The Red Flag Rule – How To Protect Yourself From Unqualified Diet Gurus, Personal Trainers

The Red Flag Rule – How To Protect Yourself From Unqualified Diet Gurus, Personal Trainers

The fitness industry is exploding with new influencers, experts and coaches offering nutrition advice.

Many of these people are great at what they do, but it’s important to remember that just because someone is in the fitness industry does not mean they know how to properly and safely help you lose weight.

In fact, there are many red flags that indicate that someone may not be qualified to offer nutrition advice — and it’s important for you to know what those are.

  1. They have no credentials. You should always check if a person has any formal education or certification before trusting them with your health and wellness. This includes registered dietitians (RD), certified personal trainers (CPT) and other professionals who are licensed in their field of study — especially when they claim they can help you lose weight by following their program or diet plan.
  2. They’re not familiar with your specific situation. If they can’t tell you how much weight you lost last time, or if they don’t have an idea of what goals you’re hoping to achieve this time around, they probably aren’t going to be able to give you useful advice.
  3. They have an online degree from a non-accredited institution. A lot of people get degrees online these days, but that doesn’t mean they’re worth anything when it comes to getting hired for a job or practicing medicine or nutrition (or any other profession). Those “degrees” might look impressive on paper, but they aren’t recognized by anyone except those who sell them (and often times not even by them).
  4. They claim their diet is the secret to losing weight and getting in shape. There is no such thing as a magic bullet for weight loss. There are many factors that affect weight loss (or lack thereof). Diet, exercise and genetics all play a role in how much weight you lose or gain.
  5. They try to sell you products without providing scientific evidence for why those products work. If an expert-looking website sells products that promise dramatic results without offering evidence from reputable scientific studies or research articles, beware!


Anna Daniels

Anna is an avid blogger with an educational background in medicine and mental health. She is a generalist with many other interests including nutrition, women's health, astronomy and photography. In her free time from work and writing, Anna enjoys nature walks, reading, and listening to jazz and classical music.

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