How many fitness pages do you follow on Instagram? Whether you’re looking for fitness inspiration or a new keto meal plan, odds are you follow at least a few fitness influencers. And you’re not alone. With over 59% of online adults between the ages of 18 and 29 using it, Instagram has become the second most popular social media platform. Many users love it because of how easy it is to use and navigate through the never-ending parade of pictures.
At first glance, it seems harmless to follow fitspo accounts. If your goal is to become healthy and fit, it makes sense that seeing these toned and gorgeous fitness models on your Instagram feed would inspire you, right? Wrong. Many Instagram models portray an unrealistic idea of fitness and it could be harming you rather than helping.
While all social media platforms can harm how we feel about ourselves, Instagram’s heavy focus on imagery has a notably higher negative impact on our body image. Scroll through any fitness celebrity’s Instagram account and you will see tons of pictures of their perfectly toned bodies, abs, thighs, and booties. In their mind, they are simply living proof that their fitness method works. In your mind, however, you see an unobtainable level of perfection and you instantly start feeling bad that you don’t look like them. But do they even look like them?
Odds are, even fitness models don’t look like their pictures in real life. By practicing the right poses, angles, and lighting- and with the help of a few filters and presets - fitness models can drastically transform their bodies. In fact, 45% of fitspo pictures are edited to make them look smaller than they are. That sets such an unrealistic expectation that women and girls are killing themselves to achieve.
With so many young girls and women viewing these fitness models, it could do more than just lower their self-esteem. If left unchecked, this negative self-perception could turn into an eating disorder or Body Dysmorphic Disorder.
Now, I am not trying to say that Instagram is evil or all fitness models are bad. Trainers, coaches, and influencers often have good intentions. There are a lot of fitness influencers who promote a message of body positivity and self-love. Many women on Instagram are taking control of these body misconceptions and are showing the reality behind those perfect bikini bodies. By showing a “sneak peek” behind, including me.
Following the advice or meal plan of a fitness influencer on Instagram is not a bad thing. If you have found something that works for you, by all means, continue on your journey. Just follow these guidelines when considering a plan:
While what they do may work great for them it may not be right for you. They may not be qualified to give you health or nutritional advice.
You should run a new diet or fitness plan by a dietician or doctor who specializes in nutrition and medicine. This is especially important if you have any kind of medical condition because the wrong diet or exercise plan may have a detrimental effect on your health.
Just because they run five miles a day does not mean you should. If your body is telling you to slow down and do less, listen to it. You don’t want to injure yourself and derail your fitness journey.
If you hate doing something, you are not going to stick with it. It will only make you miserable and not help you in the long term. Find something you enjoy doing and you will be more successful.
Comments will be approved before showing up.