Flipping over Fitstagram: The Secrets Behind Healthy Living

We all know about the allure of Instagram. It’s as if the app has cast a spell on the youth of the world, forcing our fingers to scroll endlessly through newsfeeds and popular pages. And, with a simple “Abra Cadabra,” life’s scenic attractions have instantly transformed into photo shoots, where Insta-addicts attempt to snap the perfect photo for their feeds. In its infinite power, Instagram has also turned some into celebrities.

Famous for their tantalizing photos and lifestyle, Instagram celebs post anything from mouthwatering food pictures to motivational fitness tips. Celebrities of the latter group are more commonly known as “Fitsagrammers,” and use their Insta-fame to inspire their followers to lead healthy lives.

We spoke to Fitstagrammer, Lilly Sabri, who hosted a fitness class & breakfast at the Whitworths Shots #GiveUsAShot launch event.

Verge: What inspired you to become a “fitstagrammer”?

Lilly Sabri: Because I was working in football, some of the footballers told me to set up an Instagram account. They said, “You should monitor your progress and start showing people your fitness regime.” And then everything grew really, really organically. It came out of nowhere. People started following me and I was like “Oh my G-d, I’ve got to keep posting more.” And basically I just loved being able to inspire other people to get fit and healthy, and to share my own knowledge of nutrition. I’ve got a lot of young girls following me and I think it’s important to give them the right information. So, yeah it’s really rewarding.

V: Was it difficult to find the motivation to eat healthy and work out every day?

LS: No, I think the key to it is to remain balanced. So, not to go crazy, but to keep that stable lifestyle year round. When you do want to have an unhealthy treat or snack don’t deprive yourself of it, because that’s when you start resenting it- and basically you’ll never end up having stability. So, the main thing I found is if I wake up in the morning and I start my day in the right way—with a juice or an exercise class—then I get into a routine where I want to continue it. Whereas if I go down a slippery slope of having the “naughty stuff”, I actually end up feeling really unhealthy and horrible. So I think once you get into a routine and make it your lifestyle it’s actually easy.”

V: What does your typical breakfast look like?

LS: I have a juice every single morning. I do have breakfast as well, but my favorite juice for example is carrot, ginger, apple, and ice cubes, which is amazing. So that’s the one that I have every single morning as kind of a cleanser and energizer. My normal breakfast would be rye bread, a poached egg, chili flakes, and spinach.

V: What does your typical workout consist of? Is it the same routine every day?

LS: So, I mix up my workouts—because otherwise, I get bored—but my main thing is hit [High-Intensity Interval Training] training. Just because I find that you can do it on the go. You can do it anywhere, and you don’t need equipment. And you can do 30-40 minutes—sometimes even 20 minutes— and still get the most insane workout. So, mine will normally be—I don’t train upper body that much—20 minutes worth of legs, 20 minutes worth of abs, and then a little bit of body weight stuff, which would be planks, etc. I’ll do hit exercise, which is 45 seconds on and 15 seconds off, for a solid 30 minutes. I don’t enjoy spinning and I don’t enjoy running, I’m a hit girl. Hit and palates—I don’t enjoy anything that’s the same movement over and over again. I get bored. So I love classes. I love any type of class, whether it’s a hot palates, hot yoga, or my own hit version that I do every single day.

V: Do you enjoy working out or is it just something that you do to be healthy?

LS: It’s a lifestyle. I love it. So, it’s part of my lifestyle and it makes me feel great. When I look good, that makes me feel good. When I don’t workout I feel tight, I feel like I get more injuries, and my body just doesn’t feel right. I don’t feel like me. And people will say “Oh you look exactly the same” but I don’t feel good. So I think there’s a fine line from going obsessive, where it becomes an addiction of such, but then there’s this lovely period and space where it’s like a lifestyle. It’s a beautiful lifestyle, where you’re eating healthily and socializing with other people who are in the health industry—happy people who kind of want to motivate each other. It’s a really nice lifestyle to lead.

V: Do you have a pump-up playlist to get you motivated for a workout? What are your favorite songs on the playlist?

LS: Mine tend to be Beyoncé, just because I find it really empowering. I work with a lot of women and so a lot of my classes tend to love any of the Beyoncé type of stuff. I find it really uplifting. It’s got a solid beat. I have to have a really good beat because all of my classes and workouts are done to a timer and beat. So as long as I have that beat to keep me going, which is steady and not too fast—some songs are a little too fast—the Beyoncé songs tend to work.

V: What advice can you give to people who are looking to get motivated to exercise and eat healthy?

LS: Be realistic. That’s the main thing. So basically, set yourself a goal, but don’t set yourself an unrealistic goal. Otherwise you’re never going to achieve it. So set yourself a program, follow someone who you find really gives you inspiration, and then basically stick at it. So, what you want to do is have a hit program—the same program—that you can do 5 times a week (but make it realistic to your lifestyle). So if you’re a home mum, you can do it at your house. If you have work, you can do it before work or in your lavish time. Find something that you enjoy- that’s so important. If you don’t enjoy it, you’re not going to stick at it. So find something you enjoy, workouts that you can do at home, and make it a realistic goal. In terms of nutrition, make sure that you’ve got a balanced diet. And when you are out and about—because most people are living a really active lifestyle— make sure you’ve got things for you. What tends to happen is if you don’t carry healthy stuff, like these Shots, in your bag, then you’re going to end up impulse buying stuff that’s unhealthy. So always have something to graze on. Have 8 small meals a day, rather than 3 big ones, because it keeps your metabolism going. So smaller meals more frequently.

V: What is your favorite part of being a fitstagrammer?

LS: Being able to motivate and inspire people. It really is that simple. Being able to have girls come up to me and say ‘I watched your video and it inspired me and motivated me to work out and become fit’ is so rewarding. I can’t even explain it to you. When you see the people that are across the other side of the world have followed your program—and they’ve got fit off the back of it and they are looking at you for inspiration—is the most amazing thing ever.

Whitworths Shots are the easy to eat, tasty and healthier snack – with less than 100 calories per pack.

To take part in the #GiveUsAShot 7 Day Snack Challenge, all you need to to is swap 14 snacks for Shots for a week.

Follow the #GiveUsAShot campaign on Instagram @WhitworthsUK, or visit the website: www.whitworths.co.uk.

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