Summertime Success! Day 9

Before you read this latest blog post, please start by reading our most recent blog written by NSHC Co-Founder Melinda Huffman, BSN, MSN, CCNS, CHC here: As a Health Coach, What Should My Average Caseload Be?  

We will be focusing on the seven key factors discussed in that blog, with little diversions here and there, for this summer blog series!

Today, let’s dig deeper into the fifth and sixth factors, specifically certain wellness and prevention topics. When we talk about who needs health coaching and how many health coaches are needed, the key is to understanding what scenarios are especially effective with health coaching.  Today we will specifically give some pointers about weight loss/maintenance and health coaching.

There are five approaches found to yield success in weight loss maintenance:

  1. Diet
    • Three areas of guidance include: caloric intake, regular meal rhythm, and the use of evidence-based dietary guidelines
  2. Physical Activity
    • The word “exercise” can often create feelings of anxiety or fear in clients, especially if they haven’t engaged in regular physical activity in some time if ever. Open-ended questions and affirmations can help ease your client’s mind.
  3. Medication
    • First, you need to know if your client takes an over-the-counter weight loss drug. Secondly, medication may be prescribed by a healthcare practitioner if six months of dietary, exercise and behavior adjustments have been unsuccessful.
  4. Surgery
    • Weight-loss surgery can be an option for certain clients. For more information on this, please visit
  5. Behavioral Therapy
    • There is strong evidence that behavior therapy plays an important role in weight loss and maintenance. Those mentioned specifically in the evidence that health coaches can use include:
      1. Self-monitoring
        • Journaling over a 24-hour period can be eye-opening for your client. Have them monitor food and fluid intake, exercise, times of stress and co-behaviors of eating.
      2. Shaping
        • “Nothing succeeds like success” – identify short-term goals to make progress easier
      3. Stimulus Control
        • Guide your client through re-structuring his or her environment in an attempt to prevent or reduce temptation and other detrimental co-behaviors
      4. Social Support
        • Getting your client involved in a group setting can often be beneficial
      5. Stress Management
        • Ask your client “Over the past month have you been bothered by: little interest or pleasure in doing things? and, feeling down depressed, or hopeless?” If he or she answers yes to either of those, a full depression screening may be necessary.


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