The results from a recent research study, titled "Personality and Obesity Across the Adult Life Span", show that reduced self-discipline, neuroticism and impulsiveness may contribute to a person's inability to manage their weight over time.
This National Institutes of Health study, designed to assess the impact of personality traits on weight-related health outcomes, included 1,988 individuals who were followed over a course of 50 years.
While one of the reported explanations for the relationship between neuroticism and weight outcomes (e.g., depression is associated with low self-esteem and many obese people have low self esteem) seems reasonable, personal weight management coaching may help improve negative emotions, such as depression, that characterize neuroticism and are associated with less than optimal weight outcomes.
This article describes 3 ways that a personal coach may be beneficial in improving emotional states of those struggling with obesity and weight-related behaviors.
A Personal Online Weight Loss Coach Can Address Weight Management-Related Hopelessness
One of the hallmarks of depression is a feeling of hopelessness. For a person struggling with weight issues, this depressive state may be enhanced by a lack of knowledge of how to manage weight, past failed weight management attempts, or, as mentioned above, feelings of low self-esteem. A personal weight management coach can help fill this gap, and possibly help to improve the person's mood, by using evidenced-based behavioral modification strategies.
One such strategy is to help the person set small attainable lifestyle goals. When a person can both set and reach a goal, their confidence will likely increase and any feelings of hopelessness will likely decrease. Another strategy is to ask the person to imagine a future state where they have achieved their weight management goals. This focus on a more positive future may further reduce feelings of hopelessness.
A Personal Online Weight Loss Coach Can Help Individuals Discover and Leverage Internal Motivation for Behavior Change
People with depressed moods often express feelings of low motivation relative to lifestyle behaviors. Much of the behavior change literature suggests that a person has to find their own internal motivation for change in order to initiate and sustain healthful lifestyle behaviors.
Motivational interviewing, a behavioral counseling style that was developed in the drug addiction field, has proven to be a useful tool in helping to motivate people to engage in weight management-related behaviors, such as paying careful attention to diet and increasing moderate level physical activity. Many personal weight management coaches are trained in motivational interviewing-endorsed communication strategies, such as active listening, that can help people discover this inner motivation.
With A Personal Online Weight Loss Coach, A Person Struggling with Weight is Never Alone
When it comes to lifestyle change, personal support and accountability matter. This is one of the reasons for the success of popular weight management programs, such as Take Shape For Life or Weight Watchers. To a person struggling with weight, personal coaches can be constant reminder that they are not alone.
Many personal coaches have a variety of ways that they stay connected to their clients. Some examples include unscheduled or scheduled phone check-ups which can take place weekly, monthly or at whatever time interval the coach and client agree upon. In addition, many client and coaches stay in touch via text messaging, email, instant messaging and other technology-based communication tools such as online live web-conferencing.
While negative emotions can indeed have an adverse impact on weight management behaviors, a personal weight management coach may help a person manage these emotions to the extent that they have little or no impact on weight management-related behaviors. If you or someone you know is in need of a personal weight management coach, you can find them through a variety of mediums, such as the internet, local newspapers and friends and family referrals.
About the Author:
Dr Marcus Rey Williams is a Board Certified Internist. He has faced, fought, and defeated obesity in his life and controlled his Type 2 Diabetes well enough to be free of any complications even after 21 years with the disease. The National Weight Loss Registry has identified the 7 crucial traits common to successful long-term weight loss and maintenance.
Dr. Williams, also known as the "Do It Doc", has integrated them into his own daily life and teaches them to his personal online weight loss clients at sweetlifeteam.com. Dr. Williams is also a certified weight loss coach with Take Shape For Life, the personal coaching division of Medifast, Inc. His radio show "Obesity & Diabetes can be streamed online each Saturday at 10AM EDT at wche1520.com online.