Ten Instagram accounts to inspire you to eat better, exercise more

There are thousands of accounts on the social network offering advice in pictures and video on diet and workouts. Here are ten you should be following

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 31 January, 2016, 9:00pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 31 January, 2016, 9:00pm

Instagram is not just a place to look at pretty pictures. It can be your personal trainer, motivator and meal planner in one.

The app has long been hailed by fitness fanatics as the go-to place for #fitspiration – inspiration to lead an active, healthier life. (In Instagram-speak: rousing, artistic images of healthy kale dishes and toned six-packs.)

But the introduction of 15-second video capabilities in mid 2013 has fuelled the trend of “Instafitness”. An increasing portion of users are turning to the app for bite-sized fitness. Imagine a never-ending healthy recipe book, or a video platform full of hundreds of hours worth of inspirational workouts on your phone. For free.

SEE ALSO: Why working out harder doesn’t give you a licence to pig out afterwards

Crafty users have created “Instafitness” businesses, garnering hundreds of thousands of followers. The Body Coach (@thebodycoach), for example, condenses a cooking show into 15 seconds, barking orders on how to construct his “Lean in 15” meals in 15 minutes or less. His humorous, high-pitched voice and snappy editing has transformed the British personal trainer into a multimillion-dollar business and local celebrity, with more than half a million followers.

Or Kayla Itsines (@kayla_itsines), who’s gathered more than 4 million fans for her 12-week 28-minute daily “Bikini Body” workouts. Driving their devotion is her Instagram feed: it’s full of workout videos, nutrition tips and countless “transformation” shots to motivate you to get off the couch.

At the more modest end of the scale is Mari at Blueberry Smoothies (@blueberrysmoothies). Her Instagram page is full of captivating photos of artfully created smoothies, along with links to free recipes so you can create her masterpieces at home.

We’ve collated 10 Instagram accounts that are as good for your waistline as they are for your eyes.

1. @thebodycoach

768,000 followers

Are you busy, a little fat and bored? Joe Wicks aka The Body Coach has an Instagram feed just for you. Famous for his “Lean in 15” programme, Wicks presents how-to videos of scrumptious, easy to prepare meals that can be made in 15 minutes flat, and workouts that can be done in a flash following high intensity interval training (HIIT) principles. Unlike some personal trainers on Instagram, Wicks found fame on the platform through his authentic and witty posts, so you’re sure to be both inspired and engaged.

Follow for helpful, short videos on how to create healthy meals, plus quirky workouts, interspersed with inspiring (sometimes off-putting) transformation shots.

2. @clean_eating_alice

229,000 followers

Ever wondered what “eating clean” actually means? Follow Alice Liveing aka Clean Eating Alice to find out through her meticulous daily food posts. Although her posts rarely contain ingredients or recipes, her meals are more healthy assemblages of vegetables, meats, salads and eggs – lots of eggs – rather than intricate dishes, making them easy to replicate.

Follow for detailed daily breakdowns of Alice’s meals, plus Tabata, HIIT and TRX workouts demonstrating what “a clean lifestyle” means. Warning: her feed contains the odd perky-looking selfie, usually showing off a six-pack. They’re worth enduring for the food posts.

3. @shadesofjoy

70,200 followers

Dubai-dwelling Megan Joy may be a yogi, but don’t expect photos of daisy chains and lofty gazes into the sunset. She’s brave and a little bit badass, flinging her body into seemingly impossible postures. Her feed contains photos and videos that help break down difficult moves. She also flaunts possibilities that are achievable with practice – and a little perseverance.

Follow for helpful “how to” videos breaking down yoga poses and basic body movements, inspiring you to contort your body, increase flexibility and get strong. The stunning Dubai skyline makes for an impressive backdrop.

4. @kayla_itsines

4.4 million followers

The Australian personal trainer has transformed the fitness industry with her downloadable “Bikini Body Guides”. Her Instagram feed is where she captivates the crowds. Expect punchy workouts and more than enough selfies to motivate you to get started.

Follow for Kayla’s video workouts. Sift out the selfies and endless transformation shots.

5. @kaisafit

54,100 followers

Previously one half of the popular @twobadbodies account, Kaisa Keranen has since set up her own feed, @kaisafit. In only a few months she’s amassed more than 50,000 followers, and for good reason. Her feed is filled with fun, energetic video workouts and lots of stair work, mixed with motivational quotes and nutritional information.

Follow for high-intensity mini workouts with creative twists that you can do at home or in a park with minimal equipment.

6. @progressive_calisthenics

456,000 followers

Calisthenics is the latest street fitness fad – a combination of basic gymnastic exercises and bodyweight movements – and Kenneth Gallarzo is its king. He is the co-founder of the World Calisthenics Organisation, championing the new sport around the globe. His feed showcases a combination of jaw-dropping feats in which gravity does not seem to exist. Hand stands on your knuckles, anyone?

Follow for the wow factor. Gain courage to push your creative limits at the gym.

7. @civilizedcaveman

107,000 followers

George Bryant is an ex-marine turned paleo-cooking blogger. His unique story, involving weight issues and eating disorders, provides a fascinating backdrop to a feed dominated by nourishing recipes following paleo principles. Some sound too tasty to be true, like sweet plantain guacamole and German apple pancakes.

Follow for regular recipe posts with detailed ingredients and step-by-step instructions. They may be paleo, but you wouldn’t know.

8. @BerryTimeAsia

5,105 followers

Hong Kong’s own @BerryTimeAsia is the feed to follow for guidance about your choice of health foods, supplements and beauty products. Owner Mikko Revonniemi is on a mission to bust health fads and promote informed choices. He also curates his favourite food photos, so you’re guaranteed your daily dose of #healthyfoodporn too.

Follow for information about health foods, supplements and personal care items, as well as an introduction to the latest products and offers.

9. @blueberrysmoothies

99,900 followers

Smoothies have never looked this good. If you like your food in liquid form, you must follow this account. Beautiful photos of smoothies and fruit bowls abound, but, more importantly, you’re equipped with links to recipes on how to create such masterpieces.

Follow for colourful collections of fruit and vegetable creations as well as step-by-step guides on how to make them.

10. @hunterfitness

32,300 followers

Strength and mobility expert Hunter Cook both informs and entertains in his feeds. Featuring the “hot lava” partner workout, impressive yoga moves and implausible feats of strength.

Follow for: stealth ninja moves you can complete in your living room, as well as practical ways to incorporate your 40 kilogram bulldog into your workouts.