20.2 million posts on Instagram have assigned the hashtag ‘clean eating’. That’s at the time of me writing – the figure will escalate by the hour. What is Instagram’s clean eating?
The idea is based around the various ways to showcase fruit and veg. Maybe that’s a smoothie, a smoothie bowl or a salad bowl. Sometimes it’s oatmeal (or as I say porridge), which is decorated with fruit toppings. If you see one with chocolate – don’t kid yourself. That’s protein chocolate.
I joined this trend back when I was on my fitness transformation. My account was full of food that I believed qualified me as healthy. Of course, I sometimes ate crisps and to this day, delight in my morning bread wake-up – but I’m not going to post that.
It goes against the image of wellness. It’s an image that’s so scrutinised – people are blinded by what healthy now means.
Think about this – a smoothie bowl with an array of fruit blitz, followed by fruit on top, followed by choc shot (made with natural fruit) – is it necessary to consume that much in one sitting?
Let food be thy medicine, thy medicine shall be thy food – Hippocrates
Firstly, it’s not nice. Okay – I’m sorry if you’re reading and you love smoothie bowls. The only exception was that one nice-cream dessert I made. A smoothie you drink is more appetising. And I LOVE smoothies!
Though if I post a smoothie bowl filled with fruit, and then another image of soup with slices of bread – I know which is heading to popularity.
Instagram’s Clean eating side-effects
Food has become categorised into good and bad. The obsession for ‘good ‘is increasing the eating disorder orthorexia. It’s partly defined by the obsession to eat only ‘pure’ produce.
As reported in Teen Vogue, there was a study last year which found a link between Instagram and the condition.
Instagram star Pixie Turner famously rebelled away from the wellness movement, and gave up on her vegan lifestyle after discovering she was a sufferer. She now tries to spread the message that no food should be feared and uploads a wide selection of meals and desserts.
Do the positives out-weigh the bad?
It feels a little fake when a celebrity goes out of their way to demonstrate that they eat fast food or gorge on pizza.
With clean-eating taking over from “nothing tastes as good as being skinny”, it feels like honesty has paraded the industry. Fewer people are pretending that they don’t work out or simply eat whatever they want.
I think of dieting, then I eat pizza – Lara Stone
And the Instagram clean eating – despite its pretences – encourages good living.
Before signing up to create an account, I read repetitive magazine interviews. Lunch is fish and vegetables – dinner is chicken and vegetables. Snacks are a handful of cashew nuts or a piece of fruit.
But now – I can feel confident in my plant-based diet. There’s so many ideas out there that have inspired me.
I’m healthier, happier and with more energy. I’ve made fantastic friends in the fitness community and I’ve read the most inspirational stories on people who have changed their lives.
I don’t know anyone in my life on the same diet as me. So, I go on Instagram and I connect. Genuinely, I enjoy my vegetable stir-fries and porridge with pumpkin and banana. When I go on my account, I want to inspire myself.
I want to say – look at all this healthy food you have made – keep going on your journey.
What’s the answer?
Remember one thing.
Instagram’s clean eating is the same as fashion, beauty and lifestyle. It’s about prettiness. Beautiful, artistic photography.
Salads and fruit are easy to present to a good standard. I can’t muster up a single dish on MasterChef, but you better believe my smoothie is creating goals.
When people discuss their progress, there’s not much admittance in ‘falling off the wagon’ once having progressed
The influencers – unless trained, are not experts. Source people like The Body Coach. He is promoting a good lifestyle and that includes – shock horror – bread.
I don’t believe choices like veganism should get categorised in a clean eating trend. There’s plenty of sugary and salty food in the lifestyle, and secondly, not everyone takes up the diet for health.
Instagram’s clean eating hashtag has now risen to 37.7 million. What are your thoughts?