Lose weight faster and gain confidence, that is. Ask a runner how they got ready to complete their first marathon and likely they had a coach. Ask a professional tennis player how they got that killer serve and you might get the same answer. Coaches motivate, inspire, and empower others to reach their full potential. If you want to learn math, you find a math coach. If you desire to lose weight, you find a lifestyle or nutrition coach. Before you ask a best friend or spouse to be your coach though, assess whether they can truly be an unbiased supporter. They may mean well, but a professionally-trained coach has experience with behavior management, cognitive psychology, and goal-setting. In Rhode Island at the Miriam Hospital’s Weight Control and Diabetes Research Center, researchers found that participants with a professionally-trained coach fared better. They lost 9% or more weight than those who had a mentor or peer only for support. Of note, all participants who had coaching lost weight during the 24-week study.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the NIDDK (National Institute for Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease) teamed up to study the effects of telephonic wellness coaching on weight loss. Specifically, they looked at whether study participants’ Body Mass Index (BMI) would decrease after one coaching session occurred. A statistically-significant BMI decrease was noted for these participants who were mostly female with a mean age of 52. Further, Abby King from the Stanford Research Prevention Center proposes that telephonic or online coaching is just as effective as in-person sessions for promoting weight loss and increasing physical activity. So, even if you cannot meet face-to-face with a professional coach, you can succeed.
According to the Diabetic Metabolic Syndrome & Obesity Journal, a coach for weight reduction is a cost-effective and valid intervention. Making an investment upfront ensures that your efforts will be maximized and have the desired outcomes. Otherwise, you are taking a chance on whether or not you can always stay motivated and do the right thing without directed guidance. Darcy Luoma, a graduate student at Pepperdine University, studied how life coaching affected client’s lives. She found that clients reported better life satisfaction and success setting appropriate attainable goals. Without proper goals, you may act but might not achieve desired results. A coach can be an asset if weight loss is your goal. When looking for a coach, make sure you ask for credentials and testimonials. Coaches need to be reliable, supportive, truthful and have a proven track record. With a good one by your side, you can do it!