Lately, there has been an increasing emphasis on nutrition and wellness and personal health. A word that has started to pop up more often in these communities and these discussions is “health coach”. There is some confusion over what exactly a health coach is though.

The Institute for Integrative Nutrition 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.”

So a health coach is a wellness authority and mentor that gives advice and develops plans for an individual to live a healthy lifestyle. They support the individual and motivate them to achieve their goals and make healthy lifestyle decisions.

What Does A Health Coach Do?

There are a plethora of different types of health coaches and health coach certifications out there. Many health coaches are trained in dietary theory and lifestyle coaching techniques. Health coaches focus on both the food you eat and the life you live beyond the food.

Health coaches don’t prescribe a drastic change from the beginning. They understand that small changes are what is needed to achieve sustainable change that will lead to a healthy life. So little by little, the health coach helps the individual make changes at your pace that you sustain.

Everyone has health goals. So a health coach listens to those health goals and helps to come up with a plan to achieve those goals. Whether the goal is to lose weight, or stop feeling so sluggish, or even avoid diseases, a wellness coach helps to figure out the best way to achieve those goals.

Is A Health Coach a Doctor?

A health coach is not a doctor. They don’t prescribe medications nor do they recommend higher or lower doses of medication. They also cannot diagnose conditions. Doctors and nutritionists are great to have and they help. They do things that health coaches don’t. Everybody has their role in helping create a better life.

Primary care physicians and nutritionists know that diet and exercise and stress are important to you. They don’t generally have specific wellness practices though so their recommendations and prescriptions are limited. That is where a health and wellness coach comes in. The doctor diagnoses the condition, and the wellness coach gets granular. The wellness coach helps you understand the specific practices you need to take to achieve the desired outcome.