If you’ve been on a weight loss journey for a while, you have probably hit some obstacles along the way. Maybe you’ve taken two steps forward and three steps back, or maybe you have started a new eating plan only to have difficulty maintaining it, and your weight yoyos again and again… it’s a cycle that many of us know all too well. Along the weight loss journey, many people decide it’s too hard, too frustrating, too confusing, too impossible. So what sets successful people apart?
If living healthfully and maintaining your dream weight was as easy as simply knowing the information and implementing it into our lives, most of us would be lean machines! Of course, for most of us it’s not that straightforward. Fear of poor health isn’t enough to stop binging behaviours, and our relationships with health, food, and our bodies are complicated. In the Eat to Live community, we understand that the old calories in = calories out equation oversimplifies weight loss and health. Not to mention, it’s unsustainable! Sustained health is so much more than just counting calories.
Hiring a weight loss professional to offer targeted behavior coaching customized for your life can make a real difference. This intensive lifestyle intervention can make all the difference for someone who knows what they need to do, but they just can’t seem to implement it into their lives in a meaningful and sustainable way.
If you’re sick of losing and gaining weight and want to finally achieve a state of internal health, you may have wondered if you should bite the bullet and hire a weight loss coach. But how do you know when it’s the right time to hire a weight loss coach, and how do you go about finding the right coach for you? Let’s take a look at what goes into weight loss coaching.
What is Weight Loss Coaching?
First things first, let’s break down what weight loss coaching really is – and what it isn’t.
A weight loss coach, also called a health coach, provides you with coaching and support in achieving your overall health goals. That often includes weight loss, but it’s more than just that.
Health is more than simply the number on the scale. Achieving optimal physical health means improving your nutrition, managing your blood pressure, facilitating restful sleep, lowering your risk for chronic diseases, managing your blood sugar, maintaining healthy cholesterol levels, incorporating physical activity into your life, and so much more. It also means caring for your mental, emotional, and spiritual health.
A good weight loss or health coach will take a holistic approach and consider how all of these factors intersect. Simply focusing on caloric intake to facilitate weight loss is short sighted and is unlikely to lead to long term success and optimal overall health.
Studies suggest that people are more successful losing weight when they have a professional health coach on their side. This 2016 review demonstrated that “Coaching is an efficient, cost-effective method for combining formal education and treatment of health in the weight-loss process.” Having external input can help people look past their blind spots and see their choices more objectively.
What weight loss coaching IS NOT:
- A magic button that will make you lose weight fast
- A cure for your relationship with food and your body weight
- An enabling or codependent relationship
- A prescription for a precise diet and exercise plan
How Does Weight Loss Coaching Work?
Customized Plans for You
A good weight loss coach will spend time getting to know you and your goals. They will ask about your routines and learn about the rhythm of your life so they can learn how to create an environment that supports you.
Your weight loss coach will ask about your strengths and your weaknesses along with what motivates you. By learning what you find motivating and what sucks energy from you, they can shape routines that truly work for you. A good coach knows that overhauling your entire life is hard to sustain, and that working within the existing structures is more likely to set you up for success.
Identifying Core Beliefs
During the weight loss coaching process, your coach may help you identify your core beliefs and values related to food. You may talk about some of your early beliefs formed around food and your body, and how they inform your behaviours today. You may identify some of your unhelpful beliefs or practices around food, and teach you alternative behaviours that help you achieve your goals.
An effective weight loss coach will determine the cause of overeating or binging behaviours. Only by establishing the root cause are you able to solve these issues for good. By breaking down your relationship with food, exercise, and health, you can identify any sticky points and address the true challenges. Weight loss coaching is about getting down to the root, not superficial band aid solutions.
Often, we get stuck in these loops of repetitive thinking patterns. These are very hard for us to see ourselves, but they can be obvious to people on the outside. Have you ever noticed that it’s easy to give advice, but so much harder to see what you need in your own life, or to accept advice? Professional weight loss coaches are trained to see these things and identify them for you. That’s why even coaches need coaches themselves! Humans simply aren’t great at being aware of our own behavioural patterns.
A weight loss coach will help you be accountable and take responsibility for your life and choices. It’s common for people who have been stuck at the same weight for ages find themselves breaking through barriers losing weight quickly after they hire a coach. Having that accountability and external eyes on you can make drastic shifts in your choices.
Sometimes, the act of hiring and paying for a coach can do the trick on its own! Knowing that you are spending time and money on a coach can be enough to make you follow through on your stated intention.
Setting Realistic Goals
Furthermore, the process of weight loss coaching involves setting realistic goals. Oftentimes people have unrealistic weight loss goals- losing weight very quickly, or getting down to an unhealthy low weight. Or, on the other side, you may not be pushing yourself enough. Perhaps your goals aren’t lofty enough, and you are capable of more than you think you are.
Supportive Ongoing Relationship
Your relationship with your weight loss coach is dynamic, and it will change depending on what you need at the time. In the beginning you may need intensive educating and a relearning of your own patterns. At other times you may need accountability, or someone to remind you of why your goals are important to you and why you are making these changes. Sometimes you will need a cheerleader to motivate you and keep you going when you want to quit. If you go through a rocky period in your life, your coach can help you make adjustments so you can continue on your weight loss path in a way that works for you.
Whether your goal is to maintain your weight, lose significant weight, or find a way of eating that feels and tastes good to you and fits your busy lifestyle, a good weight loss coach can help you hold you accountable and achieve things you may find challenging on your own.
How Do I Know When I Should Hire A Coach?
So how do you know when it’s time to get some support and hire a professional?
- If you feel like you are stuck in the same cycle of losing or gaining weight that you can’t seem to break out of it
- If you struggle with binging and food deprivation
- If you are in a weight loss plateau
- If you’re ready to start building healthy habits that stick for life
- If you want to reframe your relationship with food
- If you’re sick of hating your body and feeling unhealthy
- If you need external accountability
- If you need to make changes to improve your health
- If you’re truly ready to commit the time and effort into transforming your health
Remember, hiring a weight loss coach doesn’t mean everything will be smooth sailing. You need to be willing to put in the work and time. Ultimately, even after hiring the best professional in the world, your choices come down to you.
What to Look for In a Weight Loss Coach
Each weight loss coach has their core principles and practices they go by, and finding the right coach for you means ensuring these core principles align with your values. The most important thing to remember is that there is no one-size-fits-all method to health or weight loss coaching. Every coach has a different approach, and it’s essential to find one who has a coaching style that works with your individual needs and personality.
There are a number of educational courses and certifications out there for health weight loss coaching, so ensure you check their credentials and find a reputable coach with a history of successful clients.
You should feel comfortable openly sharing with your weight loss coach. If you feel like you need to “perform” or put on a front with your coach, you will not make progress. If you feel like you cannot honestly share your struggles with your coach and tell them what is really going on with you, you will not be able to overcome your weight loss barriers.
If you prefer a “tough love” coach, find one who has a more direct instructional style. If you need someone with a softer, more supportive approach, make that clear in your first conversations with coaches.
No matter which coach you choose, ensure you find someone who is committed to ongoing learning and career development. The field of health and weight loss is rapidly evolving, and you want someone who keeps abreast of ongoing research and industry developments. Don’t choose a coach who thinks they already know everything there is to know and that they have all the answers. You want a coach who is open to new ideas and adjusting your program to suit your individual needs. A weight loss coach with a growth mindset who enjoys learning will serve you much better in the long run!
Weight Loss Coaching Methods
Because of the need for an individual approach, most people go with one-on-one weight loss coaching. However, some coaches offer group weight loss coaching. If you prefer more of a community environment, you may prefer a group coach.
These days, weight loss coaching is typically conducted online and over the phone. With modern video technology, you aren’t missing out on anything by doing online coaching. But if you need in-person support, you can search for a local coach in your area.
How to Find a Weight Loss Coach
After determining what method you want to be coached, and what you are looking for, start by looking for coaches online that fit the bill.
When talking with a potential weight loss coach, here are some questions you should consider asking:
- Do you offer a consultation before committing to a coaching package?
- What are your professional qualifications?
- What packages do you offer?
- What if we realize it’s not a great fit after signing up for coaching?
- What is your approach to weight loss coaching?
- What are your expectations of me as a client?
- How do you go about setting realistic goals?
- What do you enjoy about weight loss coaching?
- What do you think your strengths are as a coach?
Remember that coaching is a two-way street. While you are deciding if a coach is right for you, they are also deciding if you are a fit for their style of teaching.
Coaching With The Watering Mouth
Did you know that we offer weight loss coaching here at the Watering Mouth? Our in-house coach, Nancy Dawdy, is an incredible resource for anyone looking to make health and wellness a permanent part of their life.
Coach Nancy knows the struggle of overeating and poor body image well. In her words, she “spent forty-five years of loving food (and let’s face it- food OBSESSED.)” She is no stranger to the struggle!
Coach Nancy is a dedicated lifelong learner. More than just a weight loss coach, she’s also a life coach and graduated from The Life Coach School last year. She is always challenging herself and pushing herself to learn more, and approaches wellness holistically.
Nancy takes a compassionate approach to weight loss coaching, believing that if you struggle with weight, there is nothing intrinsically wrong with you. In fact, the belief that there is is often what holds us back in the first place. Cultivating compassionate curiosity about what and how we are thinking is how we actually begin to change, grow, and shift from the inside out! Nancy conducts her weight loss coaching through holding compassionate space for you.
If you’ve tried doing everything you “should” do, are sick of being mean to yourself in a misguided attempt to bully yourself into weight loss, find that self discipline isn’t enough, and still struggle with weight loss, Nancy may be the coach for you. She’s been through all that too and has finally conquered her relationship with food to reach a place of optimal health and self-love.
When you go through weight loss coaching with the Watering Mouth, you can expect a safe space to express your needs and challenges. Expect to be heard and to gain real tools and insights that finally make your dreams achievable.
Don’t just take our word for it. What do Coach Nancy’s clients have to say?
“After going through a divorce and career change (which were both good choices for me), I couldn’t figure out why I still felt so dissatisfied with many of my relationships and the direction my life was going.
As my life coach, Nancy did a wonderful job of helping me to recognize my value, get better at setting boundaries, and learn how to speak up for myself. I struggled with all of these for many years, and I’m so grateful that Nancy lovingly and patiently helped me to see my worth – and continue to make the changes I needed to make.
Nancy cares deeply about people, and does a great job of bringing out the very best in them. I am so grateful for the work I’ve accomplished with her, and highly recommend that anyone in need of coaching give Nancy a try!”
Terri Brooks, Wilmington NC
Martha found Nancy’s compassionate approach to be the key for her success:
“I started seeing Nancy after she witnessed me experience a tough encounter and offered me comfort and solace. I have gone to her for a variety of issues big and small over the years.
Nancy not only provided that safe place, she has walked me through situations with compassion, understanding and wisdom which enabled me to move forward.
Nancy has an incredibly calming caring presence. She makes you feel safe. She listens and asks non threatening self examining questions to get to the root of a problem. I am eternally grateful for how she has helped me time and time again. I have and will continue to recommend her services to those who are struggling with life’s challenges.”
Bridget Phillips finally achieved her goals after being given the key tools she needed:
“I wanted coaching from Coach Nancy because…. I have been struggling for years to get through mentally to the changes I want for my life. I believe Nancy has the keys to help me. She helps me by….giving me the tools I need to successfully change my thoughts.
I am learning….to be more aware of my thoughts and to actually “feel” my feelings.
I would recommend Coach Nancy to people who….are having trouble changing long-held beliefs about themselves and need some guidance and direction with solid tools to learn to think and act differently.”
Coach Nancy helped Cofia Bass-Miller reframe her thinking around food:
“A thought I’ve been telling myself all week is I don’t need food I need nutrients.
Another one I have been using since coach Nancy help me discover some thoughts I want to change is … what you love you take care of! These have been ringing in my head for the last few weeks since coaching started.
My choices for nutrients have been what I’ve wanted them to be! Thanks Nancy Dawdy my mind is blown in a great way!”
→ To get in touch with Coach Nancy today, apply via this online form!
Other Weight Loss Resources
What if you aren’t ready to hire a coach, but you still want to make progress on your weight loss journey? Don’t worry, there are still a ton of resources to help you.
- Check out our Watering Mouth resources like our FREE 9-Day Eat to Live meal plan. Here is the perfect place to start!
- The Watering Mouth Youtube page is a hub of free, incredible information like recipes, tips, and handy tricks to stay motivated and build community
- Join a Watering Mouth 21-day challenge. These challenges have been the jumping point for so many people to truly transform their lives and reach their goals!
- Online communities and forums can be a supportive, safe environment to build your tribe, share ideas, and gain motivation from others
- Keeping a food diary is an amazing way to kickstart your self awareness. Often weight loss plateaus happen because people aren’t even aware of what they are truly eating
- Activity trackers like Fitbits are great ways to see your true activity levels
- Weighing yourself once a week can be a good tool to hold yourself accountable; be mindful of your relationship with the scale though. If the scale makes you feel stressed and anxious, there are other ways to measure success that may feel better for you!
Weight Loss Coaching to Kickstart Your Transformation
If you keep hitting the same brick walls, it may be time to hand over the reins to a professional. Through working with a coach, you’ll learn to identify your self-sabotaging behaviours and truly build a lifestyle that you can stick with for good.
If you’re ready to finally commit to your weight loss goals and achieve long term success, get in touch with our team and Coach Nancy today!