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Diet culture is a tricky subject. While it has evolved from the insanity of the late nineties and early noughties, there is still a lot of scepticism around some of the trending diets taking hold today.

In the era of fitness bloggers and nutritionist Instagram pages, there are thousands of different ‘experts’ telling us a thousand different and conflicting ways to slim down. Some take the more modern, holistic approach, teaching body positivity, moderation and exercise, keeping the entire process simple. Others, however, maintain that there is a complex and specific formula to gaining the body you want.

One of these formulas that has taken over the weight loss world is intermittent fasting. A practice used since ancient times, according to Harvard School of Public Health, there is evidence that this method was in use in the times of the ancient Greeks . Popular belief says that intermittent fasting increases longevity, reduces body weight and promotes healthy ageing.

The idea is based on the fact that humans did not always have access to the large quantities of food that we do today and that three large daily meals as well as snacks in between were not consumed. Intermittent fasting promotes mimicking this idea, going for certain periods of time without consuming food – depending on your body weight and weight loss plan – and only drinking water, and unsweetened beverages during this time.

Now that Unislim Ireland has adopted a version of this method as part of their ‘Balance Plan’, we decided to look a little harder at what this diet – that’s generating more interest than any other fad before – actually entails.

‘We decided to build on our fantastic Balance plan to help you give your weight-loss a turbo boost by introducing our brand NEW Flexifast plan. Flexifast is a unique and innovative fasting-focused plan developed by some of Ireland’s leading dieticians to show you how to manage fasting successfully and safely in 2020.’

How to Do It

There are a few different ways to go about intermittently fasting. The different types are tailored to the subject’s lifestyle and revolve around when and how you eat;

‘Alternate day fasting’ requires fasting every other day.

‘Modified alternate day fasting’ means allowing a small consumption of calories on fasting day, usually less the 75% of your normal caloric intake.

The 5:2 diet, also known as the ‘fast diet’, requires abstaining totally from food for 2 days of the week and then maintaining a normal diet the other 5 days. This method is purported to combat the effects of initial rapid weight loss from caloric deficiency, claiming to prevent the body from clinging to the fat cells as a store of heat and energy, and instead reaping the benefits of a short term fast, including weight loss.

The hours of the day in which food is allowed to be consumed are also a factor in this diet. The rule to live by is 16:8, 18:6, and 20:4. The 16:8 method is the most popular, involving a 16 hour fast and then an 8 hour period within which to consume your meals. Therefore, this window generally excludes either breakfast or dinner. There is a history of nutritionists suggesting that eating within a certain window is beneficial to not only weight loss but our sleep patterns and digestive system. However, that history does not include advising skipping meals.

(Sources)

The Science

Some articles about intermittent fasting claim that the primary fuel for most cells and organs in the body are glucose, fatty acids and ketone bodies and that these are used for energy or stored as triglycerides. These articles claim that during periods of fasting, triglycerides are broken down to make fatty acids available and that practising intermittent fasting means the body’s cells will periodically not have access to glucose. Instead, they will use free fatty acids and ketone bodies as their primary fuel. They call this process intermittent metabolic switching or glucose-ketone (G-to-K) switchover

The idea is that when the body’s glycogen stores become depleted, as happens during fasting, the body starts to break down fat. The breakdown of fats increases the availability of fatty acids, which most cells can use for energy.

However, a recent summary of the current scientific evidence indicates that our understanding of the effects of fasting on physical performance is not complete. Although some studies are clearly positive, others have reported decreased performances while others showed no effect 

(Sources)

Expert opinions

Harvard School of Public Health.

‘Physiologically, calorie restriction has been shown in animals to increase lifespan and improve tolerance to various metabolic stresses in the body. [4] Although the evidence for caloric restriction in animal studies is strong, there is less convincing evidence in human studies.’

Harvard School of Public Health also notes that while many of the studies saw that participants did in fact lose weight – roughly 7-11 pounds over a 10-week period – it noted that many of these studies were flawed in their methods;

‘Many different study designs and methods of intermittent fasting were used, and participant characteristics differed (lean vs. obese).  Half of the studies were controlled trials comparing the fasting group to a comparison group and/or a control group (either continuous calorie restriction or usual lifestyle), with the other half examining an intermittent fasting group alone.’

While these studies are flawed, their results show some interesting findings;

‘Dropout rates (people giving up on the diet) ranged from 0-65%. When comparing dropout rates between the fasting groups and continuous calorie restriction groups, no significant differences were found. Overall, the review did not find that intermittent fasting had a low dropout rate, and therefore was not necessarily easier to follow than other weight loss approaches.

‘When examining the 12 clinical trials that compared the fasting group with the continuous calorie restriction group, there was no significant difference in weight loss amounts or body composition changes.

‘Ten trials that investigated changes in appetite did not show an overall increase in appetite in the intermittent fasting groups despite significant weight loss and decreases in leptin hormone levels (a hormone that suppresses appetite).’

‘This type of dietary pattern would be difficult for someone who eats every few hours (e.g., snacks between meals, grazes). It would also not be appropriate for those with conditions that require food at regular intervals due to metabolic changes caused by their medications, such as with diabetes. Prolonged periods of food deprivation or semi-starvation places one at risk for overeating when food is reintroduced and may foster unhealthy behaviours such as an increased fixation on food.’

The Harvard School of Public Health warns that;

Individuals with the following conditions should abstain from intermittent fasting:

Diabetes

Eating disorders that involve unhealthy self-restriction (anorexia or bulimia nervosa)

Use of medications that require food intake

Active growth stage, such as in adolescents

Pregnancy, breastfeeding

The Mayo Clinic; Manpreet Mundi, M.D.

‘Some studies suggest that alternate-day fasting is about as effective as a typical low-calorie diet for weight loss. That seems reasonable because reducing the number of calories you eat should help you lose weight.

Can intermittent fasting improve your health? Losing weight and being physically active help lower your risk of obesity-related diseases, such as diabetes, sleep apnea and some types of cancer. For these diseases, intermittent fasting seems to be about as beneficial as any other type of diet that reduces overall calories.’

Manpreet Mundi M.D. says that there is some research to suggest that intermittent fasting may be more beneficial than other diets for reducing inflammation and improving conditions associated with inflammation, such as:

Alzheimer's disease

Arthritis

Asthma

Multiple sclerosis

Stroke

However, he notes the side affects that intermittent fasting can have, although they generally go away after a month on the diet. They are;

Hunger

Fatigue

Insomnia

Nausea

Headaches

Mundi is careful also to note that ‘intermittent fasting is safe for many people, but it's not for everyone. Skipping meals may not be the best way to manage your weight if you're pregnant or breast-feeding. If you have kidney stones, gastroesophageal reflux, diabetes or other medical problems, talk with your doctor before starting intermittent fasting.’

John Hopkins; Mark Mattson, PhD & Christie Williams, M.S., R.D.N

Johns Hopkins neuroscientist Mark Mattson, Ph.D., has studied intermittent fasting for 25 years. One of Mattson’s studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine revealed data about a range of health benefits associated with the practice of intermittent fasting. Benefits include a longer life, a leaner body and a sharper mind.

‘Many things happen during intermittent fasting that can protect organs against chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, age-related neurodegenerative disorders, even inflammatory bowel disease and many cancers,’ he says.

Dietician, Christie Williams also stresses that before you try intermittent fasting (or any diet), you should check in with your primary care practitioner first. Some people who should steer clear of trying intermittent fasting are:

Children and teens under age 18.

Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

People with diabetes or blood sugar problems.

Those with a history of eating disorders.

‘But,’ Johns Hopkins dietician Christie Williams, M.S., R.D.N. says, ‘People not in these categories who can do intermittent fasting safely can continue the regimen indefinitely. It can be a lifestyle change,’ she says, ‘and one with benefits.’

Keep in mind that intermittent fasting may have different effects on different people. Talk to your doctor if you start experiencing unusual anxiety, headaches, nausea or other symptoms after you start intermittent fasting.

Our thoughts

While this is a method that seems to be slowly and cautiously being embraced, as seen with the experts here, it is clear that there is little definitive evidence yet about whether or not this method is actually any better or worse than normal caloric regulation.

However, what it does seem to promote is a fixation on the limitation of food for longer periods of time than other diets. It is a slippery slope from a day’s fasting to an obsession about how long one can go without food. While there does seem to be a safe way to practice this method, it raises red flags for anyone susceptible to obsession with weight and calorie intake. Studies still leave a lot of questions unanswered. What are the long term effects? Is t safe for athletes? Does fasting for a day affect ones ability to do tasks like work and drive?

Practising intermittent fasting is a personal decision and one that must be made between you and your doctor.

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If like us, you love nothing more than a big dirty helping of spaghetti carbonara, then oh boy, have we got news for you. 

We've long been told that our infatuation with pasta isn't doing us any favours – mostly due to the high carbohydrate content and low vitamin and mineral count – but to be honest, that has never stopped us from indulging in our favourite dishes. 

However, it seems we no longer need to feel guilty about our dinner choices, because new research suggests that the Italian staple isn't the carb-loaded monster we were once led to believe. 

In fact, scientists have discovered that including pasta as part of a balanced diet may actually contribute to healthy weight loss. 

Published in BMJ Open, the study looked at how pasta consumption impacted the body weight and BMI of 2,488 participants. 

Those taking part in the study ate an average of 3.3 serving of pasts per week in conjunction with a low-GI (low-glycemic) diet. 

Unlike other refined carbohydrates such as white bread and potatoes, pasta typically has a low-GI, meaning it raises your blood sugar at a slower pace. 

Result showed that participants who ate pasta rather than other refined carbohydrates actually lost a small amount of weight during the study. 

"The study found that that pasta didn’t contribute to weight gain or increase in body fat,” said Dr John Sievenpiper, consultant physician at St Michael’s Hospital and lead author of the study.

"In fact analysis actually showed a small weight loss. So contrary to concerns, perhaps pasta can be part of a healthy diet such as low-GI diet."

And while the discovery doesn't actually prove that pasta is some kind of miracle weight loss aid, it does show that it can be enjoyed without packing on the pounds. 

"In weighing the evidence, we can now say with some confidence that pasta does not have an adverse effect on body weight outcomes when it is consumed as part of a healthy dietary pattern."

More research needs to be conducted as to whether the effect would be seen when combined with a different type of diet, but for now, we'll enjoy our bolognese in peace. 

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Adele revealed that losing weight has had a positive impact on her life. During a trip to Anguilla, the Rolling In The Deep singer told fans that she has lost something like 100lbs and it has been a “crazy positive experience” for her, People reports.

The singer has always been stunning, but if losing weight has made her feel happier and healthier then power to her.

The Rumour Has It singer has reportedly been following the Sirtfood diet, but what does it entail?

We understand that dieting isn’t for everyone and many diets can be extremely dangerous, but the sirtfood diet actually sounds quite healthy.

It basically involves eating food that is high in sirtuin activator. Food includes apples, blueberries, green tea, strawberries, red onion, rocket, walnuts, capers, parsley, green tea, soy, citrus fruits and kale.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Adele (@adele) on

Red wine, chocolate and coffee are also classed as sirtfoods but solely indulging on these certainly won’t help.

During the first week of this diet you need to cut your daily intake of calories to 1000, eat one sirtfood rich meal and drink three green juices.

The week after you boost your calories to 1500 per day and eat two sirtfood meals and two green juices.

After that it is up to the individual to set out a plan that works best for them, as long as your diet is rich in sirtfoods.

The sirtfood diet certainly doesn’t sound half as bad or as harmful as most diets out there. We may have to follow in Adele’s footsteps and give it a go.

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Is anyone else struggling to keep up with their fitness goals? It’s completely understandable given the current crisis we’re all facing, but sometimes all you need is a little motivation.

Pitch Perfect star Rebel Wilson has opened up about her weight loss journey in an empowering post. Alongside a photo of the actress in a tracksuit, she revealed that her goal is to reach 75kg.

“Even if you have to crawl towards your goals, keep going x it will be worth it. Try and give a little bit of effort each day…

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Rebel Wilson (@rebelwilson) on

“I know some days are frustrating as hell, you feel like giving up, you get annoyed at the lack of progress…but good things are coming your way. What are your goals this year? 

She continued, “I’ll be honest with you guys – with my “Year of Health” mission I’m trying to get to 75kg’s and career wise am trying to get one of my movies into production before the end of the year! Both of these things are requiring a daily effort and there’s constant set backs – but I’m working hard x.”

Rebel’s inspirational message is exactly what we need right now. It’s important to remember that skipping your daily workout is perfectly fine too. Some days you just need to curl up on the sofa and take a break from it all.

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If, like me, you're forever searching for a way to lose weight that doesn't involve living off kale then here is some wonderful news.

Scientists believe that peanut butter may be the key to losing weight.

Apparently, peanut butter helps boost a feeling of fullness and even improves your insulin and glucose responses.

Tucking into peanut butter once a day can stop you from gaining extra pounds, thus improving your health.

It is understood that there is less risk of gaining weight if you opt for peanut butter when snacking throughout the day.

However, experts do suggest eating peanut butter without the added sugar.

It is also important to remember that bodies come in all different shapes and sizes.

Gaining weight is nothing to be ashamed of but if you do feel like shedding a couple of pounds in order to feel healthier and happier then perhaps peanut butter is the one for you?

We’ll certainly be trying it on our toast in the morning.

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We are bombarded with ads about dieting, joining the gym and shedding pounds once a new year rolls around. And unfortunately, that has been no different in 2020.

Women are already feeling the pressure about their bodies, but one person has had enough.

Stacey Solomon stressed that she won’t be changing her body in 2020, especially after it gave her the best gift of all last year- her son Rex.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Stacey Solomon (@staceysolomon) on

The mum showed off her stunning body in a bikini snap, with a happy Rex sitting on her lap, and she looks perfect.

She penned an emotional message beside the photo:

“New year, same me. Because why change something that brought me the most happiness I could ever imagine. That brought me the smiley seven month old in the picture and the most amazing 11 year old taking it.”

Stacey continued, “I wouldn’t have it any other way. Here’s to another year of loving our bodies no matter how hard society tries to stop us.”

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Stacey Solomon (@staceysolomon) on

We couldn’t agree with Stacey more. It’s refreshing to see a celebrity share such a positive and realistic message about body image.

This time of the year can be so difficult for people so it’s a relief to see people like Stacey trying to share uplifting advice rather than pressuring people to lose weight to become a ‘new’ you.

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While no Sunday fry-up would be complete without a generous helping of mouth-watering mushrooms, it seems we could all benefit from including them in our breakfasts every day of the week.

Research has found that this underrated vegetable could actually be the key to making you feel fuller for longer – meaning you'll snack less throughout the day.

What's more, the study, published in the journal Appetite, also claims that those you chose mushrooms over meat for breakfast felt more satisfied after the meal.

Professor Joanne Slavin, from the University of Minnesota, says: “Previous studies on mushrooms suggest that they can be more satiating than meat, but this effect had not been studied with protein-matched amounts until now.”

Adding: “As with previous published research, this study indicates there may be both a nutritional and satiating benefit to either substituting mushrooms for meat in some meals or replacing some of the meat with mushrooms.”

For the study, 17 women and 25 men were given two servings of sliced-mushroom or 93 per cent lean minced beef meat for breakfast over a 10-day period.

Researchers then examined how full the participants felt after each meal, as well as how much snacking they did throughout the day.

Results showed that those who ate mushroom-rich breakfasts felt more satisfied, less hungry and snacked less than those who ate meat – and it's all thanks to our good pal protein.

See, 226g of mushrooms have approximately 7g of protein and just 56 calories. While on the other hand, medium-fat meats can contain up to twice the calories for the same amount of protein.

Looks like the vegetarian lifestyle could be the way to go after all.

Three cheers for mushroom breakfasts!

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Jessica Simpson says she is happy to feel like herself again after losing an incredible 100 pounds. 

The mum showed off her beautiful figure in an all black ensemble. 

Jessica, who is a mum to three gorgeous kiddos, said she weighed 240 pounds when she was expecting her youngest bubba, Birdie.

The mum wrote, “6 months. 100 pounds down (Yes, I tipped the scales at 240)

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Jessica Simpson (@jessicasimpson) on

“My first trip away from #BIRDIEMAE and emotional for many reasons, but so proud to feel like myself again. Even when it felt impossible, I chose to work harder,” Jessica shared.

In an interview with People, the singer’s personal trainer said she called him days after welcoming her daughter, eager to start her fitness journey.

Her trainer, Harley Pasternak said: “I’ve kind of helped her come back after each baby, and this is a bit different, in that she said she was tipping the scales at 240 [post-delivery]. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Jessica Simpson (@jessicasimpson) on

“This is sort of the aggregate of being pregnant nonstop for a decade, and so we had a little more of a challenge between this and the other ones,” he shared.

He explained that they focused on a holistic lifestyle approach instead of spending every second in the gym.

The trainer added, “The difference between this and the other times was that she worked out, yes, but her transformation was more about what she did on her own time.”

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Jessica Simpson (@jessicasimpson) on

Jessica was more motivated than ever, “She was saying that her body has not belonged to her for the past decade. Not in a bad way, in a positive way — her body has been designated to create life and now it’s hers again and she’s going to make it fantastic in a really enjoyable way.”

Fair play to Jessica. She looks unbelievable.

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It would take something monumental to force us to give up drink for a full six months, if we're being honest. That cheeky glass of wine on the couch watching Love Island is simply a must.

One of the islanders, Lucie Donlan, has revealed that she gave up drinking alcohol for six months before entering the villa to be at her healthiest when the show began.

The Newquay surfer opened up about the lengths she went to in order to feel her best. In scenes aired on Love Island's Extra Bits, Lucie said: "I haven't had a drink since New Years Eve." We gasped.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Lucie Rose Donlan (@lucierosedonlan) on

The 21-year-old has already caught the eyes of Tommy Fury, Joe Garratt and Anton Danyluk since entering the Majorcan set, and is coupled up with Joe for the moment.

In a candid chat with the girls, she admitted that she underwent a dramatic diet change in order to feel her best.

The reality star has been spotted nursing a drink in her hand since the show has aired, so it appears she's lifted her own ban.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Lucie Rose Donlan (@lucierosedonlan) on

It's likely that the health kick was to look her best for the ITV2 series, which emphasises looks and body image to a slightly alarming point.

Lucie dropped from a size 12 to a size 6 in under a year to make it as a professional model.

Lucie told The Mirror: "I used to be much bigger than I was now. When I was surf coaching when I was younger I was so much bigger and then I realised it wasn't healthy for me."

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Lucie Rose Donlan (@lucierosedonlan) on

She changed her lifestyle completely for both her health and her image;

"I started eating much healthier and doing lots of cross fit with my trainer at home. I just carried that on just maintaining it," she explained.

"I did lots of surfing three times a week in a gym. I don't drink or smoke. I was probably about a size 12 and now I am a six to an eight. I was pushing on 11 stone. I wasn’t massive but it just wasn’t healthy."

Something must have worked, because she's been a successful fitness model ever since. We love a pint too much to ever try this though…

Feature image: Instagram/@lucierosedonlan

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The Food Safety Authority of Ireland have recalled four Miss Fit Skinny tea and coffee products over 'misleading labelling'.

Miss Fit Skinny Tea 14 Day Skinny Tea, Miss Fit Skinny Tea Max, Miss Fit Slimming Coffee 14 Day Fat Burning Instant Coffee and Miss Fit Skinny Coffee Max are the products which will be recalled.

The FSAI released a statement on the matter, saying; "All batches of the above four Miss Fit products are being recalled due to incorrect, misleading and ambiguous labelling."

"Amongst the labelling breaches are health claims which are not authorised and are therefore misleading to the consumer."

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Miss Fit Skinny Tea (@missfitskinnytea) on

Products from the brand have been asked to be removed from the market. Shops have been ordered to remove the detox products from the shelves and display point-of-sale notices to correctly inform customers.

There has been a huge amount of backlash in recent months to 'quick fix' weight loss brands such as these, with the head doctor of the NHS condemning weight-loss advertisements and Jameela Jamil fronting a campaign against them.

After rapper Cardi B endorsed the teas, which contain ingredients akin to laxatives, Jamil wrote on Twitter: "If you want to “curb your appetite” eat some damn green vegetables or have some nutritious natural vegetable soup."

"Don’t drink these “detox” teas. You need fibre! Not something that honestly just makes you have diarrhoea the day you take it and constipates you in the long run…"

They were recalled due to the misinformed labelling, and it can't be a negative thing for young women and their mental health that action is finally being taken against them.

Hazel Wallace, better known as The Food Medic, claims that;

"Some of these detoxes are really dangerous and not healthy at all, especially some of the skinny teas," said Hazel, who is a junior doctor and a certified personal trainer. and therefore has healthcare and nutrition experience.

"Although they claim they are natural many drugs are actually from nature but it doesn’t make them naturally good for you. Your liver does the detoxing for your body you don’t need a green tea to detox,’ she said.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Marine (@jveuxuneviehealthy) on

Wallace also commented on senna leaves, a laxative which leads to dehydration;

"Some of these skinny teas have laxatives which we actually use as doctors to prescribe to people who are severely constipated, so clearly you are going to lose weight if you not absorbing any of the nutrients and its just passing through your system."

"This can cause so much damage to your digestive system, you lose water, you lose nutrients and you can damage the gut lining."

A petition from Jamil has been signed 138,000 times already, asking for celebrities to be banned from endorsing weight loss products.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Kylie (@kyliejenner) on

The Kardashians especially have endorsed numerous weight-loss products, gaining huge criticism from Jameela Jamil especially as well as healthcare professionals. Many have even claimed that they encourage body dysmorphia.

Detox teas have previously faced backlash after a string of unplanned pregnancies happened when the effectiveness of the contraceptive pill was reduced due to the laxative effects in the detox teas.

Be extremely wary of what you're consuming in terms of nutrition, weight-loss is about health, exercise and a balanced diet, not running to the loo every ten minutes.

Keep an eye out for valid healthcare professionals' advice on the matter, and make sure your emotional and mental health is also prioritised.

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Instagram is increasingly being told to take responsibility for the harmful effects of it's site on the mental health of young people.

Between celebrities endorsing weight-loss products which have no scientific backing, the NHS encouraging body-negative adverts to be banned, and the new sensitivity screens being put in place to prevent graphic violence and self-harm being depicted; Insta is a dangerous place.

Yet, we cannot deny that selfie culture and self-branding through social media has become just a normal part of our everyday life. Me, myself and Instagram has taken over, and young people growing up today assume it's perfectly normal to try to look perfect.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by  (@khloekardashian) on

It's so prevalent in society to share the highlights of ourselves and desperately emulate others who we assume have 'better' lives, which writers such as Matt Haig have emotionally discouraged.

FaceTuning images to blur seeming 'imperfections' such as stretchmarks, wrinkles, spots, freckles, teeth, smiles, body hair, even elbow wrinkles or unwanted curves is the new normal, according to our society.

Having flaws is deemed unhealthy, and the notion of 'narcissism' or vanity is no more.

Now Rankin is trying to counteract the idea of editing ourselves in a new photo series, and it's beautiful.

The amazing photographer is attempting counteract self-editing, by showing people just how damaging the effects of social media can be.  His photo series, aptly named Selfie Harm, was launched last week on Instagram.

The renowned artist captured portrait shots of 15 teens and handed power to them and their filter apps, asking them to edit the retouched image until they felt it was 'social media ready'.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by @rankinarchive) on

He commented;

“Social media has made everyone into their own brand. People are creating a two-dimensional version of themselves at the perfect angle, with the most flattering light, and with any apparent flaws removed.”

“This is a new, enhanced reality, a world in which teenagers can alter themselves digitally within seconds. Mix this with the celebrities and influencers flaunting impossible shapes with impossible faces and we’ve got a recipe for disaster," he attested.

The photographer shows images of youth and natural beauty which massively contrast with the newly filtered, edited versions. It's shockingly easy for the young models to blur the lines of reality, but what is 'perfect' in a world such as this?

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by  (@rankinarchive) on

He wrote on Instagram;

“People are mimicking their idols, making their eyes bigger, their nose smaller and their skin brighter, and all for the social media likes. “It’s just another reason why we are living in a world of FOMO, sadness, increased anxiety and Snapchat dysmorphia."

"It’s time to acknowledge the damaging effects that social media has on people’s self-image," he concluded.

The visible differences and changes made allow the teenagers and subjects to transform their entire identity, so much so that their natural state is completely erased. There are smaller noses, smooth complexions, wider eyes and lips, everything you can imagine.

Interestingly, the photographer notes that most of the models preferred their original image, but it's still disturbing to witness the power of filters. These edits can convince people that they're regular image isn't good enough to be seen.

It's becoming harder to discern what's real and what's fake; soon the idea of reality on social media could vanish altogether.

Feature image: Rankin Instagram/Fashionista

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One of the UK's most senior doctors, Professor Stephen Powis, has written in The Telegraph that weight loss advertisements which are celebrity-endorsed should be banned.

Professor Powis is currently the NHS' medical director, and has criticised well-known celebrities such as the Kardashians for promoting weight-loss products and aids such as teas, shakes and pills on social media, and has even called for Instagram to oppose them.

The doctor referenced the troubling statistic that more than one in 10 young people are affected by mental health issues in the UK, and are heavily influenced by body insecurity and famous faces encouraging them to lose weight.

He emphasised that mental health issues are one of the "most pressing issues facing out country".

SHEmazing recently wrote about the level of profit which people like the Kardashians can gain from the insecurity of their fans. 

Poor messaging can lead to dangerous consequences, and numerous organisations such as the National Eating Disorder Association have branded the Kardashian family’s representation of weight loss products as ‘triggering’ for those who struggle with eating disorders.

Professor Powis made sure to emphasise that impressionable young people look to these people for lifestyle guidance; "At what is already a sensitive and important time in their development, this group is especially vulnerable to pressures which trigger or exacerbate mental ill health," he writes.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

#ad You guys all know I looove @flattummyco shakes. I've just restarted them (it's Day 2 today) and I’m already feeling so good. We had a huuuuge Christmas this year and between that, New Years and everything inbetween… I felt like it was impossible to fit in my regular work outs and eat healthy. But this program is giving me a kick in the right direction that I need. These meal replacement shakes are so good and they're helping me get my tummy back to flat. I’m already feeling amazing and I’m so excited for the next few weeks. Because they’re all about getting women back on track… they’ve got a 20% off sale going on right now, so if you want to start 2019 off right… trust me, you’re going to want to check them out. PS. I’m doing the chocolate program

A post shared by  (@kimkardashian) on

A shocking HALF of young girls say that they feel under pressure to lose weight, the doctor says that social media's ascension has escalated this pressure and both celebrities and the platforms themselves must take responsibility for their posts.

"Our young people are bombarded with ideas, images and advertising which set such a high bar for what they should feel and look like," he writes. "And yet there is little accountability for the impact this has.

"Where celebrities and the platforms which promote them exploit this vulnerability by pushing products like laxative teas, diet pills and other get-thin-quick solutions, they are taking the health of our young people in their hands and should act with far greater responsibility."

Activist and actress Jameela Jamil tweeted her support for Professor Powis:

Prof. Powis also suggested that practical measures should be taken to stamp out the 'exploitation' of youth, such as online platforms "banning adverts for products with a known health risk". YAS KING.

He argued that the NHS is working on understanding and treating mental health conditions in young people;

"Everyone, especially those engaging with young people like social media firms, and celebrities who profit from them, have a duty of care to do more for our health and wellbeing".

"The NHS can't keep putting out fires if some parts of society keep lighting matches," he concluded, using a pretty effective allegory. 

Kim Kardashian West has an especially long history of promoting weight loss products on social media, as well as her sisters, Kylie and Kourtney. Kim faced backlash in May for promoting appetite suppressant lollipops on her Instagram.

One of the world's most powerful women was literally telling other women and young girls NOT TO EAT.  The Good Place actress Jameela Jamil founded the i Weigh body positivity social media movement and Kardashian West "a terrible and toxic influence on young girls".

Jamil has consistently called out celebrities including Cardi B and Iggy Azalea for promoting 'detox' teas, claiming they're just selling digestion problems instead.

She also called Kardashian 'an agent of the patriarchy', for her incessant need to 'recycle self-hatred.'

Jamil herself experienced an eating disorder as a teenager, and skipped meals for years at a time. She spent money on "miracle cures and laxatives and tips from celebrities" which later left her with "digestion and metabolism problems for life".

The Competition and Markets Authority has announced a clampdown on celebrities who don't label their posts as promotional advertisements, but solid rules aren't in place.

NHS England's national mental health director Claire Murdoch expressed concern over the influence which these celebrities have young people at an "impressionable" stage in their lives.

"Both the celebrities themselves and these social media companies themselves should be more responsible," she told BBC Breakfast.

We're so glad the NSH are finally using their influential platform to steer people in the right direction. Time will tell what type of future diet fads will hold, but they're looking highly unpopular right now.

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