Effective health coaching strategies empower individuals to improve their well-being through personalized guidance and support, leading to a healthier and happier life. When it comes to becoming healthier, there are countless coaching strategies that can help you be successful. Some of these strategies work best for a short period of time, while others can be implemented for the long term. Here are some of the best coaching strategies that I use with my clients to help them become healthier:
5 Health Coaching Strategies for a Healthier You
Track your Nutrition for at Least Two to Four Weeks And Then Make Adjustments
Let’s be honest – it’s 2023 and all of us are busy! It’s easy to walk past the pantry at home and casually grab a handful of goldfish crackers. It’s also easy to grab a cookie or a fun-sized piece of candy every time you walk into the community room at work. Many times, many of us aren’t even aware of the nutritional choices we are making on a daily basis. When you start tracking your nutrition, you become aware of all of the nutritional choices you are making.
In fact, paying close attention to everything you eat and drink can be quite eye-opening. You may realize that you finish your child’s dinner if he or she leaves behind a chicken nugget or a bite of macaroni and cheese. Or you may realize that you eat when you’re feeling stressed, tired, or bored, instead of eating when you feel true physical hunger. Tracking your food helps to bring awareness to your actions.
There are numerous ways that you can track your nutrition, depending on your goals and what you feel may be best for you. One way to track your caloric intake using an app like MyFitnessPal. Another way to track your nutrition is by taking photos of everything you eat and drink and compiling them into a daily photo journal. Lastly, you can use paper and pencil and write down everything you eat or drink throughout the day. You can choose the way that sounds most appealing to you, as long as it will bring awareness to your nutrition choices.
Lastly, tracking your nutrition for two to four weeks is important because it helps you to learn how you eat on weekdays versus weekends. It also gives you enough data to start to notice patterns around your eating and drinking habits.
After tracking your nutrition choices for a few weeks, start to notice where you can make improvements. Do you want to become a more mindful eater who only eats when physically hungry, versus eating because of emotions or stress? Incorporating more vegetables into your meals and snacks, is that a goal for you? Are you interested in increasing your water intake or incorporating more protein into your diet?
Get Moving with Expert Health Coaching Strategies for a Healthier Lifestyle!
According to the CDC, more than 60% of US adults do not engage in the recommended amount of daily activity. More so, 25% of US adults are not active at all. Challenge yourself to become healthier by moving more throughout your daily life.
There are many different ways that you can move, and all of them will help you become healthier! When it comes to creating a movement goal, the most important thing to consider is what you enjoy doing for exercise and what’s going to work with your life. For example, you can create a daily step goal (for example reaching 10,000 steps per day). Or, you can commit to completing two 30-minute intense workouts each week. Ask yourself – “What do I enjoy doing for a movement that is realistic with my familial and career demands?”
Oftentimes, many of us fall prey to the “perfectionist mentality,” which happens when you feel a workout might not be worth it if it’s not intense or one hour long. Research suggests that workouts do not need to be long in order to be effective. In fact, a recent study published in the JAMA Oncology Journal suggests that exercising for 4.5 minutes per day was enough to reduce the risk of some cancers by 31%!
Similar to tracking your nutrition, tracking your movement is an easy way to ensure that you’re becoming healthier. If you’re setting a step goal for yourself, be sure to check your average step counts at least once a week. If your goal is to complete three 30-minute workouts per week, add them to your calendar so you can quickly see if you’ve accomplished your goal or not.
Sleep is one of the most underrated components of living a healthy life. In fact, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine suggests that 32.5% of American adults don’t receive the recommended minimum amount of sleep most nights (7 hours).
Getting enough sleep is imperative to overall health because it helps boost your immune system, which means you get sick less often. Proper sleep also helps to promote a healthy weight, reduces stress, and improves mood. Last but not least, getting proper sleep helps you function and focus better while living your life.
In terms of coaching strategies to help you improve sleep, consider creating a nighttime routine that helps prepare your body and your mind for a restful night of sleep. Put away all technology and screens at least one hour before you plan to go to bed. Find a way to relax and unwind before falling asleep, like reading a book or taking a bubble bath.
Boosting Success in Achieving Health Goals by Finding an Accountability Partner
Becoming healthier (or creating any changes in life) can be challenging, especially when some current habits may have been around for years. Find someone who can help hold you accountable for the health changes you are hoping to implement in your life.
Research suggests that committing to someone that you will do something increases the chances it will get done by 65%! Even better, if you create a scheduled meeting with your accountability partner to do something (for example to meet them at the grocery store to buy healthy foods, or to meet them for a workout), your chances of success skyrocket to 95%!
Starting Small as a Vital Health Coaching Strategy
When it comes to implementing any or all of these changes (nutrition, movement, sleep), it’s important to start small and then build from there. If you’re not eating any vegetables at the moment, start by incorporating one serving of veggies every other day. Then, once you’ve done that consistently, aim for veggies every day. Then up the serving to two servings per day, and so on.
In a similar way, if you’re currently walking 3000 steps per day, try aiming for 4000 steps per day for a few weeks. Once you’re doing that consistently, increase your goal to 5000 or 6000 steps per day.
By starting with small goals that feel challenging yet doable, you’re setting yourself up to succeed and create change that is long-lasting, as opposed to change that is short-lived.