As a life coach, you probably have many clients who are interested in weight loss coaching. Whether for health reasons or appearance reasons, it sometimes seems like almost every client has losing weight on her list of goals. With all the diets and gyms and trainers available, do you ever wonder why there are so many people who have trouble controlling their weight? Well, I’m about to give you a controversial idea about weight loss coaching: have your client ditch her restrictive diet. You know—the one where she’s “allowed” half a cup of cottage cheese and three stalks of celery for lunch. Yes, that one, that feeds her mindset of scarcity and denial, instead of abundance and joy.
Weight Loss Coaching Should Focus On Feelings
Weight loss coaching has to be about more than food. Believe me, by the time your clients are bringing this up with you, they are probably quite well educated on calories and portion sizes. And if that’s what they want help with, send them to a licensed nutritionist. What they need a coach for is help finding a way to stop looking at dieting as punishment or deprivation, and start looking at making good food choices as a way of valuing, loving and caring for themselves. To begin this attitude shift, ask your clients to keep a log or notes on what they eat and how they feel an hour after they’ve eaten. Ask them to pay attention to whether they feel energetic or lethargic, fuzzy headed or clear minded. Tell them the log is just for them—you don’t have to see it! And ask questions like “How do you want to feel?” or “How would you rather feel?”
Expose Limiting Beliefs With Weight Loss Coaching
One of my favorite weight loss gurus says “how you do anything is how you do everything.” Coaching is a wonderful opportunity to expose barriers preventing your clients from reaching their other goals, too. So what are some other great questions to pose to your weight loss coaching clients? Here are a few:
Do you think you treat yourself well?
Are you worth treating yourself well?
Who is in control of your life—you or the chocolate (or whatever food is their challenge)?
What do you think will change when you have lost the weight?
In the long run, dieting doesn’t work very well. Of course, you may have weight loss coaching clients who have medically restricted diets, and you never will change or challenge a doctor’s orders to her patient. But when your clients begin to look at eating wisely as a way demonstrating self love and value instead of representing deprivation, you have opened the door to long term success.
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Dorine G Kramer
JTS Advisors Strategy and Accountability Coach