As Summer approaches, many influencers start to share their tips and tricks on how to form a ‘desirable’ body– especially on TikTok. While the intentions of the influencers may be genuine, our bodies are not ‘one size fits all’; therefore, there are dangers in following general health advice on the internet without a substantial understanding of nutrition. Typically, advice posted by influencers includes recommendations that work for them and may not be healthy for the viewer. After speaking with Jasmine El Nabli, MS, RDN, we concluded which viral TikTok trends can benefit everyone in preparation for summer.
Before evaluating specific videos, she prefaced the conversation by stating, “Instead of following restrictive diets or weight loss trends, I recommend eating a balanced diet which includes lean protein, complex carbohydrates, healthy fats, and fiber for long-term sustainable weight loss.” No matter what fad is popular, consistently consuming a well-balanced diet should always be the goal. The motive should be to maintain weight loss by being nutritious. While doing that, achieve the body you desire. That’s a general rule of thumb. She continued, “Instead of focusing on the foods you would like to decrease or eliminate from your diet, think about the healthful foods you can add to your diet, and TikTok is a great place for some fun and creative inspiration.”
We sent El Nabli four TikTok trends prevalent in the black girl community, and she provided her raw, uncut feedback on them. Use her knowledge to confidently discern what’s healthy on social media going forward. By the end of this story, you’ll feel like a registered dietician from all the wisdom she provides.
The first video promotes a raw vegan cleanse. A raw vegan diet includes fruits, vegetables, sprouted grains, sprouted legumes, raw nuts, and seeds, according to Everyday Health. The content creator displayed what she ate throughout the day, being innovative with her restrictions. El Nabli’s response to that post was, “There is a lot of misconception about the word “cleanse.” You do not need to “cleanse” or “detox” organs. Our kidneys, gut, and liver do all the detoxing we need. I try to steer people away from “cleansing” or “detoxing” because it is typically an unnecessary short-term restriction and not a long-term sustainable strategy for weight loss.” Essentially, only some things that glitter are gold. Cleanses may be marketed to receive quick results, but they must be more sustainable. There was an advantage to the types of food the content creator was eating. “Raw food diets consist of uncooked and unprocessed foods, which can be beneficial in avoiding processed foods and increasing fiber and produce intake. However, there is a risk of not consuming enough protein, vitamin D, vitamin B12, and iron.”
The second trend includes mixing the supplements glutamine and oxy shred into a drink and incorporating it into your daily diet. Her immediate response was, “Supplements can be a helpful addition to an already balanced diet, but they are not essential or necessary for achieving weight loss goals.” She debunks the misconception that using supplements daily is needed to lose weight. “Nutritional supplements are meant to supplement, not substitute, an already nutritionally balanced diet,” she continued. El Nabli also warns that “Supplements are not regulated by the FDA, which means it’s important for consumers to do their research and be cautious when considering their use. Look for third-party certifications, such as NSF International or USP, which can provide additional assurance of a supplement’s quality and purity.”
This third video amplifies the infamous p-word in weight loss tok- protein. It’s highly encouraged to double, triple, and sometimes quadruple up on protein if you want to lose weight. It’s a steady trend. Here’s what El Nabli had to say about it. “Incorporating smaller, more frequent, and high protein meals throughout the day is a great strategy for weight loss, but don’t rely on the calories indicated on the video as your goals may differ.” She agrees with incorporating more protein in your diet strategy, but regarding calorie count, see what’s needed for your body type. She stated, “Everyone’s nutritional needs and daily caloric intake are unique to their body. A “what I eat in a day” video featuring 2700 calories may be appropriate for weight loss in one individual but may cause weight gain in another.”
We have a winner! Not that this was a competition, but this “what I eat in a day” video is the favorite of our esteemed dietician. She says, “When preparing for a summer body and losing weight, eating high protein, staying hydrated, and fueling with fruits, vegetables, carbohydrates, and healthy fats is key.” This video displays “a well-balanced snapshot that includes protein, healthy fats, carbohydrates, fiber, and highlights the importance of hydration. Adequate water intake can help reduce appetite, increase metabolism, and promote weight loss.” When looking to lose weight for the summer healthily, this video is an excellent example of the mixtures of foods you should include in your diet.
Don’t you feel like a nutrition expert now? We told you. While that’s not the goal and the ability to successfully vet diet trends on social media is — we hope you can take this knowledge and apply it to your weight loss journey. We know you’ll achieve the body goals you desire- healthily.