As a health coach its very important to reduce biases of our own towards obese clients. As a health coach we ourself has to change attitude towards obese people and help them to come out of it.
Step1- Collect all data as much as we can-
Many people have a simplified belief that obesity results from eating too much and moving too little,Sometimes Obesity could be caused by hormonal factors and environment. So with a clients with obesity, it is important to understand the factors involved in their individual paths to obesity. What caused them to gain x.. No of pounds/kg. Many times it’s more related to emotional eating, stress and lack of support and motivation.
Step 2-understand the client-
Sometimes clients who is on weight loss program, comes after two weeks for an appointment with weight gained 1 kg. A thought creeps in mind that he/she is not focussing and goes home and eat, But as a health coach we need to understand that clients is facing many biological, hormonal, social and internal challenges. He/she has put many efforts to reach his/her goal. Rather than responding with a passive–aggressive or judgmental comment, we need to focus less on the client’s weight and more why he did ?asking questions why,when,where etc may help a lot. Understanding the successes and challenges clients had while working with you will help you to give client a behavioral lifestyle changes forever.
Step 3- Walk a mile in clients shoes-
When we meet a client for first time be a active listener and be empathetic- Simple questions to a client goes long way-
- Tell me what a day is like for you”or, “Please help me understand how I can best support you in achieving your goals.”
- identify the challenges your client encounters and how he or she feels about it.
Step 4- Motivational Interviewing
It’s a client–centered communication approach that helps a person “talk himself or herself into change.” It relies heavily on empathy and the expression of empathy through open–ended questions, affirmations, reflective listening and summarizing.Using motivational approach to goal setting ,that will optimize the mental and physical benefits for most obese clients beyond simply addressing a weight concern.
Step 5- Social factors affecting health( individual behaviour) –
It’s not always about calorie intake and output but many other factors a health coach should consider. As one advice fits all doesn’t work, health coach should think of all factors which include access to healthful foods, physical activity opportunities, financial resources and cultural norms.
Remember each of us has our own sources of motivation and meanings,everyone’s goal is different, each of us are unique and our diet is unique as per our taste and preferences.The most effective and empathetic way to help a person with obesity achieve a healthy weight is by concentrating more on health behaviors and less on the scale. Focusing on behaviors can more easily be achieved for life long then numbers on scales which fluctuate everyday.