Hiring an online nutrition coach is a great way to step up the results you get from a healthy eating regime. Let’s delve into the benefits of using an online nutrition coach and share a few tips to best utilize your coach. First up, here are a few important qualities to look for in your online nutrition coach.
The qualities of a great online nutrition coach
An online nutrition coach may or may not be a qualified nutritionist or dietitian. The word “coach” is a little bit broader. Your online coach may not have a nutrition qualification. However they might be trained as a health coach or nutrition specific coach.
In the latter example, their job isn’t to write out specific meal plans or help with clinical diagnosis. Instead, they’ll help you to change your behaviors with food and take steps towards healthier eating habits. So first decide whether you’re looking for a nutritionist or dietitian to be more individualized with clinical recommendations to use food and lifestyle for healing. Or are you looking for a coach to help you actually carry out a healthy eating plan?
Of course there is a crossover between various services. Some professionals may integrate both types of service into their offering.
Here are a few important qualities to consider if you’re looking for a great online nutrition coach:
- You should feel like you “click” with your coach. They will make you feel empowered, supported and inspired.
- Top online nutrition coaches ask great questions. Generally, they should spend more time asking questions than “telling” you what to do. Overall, great coaches spend more time listening than talking. You coach should ask leading questions that encourage you to open up and share information with them. They will probably keep asking questions to delve deeper into the emotional reasons behind your eating choices. This is so that they can better help you to achieve your goals.
- A great online nutrition coach will help you take small, achievable, realistic and practical steps that fit into your lifestyle. For example, they might encourage you to “swap” certain foods for others instead of telling you to cut a whole bunch of foods out. An exception would be if there is a specific reason to do so, such as food allergies. Before hiring your coach, ask them a little bit about their philosophy to check that that it’s in line with what you’re looking for.
- Coaching is a two way interaction. Both you and your coach will have input into creating the best plan for you. Check before you start that it’s really going to be a simple and personalized solution that will work for you.
The benefits of using a nutrition coach
Let’s first take a look at the benefits of using a nutrition coach, irrespective of whether it’s an online nutrition coach, or a face to face coach:
- Coaching is an excellent way to stay accountable to your goals and targets. By checking in with someone on a regular basis, it will probably increase the likelihood of your success. If your coach helps you to feel encouraged and supported, you’ll likely put in even more effort to reach discussed targets.
- By working 1:1 with a nutrition coach you’ll get the benefits of a completely personalized plan that fits your specific lifestyle needs.
- A great nutrition coach will help you feel supported. You’ll know that you’re not alone in your journey and they’ll help lift you up on the days when it seems tough going. They won’t make you feel bad about any mistakes you make along the way. Instead they’ll encourage you to “get back on the wagon”. They will offer useful intervention strategies and tweaks for when things don’t go to plan.
Specific benefits of opting for an online nutrition coach
- Working with an online coach offers flexibility for busy schedules. It’s often easier to find a suitable time when you can simply switch on your laptop or mobile and don’t need to meet face to face
- It’s a time efficient option. There is no commuting time needed and an online coach may also offer shorter session options than a face to face coach. Your coaching may even be done through an app or messaging service that doesn’t require any specific time commitment at all. In this situation you simply respond to messages and feedback when it suits you.
- Online nutrition coaches may have more advanced ways of tracking and measuring your progress, as opposed to a face to face coach. Apps and online systems can make it easier to record food intake. They can also provide more of a visual representation of your progress through charts, targets and milestone rewards.
- Online nutrition coaching may be more cost effective than face to face coaching. This is especially so if shorter session times are offered, or if the coaching is done through a messaging app without specific session commitments.
Tips to best utilize your online nutrition coach
- It can be easy to get more complacent with online sessions and “forget” to show up. Make sure you place as much importance on your online sessions as you would on your face to face ones. Show up on time, as agreed. If you skip sessions because you forgot to schedule them in properly, you’ll probably still be charged or will forfeit the session
- Do your homework! You’ll get more out of your investment if you put in the effort and take the necessary steps to achieve your goals. A great online nutrition coach will have set up your targets according to your specific personal situation. Therefore the targets should be realistic and achievable
- Ask questions and be a curious learner. If you’re not sure about where to find quick and healthy recipe options, ask your coach! Or maybe you’re concerned about how to tackle an upcoming “party” weekend in terms of healthy food choices. Ask your coach for ideas and tips – that’s what they’re there for.