Your Favourite Influencer’s “Full Day of Eating” Vlogs are Hurting You
Social media is a massive part of any typical adult’s life lately. No matter your hobbies or interests, you can bet there is a sub-culture or community on your favourite platform wholly dedicated to that.
There’s plenty of content to sift through for fitness people like you (and us). of course, like all these sub-categories, there will be quality content and content that’s less-than. However, this fitness category is particularly vulnerable to misinformation and skewing truthful information in a harmful way. When we’re talking about people’s health and their bodies, things can get rather sticky.
While “health” has some loose guidelines laid out by the government with the help of medical professionals, we have to realize that one person’s healthy might look very different from another’s. That’s why we have such an issue with things like the “full day of eating” vlogs that have infected the fitness influencer subculture.
What is a “Full Day of Eating” Video?
If you’ve yet to stumble across one of these lovely videos, they’re painfully boring recaps of what an attractive (by today’s beauty standards) person eats in a day. These videos are also known as “what I eat in a day” videos or WIEIAD for short. They’re touted as an honest look into this beautiful person’s—who you presumably admire, since you follow—dietary habits.
They’re supposed to contain every morsel that passes by said influencer’s lips over a 24-hour period, including:
Why do Influencers Post Full Day of Eating Vlogs?
The short answer is that influencers’ followings highly request these video food-diary entries. We want to see them.
Fitness influencers are all about giving the people what they want to see and what content gets as many views, shares, saves, and “likes” as possible.
To be clear, no shame in that game! We personally enjoy following fitness and other influencers on social media. It’s totally normal to want to fill your feed with things that motivate, inspire, and appeal to your particular interests. If you can make a full- or part-time living sharing things you love with the social media world (and it makes you happy), more power to you!
However, as “influencers,” these people have a moral responsibility. The word influencer plays off the fact that their following will literally be influenced by the things they say and do. For example, if an influencer says, “I love these athletic leggings!” their following will likely buy those exact leggings.
This is also how they make their money—through affiliate programs with companies that pay the influencers when people purchase the products through a specific link.
So, when an influencer posts a full day of eating video, they’re (at the very least) perpetuating a misconception that if another individual can eat exactly what they eat for X number of days/weeks/months, they will look the same.
Why do We Care About these Diet Plans?
In general, we care about full day of eating videos for that reason. But unfortunately, these influencers are primarily thin, non-disabled, white women. You don’t have to be particularly “woke” to realize that this makes up a shockingly small percentage of the world’s population—yet they’re often the embodiment of the current beauty standards.
Our desire to know what these women eat stems from a deeply ingrained desire to achieve these standards. Whether we fully admit it or not, most people (mainly women) are obsessed with becoming and staying thin.
This is problematic in and of itself because, according to Colleen Reichmann, PsyD, an American clinical psychologist and expert on eating disorder recovery, genetics determine 95% of a person’s body shape, structure, and weight.
Additionally, as mentioned above, “health” looks different for everybody—some people are naturally small and weigh around 45kg. This weight could be perfectly healthy, but if a taller individual strives for the same weight, they will be dangerously thin. Not to mention, body weight isn’t the only (or even the most reliable) measure of a person’s health.
So even if you follow your favourite’s diet plan to the T, you won’t look the same.
I Hear You, But How are They “Hurting” Me?
Yes, we said what we meant. These full day of eating videos that share a diet plan of a beautiful person are hurting you—and if they’re not hurting you directly, they’re definitely hurting people you love.
This is, by no means, an exhaustive list of all the ways someone else’s diet plan and full day of eating video is harmful. But it is a start.
Who is Making this Full Day of Eating Video?
The most notable point is the person’s credentials who made the full day of eating diet plan video. Anyone can rise to influencer-level stardom on social media, and just because they have your ideal body doesn’t mean they’re a fitness expert, a nutritional expert, or qualified in any way to recommend their diet plan to anyone else. This is true for even those who have reached bodybuilding-level fitness.
While we’ve never seen a video that suggests following these full day of eating videos for a diet plan, it’s implied—if not by the creator, by the follower. So, our point is, who is to say what they’re eating in a day is healthy or not.
Comparison is a Dangerous Game
There’s an old adage that states, “comparison is the thief of joy.” Unfortunately, it’s true, and it’s also one of the biggest struggles to overcome with a social media-obsessed culture. We’ll touch on the “highlight reel” effect later, but in general, it’s never a good idea to compare yourself, your body, or your situation to someone else.
There’s no benefit to looking at someone else to improve yourself. This is true whether we’re talking about health and fitness, parenting, schooling, or anything else for that matter.
Full day of eating videos naturally have a way of making us hyper-focus on what we’re eating compared to the video diet plan we’re watching. Then we tend to assign moral judgements to ourselves or the influencer—she’s healthier than I, or I’m healthier than her.
Full Day of Eating Videos Rarely Promote a Healthy Relationship with Food and Potentially Share Disordered Eating Habits
Now, we’re not going to say who has a good relationship with food and who doesn’t. Just because you share a full day of eating video doesn’t mean we’re automatically stating that you have a flawed relationship with your diet plan.
However, it’s rarer that an individual (especially a woman) has a healthy relationship with food than those who do not. The majority of adult women are unhappy with their bodies and therefore struggle with food. So, full day of eating diet plan videos are most likely not sharing an individual’s healthy, balanced food relationship.
Additionally, at the more extreme end of the spectrum, full day of eating videos could be sharing disordered eating habits. Since we know these videos influence others, they potentially encourage others to take on these habits.
Different Bodies (and Goals) Need Different Nutrition
Let’s not forget that every body is different! There are a ton of different restrictions that people might abide by for one reason or another. Off the top of our head, consider those who are:
- lactose intolerant
- gluten intolerant
- or have other conditions that require a modified diet plan
In addition to restrictions people might be following, each person has unique goals for themselves, too. For example, losing weight and gaining muscles are two equally legitimate fitness goals with very different nutritional requirements.
Even if your goals are in line with an influencer’s goals, again, let’s bring up the credential piece again. Is this influencer qualified to provide diet plan advice for that goal? Even if they are, following someone else’s diet plan doesn’t provide the individualized touch for your specific needs.
Many unqualified fitness influencers share extremely low calorie or low carbohydrate diet plans that health experts would agree aren’t healthy or effective for long-term success.
Social Media is a Highlight Reel
Whether we’re talking influencers or not, social media is a highlight reel—most people are not sharing the normal dips of motivation and mood for the world to see.
Even some of the most down-to-earth influencers admit to the pressures of needing to appear perfect in an effort not to get torn apart by vicious keyboard-warriors on the internet.
So, considering the immense amount of pressure these influencers feel, do we maybe think there’s a very likely possibility that these influencers aren’t truly sharing everything they eat in their full day of eating vlog? We do.
In addition, do we think that this pressure could also contribute to an influencer potentially falling victim to disordered eating habits or full-blown eating disorders? We do, again, and while that by itself can make you feel bad for the influencer, they also carry the responsibility of promoting and encouraging those dangerous and unhealthy habits to others.
It’s Altogether Unhelpful to Know Another Person’s Diet Plan
Again, to make perfectly clear our position—it is wildly unhelpful to know what another person’s diet plan is. Even if you eat the exact same diet plan as someone genetically related to you, you are a unique individual who will never look like anyone but you, regardless of how heavy or thin you may be.
Let’s collectively work on accepting and loving our own unique bodies instead of insisting on knowing another person’s diet plan through their full day of eating vlog so that maybe, one day, we can look like them.
Triggers, Triggers Everywhere
We’re particularly concerned about those who already struggle with their relationship with food or a diagnosed eating disorder and these full day of eating videos.
This is because the content in these videos is often enough to trigger these individuals, and the language used can be especially harmful.
Every Day is a Different Day
Lastly, full day of eating videos are a highlight diet plan out of many, many days of eating that you’re not seeing. An influencer is very likely recording their “healthiest” diet plan day, and we’re willing to bet they’re not recording their “cheat” day.
Even if you think you’ve found an influencer whose full day of eating video is perfectly balanced and non-restrictive, every day is different, and we are not meant to be eating the exact same food every single day! Human beings require balance—that means different foods regularly.
Alright, Alright, What Can I do About it?
If you’re with us and see how these full day of eating videos are unhelpful and potentially harmful, you might be wondering what you can do about it.
Work on your relationship with food. Seek help for disordered eating habits and take it upon yourself to heal your relationship with food. We’re a big fan of intuitive and mindful eating. These are methods of listening to your body, and they work for anybody, any size, and any fitness level.
It’s worth noting that intuitive and mindful eating assume a bit of a privileged stance, assuming that everyone has equal access to food, and we understand that that’s not the case.
- Avoid comparison. Delete any accounts that make you fixate on comparing yourself to them or make you feel bad about yourself. The beauty of your social media feed is that you can curate it to filter out triggers or anything that makes you feel less-than.
- Avoid watching and encouraging your favourite influencers to share their diet plans and what I eat in a day videos. The more people who abstain from liking, sharing, commenting, and saving, the more the influencer realizes that this content doesn’t interest their audience. You can also kindly express your concerns to the influencers in the comments and hope they’re willing to listen and learn.
- Help others who might be falling victim to the harmful effects of these videos by sharing what you’ve learned. When we know better, we do better—right?
Can Full Day of Eating Videos be Helpful?
Before we wrap this up, let’s talk about ways that a full day of eating video can actually be helpful!
- Watching a fitness influencer eat without a diet plan and without restriction and guilt could potentially influence you to work towards doing the same! While not the norm, we’re sure these types of influencers are out there!
Perhaps you’re in a recipe rut and looking for some new recipe ideas. It can be helpful to learn another person’s meal staples and try something new!
- Seeing fitness folks who have achieved goals similar to yours can give you insight into the types of supplements that might potentially help support your efforts. While we always suggest doing your own research and not basing your supplements on someone else, many people are unaware of some incredible supplements that exist!
Here, we will leave you with this thought—while your optimal health is something we encourage everyone to chase, what you look like and what you weigh is the least interesting thing about you. That goes for influencers, too.