What exactly is a health coach??

January 23, 2017

I come from a scientific background, as you may have seen on my About Me page - from getting a science degree from Miami University to working many years in research based positions between then and now.  So for me, the term "health coach" sounded vague and informal, confusing and a little bit alternative.  Unfortunately, these fears and preconceptions kept me from enrolling at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition for far too long, but I am so glad I finally made the leap in late 2015.  As I have learned more about what a health coach is and what we do, I have realized how much health coaches and similar professionals can help to make an impact on the overall health of society. 

In the typical healthcare system, we see a physician for an annual well-check (or far less frequently if you are like many Americans), or when we are sick.  But who is there in between, helping to keep you on track, make the right choices, wade through all the studies, research and recommendations to determine what will work for you and your specific day-to-day life?  It's the job of the physician to examine us to make sure we are well, and to treat us when we are not.  It's not their job, nor do they typically have the bandwidth, to sit there with you to plot out in detail how and what you need to do to feel your absolute best, mentally as well as physically, and to hold you accountable.

That's where a health coach can come in.  To help you truly assess your health in many areas, not just what you put into your mouth.  To assist you in finding ways that you can make small, manageable changes, and to guide you through the process of actually implementing them.  To help you figure out what you need to do so that you are not eventually heading back to your doctor to get medications for hypercholesterolemia, diabetes, obesity, hypertension, or any of the other (largely preventable and many times reversible) chronic diseases that plague us today.  To help you feel your best so you can actually enjoy each day, living a full and active life.


What a health coach will not do is mandate for you what you should or shouldn't do.  There is open and honest communication, but no judgement.  We meet you where you are.  Everyone is different, and while some people thrive eating or living a certain way, others may not.  There is no one size fits all, and there are no quick fixes that will last for the long term!


Working with a health coach requires making a commitment to YOU and your health, which is the most important commitment you can make, however you choose to do it!





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