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Wellness

Why you should say no to diets like the 75 Hard Challenge

TikTok is the home to pretty much everything, from the latest dance trends to the hottest skincare routines (approved by Hyram, ofc). But there is also a darker side of the app—and others like it—that can be...well, not so positive. 

One of those sides is diet culture, and it promotes systems like the 75 Hard program that are not only *super* unhealthy, but can actually be totally dangerous. The "challenge" requires participants to take on a list of demands for their body that, if they fail, must be restarted until they have been completed to the standards of the program. It's unhealthy and just, well, wrong. 

The creator of 75 Hard, Andy Frisella, a self-declared entrepreneur and "car nerd," is certainly not a health professional. He describes the program as one that builds "mental toughness," but doesn't take into consideration the possibly damaging side effects of negative body image. So why does he have authority over what is best for people's well-being?

Let's talk about why else this "challenge" is problematic. The 75 Hard is just one example of a program touted as "credible," when in reality, it teaches teens that nourishing their bodies constitutes failure and—you guessed it—contributes to a negative body image. TikTok, though perhaps well-intentioned, definitely perpetuates that dangerous cycle.

Sticking to a strict diet (and not allowing for indulgence) paired with too much exercise can mean a serious lack of self-care, which is the opposite of the body positive attitude that leads to a healthy lifestyle.

Read: A guide to intuitive eating during quarantine

“Diets that severely restrict food often result in the creation of a negative relationship between individuals and how they nourish themselves,” Ayana Ali, a therapist and licensed clinical social worker, told Cosmopolitan in June.

And this isn't the only diet program to be wary of. Without the right information, consulting a nutritionist and plan for your unique health and body, trends like the keto diet and intermittent fasting have similar red flags.

Your motivation for developing a healthier way of living should always be for you; centering mental wellness and nourishment is crucial to loving yourself, and developing body positive outlooks (while easier said than done) means much more in the long-term than trend diets that can prove to have dangerous outcomes.

In short, living a healthy lifestyle doesn't mean depriving yourself of the things you love. Incorporate more nutritious foods into your diet (like fruits and veggies, obvi), take a walk or a jog a few times a week and put a little extra self-care into your mental health.

@beautifuleatsandthings

Don't forget to nourish your body during these stressful times! ❤##Dietitian ##nutrition ##tiktoktutorials ##momsoftiktok ##over30 ##healthyliving ##homechef

♬ Say So (Instrumental Version) [Originally Performed by Doja Cat] - Elliot Van Coup

Next time you hop onto TikTok looking for health advice, check out a nutritionist or dietician that can guide you in the right direction for you and your body without harsh limitations! You are beautiful, and you can maintain that mentality without the 75 Hard—or any other program, for that matter.

Ditch the diets and follow @girlslifemag on TikTok for *all* the positive, love-yourself vibes!

by Logan Potter | 8/21/2020
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