You’ve decided. This time for sure, you are going to finally make your health top priority and make changes. Upon your first google search, you are bombarded with hundreds, no, thousands of suggestions, cut out carbs! Just do 10,000 steps a day and you’ll lose that stubborn belly fat! And upon closing your laptop, you hopelessly are drowned with an information overload leading you into analysis paralysis.

Or perhaps, you’ve been working the miles in the gym, but to no avail, the love handles are just here to stay.

If that’s you, what’s stopping you from reaching your health goals could simply be a Health Coach, or a lack thereof rather.

Before we begin, let’s clear up the air and define the term “health coach”, there are many “coaches” in the health industry, but a professional, trained & certified health coach is always holistic, objective and most importantly, utilises evidence-based information (1).

Here’s 3 reasons why having a Professional Health Coach makes all the difference.

1)    The Right Information from the Right Source

The massive overload of information, from the internet, friends, family & relatives aside, even if you located the scientific journals that would provide the raw information you need, very often, there’s still a huge gap between the clinical information and what’s useful to the everyday consumer.  Although reliable sources of information, scientific journals tend to be too technical and filled with medical jargon to be much use for the everyday consumer.

A Professional Health Coach is trained & equipped with breaking down that raw information into practical, fundamental and key actions for you (2,3).

They help you skim through the massive noise that you are exposed to daily, and help you zoom in on  the most accurate and personalised solutions for your health needs.

From understanding key basic fundamentals of nutrition and exercise, to deciphering blood lab parameters and how your actions affect them. As long as you have the intent and the curiosity, your professional health coach is a well of information from which you will obtain a continuous stream of evidence based, accurate and relevant information for you.

2)    Tailored & Personalised Guidance & Directions

While most general advice may apply to us all, how we utilise them can vary drastically from one individual to another.

Nutritional requirements aside, all of us have different personal circumstances, which changes the way we ought to approach our health.
These circumstances include differences in environment, individual preference, lifestyle, cultural and genetic factors among others.

A professional health coach knows how to take all those circumstances into account when guiding you, at every step of the way, ensuring that advice provided is specifically tailored for you

Through this personalisation, your coach empowers you to be purposeful in your daily practices, ensuring it is sustainable for you in the long run!

On top of that, a professional coach can also tailor specific outcomes for you to track your progress at all times with meaningful data and measurable parameters beyond the norm!

For  example, instead of just measuring your weight all the time, a health coach may suggest looking at your heart rate when you are exercising instead (3–5).

3)    Continual Support & Assisted Solutions

While you may come across a lot of information online or from friends on how to be fit, lose weight, or be healthy, what you do not hear a lot is embracing failures and challenges.

And perhaps, that is one of the most y important benefits you get when working with a Professional Health Coach.

Guidance from your health coach is often not a one off thing. You generally see your health coach multiple times throughout your journey, which not only makes you accountable, a key secret at that, but also enables you to talk about your concerns, challenges and worries in a safe and confidential space (2,5).

A good health coach helps you embrace those problems, empowers you to get back up and equips you with the right tools and knowledge to address the challenges you encounter.

In a nutshell, a good health coach helps you throughout your entire lifestyle modification process and minimizes what most people experience, mid-way fallout.

Whoever you are or wherever you may be in your health journey, it is undeniable that you would certainly benefit from having access to a Professional Health Coach.

Need easy access to a Professional Health Coach?

As Awaken users, you have access to a minimum of 3 sessions with our health coaches. Awaken’s health coaches are experienced, credentialed dietitians who are trained to provide you evidence-based medical information and guidance that can help you kick start your Awaken journey, and possibly make that journey a life changing one.

Book your session today at the “Health Coaching” tab in your Awaken Dashboard.

 

This article was written by Leonard Yap who is an accredited Dietitian (IMU), a Member of the Malaysian Dietitians’ Association (MDA) and currently the Senior Dietitian of Realise Health & one of the Health Coaches for Awaken.

References:

  1. Bennett HD, Coleman EA, Parry C, Bodenheimer T, Chen EH. Health Coaching for Patients With Chronic Illness. Fam Pract Manag. 2010;17(5):24.
  2. Thom DH, Wolf J, Gardner H, DeVore D, Lin M, Ma A, et al. A qualitative study of how health coaches support patients in making health-related decisions and behavioral changes. Ann Fam Med [Internet]. 2016 Nov 1 [cited 2020 Jun 23];14(6):509–16. Available from: /pmc/articles/PMC5389392/?report=abstract
  3. Kohn JB. How can registered dietitian nutritionists use health coaching techniques? J Acad Nutr Diet [Internet]. 2014 May 1 [cited 2020 Jun 23];114(5):824. Available from: http://jandonline.org/article/S2212267214002366/fulltext
  4. Thom DH, Ghorob A, Hessler D, De Vore D, Chen E, Bodenheimer TA. Impact of peer health coaching on glycemic control in low-income patients with diabetes: A randomized controlled trial. Ann Fam Med [Internet]. 2013 Mar 1 [cited 2020 Jun 23];11(2):137–44. Available from: https://www.annfammed.org/content/11/2/137
  5. WYLIE-ROSETT J, DELAHANTY L, GROUP FTDPPR. An integral role of the dietitian: Implications of the Diabetes Prevention Program. J Am Diet Assoc [Internet]. 2002 [cited 2020 Jun 23];102(8):1065. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2562572/