It’s really easy to fall for whatever the latest health kick trend is. You see someone on Instagram with flawless skin and an amazing physique flaunting their latest fitness "secret", and think that if you just gulp down a few smoothies then you too can have the abs of your dreams.
But alas, this is not the case.
2015 has been the year of the "super lifestyle", with so-called wellness gurus telling you that eating goji berries will save your life. Can the ball really keep rolling on into 2016? Here are some of the fads we'd like to see disappear as we make our way into the New Year.
You’ll find this hashtag attached to pretty much every photo of food on Instagram – even the ones that aren’t even "clean foods". The idea of eating clean is that you’re eating foods that have had little to no processing or refining. Foods like fresh fruit, vegetables and lean meats will rank highly in your menu, while things such as processed meats and cheeses will be shown the door.
However, “eating clean” can be harder than it might seem. Organic produce can be expensive and hard to source, depending on where you live. Rather than focusing too much on the “clean”, simply opt for eating healthy and balanced meals.
2. Wellness gurus
The lifestyle coaches who promise lead you on the path to "wellness" and a perfectly flat stomach. Found on the bestsellers bookshelves and of course, on Instagram, the wellness guru is young and boasts an incredibly photogenic lifestyle. They will sell you the new juice fast, raw food or 4:3 diet. However take their advice with a pinch of salt (Himalayan, of course). While they know their way around the kitchen, few are qualified nutritionists or dieticians.
3. Waist training
You can thank the Kardashians for this fun stomach-cinching trend. Waist-training harks back to the corset era (you know, when women used to literally bind their stomachs to make them smaller). In a bid to get the perfect hourglass figure, celebs are training while wearing tight waist trainers, despite the fact that there is no evidence that this method helps you to lose fat. There are also concerns that because of the restrictive nature of the garment, your internal organs may be damaged in the process.
4. Juice fasting
The idea behind juice fasting is that for around three days you consume nothing but freshly pressed juices, with no additives or extras to help rid the body of toxins. While in theory fresh fruit and vegetable juice is a good addition to your diet; substituting food for a solely liquid diet is not a decision to take lightly. There is also the argument that when you drastically change your diet, any weight lost (which may only be water retention anyway) will pile back on as soon as you revert back.
5. Celeb Instagram tea
If you’re a fan of TOWIE or Made in Chelsea, you’ve probably seen the stars of the show touting a variety of “detox teas” on their social media accounts. The teas purport to detoxify the body – something that the liver and kidneys already have covered thanks very much – and aid in weight loss. This isn’t entirely untrue, however, the source of weight loss is usually down to ingredients creating a laxative effect, so rather than fat loss you’ll be losing water weight.
6. Various fruit/vegetable waters
While we are completely on board with the idea that you need to drink water to stay hydrated, the addition of fruit and vegetables to your glass seems a bit much. Lemon/lime water? Yeah, okay. Cucumber water? Okay, I guess so. But asparagus water? What the heck, stop.
7. Coconut water
Yes, okay, coconut water has many good nutrients in it, is incredibly refreshing and is excellent for rehydrating and replacing things like electrolytes but it does not taste good. At all. No matter how much flavouring you put in it.
Stop trying to pretend courgetti is the same as spaghetti. It’s not the same. There’s no carbohydrate. Courgette is delicious as it is, stop trying to dress it up as something it’s not. See also: cauliflower rice, sweet potato strands, anything else spiralised.
9. Celebrity lifestyle gurus
There are just so many to choose from these days. Obviously you have Gwyneth Paltrow, the pioneer of lifestyle guru-ship, whose website GOOP kickstarted the trend of getting your life in order and looking fabulous while doing so. Now there’s a whole flock of them; Blake Lively had Preserve, Reese Witherspoon has Draper James, Jessica Alba has Honest. However it can be quite hard to swallow sage lifestyle advice for actresses who have the money to fund such lifestyles.
10. Fitness wearables
We’re just about ready to go into gadget overload. You have your smartphone for checking Twitter, making calls and checking emails, then there’s your iPad for catching up with Netflix, then your Kindle for reading that latest bestseller and now there are a variety of wearables designed to track your pulse, resting heart rate, blood sugar levels and whatever else you’d like them to check.
Studies have also shown those that use fitness tracking wearables can make users feel under pressure to hit their targets and that their daily routines were controlled by their FitBit. The study found that 43 per cent of users felt that their activities were wasted if they weren't wearing their Fitbit at the time.