Health and nutrition coaching isn’t a new concept—and as the digital wellness space grows, so does the number of coaches (qualified or not).
At The Better Nutrition Program, we offer two game-changing services to healthcare providers and their patients:
- Structured, customized health and wellness programs featuring personal live coaching
- One-on-one live health and nutrition coaching with BNP Clinical Team™ oversight
If you’re looking for more information about our programs, check out our in-depth blog post on the topic.
But, in this guide, we’re focusing on the nitty-gritty of our individual health andnutrition coaching service. We’ll break down the basics of the program, three common reasons why providers refer patients to our coaches, how our service packages work, and which one might be right for your patient. We’ll also explore a hypothetical patient scenario to help you envision how our service works in real-time
BNP Coaching™: The Basics
Coaches help BNP embody our values—Better Not Perfect—while providing services to clients. To explain how, let’s break down some of those values.
When Registered Dietitian Ashley Koff started The Better Nutrition Program, she had over 20 years of experience as a practitioner providing personalized nutrition and lifestyle solutions for each patient. Because of that experience, she knows how much work it takes to make the kinds of changes patients need—both for the practitioners and the patients themselves.
That’s why Ashley’s vision for BNP emphasizes supporting both parties.
It’s centered around a continuous root cause assessment system that helps patients understand their bodies’ needs, identify better choices, and learn how to make them more often.
When it comes to helping patients make better choices, BNP relies upon three core methods:
- Education – Empowering people to make informed health decisions requires helping them learn what’s best and unlearn unhelpful misinformation with targeted intelligence.
- Experimentation – Instead of focusing on goal setting, we frame efforts as experiments to mitigate a failure mindset and emphasize the importance of collaboration.
Evaluation – Helping patients parse out what’s working at every phase requires ongoing and honest assessment, coupled with adaptation and reassessment at regular intervals.
3 Reasons Why Providers Refer Patients to BNP Coaches
So, why do healthcare providers refer their patients to BNP health and nutrition coaches? Let’s explore three of the most common reasons why providers recommend BNP for patients struggling to meet their health goals.
#1 A Patient Isn’t a Good Fit for a Specific Program
BNP doesn’t just offer coaching—we also offer numerous personalized nutrition and lifestyle programs, each of which focuses on a particular area of personal health (e.g., gut microbiome performance, hydration, and optimal vitamin and mineral intake).
However, while we know just about anyone would be an excellent fit for our programs, some patients aren’t compatible with the existing slate. This could be because:
- We don’t currently offer a program that addresses their specific health concern.
- You (the practitioner) want them to focus on one or several specific priorities initially.
- The patient prefers a 100% coaching-led experience over a structured course format.
So our coaching helps ensure no one falls through any gaps. In any of these scenarios, a patient is a great candidate for our one-on-one live sessions, unlimited messaging and BNP Clinical Team™ oversight. Patients may also want to start their journey with a health coach and transition to program down the road.
#2 A Patient Has Completed a Program But Wants Continued Coaching
BNP partners every program participant with a dedicated coach. In the program setting, coaches:
- Meet one-on-one with patients to discuss program progress and goals
- Message with patients, answer questions, and support them to develop new habits
- Help personalize:
- The patient’s nutrition plan
- Their menus, recipes, and grocery lists
- The structure of the program based on the patient’s goals
In many cases, providers refer a patient to a BNP Program, the patient meshes well with their assigned coach, and both parties want to continue working together.
At BNP, patients are always welcome to seek additional one-on-one coaching once their program ends. Patients generally seek additional coaching for three reasons:
- To ease the transition from the program to the “real world”
- To maintain and build on their progress
- To “check in” with an expert at regular intervals after the end of the course
Our coaches are available for either of these patient needs—and any others that might arise on their journey to better health.
#3 A Patient Has a Goal Better Monitored by a Coach
As a provider, you know some patients need someone to be hands-on with them at every step of the way. But the person to provide that likely isn’t you – for several reasons:
- Your zone of genius—what lights you up & what you are better at—isn’t providing support, it’s assessment and recommendation optimization.
- Your docket fills up—you have many patients to treat, after all
- Your time spent supporting patients conflicts with time you could be using to develop in other areas professionally.
For any of the above reasons, providers consider connecting their patients to a BNP coach.
Let’s explore an example—you’re trying to unearth a patient’s potential food sensitivities to address their ongoing intestinal distress. During this process, the patient wants an accountability partner to provide:
- Consistent availability for messaging during weekday, weeknight and weekend hours
- To record their progress in a shared log that you both review daily
- 15-minute check-ins once per week
As a busy provider, you simply may not be able to meet these needs. But, a one-on-one coach is a better match for this patient.
“The BNP programs and customized health coaching have been a wonderful asset for my practice to draw upon. As a solo practitioner, I feel supported by the benefits of a team that manages itself and contributes meaningfully to my patients. Most of all I appreciate the collaboration behind the scenes that my patients may not be aware of that helps me accelerate their desired outcomes through the exchange of both ideas and updates. This extends the capacity of my practice without the responsibility of having to hire and employ coaches myself.”
~M. Hussain, MD
The BNP Coaching™ Packages, Explained
BNP coaches operate on a monthly time allowance system, and patients can choose 60-, 120- or 240-minute plans. There are two important things to note about this system:
- Patients can allocate time as they go. At the beginning of the month, a patient may start with a 30-minute meeting. And, as the month goes on, they can allot their remaining time as needed.
- Patients can use their time in any increments they’d like. For instance, if they purchase a 60-minute plan, they could:
- Have two 30-minute meetings
- Have four 15-minute meetings
- Have one 30-minute meeting and two 15-minute meetings
At BNP, we’re all about customization and flexibility—we want our coaching patients to feel empowered to use their available time in the way that better meets their unique needs.
Which Package Should I Choose?
So, should your patient start with a 60-, 120-, or 240-minute month?
- Beginners or newcomers to a nutrition journey typically start small, opting for 60-minute months at first. They may be seeking a more messaging-focused coaching approach, or they’re not ready to commit to serious, long-term coaching.
- 120-minute months are a happy medium for any patient. In a 120-minute month, patients have more time to develop nuanced goals, share their progress with their coach, and seek additional advice or support when they need a little extra help.
Patients with extensive needs usually benefit from a 240-minute plan. If a patient has a complicated health history, wants to accomplish numerous goals, or would benefit from robust support throughout the month, they may need the significant time budget offered by the 240-minute plan.
Example Patient Scenario
Now that we’ve broken down how the BNP nutrition coaching program works theoretically, let’s break down how the process plays out in a hypothetical scenario:
- A patient seeking to lose excess weight as part of her overall health goals. During an appointment, they claim that they’re committed to the process and ready to try anything to reach their goal.
- You provide a full set of personalized nutrition and lifestyle recommendations—food and supplement changes, lifestyle adjustments, and even reading material. But, at the follow-up appointment, your patient is still having trouble making the changes and recommendations you’re suggesting.
- You think that the patient would benefit from a more hands-on approach, but it isn’t a better use of your time to do weekly virtual visits for accountability and daily messaging for support and motivation. So, you refer them to a BNP nutrition coach with a mid-tier package (120 minutes) for the first month.
- The coach works with your patient, offering support for the tough moments and congratulatory feedback when better choices are made – they even help the patient to practice communication and strategies for upcoming challenging situations. All while you maintain your regular appointment frequency with your patient.
“Working with my coach, I’ve been able to see how my stress was impacting my food choices (ok I knew but she helped me really see it). She gave me some options to reduce my stress which is helping me make better choices. I have lost a few pounds and kept them off. And my doctor is really pleased with my progress—I am too!”
The win-win-win: your patient gets what they need to succeed, crediting it to their work with you and your team, and you get to allocate your time and the practice resources better.
BNP Coaching™: Client Service, But Better
For providers, meeting every patient’s needs can be stressful—or even impossible- and can force you to make so many compromises with your time and resources.
The Better Nutrition Program was built by practitioners to help practitioners and patients get more wins together powered by better nutrition. While we work one-on-one with patients (either via coaching or our customizable programs), we’re also here to serve practitioners —we can help you bear the weight of your client list by providing the needed support, education, customer service and real-time tracking of progress that’s critical for success.
We’d love to partner with you.