The Fitness Industry

The fitness industry as it stands is a bit of a mess. There is so much misinformation in the media about fitness, health, and diet. And it seems that every second day there is a Courier Mail Facebook post about the dangers of sugars (fine, in moderation), or about protein being worse for you than smoking (Layne Norton has a great article that responded to this) or some other such thing.  No wonder people are so confused when it comes to weight management!!

Competing in bodybuilding / bodysculpting competitions is also gaining more popularity. I think it is a great goal to have, as long as you are doing things the right way and looking after your health. Wanting to compete to get in shape is great, but starving yourself to do it defeats the purpose of living a healthy lifestyle.

Because of this influx of competitors, it seems every second person now is a contest prep coach and/or a personal trainer, and I know the Australian Institute of Fitness is pumping out PTs like its going out of fashion. It seems to be about quantity over quality and as long as they are paying then that’s all that matters. It is hard to find someone that actually has their clients best interests at heart, and also knows what they are doing.  

It is all too common to hear of trainers promoting low calorie cookie cutter diet plans, advising clients to do endless cardio sessions, and drop their calorie intake to well below what is considered normal for the average person to lose weight. And there are still people listening to them simply because they don’t know any better. I have heard some absolute horror stories. We all have.  

There are so many (girls especially) on dangerously low calorie diets, eating little to no carbs yet they are expected to walk on a treadmill for 2 hours a day and train with weights? This is a blatant set up for failure and binging. If you are in this position now, please RUN AWAY!!! If you know someone in this position then tell them to run away!! And instead of trying to drop 10% body fat in 3 weeks to compete (not possible) first start by working on not only your metabolism, but also your relationship with food.

These low carb and low calorie diets seem to be the underlying cause of many of the other issues. Insecurities with body image, obsessiveness with exercise, eating disorders, banned substance abuse can all stem from drastically lowering calorie and carb intake. It is only recently that people, myself included, have started to speak out about these problems and bring them to light. The fitness industry is not necessarily so glamorous behind the scenes.

Do you know the average amount of calories given to prisoners in concentration camps with less demanding labour assignments was around 1,300 calories per day? And those engaged in hard labour were given around 1,700 calories per day? Google it…

Yet for some reason the magical numbers floating around in the fitness industry at the moment are 1,200 calories for females, and 1,500 calories for males. That is crazy!! Of course you are going to lose weight if you STARVE yourself!! Or worse, you pay someone else to tell you to starve yourself.

A study on the effects of short term dieting showed that 95% of people who lost weight on a “diet” put the weight back on (recently I heard that it was now 98%). That is huge! And while the low carb low cal diets work quickly in the short term, this is how some supposed coaches are making their money, using cookie cutter diet plans and starving their clients. It is a quick fix. If you look at something like the Michelle Bridges 12 week challenge, it is nothing more than that. And as soon as people go back to eating “normally” once they have finished they will gain the weight back that they lost anyway. And you cannot survive on low calorie forever no matter how great you think you feel eating so little.

These supposed fitness industry professionals have access to so much information, studies and research papers online, yet they still preach old fashioned, out-dated weight loss protocols and most see their clients as nothing more than dollar signs.

Ashy Bines is another prime example, literally advising young impressionable women to starve themselves to lose weight. Telling them not to eat LETTUCE because it contains too much sugar?? I’m sorry but that is absolutely absurd.

Almost as absurd as Tracy Anderson's latest book which states on the cover that “this book weighs more than you should ever lift” or Susie Burrell (a well known nutritionist) stating that 50g of carbs is a large serve and you should aim for only 30g for lunch… It is NOT one size fits all and where did she even get those numbers from anyway?

I am not claiming to be an expert. But I do know that these people most definitely are not experts either. Spreading idiotic information like this is dangerous, because people are listening and following it. Why? Because they don’t know any better.  And because they seem to have great marketing teams (Bridges especially!)

I am not trying to sell “diet plans” or anything like that I am simply trying to create more awareness, and help people where I can by sharing my experiences and what I have learnt on my own journey.  I’ve experienced a lot of these issues first hand and know what damage it can cause. I’ve spent a lot of time researching and understanding what works and why, and I only wish I knew then what I know now!