How do I Become a Weight Loss Coach?
A weight loss coach offers guidance, support, and accountability to clients who wish to lose weight. Those who wish to become a weight loss coach may find specialized licensing and certification programs in counseling, health care, or nutrition. Other professionals choose to learn on their own or to complete coaching certification programs. In the United States there is no government licensing necessary to work as a weight loss coach. Other countries, however, may have laws that restrict weight loss services to licensed professionals.
Coaches may first be licensed or certified in another profession prior to deciding to become a weight loss coach. For example, dietitians in the United States usually need to earn a bachelor's degree, complete a supervised practicum, and pass a national examination prior to using the title of registered dietitian. Nurses, counselors, and other health-care professionals would likewise need to complete higher education and training requirements and pass an exam before being licensed in their respective fields.
Weight loss coaches with a background in health care, physical fitness, or counseling may offer weight loss coaching as an adjunct to their current practice; these professionals may or may not seek formal training or certification in coaching. For example, a weight loss coach who is also a nurse or a dietitian may work with clients on meal planning, while a personal trainer might offer goal setting and motivation sessions to clients in addition to their normal cardio workouts.
Some weight loss coaches may not be trained in any of the health sciences, and may want to become a weight loss coach because they are interested in helping others. A weight loss coach with no credentials in health, counseling, or fitness may simply read up on weight loss topics on his own, or he may choose to undergo training though a weight loss coaching or generalist life coaching program.
There are several organizations that offer training and certification for people who want to become a weight loss coach or offer life coaching in more than one area. These organizations and training programs differ in size, scope, and reputation; they also are usually open to both health care and counseling professionals as well as to those who do not have training in those areas. Some of these programs are religiously affiliated, while others may offer training in a particular school of psychology or motivational theory. Each organization usually has its own criteria for certification, which may include assigned readings, training classes or workshops, and one-on-one mentoring.
@Sneakers41 - I know which meetings that you are talking about and they are fun and not at all intimidating like I originally thought.
They focus on lifestyle changes and remind members that it is progress and not perfection that is going to get them to their goals. I think that this is so important because so many people look to losing weight and get into this perfectionist all or nothing mantra that really sabotages their weight loss efforts.
There will be some weeks that will be easier than others in which you will have a higher degree of success. I think that when you ban a particular food from your diet, you become obsessed with the food and eventually you will give in to the obsession.
One of the successful weight loss programs out there that offer the group meetings understands this and offers an allotment of extra points that the members could use at their discretion. This works because a member does ever feel deprived because they have an allotment of extra points that they can use however they wish.
I would love to be a weight loss leader for this company because the leaders are always so happy and encouraging that it really seems like a fun job to have.
@GreenWeaver - You know I was thinking of joining an online weight loss program where you track what you eat and you weigh yourself every week, but I am not sure. This company also offers group meetings which I think would be more effective because I get to talk to people that are experiencing the same program and we could actually learn from each other.
I had a friend that attended some of these meetings and they were really supportive. The weight loss leader was a former weight loss participant that successfully kept the weight off for a few years. This is great because you learn my example. These leaders are really empathic to the members because they were once in their shoes.
You also get to make some lifelong friends at the meetings which are another plus. I think that these meetings are like a form of group therapy which is probably why they boast of the highest success rate when it comes to long term weight loss.
@Latte31 - I agree with you. I was watching a program the other day about a therapist that treated patients with all sorts of food addiction. This treatment center really took the patients out of their comfort zone so that they could experience the pain that they were trying to suppress with the food.
The therapist also felt that their eating problems would continue until they realized why they ate so much. She felt it is after this point that the patients would be able to begin an effective weight loss program because they are no longer are trying to soothe themselves with food.
This made a lot of sense and it explains why some people exercise and have measurable weight loss while others have inconsistent weight loss. I don’t think that there is a weight loss product or a new weight loss program that will help you lose weight until you realize what the trigger emotions that cause you to overeat are.
Most people with a weight problem eat when they are not hungry, so a great exercise is to allow yourself to feel a little hunger so you can see what it feels like and slowly be able to appreciate the taste of food again.
I would love to become a weight loss coach. I understand the trouble with trying to lose weight because I have experienced it myself. I think that a background in psychology would be a plus in this field because compulsive overeaters usually have a strong psychological reason for overeating and until they address that source of their problem they will only experience minor results.
Effective weight loss requires an overweight person to treat the reason why they overeat. For some people the minute that they experience stress or discomfort, they reach for food, while for others the food fills the void with respect to loneliness and feelings of boredom.
Whatever the reason, a great weight loss coach should understand this dynamic so that the overweight person can achieve success losing weight. Effective weight loss requires a total lifestyle change that starts with small steps.
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