Fitness coach Alan Williams has blasted TV shows and social media ‘experts’ for causing the spread of unhealthy weight loss programmes.
He believes that some fitness professionals are exploiting people with unrealistic expectations and causing competition over who can generate the most rapid weight loss.
“Fitness has become the ‘cool’ thing. It’s almost turned into a competition of who can look the best,” said Williams, who is based in Sligo.
“We are being pressured into thinking we have to look or act a certain way to comply with society’s expectations.
“They (fitness professionals on TV and online) seem to be in a competition among themselves to see who can post the best stat online with their clients’ results.”
Williams, who is one of Ireland’s leading fitness coaches, believes that people flaunting their “dream bodies” online can shame others and create unrealistic expectations.
He has warned that rapid weight loss can cause serious health issues, such as headaches, irritability, fatigue, dizziness, menstrual irregularities, hair loss, muscle loss and, in some cases, an increased risk of developing gallstones.
No client can safely lose more than two pounds a week, Williams added.
“I’m all for people getting in shape but it has to be done in a healthy way. Now things seem to be about losing weight in the quickest time possible. Whatever happened to training for health?
“Getting in shape is as simple now as it was fifty years ago, because the truth doesn’t change. What works long term is healthy eating and exercise. For sustainable weight loss, aim to lose on average 1 – 2lbs a week.
“When clients feel like that’s not enough for their efforts I always remind them that even losing one pound a week would leave them almost two stone lighter in six months’ time.
“With every client I work with, I encourage them to set training and exercise goals. Take the focus off the scales. Try to enjoy your training and eating healthily. If you do that, everything else will take care of itself.”
Williams is hosting a “Change Your Own World” seminar at the Landmark Hotel in Carrick-on-Shannon, Co Leitrim, on Wednesday, February 22 at 8pm. The seminar will cover healthy eating, exercise, mindset and motivation. See: www.alanwilliamscoaching.com.