So, what exactly is a health coach?
I'm glad you asked!
The term health coach is a relatively new term that you may or may not be familiar with. The Institute for Integrative Nutrition, the largest nutrition school in the country, defines a health coach as “a wellness authority and supportive mentor who motivates individuals to cultivate positive health choices. Health coaches educate and support clients to achieve their health goals through lifestyle and behavior adjustments.” In other words, health coaches are experts in nutrition, bio-individuality and mentoring.
To be clear, a health coach is not a dietician or a nutritionist. We cannot diagnose or treat diseases but we CAN partner with clients to identify the foods and lifestyle habits that work best for them. A health coach has no medical training but CAN work with people in conjunction with their medical practitioners to help incorporate healthier strategies that may ultimately lead to the reduction of certain ailments. A health coach is also not the same thing as a life coach. As opposed to looking at a persons overall life goals, a health coach focuses on improving a persons life by way of health and nutrition.
There are a few different types of health coach certifications but the most recognized and thorough certification comes from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN) in New York City. IIN was founded in 1992 and requires graduates, such as myself, to complete a one year program focusing on over 100 different dietary theories and lifestyle techniques.
If you haven’t heard the term Health Coach yet, get ready to start hearing it more and more. According to the CDC, over 42% of Americans are obese and obesity-related conditions, including heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer are some of the leading causes of preventable, premature death. Health coaches are on the forefront of the health revolution that our country so desperately needs!