You’ve seen the term on Instagram, heard about it at THE WELL and maybe you’ve had friends who completed programs. But if you're still not sure what health coaching actually means, you're not alone.
First things first: What is a health coach? “A health coach is a supportive wellness authority who takes into consideration your career, relationships and lifestyle as they guide you to make strategic nutritional choices and informed health decisions,” explains Amanda Carney, a certified health coach and Director of Integration at THE WELL.
Many of us know what we should be doing for our health, but often, we are not able to do it on our own, Carney says. That’s where your health coach comes in: He or she acts as an accountability partner you can rely on, which can dramatically increase the positive outcomes of your personal health protocols.
To get the facts straight from the source, we asked our team of health coaches at THE WELL to weigh in on four of the most common myths they hear about health coaching.
"Many of us know what we should be doing for our health, but often, we're not able to do it on our own."
Myth: Health coaching is only for people with health issues.
Fact: Anyone can benefit — even if you don’t have any current health concerns.
Health coaches work holistically, incorporating all aspects of life that nourish you and help you feel well. While they are equipped to help with specific concerns, they can also help you optimize your overall health and wellbeing.
Other common triggers for reaching out to work with a health coach include:
- Boosting immunity
- Weight loss or weight management
- Reducing Inflammation
- Support around dietary restrictions, allergies or sensitivities
- Digestive issues
- Increasing focus and stamina
- Managing stress
- Improving sleep
- Fertility support
- Fitness goals and training
Not sure what your issues are to begin with? If you’re unclear of what your health goals might be, they’ll ask you helpful questions to help you get clear and focused. Sometimes we just need to be asked the right questions so that we can begin to find the answers.
Myth: Health coaches will give me a rigid meal plan to follow.
Fact: Health coaches are not the same as registered dietitians.
While a dietitian is trained in a more clinical approach to nutrition and may focus more on calories, macros and medical-related diets, health coaches work holistically, incorporating all aspects of life that nourish you. In other words, they won’t just tell you what to eat and leave it like that.
Food and nutrition is an important piece, but not the only one. Our health coaches specialize in behavior change and understand there is no one right diet, fitness plan or supplement routine for everyone. That said, all of our health coaches at THE WELL have experience and training from working with a functional medicine doctor and are well versed in supplement, dietary protocols and different healing approaches.
Myth: I won’t get anything substantive out of my session.
Fact: You’ll get a lot out of your session.
You’ll walk away with clear recommendations based on your conversation and personal goals — whether that's to increase energy, sleep better, improve digestion, clear up your skin, rediscover your passion or more. At THE WELL, your health coach uses professional experience, behavior change techniques and motivational interviewing to meet you where you are and get you to where you want to be. (In other words, we're not going to make you cut out gluten, start cooking, or pick up meditation if you don't want to!)
You'll receive personalized supplement suggestions, practical sleep tips, stress-relieving practices and workout and movement recommendations. Your health coach will also send you a follow-up email with all of these tips included, along with lots of encouragement, support and accountability to follow through!
Myth: Health coaches have it all figured out.
Fact: Health coaches are still on their own health journeys as well!
All of our health coaches come from different backgrounds, but they all have one thing in common: They’ve encountered their own personal obstacles to optimizing their health and wellbeing, and are constantly learning and growing. They understand that this journey is ever-changing, and have learned how important support and accountability are to ensuring success. And while they’re still on their own paths to wellness, they’re trained to help others on their own journeys as well.
Okay, I'm sold. What comes next?
Sign up for a complimentary 15-minute introductory consultation with one of our health coaches here, then you can sign up for your first session!
To prepare, you will complete a thorough health history questionnaire that allows you and your health coach to understand all areas of your life that impact your health — from your exercise habits to your family history.
During the 50-minute session, you and your health coach will focus solely on your wellbeing, assessing the areas that feel most important to you and determining your immediate and long-term health goals. Your health coach will share suggestions and work with you to shape these into action steps that feel exciting and manageable for you, while also customizing them to align with your personal preferences, lifestyle and more.
You will leave the session with clear recommendations based on your conversation and personal goals, as discussed above. For best results, we recommend connecting with your health coach on a monthly basis to track your progress and adjust your plan accordingly!