5 Ways Fitness on Social Media Is Misleading
There is SO much conflicting information out there on the internet. It seems like every week there’s a new method for fat loss or muscle gain that seems to contradict whatever last week’s hot trend was. This is why it is important to take what you read online with a grain of salt, and when in doubt seek out professional help if you’re feeling confused about where to begin. Here are five things you should definitely remember when reading/viewing countless articles, forums, pictures, etc on the internet.
If you eat less than your body expends, you will lose weight. The concept of energy balance, at its core, is unbelievably simple, just energy in versus energy out. Every diet out there that actually helps people see reductions on the scale is due to a calorie deficit. Now, we can optimize the benefits of that caloric deficit by utilizing proper macronutrient distribution + an appropriate weight training/cardio regime for FAT loss..... which yes, is different than weight loss.
You know that girl you endlessly stalk on Instagram because you’re dying for her ripped stomach & perky booty? She doesn’t necessarily look like that all the time. Or that famous male bodybuilder that seems to always have an amazing post gym “pump” ? He doesn’t walk around looking like that 24/7. Generally speaking, people tend to post pictures where they look their absolute best in. This means that your Instagram idol is most likely twisting and flexing his/her body in just the right manner in order to look as good as possible, while standing in the best possible lighting. Many people will even tell you themselves that social media is not necessarily reality. No matter how in shape you are, in the wrong angle and lighting, you are not going to look your best. That’s why it’s super important to STOP comparing yourself to other people especially on social media, and to accept your body at all angles and in different lighting.
Every day, at any given moment or on any website, you will see people promoting new products that claim to yield incredible results. You may be tempted to try it, but proceed with caution. Sometimes all you need to do is look a little closer at the product they are pushing or the particular picture/post they have put out there to realize that they are BEING PAID to advertise the product over the internet. Unfortunately people will do a lot for money & may be promoting a product that does not work, or that they don’t even use. Anyone in peak physical shape did not get that way due to some supplement or product. It takes time & hard work, and unfortunately these big companies seek out people who look amazing to push their products. What happens is that these people actually end up discrediting themselves and their years of consistency, sacrifice and dedication.
Often times on social media you will see people doing strange exercises you’ve never seen or heard of. You see it all the time: an incredibly fit girl or guy performing these “circus tricks” claiming that this move is the *best* new way to get your perfect body. If that was the case, wouldn’t everyone already be performing them? Generally these movements are ineffective and a waste of time, not to mention potentially dangerous. Stick to your compound movements (such as squats, deadlifts, bench press, rows etc) that work the big muscle groups, throw in a few isolation exercises (such as lateral raises for shoulders, bicep curls, etc) after your compound movements, and go hard & heavy. Stop wasting your time attempting ridiculous movements and stick to the tried and true methods.
Fasted cardio seems to be the latest trend. Everyone seems to think if you work out without any food (fuel!!) in your belly you will automatically transform into a fat burning machine. There are plenty of studies out there that have debunked this myth. It really all comes down to personal preference in the end. If you feel that your workouts are better on an empty stomach, by all means continue to do so. However keep in mind that generally speaking you will run faster, lift heaver, and be able to work harder and safer with some fuel in your body. Think of it this way: if you tried to drive all the way to New York City with an empty gas tank, would you make it very far? Probably not.
If you would like to work with one our nutritionists contact us through our website or call 732-462-LEAN(5326)
Written by: Emily Ventura BS Public Health