Heading into mid-january with another ‘wellness trend’ post means 2017 is in full swing. These buzzy trends seem to be picking up more and more steam as the days roll by, so it’s time to address them. As for me, I’m all for trying new and adventurous ways to keep fit, but like anything in life, you’ve got to ask questions. If the logic and research add up, it’s probably a good thing! If it doesn’t, it’s either a scam, a complete placebo, or worse, it could actually put you in the hospital.
Here’s 3 wellness trends to watch out for this month:
Wellness trend Nº1
I’ve written about detox trends quite recently, but I’ll refer to them again. Because they’re still buzzing in all the trendy health, fitness and beauty outlets, and because people are getting sucked into it like never before. I could rant on for paragraphs, days even. Each new paragraph titled “Don’t waste your money!” or “Being healthy is not that complicated!” However, nobody has time for that and I don’t have the energy either, so I’ll let the BBC News state it clearly and simply once and for all. Here’s a snippet from an article that was published January 3rd of this year, titled: “Doctors issue new year detox health warning.” Full article here.
The British Dietetic Association says the whole idea of detoxing is nonsense.
“There are no pills or specific drinks, patches or lotions that can do a magic job,” a representative said
“The body has numerous organs, such as the skin, gut, liver and kidney, that continually ‘detoxify’ the body from head to toe.
“It sounds predictable, but for the vast majority of people, a sensible diet and regular physical activity really are the only ways to properly maintain and maximise your health.”
Wellness Trend Nº2
Another wellness trend that blew up late last year. There’s a lot to be said about collagen, which is a protein found in the body. It’s most famous for keeping skin plump and youthful, making up around 80% of the skins dry weight. It’s also essential in bone, muscle and blood vessel function; providing strength, flexibility and structure around the entire body.
We eat protein all the time, and if collagen is a protein, it must be good to ingest, it right? The science says it’s unlikely, though many people who have tried the potion have sworn by it’s effects. Here’s the catch: It’s not cheap, and you have to keep drinking it or the “effects” will wear off. Even if it did work, it’s certainly not a long-term solution and nobody has done much research on the side effects, so buyer beware! Check out what ‘The Doctors’ have to say about it versus a group of collagen-drinking audience members:
Wellness Trend Nº3
High Sugar, Low Fat Diets
An increasingly popular lifestyle choice amongst hardcore vegans and exercise enthusiasts is maintaining a high sugar, low fat diet. This is not to say all vegans carry this mindset, and in fact, if you can submerge yourself successfully into a vegan way of life, then the more respect to you! What I’m referring to are the extremists. These guys promote the consumption of lots and lots and LOTS of high sugar foods and drinks and very little, if any, foods that have a high fat content. Including the really good stuff like avocado. So that’s not very fair.
Science has already proven that good cholesterol is not only healthy for us, but it actually counteracts the bad kind. Also, it’s kind of necessary for brain function and important things like that. The frustrating reality about most of these sugar maniacs, is that a good chunk of their message is actually decent advice. They believe in mindful eating, respecting the environment, buying cruelty-free products, consuming organic goods, living as naturally as possible, nurturing emotional growth, and reducing your carbon footprint.
Then they go and ruin it by telling their viewers to smash in high amounts of sugars simply for the sake of calories. Like 20 bananas in a morning smoothie for example. Seriously. How is that good dietary advice? The average person, even one with a very active lifestyle, does not need to consume that amount of calories from any one food source in one sitting. Even if it is fruit. The challenge for a lot of vegans is getting enough calories throughout the day to sustain themselves, and that’s understandable, but the answer to that dilemma is certainly not 51 bananas in under 12 hours. See Exhibit A. It’s unrealistic, extreme and not recommended by doctors.
It gets worse. One YouTuber and fitness coach who’s following this lifestyle promotes drinking large amounts of sodas (like 10 a day.) I mean, what possesses you to think telling people to stock up on sodas is a good idea? That’s exactly what we don’t want to be doing to experience wellness. These influential online ‘health’ icons, with hundreds of thousands of followers, are making the extreme trendy. They preach their ideals as if it’s the gospel truth, urging everyone else to follow in their footsteps and buy their e-books. Maybe it is their truth, however, a normal well-rounded human being, should not be ingesting this amount of sugar. Unless they want to fast-track themselves to pre-diabetes.
Another annoying trick these YouTubers keep bragging about to lure in those who want to lose weight, is their “skinny” physique. According to them, they’re super-lean so they must be super-healthy (clearly implied in Exhibit B.) “Here! Look at my body fat percentage. The scales don’t lie! That’s all the evidence you need to prove this lifestyle works.” The problem with that logic is that it’s completely misleading and entirely untrue. Being very lean does not automatically equate to wellness. In some cases, it can even mean the opposite. Not to mention they spend the majority of their day to day lives heavily exercising, while the rest of us have to go to work. Another selling point to their extreme lifestyle is the major increase of energy levels and euphoria. Well of course they’re feeling energised and euphoric. They’re pumped full of sugar!
Just remember, everything in moderation. The holistic lifestyle is all about balance, and when the body finds harmony, it can heal almost anything. Too much of a good thing, particularly sugar, is not beneficial. You don’t have to turn extreme to optimise your health. Slow and steady wins the race. Unless you’re sprinting of course, but then you’ve got to work on your fast-twitch muscles. Which also need to be built gradually over time. Bottom line is it’s hard not to get sucked in with all these seemingly awesome health hacks, beauty elixirs and cleansing rituals. Just don’t be so quick to jump on the band wagon and do some unbiased research first. If it’s too good to be true, it likely is.
Next time I cover the buzz in current wellness trends, it will be a collection of workouts and healthy food concepts to try out! So stay tuned to see what awesome workouts, foods or beverages you could be getting into for an enhanced health-journey this year. To start off in the right direction, let’s talk about massage – one of the oldest and most effective health hacks in recorded history. It has the power to de-stress, reduce negative emotions, improve the bodies systems, optimise natural functions, cure tension-related aches and pains and even beautify the skin! It feels better than drinking collagen, and cheaper too. For more information on how massage can give you a makeover, check out our blog on ‘3 ways massage beautifies our skin.’
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