Health Coaching 101: What you need to know before you hire a health coach

Hiring a health coach has the potential to change your life. Anyone who is struggling to get healthy and reach their wellness goals could benefit from a health coach. Health coaches are there to coach you as you embark on your health and wellness journey.

What is a health coach?

Health coaches are an authority on wellness who support, mentor and guide an individual to establish positive habits and meet their health goals. They work to educate clients on what adjustments need to be made in order to make sustainable behavior changes. Health coaches are well-versed in the fields of nutrition, wellness, mentoring, coaching and individualized care.

Health coaches help you to implement the small changes, little by little, so that you can make big changes over time. They work with you to discover your bio-individuality, which is what works best for you, the individual. There’s no one-size -fits-all model for nutrition and wellness. Everyone is unique and therefore needs their own, customized plan. Personalized wellness care is imperative when treating disease states.

Health coaches work with you to keep you accountable and maximize your results when making nutrition and lifestyle changes. Just like individuals need therapy for emotional and mental work, the same applies to diet and lifestyle. Health coaching is a form of supportive wellness therapy that helps you to achieve long-lasting changes for the better.

Could you benefit from one?

Yes.

Health coaches help to implement the nutrition and lifestyle changes that you need to get healthy. These changes take time, effort and support. Health coaches mentor, inspire, guide and motivate clients to achieve goals and hold them accountable.

Why are health coaches important?

A doctor doesn’t have time to assist with all the mindset shifts needed to make change.

Enter, the health coach. Health coaches are able to guide and coach you. They are the ones who can help you to implement the suggestions from your doctor and apply them to your everyday lives.

Currently, there is a narrow focus on sick care. Conventional doctors spend 10 minutes on a patient with their eyes on the clock. At the end of the appointment, patients are given a prescription and told to be on their way. Diet and lifestyle (the two key pillars of health) are never addressed. One of the reasons is there’s no time. Yet, even if your doctor had the time, they wouldn’t be qualified to play the role of health coach as they have never had training in these areas. They also never went through nutrition training, one of the most important factors that determines overall health.

Conventional doctors focus on sickness, not wellness. They don’t have time to discuss nutrition, exercise, or the current things that are stressing you out in life. Yet, these are the exact conversations that will actually keep you healthy.

Even doctors in functional medicine and holistic health don’t always have the time. Many individuals are turning away from conventional care and entering functional medicine. When this occurs, there is even more responsibility that falls back on the patient. This is because in functional medicine, patients must become their own self-advocates. No longer are they given a pill to cover each and every symptom. Rather, they are given extensive health plans consisting of supplements, diet and lifestyle advice that must be heeded. Often, patients can feel overwhelmed with this new-found responsibility. This is why we have health coaches here at the Drs. Wolfson to support and guide our patients to success.

Chronic diseases now vastly outnumber acute diseases. Yet the conventional health care model is still treating chronic disease with the acute care model and this does not work. Most chronic diseases are prevented, treated and reversed with diet and lifestyle changes not prescription medications. There’s a time and place for acute care medicine, but it is not for treating chronic diseases.

Health coaches are at the forefront of the new healthcare revolution. They provide the nutrition and lifestyle guidance needed to make sustainable changes at a time when chronic diseases like heart disease and diabetes are at an all-time high. 

If you’re interested in working with a health coach but are unsure of where to start, keep reading for some guidelines on what to look for when selecting a health coach:

  1. 1. Search for a health coach that works with the types of goals you want to achieveThere are many health coaches out there. Search around to learn about how the health coach approaches wellness coaching and what their main specialties are. You can “shop” around to find the right fit. In fact, this is important because you will be committing to working with this coach regularly. Seek out coaches who work with the types of health issues you have. For example, if you have an autoimmune thyroid disorder, seek out a health coach who works with this condition often. When you talk to them (see #3) you can also inquire more about this.
  2. 2. Look for credentialsMany health coaches have formal training or certification. Often times, they are trained in other fields, as well. Search around their website, or email them directly to find out what their credentials are and how those credentials can help you, the potential client. Credential information should be displayed on their website and therefore be easy to identify.
  3. 3. See if they offer a free initial consultationMany health coaches offer a free, initial consult to get to know each other and see if the two of you would work well together. Take advantage of this opportunity. There’s a reason this is offered. Health coaching is a huge commitment and so there must be a positive relationship between health coach and client that is established in order for the coaching to be successful. The initial consult is way to test-drive the relationship and see if it would be a good fit. Use it as a time to see how the coach makes you feel and learn about how they can help with your unique conditions.
  4. 4. Examine their website, Instagram and blog postsSee what kind of work they do, what kind of philosophy they have and how they help the world. Exploring their website and social media provides key insight into what kind of coach they are, what they believe in and what they do. Explore their website for their bio, examine what kind of coaching packages they offer and see if it will work for you.
  5. 5. Commit to changeHealth coaches support you to experiment with different strategies for diet and lifestyle changes in order to make long-term changes to health. Commit to change with a health coach and you will reap the results. The time to get healthy is now!

Interested in learning more about health coaching? Give our office a call! Or, schedule a consult with one of our health coaches today. We also offer an exclusive Drs. Wolfson 3-month health coaching program so be sure to check that out to meet all your wellness goals! Read more about our Drs. Wolfson-certified health coaching offerings here.

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