You might wonder if health coaching is the right approach for you. Let's find out!
WHAT IS HEALTH COACHING?
Simply put, health coaching will help you achieve your health-related goals by making lasting behaviour changes and integrating healthy habits into your lifestyle. Health coaching has been proven to be effective for a broad variety of health issues, including weight loss, stress reduction, and improving diet, sleep, physical activity and overall self-care.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
We live in a time where there is more health information available than ever before. We seem to know everything we need to know to live a healthy, happy life. Yet, we don't necessarily make good use of this unlimited access to information. There is a gap between what we know and what we do.
As Chris Kresser explains in his article "The Health Coach Revolution" (link to full article below), "people want to feel good, avoid chronic disease and live a long life. [...] They want to perform better at work, enjoy their relationships, and be well enough to get the most out of life. But there’s a big difference between wanting the benefits of being healthy and consistently engaging in the behaviours that lead to health. [...]
Most people know that eating poorly, not exercising, not getting enough sleep and engaging in other unhealthy lifestyle habits is not good for them. Yet they continue these behaviours anyway, or they chase quick fixes that don’t last for more than a few weeks."
What we often need is an ally, a coach on the side that motivates us to implement and maintain healthier habits, and holds us accountable. This is where health coaching comes into play.
As put by Peter Grinspoon, MD, "just as a sports coach can help an athlete develop and excel at a sport, a health and wellness coach can help anyone excel at living their life [...]. The coaching process is similar to talk therapy in that it involves two people discussing ideas and issues, but it is different in that the person who is being coached is in the driver’s seat, creating their goals as well as the strategies on how to arrive at these goals".
WHY DOES IT WORK?
Health coaching is very effective because you are in charge. You set the goals. You set the pace and terms. I am here to support and guide you when you need guidance. I am here to make you see things you might not have seen without me. And to hold you accountable. This approach is much more empowering and motivating than someone telling you what to do.
At the core of holistic health coaching is the concept of 'bio-individuality', the understanding that each of us has different physical, mental, emotional, and nutritional needs.
What works for me may not necessarily work for you, and vice-versa. There is no one-size-fits all method, no standard meal plan or exercise program that can be applied. Instead, the methods I use will always be personalised and tailored to your individual goals and needs.
We tend to view cravings as weaknesses that we have to get rid of. In holistic health coaching, however, we see cravings as important messages from our body that, instead of needing to be fought, are worth being listened to and deconstructed. What is our body trying to tell us?
The concept of 'crowding out' also plays an important role here. This means adding more whole foods into our diet rather than simply removing certain foods we might crave.
While secondary food refers to the food we eat, primary food is a term used to describe the food that nourishes us 'off' the plate. Relationships, physical activity, career, and spirituality are just some areas that directly impact our overall wellness.
This is why primary food plays an important role in holistic health coaching. As Joshua Rosenthal says "We need more than just food to thrive".