Carol (Missy) Cohen MPH, CHHC

5 Reasons You Need a Health Coach

Did you ever wonder how a health coach could help you change your life?

To keep it simple, I decided to narrow it down to 5 things that make having a health coach an invaluable experience. (And, before you ask, yes, I do have a health coach of my own!)

1. A health coach provides education and helps you translate all the conflicting information that is out there.

    Every week there is a new way to lose weight, improve your sex life, sleep better, etc. Part of my job as a health coach is to look into the science behind the latest fad and help you determine the risks and benefits. For example, there are some celebrities who are toting “bulletproof coffee” as the latest way to lose weight. The good in this is it is encouraging people to eat healthy fats. After years of being told a low fat diet is the way to go to prevent heart disease and improve health, many people do not have enough fats in their diet. The negative part of “bulletproof coffee” is that people are replacing their breakfast with this nutrient-poor substitute.

2. A health coach helps you follow your doctor’s recommendations.

A doctor recently recommended to a client of mine the he go on a “low-glycemic” diet because of a high blood sugar test. He eliminated all cakes, cookies, candies, and ice cream from his diet. He returned to the doctor a month later and she scolded him for not taking her advice. The problem was that he didn’t know that breads, potatoes, pasta and his beloved muffin were also contributing to his problem. Physicians can five great advice but don’t the time to inform you on how to follow it. That is why a health coach is an integral part of your health care team.

3. A health coach helps you set reasonable goals and holds you accountable.

I had a client that informed me that she was going to lose 10 pounds in two weeks by exercising every day and limiting her caloric intake. We discussed why this was not a feasible goal and, while she might get there, how her plan would boomerang and possibly make her gain 15 pounds back very quickly. We also discussed how pounding on her body every day might not be the best option for her. I worked with her to set a more reasonable goal and she lost 3 pounds in two weeks. Twelve weeks later and she had lost 15 pounds and is making some lasting changes in her lifestyle and diet.

4. A health coach gives you an opportunity to REALLY talk to someone about YOU and YOUR health.

Working with a health coach gives you an opportunity to talk about your life and what is going on. Do you ever notice when everything is going well in a person’s life, they are glowing, fit and strong? That same person loses a loved one, gets divorced or loses their job and they put on weight, get diagnosed with some chronic disease and are suddenly very unwell.

Your health isn’t just tied to the foods you eat. It is also tied to a myriad of other things including your relationship with others, your career, your financial situation and the spirituality in your life based on your own definition of what that means to you. Talking with a person who will listen to you in a non-judgmental way will help you talk through where you are and how to improve those situations to regain your health.

5. A health coach helps you connect with what is holding you back.

We all have an instinctual knowledge of what we should be doing to be healthy. Eat the right foods, exercise, drink plenty of water, just to name a few. Many of us do not do these things. A health coach will help you to get to the root reason of what is holding you back. We help you identify your “why” and get over the bump in the road that is keeping you stuck. Maybe if you lose those extra 20 pounds people will start noticing you and that is scary for you. Maybe your lifestyle matches up to your partners and you are afraid that if you choose a healthier lifestyle there will not be room in your life for that person anymore. The reasoning for everybody is different and a health coach can help you identify your base needs and find ways to support you during transitional times.

People often ask me, “Do you have a health coach?” I actually have a health coach, a life coach and two mentors that I speak to on a very regular schedule who keep me honest and true to myself. They are an invaluable part of my health care team and I would encourage anyone to find a coach that matches up to them and their personality.  Not every health coach is going to be right for every person. If the first coach you speak with doesn’t feel right. don’t feel bad. Keep looking and find the one that is best suited for you and your personality.

Be Well!

Tags: , ,

Leave a comment