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People are flooded by content on social media.

How Social Media Can Help – Or Hurt – Your Health

Oh my gosh, isn’t social media great? You can share pictures of your kids with friends and family, see photos of your best friend’s anniversary trip, and find healthy recipes up the wazoo.

There’s also a ginormous fitness-related component to social media. Apps to track your food or steps, uber sculpted folks ready to teach you all about how they got their washboard abs, and tons of people on their own personal fitness journeys, sharing all its ups and downs.

How to use social media for diabetes management

But there’s a dark side of social media, too. You may find yourself jealous or feeling insecure, or you may start worrying more than ever about what you’re eating, and not in a good way. Read on to learn all about the do’s and don’ts of keeping your health on track using social media.

DO get meal inspiration

Instagram is full of healthy, diabetes-friendly recipes. Trying keto? You’ll find thousands of ideas from people just like you. Looking for kid-friendly ideas? There are plenty of those from parents who also happen to be registered dietitians.

DON’T obsess over what other people eat

Social media is not real life. Some people get paid to be incredibly fit and eat a “clean” diet. Some people only take pictures when they’ve made something beyond spectacular. You don’t have to be them. Eat what works for you, and don’t try to drastically cut calories or change your diet just because someone else is doing it.

DO learn new tips and tricks for working out

I have learned some awesome booty exercises on Instagram, let me tell you. There are tons and tons of FREE workouts posted by various health professionals all the time, so search, search, search if you need inspiration.

DON’T do things that push you beyond your limits

You know the deal: don’t start a new fitness program unless you’ve given the go-ahead from your doctor. I’ve said it before, but just because you see someone else doing it doesn’t mean you should be doing it, too. You know your body best.

DO follow people who inspire you

In just a very quick search on #type2diabetic, I found a number of accounts where a person was making life-changing adjustments and seeing improvements in their health. You may want to follow along with those people or even create an online friendship with them!

DON’T follow people who make you less than

On the other hand, there may be people online who make you feel bad. They may write things that make you feel judged or like you’re not trying hard enough. Those are not your people. Unfollow them if they don’t make you feel good and move forward on your health journey.

DO follow registered dietitians and health professionals who can help

There are so many certified health professionals on social media! Registered dietitians, doctors, health educators, and more. Find people you trust who have qualifications and work with a population similar to yours.

DON’T take advice from people who don’t know what they’re talking about

There are also lots of people on social media who have no education whatsoever to back up their tips and advice, so make sure you know who you’re dealing with. If someone is trying to sell you something or is pushing an extreme way of eating or exercising, unfollow.

DO report your exercise to your community if it helps you

Lots of exercise apps (such as the Nike app) allow you to track your workout and then share it with your followers or friends. Do it if it helps you stay on track! You’ll get virtual high fives and may inspire someone else to start exercising.

DON’T get bogged down comparing yourself to others

If seeing the exercise habits of others bums you out, if it makes you feel like you’re not doing enough, unfollow. It’s not your job to be anyone else, and just because someone else is working out hardcore 6 days a week doesn’t mean you need to. Don’t compare yourself to others, period.

What are you waiting for? Go out there and find social media accounts that will help you feel your best.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • Thomas A McAtee Jr. moderator
    3 months ago

    Love that. Some very good points here. So many think that what they read must be true. Social Media has both it’s good and bad points. Just have to take everything you read with a ton of salt.

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