Now that it’s the beginning of April and summer has officially started, every magazine and health website has something about getting your bikini body. Earlier this year, I was thinking about putting together a bikini body package and changed my mind. Why? Because we put too much pressure on people to look perfect and actually, the perfect body is different for every person (man or woman) and perfectionism is rarely achieved in anything!

I understand that people want to look good on the beach and we do tend to eat less over the summer months which results in a natural decrease in weight but I don’t think promoting people getting bikini bodies is healthy. It encourages us to lose weight specifically for other people’s benefits and doesn’t focus on the long term.

Long term, constantly yo yo dieting can have a serious effect on your metabolism. It also places your body under stress and can lead to binge eating as people are very strict for a while then fall off the wagon and binge. We need to encourage people to think about their health as well as their body shape and what the scales say.

A lot of women are very conscious of their body already. Nobody really has the perfect body but by suggesting that your body should look a certain way before you can wear a bikini or similar can trigger responses as strong as eating disorders. The more I work with women, the more I realise that a lot of their relationships with food stem from something somebody said which may have been meant a flippant remark but it isn’t taken that way.

There is also a danger that we encourage people to crash diet and lose weight very quickly which isn’t good for the body as it puts it under stress. It can also lead to yoyo dieting. Many people are tempted by very low calorie diets and shakes to help them lose weight which can create unhealthy eating habits and relationships with food. Even just a short time on a very low calorie diets can be dangerous. There’s also a very strong likelihood that you will gain back all the weight lost whilst you’re on holiday because your body has gone into starvation mode.

I think we should be more accepting of our own bodies and also supportive of others in their choices. There are times when being honest with someone is important and telling them something doesn’t look right is needed but who are we to say what size someone should be to wear a bikini? We should be promoting health and that isn’t necessarily the same as being skinny.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. Do you think we should encourage people to have bikini bodies just for summer or we should we focus on overall health?

Hannah

www.wisechoicenutrition.co.uk