Every year there’s a diet or fitness trend to entice New Year’s Resolution makers into gyms and specialty food stores. Some fads fall by the wayside, but some are worth paying attention to for their sustainable long-term health and wellbeing benefits.
The one diet that hasn’t lost popularity among dietitians, doctors and the fitness industry is the Mediterranean Diet — which is high in fresh fruits and vegetables. Unlike the faddish low-carbohydrate or paleo diets, the Mediterranean Diet doesn’t require strict adherence to particular ratios of macronutrients nor restriction of food groups.
Much more high-maintenance is the keto diet, which advocates low-carbohydrates and high protein intake in order to force the body to rely on stored fats as its primary energy source rather than glucose. In the short term, this can result in weight loss (mostly due to initial water loss) but dietitians and doctors have questioned the longer term benefits.
A high protein diet can place excessive demand on the kidneys and liver. Cutting carbohydrates to meet the requirements of the keto diet may also result in cutting healthy fruits, starchy vegetables and B12 rich grains from the diet. So approach this one as a short term measure or with doctor’s supervision.
Much more likely in 2018, is that you’ll embrace either veganism or become a flexitarian. A flexitarian eats primarily according to a vegetarian lifestyle but will also occasionally have fish or meat. Veganism is purely plant-based, with no animal derived product at all. Expect to see plenty of cookbooks and new dining options embracing vegan meals.
Workout trends to keep an eye on
There’s no single trend driving the pack when it comes to fitness. Rather, there’s a broad spectrum of choices according to your training preferences, goals and lifestyle.
What has strengthened is the desire to take on extreme challenges with marathons, triathlons and ironman events, encouraging the highly experienced and the amateur hopeful alike. On the other hand, Yin Yoga has firmly taken root in most yoga studios. Its focus is on holding gentle poses for extended periods in the goal of stimulating particular meridians, or energy channels in the body, according to Traditional Chinese Medicine.
The focus on mind-body training has also seen a growing desire for martial arts, dance, gymnastics and yoga as well as barefoot training.
Convergence of professional fields
Just as the trend for customisation in clothing, wallets, haircare and skincare has driven much of the innovation in product development in the past two years, the fitness industry is doing its best to accommodate tailored approaches.
Trainers are partnering with nutritionists, podiatrists, physiologists and GPs to tailor diet, exercise, and mental health plans for clients in an effort to offer a holistic plan for life.
Pay attention to the trends but ultimately, be empowered by such a breadth of choice and innovation to bravely choose what you feel will support your current budget, goals and time commitment.