What is Diet Coaching?
Diet coaching is one-on-one support and guidance to help you meet your health and weight goals. A coach can help you with:
1.) Devising ways of shopping, meal planning, and choice-making that suit your lifestyle, tastes, and needs—that you can live with.
2.) Learning to think in ways that lead to good choices, and to stick with this until the new thoughts become automatic.
3.) Learning how to deal effectively with the self-sabotaging thoughts and behaviors that are very common during the change process.
4.) Developing a range of new ways to deal with stress, emotions, and other triggers that have led to overeating in the past.
What Kind of Diet Will I follow?
A coach does not necessarily prescribe a diet for you. You can be coached to succeed with any healthy plan. If you do not have a diet or food plan that you know works for you, then your coach will help you identify or create one. Sometimes a nutrition consultation will be needed.
How Much Weight Will I Lose?
This depends on many factors: your size to start with, your individual lifestyle, weight history, metabolism, and how ready you are to make changes. For many people, though, slow weight loss works best—in terms of your being able to maintain changes for the long run. Realistic goal setting, given you and your history, is also important to your success.
What About Exercise?
Exercise is always a part of a healthy weight loss and maintenance. You and your coach will devise ways of working some form of exercise into your change plan if you are not already a regular exerciser.
How Often Do We Speak?
Usually clients talk weekly with their coaches, though short phone or email check-ins may occur during the week, and longer consultations will occur less often as changes start to hold up on their own. An initial assessment can be up to an hour long. Follow-ups are usually a half-hour, though shorter perhaps as time goes on. Clients are almost always given tools to work with in between sessions—logs, written exercises, and other means of identifying and changing thinking and behavior habits.
What If I Have an Eating Disorder?
Coaching is generally not an adequate treatment for an eating disorder such as anorexia or bulimia. It may be a helpful and appropriate means of maintaining positive changes after psychotherapeutic and medical treatments have occurred.
What Is a Diet Coach’s Training?
Diet coaches can be psychologists or other mental health professionals who have training in cognitive-behavioral therapy. They may also have training in eating disorder treatment, relapse prevention, exercise physiology, stress management or nutrition.
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