There's plenty of fitness influencers out there on social media who use photoshop, unhealthy fad dieting, or performance-enhancing drugs to achieve a certain look, while being dishonest as to how they achieve it. Rather than opt to eat healthily, exercise healthy habits and try the best exercises for weight loss on a consistent basis, these influencers are taking short cuts to look good in a single photo.
Others have been promoting and personally endorsing fitness products they haven't used or tried. Social media has also been responsible for a few potentially dangerous viral fitness trends, such as mixing pre-workout with an energy drink in order to get a "buzz" and train harder.
Bodybuilder Noel Deyzel has been cutting through the online BS with a series of short, helpful videos. Amassing an impressive 60 million likes on TikTok, Deyzel has been calling out people who are dishonest about the way they achieved their low body fat, or fit physiques, telling his 2.7m followers to "be careful about who you let influence you".
"I have never claimed to be natural, but know far too many people that do when they're not. Some have even had surgery and claimed it's a result of lifestyle changes.
"It's no wonder we have an entire generation that simply doesn't feel good enough. The term 'influence' means 'to have an effect on character or behaviour of someone', so be careful who you let influence you."
Forbes reported that 34% of Norwegian influencers, polled on the site Inzpire.me, believed Instagram has had a negative impact on their body image. It's much harder to get scientific data on the long-term effect of social media, but we do have a clear idea that the trend of idealised body images can make us feel worse about ourselves.
One study, published in the journal New Media and Society, found idealised Instagram images made participants who looked at them dissatisfied with their own body. However, when shown these idealised, filtered Instagram images side-by-side with a more realistic picture of the same subject, ("Instagram vs reality"), it made people feel much less bad about themselves. It's helpful to remember social media is a curated experience, not an accurate reflection of real life.
Deyzel's YouTube channel offers a series of longer videos on fitness and healthy eating advice, as well as his shorts copied from his TikTok channel.
In the video above, he shows us how to eat healthy and prep meals in advance for less, to dispel the myth it's expensive to eat healthy. Deyzel fries his chicken breast in a pan, but you can use one of the best health grills or the best air fryer for consistently good results with less added calories and saturated fats.
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Matt Evans is an experienced health and fitness journalist and is currently Fitness and Wellbeing Editor at TechRadar, covering all things exercise and nutrition on Fit&Well's tech-focused sister site. Matt originally discovered exercise through martial arts: he holds a black belt in Karate and remains a keen runner, gym-goer, and infrequent yogi. His top fitness tip? Stretch.
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