Navigating Instagram

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Scrolling through your feed on Instagram it can get a little overwhelming. There is SO much information, where to start? What to believe? I think it is super important to be aware and cautious so I decided to come up with a list of a few of the things that have been on my mind lately. With many New Years resolutions and goals bringing people to the world of healthy eating and fitness these are some tips that I always try to keep in mind!

1.) Instagram doesn’t equal reality:  Log in and your instantly overwhelmed with so much gorgeous food, perfect workouts with the perfect scenery, etc. It is really important to remember that there is a reason these pictures got posted in the first place. People spent ALOT of time preparing the most perfect looking dish or getting the perfect selfie but everyones everyday life does typically not look like that. It is simply the highlights of someones life and often doesn’t reflect the rest.

2.) There is a lot of financial incentive for people on insta: Keep seeing the same skinny tea, pre-workout, or supplement? Many people are paid to promote brands and products on their profile for compensation. While I do not frown upon this, be aware and evaluate for yourself if that product is truly worth buying. Watch out for ridiculous claims and crediting a single product for a transformation that seems drastic. While a lot of individuals are promoting a product they actually use and love, many are just trying to make a quick buck. Be aware! I receive no compensation for anything I post but I do receive some free products. If I do not like the product/ wouldn’t buy it myself I would NOT share it or post about it.

3.) Speaking of supplements….: As a pharmacy student I am EXTREMELY critical of any supplements. Often times people over supplement their diet with things that have little evidence. I am all for doing things the “natural” way. Food can be medicine if you do your research and incorporate variety in your diet! Before taking a supplement do your own research! Look for evidence other than personal testimonies. Do the claims they are making even make sense? Who supports these claims? People buy into these claims and waste ALOT of money on these useless products. Become an informed consumer! Same goes for taking extra vitamins and minerals. People are often just making “expensive pee” by over supplementing water soluble vitamins they are consuming enough of in their diet. If you are noticing fatigue or other concerning symptoms consider getting blood work to properly supplement your diet and find what you are truly lacking.

4.) Don’t allow Instagram to define healthy for you: I will be the first person to admit that my relationship with food and exercise is not entirely healthy. The Instagram community provides awesome support but its important to be aware that a lot of individuals with health accounts have their own struggles. I scrolled my own feed the other day and saw posts years ago where I shared workouts that were terribly long and excessive. Do not compare yourself or assume that what others are doing is “right”. Although I have made improvements, I still struggle with over exercise and would not want others to try and aspire to the same schedule that I have.

5.)  Choose wisely when buying plans/advice/meal plans: Look for certifications!! Is this person a certified personal trainer, registered dietician, etc?? This is truly important when people are charging for advice and plans. Anyone can speak from experience but when giving it to others its important that they have a true understanding to back up their advice. I love sharing workouts and food advice but I am not certified therefore I would NEVER charge for anything I provide. I think if someone chooses to make income this way they owe their clients the time and effort to earn these credentials.

Anyone else have experience or opinions on any of the above? I would love to hear!!

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