What Does A Health Coach Do?
In this blog post, you’re going to get familiar with what a health coach does and how health coaching can be effective for helping people make major health changes – from losing weight to addressing chronic conditions, transforming their fitness to recharging their vitality.
I got my credential from Primal Health Coach Institute in 2018. Since then, I’ve already helped many people on their journey of getting back their health and optimizing their human experience.
Today we’ll dive deep into the effectiveness of this job and how leveraging the expert guidance of a certified coach can be the most powerful investment one can make in her or his health.
Here are the answers to the most common questions regarding health coaching and a detailed description of this practice.
Let’s dive right in.
What Is Health Coaching?
With so much information out there and with so much bewilderment among people about diet, exercise, general health, and lifestyle habits, it’s very hard for many people to find the right way to achieve their health goals.
If you’re determined to change but unsure where or how to start, it’s best to get someone who can effectively help you achieve your health goals. You get the guidance, support, and most important – an effective and sustainable plan to work on for long-term success.
Everything sounds so easy and simple – change your diet, start exercising, get enough sleep, manage your stress – and yet most people are having trouble changing these lifestyle habits.
Health coaching is making the process of optimizing people’s health more like self-investment and encouragement, instead of self-denial and suffering.
What Benefits Can A Health Coach Offer?
A health coach guides an overarching process – everything from clarifying the client’s vision to defining strategies maintaining success once she/he has attained her/his goals.
Armed with holistic knowledge of how nutrition, fitness, and lifestyle influence well-being, I work with clients to design an inclusive, flexible and responsive plan to move daily habits and practices toward healthy choices and behaviors.
“Health and wellness coaches partner with clients seeking self-directed, lasting changes, aligned with their values, which promote health and wellness and, thereby, enhance well-being.”
— The National Board for Health & Wellness Coaching (NBHWC)
Why Health Coaching Is Important?
Over the last few decades, we are witnessing a significant rise in autoimmune disease, chronic disease, allergies connected to food and environment, diabetes, and obesity.
A health coach will step in and help where no-one else will or is unable to, providing clients with specific goals to work toward, nutrition guidelines, exercises, and lifestyle management tools to help reduce the stress that is contributing to disease or illness. Around the world, trainers like this are also a part of the medical system, and doctors are recognizing them as a vital part of healthcare.
In THIS study health coaching resulted in the improvement of multiple biomarker risk factors such as:
– Systolic and diastolic blood pressure
– Total cholesterol
– LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol and triglycerides
– Fasting glucose
– Bodyweight and BMI (body mass index)
– Waist circumference
– Cardiorespiratory fitness
*effects of 12 weeks of lifestyle health coaching from the upper study.
What Is The Difference Between Expert And Health Coach?
One thing is information – it can be only a theory. Another thing is the actual result. These two things commonly get misinterpreted when communicating with clients about diet or general lifestyle habits.
Expert’s look at his work is usually: I give you my expert advice, and it’s up to you to follow it (or not). So if you want results, you better follow my advice. If you don’t get the results, you want it’s your fault. You should be more disciplined and have more willpower.
In contrast, in the health coaching space, we have a very open-minded approach, and we treat every person as an individual. What works for some clients might not work for others. We take all the aspects of an individual’s life into consideration before making any plans and suggestions – let that be the history of their diet, health condition, working status, stress levels, job type, mental and physical health, and so on.
The main difference between an Expert and a Health Coach is using the theory and experience and adjusting them to an individual’s needs and goals. Not just relying on our knowledge that we get through education.
Finding A Health Coach
What do clients expect to get out of health coaching?
Well, it really comes down to a few questions:
– What brought you to hiring a health coach?
– What goals do you have?
– What is your history – health and personal until this point?
So now let’s examine a few main reasons why you may be interested in working with a health coach:
1. You Want (or Need) To Lose Excess Weight
Some people want to lose 5 kilos, and others need to lose 50 kilos; either way, you were probably trying to lose weight on your own but couldn’t do it – maybe you tried even more than once.
Spending money on gym memberships, different programs, superfoods, supplements. So you hit the gym, workout hard, counting calories, adding in some superfoods to boost your weight-loss, and on top of it, even add some supplements.
You did everything you’ve read and heard, but it’s just not working for you. At least not in the long-term. Maybe you did some things right and some things wrong, but the reality is different than expectations.
You recharged your motivation over and over again, but slowly you’re losing faith.
By now, you’ve realized that maybe you should get some help from a health coach.
You probably want to know what you were doing wrong and why it hasn’t worked out for you. You’re looking for a believer and a guide – someone who can inspire and motivate you and instruct you so you can get the results you’re striving for.
2. Health Coach Helps you To Additionaly Address Your Diagnosis And Get Rid Of Different Symptoms
Maybe you got your results back from the lab, and you have elevated blood sugar or bad results from the lipid test.
Maybe you’re connecting these results with your symptoms you’ve been struggling with for months now.
Or maybe you’re suffering from celiac, IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), MS (multiple sclerosis), or some other major conditions, and you want to address your condition even more with additional lifestyle changes.
You might be in different emotional states, where all you need is help. With the decision of hiring a health coach, you’re taking responsibility for your long-term health, and you are ready to stand against your symptoms or condition.
As such, you’re looking for someone who can help you put your habits and lifestyle behaviors into perspective, as well as someone who can empower you and help you overcome your uncertainty and fears.
3. You Want To Get Fit (or Fitter)
Perhaps you used to be fit and athletic. Or maybe you’re interested in improving your fitness and feel better in your own body.
The fact is you no longer want to live and feel as you do now. Some of you might even be trying to improve your current physical condition, but you’ve hit your plateau.
Even though you don’t know what to expect, you’re still deciding to invest in help and support on your journey of transforming your health. That means you are looking for guidance and a personalized approach to help you get to the point you are striving for.
A health coach can be an effective way of reaching your true potential.
4. You've Set Yourself A New Goal - Health Coach Makes It Easier
Different people have different goals. Some just want to lose weight or gain muscle, but sometimes I find myself working with people that have particular goals.
That means even working with already fit and healthy people looking for specific improvement, but they need professional guidance.
Even if you’re deep in what you’re doing – let that be diet or exercise – it’s always a good decision to seek out help if you are looking for improvements that might be out of your reach.
You tried it on your own but the results are not like you wanted them to be.
Maybe it’s not the calories if you’re looking for improvements in your diet, or maybe it’s not the number of reps you should be working on to improve your squat – it might be the stress reduction to lower your stress hormones for reaching the results with your diet or optimizing sleep that will help you to regenerate and heal better so you can boost your performance.
A health coach can help you see a broader picture and make you think or look outside of the box.
5. You Had A Life Changing Experience
You’ve made your way through a difficult situation like losing someone close to you or getting divorced. You went through a huge life change, and now you’re determined to make yourself and your health a priority.
Now you probably have a lot of courage and positivity, so you should use your inner fire and start making new decisions. With a mindset like this, success is guaranteed. You are ready to clarify your vision and set new achievable health goals that will help you live a happy and healthy life.
6. You Want To Be Free Of Aches And Pains
You’ve got a sports-related injury, poor posture you need to fix, or a bad car accident. Your injury or pain is slowing you down, or you might even feel down emotionally because of it.
You can speed up your recovery and healing by adjusting different lifestyle habits. You can also fix and work on your posture with specific exercises that address the muscles needed for improvement. Aches and pains are often tightly connected with our emotional state and mindset – especially lower back pain. Above all – a health coach is an additional inspiration and motivation for speeding up the healing process.
7. You're Interested in Longevity and Anti-Aging
The fact is – we age. You’ve noticed that you don’t feel as you used to 5 or more years ago with aging. Maybe you’re losing strength, feeling stiff and losing flexibility, or struggling to preserve muscle mass. All of these factors are indicators of longevity and lifespan.
Maybe you feel fit and strong for your age, but you’re looking for a new personal challenge to redefine your age. You can also just want to feel »younger, « which is awesome, and it means that you still have the energy to pursue your health and well-being. Whatever it is you want to work on will surely give you a sense of joy and fulfillment.
Let me share one more thing with you before we move on. I really love THIS study that I want to share with you, which shows how effective can a health coach be in improving chronic disease management by changing the patient’s lifestyle habits and supporting them once they are in home-based self-care.
5 Simple And Effective Tips I Use With My Clients
I help clients with more than just reaching their goals – I help them change their life. Effective health coaching means putting the client’s goals as OUR priorities and not just making a strategic plan for them to follow. This approach results in long-term or even lifetime success, and that’s exactly what we all want.
So for clients to sustain a lifelong healthy lifestyle, it’s important to give them a few tips on how to stay on track with whatever they are doing. Let me show you a few examples I always use when working with clients:
Every Day Counts
You have to realize that you manage your health daily with your choices. Your body responds to whatever choice you make – good or bad, healthy, or unhealthy.
It’s up to you what choices you will make. What will be your next meal, will you take at least 20 minutes for some daily movement, how will you reduce or mitigate your stress during the day? All of these choices influence your overall health and well-being – and you are responsible for all of your choices.
Every one of us has a different lifestyle, and because of that, we all have to find our own choices that work for us. Don’t wait for the time to be ready – you are ready now, with your next choice. Make every choice count.
The Right Time Is Now And Always
Don’t wait for the perfect moment to start with healthy choices. If you wait, you will never start because the perfect moment will never come.
Every day we face a situation that we can use as a reason for not starting today. You have to start now, regardless of your current situation.
It’s never a better time than now – because the longer you wait, the harder it gets. Don’t stay in the same old mindset for too long; otherwise, with every day, all your goals will seem more and more unreachable.
So you start with one thing, one choice, one habit, and you keep it. The next day you do another change, and you keep it. It’s not about changing everything at once – one choice at a time.
Committing yourself to a new habit and becoming healthier every day. Day by day, you realize that you are becoming more disciplined and motivated – that’s exactly what you want. Then you do it again and again; you keep going.
That’s a big one. Mostly because it’s underrated. What you talk to yourself is what you think of yourself. If you keep saying to yourself: »I can’t do it, I’m destined to be overweight.«or »I’m not strong enough to make a change.« – all these self-talks are working against you. You know why? Because you start to believe in what you say about yourself.
Taking back your health is not just about changing your lifestyle behaviors – it’s also about changing your identity and what you think of yourself. First, think about what you want to be and then use those affirmations as self-talks. You’ll see how fast your mindset will reprogram. Once you got it, nothing can stop you from achieving your goals.
There Is No Universal Formula For Success
In today’s world, everyone wants to sell you their »THE DIET PLAN« or »THE TRAINING PROGRAM«.
»One size fits all« doesn’t exist. These things can work for some time, but you have to realize that you need a personalized and custom-made plan. Only a plan like this can be sustainable.
There’s a huge difference between a student, a fully busy single mom, or an athlete. All of them have different needs, goals, and lifestyles. So the same program will have different results for all of them.
Some may benefit from it, and some won’t. Here having the right guidance and support makes a huge difference.
The biggest advantage of health coaching is tailoring the plan to the client’s personal needs and preferences.
Many clients might prefer exercising outdoors, some clients need adjusting their eating habits due to their unusual work schedules and other clients need to put more emphasis on stress reduction to normalize their hormones.
Putting all of the client’s lifestyle factors in the context is a huge difference from the »One size fits all« model. An individualized plan resonates with clients to who they are and how they live.
Getting And Being Healthy Is A Lifelong Process
Look at your health as a marathon. It takes time and effort, and it’s a long-term process.
Start building your health one day at a time, with every choice that you make. In this lifetime process, you should aim for a healthy body and mind, vitality, fitness, and longevity. Being full of energy and enjoying life every single day.
You have to take your time – independent of your goal – losing weight, gaining strength and muscles, or changing body composition. Consider your health as a lifelong commitment. Once you accept that, you will also learn to be patient because not everything comes right away.
Decision to live healthily means enjoying today. Every day. Your goals are something you look forward to every day, and you celebrate every progress you make and every goal you reach. You will accept this as a lifelong process, and by that, you will also stay committed to the greater purpose of living. Believe in today.
Focus On Strengths Rather Than Weaknesses
I’ll finish this post with the last, also a crucial topic in the health coaching process, which is keeping you focused on your STRENGTHS RATHER THAN WEAKNESSES.
Don't Aim For Perfection
We ALL have our strengths and weaknesses.
So don’t try too hard to become perfect or even close to that; instead, focus on those areas of your life where you know you are strong and confident. You can gradually start to work on your weak spot once you’re on track and devoted to succeeding in whatever goals you have.
Again, don’t strive for perfection because it’s a good chance that you’ll alter your progress with that. Rather, you can work on becoming even better at what you are already good at.
You’ll get results and progress, which will most likely motivate you to keep on pushing – and then you can slowly start working on your weaknesses with more confidence and drive.
Reprogramming Your Mind
If you have a coach – or you’re thinking of getting one – you are probably looking to improve yourself somehow. You have a goal or even more of them, so you need to change, adjust, or incorporate habits that’ll work in your favor.
Maybe you’re looking to lose weight, and you know the principles of weight-loss, but it’s just not working for you. You tried everything you’ve been told, but you’re not getting the results you want. This is mostly because of how our mind has been programmed, which is usually holding us back from changing our habits or our mind.
Now, I don’t try to reprogram my client’s mind by telling them what or how to think; instead, I offer them techniques with which they reprogram their mind and way of thinking about a specific thing on their own. By that, I mean getting desired results by shifting their paradigms.
This is the easiest and most effective way to get rid of old deeply rooted beliefs, which are, in my opinion, the weak links in our chain of life.
OK, I’m wrapping this one up. Now I’m inquisitive about what you think about these tips and approaches.
Are you ready to try any of them? Maybe interested in working with me?
Either way, let me know by leaving a comment below, or you can send me a message. If you find this blog post interested and valuable, you can share it on your social media.