiment on posts:

A quick glance at their posts showed that their audience have a positive sentiment towards their cause and endeavors. Like-minded people passionately engage with them on similar topics. Their Facebook page shows that they usually reply within a day to the messages received. This is something that can be further improved but it can mean deploying more resources which can sometimes be difficult for a new business.

WNBA and NWSL Social Media Sponsorship & Fan Insights

The sports sponsorship landscape has drastically changed now more than ever for everyone. With limited to no fans in the stadiums and arenas, fans are consuming more sports content through social media and mobile streaming devices. There is a shift now for brands to look beyond broadcast and adapt to generating commercial value across all digital platforms – especially social media.

Even during a pandemic, the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) and the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) have proven, with social media, that there is a market for brands – especially beverage brands to activate, align, and generate a return on investment with women’s sports.

Here are some insights gathered using Zoomph technology on a couple of beverage brands activating with the NWSL and WNBA via social:

Beverage brands recognizing what women sports deserve

NWSL x Budweiser

Budweiser was the real winner of the @NWSL Challenge Cup, said Alex Morgan via Twitter, and we could not agree more.

As the official beer sponsor of the NWSL and presenting sponsor of the Challenge Cup finals, Budweiser set the bar high for overall sponsorship value generated across social. Their Woman of the Match campaign garnered over 4.6 million in impressions and $137K in social value across the league’s social channels and to top that, as the presenting sponsor of the Challenge Cup semis and finals they totaled over 7.1 million in impressions and $134K in social value.

When analyzing NWSL fans on social against the average sports fan (baseline), NWSL fans are 1.7 times more likely to have an affinity for beer – especially an affinity to Budweiser which as seen below is 2.5 times more likely compared to other beer brands. Budweiser aligning with the NWSL just makes sense, and when analyzing this data, it is a compelling business case that demonstrates quality investment.

WNBA x Mountain Dew

In one of the latest sponsorship deals, WNBA’s A’ja Wilson’s partnership with Mountain Dew has proved to be unlike any other. Wilson helped bring a salon into the Wubble as players and coaches did not previously have access to simple hair services. This partnership collectively activated the Crossover Salon powered by Mountain Dew which generated a lot of buzz not only within the Wubble but across social media. In its partnership announcement across social, the campaign accumulated over 2.26% engagement rate and 774K in impressions.

And when looking at the graph below when compared to the average sports fan (baseline), WNBA fans on social are 3.0 times more likely to have an affinity for Mountain Dew. Opportunity to increase their brand recognition against leading competitors that show a higher affinity with WNBA fans.

Together Mountain Dew and the WNBA filled an opportunity to not only generate commercial value, but for a brand like Mountain Dew, it seemed to aligned with their mission to “fuel what is right” and that “doing good never stops.” The collaboration not only supports the players but also provides salon members an opportunity to work in times where these services are shut down due to the ongoing pandemic. To quote LaChina Robinson’s tweet, “Incredible work by Mountain Dew. If you want to know what investment in women’s sports looks like…”

Bonus Analysis: How the NWSL generated a collective coffee community and a unique fan engagement from the digital sidelines

Talk about a deeper connection between teams and their beloved fans delivering meaningful and engaging content to fill the void of empty seats.

Looking at the line chart below which shows NWSL coffee trend on social, we knew there was another story about how unique the NWSL fan base seeks out ways to support the league.

During the NWSL Challenge Cup, we witnessed a “fan-led, league-wide initiative” to support all teams. NWSL fans paying for coffee for players and staff who worked very hard to bring the first American professional sports league return to play. On social, 179 organic posts about coffee were created. That included NWSL owned posts (made by the @nwsl and teams’ official accounts) as well as earned posts (others). Through Zoomph, we measured that these posts netted over 2.79 million impressions, 28,217 engagements and generated a social media value of $40,524.

Behind the success on social are the following accounts that managed to use their direct line of influence and communication with fans and followers.

Jeff Kassouf is the founder of Equalizer Soccer, a media agency focusing on women’s professional soccer news. One of his tweets on July 6 th triggered the first NWSL coffee wave on social, resulting in 225,174 impressions and 1328 engagements.

Sky Blue FC General Manager Alyse LaHue posted 14 tweets to express appreciation for those “Coffee Angels” who reached out to her to ask if they could buy coffee for players and staff. She tweeted “Also I will just keep saying this over & over again, but I cannot believe the outpouring of support for this club. We feel it. Thank u all endlessly.”

Matt Cote is one administrator of the NWSL Supporters Group on Facebook, and he connected fans to help raise more than $5000 for all teams. His tweet sent the latest update on NWSL Supporters Coffee fund which amplified even more fans to support the initiative.

All in all, there is something special to be said about the NWSL and their community of fans, something brands should look into, invest, and align with.

Social media - the boon

There are numerous benefits of social media for students. For one, it allows students to exchange notes and lessons. Even professors share tutorials on social media. During this lockdown period, many innovative teachers have found a way to teach using platforms like Twitter and YouTube. Two, with the help of social media platforms, students now have access to a large number of like-minded people. If you are preparing for admission to a university, you can connect with alumni of that university to take guidance. Three, social media offers a platform for students to get their portfolio published. It allows them the option to be heard and seen. Four, there is no denying that social media has encouraged a culture of entrepreneurship. Many professions that were not seen with respect are now being given their dues. If one enjoys carpentry or makeup, social media influencers are now selling their passion viz apps like Instagram and earning a fortune as well. Five, social news is also feeding the intellect of students by keeping them updated with what's happening around the world. Various news media share updates on social media and increase awareness in young learners.

New San Antonio all-you-can-eat sushi spot Izumi generating social media buzz

All-you-can-eat sushi is having a moment in Northeast San Antonio thanks to the amount of online chatter about newly opened Izumi Sushi & Hibachi.

The sushi spot — which also features hibachi, tempura and teriyaki dishes on its extensive menu — opened quietly late last week, and is already generating fanfare in food-focused social media groups and online review site Yelp.

Located at 2844 Thousand Oaks Dr., the restaurant currently boasts a perfect five-star rating on Yelp. Reviewers are sounding off on the high quality (and abundance) of the sashimi, the freshness of the veggies in supporting dishes and its current BYOB status.

The eatery has yet to set up social media pages, a representative of the restaurant told the Current, because the owners are focused setting a high bar during its first weeks of operation. However, the restaurant’s website offers a full menu and online ordering info.

Izumi is open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., Fri and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 9:30 p.m.

So many restaurants, so little time. Find out the latest San Antonio dining news with our Flavor Friday Newsletter.

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Good Nutrition Practices Vs Fad Diets for Weight Loss

Have we ever wondered why humans are the only race who take to fad diets outside of our habitual eating patterns?

Every organism in the animal kingdom is attuned to eating as per its habitat and that order is seldom disturbed, except in human beings who are perpetually pursuant of some magical formula so they can get into a certain shape and form. So this urgency of “shapliness" as defined by the norms of beauty on social media needs to be exchanged for long term and sustainable eating habits. For this one needs to delve into the realm of clean, real and healthy eating.

1. Being fit and healthy is not equivalent to being skinny or size zero. The measure of how healthy or fit one is, is actually governed by many many parameters- your energy levels, sleeping patterns, monthly cyclical patterns in women, hormonal health, propensity to auto immune diseases, dependence or addiction etc.

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Being healthy and fit is a holistic phenomena which cannot be achieved by a diet alone, let alone a fad diet. This takes a deeper understanding of yourself, awareness of bodily functions and reactivity to stimulus in the form of food or emotions or exertion.

This awareness is developed over a period of time and is not overnight, it can become the driver for good health. Fad diets usually are either rich in one thing or short in another, they are heavily skewed to certain macro types or are specific goal driven. For example keto diet is high on good fats and protein and low on carbohydrates so sends the body into ketosis mode for fat burn for energy instead of carbohydrates combustion. This diet was originally devised and designed to fight epilepsy and related epileptic disorders.

So does it seem normal for a regular person to resort to this diet, with the purpose of quick fat loss or even adapting it as a way of life? Our body at a cellular level is endowed with mitochondria organelle which oxidises carbohydrate to produce ATP (adenosine Triphosphate- our energy currency) for the cell. In keto diet we tend to maintain a low carb infusion. And thus the decreased availability of carbohydrate and increased mitochondrial uncoupling during nutritional ketosis suggest a decline in ATP production, at least until compensatory adaptations occur. It’s a complex process and sounds like something which isn’t the most natural way of working for the human body. In computing parlance it’s like overriding the code.

So one should understand the merits and pitfalls of a fad diet over natural habitat driven eating.

2. Movement and good nutritional practices are the best tools to achieve optimum performance and good health but this needs to be followed with consistency and become a way of life. Good and sustainable eating practices create good micro biome in the gut, which makes for a happy and healthy gut, which in turn is closely and minutely related to majority of brain and body functions and hormonal health.

When the gut and endocrine system are in order, the chances are rare for one to not feel like a super human. Good health results in performance enhancement, alertness, agility, focus, stillness all at once and even enhances your mental faculties to enable one to think clear and better.

This in essence is true good health — the kinds monks speak of. It is said you are what you eat. The cleaner you start eating, the better your internal functions get and the higher your performance and clarity in life. Imagine the amount of time, energy and resources you can save by not visiting the doctors every now and then, by being productive and healthy purely on simple food and living norms, by not spending on diet plans and expert consulting. One should inculcate the understanding and awareness about good eating habits so a lot of gripes in life are wiped off because self-awareness and self-confidence is enough to make you believe in yourself.

3. Achieving good health, good form, good shape and structure takes time. It’s equivalent to chiseling a monolith into shape one blow at a time. The sculptor does it diligently over days and months and years for the finest of statues to emerge. Similarly if someone tells you that a certain kind of form, six packs, eight packs, etc can be achieved in a few days or months, please question the assertion. Find out at what cost? Seek answers akin to buying a policy- ask yourself what’s your monthly EMI or outgoing and what you make in the long term. With fad diets long term prospective health plans are not possible its best to plan and invest diligently. Develop discipline and cultivate healthy habits.

4. Simple habits for good and clean eating which will show results:

* Hydrate a lot- aim for 4-5 litres a day

* Drop sugar intake or make it minimal

* Eat less, eat when hungry. Don’t hoard

* Eating less is different from starving. Eat in proportion to your physical activity and not as per the clock and meal times

* No one ever suffers from eating less. Suffering happens due to eating more or in excess

* Include good fats in your diet- almonds, walnuts, ghee, cheese, butter etc

* Stop using hydrogenated vegetable oil for cooking or even olive oil for high temperature cooking

* Consume food closest to its natural form e.g. whole chicken over sausages, rice over flour/wheat, fruit over juice and so on

* Don’t deprive yourself of anything. Eat in moderation

* Desserts are supposed to be celebratory. Keep them so- occasions and festivals

* Wake up and drink water to start your day

* Avoid processed and packaged food

* Food is by nature perishable so anything packaged with a higher shelf life has to have chemicals and can’t be natural. Avoid

* But local over tetra packs

* Don’t combine fat and carbohydrates- it causes ill health. For example French fries is a combination of frying and carbohydrates in the form of potatoes cakes- combination of flour (processed carbohydrates) and fat and sugar. All these can be avoided to large extent in daily living

There is no substitute for hard work so drop the quest for short cuts and start working hard.

Top 5 Trending Diets: Which Are a Hit, Which Are a Miss?

So many of us jump on the latest diet bandwagon. Yet time and time again, diets fail us.

That’s because the only way to succeed with a diet is to find one that works for you, personally. Nutrition never was, and never will, be “one size fits all.”

Bear that in mind in this review of the most-searched-for diets on Google in 2016. They’re ranked from the most well-researched to the least to help you make an informed decision about trying them:

1. Atkins 40: Extensive research, a more realistic approach

The Atkins 20 is an effective weight loss plan. Studies have shown that this type of lower carbohydrate diet may improve control of type 2 diabetes, seizures and other neurological conditions.

The Atkins 40 is essentially a less restrictive version of the Atkins 20 and a ketogenic diet (explained below). The plan, advertised as an easy low-carb diet, promotes counting net carbohydrates (total carbs minus dietary fiber and sugar alcohols). It allows 40 grams of net carbohydrates per day and is intended for those with less than 40 pounds to lose.

On the Atkins 40, you choose 15 grams of net carbohydrates from high-fiber vegetables and use the remaining 25 grams for Greek yogurt, fruit, nuts, whole grains and legumes. As you get closer to your goal weight, you slowly incorporate more net carbohydrates.

The benefits of the Atkins 40 are that it encourages plenty of vegetables, nutrient-dense carbohydrates and portion control. It also allows for variety. You can choose how to use your net carbohydrates and change things up each day.

Finally, the Atkins 40 promotes balanced meals that focus on protein, fats and carbohydrates.

Unlike the other diets on this list, the benefits of lower carbohydrate diets such as the Atkins and ketogenic diets are backed by validated research studies, published in medical journals.

2. Ketogenic diet: Get a doctor’s OK, seek healthy fat sources

The ketogenic diet is a stringent nutrition plan that’s high in fat, moderate to low in protein, and very low in carbohydrate. On it, you choose different ratios of fat to protein and carbohydrate. The strictest ratio is 4:1 (90 percent fat, 8 percent protein, 2 percent carbohydrate).

You can look at any diet with less than 10 percent carbohydrates (20 to 50 grams per day) as a low-carb ketogenic diet. The idea is that restricting carbohydrates reduces insulin levels and fat accumulation.

After a few days on the diet, decreased carbohydrate reserves can no longer fuel your central nervous system, and the liver responds by producing ketone bodies from fatty acids. The process is called ketogenesis (thus the name ketogenic diet).

Not solely used for weight loss, the ketogenic diet has been around since the time of Hippocrates, when it was used to help manage epilepsy. Since then, research has suggested that ketogenic diets can reduce food cravings and may benefit people with obesity, insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.

While new studies suggest that high-fat ketogenic diets may benefit people with Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and cancer, further research is needed.

For some people, a ketogenic diet can be taxing on the liver and the kidneys, and may cause constipation. So if you’re interested in a ketogenic diet, be sure to discuss it with your doctor or a dietitian first.

Also, it’s easy to follow an unhealthy version of the ketogenic diet. Choose unhealthy fats, such as processed and factory-farmed meats, high-fat dairy products, and partially hydrogenated oils.

For optimal results, you’ll want to focus on high-quality fats, such as extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, etc.

3. GOLO Diet: Many claims unsubstantiated

The GOLO® program seeks to stabilize insulin levels and blood sugars, a concept supported by the latest research. The company claims that controlling insulin is more effective than counting calories.

For many people, insulin and blood sugar levels do in fact contribute to weight change. Eating refined carbs (like white bread and pasta) causes blood sugar levels to spike quickly, which can lead to more production of insulin. Insulin is a fat-storing hormone used to transport sugar from the bloodstream into cells.

Although the program has a good understanding of the link between insulin resistance and weight gain (especially belly fat), it does not appear to be validated by substantial research. In the claims made on the website, the company does not reference any published research studies.

GOLO is promoted as an “all-inclusive plan” but doesn’t specify which foods are consumed, and it features images of white bread and pasta in advertising.

All participants are advised to use a supplement that includes banaba leaf, berberine HCl, chromium, apple polyphenol, salacia bark extract, gardenia fruit extract, rhodiola, inositol, zinc and magnesium.

While GOLO claims that 200 independent studies substantiate the supplement’s effectiveness, most of those studies look at ingredients individually and not in combination.

4. Military Diet: Quality of calories a concern

The Military Diet is a low-calorie weight loss program. It promises a 10-pound weight loss in three days or a 30-pound loss in one month “without strenuous exercise or expensive pills.”

The plan’s primary benefits are that it eliminates added sugars and non-nutritive sweeteners (with the exception of stevia). It also recommends preparing your own foods at home instead of eating out.

The Military Diet’s three greatest limitations are that it offers very little variety. it takes a low-calorie approach. That’s proven to set you up for increased hunger and cravings and it does not focus on the quality of your calories.

For example, while the shopping list includes nutritious staples like apples, eggs and broccoli, it also includes vanilla ice cream, saltine crackers and hot dogs. One sample breakfast includes five saltines, one slice of cheddar cheese and one small apple. That’s a very small meal that lacks nutrient density.

A sample dinner the same night includes one cup of tuna, half a banana and one cup of vanilla ice cream. These portions are very small, may not leave you satisfied after the meal, and are very limited in variety.

This is the perfect example of why the quality of your calories matters so much more than the quantity. Saltines, vanilla ice cream and hot dogs should not be part of any nutrition plan.

5. Taco Diet: Where’s the nutrition?

The taco cleanse claims that eating tacos for 30 days is “proven to change your life.” This protocol was created by vegan “taco scientists” in Austin, Texas, and recommends eating one to two tacos at every meal, adding margaritas as necessary.

The taco diet does not seem to be substantiated by research, although the website claims that studies support its health benefits.

On the taco diet, you fill tortillas with beer-battered portobellos, macaroni and cheese, and tater tots. These are far from nutritious options!

Plenty of people can lose weight on a junk food diet but that does not mean that it’s the best option for overall health. Weight loss should be a side effect of any diet or nutrition plan. Diets should focus on creating health and decreasing inflammation. This does not seem to be the cause with the Taco Diet.


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  3. Faelen

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  4. Collins

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