It’s no secret that we live in a society obsessed with wellness. According to one statistic, the global wellness market is estimated to reach $4.75 trillion in 2019. And while some wellness trends are genuinely beneficial, plenty are complete and utter bullsh*t. Read on for some of the worst wellness trends over the last 10 years.
2010: The Shake Weight
It’s hard to believe that just ten years ago, millions of people thought they could outsmart common sense science and lose weight by remaining sedentary and holding an oscillating weight for a few minutes each day. *Sigh* a girl can dream. Despite the claim that the Shake Weight can provide a total upper-body workout “in only 6 minutes per day,” this is highly unlikely. What it will do is make the holder look like they’re giving a hand job to a disembodied robot dick.
2011: HCG Diet
The HCG Diet involves taking the hormone HCG, eating a 500-700 calorie diet (not a typo) and forgoing exercise altogether, all for almost a month. There’s way too much to unpack here. First, altering your hormones is far from casual and should be a larger decision made under the care of a doctor. But even without that element, the diet is absolutely insane. The average woman needs to consume 2,000 calories per day to maintain weight and 1,500 calories to lose one pound per week. While these figures are obviously not one size fits all, suggesting that a person should eat one-third or half that amount is not sustainable and frankly, is probably starvation. And no exercise at all? Something’s not adding up here.
2012: Raw Food Diet
Not even Smith Jerrod could convince me to try this farce of a diet. Adoptees eat a diet, usually only plant-based, consisting of completely raw (that is, never heated over 104-118°F or 40-48°C) and unprocessed foods. I could eat 100 pounds of raw carrots and still be starving, so I do not understand how this diet is sustainable for more than one meal. If that weren’t unappealing enough, experts say that all of the slicing and dicing required to prepare raw foods actually strips them of many of the nutrients that proponents of the diet claim are lost to traditional cooking methods. Hard pass.
2013: Open Bar Gyms
I’m not here to ruin your good time on this one. In fact, I’m the first person to crave a cold, hard glass of Chardonnay after a moderately difficult grueling workout class. So why not save yourself the trip and have a one-stop shop in your gym? The issue is that alcohol decreases the level of glycogen in your muscles, which creates the energy the muscles need to repair and strengthen themselves, not to mention increase your metabolism. I guess there’s a reason most gyms don’t have a vodka fountain, and it’s because alcohol basically sabotages your workout. So as tempting as it might be to toss one back immediately after barre, opt for some water instead.
2014: Hot Exercise
We all have that one friend who swears by hot yoga and insists that she “doesn’t feel like she’s getting a real workout” unless she leaves the class in a pool of her own sweat. Unfortunately, these hot classes can do more harm than good. While many hot exercise classes turn the heat upwards of 100 degrees, the American College of Sports Medicine recommends temperatures between 68° and 72° F degrees for athletic facilities. In other words, there’s really no reason to make the room that hot, except for the false perception that you got a great workout because you sweated out half your water weight. Then there’s the risk of dehydration, heatstroke, and heat exhaustion. I’ll stick with my normal temperature yoga, TYVM.
2015: Vaginal Steaming
This list wouldn’t be complete without an entry from our favorite pseudo-medical professional wellness expert, Gwyneth Paltrow. In 2015, she recommended that women steam their vaginas, claiming “It is an energetic release—not just a steam douche—that balances female hormone levels.” The hormone claim is patently false. But that’s the least of the troubles with this bogus trend. First and foremost, the vagina doesn’t need help regulating itself. Second, steaming raises body temperature, opening the door for unwanted bacteria and yeast and poor lubrication. No thanks. And finally there’s the risk of, you know, burning your cooch. As with most things Gwyneth says, you should probably ignore this one.
2016: Detox Teas
Detox teas are yet another product of dubious efficacy shilled by celebrities and, in this case, Bachelor rejects, Kardashian-Jenners, and Real Housewives. Funnily enough, none of the #ads promoting these products show the user sitting on the toilet, even though that’s where these teas will take you. As we’ve explained before, detox teas are essentially liquid laxatives, and prolonged use can cause diarrhea, cramps, dysfunction of the bowels, and dependence on the laxatives. Yikes.
2017: Activated Charcoal
I’ve never really understood this one. The idea of drinking a black smoothie, or worse, brushing my teeth with black toothpaste never really held much appeal. I can kind of see where we went wrong with thinking this would be a wellness product, since activated charcoal is most commonly used in the case of an overdose because of its ability to absorb toxins. But as far as its detoxing properties go, there’s no need to use it to filter out toxins because we have kidneys and a liver to do exactly that. There’s also no clear evidence that it whitens teeth, clears acne, or controls odors. Even worse, it can reduce the effectiveness of certain medications. So basically, it makes you look demonic in pictures and that’s about all we can guarantee.
Continuing the theme of completely unnecessary detoxing procedures is colonics, popularized by, you guessed it, the GOOP-meister herself. Colonics are procedures that flush your colon with water in an effort to detox the body. As we’ve covered above, our bodies are more than capable of purging themselves of toxins without any outside help. In addition, colonics can cause cramping, vomiting, electrolyte imbalance, rectal tears and even death. Just a few more reasons to spare your butthole.
Despite the douche factor, as vaping began trending, it was thought to be a healthier alternative to smoking. And when used as a means to quit cigarettes and other tobacco products, it may be effective, though it hasn’t been approved by the FDA for this purpose. We are, however, starting to see its risks. Just a month ago, a study found that Juul e-cigarettes deliver nicotine similarly to regular cigarettes. Considering that teenagers are some of the biggest users of e-cigarettes, this raises the concern that e-cigarettes are creating a whole new customer base of nicotine addicts, some of whom will eventually either turn to regular cigarettes or supplement their vaping with smoking. Then there’s the potential link between vaping and lung disease, and the instances of people who have ended up in the hospital because of vaping. While there’s still a lot we don’t know, it’s safe to say that vaping is far from the miracle it was originally thought to be (and still incredibly douchey).
If this list is any indication, our collective obsession with wellness, no matter how absurd, will continue for many decades to come. What other ridiculous wellness trends have you noticed over the past decade? Sound off in the comments!
Images: Shutterstock; Giphy (10)
It’s almost 2020, and you know what that means… time for literally everyone to say “where the HELL did the time go???” But for real. It seems like it was just yesterday when we published our predictions on what food and health trends were going to take over 2019 back in December 2018, and here we are now, reviewing those predictions to see if we were actually right or not. Want to know just how far we’ll go to prove we’re always right? We consulted health, food, and trends experts to double-check those receipts. You’re welcome. Now let’s reflect.
We predicted these 2019 health trends would be big in the new year:
- Shorter workouts
- Fitness streaming services
- Vibration therapy/percussion guns
- More sleep
- Personal training
- Treadmill classes
And the verdict is… ALL OF OUR HEALTH TREND PREDICTIONS WERE ACCURATE AF. Christine Lusita, TV health expert and author of The Right Fit Formula, confirms that every single thing on this list was actually trendy in 2019. “We’re in a crucial time right now where we’re celebrating our individuality and building community,” she says, which is why short classes, apps, and gadgets gained popularity and helped us live our best lives this year. Wanna know just how sleepy we all were in 2019? MINDBODY’s senior director of research and product marketing, Amaya Weddle, Ph.D., adds that “60% of Americans say they’re frequently exhausted at work. Nearly 22% say they regularly nap in their cars during the week.” Vibes. Hence the need for more rest and self-therapy.
Speaking of self-care, I know I’m not the only one who watched slow-mo videos on Instagram of fitness influencers using percussion guns on their thighs and ass in the name of
engagement “post-workout therapy” (hello? Am I actually the only one?). The only trend Lusita thinks might be slightly off (BUT STILL RIGHT) is personal training, because that was “more popular with Gen X and boomers” (lol, ok boomers) than with millennials. But all of our other trends were, and I quote, “SPOT ON” and “great predictions by yourself and Betches.” Ugh, we’re like sooo smart.
We also predicted these weird af 2019 food trends:
- Fake meat snacks
- Avocado ice cream
Drum roll, please… Lisa Richards, nutritionist, author, and the creator of The Candida Diet, confirms we were *basically* ALSO TOTALLY RIGHT! “Fake meats have certainly become more popular as we close out 2019. While they’re not necessarily snack based, there are many restaurants and food manufacturers turning to plant-based proteins for burgers and other fake meat products,” says Richards. And if you need further evidence, just look at every single burger chain scrambling to get a version of The Impossible Burger up on their menu rn. Fats were a thing, too, but mainly for people who follow a Keto diet. “A focus on preventing inflammation and improving heart health has contributed to this focus on healthy fats as well.” She notes that seaweed had a “steady presence that wasn’t so large it would be considered a fad, but not too small that it wasn’t noticed.” Avocado ice cream was also prob at the bottom of the 2019 food trend list, but it was popular nonetheless. “The overall category of ice cream with non-dairy bases has certainly risen in popularity. Especially people with lactose issues can now find plant-based frozen desserts made of coconut, almond, oat, cashew bases,” adds Joy Wang, RDN with Sun Basket. Raise your hand if you’ve ever been personally victimized by lactose. *raises hand*
Anyway. See??? Right. Always. Can’t wait to show this to the next person who doubts me. Maybe I should quit my day job and become a fortune teller.
2020 Health & Food Trend Predictions
We’re too tired from being right all the time, so we’re not doing a full-length 2020 trend predictions list this year. BUT, because we’re also really nice, here’s a preview of some health and food trends to come after the ball drops.
Weddle claims that fitness streaming services like Peloton (despite that tragic holiday commercial) and more sleep will continue to reign supreme in the new year, including an emphasis on… wait for it… NAPS. “We’re seeing the demand for nap bars and nap pods is growing. In fact, 54% of us want to try nap bars for some midday Zs.” SIGN ME TF UP FOR A NAP BAR. (Sorry for yelling, I’m just very enthusiastic about this trend.) In addition to fermented foods like kimchi, Uber predicts (based on what people were ordering off Uber Eats this year) that starfruit, cold brew, udon, bone broth, oat milk, and Impossible burgers are going to spike in popularity in 2020. I mean, I just Uber Eats things like bagels and Gatorade when I’m hungover, but to each their own, I guess.
Finally, according to Lusita, “we’re going to see an increase in more ‘fun’ related workouts that build community, spirit, and all the feels,” as well as an increase in a more individualized approach toward food and fitness. Think wellness and nutrition coaching, mindful exercise, intuitive eating, and at-home workouts with MIRROR and Hydrow. Health and wealth, here we come!
Here for it. Maybe 2020 is the year I’ll finally eat right and pick up a dumbbell or two. Prob not tho. Who needs to workout when you can predict the future? Not us!
Images: Brenda Godinez / Unsplash, GIPHY (2)
The entire world of food changes from year to year, and it’s getting hard to keep up. No one drinks milk anymore. Now we drink “milk” made from nuts (is it just me or did almond milk not exist three years ago?). No one eats regular pasta anymore. Now we eat black bean and lentil spaghetti. What’s going on? And WTF are lentils? As funky as these things sound, nut milk and veggie pastas are totally normal compared to the other weird stuff popping up on the supermarket shelves nowadays. Prepare yourselves, betches. Here are some of the upcoming weird food trends you can look forward to seeing (and trying, if you dare) in 2019.
1. Fake Meat Snacks
Sounds even more nasty when I put it that way… but yeah, vegetarian meats like bacon and pork rinds are going to be hitting supermarkets for all of us herbivores to snack on when we get hungry. Now instead of dehydrated peas and beets, we can enjoy some faux meat (while dreaming of eating a real cut of steak or slab of greasy bacon while we do it)!
Bulletproof coffee, coconut and MCT oil, and chocolate treats, oh my. In honor of the super trendy paleo and keto dieters out there, fatty foods are officially IN. If you’re on a strict diet that allows a higher-than-normal daily fat intake, then you’re in luck, because more brands will be catering to your needs in the coming year.
3. Avocado Ice Cream
Avocado lovers, unite! Everyone loves avocados so much that now it’s becoming a staple ingredient in meals and desserts… including ice cream. Once upon a time, making avocado ice cream was only for extremely bored people who found the recipe on Pinterest and just so happened to have an appetite and an avocado lying around their kitchen. Now, everyday people are actually going to be buying it from the dairy-alternative ice cream section in your grocery store. What a world we live in, huh?
What is kimchi? Fermented cabbage… which I only have when I’m at Korean BBQ but some people like it a lot, so much so that it’s expected to trend in 2019. This Korean-oriented veggie is tangy, super healthy, and full of good bacteria. It’s similar in nature to sauerkraut, which is also an acquired taste. If you like cabbage, radishes, spices, fish sauce, and kelp powder, give kimchi a shot. Mix it with seafood, or eat it on its own if you’re feeling crazy.
You know when you’re at the beach and you go in the water and that creepy green stuff gets caught around your legs and gives you a heart attack because you think it’s a jellyfish? Well, that’s the cool new thing to eat! Dried, spiced, roasted, and flavored seaweed is gluten-free AND vegan, so I guess you could say it’s pretty healthy too. I sound like I’m hatin,g but seaweed is actually delicious. Shout out to my fellow seaweed salad eaters.
Images: Dose Juice / Unsplash
Just like Shake Weights came into our lives unexpectedly (and uninvited) back in 2010, so do a lot of other weird fitness trends. 2018 is basically over, which means we’re already looking to 2019 for new ways to magically improve our lives. While the past year was all about wearable fitness trackers and High Intensity Interval training, the upcoming 2019 health trends are predicting a little variation on the fitness trends we’ve come to know and love (or hate, depending on who you are as a person). There’s already a bunch of incredible and weird upcoming 2019 health trends to look forward to. While I’m sure that fitness influencers will have no shortage of bizarre health trends to try to push on us in the new year, I’m choosing to focus on the 2019 health trends I can actually get behind. Here’s what we can look forward to in the new year.
1. Shorter Workouts
THANK GOD. No more dying a slow death by losing our breath on the StairMaster anymore. Fitness experts are saying that we can decrease the amount of time we work out if we just work out the right way at the right intensity. Think of all of the things you can do if you only exercise for 15 minutes a day. You can spend those leftover 45 minutes
ruining your diet eating delicious post-workout food!
2. Fitness Streaming Services
Fitness streaming services are giving gyms a run for their money (see what I did there?). There’s no need to go to the gym anymore when you can just stream a good workout from your phone, TV, or laptop. Exercising from the comfort of our apartments in 2019? Sign me tf up. Some awesome workout streaming services include CorePower Yoga, Peloton Digital, ALO Moves, or MNDFL Video. If you’re balling and have a ton of money to blow, get that interactive fitness MIRROR for $2,000.
No, not the type of vibration you’re thinking of… although that could burn calories too. Vibration therapy and percussion guns were trendy in 2018 and will stay throughout next year to continue to stimulate and loosen our aching muscles. These vibrations help to penetrate deep into your skin, tissues, and muscles to recover and repair your body pre- and post-workout. Time to whip out your vibrator wand for the right reasons!
This is another amazing trend that we totally approve of. Sleep is a vital part of any wellness routine—specifically, how well we sleep, including how long we sleep for, how long we stay asleep for, and how deep our sleep is. The real trend here involves managing and tracking our sleep through wearable devices and mobile apps that enable us to analyze just how many quality Zzzs we’re actually catching every night. Fitbit, Beautyrest, S+, and Beddit are just a few of the more popular sleep trackers available. Some will even sync with your Apple Watch.
5. Treadmill Classes
Yup, you read that right. You already know about the cycling/SoulCycle craze that took over the world last year. According to ClassPass, we’re kicking bicycles to the curb and hopping back on those treadmills. But they won’t be boring this time around. Group treadmill classes are a new trend that will get you, your friends, and a bunch of old ladies in shape in no time.
6. Personal Training
Maybe you hate the gym. Or maybe you hate the idea of working out and getting all sweaty in front of strangers. Well, personal training is predicted to become way more popular over the next 365 days. Everyone has different needs, both in terms of diet AND fitness. Certified personal trainers are here tell us what to eat, kick our asses and give us six-packs, and transform us into better, healthier versions of our 2018 selves.
Images: Spencer Dahl / Unsplash