Sara Pindera
Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Nutraceuticals. A Canadian with a love of food, fitness and health.

7 Reasons Why Viral Health Trends and Products Aren’t… Totally... Awful.

How They Can Be Beneficial To Your Fitness Goals

It’s no secret that when viral health trends gain traction it isn’t always a good idea to get behind it, even when some people swear by it.

People have both positive and negative opinions on the countless new health and exercise programs and gadgets, but it is important to look at them objectively, on your own, in order to decide for yourself if it’s just hype or something worth spending your money on.

Gymaholic is going to show you how to pinpoint the benefits used by these various companies that actually have the potential to assist you in reaching your future goals.

Staying realistic is an important part of investigating a new health venture. Many trends can seem ridiculous, and the entertainment, amusement or even the ability to spark conversation and arguments is a large part of the reason they go viral. Some viral trends that can be seen lingering in the spotlight can be beneficial to you, even those that can look absolutely ridiculous at a first glance.

Woman running on treadmill

How it Starts

The reason some people become fans and start following a specific diet, product or program even after the initial publicity has slowed down, is because there’s some aspect of it that’s made a change, or had an impact on the people who actually tried it.

It can actually have true, sometimes hidden physical benefits and psychological boosts that make people who initially try them for fun, stay and form an attachment.

While some of its parts can be beneficial, it’s important to look at the big picture, because a few good aspects don’t always equal successful, long term life changes --which, realistically, should be your end goal!

Although they’re not always great for the long term (the short life of many viral trends should attest to that), you can always leave an experience with some new knowledge! So let’s highlight some of the most common benefits used by many of these companies that could potentially bring you closer to achieving your goals.

1. Socialization & Support

Some of the most successful programs offer something that many people want, but don’t always have access to within their family and social circles. Socialization is something ingrained in us biologically, and having others support you in your journey is a strong emotional motivator.

Many diet and exercise platforms offer a way to connect, whether that be with your peers by having them do it with you (offering discounts or rewards for signing up your friends or group offers…), giving you a coach or mentor to help you when you need it, or connecting you to other people doing the program so you have someone you can relate and talk to during your journey.

This aspect of socialization can also spread viral trends even faster, as the program itself can encourage sharing. Where some companies fail after the initial viral boost, programs that actually work to some extent (for better or for worse) can spread through word of mouth and continue their growth.

2. Structure

Structure can be very important in making habits stick, forcing you to continuously reach small goals in designated periods of time. Following a schedule can help tremendously with your organization and speed in completing goals.

Depending on how strict and demanding that schedule is, you may see results a lot faster than someone who decides to leisurely change their habits to more positive ones over time, trusting themselves not to eat certain things or go to the gym every few days to work out.

Creating structure and forming a schedule can take time, and some people don’t feel like they have the time, motivation or organizational skills required to make it themselves.

Attempting to follow a set schedule and build habits to fit new rules can be time consuming in itself, but having the schedule set up for you can make the task of simply following it seem a lot easier to manage.

Structure that’s made for you, whether that’s outlines of what you can and can’t eat, how much and when you can eat it, a planned workout and specified days and times you are required to go or participate... Can feel like a relief to those who want or need organization and order, but don’t know where to start.

Although you are still the one who has to follow that schedule, having someone else decide things for you can be convenient, but also a strong source of motivation!

3. Paying for Time

Speaking of convenience, one of the reasons we pay for fast food and so many people have issues reaching their personal goals is time... or lack thereof.

Our society has become extremely fast moving, and it can seem like taking the time to learn healthy habits and cook or find an hour to get yourself to the gym is time we don’t have.

The thought of having to carve out so much time to change the way your life is now is often daunting and unappealing. It’s completely understandable that some people don’t immediately want to dedicate their time to learning a new skill, which is why so many companies make money through saving you that time.

Though it is not always a bad thing, paying for time can be an unreasonable long term goal. For many trends where you’re paying for quick, healthy meal replacements or having a company control your portions and what you eat, you should be thinking about the future when you participate.

Do you plan to pay for this service your whole life? Making things yourself can often be the cheaper option, and having smaller changes that last a lifetime can save you a lot of money in the future.

It is not the worst option to have this help on the side (if you can afford it) but you should squeeze in some learning when you have the time to spare. When you decide you don’t want to spend that money on the program anymore, you’ll be prepared to drop the crutch and walk away with confidence.

A weight stack

4. Better Than Nothing

Realistically you cannot change your habits overnight, but being able to see some goals achieved and feeling accomplished can lead to a continuation of learning and a building of interest.

Something is better than nothing. It’s good if a program can convince you to stop eating fast food for breakfast on the way to work, and instead drink a more nutritious shake that was just as quick to make and take on the go.

More, healthier nutrition, even in the form of a paid, powdered package, can be a hell of a lot better than not changing anything at all. Bringing awareness to the changes that need to be made in your life and changing something about your habits, even if it’s just to another, slightly better version of fast and minimal effort, is better than no change.

A really small change is still a change, and it can prompt bigger and better changes over time. While the changes in your body that ensue may not be much, the internal changes, both physically and mentally, may snowball into much bigger and healthier changes in the future.

5. Attractiveness & Fun

We all can get caught up in our inner child sometimes. What can decrease the draw of health is boringness. Things that are attractive and new and interesting draws attention like a moth to a flame.

Adding glamour and entertainment to eating healthier is cutting a zucchini with a spiralizer to make it look like spaghetti, cutting fruit with a star cookie cutter, or trying a different, more creative way to exercise.

New gadgets and tricks that may seem silly at first but sometimes prompt you to buy it just for fun, and as a result you play and create something new with ingredients you may never have used, or recipes you may never have tried otherwise.

Another example is the trend where people ‘infuse’ their water with fruit, piling red berries and green cucumbers and yellow lemons into bottles to make their water prettier and more flavorful. It’s amazing that people are drinking more water than before, and doing so without the use of flavor packets that may be adding several grams of unneeded sugar to your day.

Though they may be strange or odd, some trends can prompt large scale changes in a person’s life, and bring bad habits (like not drinking enough water or eating enough fruits and vegetables) to light, so they can be changed or improved. This brings us to our next benefit...

6. Consciousness

This has been a recurring benefit woven throughout the other benefits on the list, but it’s important to acknowledge it as a motivating force in making and breaking habits.

However you manage it, bringing a level of consciousness to your diet or exercise habits is almost always a good thing. Even if a viral trend you tried doesn’t work out, one of the habits or issues that it was trying to change may now be at the forefront of your attention, and prompt you to find other ways to solve that problem.

Unfortunately this awareness can come as a result of wasting your money and time on something that doesn’t work, but experiencing a specific diet and exercise structure and watching it fail can also give you the knowledge to spot and avoid it in the future.

7. Introduction and Precursor to Lifestyle Changes

As with consciousness, the fact that many of these benefits can act as an introduction to healthy habits is mentioned throughout the article, but it’s worth drawing attention to in it’s own section.

It is important to notice that a lot of these good points, even if they are brought about by a strange new gadget or experience with a diet that may be over the top or extreme, can help you find or develop an interest in different lifestyle changes.

Some of these changes, either brought on by the trend itself or as an afterthought of a failed program may suit you better, and can last in the long term.

In Conclusion

Viral trends stay relevant by making changes in the people who try them. Although they aren’t always built to last long-term, usually the most successful programs have some benefits that can give you confidence to continue working towards your goals.
Some of those benefits include:

  • Socialization and support, which are huge emotional motivators offered by many programs.

  • Giving you a set structure and schedule, which can help you organize and achieve your goals faster.

  • Paying for time, which can be a short term solution allowing you to learn healthy habits at your own pace.

  • Giving you an introduction and a starting point to healthier habits, even if it’s small. Any change is better than no change.

  • Making ‘healthy’ more attractive with fun gadgets, interesting recipes and new ways to stay active.

  • Bringing your bad habits to the forefront of your attention, so you can focus on finding a solution that works for you.

  • Introducing you to healthy habits and sparking an interest in your own health and wellbeing.

Although viral health trends can sometimes fail, it’s important to look at the bright side, and focus on the knowledge you’ve gained through the experience!

Questions & Comments

If you have any question or simply want to talk about your experience, don't hesitate to comment below. We don't bite ;)

Sara Pindera
Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Nutraceuticals. A Canadian with a love of food, fitness and health.