Great Health Coaching Can Move Members Toward Their Goals: Three Stories to Prove It

Nov 3, 2022 10:00:00 AM

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For most people trying to make major changes to their health, it’s two steps forward and one step back. (Or sometimes one step forward and two steps back.) Changing lifestyle habits is hard, but having a great health coach can make an enormous difference.

A health coach serves as a cheerleader, expert and accountability partner — all in one. A coach can help your members set manageable goals, keep the end-game in mind and regroup when things get tough. 

Yes Health’s unique digital platform provides not just one, but a team of nutrition, fitness and wellness coaches to support your members. Those coaches assess the approach that will work best for each member, review the member’s posts and questions, and interact with the member regularly – all by mobile device for utmost convenience and accessibility.  

This coaching model has yielded hundreds of success stories over the years. Here are three that illustrate just how life-changing great coaching can be:

 

Shaina’s Story: Great Coaching Provides In-the-Moment Access 

A weekly check-in with a wellness coach or support group can offer helpful encouragement and accountability, but what about the day-to-day decisions and choices people make every day? By the time the end of the week rolls around, those decisions seem like old news and not worth rehashing.

Yes Health takes a different approach with in-the-moment coaching by a team of nutrition, fitness and wellness experts. Members can post a photo of a meal and receive specific feedback on nutritional value and portion size. Or they can message their coaches with questions and get quick answers to guide their decisions. This practical, accessible coaching approach keeps members engaged and ensures they have the information and accountability they need, exactly when they need it.

In Shaina’s own words:

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“The coaches are great about making meal recommendations on the fly. I recently went to a coffee chain for lunch and asked [my Yes Health coaches] for advice on what to order. They got back to me right away with a few healthy choices. I feel good eating more balanced meals. My energy is definitely more consistent and I’m not getting sick like I was before I started the program.”

(Since joining Yes Health, Shaina has given up processed sugars and adopted more balanced meals. Her energy is more consistent and her immunity is stronger.)


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Pravakar’s Story: Great Coaching Blends Encouragement, Accountability and Cultural Sensitivity

Changing habits is difficult and requires persistence and patience. Willpower can only get people so far, and many programs respond to slip-ups with shame-based strategies that leave participants feeling defeated. 

Yes Health coaches strive for a balance of accountability and encouragement, while keeping in mind cultural norms. The accountability comes when participants post a photo of their meal knowing their coaches will offer a rating (green, yellow or red) and provide honest feedback. The encouragement comes when coaches affirm the positive choices and acknowledge culturally-based preferences -- even while occasionally suggesting tweaks or changes for improvement.

People want their coaches to help them achieve their goals, but an approach that is too harsh and condemning, culturally tone-deaf or too soft and affirming can miss the mark. Great coaching hits the right tone to keep members engaged and pressing forward toward their goals.

In Pravakar’s own words:

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“I’m from Nepal and grew up eating lots of rice, lentils and vegetables, and that’s mainly how I was eating as an adult too. I was surprised to see that these meals came back as “yellows” because the coaches said they didn’t have enough protein. I’m now adding in chicken and my family switched from white to brown rice for more complex carbs. 

[Another] surprising benefit was the way the coaches encouraged me to clean up my sleeping habits so I get seven to eight hours every night. I didn’t realize that not getting enough sleep could get in the way of meeting my weight-loss goals. Now I make sure I go to bed at the same time each night and I’ve created a sleep routine that helps me wind down and relax.” 

(Pravakar lost 11 pounds in three months on the Yes Health program. His glucose dropped under 100 and his LDL cholesterol dropped from 116 to 104.)

 

Marion’s Story: Great Coaching Adapts to Member Preferences 

Most health programs are centered around a particular approach or protocol. Members stick to the program to achieve weight loss or other goals, and the program dictates the goals and execution.

That’s not the strategy of Yes Health. Our coaches collect information on the member’s goals and preferences and then adapt their advice to that framework. Does the member like to touch base every day or only once or twice a week? Does he prefer coaches to provide more challenge, more encouragement or a combination of both? Does she lean toward a Mediterranean diet or a Keto diet? Our coaches are knowledgeable and flexible enough to adapt to those choices while still providing valuable feedback and suggestions.

In Marion’s own words:

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It wasn’t a diet—I definitely won’t diet. I wanted to lose weight and still eat foods I liked. 

The coaches help me eat what I like in moderation so I don’t overdo it, and they’ve been with me every step of the way. I like ice cream and enjoy a small cup once a week–that way I don’t crave it. I also like Chinese food. The coaches suggested removing the noodles and replacing them with salad. Occasionally, I’ll have a small slice of pizza and balance it with veggies and fruit. I really enjoy hot cocoa and the coaches told me how to make my own with raw cacao, stevia and milk. I’m learning that pretty much anything can be made healthier with the right portions and mix of ingredients.

(Marion lost 28 pounds in the Yes Health program and established habits that will help her sustain that weight. She says she is eating better, staying mindful of sugar, adjusting portions and reading food labels. She also developed an exercise routine that works for her, working out 25-40 minutes per day.)

 

Why Coaching Relationships Matter

We call these people like Marion, Pravakar and Shaina Healthy Habit Heroes, because they have done the hard work of exchanging established habits that weren’t working with new habits that prevent disease and lead to better overall health. However, they are the first to give their coaches part of the credit, because the coaches kept them engaged in the process over the months it took to cement those new behaviors. The daily check-ins and gentle promptings, the words of encouragement and suggestions for improvement, made the process more interesting, fun and doable. 

To learn more about Yes Health’s unique coaching model, and how it can help your members develop healthier habits, schedule a consultation today. 

You can also learn more strategies for member engagement proven to lower the prevalence of chronic disease by reading our latest ebook: “Prevent Costly Chronic Disease Through Member Engagement.”