Let’s talk about body image & goals when it comes to Instagram. I see SO many women who constantly look at pictures of other girls or fitness models on this platform and identify them as ‘goals’ or having the ‘dream body. 

 As someone who’s done a fair amount of fitness shoots I want to be real with you about how you get to looking that way for the day of the shoot. I’m sure not everybody has to adhere to such a strict routine but 90% of the models I know and work with do. 

 First of all, for the 2 weeks (or 3 if you have enough time) prior to the shoot you bring yourself down to a 1100 calorie/day diet and only eat in a 6 hour window. You portion that 50% protein, 40% fat & 10% carbs.

 You cut out alcohol and any carbonated drinks and (if you drink them) completely 1-2 weeks prior. You also have to lower your sodium intake 1 week prior. 

 When you’re 4 days out from the shoot, you start on diuretics. Diuretics are a supplement you can use to get rid of water weight, they’re something that would be prescribed to you if you had high blood pressure as well. Water weight is insane! I’ve seen girls I worked with drop 10-15lbs of water weight in 5 days doing prep for a shoot! 


An important thing to remember here is even though you’ll drop 10-15 lbs sometimes before a shoot (if you have that to lose), you don’t lose fat that quickly! It’s water & it will come back. 


3 days before your shoot, you drink 3L of water. 2 days before, you drink 2L of water. The day before, you only sip water when you need it (spoiler alert: you’re SUPER thirsty) and the day of the shoot you don’t have any food or liquid until after your shoot is done. 


3 days before your shoot you get a spray tan and 2 days before you go for a cryotherapy session (I got to @vancouvercryotherapy ) if you have access to one. 


The night before your shoot you take Preparation H cream and put it on the areas of your body that retain the most fat. For me that’s my thighs and my stomach. And then you wrap those areas in saran wrap with the cream underneath and sleep in it. Prep H is amazing for temporarily tightening the skin. 


When you get to your shoot, you’re greeted by your hair and makeup professional who also does body touch ups if necessary and you have professional lighting, a photographer that’s giving you feedback and an art director depending on the size of the shoot. 


I’m not telling you this to scare you - I love shooting and am so happy I learned how to prep for these & got awesome shots out of it! 


I’m telling you this because this is not real life! Most people (especially fitness models) don’t look the way they look in photos in real life! Be easy on yourself. If you’re prepping for a shoot go for it, just understand that the results are temporary. If you look at other women’s professional photos on Instagram and wish that was you you can cut yourself some slack. They don’t even look that way in real life! Now, there are the exception to the rule which is women who are just genetically gifted, however you usually find them working professionally for big brands because it’s not that common. 


Ease up on yourself and allow yourself the freedom to be comfortable in your own body - no matter what you think you should look like.


And whatever you do, don’t try to maintain that type of diet or staying on diuretics long term. Your body hates being underfed or dehydrated and it will only lead to adrenal and thyroid problems down the road. Really really not worth it. 

Ella Mae