All You Need to Know about the Thinspiration Diet
We all want to be pretty, and we all want society to acknowledge our beauty. In today’s world, beauty is synonymous with skinny.
We go nuts over the smiling faces of celebrity models and actors in sleek outfits perpetuating the “slimmer is better” narrative across our social media platforms.
Any typical search of the words "beautiful women" both on the popular search engines and social media sites will leave you with a barrage of photos most of which are of smiling, skinny women. The internet is overrunning with different diets and exercise regimes to achieve that ideal body.
With these images in mind, it is no wonder that Thinspiration or as teenagers dubbed it Thinspo, is all the rage these days. So, what exactly is a Thinspo Diet?
We have done our research and decided to cover this subject at length. Ours is an informative article to inform as well as inspire anyone who wants to hitch the Thinspiration bandwagon to a thinner, skinnier life.
What is Thinspiration?
The term thinspiration has been around for over ten years, but it has picked up momentum over the last couple of years due to the prevalence of the online culture.
The word stands for something or someone who inspires people looking to attain and maintain minimal body weight.
In the online community, Thinspiration is a culture of people who share this common goal on platforms where they freely share photos and tips to keep each other motivated.
Thinspo diets are calorie conscious diets for people who want to shed a lot of body weight. They advocate for careful monitoring of calories intake, frequent fasting, and compulsive exercising.
In a world where there are mixed messages on what to eat and what not to, Thinspo buffs are stocked to finally find a community with clear instructions and diets that work.
How it works
Most Thinspo sites offer everything a thinspiration enthusiast would need to attain their goals. Users display statistics of their current weight and height followed by their ideal weight.
The sites also boast calorie counting calculators to aid in the fight against body fight. Because of this fight often lonely, members of Thinspo sites post photos of themselves and their idols (usually super thin models and actors) in a bid to encourage and motivate each other.
These serve as motivation for the veterans as well as beginners to keep at it.
Thinspo diets often advocate for Pro-Anorexic (Pro-Ana) behavior. The ProAna lifestyle is encouraged in thinspiration sites.
But as with all things, some tips are great and advocated for by all dietitians while some are downright unhealthy.
Before embarking on the thinspo and thinspiration lifestyle, take time to explore the tips advertised on the internet.
There are healthy tips that will help you healthily lose those extra calories while there are others that are outright unhealthy.
Do not follow everything you read on the internet. The good news is, we did the research on your behalf and here are the healthy Thinspo tips you can add to your “to do” list.
Healthy Thinspo Tips:
- Set your weight loss goals. This is a tried and tested motivation technique that is very successful. Thinspo advocates for the sharing of ideal weights to allow for progress monitoring and encouragement when necessary. Print posters and download images of your idol to keep you motivated throughout the diet period, especially on those days when temptation is high.
- Tracking your calories intake. This ensures that your calories input each day is always lower than the calories you burn to ensure every day is a weight loss day.
- Drink a lot of water. Water is the ultimate superfood. It boosts metabolism and keeps the body hydrated and fills the stomach so you can consume less food.
- Never, ever skip breakfast. All dietitians sing the praise of a hearty, healthy breakfast because it helps keep those dreaded calories away for most of the day. Not only does it keep the stomach full, but it is also easily digested than the other meals thus keeping you slim.
- Take minerals and vitamins. Vitamin B-Complex and C are good for weight loss because they promote metabolism. Foods high in these minerals such as whole grains, legumes like beans and lentils come highly recommended as they provide a natural dose of these essential minerals.
- Many small meals vs. a few large ones. If your daily calories intake is 500 calories, the amount should stagger throughout six smaller meals which are better for digestion and metabolism.
- Calories Deficit Rule. Your daily exercise goals should be to burn more calories than you lose. Your body will, therefore, be forced to burn body fat to supplement the deficit energy thus helping you lose weight and keep fit.
- Avoid bad fats. Fast food provides with guilty pleasure, and that spells doom on your Thinspo efforts. Cutting off this food and most starches from your diet from the beginning is highly recommended. In fact, you should make a list of bad foods and discard them from your fridge and your intake.
- Get some R&R. Rest and Relaxation are great for weight loss because they allow the body to unwind allowing for internal body functions that serve to boost metabolism further.
Not so healthy Thinspo Tips:
This trend has attracted criticism for it advocated of pro-anorexia habits such as:
1. Excessive recording of weight loss and calories intake: Most thinspo sites recommend that you keep a diary for daily calories intake and to monitor your weight loss progress. This way too obsessive, compulsive for a busy girl with a day job or full-time school. Keep in mind that your ideal thinspo body will not happen overnight. It is a consistent effort of intricate, healthy changes. With obsession comes the need to fall into extremes to attain your goals faster. Just relax and take it a day at a time.
2. Compulsive exercise: Some sites advocate for excessive exercise habits which can lead to dizzy spells and weakness considering you will end up losing way more energy than can be supplied by the minimalistic diet you are consuming. Your body still needs to be able to function to support all the other life-sustaining activities and organs. It is essential to follow the guidelines from your doctor and diet consultant to ensure to don’t fall into the red zone.
3. Follow supermodels: It is not necessary to stick up posters of size zero supermodels all over your walls to stay motivated. In fact, this constant reminder can sometimes serve to point out your inadequacies (in comparison with the supermodels) which will flush your self-esteem down the toilet. Instead, set personal goals for consistent healthy weight loss depending on your body type and your lifestyle.
4. Steer clear of purging: Purging is a Bulimic term used to refer to the act of vomiting after every meal which is practiced by Bulimia patients. Thinspo enthusiasts are typically teetering on the verge of being Bulimic which is a severe condition. Do not be tempted to fall into the habit of binging and purging.
5. Eating in front of the mirror: Extreme Thinspo sites advice that you should eat in front of the mirror, and in short clothes, so you can see how far you are from your goal with every spoonful you shove into your mouth. Can you imagine how lonely this can be? This is an underhanded tactic to promote self-hate which encourages followers of the thinspiration lifestyle to fat-shame themselves. It is a very unhealthy approach to dieting which robs you of self-esteem.
6. Not eating at all: The right Thinspo diet advocates for moderate eating rather than the total lack of food intake. Crash dieting, in fact, makes the weight loss process longer than usual. The body goes into starvation mode which in turn encourages more storage of fat rather than burning.
7. Exposure to cold: Exposure to cold water, food and weather effects supposedly causes the body to cool down forcing it to burn calories to keep warm. Inevitably, this leads to weight loss, but the tradeoff could be pneumonia which is a fatal disease. Even by the sound of it, it sounds insane to expose yourself to the elements to force the body to compensate. Steer clear of crazy measures such as this one because the risks are too significant.
8. Avoid lose-weight-fast diets. For instance, there is one that advocates for extreme measures including a pure water diet which fails to satisfy our body’s dietary and mineral needs. You need food and calories to produce energy for your body organs to function. Stay sane and realistic.
The internet is full of snazzy named thinspo diets so be on the lookout for Cinderella Diet, Ariel’s Diet, the Rainbow Diet among many others.
From Thinspiration to Fitspiration
Following the rise of consumerism and the controversy surrounding the thinspo diet, social media sites such as Instagram and Tumbler have pulled down content with the hashtags #thinspiration and #thinspo causing the online communities to adapt to these changes.
Accordingly, the fad moved to fitspirastion or fitspo which stands for fit inspiration, marketed as the healthier alternative to thinspo.
The Urban Dictionary defines fitspiration as the use of examples of functional fitness (people, photographs, skinny jeans, etc.) as inspiration to attain a fitness goal.
However, the trend seems to be failing in its noble mandate or encouraging women and to be healthier and is instead leading to compulsive exercising and body weight issues perpetuated by the “Success Trains.
Failure Complains,” and other similar comments intended to encourage us to push past the exhaustion point.
Fitspiration has since reverted to Thinspiration in a sports bra underscoring the fact that the fad is also failing to encourage actual healthy habits but is instead perpetuating the narrative of a thinner body at any cost.
The trend is further promoted by celebrities like the Kardashians who freely sing its praises touting the joys of continuous body weight loss and the resulting happiness that accompanies the results.
Other Thinspiration Trends
While the smiling faces of svelt celebrity models and actors in sleek outfits across our social media platforms encourage us to lose weight with the hope of attaining their success and happiness levels, we need to recognize that Thinspiration is a double-edged sword that can hurt as well as help us. Not all trends are healthy so do not blindly follow everything celebrities say.
Being an old term, thinspiration has given rise to many new trends that advocate for the extremely skinny body type. These trends include:
- Hot Dog Legs is a term used to describe extremely thin legs with a significant thigh gap, akin to angled hot dogs.
- Thigh Gap is the space between the thighs of some people when they are standing with their feet touching.
- Bikini Bridge is perhaps the most disturbing of all thinspo trends. It refers to the space between the bikini bottoms and the lower abdomen when bikini bottoms are suspended between the two hip bones.
“I want to be so thin that people whisper how skinny I’ve gotten behind my back,” remains the goal of many teens and youth and diets like Thinspiration only feel the need of these market.
However, extreme Thinspiration dieting and activities can lead to anorexia which we all know to be a deadly disease that served to erode the self-respect that drives us to weight loss, to begin.
Therefore, anyone considering this diet should proceed with extreme caution as they achieve their BMI recommended weight while being the picture of health
Follow the Healthy Tips mentioned in this article and maintain a sober mind even as you immerse yourself in the numerous online communities that advocate for this trend.
Remember that Rome was not built in a day so cut yourself some slack throughout the process and do not expect immediate results.
Finally, subscribe and stay tuned for more on this and other emerging topics discussed in this article.