Along with changing weather, each new season brings with it new trends—whether it's in the realm of fashion, home décor, or health and wellness. When it comes to fitness, nutrition, and well-being, however, it can be especially difficult to discern which trends are worth embracing and which are better left untouched.
"I think that at the end of the day, the health and wellness trends that will never fade away are the ones that are focused on real, whole aspects of food and lifestyle," Natalie Archer, holistic health coach and plant-based chef, tells MyDomaine. She's not the only expert that believes a balanced approach will never go out of style. Nutritionist Alie Heller explains that the health and wellness trends that will stand the test of time are the ones that aren't actually trends at all. It's more about a moderate approach to eating combined with regular physical activity, according to her.
Meet the Expert
Natalie Archer is a holistic health coach and chef specializing in plant-based nutrition and cooking.
Just as many fad diets promise quick results with little effort, celebrity trainer Erin Oprea finds the same is true when it comes to exercise. "I educate myself all the time on new trends and, let's face it, there's a lot of stuff out there that isn't backed up by science," she explains. "They sound good, but they don't give long-term health benefits," Oprea continues.
While these health and wellness experts aren't interested in passing trends when it comes to long-term results, they're not opposed to trying new things. Keep reading to find out their picks for the 10 major health and wellness trends to watch in 2019 (and which fads to say goodbye to).
1. Virtual Training and Online Workout Subscriptions
Oprea sees virtual training as one of the biggest trends on the horizon for 2019. In fact, she even teaches virtual classes herself. "This trend allows people to get personal training and instruction from the comfort of their own homes," she explains. "It's helping beginners get the benefits of exercise without having to go to the gym, which can still be intimidating," Oprea continues.
Archer agrees, naming online workout subscriptions as one of the most popular trends of the moment. She points out that they're cheaper and more convenient than attending studio classes. "Online subscriptions are the way of the future," Archer declares.
2. Intuitive Eating
Instead of counting calories or following an intense cleanse, Archer recommends getting into intuitive eating as a way to get back to basics. "It’s all about re-learning and respecting what your individual body truly needs to thrive," the holistic health coach says. "By listening to your body (and your body only), you will know when you are hungry when you are full, and when you are satisfied," she continues. Look out for this trend to gain momentum in 2019.
3. Pre- and Probiotic Foods
"I believe the importance of gut health will continue to live at the forefront of health and wellness trends in the coming year," Heller says. That's why she believes eating foods that contain pre- and probiotic bacteria will be a major trend of 2019. Think yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and kimchi, just to name a few. You can also take supplements, but Heller points out that many are still unregulated.
4. Food Sensitivity Testing
According to Oprea, this trend has been around for some time now, but she predicts it will only grow in popularity. "People often mistake food sensitivities for allergies and are missing out on some things they can still enjoy, but in moderation," she explains. With new technology, you can even take an at-home food sensitivity test to determine what sensitivities you may have.
5. Technology-Based Fertility Tracking
Women have long been taking control of their family planning and fertility options, and Archer suggests one of the biggest trends to come out of this movement is technology-based fertility tracking. She personally used the hormone-free method and was able to conceive after trying for over a year and a half.
These high-tech trackers do everything from track your sleep patterns and stress levels to your skin temperature and resting pulse rate. "I have seen a huge rise in women choosing this method of birth control lately, and I think that it is going to continue to grow in popularity this coming year," she says.
6. Active Pregnancies
"More and more women are working out (with their doctor's approval) for most of their pregnancies," Oprea explains. According to her, this can make postpartum recovery and even delivery much easier. It's all about finding safe workout routines that work best for moms-to-be.
7. Tongue Scraping
"Tongue scraping is the new dry-brushing," according to Archer. It's an Ayurvedic self-care ritual and oral hygiene practice that you can do daily to remove toxins, bacteria, food debris, and dead cells from the surface of the tongue. "When we sleep, our digestive system removes undigested toxins from our body bringing them to the surface of our tongue," she explains. "That’s why it is so important to scrape away these toxins before doing anything else upon rising. Otherwise, they will get reabsorbed by the body and can lead to digestive issues and a compromised immune system."
8. Food Delivery Services
Convenience is key when it comes to the health and wellness trends of the future, and that's why Oprea points to food delivery services as one trend that will only continue to grow in popularity. "These services allow people to make great meals at home—for a whole range of dietary options like all organic, vegan, gluten-free—without having to go to the grocery store or look up the recipe," she explains. "It makes cooking super simple."
9. Oil-Free Diets
According to Archer, more and more people are following an oil-free diet, which is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. "Not only are all oils incredibly caloric, but they are also completely stripped of their nutrients by the time they get to your kitchen," she explains. "Meaning all you're left with is fat, and it's definitely not as healthy a fat as it once was," she continues. Additionally, oils can affect blood vessels and promote heart disease, Archer points out. So instead of cooking with olive, avocado, coconut, or flaxseed oil, focus on eating these foods in their whole forms and simply add a splash of water or vegetable broth to food if it sticks while cooking.
"While not a revolutionary concept, I think—and hope—more people will adopt the practice of mindfulness in their everyday lives," says Heller. People are focusing on their mental health more than ever and small, mindful practices can do wonders for overall well-being. "Whether it is putting your phone away while eating meals to really chew and enjoy every bite, or taking a few minutes out of every day to meditate, we can all benefit from being more conscious and fully present in any given moment."
While you can expect the above health and wellness trends to grow in popularity this coming year, there are a few fads that are on their way out. According to Heller and Archer, it's time to say goodbye to these outdated trends.
1. Juice cleanses: "I do believe that there are benefits to juicing, however, I think that there are much more sustainable ways to go about losing weight and detoxing your system," Archer says. According to her, juice cleanses have been losing steam for quite a while now.
2. The Alkaline Water Diet: "It is very difficult, if not impossible, to actually alter the pH of your body," according to Heller. She explains that if people were able to do this, it would actually be very dangerous. "The body has many sophisticated mechanisms to ensure this doesn't happen, and that we all exist in a very narrow healthy pH range," she continues.
3. Counting calories: "I work with individuals all the time that are stuck on the idea of counting calories being the only way to lose weight, and I really notice a difference in their overall success rates when they don't relax and just listen to what their bodies are telling them," Archer explains.
4. The Keto diet: "Most people who think they are following a ketogenic diet are actually just eating low carb," Heller explains. "Traditional keto is best left for those with medical conditions like epilepsy that require such a strict diet under the supervision of their physician."
5. Charcoal-based foods and drink: "Activated charcoal has traditionally been used for accidental poisoning," Heller points out. "It is touted as a healthy detox but can actually bind to vitamins and minerals— not to mention any medications you are taking—making them unable to be absorbed."