Instagram diets: should you listen to celebrities about food 

Posted onJune 14, 2021 in Medical news

INSTAGRAMS AND OTHER SOCIAL NETWORKS OF CELEBRITIES provide an opportunity to look into their lives, learn about the latest news, and some follow the stars in order to unravel the secret of their “flawless” appearance. Celebrities, on the other hand, do not miss the opportunity to share “intimate” information, including about their nutrition – needless to say that it is not always possible to follow their advice. We analyze popular Instagram diets and explain why they are harmful.

Slim bitch club

The SlimBitchClub community appeared in March last year, and its first members were Ksenia Sobchak, Polina Kitsenko, Nika Belotserkovskaya and Matilda Shnurova. At the presentation, friends said that they had put together a healthy menu, dishes from which you can try in one of the Moscow health and beauty centers. Club members share tips on losing weight and a “healthy” lifestyle that help them personally, and on Instagram they publish recipes for “healthy” dishes, videos from workouts and advertisements for beauty salons they go to themselves.

Nutritional advice consists mainly of intimidation by the dire effects of excess calories and overeating (“Nut is a good waist sin!”). The club’s instagram publishes lists of “acidic” and “alkaline” products according to the unscientific classification used by adherents of separate nutrition. We have already said that separate nutrition is a pseudo-diet, and the ideas behind it have nothing to do with biochemical processes in the body. But other posts dedicated to the nutrition of club members do not contain links to scientific evidence or studies confirming the effectiveness or usefulness of certain dietary changes. But they are replete with myths – for example, the authors of Instagram explain the usefulness of goji berries by the fact that they are “superfood” and suggest drinking dietary supplements instead of “chemical vitamins”.

In fairness, Slim Bitch Club calls for an active lifestyle – in this the WHO fully supports the participants, recommending medium-intensity aerobic activity for at least 150 minutes per week or at least 75 minutes of high intensity, as well as strength exercises at least twice a week. But the recipes offered by the club are more suitable for a light snack rather than a regular way of eating, and they certainly do not bring special benefits.

Many posts talk about the “benefits” of avoiding certain foods – from milk to spinach to broccoli – although in reality, such restrictions will only make your diet less varied and make you anxious, and in the long run can lead to a lack of certain nutrients. The main thing in a healthy diet is not individual foods or their components, but how a person eats for a long time. To improve eating habits, it is better to turn to evidence-based nutrition, even if its principles are set out in a popular science and even play form (like the British Eatwell plate ).

Slimming teas and blends

The hit of Instagram – including the Russian-speaking one – is various powders and liquids for weight loss with names like FitTea, BooTea or TeaTox. In fact, these funds really help to easily lose a couple of kilograms – but not due to real weight loss, but due to laxative and diuretic effects. Most often, senna is a herbal laxative that is sometimes prescribed for constipation. Overuse of these mixtures can lead to dehydration and bowel problems.

Many celebrities are promoting these funds, including Kylie Jenner , Nicki Minaj , Britney Spears , Hilary Duff . A simple idea (usually a set includes two teas, a morning “for weight loss” and an evening “for detoxification”) and not an exorbitant cost made the market for such teas huge – now they are produced by hundreds of companies around the world, which, according to some sources , pay royalties to the stars before 250 thousand dollars for advertising. Since teas are not officially registered as medicines, but as food additives, their composition is not subject to rigorous checks, and there is no place to obtain unbiased safety information. Moreover, even the composition is not always revealed, and unknown substances can lead to real health problems.

Detox diets

The myth that the body can be cleansed of certain “toxins” with the help of “detox” seems to be impossible to get rid of: advertisements for detox juices, smoothies and food supplements are not decreasing. Usually, detox means taking a product that should “remove” all harmful substances “accumulated” in the body, or partial or complete starvation. Compilers of liquid (juices or smoothies) diets also rest on unloading the digestive system, which “rests” without solid food – but in fact, a healthy person does not need such breaks . As for the freshly squeezed juices themselves, they contain a large amount of readily available sugar and can harm the teeth, and over time, increase the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.

Detox smoothies are popular among celebrities: they are followed, for example, by Jessica Alba and Kourtney Kardashian (the latter generously shares with readers the recipes for smoothies “for weight loss after childbirth”). Recall that the liver and kidneys are primarily responsible for the constant cleaning of our body , which filter about 180 liters of blood daily. In addition, all tissues have systems that help get rid of harmful and foreign substances, and the work of the immune system is aimed at this . We can confidently say that only a balanced diet and an active lifestyle, but not a small bottle of juice, will contribute to a high-quality “detox”.

Fashion for diets

The star diets are in a tight rotation. Ostromodnye becomes the Atkins diet (it ketogenic), which adhere to, e.g., Halle Berry and Courtney Kardashyan then paleodieta among fans that Megan Fox and Jessica Bil . Separate nutrition in general is still popular among Russian stars (the diet of Katya Lel, Larisa Dolina and Anita Tsoi), but the passion for the “blood type” diet, fashionable in the 90s and 2000s, seems to have gradually faded away.

Relatively new directions – fruitorianism (rejection of everything except fruit) and intermittent fasting . The former can be considered an extreme vegan diet, promoted mainly by bloggers not known for anything else. The second is gaining more and more popularity in Silicon Valley; it is practiced by biohackers . All these options have one thing in common – the lack of scientific evidence that they are effective and safe, or at least something better than a balanced diet like the Mediterranean diet .

Why is it harmful

The stars give advice on nutrition and diet with the same ease with which they advertise cosmetics or clothing, without thinking that blindly following these recommendations can harm people’s health. In addition to pseudoscientific terms like “detox” and “superfoods”, you can often see the demonization of certain groups of products (flour, sweet or fatty), and also such posts contain a huge amount of advertising – hidden or direct.

At the same time, both Instagram celebrities and their subscribers forget that weight loss, nutrition and lifestyle are as complex topics as, for example, the health of the reproductive system and the control of chronic diseases. Nutrition and eating habits are unique for each person, and if you want to change or improve them, you should first of all listen to specialists. In other words, each person’s diet and needs require an individual and professional approach.

If we are talking about losing weight, it is also better to determine its necessity with a doctor: on the one hand, those who do not really need to lose weight often find “excess” weight in themselves . On the other hand , if the weight is really higher than the medical norm or obesity has developed, then the matter may be not only in the imbalance of consumed and consumed calories: metabolic disorders, hormonal changes and mental spectrum disorders are possible . Although in social networks we are offered to get rid of a few centimeters in the waist in a short time without leaving a trace, we must understand that the harm of such interventions can greatly outweigh their benefits.

Stars often recommend strict, low-calorie diets that allow you to lose a few pounds in a few days, for example, for an event. There is no scientific basis for these diets, and if you follow them often, problems will arise – both physical and mental. Cutting out whole food groups upsets the nutrient balance, and severe restrictions affect dietary habits and disrupt the perception of hunger and satiety cues. Research shows that frequent short-term diets have a profound effect on morale – leading to eating disorders, decreased life satisfaction and other disorders. There is also a link between short diets and the incidence of a number of diseases (up to all-cause mortality and mortality due to coronary heart disease), although the underlying cause remains to be determined.

How to recognize a catch

When faced with nutritional advice from celebrities, it is worth considering why the person is talking about it – perhaps they are just trying to sell you something. It is important to remember that there are no magic foods that can help you lose weight or solve health problems. “Unique ingredients”, including “natural ingredients”, can be dangerous if not studied in clinical trials. In addition, side effects are usually not talked about on Instagram, and you can’t be sure that a celebrity follows his own advice. If you have never heard of the advertised product, it is best to consult with your doctor or dietitian.

It is necessary to check the sources. If, talking about the diet, the author refers solely to personal experience (for example, gives advice on losing weight after childbirth), then it is better to be skeptical about this. After all, many people use social media in much the same way – showing pretty pictures; we do not see what the diet and lifestyle of the account owner actually looks like. Finally, advice about a “healthy lifestyle” is often aimed not at improving health, but at correcting appearance, and it is impossible to equate these concepts. Short-term diets and laxative teas can really help you get into your favorite dress quickly – but this has nothing to do with maintaining health.

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