This is Why I Hate Women’s Fitness Magazines

That’s it.  I’m done.  Women’s fitness magazines drive me NUTS.  I used to avoid fitness magazines when I was heavy because the models made me feel like a slacker; discouraged instead of inspired.  Now they drive me crazy because I’m hyper-aware of the disconnect between the foods they advertise and the lifestyle they preach.

Men’s fitness magazines don’t do that.  I just pulled out six issues of Muscle & Fitness and in each issue there was maybe, MAYBE, one picture of a “forbidden” food coupled with tips for making it healthier or an X through it saying “No!”  Yet in this month’s Fitness magazine for women I saw pictures of the following foods packaged as “healthy” choices:

  • Goldfish (in “natural” flavors)
  • Frosted Mini-Wheats
  • Cheese sticks

But this is the advertisement that did me in:  McWraps from that health food superstore McDonald’s:

Healthy fried chicken, bacon and cheese wrap!
Healthy fried chicken, bacon and cheese wrap!


I read your magazine so I can avoid temptations like fast foods and focus on learning about clean eating and yoga butt moves, not so I can see fried chicken, bacon and cheese wrapped in a flour tortilla with a lettuce leaf hat on it packaged as a “healthy” lunch option.  Are you trying to f*** with me just for fun?

Then I started thinking of other magazines paired with equally disconnected advertisements:

  • Conservative Christian Magazine, brought to you by the Gay Pride Parade.  Tickets on sale now!
  • Recovering Alcoholics. Today’s recipe?  Rum Cake!
  • Cutie Pie Kids, brought to you by Gangsta B**** Barbie.  (Switchblade and matching body piercing kit sold separately.)
  • Natural Bodybuilding E-Zine.  Try our new Mega Slop Red Power Ranger Go-Go Juice Stack at Roids ‘R’ Us!
  • Celibacy Today.  Look for today’s vacation spotlight on Yes!  Yes!  Yes!  Hedonistic Orgy Cruiselines, right after our in depth article titled “Just Say No.”

Does this drive you crazy too?

Lisa ;) (c) 2013 Lisa Traugott.  All rights reserved.  No portion of this blog, including any text, photographs, and artwork, may be reproduced or copied without written permission.

26 thoughts on “This is Why I Hate Women’s Fitness Magazines

  1. I think magazines do this simply because they are catering to the majority of their audience. Yeah you are fit and reading this, but like so many of the people at the gym, they like to read the magazine to find the quick fix, so they see on one page the 5 minutes a day to get tones abs workout, and think yeah if I do that I can totally go to McDonalds and get a wrap.

  2. That’s funny, I actually never notice the advertisements. I must have trained my eyes to skim them. What does bother me about those magazines is how every item they suggest to buy is literally just a PR campaign from that company. I get Women’s Health and Self and it is bizarre how many overlapping products they promote each month. What’s even worse is that I often receive those products as samples in my Birchbox subscription each month! Clearly those companies are pitching to anyone that will listen, and I’ve given up on thinking the magazines truly use or endorse the items they mention. Sad. 🙁

    1. I never really noticed (or cared) about the magazine advertisements either. I think I’m just noticing it now because I seriously want to cheat on my diet and Chicken McNuggets sound fabulous to me right now.

  3. Oh yeah I remember that ad. I didn’t really think anything of it besides the fact that it was stupid in general. Now that you point it out, it is pretty terrible to advertise for that in a fitness magazine!

  4. Why do the fitness magazines always show picutres of skinny muscular people? is this discrmination, and is macdonalds taking a well thought out plan to bring us inline with the rest of society? My thoughts are that there will be obese people sharing pages with the fit and healthy anyday soon- with macdonalds leading the charge

    1. On another page they showed a wrap with grilled chicken and cucumbers, which (by McDonald’s standards) does look healthier. So why show the fried chicken, bacon and cheese one? AHHHH!

  5. Right there with you. First they make women feel uncomfortable about their bodies by offering nothing but photoshopped perfection – even now, I *HATE* looking at photos of “fitness models” in magazines. Nobody looks like that. NOBODY!

    Then they dump crap food at you, and misinformation about what real health and fitness are.

    Yep. It’s bull. I wouldn’t ever buy one of those magazines.

    I occasionally buy mens’ fitness mags. Occasionally, they’re better with their content and their ads, as you say. Plus, when you buy men’s fitness mags, they’re filled with HOT MEN! A much better option 😉

  6. Even before there were fitness magazines, women’s magazines always had one of two themes: Either a big cake (Make this chocolate caramel Halloween cake!) and diet headers (Lose those pounds in three weeks!) or some fragile, clumsy, useless craft project (corn husk and tinsel wreaths are fun and easy!) and decluttering tips (30 ways to trim your housekeeping and create space!). It never changes.

    1. LOL! That’s so true! I’ve started reading men’s magazines. They offer advice on how to make more money, have better sex, and do a clean deadlift. P.S. – Never have I ever read advice on how to “deep clean your house” in a men’s magazine.

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