Fitness Influencers – be cautious of the “influencers”. Fitness Influencers might not have the best intentions.
By Grant Leiphart
Social media influencers and fitness influencers have become the main source of information for many. It is easy to open up instagram, Tik Tok, twitter, etc. and be fed quick information on various subjects. Diet and exercise are topics that have been flooded with influencer content. However, we must take most of the information with a grain of salt. Misinformation in diet and exercise content has become a huge problem with influencers.
Diet and Nutrition
Diet and nutrition are at the forefront of influencer content. Opinions vary drastically about what is healthy or not. What is the diet for you, or what you should avoid at all costs. Influencers push things like raw organ diets or all natural vegan diets and everything in between. It is very easy to get sucked into what these influencers are saying. It is very easy to believe the information they are putting out. However, we must be very cautious with believing everything we see.
Diet and nutrition are already complex areas to tackle. They become even more murky when you have multiple sources telling you to support their nutrition plan. Keep things simple, if an influencer is pushing something that seems ridiculous or unnecessary that’s because it most likely is.
Are they selling you something?
A lot of times influencers have their own brand of diet supplements or nutrition lines. They are trying to sell through the crap information they are feeding you. They will tell you all the benefits to compounds found in THEIR supplements. At the same time bash on things that are not in their supplement line. This is to trick you into buying their products, supporting their misinformation flow.
Now, I am not saying that all products endorsed through social media are bad or unhealthy to consume. But we should be paying attention to who we are supporting. Again, if someone’s diet methods or supplements seem out of hand then they probably are. Keep things simple and support diet and supplement lines that are proven to be safe and effective.
Doctors and Doctors
Another reason it is easy to fall into the trap of social media influencers is because they label themselves as doctors or health care officials. A chiropractor is not a good source for nutritional advice. That is like me feeding you information about how to create a computer algorithm (I know nothing about computer science). Yes, someone may be a doctor but they are not a dietitian or exercise physiologist. What about their education makes makes their word valid? It is an easy way for them to sell you information that could be, and most likely is, far from the truth. If someone doesn’t even have a label that might give them some sort of credibility then that should be a huge red flag.
How do we find reliable information from influencers? The first thing I would suggest is to find people who have the credentials in the field you are seeking information from. For example, find people who are certified dietitians, nutritionists, exercise physiologists, etc. These people will hopefully be truthful and not be trying to sell their “unique” products. Another way to identify the legitimacy of someone or their message is to look at their career successes.
Follow those who have been there and done that!
Another example, if I want to become a powerlifter am I going to listen to Ed Coan(One of the top powerlifters ever, with 71 world records)? Or some guy on Tik Tok who takes his shirt off for each set of spine bending deadlifts? If you have the time then you can also fact check people’s information. Especially on the diet/nutritional side of things. That doesn’t mean just google whatever you’re looking for because believe it or not google doesn’t always have the correct answers. The best way to fact check is to look into scientific studies, again that takes time to do and most of us don’t have that time. So find someone on social media (who is qualified!) to break down scientific data for you. Finally, like I said before, if someone’s methods seem ridiculous then it is probably because they are. Not everything needs to be “unique” or “special”, the simple things are what we should be looking for.
With social media being so prevalent in our lives we must be cautious about information we consume. Unfortunately people care more about their popularity and profits than they do about actually serving people’s needs. If you ever do get conflicted about information you are hearing then asking our staff at OC can be helpful.
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