Health coaching is an emerging and evolving field. If you’ve never heard about it, I promise you’re not the only one!
So, what even is a health coach? A health coach is the personal health advocate you never knew you needed.
Over the last 50 years, there’s been a significant rise in disease and a decline in society’s overall health. Much of the U.S. healthcare system is focused more on disease management than on disease prevention. Many of those who have made their way through the conventional medical system feel they need more guidance and support. Alternative health practitioners (such as health coaches) can provide that guidance and become a part of one’s healthcare team.
Today, there’s just as much dis-ease as there is disease. Countless people are overwhelmed and stressed, feeling unmotivated to pursue even the most desired of wellness goals.
Additionally, we’re constantly fed messages from a $70 billion dollar diet-culture, bombarding us with the newest quick-fix and latest fad diet. We’re taught to believe that if we don’t fit a certain size it means something is wrong with us (especially women).
But how can we expect a one-size-fits-all diet to work for everyone? Spoiler alert- it won’t. Yet, so many women spend much of their lives yo-yo dieting, believing the calories in-calories theory is going to be the answer. When the diet fails, instead of blaming the approach, they blame themselves.
The key to sustainable, successful dietary change is finding what works best for you. Everybody and every body is different. However, It can be incredibly overwhelming to know where or how to begin on your journey to a happier, healthier lifestyle.
Enter your health coach.
Health coaches work with individuals and groups in a client-centered process to facilitate and empower the client to achieve their self-determined goes to their own wellness. They help clients tap into their fullest potential by identifying patterns that may be contributing to health problems, encouraging self-awareness, and providing support throughout the process. A health coach is a personal guide on the path to making positive, sustainable change in the direction of your well being.
Here’s a quick metaphor: Think of a sports team and you’re the key player. Your coach isn’t going to play the game for you, but he/she is going to hold you accountable, provide consistent support and beneficial techniques to fine-tune your game.
Being healthy doesn’t have to be hard. A health coach can be the missing puzzle piece in getting you from where you are to where you want to be.
I believe a health coach is SO beneficial. What I believe even more is that it’s important to feel a good connection with your health coach and get an idea of their approach in a coaching practice. You can learn more about my approach here.
frequently asked questions
Does a heath coach replace a doctor?
No, a health coach should not take the place of your doctor. Health coaches do not diagnose, prescribe, or treat. A health coach is not a replacement for seeing a licensed medical professional if you need a diagnosis. Some health coaches work alongside a client’s nutritionist/RD or doctor, while other coaches work one-on-one with clients.
In many cases, clients in tandem with medical professionals to help achieve their wellness goals. This could be eating a healthier diet and reducing sugar, or finding ways to reduce stress. If it’s to lose weight, a health coach works with them to implement sustainable change. Doctors/specialists are often unable to provide time or space for more personalized attention. This a place where a health coach comes in. Think of a health coach as another member of your wellness team, who helps to fill in the gaps and provide the individual support you deserve.
Is having a health coach really that beneficial?
Many want to focus on their health or well being, but don’t know where to start. It’s not uncommon to feel overwhelmed, uncertain of the next step, even incapable of improvement. They’re tried and tried again but don’t see much change. A health coach can benefit someone who is:
- looking to improve their overall health
- wanting to make a positive change in the direction they want to go
- feeling bombarded with information but not seeing any transformation
- having a tough time committing to their goals, finding balance, etc.
A health coach provides accountability and support that others may not be able to- without expectations, and without attachment to your outcomes.
DOES A HEALTH COACH PROVIDE INDIVIDUALIZED MEAL PLANS?
While health coaches are knowledgeable about topics such as diet & nutrition, they do not give individualized diet plans. In terms of diet, health coaches emphasize bio-individuality, which is the concept that what works for one person doesn’t always work for another. That’s why health coaches are never going to “prescribe” a diet plan or enforce strict guidelines clients must follow. Instead, they act as a guide so that the client starts to navigate what works for them.
Together, we will explore why some foods make you feel better than others and how to strategically use that feedback. We will work on developing a more self-aware and body-honoring view of food and nutrition overall.
How long does someone work with a health coach?
This depends on services provided by the coach and also what options fit best for the client. While every situation is unique to the individual, I offer 3-6 month programs. If you think that sounds like a long time, consider that change doesn’t happen overnight.