If you’re reading this, chances are you’re already interested in getting healthier and/or losing weight. And better yet, you’re probably serious about it and ready to make a real commitment. This is a huge, important first step. No one can make you “ready” to make a change -- the change has to come from within you on your own time.
But when you are ready, it can be difficult to go at it alone. Sometimes you need that extra push, reassurance, positivity, motivation and guidance that you can’t always get on your own. While there is no “one-size-fits-all” secret to being healthy, we can use the best research available to make some generalizations about health. One such generalization, which is backed by tons of research, is that enlisting the help of a health coach significantly increases your chance of reaching your goals -- especially when it comes to weight loss.
While traditional treatment focuses on diet and exercise (both of which are extremely important), health coaches are trained to help you address the underlying behaviors that impact your health negatively. Even if you start eating right or go to the gym more often, you need to understand the habits that affect your well-being as a whole. Otherwise you will be much less likely to maintain your healthy successfully. Whether your bad-health triggers are overworking, adjusting to a new sleep schedule, smoking, inactivity, general stress or something else you’re completely overlooking, health coaches can offer the guidance and tools you need to overcome your challenges and regain a greater level of health.
Weight Loss Case Studies
Of the many studies available one study in particular demonstrates the efficacy of health coaches specifically in regards to weight loss.
Researchers from The Miriam Hospital’s Weight Control and Diabetes Research Center in Providence, R.I., conducted a randomized controlled pilot study to determine the impact of health coaches, peer coaches and mentors on a group of 44 obese participants. The subjects were enrolled in a group behavioral weight-loss program that met 12 times over the course of 24 weeks: weekly for the first six weeks, biweekly for the following six weeks, and monthly thereafter. Participants were randomly assigned to work with either a professional health coach, a fellow group member (peer) or someone who had successfully lost a significant amount of weight (mentor). The coaches communicated with their participants during the weeks there were no group meetings and provided feedback on participants’ weekly weight, caloric intake and physical-activity logs.
The results of this study showed that while all three groups had significant weight loss, the groups who worked with a health coach lost an average of nine-percent of their total body weight. Half of the people in the study who worked with a health coach were able to lose 10 percent of their body weight or more! To put it in perspective, someone who weighs 200 lbs. would have healthy, sustainable loss of at least 20 pounds.
You probably hear about people losing much more weight than 20 lbs. when dieting and exercise, either by using fad diets, or using some other lose-weight-quick method. Problems arise, however, when you don’t understand how to sustain a healthy lifestyle. What good is losing 20, 30 or even 40 lbs. if you gain it back in half the time you lost it?
Health coaches help you understand how to lose weight and live healthy -- not just for a few months while you shed some pounds, but for the rest of your life!
Also consider that a sustained, prolonged health program, with the guidance of a health coach, has more of an impact on your life than just the weight loss itself. Living healthy and reducing your weight also drastically reduces your risk of heart disease, diabetes and a whole host of other chronic illnesses. So learning to live healthy the right way is extremely important for more than just your waistline. Whenever you’re ready, we’re here to help you live a longer, healthier happier life.
Role of Health Coaches in Pediatric Weight Management: Patient and Parent Perspectives
National Institute of Health
Compendium of Health and Wellness Coaching Literature