Health Coaching for Weight Loss: What Does it Really Take?

It seems like almost everybody is trying to lose weight, “tone” their body, build muscle, burn fat, and get in shape for the evercoming “summer body”.
 
The weight loss and diet industry is profiting tremendously on targeting the insecurities of men and women of all ages.
For some people, it is merely an attempt to fit this cookie cutter mold that society has created that we think our bodies have to fit into.
 
For others, it is necessary to lose weight to fight chronic disease and better their health and well-being.
In either case, losing weight is no easy feat. It takes a great deal of time, patience, knowledge, skill, and will-power to accomplish successfully. While the results of our diets and exercise rely the greatest on our own daily choices, many people are turning to hiring personal coaches to guide them through their weight loss journey.
 
Losing weight ​can​ be accomplished alone. However, if someone who decides to lose weight for the first time in their life opens their fridge to cook a healthy meal, or steps into a gym completely alone, the chances of them being intimidated or self-sabotaging and giving up before they really begin are very great – to say the least.
 
Making healthy food choices is foreign to a lot of people struggling with obesity or type II diabetes. Walking into a gym surrounded by scary looking machines clanking loudly, a wall of dumbbells ranging large and small, the smell of sweat in the air, and fit people with sweat glistening off of their muscles doing seemingly complicated exercises is terrifying for someone who has never lifted a weight in their life.
 
This is by no means shaming those people. It is okay to need help and guidance. We all have to start somewhere, and it is never too late.
 
Since Western medicine is not practiced in providing patients in-depth information about nutrition and exercise for medical purposes, personal health coaches are the saving grace for those suffering with chronic illness, and who need real help to make this lifestyle change.
 
A recent ​study​ published by the Journal of Medical Internet Research analyzed 1432 participants enrolled in the Retrofit weight loss program. The participants were men and women ages 18 and older whose body mass index (BMI) were qualified to be eligible for this weight loss study.
 
The Retrofit program is a 6 month commitment that includes one-on-one coaching with an expert, daily interactions with a coach via electronic messaging, a lifestyle assessment, and a personalized plan. Participants also had access to live and interactive webinar classes that would provide live lessons on diet, exercise, and mindset. Progress over the 6 months would be tracked through a mobile app, a Web-based dashboard, a daily food/beverage log, and the use of wearing an activity tracker (i.e. step counter).
 
The results of the 6 month program showed that participants lost an average of 5.14% of their starting weight, with the most effective methods of coaching being one-on-one sessions, interactive webinars, and weekly feedback on food logs from an expert.
 
Weight loss among participants who consistently did the work and never gave up was apparent and proved that having a health coach is effective for those embarking on a weight loss journey. The journey alone is daunting, but with the right help and right amount of dedication, it is possible.

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