From smart mirrors to part-time veganism and recycled workout clothes, these are the biggest health trends to look out for this year.
Many people are turning to plant-based diets as we become more aware of the impact of meat and dairy production on the planet.Credit:Shutterstock
The keto vegan
In 2018, the ketogenic diet soared in popularity, with regimes such as Whole30 and the Keto Reset Diet shunning all carbs, grains and sugar in favour of vegetables, animal fat and meat. There's no doubt it helped with weight loss, and MKR's Pete Evans even controversially claimed it could cure cancer in his 2018 documentary The Magic Pill.
Trouble is, the keto diet's meat fetish is ethically questionable and a nightmare for the planet as the livestock industry generates as many greenhouse gases as all other modes of transport combined. As a result, a new breed of eco-conscious dieters are adopting the same high-fat, high-protein ketogenic principles, only without animal produce.
However, without any meat, fish, dairy or grains, vegan keto leaves you little to eat but vegetables, fruit and fat from nuts, seeds, avocado and coconut. Unsurprisingly, the high fat content keeps you full and the limited food choices are pretty much a guarantee for weight loss. Just don't expect many invites to dinner.
Speaking of vegans, 2019 will give rise to increasing numbers of us talking about the merits of veganism, without actually being vegans. So we'll still be eating meat and dairy, just a lot less of it. Figures released last November by UK Supermarket chain Waitrose found one-third of Britons have stopped or reduced eating meat, with animal welfare, environmental and health concerns being cited as the reasons. There are limited statistics in Australia on veganism but according to Roy Morgan Research vegetarianism is hovering at about 11 per cent of the population, or almost 2.1 million people.
The furniture that makes you fit
You know the whole gym mirror experience? Well, that is nothing compared with the kind of immersive fitness experiences you're set to be having in your living room.
Leading the way is Mirror, a new "smart mirror" that has a built-in video screen with instructor-led yoga, Pilates, cardio, boxing, stretch and strength classes. The New York-based company was founded by Brynn Putnam, a former professional ballerina, and is currently only available to US residents.
Expect even more smart mirrors to come with gob-smacking tech behind them. "There's technology already in place and uber-brains in Silicon Valley working right now to bring us mirrors that will be able to look at us and recognise what is going on in our bodies," says Carla Buzasi, managing director of trend forecasting company WGSN. "You will look into them the morning after a night out and they will tell you to go easy on the alcohol, or they might identify a few new lines and suggest you get some retinol for your skin."
In general, expect home fitness to be better than the gym in 2019. New York based exercise equipment company, Peloton has been an innovator in this area, bringing the gym feeling to the home with spinning bikes and treadmills that allow users to take part in live classes streamed from their NYC studio.
Now, live-streamed classes from the new Fiit TV allow users to join a class in real time and feature the hottest Instagram trainers as teachers, including Adrienne Herbert and Richie "The Breath Guy" Bostock. A chest strap comes with the Fiit console that has a built-in heart rate monitor and accelerometer, which tracks your progress during the class.
Plus, furniture may soon double as fitness aids. Hong Kong-based The Habit Furniture, which calls itself "multifunction fitness furniture", has a coffee table that transforms into a workout bench and stools that double as dumbbells.
When the actress Gal Gadot posted her boxing workout on Instagram in December, her trainer, Leyon Azubuike, hailed skipping as the perfect warm-up activity. But now it's becoming a workout in itself, with high-intensity interval skipping, or HIIS, classes the new HIIT (high-intensity interval training).
HIIS can burn 1200 calories a session and with other stars, such as Gigi Hadid and Kate Hudson, crediting skipping as helping them stay in shape, HIIS classes are set to be big in 2019.
"Skipping has always been a part of a boxer's training programme," says Ryan , who offers some of the first classes of this kind in London. "It improves co-ordination and agility while toning upper and lower body muscles and burning fat." Check YouTube, which has a mass of jump-rope workouts you can do at home.
Did you know thrown-away lettuce is one of the biggest contributors to landfill and takes 25 years to fully decompose? And that's just the tip of the, er, iceberg of food production. London's Cookery School conducted a survey to find out which foods are most often thrown away, then devised a class to provide inspiration on how to repurpose those ingredients to produce tasty food. It seems that chargrilled baby lettuce hearts are actually quite palatable.
Fat fasting for weight loss
Along with the keto diet, Intermittent Fasting (IF) was one of the biggest diets of 2018.
The most popular forms of IF are fasting for 16 hours and having an eating window of eight hours. Known as 16:8, you start eating at noon and stop at 8pm.
The only trouble with IF is the small issue of hunger. Throw in a mid-morning deadline on one of those drawn-out foodless mornings and you have a recipe for a meltdown.
Australian brand Nimble is leading the away in sustainable activewear.
Plastic workout wear
In 2019, most of us will have at least one pair of gym leggings, trainers or other fit kit made from recycled plastic. Eco-friendly fitness gear has shed its hempish, hippie reputation and is delivering stylish options that also perform with the same sweat-wicking and compression features we expect from hi-tech options.
At Buff, which makes neck and head warmers, two plastic bottles are recycled into each piece. Australian brand Nimble Activewear offers sleek designs in modern prints that use a durable and lightweight compression fabric made from recycled plastic bottles. Meanwhile, the Dakine gym bag range is also made from recycled plastic bottles.
The latest adidas Ultraboost ST Parley trainers are lightweight, easy to run in and created with environmental organisation Parley for the Oceans, made from recycled waste that has been intercepted from beaches and coastal communities before it reaches the ocean.
Meanwhile, SueMe fitness underwear is made from 100 per cent beech tree pulp, while WGSN predicts that activewear of the future will be made from sustainable materials such as corn, coconut and coffee beans. So, watch this space.
Anna Magee is the editor of healthista.com. Healthista undertook health trend research with trend forecasting agency WGSN and Pullman Lifestyle Hotels.
The Telegraph UK
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