With the new year just a few days away I thought I would recap some of the most popular diet and fitness trends of 2014. Some trends are definitely here to stay; such as personal tracking devices like the Fit Bit, group exercise classes like Body Pump, and super foods like kale and quinoa. But some trends, I hope, can stay behind in 2014. If you are looking to try a new diet in 2015 I recommend that you steer clear of the following trends.
1. Paleo. Paleo or the “Caveman Diet” was pretty huge this past year. Proponents claim that if you remove all processed and modern day convenience foods you can achieve optimal health and lose weight. The idea is to eat only what a caveman would have- that means no grains or starchy vegetables, no beans, no dairy, and minimal fruit. You are essentially eating meat, eggs, and vegetables 24/7. No thank you! While caveman may not have suffered from modern day diseases such as diabetes or obesity, they also didn’t live as long as we do. Not to mention cavemen chased after their food to kill it. I bet if we had to chase after our food we would also have much lower rates of obesity in 2015. My recommendation would be to eat minimally processed foods and leave the rest of Paleo in the past!
2. Alternative Sugars and Sweeteners. I’m talking about you coconut sugar, honey, maple syrup, agave syrup, brown sugar, Sucanat, etc. etc. My biggest pet peeve is someone making a dessert with maple syrup and calling it a “no added sugar” dessert. Are you kidding me? One quarter cup of maple syrup has 200 calories and 45 grams of sugar. That is more sugar and calories than a 12 ounce can of coke. While sugar may not be in the title of maple syrup, honey, or agave, all of these sweeteners are filled with sugar and are nutritionally VERY similar to white sugar. Honey, maple syrup, and coconut sugar do contain minute amounts of micronutrients but they are really negligible unless you are consuming large amounts of these sweeteners. Alternative sweeteners are not bad, but the idea that they are better or healthier than regular sugar is incorrect.
3. Gluten Free. I’ve blogged about gluten before. That’s why I’m going to keep this short n’ sweet. If you’ve read my previous gluten post you know that I think going gluten free is nonsense unless you actually have the autoimmune disorder celiac disease. One of the most prominent studies on non-celiac gluten sensitivity was even retracted this year by the author himself. If you are trying out gluten free just to be “healthy” don’t do it! Whole grains are good for you.
4. Crossfit. Dun dun dun. I said it. Crossfit is one of the worst fitness trends of 2014. I’m all about women lifting heavy weights and being strong, but I’m not about maxing out your weight with bad form and getting injured. Plus, in the words of my sister “Crossfit turns you into a douche.” Her words, not mine. Crossfitters are also devout followers of one of my least favorite diet trends (see number one above).
5. Fitspo. Fitspo stands for fitspiration. If you’ve never heard of it a quick google search should help you get the picture. I’m sorry, but looking at fitness models with thigh gaps and chiseled abs is not inspiring, that’s demoralizing. The mantra of fitspo is to inspire people to be fit instead of “skinny,” which is great. However, the images which appear on fitspo are generally very thin women with some toned muscles here and there. You will never find fit women who are 200 pound weight lifters or rugby players. I hope fitspo dies hard in the new year.
Those are my top five. What diet or fitness trends do you think we need to ditch in the new year? Stay tuned for a post of the best trends tomorrow!