Diet vs Health Coach

The weight loss industry was booming for decades because we were desperate to feel better and look better.  Diets historically promised fast results with quick tasty options. For years people blamed self control, portion control, hormones, age and will power for not finding long term results.  Recently people started to question the diet/weight loss industry and turned to health and wellness coaching. Health and wellness coaching is an emerging field with shocking results. 

“Bikini Body in 28 Days” “Little Black Dress Contest””Paleo””Whole 30″”Weight Watchers”and my personal favorite “The Skin Deep Diet”


Let’s break down dieting vs health coachingThe $70.3 billion industry weight loss industry targets 70 percent of U.S. adults who are overweight with great marketing and appealing products.The diet industry watches historical trends and designs a program. The $1 billion emerging health coaching industry targets 70 percent of U.S. adults one client at a time.   Health coaches listen to the individual and designs a program based on that information.

Understand the Business of Weight-loss
Before and After Photos


Whether it’s Valerie or Oprah, selling weight loss can be very challenging for the individual or future client.  Liquid diets or pre-packaged food can lead to a phenomenal photo shoot. We need to look beyond the photo shoot.  
If you want a great picture just consider downloading a photo editing app on your phone and buy some great clothes.  It’s time to look past the photo.

Food Packaging


 Great marketing can sell almost anything. Industry professionals listen for catch phrases and sometimes even pay for the research to create the catch phrase. High fiber, gluten free, Non GMO, low fat, high protein, organic, low fat ….are scientific words that have been manipulated by the food industry. Separate the marketing from the purpose of food. Food is fuel, and we need to utilize the right food to run properly.  
Always find food that doesn’t require packaging.  If you would like to eat healthier, live a gluten free life, DON’T buy gluten free products.  Real food (see below) has no artificial sweeteners or GMOs.  Add some kale to The embodyFuel Breakfast Hash and you have a real food option that is high protein, gluten free, dairy free, non-GMO, no artificial sweeteners and full of anti-iflammatory compounds. We’ve managed to use all the marketing words to describe our breakfast, but even better, nothing processed, no preservatives or unhealthy chemical compounds.  This also tastes really good.  


The business of weight loss has lead to frustration and failure. Time to look beyond great packaging and marketing. A healthy lifestyle isn’t about crossing the finish line with a great photo.  A healthy lifestyle is a lifetime of minimal visceral fat and great doctor appointments.  By the way minimal visceral usually also means skinny jeans 😉

Is a health coach the best option for you?
A qualified health coach can help the right person find long lasting results.  A health coach should be well versed in physical, mental and emotional health to offer the best and most comprehensive advice.  Your coach doesn’t necessarily need to be a medical doctor, but should have some level of understanding  and know how to refer you to proper specialist if necessary.  As an emerging field, there is currently no governing body to regulate health coaches.  Do your homework when interviewing for a coach.  Know the education, background and philosophies of your potential coach.  If your ideals do not align, the coach while great, may not be a good fit for you leaving you frustrated and feeling as if a health coach is not the way to go.
Succesful clients share similar characteristics;
CoachableBeing “coachable” is one of life’s most important skills and attitudes. The coachable client wishes to grow, learn, improve, excel or peak perform. A client willing to implement the provided guidance will likely see results.
AccountableWhen life throws a curve ball, commitment to your health should stay the course.  We must flex with daily challenges and disruptions, not abandon our routines, and this is truly one of the cornerstones of success.  Your continued discipline to make healthy choices will catapult you to a happier and healthier way of life.  Watch and feel the discipline feel like commonplace.  

Pliable Making lifestyle changes are dramatic and different. Coaching requires a willingness to bend but not break in the process.  Pliability is not a sign of weakness, but rather a characteristic of strength. 
Finding a qualified coach can be challenging with this emerging field.  There are some things to look for in a program;
Nutritionist vs DietitianAnyone may call themselves a nutritionist. There are certificate programs that offer basic knowledge about food and nutrition, and some of these programs may be anywhere from a few hours to a few weeks in length.  Some certificates are offered by well established organizations and shouldn’t be discounted, but these certificates are typically designed to enhance a therapists working knowledge, not credential someone as a dietitian. For example, athletic trainers often certify in nutrition to better help their clients.A dietitian has obtained a college degree, many post grad, with a concentration in nutrition sciences.  Depending on the university and focus, a registered dietitian will study food policy, food service or clinical nutrition and complete a 26 week internship program associated with the concentration.  After successful completion, the candidate must sit for a national registration exam, and once passed, must complete continuing education credits in the field in order to maintain their licensure.  A registered dietitian must adhere to a code of ethics and privacy policies.  

Life experienceIs your health coach living a relevant life.  Do they walk the talk?  Can they relate to eating a pint of ice-cream in your car?  Have they ever tried a donut?  Can they understand a hot flash or why a mother of 4 can’t always jump rope?  Make sure your coach understands you.
Current ClientsWord of mouth is the best marketing for a great health coach. Pay attention to what people are saying or, sometimes more importantly, not saying.  Are their clients healthy and living a pain free life?  Do they spend sessions making excuses for gaining weight every year?  Muscle does weigh more than fat but clothes tell the story. If their current clients need a new bigger wardrobe look for another coach. 
Wrap Up We need to separate a healthy lifestyle from body shaming. Trendy diets focus on the shame or undesirable body images of being overweight.  The marketing plays on our insecurities, and sells us a better body image.  After all, 100 calorie per slice cheesecake has nothing to do with a healthy lifestyle.   While fat on our body is dangerous and an easily observed symptom of poor of health, the fat is the side effect, not the problem. Another cornerstone of healthy living.  Find the problem and solve it.  Don’t create another problem.  
Getting healthy and staying healthy are two separate tasks. Make the decision to get healthy.  Once there, and only once there, will you know how to maintain this lifestyle.  No one can tell you ahead of time.  This is why coaching can be far more successful than following a branded diet.  Your coach remains by your side, and can tweak or adjust your habits, routines and choices to help allow you to live a full and still healthy life.  There is a transition between getting healthy and staying healthy and understanding how to adjust and manage that transition may be more successful with a health coach.
Find the right program, today, because waiting for optional health is not an option.

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