A nutrition coach helps individuals achieve their health and wellness goals by empowering them with knowledge to make the best choices in regards to food and lifestyle based on their individual needs – whether those needs are medical or personal goals. Some examples of needs and/or goals are weight loss, addressing GI discomfort, food allergies, or tweaking diet for athletic performance.
Sometimes a person is told by their doctor that they need to change their diet to reduce cholesterol levels or to address thyroid issues. It is more and more common to find doctors referring clients to nutrition coaches because we are trained to give nutrition and behavior change support – they go hand in hand – as it directly relates to the client. Here is a great NYT that talks about the benefits of health coaches (nutrition coaches are a specific type of health coach!)
It can be challenging and sometimes even overwhelming to receive new information about your health. Or, if you’re a busy person wanting to change your eating habits or improve your nutrition as part of training for a big race, you may not have time to delve in on your own. And, there is SO much info on the internet these days, where does one begin?
Well I say with a nutrition coach! It’s helpful and efficient to have someone come alongside to guide and encourage you to do the work. Some things to consider when choosing a nutrition coach:
- You want to choose a certified coach – I’m certified by the Nutritious Life Studio – that way you know you’re in well trained hands
- Choose one who is committed to continuing education. New nutrition research is coming out everyday so it’s important to stay on top of the latest studies! That is one reason why I stay connected to my Nutritious Life instructors and colleagues through weekly Zooms, FB discussions, and our school portal where the latest nutrition information is posted and discussed
- Many coaches have their own particular focus, say working with autoimmune disorders or children. I focus on nutrition support for athletes, disordered eating, GI distress, and helping folks who want to change their eating habits to feel better and more in balance with their body, mind, and spirit.
- It’s also important to consider if the coach has the same values as you do. For my program, I focus on real food purchased locally as much as possible, and cooking from scratch. There are many benefits to this approach and here are a few:
- Buying local often means fresher (especially if you purchase at a farmers’ market) and more nutrient dense
- Cooking from scratch gives you control of ingredients and food preparation
- It is the best way to stick to your meal plan (though there are ways to eat out healthy too but that’s for another post!)
In my next blog, I’ll delve more into what working with a nutrition coach can look like and specifically more of what it’s like to work with me.