How to Spot a Fake Fitness Expert (YouTube, Instagram)

How to tell if a fitness expert isn’t an expert, but an expert wannabe? A list of 7 crimes that fake fitness experts commit

When we turn to Google for sensible advice on health and fitness, we expect quick and informative guidance. However, we mostly get a lot of B.S. and product ads. Here’s a quick guide to spotting a fake fitness expert anywhere – on YouTube, Instagram, etc.

Merriam-Webster dictionary defines ‘physical fitness’ as “ good health and strength achieved through exercise” – so something definitely worth fighting for. Sadly, with all the B.S. about fitness online we risk never finding out the tools that truly get us to the state of physical fitness.

How to figure out if a fitness expert isn’t an expert at all, but in fact a fraud? Their crimes include:

1.They offer spot reduction. If spot reduction (fat loss in specific areas) would be possible, that would be a magical world for many. However, our bodies don’t function this way. Biologically, there are specific areas where we tend to accumulate fat the most, but when we lose weight we lose it everywhere. So no, it’s impossible to always have thin waist and keep a lot of fat in the butt area naturally. Kim Kadrashian is the best example of the only way it can be done – plastic surgery.

2.They say that one specific diet plan is the healthiest or the most beneficial. Be it keto, vegan, or pescetarian – none is universally and equally beneficial for everyone. The choice of a diet plan has to be based on a person’s individual characteristics in order to maximize the health benefits. People suffer from food sensitivities, allergies, and intolerances, so one size doesn’t fit all. For me it was elimination diet that helped figure my optimal diet plan out.

3.They promise X amount of weight loss over an X amount of time. This one makes me particularly agitated. How can anyone, who doesn’t even see you or know you at all, promise such results? This would be a stretch even for someone who simply knows you! To figure out possible weight loss, for instance a personal trainer or doctor should know your weight, metabolic rate, activity level, age, gender, stress level, hydration, health issues, and a lot of other things. So this whole ‘how to lose 10kg before wedding’ or something is simply promoting unhealthy eating habits and shoving a lot of B.S. down the audience’s throat.

4.They suggest crash diets. Same as the previous one, this one is outright dangerous. Juice cleanse, carrot diet, watermelon diet, no carb diet… Instead of teaching how to learn healthy eating habits and focus on the quality of food, these ‘influencers’ promote unhealthy eating habits. Crash diets don’t work in the long run and only cause huge amount of stress on the body and mind. Yes, you might be able to lose a certain amount of weight on a crahs diet, but do you know why? The majority of that weight will be water weight, because as your caloric intake drops, the body loses minerals and salts. This is why the weight drops quite quickly – it flushes out. And this is also why it get back quickly, too. Fat is much harder to lose – it takes consistency.

5.They promote a certain product (and brand) as if it was absolutely essential for fitness. Working with companies to advertise products is common, but it gets fishy if an influencer swears by some product as the cornerstone of their fitness. Yoga mat, some drink, supplement, or vitamins – the markets for these products are flooded and there’s just no way that not having that one thing stands between you and being fit and healthy. The majority of protein powders have similar ingredients, yoga mats are made of almost same materials, and it’s always up to you to decide which suits you best.

6.They suggest X amount of muscle gain in an X amount of time. Same as with spot reduction, growing a lot of muscle on a specific body part is a task that hasn’t been scientifically proven possible. To grow muscle, a person needs to consistently increase the resistance (so no, 100 bridges/squats per day won’t magically grow anyone’s glutes 1” in a month), get proper nutrition to supply the muscle tissue rebuiding and growing, and get sufficient sleep and hydration. Muscles get used to the resistance rather quickly and bodyweight exercises won’t serve you if your goal is to grow muscle – you need to lift actual weight to make muscle tissue ‘stressed out’ again, break and rebuild again and again.

7.They promote calorie counting, but not the quality of food. Counting calories is one of the easiest ways to control the caloric intake – just download free MyFitnessPal app and enjoy. However, many fitness ‘experts’ claim that a calorie is a calorie – no matter where it comes from. Well, once again, that would be a magical world if it would be true.

It matters A LOT where calories come from. A calorie in a can of Pepsi is different from a calorie in a baked sweet potatoe. It’s easy to overeat saturated sugar and junk food, while natural ‘real’ food contain fiber, which makes us feel full for a long period of time. That’s not to mention all the minerals and vitamins that ‘real’ food provides compared to junk food. In my experience, being mindful about the quality of food is something only legit fitness experts talk about.

In my upcoming post I’ll reveal the only 3 fitness experts from YouTube who offer no B.S. information.

Stay tuned!


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Author: Alexandra

Passionate researcher and writer. Coffee maniac. Pilates enthusiast. Makeup and skincare junkie. Occasionally - movie and book reviewer. Come join me on my quest!

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