Sometimes managing a healthy lifestyle on your own isn’t enough. If you have a chronic health condition, are still struggling with random disturbances, or are simply feeling overwhelmed, it may be time to seek professional assistance. Hopefully, you have a team of qualified doctors, but you may even need to take it one step further. This Introduction to Health + Wellness Coaching will help guide you in the right direction. Welcome, Nicole from Living Well With Nic.
Guest Post: Introduction to Health + Wellness Coaching
You may have heard the term “health coach” increasing in popularity recently, whether it be on social media or in a health magazine. However, most people don’t know what they really do. To put it in simple terms, health coaches are professionally educated and trained guides in the fields of nutrition and wellness.
Their unique approach to jump-starting the health of their clients is changing the way people approach getting, and staying, healthy.
What is a health coach?
A Health Coach is a supportive mentor and professionally trained wellness authority who works with clients to help them improve their lives through nutrition and lifestyle changes. They are a guide and supportive mentor who empowers you to take responsibility for your health and personal wellness goals.
While the role of a physician to a patient tends to be authoritative, the role of a coach to a player is more supportive. Some common areas where a Health Coach may help you include weight management, food cravings, sleep, energy, stress management, and digestion, just to name a few. Instead of prescribing one diet or way of exercising, Health Coaches tailor individualized wellness programs to meet their clients’ needs.
As a Health Coach, I have a strong focus on behavioral choices along with the basic understanding of dietary patterns and overall health, fulfilling an important and distinct role with my clients to develop strategies that enact real, lasting lifestyle changes.
The Institute for Integrative Nutrition is the largest nutrition school in the country. There are a variety of health coaching certification programs out there, but IIN is most widely recognized in the industry. The world’s leading experts in nutrition and wellness are guest lecturers to provide the most valuable information. Their graduates are trained for an entire year in over 100 dietary theories and lifestyle coaching techniques to help you discover exactly how to achieve your health goals.
What makes a health coach unique?
Relationships, exercise, career, and spirituality are just as important to your health as the food you eat. Health Coaches understand this and take a holistic approach to supporting the whole person. This is what sets them apart from dieticians. IIN coined two core concepts known as primary and secondary foods. Elements such as a meaningful spiritual practice, an exciting career, regular physical activity, and fulfilling relationships that nourish your soul all constitute primary food.
Secondary foods are the actual foods we put into our bodies, such as fruit, vegetables, water, whole grains, etc. The more primary food we receive, the less we rely on secondary food. The opposite is also true. The more we fill ourselves with secondary food, the less we are able to receive the primary food of life. The key is to find a balance between our primary foods, which leads to healthier secondary food choices.
My Personal Health Coaching Principles
- Partner with my clients to co-create transformative growth
- Provide a safe, non-judgmental space for my clients to share and discuss information
- Create sustainable accountability to allow for success
- Develop healthy lifestyle habits that my clients can sustain
Have you ever tried a diet that you read about in a magazine or heard about through a friend that didn’t work for you? That’s the result of bio-individuality; no one diet works for everyone. Each and every person has unique needs. Joshua Rosenthal, the founder of IIN, created this core concept that has been proven true by science! This puts health coaches light years ahead of what most doctors and dieticians are now just beginning to discover.
Health coaches don’t promote one particular way of eating. They encourage you to experiment and discover what works best for your needs. However, all health coaches will advocate for eating whole foods from the earth.
The importance of eating whole foods
Eating a whole foods diet is the key to providing your body with the proper nutrients it needs to function at its best. Whole foods retain their fiber and as well as all of the phytochemicals – natural compounds in plants – that are removed in processed foods. When you eat a food in its natural state, you get the most benefits.
Here is a list of whole foods that should become staples in your diet:
Vegetables: Kale, Spinach, Celery, Bell Peppers, Carrots, Red Cabbage, Asparagus, Brussels Sprouts, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Zucchini, Sweet Potatoes
Fruits: Bananas, Apples, Pineapple, Berries, Cherries, Acai
Whole Grains (assuming you can tolerate grains): Quinoa, Brown Rice
The more you work to incorporate whole foods into your diet, the less your body will crave processed foods.
Is a health coach for you?
As mentioned, a health coach is meant to act as a guide and support role throughout your wellness journey. Here are five signs that you would benefit from a health coach:
You feel like something might be off with your health, but you’re not sure exactly what it is.
Working with a health coach can help you dig deeper into what you’re experiencing, and figure out the root of the problem. Any imbalance you may have, from low energy and weight loss to acne and digestive issues, health coaches guide clients through listening to their bodies and making sustainable lifestyle adjustments to fix seemingly minor issues that may have a lasting impact on their health.
You’re more likely to accomplish goals when you have the guidance and accountability.
Health coaches can help you establish the structure and a clear path you need to make progress towards your goals. Whether it’s finding the motivation to workout, improving your cooking skills, or addressing your cravings, a health coach will be there every step of the way guiding you.Regular check-ins will help you feel accountable for the health decisions you make in a way that is motivating and encouraging.
You want to improve your diet and lifestyle but you’re not sure where to begin.
The beauty of Integrative Nutrition health coaches is that they are trained in over 100 dietary theories, from vegan to Paleo, and everything in between. A health coach takes the guesswork out of which diet works best for your mind, body, and soul.
You’re tired of dieting, deprivation, and trying to lose weight unsuccessfully.
Health isn’t just about nutrition. It involves all aspects of your lifestyle. A health coach will help you reconnect with your goals and what is preventing you from achieving them. If you are feeling lost as to where to begin, a health coach will guide you and help address the challenges standing in your way.
You’re looking for a more personal approach to health from a caring individual who has your best interest in mind.
A health coach will help you create a personalized roadmap that supports your goals to finding health and happiness. There is an overwhelming amount of information on the internet that can make starting your wellness journey seem very daunting. Let a health coach take the pressure off of this by tailoring everything to your needs.
Learn More About The Author
Nicole is a Certified Holistic Health Coach and wellness expert based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Living Well with Nic was created from her lifelong passion for health, nutrition, and wellness. She coaches busy women how to lose weight and clear up their skin so they can live a life of confidence without restrictive dieting. Nicole has trained under the world’s leading experts in nutrition and wellness at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Her passion is to help her clients find a balance between primary and secondary foods, to ignite inner beauty.
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