Help me find a health & weight-loss coach online
August 24, 2016 10:38 AM   Subscribe

I am a woman in my late 30s and I have quite a bit of weight to lose. I am ready to really make a commitment to some changes, but as an extremely busy professional and new mother I don't feel like I can do this alone. I am looking for an online health/weight-loss coach who will help me make incremental changes and stick to them over the course of a year to lose about 50 pounds. I'm willing to pay generously for this. Where should I look? How do I find this?

I have had a complicated, antagonistic relationship with food and exercise my whole life, and in the last five years the pounds really piled on. I have a baby daughter now and I just want to both get my head straight in terms of my relationship to my body (i.e. find a way to like it better), and also improve my fitness so I feel comfortable being more active and having fun outdoors with my kid.

I'm not interested in Paleo, Cross-Fit, marathoning, extreme diets, or going gluten-free. Fad diets and extreme deprivation are not sustainable for me. I don't think sugar is the devil. I sit at a desk all day long.

I would love a coach who has lost weight themselves and understands real life pressures and a very balanced approach to food.

I also want to do this the slow and strong way -- make a yearlong commitment and have a really clear plan and goals with someone to remind me that short-term sacrifices will have long-term gain.

And I'm willing to really make an investment here; I don't want anything free or loose like joining a community. I need some focused attention haha.

Any advice for me? Has anyone worked with a one-on-one weight loss coach who really made a difference? Where should I look?
posted by quincequince to Health & Fitness (8 answers total) 22 users marked this as a favorite
Do you have a smart phone you'd be open to using for this? Rise is exactly what you're looking for. Connects you 1:1 to a personal dietician using an app--the RDs work with your goals and preferences and are real humans with senses of humor, warmth, etc. Helped me lose 25+ lbs a couple years ago. MeMail me if you want a promo code for a free week. I'm all about it, though it's not a magic bullet for motivation and thus I've had some of my own struggles making progress of late.
posted by c'mon sea legs at 10:55 AM on August 24, 2016 [3 favorites]

Perhaps you should look into a registered dietitian? I don't have personal experience, but I imagine they would have a reasonable/non-fad approach to food, be sensitive to your complicated relationship with food, and advocate for small but sustainable changes. They may not be able to tackle the exercise angle, but for losing weight, diet is going to have the biggest effect anyway. In the interest of small/sustainable changes, I might suggest starting with just dietary changes and then moving on to adding fitness-related things as you get more comfortable.

There are definitely online coaches out there who would meet those requirements also, but without a personal recommendation from someone you trust, it may be hard to find them - there are also a lot of people out there who don't really know what they're doing. If you do go this route, perhaps prepare some questions ahead of time to ask any prospective coaches so you can get a sense for how they are before you pay them - such as, how do they make sure that dieting doesn't turn into obsessing about food, or exercise doesn't become punishment? Have they lost weight, and if so how? How many clients have they had previously, and can you speak to some of them to hear their thoughts? Another thing you want to look for are coaches who are interested in teaching you/giving you tools to be able to make these choices yourself, not someone who just tells you what to eat so that you are dependent on them (and continue paying them).

I know of a couple coaches who have a healthy approach to this (as above) but I'm not sure if they're taking clients. I'll MeMail you if they are or if they can recommend anyone else!
posted by jouir at 10:59 AM on August 24, 2016 [1 favorite]

Beware of the difference between Registered Dietician and nutritionist. A nutritionist does not need any qualification. - I have had a good time with them in the past.
Otherwise, a local RD would not hurt at all because it would be a regular physical check-in.
posted by iNfo.Pump at 11:02 AM on August 24, 2016 [1 favorite]

I have been going to the most wonderful weight-loss coach for a number of years, and have lost over 40 pounds and kept it off. She's a former Weight Watchers group leader and trainer of group leaders, and she coaches people by telephone. Her name is Stephanie Del Valle and her phone number is (917) 882-8003 (you can text her there too). She doesn't have an elaborate professional website because she works via personal referral and doesn't do a lot of marketing. She will develop a program for you that is individual and realistic, and she's just a great person.

The funny thing is how I got to her: the designer Isaac Mizrahi used to have a "lifestyle" TV show and one day I was watching and he had her on, because she is his weight loss coach. When I saw her I thought, YES. This is what I've been looking for! and I searched for her info and called her. I've never regretted it!
posted by DMelanogaster at 12:02 PM on August 24, 2016

I haven't tried it yet, but I was just recommended this site:
posted by juggler at 1:47 PM on August 24, 2016

Mike Vacanti ( is an awesome online coach. He is super supportive, has a ton of great articles on his site, and is an all around nice guy. I did great working with him. He does weight-lifting (which is great because you can easily do it in your own house with a few different dumbbells) and macro-counting (which is pretty easy). He'll also totally understand if you want to go slow, and if you have strong preferences around food/exercise.
posted by violetish at 2:46 PM on August 24, 2016

This actually sounds perfect for Precision Nutrition. . They do an online coaching group I think ever 6 months, and its very focused on small changes and habits you can build on. There are no set diets with them and they dont push any particular way of eating, except for mindfully and heathy. They do a win money contest thing too at the end with before and afters, (which you can opt out of) but dont let that cloud your feelings on the program ( I think takes away from just how sane and teaches you how to eat the best for you the program is.)

(just to put it out there, I am a personal trainer who is certified in their level 1 Coaching, but I dont do what you are looking for, and I get nothing for recommending them. They are known for being the gold star for PTs looking to learn about nutrition though. And I wouldn't hesitate to look at their directory to see if there is someone online or in your area). I can give you some of the hand outs/worksheets we use if you would like to take a look- just message me.
posted by zara at 5:03 PM on August 24, 2016

Late, but I can't say enough good things about Renaissance Periodization. If you're willing to part with the money, I'd get a 1-on-1 coach for a year in a heartbeat. All the progress pics on their Instagram might seem intimidating, but in their private Facebook group, they have SO MANY amazing success stories from regular people. MeMail me if you have any questions!
posted by blazingunicorn at 12:44 PM on August 27, 2016

« Older I'm no fun anymore   |   Is the Dell Inspirion 15 5000 Series Worth It? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.