The study “Health Coaching for Weight Loss Among Overweight and Obese Individuals in Saudi Arabia: A Retrospective Analysis” (Aldhamin et al., 2023) offers valuable insights for fitness professionals who double as nutrition coaches. This retrospective analysis underscores the effectiveness of health coaching in weight loss, particularly highlighting the roles of gender, coaching frequency, follow-up duration, and clear weight management goals.
Key Findings and Their Implications
- Gender-Specific Approaches: The study found gender differences in response to health coaching. Fitness professionals should consider tailoring their approach to accommodate these differences, potentially by focusing on specific motivational techniques and dietary recommendations that resonate more with each gender.
- Frequency of Coaching Visits: A significant correlation was observed between the number of coaching sessions and weight loss success. Regular interaction ensures consistent guidance and accountability, which are crucial in a weight loss journey.
- Follow-up Duration: Longer follow-up periods were associated with greater weight loss. This suggests the importance of sustained support rather than short-term interventions.
- Clear Weight Management Goals: Setting specific weight management goals was a key factor in achieving weight loss. This aligns with the principle of SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound) goal setting in fitness coaching.
Incorporating Findings into Coaching Sessions
We can integrate these findings into our coaching sessions by:
- Conducting initial assessments to set gender-specific strategies.
- Emphasising the importance of regular coaching sessions for accountability.
- Designing long-term follow-up plans to support sustained weight loss.
- Assisting clients in setting and revising SMART goals throughout their journey.
Suggested Schedule for a Weight Loss Programme
A balanced schedule that incorporates both exercise and coaching sessions could look like this:
- Monday: 30-minute coaching session + 45-minute cardio workout
- Wednesday: 30-minute coaching session + 1-hour strength training
- Friday: 45-minute cardio workout
- Monday: 30-minute coaching session + 1-hour mixed cardio and strength training
- Thursday: 30-minute coaching session + 1-hour yoga or flexibility workout
- Saturday: 1-hour outdoor activity (e.g., hiking, cycling)
- Tuesday: 45-minute coaching session (review and adjust goals)
- Thursday: 1-hour high-intensity interval training (HIIT)
- Sunday: Active rest day (light walking, stretching)
Ongoing (Post Week 12)
- Bi-weekly 30-minute coaching sessions to monitor progress and adjust goals
- Regular exercise routine (3-4 times a week), alternating between cardio, strength, and flexibility workouts
The study by Aldhamin et al. (2023) provides a framework for fitness professionals to enhance their coaching effectiveness in weight loss programmes. By understanding the impact of gender, coaching frequency, follow-up duration, and goal setting, fitness professionals can more effectively guide their clients towards achieving their weight loss goals. Implementing a structured schedule that balances exercise and coaching will further ensure sustained success in weight management endeavours.
- Aldhamin, R. A., Al-Ghareeb, G., Al Saif, A. Z., & Al-Ahmed, Z. (2023). Health Coaching for Weight Loss Among Overweight and Obese Individuals in Saudi Arabia: A Retrospective Analysis. Click here to review the full research article
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