Are Instagram Abs Really Everything They Seem?

Last week I put a post out on Instagram about the wellness community online. With the limited words in the caption I thought I’d expand on my message in a full blow post.

It’s no secret that the wellness community on Instagram is pretty large with over 29 million posts associated with #wellness there’s definitely some content which we should be aware of. Over the past 7-8 years of Instagram’s real growth we’ve seen a change in the messages which are being put out by the online wellness gurus. Initially the messaging was all surrounding #cleaneating and the competition to #eatclean was rife. Although since the more body positivity movement has begun we’ve seen a backlash towards all those #cleaneaters. We must note that many of these body positivity activists were those eating #clean diets.


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Moving this Instagram story onwards, in more recent months/ years I’ve began to notice that the drive for washboard abs remains high whilst at the same time the messaging around food is becoming more and more relaxed. So what’s actually happening? Many of these ‘ab goals’ fitness influencers are striving for perfection whilst ensuring that their drive to do so is looking as effortless as possible. Even more than this it almost appears that there’s somewhat of a competition as to who can eat the most pizzas, scoops of ice cream or put away a larger pancake stack than the next #influencer. The latest trend of ‘what I eat in a day’, can be seen as de-motivating, unrealistic and unachievable as we watch doughnut after doughnut being chopped down and swallowed into the abyss of a 6-pack.

So what’s this #eatingforabs all about? Can you really be consuming all this food and still stay as lean as these insta models? For the most part, achieving abs is incredibly difficult (particularly for females) and when they are ‘achieved’ (note I use the term loosely) more often than not they’re made visible by a very low body fat % which is often generated through a diet or restriction, low energy and meticulous planning. So why is it different for those we see on Instagram? In a few rare cases genetics can play a role in having a very lean body type although for many we have to remember that Instagram is only as good as the artist. You can paint a picture online of the image you want to give off. It’s important to consider that sometimes this food might not actually be being eaten, some might have disordered behaviours following their food consumption and others might be spending hours a day in the gym.

Whilst this post isn’t here to knock those with lean physiques I just want to highlight that sometimes it’s not all as effortless and realistic as it may seem. These messages can be damaging and I urge you all to never follow someone else’s diet as we’re all so different and their diet may not be all that they say it really is. Remember: you’re worth more.