As Instagram grows in popularity, Instagram personalities have developed rapidly. Some share funny memes or inspirational quotes and many claim to share health, nutrition and fitness tips. With no one controlling what is published on Instagram in terms of health, non-professionals can publish information and quickly obtain many followers. Daily meal and workout plans and watching someone else’s health journey can have benefits, so here are some tips to help you make the most out of this new health trend:
Anyone can post claiming they know the best diet or workout plan, but do they have the credentials to back them up? Here’s what to look for:
- Does this person have a degree in fitness or nutrition?
- Do they have any certifications? (i.e. personal trainer, group fitness, nutrition)
- Do they practice what they preach?
- Does it actually work?
- Why are they sharing?
And here’s some tips on how to find that information (some of these may make you seem like a creeper, but you would do this research before joining a gym, right?):
- Check their Instagram profile
- Ask them about their credentials in a comment
- Do a Google search of their name
- Check a personal Instagram or Twitter account
- Look for ‘before and after’ photos
- Read other’s comments (Do they agree or disagree with the post? What are the commenters credentials?)
Some Instagram personalities such as @organicandhappy recommend ‘monomeals’ (eating a large amount of one fruit, such as half a watermelon, as a meal) while others such as @slimfitbean advise against it. If you are interested in trying a meal posted on Instagram, first look into the benefits and possible negative effects of that meal by searching online or asking your doctor or nutritionist.
Make Sure It’s For You
Many Instagram personalities are sharing their health journey to help others eat and feel better, but some just do it for the ‘fame.’ Not that it’s a huge commitment, but before letting someone fill up your feed, check some their previous photos. If if all their photos are them doing crazy yoga poses or half-naked photos of their great bod, that’s cool, but not very beneficial to you. Find someone who’s sharing for the right reasons.
After some research, you may decide that you want to eat vegan or raw, but a major diet change like that doesn’t happen overnight. If you are following someone on Instagram for recipes or workout ideas, make sure you know how far into their journey they are. It’s not wise to pick up where they are on their journey when you are just beginning yours. The great thing about Instagram is you can view everything they ever posted, so scroll down to their Day 1 and start from there (while remembering the first two tips).
Once you find an Instragram health guru that you like, don’t just limit yourself to them. Look for others to get different opinions and ideas. This is made even easier by the fact that many Instagram personalities give shout-outs to those that inspire them. Feel free to take suggestions and make them your own or combine ideas from different people you follow. Remember this is your personal journey, so only do what your body can handle and listen to what your body wants. Use other’s journeys as guidelines, not strict instructions.