Aug 05

What is a Health Coach?

healthcoachThat’s an excellent question.  I’m glad you asked because it’s a fairly new profession and many of you may not know what health coaches do.  Even more importantly, you might want to know what a health coach can do for YOU.

A Health Coach combines 3 disciplines into one:  exercise science, nutritional science, and behavioral management.

Exercise Science

A Health Coach has a good understanding of anatomy, physiology, and kinesiology and can apply these when designing and implementing an exercise program.  She will know how to interview clients to assess not only their goals but also their barriers to achieving those goals.  She has a toolbox of evaluations and assessments to use to determine the client’s current fitness level.  She will work with the client to set realistic goals and then design an exercise program specific to that client.  She always takes into account any limitations the client may have and will request that the client be cleared by a physician if there are any health concerns.

Nutritional Science Healthy-Foodd

A Health Coach has knowledge of the body’s physiological and metabolic responses to energy consumption and utilization.  So she knows basic nutrition and digestion.  She can apply this knowledge to practical matters of eating healthy food and supplying the body with necessary nutrients such as proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals, and water.  She also has an understanding of the physiology of obesity and the current concepts in weight management.

Behavioral Management choice

A Health Coach listens to the client in such a way that they can explore what it is the client really wants and what behaviors would be personally fulfilling and productive.  This includes looking at all of the actions and conscious inactions they have been taking and replacing them with actions that would produce the desired result.

What this would look like is setting realistic goals, making some lifestyle modifications and behavioral changes, and establishing self confidence and self reliance.

Let’s get real… none of us is doing everything that we say we want to do.  Either we’re not really willing to do what it takes to make the change or we don’t know how.  We can’t keep doing the same thing over and over again and expect any different results.  That’s the definition of insanity, right?  But I know it’s not easy to change.  And it’s not actually hard.  It’s all in our minds.  A Health Coach can’t make you do anything or change your mind about anything.  But she can help you find a way to eat more healthy, lose the weight you’ve always wanted to lose and keep it off, feel better about yourself, and feel great!  So, what are you waiting for?

Benefits of working with a Health Coach

  • You will create together, as a team, a personalized plan that addresses nutrition, exercise, and behavioral changes that actually work for you.
  • You will have someone who wants you to succeed and someone who knows you as successful.  You will succeed!
  • You have someone holding you accountable for your actions or inactions.
  • Stop the vicious cycle of dieting, losing weight, and gaining it back.
  • Know what foods are good for you and which foods to avoid.
  • Learn how to make simple adjustments that produce noticeable results.
  • Save money by eating out less and making simple nutritious meals at home.
  • Have more energy.
  • Sleep better at night.
  • More self confidence and better relationships.
  • Live to a ripe old age (and be healthy and active)!

I could go on forever, but I think you get the point.  My goal as a Health Coach is to empower and enable you to be healthy, active, and full of life so that you can enjoy doing the things that you love to do.  joyful

What do you want to do that you think you can’t?  Walk along a beach in the sunset?  Jump for joy on the beach?  Swim in the ocean?  Walk down the street?  Play with the grandchildren?  Run a marathon?  Fit into your wedding dress?  Walk up a flight of stairs without getting out of breath?  Play a game of ping pong?  Spend a day without pain.

I am here for you.  Leave me a message below and let me know what you are dealing with.  What are your questions?  What are your hopes?  What would light you up?  I’m waiting to hear from you.

As always, thank you for being here.

I love you,







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  1. Simon

    “You have someone holding you accountable for your actions or inactions.”

    For me this is the biggy!

    One question I have though is that health coaches always seem to be for people who want to lose weight, can they help if I want to put on weight? I mean I want to bulk up and have been going to the gym quite a lot recently (but not very consistently to be honest!) and it would be good to have that accountability…

    I guess my question is – what’s the difference between a health coach and a personal trainer or are they one of the same thing?

    Many thanks Alice, a really helpful post and I have bookmarked your site :)

    1. Alice

      Hi Simon,
      Thanks for the great questions. First of all, Health Coaches can absolutely help you put on weight. You’re right that most of the focus seems to be on losing weight because there are more people who are overweight than underweight. Since Health Coaches are knowledgeable about nutrition principles, they can help with either situation.

      As to your question about the difference between a Health Coach and a Personal Trainer, they are NOT one and the same thing. A Personal Trainer specializes in fitness and exercise and can design programs to help you achieve your fitness goals. They are not generally knowledgeable about nutrition, at least not beyond the basics. A Health Coach has knowledge and training in fitness, nutrition, and behavioral management. So they can actually do more things than a Personal Trainer. That said, there’s a place and a need for both. If you’re going to a gym, it might benefit you to talk to a Personal Trainer. They can make sure that you’re doing the appropriate exercises to bulk up. And hold you accountable!

      I hope that answers your questions. Thanks for bookmarking my site. I hope to hear from you again.

  2. Julian

    Hey Alice,

    Great article. Very helpful.


    1. Alice

      I’m glad you liked it, Julian. Come back and visit again!

  3. Cathy

    I am glad to come across this article. I am finding it hard to keep up with my running training and having to work 12 hours 5 days a week. I really want to keep up with my physical stamina but my work is so tiring that I have been cutting down my running practice per week and some days, I don’t feel motivated to run at all. I have a race coming up this October and I want to make sure that I am prepared for it.

    1. Alice

      Hi Cathy,
      I’m so glad you found me too. If you’re working 60 hours a week, that certainly makes it challenging. I can see why you don’t feel motivated. While a Health Coach can’t find you more than 24 hours in the day, we certainly can help you make the best use of your available time. I would want to know what motivates you to run in general and what motivated you to sign up for a race in October. I’d love to hear back from you. This could be helpful to other people in your situation.

      You could also email me at alice@loveyourhealthcoach.com and I can work with you directly.
      Thanks for being here!

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