Transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs) in the 1T polymorph are subject to a rich variety of periodic lattice distortions, often referred to as charge-density waves (CDWs) when not too strong. We study from first principles the fermiology and phonon dispersion of three representative single-layer transition metal disulfides with different occupation of the t(2g) subshell: WS2 (t(2g)), WS2 (t(2g)(2)), and ReS2 (t(2g)(3)) across a broad range of doping levels. While strong electron-phonon interactions are at the heart of these instabilities, we argue that away from half-filling of the t(2g) subshell, the doping dependence of the calculated CDW wave vector can be explained from simple fermiology arguments, so that a weak-coupling nesting picture is a useful starting point for understanding. On the other hand, when the t(2g) subshell is closer to half-filling, we show that nesting is irrelevant, while a real-space strong-coupling picture of bonding Wannier functions is more appropriate and simple bond-counting arguments apply. Our study thus provides a unifying picture of lattice distortions in 1T TMDs that bridges the two regimes, while the crossover between these regimes can be attained by tuning the filling of the t(2g) orbitals.