Weight Loss, Fitness Trends for 2021

By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant

If losing weight is among your New Year’s resolutions, learn about the trends for weight loss local experts foresee for 2021. Here they are:

• “A big trend that has already hit fitness is intermittent fasting. It’s a popular way people are finding success at losing weight. I think that will be the most popular diet type of 2021. Intermittent fasting is a type of nutritional intake where you fast for a time and eat your days’ calories in a shorter period. It gets people on a schedule and stops people form overeating. It helps manage intake. It doesn’t work for everyone, just seven out of 10 people. Also, it can be hard to get started if you’re the type of person who will struggle with fasting for 16 hours straight.

• “Wearable technology will be big in 2021. It’s a lot easier to track your important health metrics. Wearable tech is helpful to developing healthier lifestyle, manage diseases and improve efficiency of exercise. It will be very popular.

• “Virtual training will be very big because of the global pandemic. More are turning to at home workouts like Peloton.

• “Another big trend will be outdoor workouts. In many places, gyms are closed or limited capacity. Being outdoors is less dangerous.

• “The combining of exercise and mindfulness together is also a trend. With the pandemic creating a new kind of stress, people are looking for new ways to relieve that stress and exercise will help with that. This year, the body-mind connection will be a big part of the fitness industry.”

Doug Keller, nationally accredited through the National Academy of Sports Medicine and owner of Keller Fitness and Personal Training, Rochester

• “The ketogenic diet [low carb, high fat] is fading out. It’s either not maintainable for long-term weight loss and it’s water weight loss mostly. You gain it back when you stop following the diet. New studies show you lose muscle mass on this diet. That has not been shown with a low-fat, vegan type diet. People are pulling away from keto for that reason.

• “The biggest thing I’m seeing is, people are waking up to the disconnection between what’s maintainable for weight loss and what’s best for health and what’s best for the environment. I think people are more aware anyway of the influence of what we eat for our health. People aren’t just about weight loss. What’s healthiest for me and the planet and our communities?

• “The biggest thing is people are starting to wake up to the fact that it should be lifelong changes to maintain weight loss. You’re worse off doing something to lose 20 pounds and gaining it back. Your metabolism will slow down a little. You tend to gain back more than you’ve lost. If you do physical activity and take in fewer calories, your metabolism will want to slow down to reserve calories.

• Definitely things like Noom are becoming more popular. Using apps is a way to look at your behavior and make small changes that make a big difference over time.

• “There’s more cooking at home going on and experimenting with that. Some people like online cooking classes if they’re trying to eat healthier and more plant based. The meal kits that have been super popular in the past seems to be waning. They’re really costly and they also have a ton of packaging so there’s a lot of waste.

• “There’s a lot of web-based training. When this [the pandemic] is over, will people go back to the gym? I’m not sure. Doing yoga virtually is not the same. You’re also not getting the correction physically to help you get the right movement.”

Physician Kerry Graff, board-certified in family and lifestyle medicine at RRH Family and Lifestyle Medicine in Canandaigua.

• “People realize carbs, processed food and sugar are not healthful. There’s a connection with those foods and a lot of people needing to be on medication to treat diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and even depression. A lot of our clients are able to reduce their medication significantly or even get off them with their doctor’s recommendation.

• “People are starting to learn that losing weight has other positive effects. Most women I work with have lost a minimum of 13 pounds up to 21 pounds in a month. Once you start getting the weight off, you have more mobility and you think clearer. You’re sleeping better. Women with hot flashes stop or significantly reduce. Most of that is changing their diet. They feel like exercising now.”

Susan Freemesser, natural hormone balancing specialist, Be Balanced Hormone Weight Loss Centers, Rochester.