At one time, it was hard to imagine that froyos, detox juice cleanses and the paleo diet would ever be eclipsed by another food trend... But humans are fickle, really, really like their food and according to market research, are experimenting with specific diets (like paleo and low FODMAP) more than ever.
Here are our eating predictions for 2017 in the world of diets, health foods and cheat meals.
In a saturated market, this was the trickiest one to call. And that’s precisely the point.
We learned that the Paleo diet peaked in January 2013, that DASH diet (a hypertension diet) is still the king after six years, and that quitting sugar for everyone was hard.
That dairy consumption is on the rise, “Fat is back”, and gluten-free is here to stay.
That more consumers (especially the meat-lovers) want meat-free “meat” (a.k.a upgraded tofurkey options), “clean and clear labelling”, and the push for “natural” from 2008 is now a push for “organic” in 2017.
The most important takeaway from all this is that people want diets that treat their heath, environment and waistlines, but also want their weekends too.
Enter the rise of the "flexitarian": where people subscribe to a popular diet protocol, and give themselves days off. Think five days on, two days off or, vegan before 6pm, etc. “Moderation” is back. And today in 2017, moderation means whole foods + minimal processing + more dietary range than ever.
For a trainer or someone who works out, the bottom line is that every body is unique, and whatever diet works for you, works for you. A tailored food and exercise program always wins out, and maintaining a constant, honest and open dialogue with your client about their diet is key.
In 2016, “gut health” was the buzzword and it’s steamrolling into 2017. This year, poor gut health was attributed to everything from mental health to poor digestion to immunology- ie. depression, bloat and colds.
For those of us who work out, poor gut health is deemed especially problematic because it means we aren’t metabolising our foods properly and therefore getting the proper sustenance to fuel our workouts, and some argue, burn fat effectively.
Also, bloating obscures our hard-won gym results. Not cool.
Alongside bone broth, traditional ferments like kefir, sauerkraut and kombucha are making a popular comeback.
And they’re reputedly so jam-packed with good, body-correcting bacteria that they’re being treated as healing supplements for today’s gut-sensitive generation. (Serving indications state you only need to have a shot of kefir, tablespoon of sauerkraut, or third of a bottle of kombucha to reap rewards.)
To get a head start on that conversation, read the science online, and trial the products at your local health food store and supermarket. Whether you’re a convert or spot a fad a mile off, you can add this hot button topic to your arsenal of PT nutritional advice.
Do you even dessert? It’s difficult to imagine another species with a more complicated relationship with food than humans, epitomised by the globally syndicated, “Man vs. Food”, the rise of body positivity movements, and the health backlash “Extreme desserts” culture.
Less complicated is understanding 2016 was all about freakshakes, rolled ice cream bouquets, and donut cones.
2017 reportedly will be the year of s’mores (if we follow U.S. tastebuds), matcha flavoured everything (a chinese/japanese green tea powder), and more freakshakes.
STAYING ON AND ABOVE TREND
So this is a taste- get it?- of what’s trending in our diets in 2017. Whether you’re a personal trainer or a client, more than ever, we know that finding the right balance in our diets for our bodies is key to reaching our gym goals, while still living full lives.
Paired with a tailored exercise plan, and 2017 could be the year we eat well, feel great and hit even bigger goals. Bring it on.