Ashy-bines

Choosing The Right Filter: Instagram and Body Image

It seems like having a good body is more important than ever before, and the increasingly popular accounts on Instagram have something do to with it. But when does fitness stop and the obsession of looking good begin to take over?

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Recently, Instagram superstars such as Ashy Bines, Kayla Itsines, and Freelee The Banana Girl have shared a large success in regards to fitness tips and workout plans. But to what extent do these have on our longterm health?

The Gold Coast Bulletin recently reported that Ashy Bines was stealing recipes from other websites and selling them as part of her Bikini Body Challenge with retails at $59.95 for a joining fee, and additional costs between $29.95-$39.95. With over 500,000 fans on Facebook and just as much on Instagram, it’s no wonder that these 12 week plans are going through the roof.

Choosing The Right Filter: Instagram and Body Image

Not to mention the large volume of transformation pictures which are posted on all social media accounts. In an age where images can be altered on both the desktop, tablet and even a mobile phone, how can we believe what we see is genuine?

Instagram itself is feeling the shift, just take a look at some of its most popular tags and followed accounts: me, self, healthy, body, food, and the dreaded #instafit. It seems that we’re all interested in having a good body, but are compromising our health to make it all happen  and it’s not all about these Insta-models who have taken advantage of the shift.

Companies have capitalised on this and are creating products which will help to shed those extra kilograms in just a few days, a practice which is not healthy any way you look at it. So maybe it’s time, ladies, to rethink those weight loss teas, shakes, juice detoxes and cleanses, because they could all come at a price  your long-term health and wellbeing.

Images via Instagram, iStock

April 21, 2015

Are We Being Fooled By The Health And Fitness Industry?

In recent years, the health and fitness industry has experienced rapid growth, with anything and everything deemed healthy or nutritional sparking our interest. But, in the past few months however, the same industry has come under attack by both the public and the media after several allegations surrounding dishonest business ethics.

With obesity and malnutrition rates at an all-time high, there has never been more of a demand for healthy weight-loss programs, but are we being subjected to false and misleading information by health and fitness ‘gurus’ in a bid to capitalise on the problem?

Recently, fitness trainer and clean eating advocate Ashy Bines came under fire after she admitted to some of her recipes had been reproduced from other people’s websites. The Gold Coast workout queen addressed the issue in a YouTube video and admitted: “By outsourcing… to a nutritionist I was trying to give you all something of value and to come up with delicious recipes from the food I suggested.

“Unfortunately, I may have been too naïve to think that I wouldn’t have to check the origins of each recipe, instead trusting that the work would be completed in an honest and professional manner.”

Her admission clearly raises concerns as to why stricter guidelines aren’t being set. Especially after the scandal surrounding The Whole Pantry founder Belle Gibson, who was recently accused of faking her battle with cancer and withholding thousands of dollars in charity donations.

Since reports surfaced, her smartphone app and cookbook – which are based on the story of healing herself from brain cancer – have been pulled from circulation and, according to the Sydney Morning Herald, the publisher, Penguin, have admitted to not fact-checking her story.

It doesn’t stop there. Pete Evans’ book Bubba Yum Yum was put on hold after featuring a bone-broth formula recipe that was considered to be potentially fatal to infants. According to Good Food, the claim was slammed as “false and misleading” by health and economics expert at the Australian National University, Julie Smith.

“I think the ACCC should be looking very hard at this particular claim. The commercial publisher aims to make money out of this book and I suspect they would have to consider very carefully the investigation that would ensue if they published it,” she said.

And then of course, there’s the cult-like following in which meal-replacement shakes and supplements are promoted by companies as being healthy and preservative free, yet several nutritionists and dieticians say otherwise, and critics claim most are a scam.

So what’s the deal health and fitness industry? How can we distinguish the fact from the fiction? One minute we’re told to eat kale, then a report surfaces that too much kale can be deadly. The same can be said with the low-carb movement – it’s promoted by some as being the miracle approach to weight-loss, while others slam the diet as being unrealistic and dangerous.

Who’s telling the truth? And at what cost does it come to our health in the long-term? Maybe it’s time the health and fitness industry seriously considered an overhaul because, for all we know, we could be doing more damage than good.

Image via Shutterstock

April 8, 2015