Fitness Fakery: All a Big Lie
By Shanuka Kadupitiyage
While there are opinions that having body fat is bad for you, that it will bring detrimental effects to your health and physical appearance, the truth remains that body fat is essential for your health and is something you cannot live without.
You might be wondering then why all the Hollywood stars appear on screen with chiseled abs and toned physiques that appear as if there is no fat in their body at all. Surely, their healthy physiques would also have some ‘padding’ if having a little fat inside you is good.
If it were a normal situation, you would, in fact, be able to see plenty of A-list actors and actresses with that healthy body fat. However, what they do when they prepare for ‘that scene’ where their physique has to look exceptionally ‘ripped’ for the camera is very far from normal.
The same can be said for models before photoshoots as well.
Hollywood body magic
After going through gruelling physical conditioning, the actor or model starts to drink water in large amounts a few days before the shoot, sometimes more than 10 litres a day. This goes on for a couple of days, while the body starts getting used to dumping as much water as it can. Then, a day or two before the shoot, they stop drinking water altogether.
Unfortunately, their body doesn't know that and continues to release as much water as it can through both urine and sweat. So much, that the actor, actress, or model starts to become dehydrated. All the salts in their bodies needed to function properly have been flushed out at this point. Dizziness, headaches, fatigue starts to kick in. They struggle to get out of bed the next morning for the shoot.
By that time, they are so dehydrated; their skin shrivels up and is literally stretched against their muscles underneath. What once was a hint of a six-pack now becomes what you see on the movie screen aand photoshoot.
The same can be said of the slim models that strut down the runway at fashion shows. More than a week before appearing on the catwalk, they would prepare by stopping the intake of all solid foods, taking protein shakes and supplements to sustain their bodies instead. A day before, they would steadily reduce water intake, even taking boiling baths to sweat more of the water out. This continues until they stop drinking water completely 12 hours before appearing at the fashion show.
A horrible price
Everyone in show-business takes part in this fitness fakery, from Dwayne the Rock Johnson to Victoria’s Secret Models. Superhero movies aren’t immune either, with actors such as Chris Evans are guilty of this before taking his shirt off for the camera to see.
However, all this comes at a horrible price. When dehydrating, the blood thickens to unhealthy levels, increasing blood pressure. Enormous stress is put on the kidneys and their function. Needless to say, all this takes a massive toll on the body and can cause permanent damage to the organs if done incorrectly.
All Hollywood A-listers consult with doctors and dieticians and are carefully kept under observation as they undergo this self-induced torture.
This is definitely something that shouldn’t be tried at home.
The ugly truth
As you must have realised, the ugly truth is that the bodies we see on the big screen and billboards are all manufactured and are far from natural. A healthy body would have a decent amount of body fat, hiding most of the ‘ripped’ muscles lying underneath (if you have been working out correctly).
Healthy, not ‘fat’
Being obese is bad. It puts unnecessary strain on the entire body, especially the bones, joints, and circulatory system. To know if the body fat you have is normal, you will have to determine if your body fat percentage is within healthy parameters.
Don’t go judging if your body fat is excessive purely based on physique, only by proper calculation can you confirm if you have healthy levels of fat or not. So don’t worry if you don’t have an hourglass figure or ‘padding’ for your abs.
Fat; essential for health
There’s a good reason why having some fat in your body is important. You wouldn’t survive without it.
=Body fat helps maintain healthy skin and hair
=It’s needed to protect your internal organs from the cold and heat. You couldn’t maintain the proper body temperature without it
=Body fats store energy in the body and are used when food is scarce
=The cells in your body wouldn’t function normally without them
=They act as a cushion, protecting your bones, organs and tissues from heavy impacts
=You wouldn’t be able to absorb vitamins like Vitamin A, D, E, and K without them
=Healthy body fat boosts immunity
=Having too much or too little body fat can lead to reproductive complications in both men and women such as infertility and low sperm quality
The next time you see a super-slim model or Hollywood actor with chiseled abs, remember that it is all Fitness Fakery.
Body fat is important and you wouldn’t be the same without it. Instead of trying unhealthy diets or fasts, focus on wellness and make sure you stay healthy, happy, physically fit and active.