Unrealistic expectations

Top coach slams TV for unhealthy fitness plans

Coach and nutrition expert Alan Williams

Observer Staff

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Top coach slams TV for unhealthy fitness plans

Alan Williams, Coach.

One of Ireland’s leading fitness coaches has called out TV shows and social media ‘experts’ for exploiting people with unrealistic fitness plans and praise for rapid weight loss.

Coach and nutrition expert Alan Williams says TV shows and surrounding hype on social media are to blame for pushing unhealthy weight loss plans onto people trying to get into shape.

Williams, who visits Carrick-on-Shannon next week to host a fitness seminar, says he is worried by fitness trends that promote rapid weight loss.

“Fitness has become the ‘cool’ thing. It’s almost turned into a competition of who can look the best,” Alan says.

Alan is hosting a “Change Your Own World” seminar at The Landmark Hotel in Carrick-on-Shannon, Co Leitrim, on Wednesday, 22 February at 8pm. The seminar will cover healthy eating, exercise, mindset and motivation.

“We are being pressured into thinking we have to look or act a certain way to comply with society’s expectations.”

Alan says that social media posts of people flaunting their “dream bodies” can make others feel inadequate as they don’t look the same, and it creates unrealistic expectations among those trying to get fit.

“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?”

Alan says some fitness professionals are also to blame for encouraging weight loss trends. “They seem to be in a competition among themselves to see who can post the best stat online with their clients’ results.

“Recently I saw a TV show where someone was congratulating a client for losing 11 pounds in a week. That’s nothing to be congratulating somebody on. It’s unsafe. As an experienced fitness professional I would have been having strong words with that client to slow down.”

Alan has warned of the many very dangerous effects these quick-fix solutions can have on one’s health such as: headaches, irritability, fatigue, dizziness, menstrual irregularities, hair loss, muscle loss, and in some cases —an increased risk of developing gallstones.

Alan’s advice for getting into shape is healthy eating and exercise over a long period of time.

“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.”

For information about Alan's  “Change Your Own World” seminar at the Landmark Hotel, see:www.alanwilliamscoaching.com