Starting a fitness journey can be daunting with so many different nutrition trends and fitness strategies to keep up with. But don't worry, I'm here to help! In this article, we'll explore a variety of health topics, from the tried-and-true benefits of creatine to the new trend of alcohol-free mocktails in 2024. We'll dive into the truth behind superfood myths, discover budget-friendly nutrition options, and even shine a spotlight on unexpected health heroes like cottage cheese. My goal is to give you, the reader, a fun and easy-to-understand heads-up of the latest trends in healthy living for 2024.
Creatine for Everyone
Creatine has been a favourite supplement in the bodybuilding and fitness community for a long time, high-quality research has shown that the benefits of creatine run from bone strength and preventing osteoporosis, to fat loss and preventing cognitive decline. Creatine monohydrate is the most studied, safest, and most effective form. Claims that Creatine HCL creates less bloating and better absorption have no substantial human research supporting these claims over monohydrate.
Move over Wine Night, Mocktails are on the Rise!
This is my favourite 2024 trend. We all know the detriments of alcohol and sobriety is finally on the rise! Be sure to have some mocktail recipes for your clients focusing on cutting out alcohol this year. Shifting focus from alcohol to sugar-free soda, sparkling water, herbal teas, flavoured water, and mocktails will be a big trend in the upcoming years. Alcohol increases the likelihood of non-communicable diseases such as type 2 diabetes, cancer, obesity and cardiovascular disease - this is one trend I’m behind 100%.
End of Superfoods and Misinformation
Superfoods have always been regular foods with better branding. Clients are seeing through claims like this. Everyone is over the boujee recipes and focusing on the bigger picture of their eating habits. Your clients may keep you on your toes this year with the trend back to (thank goodness) evidence-based nutrition. Your clients are over fad diets. Most are over meal plans (see below). Make sure you’re skilled in detecting pseudoscientific claims; if it sounds too good to be true it probably is!
Ballin' on a Budget
The end of superfoods leads to my next big ticket item - the grocery budget. Everyone from single people to large families is concerned with the rising prices of food. Your clients are guaranteed to ask about the healthiest foods on a budget. Be ready to support your client’s goals with various pre-portioned freezer meal ideas, family-style recipes, and using lower priced nutrient-dense foods like legumes, beans, pasta, frozen fruits and vegetables.
Cottage Cheese is the New Cauliflower
On my 2023 bingo card, I was not expecting cottage cheese to get the glow-up that cauliflower did- but here we are. Cottage cheese recipes are blowing up the internet right now- high in protein, low in fat, and reasonably priced it is an excellent choice to add to your client’s grocery list. Cottage cheese can be added to smoothies, pancakes, scrambled eggs, desserts and more. I’m not mad about it, just surprised!
Rigid rules around eating can be a red flag for disordered eating. Food freedom means to be free from food rules that clutter our minds and induce anxiety, guilt or shame around food choices. A history of dieting may leave your client stressed about what foods are "good" or "bad". While there are some exceptions such as allergies, medical contraindications, or spoiled food; there are no “good” or “bad” foods because there is no morality in our food choices- this language is out. Be prepared to guide a majority of your clients into following their hunger cues, choosing nutrient-dense foods, and balanced meals with their personal preferences rather than strict meal plans to support their fitness goals.
Supporting GLP-1 Receptor Agonists and SGLT2 Inhibitors
The use of GLP-1 Receptor Agonists and SGLT2 Inhibitors was on my list of 2023 predictions because of the evidence in these medications for lowering glucose levels and weight loss as a byproduct. If your client is using these medications an appropriate diet to support them is recommended. On GLP-1 medications it is recommended to avoid high-sugar foods, fried foods, fatty foods, hyper-palatable processed foods, and alcohol. Low carbohydrate, ketogenic, prolonged fasting, dehydration, and excess alcohol consumption increase the risk of ketoacidosis for those with SGLT2 Inhibitors. Navigating these complexities with a well-informed approach ensures a holistic and supportive framework for clients managing their health with these medications. .Remember, when in doubt refer out!
Throughout this journey exploring nutrition and fitness, the main theme is evident - the pursuit of well-being is a dynamic and multifaceted endeavour. We have covered a wide range of topics, from the established benefits of creatine to emerging trends such as mocktails and budget-friendly nutrition. The era of superfoods and restrictive food rules is fading away, paving the way for a more balanced, evidence-based approach. By embracing surprises like cottage cheese's unexpected resurgence and championing the concept of food freedom, we usher in a new era of wellness consciousness. It's important to stay informed, stay curious, and above all, stay committed to the pursuit of a healthier, more fulfilling life.
-Bridget Fauteux BScH RNT