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:

• “We’ll see more individualized fitness. People are looking forward to getting back to normal and being able to play competitively but in a lot of ways, the fitness industry will be different forever. Being someone that does run a gym and performance center, we’ve been hit pretty hard. I think our business is going to have to adapt and change long-term to be more virtual. It affected everything we do as appointment only. The fitness industry needs more of that and getting away from the open gym where you come in and do your own thing. I think you’ll see less of that and the packed classes, but the one-on-one and coached fitness. I think those are positives for the fitness industry.”

— Brain DeLuca, director of impact sports performance at UBMD Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine, Cheektowaga

• “All things promoting a healthy gut is on the rise, especially the pre-packaged food items that naturally contain probiotic and prebiotic foods: packed sauerkraut, kimchi, pickles, miso, soybeans, yogurts, kefir and kombucha. They make it more convenient to consume these types of foods, not to mention, all of the prebiotic and probiotic supplements that can come in pill and powder form, from greens powders to collagen powders to whey protein powders. Probiotics are live microorganisms that live in our gut and have many powerful health benefits for your body and brain when consumed. Due to these amazing benefits, more and more food companies are adding probiotics and prebiotics to their food. Though these food companies are infusing probiotics to their food products, it doesn’t make them any healthier. I’m talking to you, probiotic infused tortilla chips!

• “Flexitarian diet, combining flexible and vegetarian, is a semi-vegetarian diet that is mainly plant-based focused while allowing meat and other meat products in their diet on occasion. A flexitarian mainly consumes vegetables, fruits, whole grains, eggs, dairy, plant-based proteins, oils, herbs and spices and meat in moderation. Within the last year or so, I am finding more and more of my clients heading down this path. They don’t completely want to avoid meat due to it being a high-quality protein source containing many crucial vitamins and minerals. This diet philosophy negates rigid rules and guidelines, allowing people to occasionally indulge in their favorite meat options. As a nutrition professional, I definitely support this type of nutrition lifestyle. It’s easy to accommodate personal preferences, rich in nutrient-dense foods and sustainable for longterm.”

— Katie Vaughn holds master’s degree in nutrition and dietetics from D’Youville College. She is board-certified in sports dietetics, certified functional strength coach and owner of Katie Vaughn Nutrition in Rochester

• “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 from 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