Did you know that — as a lifestyle coach — you are changing people’s lives by promoting healthier lifestyles?
Ninety-six million people in the United States are diagnosed with prediabetes or someone at risk of developing diabetes, and lifestyle care changes are the most effective way for those at risk to reverse, stop, or slow its progression.
We also know that making lifestyle changes is challenging. Whether it’s improving diet, increasing activity levels, or consciously choosing to reduce stress, these changes can be difficult to make alone.
At Realizing DPP, we want your participants to take control of their lives and prevent diabetes from holding them back. And in our opinion, they’ve taken a significant step on their journey by choosing you as their lifestyle coach.
If you’re looking for ways to improve how your coaching techniques or searching for some answers about how you make a difference, join us today. This article will look at what lifestyle coaches do, the benefits of lifestyle coaching, and the diabetes self-management tools to use with your participants.
What Does a Lifestyle Coach Do?
Before we get into what a lifestyle coach does, let’s take a second to look at what it takes to be a lifestyle coach. Certified lifestyle coaches do not just wake up one day and think to themselves, I want to tell people how to be healthier, and that’s that.
For someone to be a certified diabetes prevention coach, they first need to undergo rigorous training outlined by the CDC. Everyone looking to become a lifestyle coach must learn the CDC-approved curriculum in one of the following ways:
- At a training organization listed on the CDC website
- With a private organization in the national network of CDC-recognized program sites
- At a CDC-recognized online organization with a national reach
- With a CDC master trainer
The regulated standards for diabetes prevention program lifestyle coaches offer peace of mind that you will be ready to teach proven methods for reversing the effects of prediabetes when you work as a coach. Additionally, you can have confidence that your participants will receive a similar level of care if they need to change coaches.
The Purpose of Lifestyle Coaching
Healthy lifestyle coaching isn’t designed to give people a list of things to do to “turn their life around.” Instead, it takes the approach that they already have the built-in tools to make significant lifestyle care changes — they just need the keys to unlocking the toolbox.
As a lifestyle coach, you aren’t going to constantly call your participants and tell them what to do because authoritative instruction can only go so far. However, you will help them find ways to motivate themselves and continue working to achieve their goals — even outside of the coaching sessions.
Your participants have lived in their bodies their entire lives, so they are already the foremost expert on their lives. And your purpose is to help them make significant strides toward healthier habits through lifestyle changes and improved routines.
What Does Effective Lifestyle Coaching Look Like?
We know that effective lifestyle coaching probably looks different from what your participants envisioned before working with you. That’s because coaching sessions focus on the steps to take, not the end result.
For example, if your participants are concerned about how their weight affects their health and raises the chances of developing Type 2 diabetes, your job is to help them determine the final goal. Then once that goal is established, it no longer becomes the focal point of the journey.
Small Steps Help You Achieve Big Goals When Preventing Diabetes
Your goal as a lifestyle coach is to focus on making small moves that end with significant results. For example, instead of your participants saying, “I want to reach my ideal weight by the end of the year,” you help your participant break it down into actionable steps.
For example, their weight-loss journey could start with incorporating more movement into their life by taking a walk in a park or focusing on food preparation tips to help gradually restructure their diet.
Then, as they find the motivation to accomplish those initial steps, you provide the guidance to turn those small steps into big ones. Maybe that looks like increasing activity time from walking ten minutes a day to half an hour or adding more non-starchy vegetables and whole grains to their diet.
Your focus needs to be on motivating participants to make consistent progress and adding an added level of accountability to keep them on the right track. As they continue through the program, they will learn that you have their back, but they are the ones making progress.
What Are the Benefits of Health Coaching?
It’s no secret that there is strength in numbers when we want to accomplish something in life. When people try to go it alone, it is much easier to become overwhelmed, stop trying, and ultimately give up, but the likelihood of success increases exponentially with a partner.
As a coach, you become the trusted partner for your participants. This support helps your people find the motivation to succeed and helps them view things from a different perspective.
Lifestyle Coaching Promotes Accountability
One of the most significant benefits of lifestyle coaching is the accountability factor — the chance of success is much greater with others than if your participants were trying to prevent diabetes independently.
Working with a group in a CDC-approved diabetes prevention does more than provide knowledge. Your cohort of participants is there to support everyone in the group and help hold each other accountable in and out of coaching sessions as they work toward their goals.
You also become an accountability partner that ensures your participants stay on the path to wellness that they have laid out for themselves. Remember that you’re not just setting the destination. You’re helping them set incremental goals to achieve success.
This system helps participants stay motivated through challenging times and helps them celebrate their successes along the way!
Diabetes Coaches Tailor Your Goals to Meet Your Needs
Your potential participants may be thinking, I can find food suggestions and exercise routines to prevent diabetes online, and they would be right. However, the online information is missing an essential ingredient to their success — you.
The instruction and guidance you provide through a diabetes prevention program do not come from a one-size-fits-all box. Instead, it’s a unique roadmap to success that you build with your participants.
An individualized plan takes those big ideas they can find online and gives them personal meaning. It’s one thing to read about the foods that can help people lose weight, but learning which foods they need to introduce into their diet to lose weight is only found with proper coaching.
Coaching Builds Motivation and Confidence
Healthy lifestyle choices are challenging to make alone. It is easy to create a plan for success, but it is even easier to become overwhelmed by the number of things needed to achieve those goals.
As a lifestyle coach, you’re not there to tell your participants what to do and send them on their way. Instead, you’re to help participants look inside themselves to find their motivation.
Realizing DPP coaches help participants see their strengths and use them to achieve their goals. Playing to their strengths enables participants to find the best ways to problem-solve, build resilience, and take the proper steps toward a healthier lifestyle.
Coaching Helps You Unlock the Tools to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
Your participants may start their diabetes prevention journey with information from the internet, a meal plan from your doctor, or possible exercise improvements. Or, they may be completely unsure of the steps to take.
Providing support as a coach will help them find the built-in tools for success, whether they start with a wealth of knowledge or none at all. Lifestyle coaches believe that the best way to find success is not to be knowledgeable but to be wise.
The wisdom your participants need to walk down a path toward diabetes prevention doesn’t come from the internet or informational pamphlets — it comes from within. As you build a relationship with your participants, they will unlock the tools for self-motivation and learn how to couple those tools with the proper knowledge to achieve their lifestyle goals.
Realizing DPP Can Help Coaches and Participants Achieve Success
Your participants have taken a bold step by joining a diabetes prevention program. They understand that they are worthy of living a healthy life, and partnering with you will help them unlock the tools they need to realize their true value.
If you’re looking for ways to increase your effectiveness as a lifestyle coach, get involved in the Realizing DPP Community! Our network of past and current lifestyle coaches is dedicated to protecting the value and quality of human life through lifestyle care programs.
We offer exclusive access to lifestyle coaching questions you can’t find on Google, opportunities for you to grow as a coach, and the tools you need to earn money in coaching. Additionally, the RDPP app is packed with tools and resources to support you as you guide participants to their success.
If you are a lifestyle coach in Mississippi and not a current member of the Realizing DPP community, contact us to learn more!