Fitness for your sake, not social media

The predictions have started pouring in with regards to the trends that may rule the roost in the wellness sector this year. From swapping retinol with bakuchiol, carbs with cauliflower, and saying no to certain fitness practises just for the sake of social media posts, here are how things will seemingly get better, health-wise.


Retinol (vitamin A1) was one of the biggest trends last year. However, some of its side effects such as irritation, dryness and increased skin sensitivity, led to the search for safer alternatives. And towards the end of 2018, pretty much all experts rounded in on bakuchiol, found in the babchi plant, as the plant-derived alternative of retinol.

According to Dr Madhuri Agarwal, founder and medical director, Yavana Aesthetics Clinic, Bakuchiol is very much a part of the existing Ayurvedic treatments.”It has the properties similar to retinol. Some studies have clinically proven that bakuchiol helps generate new collagen, reduce fine line and wrinkles. It is also proven to reduce dark spots and make the skin more even and firmer. It can also be safely used during pregnancy and breastfeeding,unlike retinol. So, for people who can’t tolerate retinol, this becomes an alternative,” she says, adding, “However, it’s still early days, and we need more evidence that bakuchiol is as effective as retinol, which is a time tested ingredient in skin products.”


Last year, we began to see the how cauliflower replace carb ingredients in recipes. Many made their pizza base out of cauliflower and ordered for cauli bowls instead of rice bowls at restaurants. This year, we will see this trend get bigger.

Janvi Chitalia, Holistic Nutritionist and Founder, Body Cocoon, credits its versatility as a reason for its popularity. She says, “Cauliflower is easy to prepare, can also be cooked in a variety of ways, such as steaming, roasting or sautéing. It makes for an excellent side dish or can be combined with dishes like soups, salads, stir-fries and rice preparations.”

The vegetable is low in calories, yet, high in vitamins. “In fact, cauliflower contains almost every vitamin and mineral needed for the body,” says Chitalia.

Good fats

The ketogenic aka keto diet gained a lot of popularity in 2018, however, it also received backlash from medical professionals due to its high-fat content as that could be detrimental to heart health. “I am of the opinion that the keto diet will stay on in 2019, but with more focus on good fats instead of just fats in general. The inclusion of heart-healthy fats will be given priority,” says Carlyne Remedios, group manager – clinical practices, nutrition and product development, Digestive Health Institute by Dr Muffi.

This will translate into people consuming more of fatty fishes including salmon, sardines and mackerel, nuts and seeds like almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds and flax seeds, as well as nut butters, olive oil and coconut oil.

Healthy desserts

With the popularity of long-term health plans growing with each passing day, the quest for healthy dessert options has also spiked. “Today, there is a vast shift that has taken place in the preparation of desserts. The use of added flavours, gums, stabilisers, and substitutes have been replaced with the use of healthy and whole ingredients,” says Dr Siddhant Bhargava, co-founder, fitness and nutritional scientist, Food Darzee.

Spices, whole grains, fruits and naturally sweet vegetables like beets are being included more in the preparation of sweet treats.

Some common examples are gluten-free, low-carb, spiced cookies made using nutmeg, cinnamon, and ginger and cinnamon rolls made from healthy coconut flour. Keto-friendly and healthy truffles made with low-fat cream cheese is another guilt-free healthy dessert option that will definitely get your taste buds rolling and make your stomach crave for more.

Energy healing

Nowadays, alternative healing or complementary medicine is being seriously considered by many. Placing crystals at home or wearing them, burning sage to ‘cleanse’ your homes à la supermodel Bella Hadid, are all practices that are being adopted by many.

Pinky Daga, CEO, Thriive Art & Soul explains, “Energy healing is now an everyday wellness tool. It is an important alternative therapy often used alone or in conjunction with traditional western methods of healing. This no-touch healing system uses prana or life force to help the body heal itself by recharging the cells and restoring energy balance for physical, emotional and spiritual well-being.”

No to performative wellness

Performative wellness is when someone goes to the gym to click their #potd (photo of the day) or learning a specific yoga pose just to be able to impress others. It is the trend where people do things not for intrinsic health benefits but for the impressiveness factor.

“Anxiety and depression stem from the need to create picture perfect meals, adopt expensive self-care strategies, looking perfect all the time, wearing fancy yoga clothes, joining fancy fitness classes and the need to decide from a plethora of choices,” says Luke Coutinho, Holistic Lifestyle Coach- Integrative Medicine.

But 2018 was a year of realisation that “less is more” and the way forward is to keep things simple. “2019 is about simplicity and going back to the basics. It’s about doing what’s practical, sustainable and at the same time, effective,” adds Coutinho.

First Published: Jan 20, 2019 12:12 IST

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