Weight Loss Coach: 11 Red Flags You Shouldn’t Ignore
So you’re thinking about hiring a weight loss coach.
Partnering with a weight loss coach is becoming more popular every day.
Why is that? Because it works!
With a weight loss pro by your side, you will hit your goal faster than ever before.
You’ll have an expert there to:
- Challenge you and give you a boost of motivation when you need it most,
- Help you point out and stay clear of self-destructive habits, and
- Cut straight to the strategies that work.
And then there is what may be the single most valuable aspect of weight loss:
You will have someone to hold you accountable.
Or will you?
There is a surge of weight loss accountability programs rising, which is a testament to just how powerful accountability is in building healthy habits.
From app-based diet programs to celebrity trainers, the promise is: with accountability, you WILL see results.
- But is what you’re signing up for what you will actually get?
- Will you get real, life-changing accountability or a watered down version?
To experience the true power of accountability, choosing the right program and the right coach is absolutely critical.
Are You Getting Real Accountability? 11 Red Flags To Watch Out For!
1.) Your coach sounds like a robot.
When you get feedback from your coach, does it sound like you are communicating with a real person or does it feel like you are talking to a computer?
You take a photo of lunch, send it off to your coach, and get a response like this…
- “Great job!”
- “Maybe try a smaller portion size next time?” Or,
- “Try taking a sip of water between bites.”
While, in general, there is nothing wrong with these comments they are also not that helpful.
And after a few days, you start to wonder, Am I getting feedback from a person or a chatbot?
These “canned” responses show no indication that there is a real person on the other side of the line.
You know you have a problem with your program when the feedback is generic, unspecific, or downright bland.
2.) They ONLY critique your food choices.
- “Instead of fried chicken, next time let’s try grilled chicken.”
- “Maybe add some vegetables into lunch.”
- “French fries for dinner? That probably isn’t the best choice.”
Again, while these comments might be helpful, is your coach telling you anything you don’t already know?
- Grilled chicken is a better choice than fried.
- That you should be eating more veggies. And of course,
- An order of French fries isn’t the cornerstone of a healthy meal.
Who are they kidding?
What separates a mediocre coach from a real game-changer is that a quality coach dives deeper.
Which brings us to the next point…
3.) Your coach never addresses the underlying problem.
As long as I have been coaching, I have never (not once!) met a client that doesn’t know what healthy eating looks like.
If you walked up to 10 random people and asked them if they know how to eathealthy, I’m betting every single person knows exactly what they “should” eat.
But knowing what to do isn’t the problem.
What you need help with isactually doing it.
But you can’t get to that point staying on the surface. You must dive into the reasons WHY you are not taking action.
Here is the simple (and sometimes harsh) truth:
It is never about the food. It’s about what the food allows to enjoy, avoid, numb, or suppress.
If your accountability coach is just focusing on what you ate and never addressing the root cause, you won’t see real, lasting change.
What’s more important than “what” you eat? It’s the reason “why” you are eating. Ask these 3 powerful questions before you take the first bite.
4.) They are not focused on M.P.H.
What is M.P.H? It’s the mindset, psychology, and habits that drive behavior change.
When you hear how people change their relationship with food, this is HOW to do it.
But it’s not a quick fix, that’s why many coaches default to what I call the, “Eat this, not that” approach.
Why? Because it’s easy.
It’s easy to tell people to cut calories, eat vegetables, or add protein. But anyone can do that!
If your coach is only “food-focused”, you can see short-term success.
BUT, if you don’t change your mindset, psychology, and habits, your success will be short-lived. That is why you see so many people drop weight and inevitably gain it all back.
Think back to the last diet you tried. Day 1 seems easy because that’s when motivation is at its highest.
But when the motivation fades (and it will) you’re left trying to “will” yourself through.
You’re desperately hanging on by the skin of your teeth until you can’t hold on anymore, then revert back to old habits.
If your program isn’t actively changing your mindset, psychology, and habits your diet becomes harder (not easier) as time goes on.
Is your program ONLY focused on the food?
5.) They don’t know what to do when things get hard.
“When it’s easy…it’s easy. But it’s not always easy.”
Starting a diet is simple. Sticking to it…now, THAT’s the hard part. And the true test for a weight loss coach is what they do when you don’t want to stick to your diet anymore.
Of all the red flags, the most telling is how a coach responds to your tough times.
Will they say…
- You need to try harder!
- Just use some willpower. Or,
- You have to WANT it bad enough.
If you hear any of these, it’s time to look for another program.
Success isn’t about trying harder, using willpower, or wanting it bad enough.
It’s about building a program and a system that YOU can stick to. The goal is to make it so sustainable you see yourself eating like this forever.
Sustainability equals success.
6.) They are never there when you need them most.
“Uh, hello? I need some help over here…”
You have a coach because you want someone there when you need them. Someone to motivate and support you.
What good is accountability or a coach if:
- It takes two or three days to get a response? Or,
- If you only hear from them once a week?
Let’s put this in context.
Imagine you’re planning a hike. You’ve never been on this particular trail before, so you find someone who has and hire them as your guide.
That sounds like a smart plan, right?
You meet your guide at the head of the trail, and they say,
“Okay, start walking down that path. I’ll check on you next week to see how you’re doing.”
That would be insane, wouldn’t it?
Who knows what will happen in a week.
- What if you’re walking towards the cliffs?
- What if you end up in another state?
- What if you get lost?
The only “real” accountability is daily accountability.
Having a coach means having someone there to walk with you. To help you make immediate adjustments that help you get back on track.
7.) Low cost means really, REALLY low interaction.
“People wonder why things are so expensive, but rarely wonder why things are so cheap.”
If you feel like a number, like you are just one in a sea of a thousand other clients, the chances are that you are right!
If you have used coaching through a weight loss app and felt this way, you’ve likely left asking,
The advertising was so amazing, what went wrong?
Let’s pause for a minute to talk about how many accountability coaching apps make money.
The reason these apps and programs can spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on advertising isthat theyhave thousands and thousands of customers.
Many programs model their business after “gym memberships.”
What does that mean?
Have you ever wondered how a gym that can only hold 300 people has 6,000 members?!
They can do that because they count on you not showing up!
Many apps and programs have ripped a page straight from the gym membership playbook.
How can they offer such a low monthly subscription?
- They are counting on customers to stop using the program after a few weeks, but continue to pay the subscription, and
- They oversubscribe their coaches to the point that you will never get the one-on-one accountability and support you deserve.
Often, programs will dump you into a forum where the customers are expected to hold each other accountable.
Is that what you signed up for?
I say, No! You deserve more than that.
8.) They hold money over your head.
There are accountability coaching programs that charge massive “jump start” fees.
The first two weeks are $525, then the regular program kicks in.
But why would someone charge you so much for the first two weeks of coaching?
1. Are they providing an extra service worth that much?
Or is it…
2. That they’re holding money over your head?
Just in case you’re wondering, it’s the latter.
And if you don’t follow the rules, guess what? You get dropped from the program—with no refund.
Now, let me say this, I get it. Loss aversion can be a powerful motivator. No one wants to foot a $500+ startup fee and watch their money disappear down the drain.
But what if that program isn’t a good fit for you?
Well, you are out a lot of money!
Instead of a coach asking you to prove how committed YOU are, don’t you feel it’s the coach’s job to prove how committed THEY are?
Before you start a weight loss accountability program ask, Do they offer a guarantee? If not, then this coach or program is not confident they can deliver results.
9.) You don’t ACTUALLY get accountability.
What does a weight loss program without accountability look like?
- It’s when you say you’re going to eat a healthy dinner, but don’t…AND no one knows or asks about it.
- It’s when you commit to hitting the gym today, but miss…AND there is no one there to help keep you on track.
But a program with accountability is the exact opposite of that.
Someone is there to make sure you eathealthyor make it to the gym.
But here is the problem:
Far too many accountability coaches are only providing “reactive” accountability.
What is “reactive” accountability?
That’s when you have to start the conversation. If you write your coach, they will write you back.
What happens if YOU don’t start the conversation?
I have heard so many clients say,
“I was using the [Insert Name] app for accountability. But, if I didn’t log my food, they never asked me why or if everything is okay. All I got was silence!”
If you miss a meal, or a day, or even a week of logging, and you don’t hear ANYTHING for your coach. Then you’re not getting true accountability!
What you need is “active” accountability.
- Miss a day logging? Your coach is texting you.
- Miss a workout? Your coach is helping you build a plan you want to do.
- Struggling with cravings? Your coach is with you on the phone.
As a matter of fact, to test whether you are receiving passive or active accountability, I challenge you to miss a day (or two) to see how your coach responds.
10.) They force you into 1+ hours of exercise a day.
Don’t get me wrong. I love to exercise. Everyone should do it. The benefits of exercise on your physical and mental state are simply unmatched.
But all that aside…
A great weight loss coach works in the real world, and more importantly, with YOUR life.
Here is the reality:
- Your children will eventually come down with the flu.
- There are days when you have to work late.
- You will have to travel, take care of family, or simply need a break.
Not to mention, maybe you cannot physically perform an hour of exercise a day (at least not yet!).
The point is: life is a real thing, and it doesn’t always allow for an hour of exercise a day.
As a weight loss coach, “I” don’t always have an hour a day to exercise. Some days thirty minutes is a stretch.
But when there are obstacles, THIS is where a quality accountability coach works with your schedule, your life, your physical limitations to build a plan that is achievable – for you.
11.) They are okay letting you quit.
There is one truth about diet programs that no one wants to talk about: At some point, you WILL want to quit.
- Times will get tough.
- You will lose motivation.
- Life will get in the way.
- You will feel overwhelmed.
- You WILL want to quit.
But that’s why you have an accountability coach!!
Your coach is there when times get tough. (Well, unless they aren’t.)
One of THE biggest red flags to watch out for is: If you want to quit and they send you the customer service email address!
I say, NO WAY!
This is the opposite of what you want!
Of course, you want to quit. (At least you do right now.)
At some point, we have all have that thought. BUT, you started this program for a reason. That reason is still there, and it is STILL important to you!
A life-changing accountability coach wants you to see you succeed! To actually see this thing through to the end.
A great coach is not going to send you to customer service. That’s what you would expect from the cable company.
What you need is a coach that will do absolutely everything in their power to keep you going.