What is a Health Coach?

Health Coaches intervene in that space between the gravitational pull of HABIT and the desire for LASTING CHANGE. We help people CROSS THE DIVIDE.”

– Stacey Morgenstern & Carey Peters, Health Coach Institute Co-Founders

Have you been wondering to yourself, what is a Health Coach, anyway?

In the simplest terms, we at Health Coach Institute define a Health Coach as:

A trained professional who is passionate about healthy living in every area of life, and wants to help others make that commitment to healthy living, too.

Health Coaches work with clients in a number of ways, including but not limited to, developing individualized plans to help them achieve specific health and wellness goals they’ve set for themselves, and/or implementing the healthcare directives given to them by their doctors or other healthcare professionals.

Health Coaches are not medical professionals. They have their own very specific, very important role to play in healthcare.

At Health Coach Institute, we believe Health Coaches are the FUTURE of healthcare (and we’re not alone in this belief)…

International Association of Health Coaches (IAHC)

“…Health Coaches are an integral part of an emerging preventative healthcare model. By helping clients develop and progress towards their personal wellness goals, Health Coaches fill a vital void that complements and does not replace the work of healthcare professionals.”

Let’s delve a little deeper into why Health Coaches are so important.

Thanks to the relentless demands of work and life responsibilities, people are more stressed, burnt out, unhealthy, overweight, and depressed than ever.

As a society, we’re finally realizing we need to make some big changes or face deadly consequences; but making big changes without support and accountability is difficult, in part because we’re creatures of habit.

In fact, some scientists believe that up to 95% of human behavior is a result of habit. That’s why we struggle to make changes that last, even when the need for change is obvious and our intentions are strong.

Health Coaches intervene in that space between the gravitational pull of habit and the desire for lasting change….they help people cross the divide.

Did You Know?

25% of people abandon their New Year’s resolutions after just 1 week and 54% do so within 6 months.


95% of people who lose weight on a diet gain it back, and a significant percentage gain back more than they originally lost.


Even after a heart attack, only 1 out of every 7 patients makes any enduring changes around eating or exercise.


That’s astounding, isn’t it? Even in a life or death situation, many of us struggle to change habits. The diet industry’s “eat fewer calories and exercise more” advice is right, but it doesn’t explain to people how to do those things, which makes it very difficult advice to follow. If it were simple advice to follow, the world would be full of healthy people!

So Why is it So Hard to Change Habits?

We’ll give you a hint: support and accountability are key.

The problem is doctors, dietitians, and other practitioners either don’t have the time or the skills to help patients stay motivated and on track toward achieving their health goals. So people default to old habits, even when those habits make them feel lousy.

Without the right support and accountability, this dysfunctional cycle continues. Unfortunately, it’s led to disastrous consequences like these:

• 7 out of 10 deaths in the US are caused by chronic disease
• 1 in 2 Americans has a chronic disease and 1 in 4 has multiple chronic diseases
• 86% of all healthcare spending in the US is for people with 1 or more chronic conditions

The above stats are US-specific, but figures are equally grim around the world. This is a global crisis!

This is where you come in, future Health Coach. In their paper on healthcare reform, Dr. Mark Hyman, Dr. Dean Ornish, and Dr. Michael Roizen cited a study that found that simple diet and lifestyle changes can prevent 93% of diabetes, 81% of heart attacks, 50% of strokes, and 36% of cancers.

As a Health Coach, you can provide the habit change expertise, support, and accountability others need to transform their health for good.

Health Coach Institute’s Philosophy

Health Coach Institute’s philosophy on Health Coaching is a bit different from other schools in that we believe that how you do one thing is how you do everything. We believe that a Health Coach’s job is to help people:

Understand and identify their issues and goals

Develop a simple action plan to change the behaviors they want to change and achieve what they want to achieve

Support and celebrate behavior change

That’s why the core of our Become a Health Coach curriculum focuses on how to become a Master of Habit Change™ and empower others to master healthy habits that serve them for life.

Interested in learning more about how our six-month Become a Health Coach training program can help you launch a fulfilling career as a Health Coach?