OpinionsHow To Get Integrity Back in the Fitness Industry

December 14, 2021by Mike Phoutrides0

The road to weight loss can be a difficult one and sugar-coating it does no one a service. It looks like many people have had negative experiences with both professional services and supplementation that, unsurprisingly and understandably, causes distrust and skepticism. Though it can be seen as unfair that not all weight loss professionals in the fitness industry are judged on individual merits, the feeling of the industry as a whole seems like one of deception. 

Understandably, deception is a very strong word and there seems to be a great deal of purposefulness in it’s connotation. 

To those honest weight loss professionals -and there are plenty of them- there are two questions that must be asked of you: 

When was the last time you sat down and actually listened to what a potential client needed?

When was the last time you eavesdropped on some average Joes talking about their experiences with weight loss professionals in the fitness industry?  

This article is going to sound like a guy just taking arbitrary jabs at an entire industry. It’s probably also going to sound like I’m a little too big for my britches and you may even question what authority I have to even be writing this way. 

Having a discussion on the integrity of the fitness industry and professionals who offer weight loss advice should seem to bring about a sigh of relief. It sounds like it should reinforce that everything is upright and it’s only a small fraction of deceptive practitioners that give the industry a poor reputation. If you’re thinking otherwise, it seems best to re-think about the way you do business.  

Back to the questions, let’s take them one-at-a-time:

What does your potential client really want? Do you listen? Do you know enough of their background to give an accurate assessment and provide an honest path moving forward?

If you do, fantastic, and it can’t be emphasized enough how many consummate professionals there are out there. Again, this article is not about you. 

Of the many clients Cornerstone Weight Loss has helped guide to weight loss success, a vast majority of them talk about the former “help” they’ve had in the past and it’s downright embarrassing. Stories from clients showing up massively overweight in need of help, shuffled into in a corner office of a gym only to be given a “meal plan” of 1200 calories with zero dietary background and minimal questions asked. 

15 minutes, done, consider yourself helped, Jack.

Not to mention these clients were given absolutely no structure moving forward after the weight loss program ended. Good luck to those clients who were seeking longterm weight loss success.

That sounds like the opposite of listening and looks like the opposite of professionalism. 

How can you even suggest a weight loss plan with anyone, regardless of body type or fitness level, without an accurate metabolic snapshot? (Click, scroll down, wait for the pop-up).

Talk about the blind leading the blind. 

How much have you heard from potential clients of their feelings about the fitness industry, especially the people in it? What do you take on board so you know you’re doing a paying client a service instead of the same-old game they hate?

This is going to sound too anecdotal, it might even sound like isolated incidents that are rarely duplicated, but what you’re about to read is true. Many clients have testified that they were on the receiving end of a failing, cookie-cutter weight loss plan just to be told by their weight loss “professional” that they were not trying hard enough. 

Imagine you paying someone for their expertise with your precious time and hard-earned money for them to tell you its you’re fault that their product is failing.

It’s nauseating. 

At the expense of looking like this is becoming a demonization of those weight loss professionals who don’t offer personalized plans, it seems like cookie cutter, lazy, one-size-fits-all weight loss programs are unhelpful at best, and honest weight loss professionals know it. 

Anyone who has gone further than a few weeks into a weight loss plan where an actual caloric deficit (eating less on average than you expend in energy) is experienced is going to tell you the body adapts, and it adapts quickly. In some cases, initial weight loss may be quick depending on the amount of initial food restriction, and then tends to level-off. Weight loss seems to be a forever changing goal post based on multiple factors and anyone with any experience knows this.

How then can someone offer a meal plan with a fixed amount of calories and call the person they gave it to, “helped?”

Call this article brutal and unforgiving, but this isn’t ignorance, it’s a lack of integrity

Though it’s true that many potential clients lack follow-through, aren’t weight loss professionals supposed to handle each person on an individual basis? Feel free to disagree here, but every BODY is different means everybody is different. 

How then can weight loss professionals take money from clients if they know there are huge pieces of the weight loss pie missing?

It sounds like they can’t and also have integrity at the same time.

Weight loss, if it to be successful for a lifetime, needs to consist of a coordinated effort by the weight loss professional and the client that involves an initial assessment, paying close attention to the ever-changing goal post by the pro, and the equipping of the client with knowledge to manage weight in the future without any more professional help. 

If your weight loss professional is not offering to help you better understand how food affects your body in a common sense way that will put you in control of how you look then you are being led down the wrong path. Anything less than that ought to come with a warning that only a symptom is being taken care of and not the disease.

What would it take to change?

How would it look to revamp an entire industry? Imagine a day where those obviously disingenuous YouTube ads or television commercials were abandoned for something that’s helpful. Perhaps it could be something that would actually help those in need of weight loss and give a lasting solution once and for all. 

That day could very well be upon us. Forfeiting the moral high ground is a great loss and once it’s forfeited its difficult to get back, though not impossible. It seems like many honest weight loss professionals are thinking about this and have plenty of great ideas that would rebuild the integrity of the fitness industry. One way is to help all clients seeking weight loss better understand how food affects their body in a common sense way that would put them in control of how they look.

What are your thoughts?

Leave a comment below or email at info@cornerstoneweightloss.com   

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Cornerstone Weight Loss is a leading health and nutrition training company that helps people better understand how food affects their body in a common sense way that puts them in control of how they look, forever.
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To empower you with a clear understanding of how food uniquely affects your body, in a common sense way, that enables you to have complete control over how you look - for life.

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