It seems anyone can start a blog, open a website, an Instagram feed, or a Facebook page and INSTANTLY be an expert on a topic. I love DIY projects, home improvement, and recently tackled a renovation of a house with my husband. That does not make us Chip and Joanna Gaines, but it did not stop me from blowing up social media with our progress every step of the way!
So, in this world of cyber-entrepreneurs, how do we distinguish between sound, professional advice and just another guru enthusiast looking to be the next internet sensation?
When you google “fitness” or “weight loss” or “diet”, keep these questions in mind to ask of each site you peruse and each “expert” you read about:
- Are they credentialed? Do they have a license or certification in the area they are handing-out advice? Is the organization that credentialed them creditable?
- Even better: do they hold a degree in the area of expertise they are offering? Professional implies a degree earned such as nurse, doctor, counselor, therapist, practitioner, coach, trainer, ect…these individuals have put in the hours, earned their status, and have the diploma to prove it.
- Are they substantiating their knowledge on evidence-based facts or is this a new “theory” that they have developed?
- I will go one step further and encourage you to research their information. Why take their word for it? If it is true, sound, professional advice that has been researched and proved factual, then it will be easy to find somewhere other than that particular website.
- Are they trying to sell something? That is not reason alone to click off their website, but often they are luring us in with the “big banana” just to get a buy in. Be mindful of that. And, yes, we all must make a living and isn’t it great to make that living doing what you love? But, weigh the costs of the service against the benefits you will gain.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, along with private insure payers, have just recently began to identify weight gain, overweight, and obesity as chronic disease states. Insurance coverage for the treatment of weight gain is slowly becoming more mainstream. With this, I advocate seeking out a health care professional to help you in your weight loss endeavors.
I am also a big fan of being in charge of your own life! Knowledge is power and knowing what the fundamentals of nutrition, weight loss, and fitness consist of will give you the foundation to make your own intelligible choices and the ability to separate the “new fads” from the solid data.
- Be a label reader
- Do your homework before starting anything new
- Read books and compare
- Do not buy into marketing ploys
- Always consult your health care provider before starting a new diet or making a radical change in your eating habits
- A label of “healthy” or “nutritional” does not mean make it true
- Even “all natural” substances such as certain vitamins and supplements can cause potential harm for some. Let your nurse, doctor, or nurse practitioner know EVERYTHING you are taking
And, when you cannot find help with your healthcare professional, seek out an online Weight Loss provider who is truly and expert.