When I talk about being a health coach, I usually get some funny looks…
Some people perk up and ask what exactly that means.
Others just nod and smile at me like I’m some sort of crazy hippie and they quickly change the subject.
Honestly, I never blame anyone for being confused by the term “health coach” because just a few years ago, I had never even heard of such a thing myself!
What exactly is a health coach?
There are a lot of different definitions online for “Health Coach”. Here’s one I found that I feel best summarizes what a health coach does:
“A Health Coach is a supportive mentor and wellness authority who helps others feel their best through individualized food and lifestyle changes that meet their unique needs and health goals.”
While that may seem broad, it’s for good reason…There are many different ways that health coaches can help people improve their health and lives.
In short, it’s like hiring a personal trainer, but for your food and lifestyle instead of exercise.
Sure, you could go to the gym and try to piece together your own workout plan. You could watch Youtube videos on how to use the correct form. You could hold yourself accountable and show up at the gym every day to follow through…It’s totally possible to get the result using this method.
But just think how much more quickly and efficiently you’d be able to get those same results if you had a trainer! They’d help you create a customized workout routine for your specific body, lifestyle, and goals. Plus, they can help you see the areas where you may be holding yourself back or limiting your full potential.
In this same way, a health coach can help you reach your health goals OUTSIDE of the gym.
Health coaches help clients find the quickest path to their desired results by guiding them to see more clearly how they’ve been creating their current health outcomes and where the opportunities are to change those outcomes themselves.
They can’t put in the reps for you, but they can help you reach your goal much quicker than you would on your own.
Health Coach vs. Nutritionist vs. Registered Dietitian
A common follow-up question to “What’s a health coach?” is “What’s the difference between a that and a nutritionist or registered dietitian?”. While it’s true that all these are roles that help people, in some way, to improve their health through diet, there are some very distinct differences between each…
It’s common to hear the terms Nutritionist and Dietitian used interchangeably.
While they are closely related, the two titles have different legal restrictions and qualifications.
The technicalities of who can call themselves a “Nutritionist” differ from state to state…
Some states require an occupational license from the Board of Nutrition, while other states have no education requirements for use of the title.
Often, it takes very little prerequisites to become a “Nutritionist”.
It’s common to see certified health coaches working under the title of Nutritionist or Holistic Nutritionist instead of Health Coach.
Registered Dietitians (RDs) complete a formal education including a Bachelor’s degree, a supervised clinical program, passing a certification exam, and continued education to maintain their title.
Most RDs go on to work in health care facilities where they administer medical nutrition therapy and educate patients about nutrition as part of the health care team.
Some other areas they might work are sports nutrition, public health, or in private practice.
Health coaching, on the other hand, is an unregulated industry, meaning, there are no educational or licensure requirements. Anyone can decide to start a health coaching practice and use the title.
RDs are license medical professions, usually helping people in a clinical setting go from dysfunctional to functional.
Meanwhile, health coaches are more future focused.
They help people with a dream, vision, or goal for their lifestyle and physical health.
Health coaches help clients go from functional to exceptional in their health and wellness.
Different types of health coaches
There are many different types of health coaches and coaching specialties.
Some coaches work exclusively with clients who have a specific issue like gut health, autoimmunity, thyroid conditions, hormonal imbalances, or obesity. Other coaches work to help people reach a specific health goal (i.e. improved energy, regaining their period, or losing 100lbs).
There are also different styles of coaching…
Some emphasize external accountability. They’ll give you the exact steps; the meal plans, the supplements, etc., and then it’s up to you to follow through with those steps.
Other coaches help clients dig deep and identify the reasons WHY they haven’t been doing the things they want to do. They solve the root of the problem.
Then, they’ll help them identify ways to break through those barriers and create a sustainable, long-term habit-change.
(Ahem — this is my style of coaching and, I may be biased, but I think it’s much more effective in the long run)
Every coach is different. That’s why it’s important to get a sense of a coach’s style and specialties.
And don’t be afraid to try a few until you find the coach that you vibe with best!
Think of it like buying a new car — you may have to test drive a few to find what you like. If you’re not totally sold on the first one you test drive, it doesn’t mean buying a car is “just not for you”. You’ve just got to keep testing more until you find the right fit!
How to know if you need a health coach?
If you’re perfectly healthy by normal standards but you want to get better, health coaching is the right move for you.
Maybe you know you don’t need medical intervention, but you still feel stuck in your current results. If so, health coaching is for you.
If you’ve tried all the meal plans, workouts and self-help books, but haven’t been able to create lasting change in your health habits, a health coach could be just what you need!
That’s exactly how most of the women I work with are.
They’re women in their mid-20s and 30s who aren’t “unhealthy”. They’ve reached a point where they know they want to focus on their health, but they’re struggling to make any changes that really stick.
Health coaching is the answer.
Health coaching (at least the way I do it) teaches you how to break through the habits and mindset blocks that are keeping you stuck so you finally take action and move forward with creating the healthy lifestyle on your dreams now.
Yea, it’s pretty awesome 😉
What’s a health coaching session like?
Every coach will do things a little differently. Some coaches work with their clients one-on-one. Others create group coaching programs, online courses and membership sites to coach their clients in.
Some one-on-one coaches meet with their clients for hour-long, in-person sessions, much like a classic therapy session. Others meet exclusively via phone or video chat for their sessions.
In one-on-one coaching programs, it’s common for the first session to be complimentary with the following sessions being a part of a 3-month or 6-month package.
This first meeting is helpful for deciding if your goals and desires align with that coach’s style before jumping into a long-term coaching commitment.
The first step for all my potential new clients is a 100% free consultation call.
This call is where we get into all the details of what it would look like to work together. I answer all the questions they have about my coaching style and program.
I love getting to meet new women on these calls and help them get to the root of what they’re seeking!
Whether we work together or not, it’s always a valuable conversation that gets them pointed in the right direction with a clearer vision for the lifestyle they want to create.
If you’ve thought health coaching might be what you need, learn more about my coaching program and schedule your free consultation by clicking here.
One last thing…
You don’t have to wait until you’ve hit rock-bottom with your health to get support.
Many people are saying health coaching is the future of medicine because of its effectiveness in creating positive health outcomes preemptively.
The best time to work on your health is always before you really need to.
If you’re feeling ok about where you’re at but know you could be so much better, health coaching could be amazing for you!
Setting and achieving goals in your health gives you the self-confidence to do the same in every other area of your life.
I think of health and wellness as the first domino that you knock over…Once you’ve mastered habits in that area, you’ll quickly begin to master positive habits in other areas of your life.
If you’re ready to up-level your health so you can up-level your life, come join me!
March 30, 2021