Why Influencers Give the WORST Diet & Fitness Advice

We all have an ideal physique that we wish we could have, for me it’s Brad Pitt’s body from the movie Troy, where he played “Achilles”, Greece’s greatest warrior and leader of the Myrmidons. 

But at 35 years old, I’m an old man, “Troy” hit theatres back in 2004, a full 6 years before Instagram was created, 1 year before YouTube was born. Back then if you wanted to idealize someone’s physique, you had to do it through movies and magazines. Ok I’m being a little dramatic, but you get the idea and you can probably see where I’m going with this.

These days, the “ideal physique” is generally something that we formulate through our social networks and that’s perfectly fine of course, even if the people we idealize are abusing steroids, or using so much photoshop that the final product is literally a different person. 

Ideals are ideals, they’re supposed to be unrealistic, it’s still safe for us to “idealize” anything so long as we understand that ideals are perfect things and we are imperfect things. So while it’s common to bash on the  unrealistic beauty standards on Instagram, I think that’s actually a much smaller issue and that there is a much bigger issue that most people are unaware of, an extremely disturbing symptom of the system has started to particularly manifest over the last decade.

Because these “influencers” look the way they do, we regard them as authorities on information relating to topics like diet, training, and supplementation, in the overwhelming majority of cases.

This is a horrible idea and in this post, I’ll explain why and at the end of this post, I’ll show you how to find authentic sources of information. 

So without further adieu, here are the top 3 reasons why influencers give the worst diet & fitness advice.

1. Influencers are incentivized to lie and cheat

So let’s get the most obvious stuff out of the way, everyone is on steroids, guys and girls, and the few influencers who aren’t on steroids, are so unbelievably naturally gifted that it would take you and your ancestors hundreds of millions of years of evolution to possibly attain similar physiques.

Now, for the guys who are open and honest with the PED’s that they take, I have no qualms with them, my problem here is with the influencers who claim natural, when they’re not. 

When influencers claim “natural”, they can feed the illusion that anyone can manifest those same results.

And the reason all of these “natural” fitness influencers are on steroids is because they have every incentive to do steroids, and almost zero incentive not to do them. 

Here, let’s quickly go through the pros and cons. 

Pros:

  • Get way more ripped and jacked
  • Get more likes
  • Get more followers
  • Get more sponsorships from clothing brands, supplement companies, and other products
  • Get featured on other pages and channels
  • Make way more money 

Cons: 

  • Sell your integrity. 

The reality of fitness on social media, is that if you want to make it to the top of the food chain, you have every incentive to cheat, and almost no incentive not to cheat. most people have a price tag on their integrity and that price tag is a lot lower than you would think. As we’ve touched on in other videos, human beings are extremely skilled at finding ethical grounds for doing extremely unethical things. 

Which makes it much easier to sell products, which brings us to point #2

2. Influencers are slaves to products

Likes and followers represent income opportunities, but they don’t directly translate to income, the way that most fitness and diet influencers generate income is through selling promoted posts through their social media channels and promoting things like energy drinks, diet teas, workout supplements, and clothing. 

No problem with clothing of course, aside from being low quality, overpriced, and unnecessarily neon, but let’s look at everything else. 

Diet teas are of course very big within the female influencer community and so let’s get a few things out of the way, they’re not “diet teas”, they’re laxatives and the only weight you’re losing is what you shit out of your body. Energy drinks, can we all agree that something flavored like cotton candy that jacks your heart rate up, probably isn’t good for you? And then we come to supplements, testosterone boosters, nitric oxide, branch chain amino acids, they’re all bullshit, completely useless. Whey protein? Probably not as bad, but obviously much better to just get our protein from high quality natural foods if we have the means to it. 

Influencers are slaves to the products they promote because that’s where the money comes from and the products they promote are not the “best” products, they’re the products that pay the most. And who is going to pay the most? The companies who make the most profit. And which products make the most profit? The ones that have the lowest cost to produce, and sell for the highest price, garbage ingredients dressed up in pretty packaging. 

Because of the sort of entrepreneur circles that I’m a part of, I come into contact with lots of people who make millions of dollars selling supplements, that’s one of the major hustle’s happening right now where people are making insane money. 

Here’s the basic formula, useless or garbage supplements made from the absolute lowest quality, cheapest ingredients, dressed up with high quality branding,  and then promote the shit out of it through Influencers. Cha-ching. 

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3. Influencers thrive on promises of unrealistic results

The stuff that actually works may take a while to produce results and is kind of boring. Want to build strength? Bench press, deadlifts, squats, with progressive overload. Want to build muscle? Repeat the above but add in some accessory lifts. Ok, admittedly, I’m oversimplifying here, but not by much. 

The stuff that actually works, is pretty basic stuff. You know what’s not boring? Check out these video titles you’d find on a typical YouTube fitness channel, “Torch stubborn belly fat”, “Secret hack to build muscle fast”, “Killer 5 minute ab workout”.

Why is it that fitness channels seem to always be promoting new ways to build muscle? Or that diet influencers always seem to promote diet breakthroughs that have gone miraculously undiscovered over the last hundred years? 

Again, this all boils down to what’s most profitable and what’s most profitable is what grabs the most attention. What grabs attention is generally something new, that promises the most unrealistic result for the least amount of effort. And let’s face it, that is the stuff that we’re most drawn to, I mean who wouldn’t like get a 6-pack while they watch TV. 

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Now here’s the great thing about doing that, the sooner we start to realize that there are no shortcuts, the sooner we get to begin our authentic journey and there’s a great surprise waiting for you guys. For those of us who have actually worked hard for something, we already know that it’s the journey to get to the result that actually makes any result worth achieving.

Once you’ve experienced that for yourself, something crazy happens, somehow, what you’ve  always perceived as “hard work” suddenly becomes something that you’ll actually thirst for, instead of always running away from. 

Alright guys, let’s wrap things up here. I want to be clear again, I’m not saying that all diet and fitness and diet influencers are bad, what I’m saying is that the overwhelming majority of them are bad. Not all of them.

So, who can we trust? 

Anyway, as promised, let’s talk about how you can find authentic sources for advice, based on my experience, here are the top 3 traits to look for in a legitimate source of diet and fitness information.

1. They are “renown” for training 

Generally speaking, someone who has trained world class endurance athletes,  power-lifters, fighters. Depending on what your specific goals are, try to find someone who is renown as an expert for producing results. 

2. They don’t over-promote products 

Generally speaking, someone who is more focused on selling products than they are providing value is not someone who is going to be a reliable source for information. 

3. They don’t over-sell lifestyle

A lot of us fail to realize that many of these “influencers” aren’t even selling things related to diet and fitness, what they’re actually selling is a lifestyle. Perfect abs, luxury cars, mai tai’s on the beach with supermodels, what is the likelihood that a person who values these things is going to care about delivering authentic value to their communities? Very very low. 

The most authentic sources of information that I’ve been able to find are almost always people who are extremely humble with how they present their lives. They draw people in not with their lifestyles, but with the quality of their information. 

Last thing I’ll mention here, if you guys would like, follow me on instagram @nelsonquest. Now that my instagram is growing the way that it is, I’ll try to shout out people I think are promoting high quality information. 

Conclusion

Alright guys, so let’s do a quick summary of everything. 

So why are  influencers generally the worst sources for information relating to diet and fitness? 

1. Influencers are incentivized to lie and cheat

There’s more incentive for influencers to lie and cheat than there is for them to be honest. 

2. Influencers are slaves to products

Likes and followers alone don’t pay the bills, most influencers will promote whatever makes them the most money, and the stuff that makes the most money is often the stuff that’s the most unethical. 

3. Influencers thrive on promises of unrealistic results

In the attention economy, what’s most profitable is generally what grabs the most attention and what grabs attention is generally something new, that promises the most unrealistic result for the least amount of effort. 

Alright guys, let me know in the comments below what sort of garbage products or supplements you guys have wasted money on, if you want to be notified first when I upload new lessons, make sure to click the bell icon. 

And unless you absolutely hate me and want to wish bad fortune on my unborn children, please click the goddamn notification bell, please do it for little nelson or nelsonita. 

Ciao and I’ll see you in the next post! 

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