If your social media feed looks anything like mine, you see a lot of ads for various weight loss products and services. Some of these are legitimate and will actually help you lose weight, but many of them are just trying to make a quick buck off your desire to look and feel a certain way. There are a lot of legitimate programs and coaches out there who can help you lose weight, but there are just as many (if not more) sketchy programs and coaches out there who aren’t really invested in helping YOU.
Here are a few red flags to look for:
- “Lose weight fast” – healthy weight loss is achieved over time, 1-2 pounds per week is a good pace at which to lose weight and set yourself up for the best chance at maintaining your weight loss. Many of these quick programs involve taking questionable substances or severely restricted calories and actually lead to yo-yo dieting where you lose too much too fast and then gain it all right back.
- “No exercise necessary” – you can lose weight with diet alone, but physical activity has been proven to have many long-term and short-term benefits! You don’t have to go to the gym everyday for hours, but at least 30 minutes of physical activity 3 times a week is really good for you and helpful when losing weight.
- “Eat whatever you want” – science has proven that to lose weight/fat, you have to be in a caloric deficit. Flexible dieting does allow you to eat the foods you enjoy, but you still need to maintain a caloric deficit in order to lose weight.
- “It’s so easy” – losing weight in a healthy and sustainable way isn’t going to be easy, but it will be worth it! You have to make lifestyle changes to lose weight and keep it off. You don’t have to give up every food you enjoy and work out all day every day, but you do have to take the time to learn how to eat better for your body.
- “Just eat this” – there are NO magic foods that will make you lose weight. If someone gives you a meal plan that tells you to eat oatmeal every morning, grilled chicken and vegetables for lunch, and tilapia with vegetables for dinner; they’re not teaching you how to eat for life. You will likely see positive changes following a specific meal plan, but you don’t want to eat tilapia every night for the rest of your life! You need to find a program where you can learn how to make positive choices, what an appropriate portion size is for the foods you’re eating, and how to continue your healthy lifestyle post-weight loss.
- “Don’t eat these bad foods” – there are NO magic foods that make you gain weight. No foods should be attached to being bad or evil because that attaches guilt to eating those foods. If someone tells you that ice cream is bad, but it’s something you really enjoy, you’ll feel guilty if you eat it. If someone tells you that you can have a small portion of ice cream everyday as long as you fit it into your eating plan for the day with your other food choices, you can just enjoy your ice cream without having to associate a feeling of guilt or cheating with doing so.
There are a lot of great programs and coaches out there who can help you learn how to eat right for your body and teach you how to maintain a healthy lifestyle long-term! If you’re interested in learning how to use Flexible Dieting (a scientifically proven way to hit your weight goals), I can help! For the month of May 2017, all of my coaching packages are 50% off.