Why and What’s a Health Coach?

Health coaches are popping up in gyms and spas, wellness clinics and online – But why and  what do they do?
Plain and simple: They fill gaps that doctors, nutritionists, trainers and dietitians don’t have the time or resources to fill.

The Institute for Integrative Nutrition, the largest nutrition school in the country, defines a health coach as “a wellness authority and supportive mentor who motivates individuals to cultivate positive health choices. Health coaches educate and support clients to achieve their health goals through lifestyle and behavior adjustments.” To put it simply, health coaches like me are highly educated guides (and cheerleaders) in the fields of nutrition, wellness, bio-individuality and mentoring.

Have you ever been given a list of “eat this, not that?” Have you found that making drastic changes at once are unsustainable and don’t work for you long-term? Perhaps a friend of yours lost a bunch of weight on one particular diet, but when you tried it, the results were minimal at best?  Have you ever started a program with 1 million percent passion and commitment but 3 weeks in something happens to pull you off track and you just can’t seem to get  your mojo back?  Perhaps you’re someone who needs someone checking in on a regular basis with a loving – but firm – voice to tell you to put down the donut and drink your smoothie??

That’s where health coaches come in.  Kathleen Ronzio joined our practice in October to support our patients to help implement the recommendations from Dr Zub and Lisa, but also supports clients who aren’t 4 Better Health patients with small, consistent changes at a pace that is compfortable to meet their health goals (and overcome obstacles that sabotage progress).

Whether someone wants to discuss food elimination, anti-inflammatory diets, low FODMAP, etc. or has a goal to lose weight, increase energy, reduce brain fog, sleep better or just stop eating ‘crap’ but life is too busy to figure out how… Kathleen’s health coaching is that one added tool in the toolbox to help clients/patinets achieve success.

Everyone is unique and different. That’s why no one diet works for everyone, or only works for a small amount of time.  although many will say ‘Eat real food’, health coaches don’t promote one specific type of diet, or one specific way of eating. They help you experiment with finding what will work for you specifically, and how to change up your diet and lifestyle as you continue to grow and make strides forward.

So? How does this differ from working with a Functional Medicine provider (such as Dr Zub and Lisa)? 

Although many health coaches have a great amount of education and experience in their field (and in Kathleen’s case also in Functional medicine), a health coach is not a provider. Health coaches can’t order unlimited lab work. They don’t diagnose conditions, prescribe medications or recommend lower or higher doses of your current medications.
The health coach focus is less about ‘what is wrong’ and developing specific plans and more on overcoming your day to day obstacles in your unique plan to optimize success for your goals.
Health coaches have more time and focus to support you, not just in your appointments but in between (when the going gets tough).  In a 24 week study in Providence, Rhode Island those who had the health coaching support had 33% more success with weight loss than those who did not have a health coach.
They meet with you more often to allow for small, consistent changes that help to build a more solid base for all the changes you are implementing and your body experiences.
Although health coaches are great with accountability, a health coach is not a drill sergeant. We do not scream orders at you, or berate you for not meeting goal in a specified amount of time. We understand that life happens, and we work with you and support you in every way we can to achieve optimal wellness.

Ultimately, health coaches act as allies, helping the patient/client to build confidence and self-awareness, encouraging them to become their own health advocate, and supporting them in developing the skills to sustain new behaviors. Health coaches are at the forefront of today’s health revolution. At a time when one in five people will die of lifestyle-related disease (80% of chronic disease is caused from what we eat and drink), as well as when diabetes and obesity are at an all-time high, health coaches provide the nutritional and lifestyle guidance many desperately need to achieve health success.

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rebecca a photo“Words cannot express how grateful I am for the individualized care I have received from Lisa at 4Better Health! If you or someone you love is suffering with an auto-immune condition, want more energy and less pain and are looking for an alternative to traditional medicine, you have found it! With their help you will be amazed at the power you have to change your path.” 

Rebecca Alferes 53 Years Old

“Frustrated with conventional medicine philosophy of just take a pill for the rest of your life? Functional Medicine is your answer. Since I first saw Lisa 2 months ago I have lost over 10 percent of my original body weight and have more energy than I can ever remember having.”

Micheal Annantuonio – 36 years old

“After suffering for over 2 years and seeing many practitioners (who often dismissed my fatigue & pain) Dr Zub adjusted my medications and supplements. As a result, my baseline functioning and health is finally better. Dr. Zub works as a partner with you the patient, is earnest, humble and actively learning She is a Gift!” 

C.G., Needham M

“I feel like I have finally found a physician who is willing to work as a partner with me with the goal of improving my health. Dr Zub is an outstanding physician both from a diagnostic and a Functional Medicine perspective. I’ve recommended her to many of my friends.”

Karen Bird – Needham MA

“In a very short amount of time, Dr. Zub has been able to identify and address underlying chronic health issues that I have been dealing with, that other doctors were unable to do. I love 4 Better Health’s approach to treat the entire person thru a therapeutic partnership and get to the root of issues, not just throw medicine at a symptom. I truly sing her praises and have already referred others to the practice. I truly wish I had found Dr. Zub a long time ago as she has been life changing!”

Diane Tamagno

Linda LaCamera(1)“Finding 4 Better Health was a blessing after many years of traditional medicinal doctors /Endocrinologists being unable to get me to feeling optimal. Dr Zub listened to me, truly heard me & devised a proactive plan for me to have a better life. My body is still healing, but I am no longer barely functioning to get through my daily life. I can exercise again without being completely depleted of energy. I have been able to successfully lose 20 pounds. I feel I can always contact Dr. Zub with any questions or concerns I may have. We continue to work together to find the right course of action for my health. I can’t say enough great things about their practice.”

Linda LaCamera

colleen adams“4 Better Health embodies the true meaning of holistic healthcare! Thank you, Dr. Zub, for taking a genuine interest in each aspect of my life affecting my health and vitality; and for taking the time to educate me on the ways in which my body functions on a metabolic level, and the things I can do to better manage my energy and well-being!”

Colleen Adams

“Prior to working with Lisa I’d have to be home-bound one day every other weekend in order to deal with my problem. Now that I don’t need to do that anymore I’m back to hiking/mountaineering, kayaking, bike riding, snow-shoeing, being with friends, and spending time in the White Mountains. I am soo thankful for all 4 Better Health has done for me. You had a MAJOR hand in getting me back into this kind of shape [and I’m looking forward to getting even stronger and more fit]. I feel in command of my life again and I am enjoying doing all the outdoorsy, active things I love to do! What a gift you have given me!”

John Curcio

jenweightloss“My weight has always been a fight. I was having trouble sleeping  and walking upstairs because of pain in my hip and knee. I have tried a million diets but in the end I never felt in control of what I ate. When I made the decision to do the cleanse/detox I had my reservations. But it changed me. What I want
to eat and what my body craves. I feel better than I have in years. I am  sleeping better than ever and taking the stairs every chance I get. In 6 months I’ve gone from 265# to 180#. It’s all planning and consistency!”


I was exhausted and in pain- aching from my neck to toes and waking up 4 or 5 times a night. My doctors told me it was just old age. Within a week of taking a few supplements and small changes to my diet recommended by 4 Better Health; my pain was drastically reduced and I began sleeping so much better. I am doing much more than I had been able to do in a very long time, my spirits are better, my outlook is better and I couldn’t ask for anything more. I would recommend this practice to everyone.

Rose Ciampa 83years old.