5 Weight Loss Program Red Flags to look for before joining

Learn 5 red flags to look for when looking for a medical weight loss program. It's important to find a reputable medical weight loss program.
Published on: February 7, 2023
Updated on: May 3, 2024

Learn more about how FORM pairs patients with a doctor and dietitian to achieve their weight loss goals.

It's important to consider these red flags when choosing the weight loss program for you.

WHAT YOU'LL LEARN

In a world where diet programs make many claims, it can be easy to get duped. How do you sort through it all? Here are 5 red flags to look for when deciding if a weight loss program is right for you. 

#1: One-size-fits-all programs.

The truth is that weight management is complex, and any program that promises to have  the “secret” or only provides a one-size-fits-all plan for everyone should raise a red flag. The most successful programs are the ones that can be adapted to an individual, so look for programs that can be tailored to your unique health and weight goals

At FORM, you will meet with your weight management Doctor and Registered Dietitian to develop a plan that is specific to your lifestyle and goals. Your Care Team will take the time to get to know you and use your health history to develop a tailored plan that includes nutrition, physical activity, mindset shifts, and medications, if appropriate. 

#2: Lack of follow-up or ongoing support.

Be wary of weight management programs that take a “do-it-yourself” approach, or come with an end date. A reputable weight loss program will include frequent check-ins with a care team via messaging, email, video or phone. In addition, any weight loss program that is committed to your success will be able to share a weight maintenance plan to help you sustain your weight loss for the long term.

At FORM, we provide ongoing support for people with monthly doctor appointments, twice a month appointments with your Registered Dietitian, and unlimited messaging with your care team. We are there for you at every point during your weight loss journey. When you decide to transition to a weight loss maintenance plan, Form can continue to be a resource for you.

#3 No cancellations

Keep an eye out for programs that lock you in to long term commitments, and always review their cancellation policies prior to joining. If a weight loss program is invested in your success the cancellation policy should be easily accessible. Different programs will work for different people, and a reputable program will understand this and not try to lock you into non-refundable long term commitments.

At FORM, you can cancel at anytime with no penalty, and there is no long term commitment when signing up. We also offer a 30 day money back guarantee, so if you decide FORM is not right for you within your first 30 days of signing up we will refund your first month’s fee. 

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#4: Required purchases like supplements/shakes.

Keep an eye out for programs that require you to buy their products in order to be successful. Oftentimes, these products are just a ploy for more profit. A reputable program will always be able to provide healthy options that can be found at any local grocery store.

Similarly programs that heavily promote the use of supplements or claim to have the perfect supplement routine are a weight loss red flag. There is no conclusive scientific evidence that the use of supplements promotes or impedes weight loss. In addition, the supplement market is not regulated, which means claims like “lose 10 pounds in 10 days with insert supplement name here” can be made without merit and consequences.  

Form does not require any additional product purchases. Your care team will work with you to help you make a nutrition plan that is accessible to you.

#5 Coaches, not credentials 

Wellness and accountability coaches are everywhere these days. While it’s great to have someone cheering you on, it’s important to understand their credentials and the level of expertise. Weight loss coaches may have very little formal training, or worse can even be a bot sending automated messages. Before signing up for any program, ensure that the “experts” have the credentials and experience they claim.  They should be able to accurately field any questions you may have, such as the difference between specific weight-loss medications or how to lead a healthy lifestyle. What qualifies them as a nutrition or weight loss expert?  This information should not be hard to find, and if it is, consider this a red flag.


At FORM, our clinical team is highly credentialed, all of our physicians are diplomates of the American Board of Obesity Medicine. Our Advanced Practice Providers are certified in weight management, and you’ll work with a Registered Dietitian. You can learn more about our care team and their experience on our website

It’s no surprise that weight loss programs are popular in our culture today. If you’re considering joining a reputable medical weight loss program, get in touch with FORM. We offer personalized support from Registered Dietitians and doctors, who know the ins and outs of medical weight loss. You can schedule a call or send a message. If you’re having trouble losing weight, FORM medical weight loss may be right for you.

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