Has the flood of new weight loss and weight management apps, left you wondering what will better help you reach your goals?
Can an app really replace the benefits of a health coach – after all it’s convenient, provides you data and some even claim they’ll give you the support you need?
From Noom to Nutrisystem to Spark People to Lose it! to My Diet Coach the online options are endless – each claiming to help in our ongoing battle with the bulge by offering a more “personalized” approach to optimizing weight loss.
But just like weight loss trends themselves, figuring out what each of the apps really do and whether they’re right for you can be pretty confusing.
As you can imagine, as a registered dietitian and a health coach, I’m a proponent of anything that can help my clients focus on achieving better health. The problem I have with most of the apps is that – just like most diet trends – the results from using apps alone are pretty short lived.
And while most of the apps claim to have a “personalized” approach to weight loss, they really don’t take into consideration some of the more important factors such as genetics, age, lifestyle, behavior, sleep, etc. – which ultimately makes the results you get somewhat limited.
Which is why it shouldn’t surprise you to hear me say that nothing can really beat the support of a coach in helping you reach your goals (but it has to be the right coach for you.)
Reason #1: Get Lasting Results!
Research shows that roughly 80% people who lose weight successfully, gain it all back (and more).
Part of the reason online apps work in helping you lose weight is that they provide structure and restriction. And while they may lead to some short term gains, most people who use online apps to lose weight tend to gain the weight back and more (within a fairly short amount of time).
When it comes to weight loss and long term weight management, we are our own biggest obstacles.
While we may be able to stay motivated for a period of time, often we slide back into our old habits and lose any momentum we’ve gained.
And even if we want to stay on a healthy eating plan, we often stop because we’re not actually hard wired to do things that are good for us unless we see immediate results.
In his new book, Atomic Habits, author James Clear shares that humans haven’t really evolved since caveman times when it comes to our innate system of rewards.
As humans we seek immediate rewards and can’t really envision consequences because they’re often delayed. Here’s what I mean by that.
Imagine you start your healthy eating plan on Monday, but on Tuesday you find yourself going out with friends who have chosen a steakhouse. You vow to stick to a lean protein and a vegetable as your meal, but when you get there – you find out you’re actually celebrating your friend’s promotion.
So, what do you do?
You order wine, a big juicy steak and take a bite (or two) of the cake your friend ordered.
Now, you may think you lack the motivation to continue – but the truth is that you’re hard wired to seek immediate rewards and can’t really feel those consequences (until a day or two later when the scale doesn’t budge).
At Brandwein Institute, one of the things we talk about is creating new habits and staying aligned with your goals. Instead of blindly following an old reward system, we work with you to figure out your personal patterns and create new ones – so that you can actually build habits that last a lifetime – not just a few months.
Reason #2: Proven Personalized Plans
Personalized nutrition plans have become one of those buzz words people like to use.
And it works because each of us believes that we are unique in some way and that our challenges need a personalized touch.
But what does that really mean? When it comes to nutrition, most of the apps and online programs can personalize your plans based upon information you add – but what if you could go further by getting a real snapshot that included real data!!
When it comes to personalized plans, a certified health coach can help you consider a wide variety of factors and order testing to ensure that whatever approach you take to weight loss or weight maintenance is one that works for you.
For example, when you have an initial consultation with our office, we have the option of looking a wide number of factors, including the following:
Genetics (imagine knowing that you truly do metabolize certain foods more slowly or have an intolerance to gluten)
Lifestyle – including sleep, emotional factors, exercise stress and more
Hormones (hormones can have a big impact on your diet)
Underlying symptoms or allergies
By looking at all these factors and even using our own apps to gather real time data, our coaches can create plans that will get better results (and feel livable).
Reason #3: An App Isn’t There For You
You’re standing in Whole Foods at 3:00 pm and you’re unsure if the food item you’re looking at is something that works within your personal plan.
You stress for a moment – wondering whether to simply ditch it or whether you can add it for the week (after all, you’re kind of getting sick of eating eggs for breakfast for the 4th time this week) – so what can you do?
While I’m not saying that your health coach will be there for you 24/7, I’ll admit that we’ve been known to respond to our client messages just to get you through your food emergencies.
The key is that you’ll have the support you need and the person there who can answer your questions – so that you don’t make the kinds of decisions that tend to derail you from your current plan.
People who make repeated mistakes or ditch their food plan more than a single day or two tend to give up all together.
Most health coaches are crazy devoted to their clients results and that can feel really good when you need a little extra support or aren’t sure what to do when those cravings hit!
Reason #4: No More Confusion
Should I eat Keto, Paleo, Vegan? Are carbs in or out? Can I eat past 6 pm?
The truth is that there’s a lot of confusion out there and if you start searching on the internet to figure out which plan is best for you – it can get really really confusing.
Many of the people we work with are often feeling lousy or want to improve their overall health. And given the variety of symptoms you might be feeling, it can be confusing to figure out what foods might help you get to your goals faster.
Maybe you’re perimenopausal and you’re starting to feel agitated or forgetful (on top of the weight gain).
Maybe you’re diabetic and have been told by your doctor that you need to lose weight, but you feel overwhelmed by the recommendations you’ve been given.
Maybe you feel bloated and you hear people talking about inflammation and leaky gut and you wonder if you should be changing your overall nutrition plan.
The thing is that a health coach can help you navigate the murky waters and make it absolutely clear what you need to do to get to the next level. Think of it as a one-time investment for the rest of your life – so that each time you hear about some new fad or diet – you can simply ignore it and stick to a plan you’ve set out!
Sounds like nirvana, no?
I often hear from clients who say, “I just don’t know where to begin.” A health coach can help you create a map that makes sense and get you going on the path to real health.
Reason #5: It Improves Your Confidence and Self-Esteem
This may not seem like an obvious reason to hire a health coach at first, but the truth is that through continued work with your coach you develop a deep sense of trust and confidence with yourself that might not have existed before.
Especially if you’ve been on an up and down path before – trying to lose weight, feeling discouraged and then blaming yourself for having no “willpower”, working with a coach can help you remove the obstacles and gain the confidence you need to succeed.
Certainly the goal is to feel better and to look better overall, but the best part of working with a health coach is what happens on the inside.
Most of our clients report having a completely different outlook on what they can accomplish. They feel more in control, happier and overall have more self-esteem.
And it’s not temporary – the reason coaching is so beneficial is that oftentimes the reasons we can’t lose weight or maintain our goals is that we get stuck somewhere in our mindset.
When you work with a coach, he or she can help you identify those blocks and release them – for good. Something no app has yet to figure out!
So, if you’ve been wondering – can you get real results with a health coach – I simply recommend doing your research because it could be life changing.
Look for a health coach who:
- Has been certified through a reputable program;
- Is aligned with your goals
- Can provide you with a clear and defined path for success
- Will support you and provide you with clarity and insights.
As you can imagine, January and February are big months for starting with a health coach. And to support you in reaching your goals, we want to share with you the details of our Nutritional Wellness packages and programs.
Click here to schedule a consultation! and learn about our special offers available only through February 15th (virtual health coaching is available so that no matter where you live, we can fully support you to reach your goals).
A health coach can truly change your life! I hope we’ll have the privilege of being able to work with you!
In good health,