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Wendy Buckingham / Creator, Life Coaching Professionally
Weight loss success stories are often very hard to achieve. There are so many insidious challenges your clients can face that get in the way. These six, little used tips to support goals to lose weight will help you coach your clients to have the result they are looking for.
Often when clients are deciding on their big career or business goals for a coaching session they slip in "and I could do with losing some weight".
And if you are a health life coach then this scenario is almost a given.
And, more often than not, this seemingly simple outcome turns out to be the one goal they find the hardest to achieve and have failed to achieve, numerous times.
To help coaches work with clients in this area, I've adapted these six tips from my book Be Your Own Goals Coach to specifically help with goals to lose weight.
That is Specific, Measurable, Realistic and Achievable and Timed. And It needs to be about more than the amount of weight to be lost.
For instance, "I’m going to lose 10kg as a goal", is not really that inspiring. But "I’m going to lose 10kg or lbs by my holiday in August and look sexy in a swimsuit again", is far more motivating.
Make sure one motivating reason is included in the goal that will really inspire them to keep going when the going gets tough.
And make sure they write the goal down!
The weight loss goal above is a SMART goal because it is:
Specific - Going to lose 10kg or lbs
Measurable - You can measure progress
Realistic - It's a realistic weight loss goal
Achievable - It's achievable
Timed - A time for its' achievement has been set. (watch out here for where it may be achievable but not realistic - like losing 10ks in 3 weeks )
As well as the one “reason why” included in the goal itself, get the client to make a list of all the benefits and other good things about getting the weight off – no reason is too small or too stupid.
Looking at that list, and being reminded of it regularly, will keep them on track when temptation comes along. It will help them get back on track when they confess they have weakened to that chocolate brownie.
Suggest they post their list of reasons on the fridge or keep them in their wallet so they can refer to them easily and often - especially when temptation strikes.
An old favourite of mine is to have the list laminated and posted in the shower. Something inspiring to read in the morning!
This is perhaps the most important question to ask your client.
Are they really willing to commit to limiting or giving up their consumption of cheese, chocolate, alcohol, chips or whatever it is they know is their weakness when it comes to dieting?
If the answer is "no" or "not sure" for whatever reason, then you could suggest to them they might as well forget about achieving that the goal.
It's obviously not important enough to do what needs to be done to achieve it.
It is well known fact, and not really a secret, that keeping a record of everything you eat each day without cheating - yes including sly nibbles and snacks can be an eye-opener. I've done this, and it can be really confronting to read at the end of the day.
If you want to be really tough and with their agreement hold them accountable, you can get them to share their diary with you each day by text or emails. Then you can both see what could be putting on the kilos and what they could do without.
Encourage them to make the shopping list temptation free by not including anything that they are likely to pig out on. (For example, when I need to lose weight I don’t buy cheese as I know I can’t resist eating too much of it).
This can be difficult when cooking for a family, but if friends and family can be enrolled in the goal and why they want/need to lose weight hopefully they will get co-operation.
Often one of the real weight loss goal busters is not being able to say no when offered that large piece of cake, second dollop of ice cream or pile of butter laden delicious potatoes for fear of offending the cook or host.
Tell the client to get over it! (Nicely of course!!). The person insisting on giving them more that they want is just being inconsiderate and sabotaging their efforts, for whatever reason. When they are invited out for a meal they should let the host know they are on a fitness regime and may not be able to indulge in her baked potatoes, desert or whatever.
And when eating out be quite firm about insisting you don't want the chips that come with the meal or the bread roll that automatically appears.
I hope these six tips help you with your weight loss coaching. Do you have any tips to add to these? I'd really love your input!