Looking to start the New Year on the right foot with a closer look at your health? With more and more of us becoming aware of how food affects our health and well-being, it’s important to seek out people who are qualified nutrition coaches to help with the process.

Infographic for How to Choose the Right Health & Fitness Coach

The most important thing is to choose a coach you think you’ll get along with. You’ve got to agree with the person you are thinking of hiring about what can be achieved and the method in which you’ll go about achieving it. This is vital to avoid frustration down the line.

If you’re a fan of large amounts of cardio, metabolic conditioning, high meal frequency and exactitude then it makes sense to choose someone that works with and gets good results from such methods.

Identify Your Goals

Nutrition as a science is so broad that when people become interested in it they generally want to learn as much as possible about everything having to do with food and how it interacts with the body. Needless to say, people get interested in nutrition for a variety of reasons. Some want to lose weight while others are looking to gain muscle, manage diabetes, reduce cholesterol, improve performance in a particular sport, or perhaps figure out what “paleo” means. Within the realm of nutrition, these are all realistic goals that will affect the type of coach you seek.

Here are some things to consider when you’re in the market for a nutrition coach:

Credentials and Experience

Due to the fact there are many different nutrition credentials and certifications in use today, it can be very challenging to assess the quality of a coach’s education and experience. Keep in mind that anyone can be called a nutritionist or nutrition coach. It’s not a title controlled by law or regulation, and a license to practice is generally not required.

A quality program will have credentialed providers such as registered dietitians, certified fitness professionals and health coaches, licensed psychologists or counselors, and licensed medical professionals such as physicians and registered nurses.

Flexibility

Programs that demand adherence to a rigid diet or exercise plan set you up for failure. Look instead for programs that consider your food and physical activity preferences. For long-term success, you‘ll need to adopt lifestyle changes you can live with. “Lose 20 pounds in 1 week” may catch your eye, but the truth is that permanent weight loss happens slowly - at a rate of ½ pound up to a maximum of 2 pounds per week. Consider it a red flag if a program does not list data regarding average amount of weight lost and long-term follow-up of participants.

Counseling Skills

The best nutrition coaches are also excellent counselors. Food can be a tricky subject. It’s often very personal, and can be connected to other issues such as self-image, depression, eating disorders, and addiction. Having a nutrition coach with skills in this area will be immensely helpful.

Rapport

Finally, the make or break component of finding the right nutrition coach is whether or not you feel there’s a good rapport. Having the ability to connect with a coach is extremely important to the success of the whole process. Don’t hesitate to switch if it doesn’t feel like a good fit. Remember, this is about finding the right coach for you.

Choosing the right health and nutrition coach can be a difficult task, but it is all worth it when you start to see results. E-health studies have clinically proven that digital health tools, such as apps like CoachCare, can be used to help people make and maintain lifestyle changes. One way in which this has been particularly effective is when the technology is combined with a physical health professional - a hybrid model of care.

Patients can be given an app which connects them to a personal health coach. The health coach works with the patient to set a personalized plan to make lifestyle changes. Through the app the patient can then track their progress by logging metrics such as their food intake, physical activity levels, sleep, and water intake. The health coach can oversee the patients’ progress and have video and text consultations to keep the individual on track to reaching their goals.

In order to get the best results, it is important to choose the right coach who is also available through a digital health outlet!

About CoachCare:

The CoachCare technology platform powers health clinics across a number of specialties, including weight loss, pain management and chiropractic care. A custom-branded mobile app, coach dashboard and connected devices combine in one integrated platform to improve patient care and increase clinic revenues. Contact us to learn more.

Download our free white paper to learn about the impact of virtual healthcare technology on your clinic.