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What Is a Weight Loss Coach?

By Sheri Cyprus
Updated May 17, 2024
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A weight loss coach helps people who want to become slimmer achieve their goals through healthy eating and regular exercise. In many cases, weight loss coaches are people who have lost weight, kept it off and want to help others do the same. Having achieved the goal that others want to also achieve adds a level of respect and appreciation for the weight loss coach. Losing weight by cutting calories and increasing exercise may be difficult for some people; working with a coach who may be tough on them but has achieved the goal may help them stick with it.

Being too tough on the people they coach, such as by pushing too many exercise repetitions or too few calories, is something weight loss coaches have to avoid. Effective coaches use healthy menu planning and make an exercise plan that is challenging, but won't cause the person they're coaching to give up. Being a good personal trainer and weight loss coach means having the ability to inspire and motivate others.

For example, a weight loss coach who sets reasonable expectations for his or her clients, but notices a client not wanting to try as much, will need to provide inspiration to help motivate the person to continue in the program. The coach may remind the client of how well he or she has done until that point and that giving up now won't get them to the weight loss goal. Weight loss takes commitment and coaches guide their clients into fulfilling their commitments.

Ideally, weight loss coaches should also be professional, certified nutritionists. Qualified nutritionists know that weight is only one small aspect of health and that having a balanced diet is far more important than being thin. A weight loss coach who is a nutritionist can recommend safe, healthy diets that help you lose weight while also ensuring that your nutritional needs are being met and that you’re maintaining a happy and fulfilling lifestyle within your dietary goals.

An effective coach can raise the clients' self esteem and give them a sense of empowerment to keep their commitment to losing weight. Through teaching techniques such as how to deal with emotional eating and a reluctance to exercise, clients of a weight loss coach can change their old attitudes and develop powerful new ones. For instance, a common change people make in order to lose weight is to see food not as a comfort, but as proper nutrition the body needs every day. The more in control a weight loss client feels in relation to choosing healthy foods and exercising regularly, the better able he or she will be in reaching goals.

Weight loss coaches may work for a fitness or health center or have their own business. They typically have private sessions with clients to plan and monitor their weight loss goals. Many coaches teach healthy eating basics and may provide clients with recipes. A weight loss coach usually guides a client in exercises such as cardio workouts. Cardiovascular exercise, such as brisk walking, running, swimming or cycling, increases oxygen throughout the body and gets the heart pumping while also burning fat and calories.

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Discussion Comments
By Fa5t3r — On Dec 05, 2014

@croydon - I've got to say that's why I strongly prefer to use a professional personal trainer, or someone from a weight loss agency as a personal weight loss coach, rather than a friend or family member. You don't have to worry about their feelings and I feel like I'm much more likely to keep my commitments rather than let down someone I have a professional relationship with (particularly if they are expensive).

Besides all that, no matter how much a non-professional thinks they know, they can't possibly be as good as someone who actually makes a living out of helping people to lose weight.

I would be careful to check on former clients and see how happy they were with the service though and whether they have kept off the weight long-term.

By croydon — On Dec 05, 2014

@Iluviaporos - Anyone reasonable enough to have as a coach in the first place should be able to understand if you want to make the relationship temporary to see if you both fit. They might not be happy having you as a person to coach either, and when you consider that they are probably doing it for free on their own spare time, they are more likely to be the one to back out.

By lluviaporos — On Dec 04, 2014

If you are thinking about getting a friend or a family member to be a weight loss coach for you, make sure that you are going to be compatible, because it can easily ruin your relationship if you aren't.

Some people respond better to plain speaking, some people need a guilt trip and some people need to be coddled. Others might just need a companion along the way.

If your coach is the kind to bark orders and you aren't the sort of person who responds well to that, then you are going to resent them very quickly. But backing out of the deal might cause a lot of hurt feelings, and drama, which isn't exactly going to help your exercise goals.

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