You’ve seen the siren song TikTok dance…watched thousands of remakes of Shakira’s “Girl Like Me” dance…and smiled at hundreds of Taylor Swift “Love Story” TikToks. Since TikTok was the “most downloaded non-game app” worldwide in 2020, it’s no surprise that these trendy videos made their mark (1).
And while these TikTok videos are wildly popular – and certainly very entertaining, can they really help you achieve your fitness goals?
The super successful social media app is known for it’s fun and entertaining videos – of celebrities, of fun TikTok challenges, dance videos, and yes, even the classic cat videos. But, in the recent months, there have been more and more heath and fitness videos taking over TikTok as well.
Personal trainers and gym-junkies have started posting their own TikTok videos, filled with healthy eating tips and tricks, meal planning videos, and workout before-and-afters. Because of the growing number of health videos that people are posting, TikTok has launched a new ‘Wellness Hub’ on the app. (2)
It’s a page on the app with four categories – Food and Nutrition, Fitness, Life Advice, and Mindfulness. All you have to do is click on a topic that interests you, and TikTok will show you guides and advice on the topic, and connect you with TikTok influencers that are experts in that area. They even have professional resources for each of the topics.
When TikTok announced their new #WellnessHub, they posted on Twitter that with their new platform, you can “discover real tips for better living.” But my question is, does it really work? Can you really lose weight with TikTok? Can watching TikTok fitness videos somehow be part of your workout plan or fitness routine?
Well, let’s take a look.
As soon as you start scrolling through the #weightloss section on TikTok, you’ll see tons of weight loss transformation stories. There’s before-and-after pictures and videos, there’s inspirational music, and there’s a ton of stories of people who have successfully lost weight.
Staying motivated is certainly essential for any successful workout program. Watching TikTok videos can be a good way to motivate yourself to achieve your workout goals. These videos are certainly life-changing accomplishments for the TikTokkers that posted them, and can definitely inspire others to start their weight-loss journey. However, they can also give people the false notion of a quick and easy way to lose weight.
While what you see is a weight loss transformation in less than a minute on TikTok, the reality is that healthy weight loss takes more than just sixty seconds. People that sell “quick, effortless, and easy” weight-loss programs on TikTok are probably just looking to take advantage of that false notion and not give you healthy and sustainable weight-loss tips.
So, as far as getting motivation from TikTok – it can work, but just remember that healthy weight-loss doesn’t happen overnight, and comparison is the thief of joy.
In the online world of social media, things change fast. Today, there’s a trending video that’s super popular and has a ton of views, and in a week, everyone has forgotten about it because there’s something new.
In the world of nutrition however, that’s not the case. Fruits and vegetables are healthy for you, and they have been healthy for you, well, forever. Although there are new discoveries and new nutrition tips every once in a while, they are based on careful research by professionals, not by amount of likes or views on social media.
That’s why it can be dangerous to try TikTok nutrition plans. While there are qualified nutritionists that make TikTok videos, it can be hard to distinguish between who’s professional and who’s not.
Angie Asche, a certified specialist in sports diets, even said that “unhealthy behaviors on TikTok being presented as ‘normal’ eating habits can be so dangerous. Most are promoting depriving your body of energy and nutrients, which can lead to serious complications.” (3)
So, as far as TikTok diets go, it’s probably better to stick to research-based diets and nutritional information, rather than trendy diet information.
If you’re familiar with TikTok, I’m sure you’ve seen viral workout trends or challenges, most of which look really impressive – if performed correctly.
However, as cool as these workout challenges are, they can be dangerous. Why? Well, because they are designed to get likes and millions of views, and not to help teach you how to successfully do a pushup while someone stands on your back.
Doing a workout that “looks cool” based on a 60 second video that you watched a couple times could cause you to injure yourself and cause lasting damage to your body. It’s much better to stick to proper training techniques to keep your body healthy and happy.
Always use your best judgement. There’s some TikTok workout videos that can be great workouts if done properly. And it can be an easy way to do a quick workout when you only have a few minutes. Just search up 5-minute workout, and you’ll find a ton of videos that can motivate you and give you workout ideas. Just remember to be careful, and always use proper form when exercising.
Although you do have to be careful while looking for fitness advice on TikTok, it’s not all bad. TikTok focuses on having fun and having a great time. And when you are working out, it’s important to make it fun and enjoyable, whether you’re on the treadmill, in your home gym, or doing yoga in the backyard.
Fun is essential, and finding a workout you enjoy and can have fun doing is key to long-term success. Trying out those TikTok dance challenges can be a really awesome and enjoyable way to get some cardio in, take your dance skills to the next level – and who knows? You might even become TikTok famous as well!