Expectations vs. Reality

Don’t Trust The Social Media Hacks For ‘Your Best Body Ever’

They’re bogus — don’t set yourself up for frustration and disappointment.

by Nicole Young
Originally Published: 
Beautiful, serene young woman with dark skin using rose quartz Gua Sha on forehead against pink back...
Jonathan Knowles/Photodisc/Getty Images

Moms who aren't pressed for time and aren’t constantly looking for ways to save it are called unicorns, and they are not real. In real life, the average mom lives in a constant state of hurry and is always on the hunt for hacks, products, and practices that deliver fast results. Women with kids are especially easy prey for quick fix beauty and fitness gimmicks on social media — because who doesn’t have their moments of vanity, especially in a culture that tells us conventional attractiveness is crucial for women — and fast-track “solutions” are ever-present and often messaged specifically for moms short on time.

Unfortunately, those hacks are BS, a trail of heavily exaggerated promises and unrealistic outcomes.

All You Need Is 15 Minutes A Day!

In theory, the 15-minute workout makes perfect sense for busy moms. In reality, this workout is a bit misleading if not totally untrue. Pretty much any physical activity is good for the body, but 15 minutes isn’t a magic trick, either, and expecting otherwise sets you up for disappointment.

So yes, 15 minutes of exercise a day is good: “Adding some consistent areas of movement into your daily routine can deliver a quick metabolic boost that continues for hours,” according to Flexit VIP trainer Johanna Sapakie. In addition to the physical spark, a quickie workout can also double as me-time, which hectic moms always need. Sapakie encourages hectic moms to add "short bursts of exercise whenever you can...to give back to their own health and well being."

But the pros of express workouts aside, a 15-minute workout is not the miraculous answer to achieving your best body in a hurry — despite what fitness industry influencers (who themselves often spend hours a day training) will tell you on social media. The fact is, 15-minute workouts, even when performed daily and diligently, may not be enough to satisfy your expectations, depending on what your expectations are. “You should keep your standards realistic,” warns Sapakie. “A total body makeover, as if you were working out 2 hours a day, cannot be achieved in 15 minutes.” Sapakie also stresses the importance of warming up for “about 2-3 minutes” before you begin any workout routine and ending with “1-2 mins of deep breathing and gentle stretching to bring your body back to equilibrium.” So your 15-minute workout will actually need at least another 3 minutes to be even considered safe.

Face Yoga

Speaking of not exactly achievable in “no time,” the idea that you can drastically and speedily eliminate fine lines and wrinkles with face yoga is another theory heavily promoted on social media but stretches beyond the point of 100% accurate. Though programs like FaceJoy, whose app touts user reviews claiming “visible results inside the first week with about 30 mins a day of using the app,” skincare experts warn that such speedy outcomes are typically not the norm. Unlike injectable solutions (aka fillers) that can yield quick results, “patience and consistency are imperative” when attempting the facial exercise route to skin tightening, explains aesthetician to the stars Joanna Czech. “Just like developing muscles in other parts of the body, toning and strengthening the facial muscles, and experiencing drastic [facial] shifting, won’t happen overnight.”

A healthy blend of reality mixed in with your optimism is also important when setting goals. Though facial exercise may not drastically reverse the signs of aging, Czech (whose famous clients include Jennifer Aniston, Christy Turlington and Cate Blanchett) points out that “encouraging blood flow through rigorous facial movements can combat some signs of gravity and possibly slow down certain visual effects of the aging process…however, dedication and discipline are required.”

Face Toning Tools

Many moms are eager to fight the inevitable downward shift in facial features like the cheeks and jawline caused by aging, without the help of injectables. That makes the many props, gadgets, and gizmos promoted on social media for at-home use that much more desirable. “By providing a natural, non-invasive alternative to tweakments, FaceGym founder and creative director Inge Theron suggests certain face toning tools “can boost circulation in the tissue…and deliver visible results and lasting benefits for both the skin and muscles.”

The tricky part is that all face toning tools are not created equally, and it’s hard for untrained consumers to tell what works and what doesn’t. Tools with the highest potential for efficacy are “designed specifically to work on different areas of the face” advises Theron, and the results will be visible over time. “Just like you won’t get a six-pack from doing three sit ups, “it’s the same with your face. The more you do, you’ll start to build muscle memory and that’s when you’ll see the strongest, long-lasting results.” Any apparatus that offers legitimate “muscle stimulation” with consistent use, Theron claims, can also prove effective for “reducing facial tension and releasing blockages in the muscles which will also help to sculpt and lift the face.”

But the bottom line is, the products and services that are most likely beneficial for your body and beauty goals are not flooding your feeds on social media. Neither the price tag nor the popularity of the influencers paid to plug them makes these magical sounding purchases more realistic in terms of results. Furthermore, despite the number of tasks moms can get checked off their to-do list in 15 minutes, most credentialed fitness and beauty experts would argue that sculpting perfect body parts and facial features are not among them. Skip the quick fixes and spare yourself disappointment and the wasted money.

Nicole Young is a broadcaster, writer and food and beverage entrepreneur.

A respected voice of authority in the lifestyle space, Nicole hosts and produces tv news segments and writes engaging articles covering food, beauty, wellness and style for outlets including: The Morning Blend, The PIX11 Morning News, HuffPost and Reader's digest.

An experienced and passionate recipe developer, Nicole believes wholeheartedly in “treating our bodies to nothing but the best” and is regularly commissioned by consumer brands to help bridge the gap between a healthy living and moderate indulgence. The NYC native resides downtown Manhattan with her husband and young son and enjoys photographing the city sites while taking long strolls with her family.

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