Posted on Wednesday 21st of February 2018 at 10:37 AM
Trainer Anna Victoria knows all about the ins and outs of what social media gets wrong about health and weight loss.
The fitness star and 29-year-old Californian with more than one million Instagram followers has made a name for herself making exercise relatable and accessible thanks to social media.
INSIDER recently spoke with Victoria about her new app Body Love, and what misconceptions people have about health and fitness — thanks to social media.
Here are some of the biggest lies people believe, and what to expect instead.
1. Lie: It's quick and easy to make changes and see physical progress.
Reality: People underestimate how long it takes to see physical changes compared to emotional changes.
Adding in healthier habits or making changes to your regular routine is great, but doing that alone and expecting a total body transformation to happen instantly is unrealistic — no matter how believable social media makes it seem. Though Victoria doesn't want that reality to discourage people from making changes.
"It takes honestly like four to six weeks of consistent effort [to see progress], so if you are 50/50 you are going to get 50/50 results," she told INSIDER.
"I don't want to make it seem too overwhelming and too hardcore, because at the end of the day any improvement is better than nothing and that will help you see progress, but I would still say that it takes about four to six weeks to see physical change. I think it takes less time to see mental and emotional improvement and change," she said.
Other non-physical benefits of exercising and eating right include better sleep and mood and more energy. According to Victoria, these are excellent progress indicators to watch out for and value along your journey.
"The thing is though, not as many people are as in tune with [non-physical benefits] so they may be feeling it, but that is not what they are looking out for, they are only looking out for the physical change," she said.
"So they might just be thinking 'oh I'm just not seeing it, so nothing is happening,' but people should be more in tune with other changes too."
2. Lie: You have to be 100% perfect all the time.
Reality: A long-term approach to health that includes a bit of wiggle room is more sustainable.
Some people call Instagram a "perfection trap." And perfectionism is something Victoria has struggled with since becoming a full-time trainer and health expert. She said this pressure has been her biggest mental block while on her own health and fitness journey.
"I have definitely struggled with kind of not letting the journey become too obsessive, and because I am in a place of influence and girls looking up to me, [...] I don't want to get to a point where that kind of directs my journey," she said.
Likewise, people who follow Victoria and want to implement a healthier lifestyle should also cut themselves some slack. Giving yourself wiggle room in your diet, for example, will help you keep up with it especially because the best diet to implement is the one you can stick with for the long haul.
"You absolutely don't have to be [perfect] on this journey," Victoria said. "Eighty percent of the time I focus on really giving my best effort and then the other 20% it could be go enjoy cake, go have a cheat meal, go enjoy a holiday, skip a workout, you have some room to be human."
3. Lie: Doing a month-long squat challenge will change your booty.
Reality: Quick-fix challenges won't benefit — or change — your body in the long run.
Squat challenges posted on social media promote a perky and toned backside in 30 or so days. But this type of challenge is one that Victoria finds "really annoying."
"I don't want to say I hate it, but it just is really annoying to see people buying into the '30 day squat challenge,'" she said. "Doing 500 squats over the course of a week is not going to help you get a bigger butt or lose fat on your butt."
Victoria explained that when most people exercise for an aesthetic behind, it is with the intention of either increasing muscle or losing fat— and this type of challenge won't help with either.
"If you do [an exercise] back to back you are not giving your muscles, and your body, rest to regrow and that is where the muscle growth component comes into play," she said
Doing exercises back to back without rest can cause other issues like exhaustion and even injury. So don't let the allure of a quick fix trick you into taking on one of these challenges.
"It is literally a waste of time," Victoria said. "It is what people want to see. They want to see 'I can do a 30-day squat challenge and get a perky booty,' they buy into it, and I think it is definitely something that contributes to the more negative cycle of fitness or of the yo-yo mentality."
This acticle first appeared on Insider. Click here to read the original article.