Wondering what’s hot in the world of food, fitness, and fat loss in 2016? Well, we already know our LEVL device was a hit weight loss trend at CES in Las Vegas, according to USA Today, Time and Fox Business. But if you want to know what new classes and workouts to expect in your gym, the surprising food products that’ll be hitting your grocer’s shelves, here are a few trends to be on the lookout for:
In case you didn’t jump on the cauliflower bandwagon in the 90s when the Atkins Diet was hot, this veggie is back and still a great low-carb substitute when you’re craving starchy comfort foods. “Cauliflower mash” appears on a side dish on a few chain restaurant menus, but this cruciferous veg is also being used as a substitute for pizza dough and turned into snack foods, like these “Buffalo Cauliflower Bites” which sound pretty delicious. Lately, “cauli rice” is becoming popular and is made from cauliflower grains, or is cauliflower finely chopped in a food processor. “Cauli rice is cooked with salt or spices to create a lower carbohydrate, lower glycemic index alternative to starch portions of meals,” says Taz Bhatia, M.D., integrative health expert. “Many followers of the Paleo diet, Zone diet, and low carbohydrate diets are fans of this ‘rice.’ With 1/4 of the calorie content of traditional white rice, cauli rice can add to the weight loss equation.”
Dig into vegetable yogurts
As we all strive to get more veggies in our diets, and adding vegetables to yogurt is another trend to watch, says Dr. Bhatia. “Increasing our plant-based load can be challenging, but with products like veggie yogurts, it becomes easier to sneak them in through the day,” she says. “I also feel that adding vegetables to some of our traditional foods helps cut down exposure to inflammatory proteins (in the case of yogurt, dairy may cause you inflammation), salt and fat that some of these foods typically have.” Try using Greek yogurt as a base for spinach dip.
Try dairy alternative drinkables.
Plant-based “dairy alternative” beverages are also on the rise, according to FoodNavigator-USA.com. Food products like cashew milk and products based on these ingredients are more available for people who have issues digesting dairy or follow a plant-based lifestyle. Look for cashew-milk in the form of coffee creamers, whipped toppings and “ice creams.”
Consider organic sports drinks.
While you might avoid sports drinks because of the additives, high fructose corn syrup, and often-unnecessary calories, if you’re training for an endurance event, you might want to find a better-for-you version. “As big companies unveil ‘cleaner’ sports drinks, athletes will have a better option for replenishing lost electrolytes,” says Dr. Bhatia. “These drinks should be used as sports drinks and not a part of a daily diet.” Look for ones that are labeled as USDA Organic.
Spread floral-based cheeses.
Stroll over to your grocer’s dairy section and look for cheeses with flavors like lavender, rose, and hibiscus as these are a specialty food trend predicted by FoodNavigator-USA.com. Some flavors, like lavender, may even help with digestion. Since the cheeses are flavored, a smaller portion may satisfy even more than regular chees. Add flavored cheeses to whole grain crackers and with a side of crudité for a delicious, healthy snack.
Drizzle avocado oil.
This green-veggie oil is gaining popularity as another “healthy fat” option to add to your menu. (Find out how much we love healthy fats here.) It’s already touted for its beauty benefits (you’ve probably seen “avocado oil” listed as an ingredient in a beauty product or two), now more people are cooking with avocado oil (use it the same way you would olive oil) to use the heart-healthy monounsaturated fats from this fruit in a new way.
Stream fitness classes and videos online.
Whether you want to work out at home for convenience or to save money and time, use an online service to get a variety of workouts and trainers streamed directly to your laptop. “Online video-on-demand subscription services fulfill a need by allowing individuals to do instructor-led workouts on their own time,” says a blog post by Peter McCall, CSCS, on the American Council on Exercise’s website. Many online streaming services are less than $15 a month. Check out DailyBurn (featuring workouts with Bob Harper), UFC Fit Club, Gaia for yoga classes, even barre workouts you can do using a chair for balance via barre3 and The Bar Method’s websites.
How HIIT Haters Can Still Lose Weight
While High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workouts are still storming the nation, low-intensity steady-state training (LISS) might still be a great option for people who are turned off by these hardcore workouts and would otherwise quit exercise, suggest the ACE blog by McCall. Since moderate-intensity continuous training still improves aerobic fitness, if you’re turned off by the idea of HIIT-style class at your gym, consider a cardio dance class or cycling class instead.
More Combo Group Classes
Some gyms are now combining two exercise formats so users can have a total-body workout offering cardio and strength training benefits, according to the ACE predictions blog, and what we’ve seen popping up in major cities like Orangetheory and Barry’s Boot Camp. Some classes might include cycling and boxing, treadmill running and strength training, and rowing and bodyweight training. They’re a great way to build endurance and strength when you’re tight on time but remember to allow for rest days as these fitness classes are often intense training sessions.
Fitness experiences are on the rise
Obstacle course races like Spartan Races, Tough Mudders, Warrior Dashes, and more have exploded in popularity across the country, and annual participation has surpassed that of traditional half and full marathons combined, according to statistics provided by the trade group Running USA in a USAToday.com article. Some gyms are offering Obstacle Course Racing (OCR) training programs to help you prepare to crawl under barbed wire, hurdle over walls, do rope climbs, and more.