Banana Girl V Bikini Girl – who’s right?

One of the top stories in Adelaide media over the past couple of days has been the online feud between social media personalities Kayla Itsines, founder of the the ‘Bikini Body Guide’ #BBG  and Leanne Ratcliffe aka Freelee the ‘Banana Girl’. The feud has ended up in a defamation case currently playing out in the supreme court.

So what’s our view here at Life Personal Trainers?

At first glance, both groups appear to be promoting programs or a ‘lifestyle’ that doesn’t look sustainable.

Bikini girl promotes a ’12 week plan’ which, despite promoting normal whole foods from all the food groups (a tick for that!), appears to advocate a degree of calorie restriction that looks to be unsustainable in the long term – think strict constraint and limited portions. Of most concern is her emphasis using photo’s on the ‘thin ideal’.  Many of her ‘before’ pictures show young women who appear to be of healthy bodyweight, possibly creating dissatisfaction in the minds of many young people with their own body weight. 

On the other hand, the ‘raw til 4’ eating plan (and eating 30 bananas a day) promoted by Banana girl is obviously extreme, puts certain micronutrients at risk and is also not sustainable.

However, probably my biggest concern from following this story and from a look at the websites being promoted by both sides, is the way that what we eat and our exercise routine gets distilled down to being all about weight loss and body shape. Both websites are adorned with ‘before’ and ‘after’ pictures, revealing the external ‘results’ achieved by some of their clients/fans and further reinforcing that ‘it is all about the outside appearance’. 

Instead of such a one dimensional focus on ‘weight’, our philosophy at Life Personal Trainers is that you should exercise regularly and eat a healthy diet because it is good for you and you are worth it. This means adopting eating and exercise habits that you can sustain for the long term – and get long term benefits from, not something that is measured by ’12 weeks’. Temporary changes will only ever lead to temporary results. These habits will vary from person to person depending on other priorities and lifestyle choices and there is not necessarily one ‘right’ way to do it. What is for certain is that the principles of ‘moderation’, ‘mindfulness, ‘consistency’, ‘balance’ and plain ‘commonsense’ will continue to be relevant in any sustainable eating and exercise program.

We also believe that in addition to helping you maintain a healthy weight, a regular exercise and a balanced eating plan will also make you feel better, reduce your risk of a number of health problems from cancers to mental health issues, improve your productivity at work and the energy that you have at the end of the day to spend quality time with your family.

So get out there, exercise regularly and eat well ‘most of the time’…..while this won’t sell e-books and doesn’t quite sound as sexy try it….for more than 12 weeks.

-Kristin Lewis

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