Most of us know the basic things we have to do to lose weight. They include eating healthy, increasing physical activity, and changing other lifestyle factors that help with weight loss like getting enough sleep. However, knowing what to do and doing it are two very different things.
That’s because changing habits isn’t easy. Once you start doing something in a certain way, it becomes automatic. That means you’re going to keep doing it that way until something shakes you up and makes you change.
A lot of people who want to lose weight never do because they just don’t know how to make the changes needed. Those changes could be related to what kinds of foods to eat or when to eat them. Then others do make the changes and still don’t succeed.
They may do all of the right things in the beginning like exercising and eating more healthily. They may even take decisive action and join a gym and throw out all the junk food in the house. And then bang - suddenly one day they quit.
There can be a few reasons why someone may quit. One of the biggest ones is that changing habits is hard. The good news is that there are tried and tested ways to change habits gradually and easily. A weight loss coach can make the transition from old habit to new habit a whole lot easier.
Here are 3 simple and proven ways a weight loss coach can help you achieve your goals in an easy and effective way.
Support is a big deal when you’re moving toward any goal, but when you’re trying to change habits, it’s extra important. A coach can support you by helping you identify focus areas, set achievable goals, and find solutions when you’re stuck.
Identify Focus Areas
There are a couple of key things you need to focus on to lose weight naturally and healthily. Your weight loss coach will help you identify those things and figure out how to weave them into your lifestyle. Weaving them into your lifestyle means starting with the easiest ones to implement first so that you have a strong base to build on.
For most people, it first makes sense to make sure you’re eating filling foods like those containing lean proteins. Addressing this first will help you build this healthy habit and ensure that you don’t get hungry. That will then help you avoid eating things that can impact you negatively.
Once you’ve got the hang of that, it may make sense to tackle lifestyle habits like sleep and stress, which also impact weight loss and weight maintenance. The key here is having someone support you through it all, so you’re not facing challenges alone along the way.
Set Achievable Goals
Many of us start moving toward goals with a ‘go big or go home’ attitude and that can be a major downfall. We often set extremely difficult or unachievable goals for ourselves like losing 10 pounds in two weeks and then feel despair when we can’t achieve them.
Sometimes, not hitting those unachievable goals causes us to abandon our long-term goals altogether. That’s often why so many people go on and off diets frequently without ever achieving their weight loss goals. Unrealistic goals lead to unwanted results.
A weight loss coach can help you create goals that turn into results. One of the keys to making that happen is setting realistic short-term goals. Realistic short-term goals add up to long-term achievements. Before setting goals, your coach will be thinking about questions like - What is my client going to do? When? For how long? How many times? What will help them remember to do it?
Those questions help both coach and client navigate possible challenges and design a goal where the client feels confident they can succeed. To succeed all goal-setting needs to be SMART, which means it needs to be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound.
SMART Goal Setting
- A specific goal has a direct action tied to it like, ‘take a twice a week’.
- A measurable goal is quantifiable so two walks of ½ an hour each.
- Your goal must be attainable, if you don’t think you can do it, there is no point in setting it. So if two walks a week doesn’t seem doable, then we start with one and build up to two.
- The goal has to be relevant to what you are trying to achieve, so if you want to lose a pound a week, you do not need to be running 20 miles a week as that has nothing to do with your goal.
- Finally, your coach will have you stick a day and time to your goal because when your goal is time-bound, you will fit it into your schedule. So having a goal of a walk on Monday between 12:00 - 12: 30 p.m. will get done over a walk sometime in the week.
This step is extremely important because if a goal seems out of reach, or if you keep missing your goals, chances are you’re going to lose your motivation and quit. However, if your coach helps you set achievable goals, then you will see progress and success which means you’re more likely to stick to your long-term program and hit those long-term goals too.
Find Solutions When You’re Stuck
Two heads are better than one as they say. And if one of those heads has spent years learning about weight loss and what works then it is helpful to have that head on your team. A weight loss coach will help you look for solutions instead of worrying about problems.
Sometimes when you’re stuck, all you can see is the problem and when you can’t figure out how to fix it, quitting can seem like the best option. However, in cases like that, you might just need a person with a different perspective to weigh in. Just because you have a short-term obstacle doesn’t mean it needs to be a long-term problem.
Obstacles can occur when you’ve just started out working on a new goal or even when you’re in the thick of things. That’s because life changes, circumstances change, and sometimes what worked before or seemed like it would work before just doesn’t. And that’s perfectly ok. If you were on a road trip and got a flat tire, it doesn’t mean you abandon the trip, it just means you find a solution and continue, same goes with your weight loss goals.
For example, if you can’t complete a weekly goal, that doesn’t mean you can’t achieve your ultimate goal. Sometimes we fail at a certain goal not because we don’t give it our best shot, but because we were just prepared to succeed. You may have every intention of going for a walk after work, but perhaps work has you tired or you need to pick up the kids from practice.
That simply means your weekly goal needs to be changed so that you can achieve it. Whenever you hit a bump in the road, it’s a chance to stop, look over your plan, decide what would work better, implement and continue. Each obstacle you overcome brings you one step closer to achieving your goal.
Feel Advised By Experts
Just like you don’t know as much about medicine as your doctor or about cars as your mechanic, neither can you know as much about weight loss as your weight loss coach. You might be doing your best to hit all the marks when it comes to nutrition and can’t understand why you’re not meeting your health goals, but your coach will know.
Your coach will review all of the meals you’ve been eating and tell you where you may have gone slightly off track. Instead of trying to figure it out by yourself, this type of feedback helps you correct your path fast. The Fitmate program also includes things like assignment submissions, which your coach uses to provide you with feedback for your weekly routine.
The assignments and feedback give you a chance to experiment and figure out what works best through a process of trial and error. Over time this helps you build the best new habits for your unique lifestyle.
Get Answers To Your Questions
If you’ve ever tried to find an answer to one of your questions online, you know you can get a dizzying array of answers. Instead of feedback from all your peers, you can go straight to the expert and ask your questions to your weight loss coach. No question is too difficult or too silly to ask.
You can ask about what to order off a restaurant menu, where to find new recipe resources, or whether or not you can enjoy that Friday nightcap. Your Fitmate coach will be able to provide you with the best answers in line with the long-term plan the two of you have agreed upon.
Learn About Relevant Resources
There are a host of tools available to you when it comes to diet and lifestyle. These resources can help you sleep better, measure your fitness and even cook new recipes. It is important to get all of the help you can and sometimes a simple tool can make all of the difference between hitting that milestone or not.
Your coach will be able to connect you with all of the tools you need. They’ll know which ones will work for your lifestyle and goals and which ones are not for you. That means you don’t have to try out a bunch of different things before hitting on the right one. Having a knowledgeable friend in the form of a coach can save you a lot of time and effort on your health journey.
Keep You On Track
For some reason, we as humans always do better when we know someone else is rooting for us too. It makes us accountable not only to ourselves but to that other person too. Having that sense of accountability can sometimes pull us through the tough spots when nothing else works.
Your coach will hold you accountable for the weekly goals you both agree to. By accountable we don’t mean you get a parental guilt trip when you don’t follow through. It’s the opposite. Instead, you and your coach will review your goals and figure out why you weren’t able to hit certain ones. This helps in figuring out what works for you and what doesn’t.
Each new week is an opportunity to fine-tune your plan until you can hit each of your goals. And you get friendly reminders throughout the week to help you keep on track. These also allow you to consult with your coach if you think you can’t meet a goal and want to find an alternative.
If you have a big enough ‘why’ you will succeed in achieving your weight loss goal. Your ‘why’ is the fuel in the vehicle and you are the driver. While your coach is in the car with you holding the map and offering helpful advice, at the end of the day, the steering wheel is in your hands.
That is why the Fitmate coaching program is a collaborative process. We do this by creating short-term goals that work with where you are on your health journey. If something doesn’t work, your coach will find a solution to make it easier so that it does work. The aim is to build you up week by week so that what was hard becomes easy; what were difficult choices become automatic and what was excess weight becomes a distant memory.
High impact coaches acknowledge that you are the biggest driver for change in your life. Your coach’s goal is to give you the confidence, knowledge, and mental strength to be able to drive yourself to where you want to go.
Find out how a weight loss coach can help you meet your goals.
Author Alon Laniado is the founder of Fitmate Coach and certified in Nutrition with Stanford University School of Medicine and with Precision Nutrition. He is a certified Health & Wellness Coach and Personal Trainer with the American Council on Exercise. Alon has helped thousands of clients lose weight and is on a mission to help more people benefit from weight-loss coaches by making the service more affordable and accessible using technology.