So, you’re a Functional Medicine doctor, have your own medical practice, or are an individual looking to better your lifestyle choices, why should you hire a health coach in 2019?
Despite advances in modern medicine — and massive amounts of money spent on healthcare — the average American’s health continues to decline.
Diabetes and obesity rates are skyrocketing among adults and children. Autoimmune diseases have dramatically increased worldwide.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), we spend 86% of our healthcare dollars on the treatment of chronic diseases as a nation. They state that “these persistent conditions—the nation’s leading causes of death and disability—leave in their wake deaths that could have been prevented, lifelong disability, compromised quality of life, and burgeoning healthcare costs.”
There is some good news: We are all capable of fighting this growing problem with our own lifestyle choices!
But at the moment, most people aren’t capable of making healthy lifestyle choices because they’re undereducated about healthy living.
A majority of people feel the pressure to keep up with fad diets, but the immense amount of conflicting information on nutrition and living a healthy lifestyle can be overwhelming.
If you’re faced with the dilemma of wanting to better your life but aren’t sure where to start, consider hiring a health coach.
What is a health coach?
Health coaches support clients in achieving their health goals through lifestyle and behavior modifications.
Whether your goal is to lose weight, increase energy, or develop better nutrition, a health coach takes the time to listen to your concerns, helps you discover where and why you are struggling, and supports you as you navigate the world of contradictory nutritional advice to figure out exactly what works for YOUR body.
Why should you hire a health coach in 2019?
Health coaches fill in the gaps between what the healthcare industry traditionally provides and what many people need:
In the conventional healthcare system that we’re all used to, physicians often have to limit the length of appointments, which means spending less time with their patients. And while a very strong connection exists between diets and health, many medical professionals do not have adequate education in nutrition — specifically whole foods nutrition — to provide the kind of guidance and support that patients need. Certified health coaches can spend more time with patients AND help them make the connection between what they eat and how it affects their health.
They hold their clients accountable:
Health coaches WANT to see their clients succeed, so they won’t start you off on a restrictive diet or as you to make dramatic changes that you aren’t ready for. Instead, they’ll help you implement small changes, little by little, at a pace that’s comfortable for you. It’s about taking a realistic approach to meeting all your health goals. And, if you fall off the wagon, they offer the non-judgmental support you need to get back up.
They customize plans specifically for you:
Everyone is unique—there’s no “one size fits all” diet or treatment plan. Your health coach knows this and will take the time to get to know you, your habits, your current diet, and your health and wellness goals, as well as any history you have with previous diets and exercises. They’ll work with you to outline a plan tailored to your unique story and needs that sets you up to reach your unique goals.
They provide emotional support:
The ultimate goal of your health coach is to improve your quality of life through effective and healthy habits and changes. That means focusing not just on physical health, but on overall health—including mental and emotional wellbeing. Your coach will make themselves available to you, whether it’s via text, phone, or email, in your moments of need.
A final note
Health coaches are at the forefront of today’s health revolution. At a time when one in five people will die of chronic disease, and when diabetes and obesity are at an all-time high, health coaches provide the nutritional and lifestyle guidance society desperately needs to find its way back to health.
A key characteristic of a good coach is being a good listener.
Are you one?