Personal trainer praised for ‘real’ photo showing lockdown weight gain

When it comes to Instagram, it’s become the norm to see only perfect chiselled or heavily filtered bodies.

But one Australian wellness guru has been praised for sharing a refreshing real video, revealing the way nearly two years of the pandemic and lockdowns has impacted his health and saw him gain 15kg.

Luke Hines is a nutrition coach and personal trainer who has published several cookbooks as well as running his own 10-week weight loss programme.

He said that (like many of us) the past 18 months and counting of the pandemic had seen his body change.

“I’ve experienced increase in body fat, decrease in lean muscle mass, and as a result, lacked self confidence and motivation,” Hines told

“For me, like many, when you fall out of shape, you can end up falling out of love with your body, and it can make getting back on track harder than it has to be.”

As a health and fitness professional, Hines said he also felt a responsibility to show not just the “ups” but also the “downs that I go through”.

“For the past eight years on Instagram I’ve leaned into showing pics of myself at my best, when I am ripped with abs,” he said.

“I think at a time when people are struggling, if I can show them I too can fall off the wagon and pick myself back up, then they can too, and it doesn’t have to be strict, restrictive or boring.”

In a post on Instagram, Hines revealed he had spent the past 15 years “obsessed with what I ate, how often I exercised and what I looked like”.

Realising he had set “unrealistic” expectations for himself and feeling “exhausted, depleted”, the wellness influencer decided to use lockdown to take a break.

“But what started as two months of eating whatever I wanted, how often I wanted at the start of last year, quickly spiralled into close to two years of letting myself go,” Hines wrote on Instagram.

He went from 84kg in January 2020 to 99kg in June this year.

As of last month he has managed to lose 5kg since then, with Hines pledging to find a “realistic and sustainable balance” over the next 10 weeks.

“Not as strict as I used to be but in fantastic shape inside and out and comfortable in my own skin,” Hines wrote.

A post shared by Luke Hines The Healthy Cook (@lukehinesonline)

“Eating to nourish, not based off boredom or emotions, moving to feel good, not stress my body out, and thinking positively with self care and self love the entire way.”

Hines’ post got more than 700 comments, with people praising the influencer for being so honest about his own health struggles.

“It’s been a tough few years for all of us … thanks for being real and even more inspiring,” one person wrote.

“Love your honesty and vulnerability. This is where a lot of us have been the last 18 months, thank you for inspiring self-care,” another commented.

Others said they too could relate, with one person writing: “I personally know the struggle and feeling the pressure of what a fitness professional should look like.

“All about balance and listening to your body.”

Hines told he had hoped sharing his own struggles would resonate and help others who were feeling the same way.

“When people look at social media, often they see only the good looking bodies and nice locations, which can affect your mental health if you’re feeling out of shape and stuck in lockdown,” he said.

“When people started commenting I realised what a profound impact it had on people, and perhaps they need more people who work in the public eye to show more of real life, not just the highlight reel.”

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