Top Food & Fitness Trends Of 2016 And How To Make The Most Of Them

A look at the latest and greatest in the field of health and wellness, and how they can help you keep your New Year's resolutions.

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Every year, top experts predict some of the hottest trends for the new year, ranging from healthy to worrisome. I’ve hand-selected some of these popular predictions to help you take advantage of the latest and greatest among them in order to reach your wellness goals.

1. Move over, meat!

With the rising cost of animal proteins and the growing attention to how animals are raised, finding ways to enjoy meat in smaller but still satisfying portions is key. Restaurants are predicted to capitalize on this trend with exciting new “hybrid burgers” and more vegetable-rich dishes, and you can do the same in your own kitchen with Meatless Monday or meals that treat meat more as a side dish or garnish.

2. Miniature-size me!

The days of supersizing may be over; 2016 is predicted to be the year of downsized sweet treat “shooters.” This is a great way to satisfy your sweet tooth without being faced with dessert or drinks with as many calories as you need in an entire day.

3. Spice up your life!

Hot sauces are expected to continue to rise in popularity. I love this trend because hot sauce packs a serious punch of flavor in just a few drops, and it keeps flavor high without excess salt, sugar, and processed fats. It’s a great way to wean yourself off of more processed foods without feeling like your food is bland.

4. One man’s trash…

Restaurants all over are expected to step up their food waste game. Considering the mind-boggling statistic that 40 percent of food winds up in landfills and the rising prices of fresh foods as California’s drought worsens, this is definitely something we want to explore. Using often-discarded pieces of veggies or cuts of meat is a great way to lower your grocery bill, make the most out of your purchases, and do something great for the environment as well.

5. Making the convenient choice the health(ier) choice

Some of the biggest names in the food industry are “cleaning up” their menu by removing literally hundreds of artificial ingredients and additives. They still have a long way to go, but this is a big win for families trying desperately to prioritize their health and well-being. Because let’s face it, we all need a break from cooking sometimes, and we shouldn’t have to worry about chemicals in our take-out.

6. Stay on track!

Wearable fitness technology is predicted to be bigger than ever in 2016, and for good reason, too. They’re great for motivation, self-awareness, goal tracking, and accountability; just make sure they don’t start to rule your day. Remember, it’s important to have some quiet downtime, too. I learned that the hard way. We don’t always have to be running a marathon!

7. Strong is the new sexy!

Body weight, strength, and functional training are all predicted to be big in 2016. It’s so refreshing to see a shift in priorities toward actually being strong as opposed to simply looking good in a bathing suit. Plus, this is great news for anyone who is intimidated by gyms or doesn’t have a lot of fancy equipment. It makes fitness more accessible to the average Joe. Just be careful to perfect your form to avoid injury or ineffective movements. When in doubt, seek the help of a personal trainer to at least get you started.

8. Speaking of personal trainers…

It’s probably a good idea to find one you like. We’re all walking around with a ton of muscle imbalances from sitting too much, engaging in repetitive motions, or training using improper form. You’re much more likely to get hurt when you exercise with muscle imbalances, and much less likely to get the desired results. Personal trainers help correct these imbalances, create individualized plans to help you reach your goals in ways that you will enjoy, and keep you motivated when the going gets tough. Make sure to look for trainers with accredited certifications, such as NASM, ACSM, or ACE.

9. We still like to HIIT it hard.

A few years back, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) was the number one fitness trend. It’s all about getting in and out of the workout quickly by pushing your maximum effort. HIIT has fallen in popularity slightly, but it’s absolutely still worth mentioning. We’re all busy people, and it can be tough to find time to work out. When done carefully to avoid injuries, the HIIT paradigm can help you reach your fitness goals without clocking in hours at the gym.

A new year is a great opportunity to start fresh, try something new, and make some of the most current trends work for you and your life. I hope 2016 is a healthy and a happy one for you. Now get out there and make it happen!

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