Greg Hottinger


Coach Yourself Thin Author Greg Hottinger , MPH, RD, is accredited by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, worked as a nutrition educator at the Duke University Diet and Fitness Center and the Duke Center for Integrative Medicine. Currently, Greg is a nutrition consultant  teaching faculty member for Wellcoaches, the leading coach training organization.

Your Weight Loss Crystal Ball

One of the first and most important steps in coaching yourself thin is to create a wellness vision. This is true whether it is a professional wellness coach working with a client or an individual embarking on her own journey toward a healthier life.

Why do you need a wellness vision?

Why do you need a wellness vision? In short, a wellness vision is the diet antidote. The reasons for starting a diet may be rooted in unreasonable expectations, fear and even self-loathing. But, a powerful wellness vision can fuel the change you desire toward  a healthier and more fulfilling life.

coach yourself thin

a vision is powerful

A vision is powerful because, like a crystal ball, it has the ability to pull you out of the ordinary and into the place you want to be. For example, when you’re with great friends, doing something you love and enjoying yourself, understanding what you want out of life and how you want to live comes a bit more easily.

And a vision can take you to that inspirational place even when you’re on your way home from a stressful day at work. When temptations arise, it can be the difference between making a healthy choice or an unhealthy choice because it makes it a little bit easier to remember why you live the way you do.

a vision is a state of mind

A vision is a state of mind. It is at its most powerful when it captures the essence of what you want in life and brings emotions rushing to the surface. A powerful vision creates feelings of ease, inspiration, excitement, happiness, fascination and gratitude.

This is why it’s so important that your vision be very different from goals, which have deadlines and represent specific steps. If your vision were weighed down by deadlines and steps, it would be more frightening than exciting, more burdensome than empowering.

The crystal ball of your vision serves as the inspiration you need to create powerful and exciting goals and, in turn, your goals are the steps that take you toward your vision.


coach yourself thin

Life is Precious

coach yourself thin

I want to share a bit about my father who exemplifies healthy living. He's 81-years old, eats at 98% vegan diet, and has been a lifetime exerciser. When he was at the beach in October, he got into trouble with my mom and another couple because he went for a walk on the beach and decided to walk to a distant pier. He made it there and back, although the pier turned out to be six miles away. He was late getting home for dinner.

Dad taught me to consider real and lasting changes in the ways that we look at health, nutrition and physical activity

Dad taught me to consider real and lasting changes in the ways that we look at health, nutrition and physical activity- to provide business and individuals with a new path to sustainable weight loss that will bring an end to the obesity epidemic. He taught me that life is precious.

coach yourself thin

This was on my mind when a client wrote to me recently about a reunion that is coming up for her this year. It’s an important day, and she wants to walk in the room a new, more confident person.

This is what she said –

“On that night, I want to walk in that room and be OK with people looking at me. I want to be able to stand in a group and chat with people I don’t know and feel worthy of their attention.”

being confident is an attitude
that does not have to be “granted” by the scale
or by other people

I wanted to convey that being confident is an attitude that does not have to be “granted” by the scale or by other people, so I responded,

"Everything you want out of that night is possible without losing a pound."

Here's the thing: When your confidence improves, you stand a much better chance of sticking with the things that will eventually help you lose weight. It seems backwards, but the confidence comes before the weight loss. If you count on losing weight to give you your confidence back, then it’s going to be a struggle. Every time you face hardship, a slip or a craving along the way your confidence to stay on track will be lacking. I told my client,

"Envision the people that will be there that night. And ask yourself what makes them 'better' than you? Are they better at being a mom? Better at their job? Kinder? More honest? More trustworthy? Or are they better than you because they’re not fat? "

You know, you do not have to wait for the scale to say it’s OK to be confident. You certainly don’t have to wait for the people that you might see at the reunion to give you permission.

Consider the strengths of which you are most proud

Instead, take a lesson Dad taught me long ago- Consider the strengths of which you are most proud. Recall a time when you felt confident and empowered. Look inside to ask yourself what made you feel that way.

Only you can give yourself real permission to feel good about yourself.

coach yourself thin

 coach yourself thin

Success is Simple
from a talk in Asheville, NC - September, 2012
by Greg Hottinger, MPH, RD & Michael Scholtz, MA

coach yourself thin

 the  over-complication of diet and exercise  stops weight loss in its tracks

We lead very stressful and complicated lives. Exercise and healthy eating have the power to heal us and help us live healthier, more vibrant lives. But, many people shy away because they’re so confused about what is the “right” way to go about being healthy. It doesn’t have to be that way. Moving and eating whole foods are more basic and simple than you might imagine. Learn how to find that simplicity in your own life.

coach yourself thin

Distractions and Confusion

Big industry, media, and science can all contribute to the confusion. Science has limitations and often the truth about certain chemicals and foods are not understood for years.

All we need to do is look at history to see evidence of this. In the early 20th century, there were ads that said “DDT is Good for Me”, doctors encouraged patients in ads to “give their throat a vacation” by smoking Camel cigarettes, and hard-stick margarine was sold as a more nutritious alternative to butter.

In most cases, the media “distorts” the actual science or focuses on a kernel of truth and confuses people by writing about issues that don’t matter as much, such as the “tricks” for losing weight that we’ll discuss shortly.

Recently a study from Stanford found that organic foods are no more nutritious than conventional foods, and yet admittedly, organic foods had lower levels of pesticides and more omega-3 fats. The media spin is that there are no benefits to organic foods, despite the bulk of evidence that points to healthier conditions for farm workers, animals, and ground water on organic farms.

coach yourself thin

Smoke and Mirrors

Here are a few examples of distractions based on science but that are irrelevant to the bigger picture of health and weight loss that we’ll discuss:

“Exercise on an empty stomach”

“Exercise for at least 20 minutes or you don’t burn fat”

“Eat 30 minutes after or workout or you won’t gain the benefits.”

“Don’t eat carrots because they have a high glycemic index.”

“Don’t eat celery because is higher in sodium.”

What really works

What is proven to work is very simple. Here are four nutrition and four fitness keys:

a) Nutrition

Stay Hydrated

Our body is made of 70% water… not Diet Coke.

A few hundred years ago, the only available beverage was water.

The “media distortion” is that beverages such as Gatorade and Vitamin Water are better than water for your health.

Drinking enough water so the urine is pale in color is one of the simplest ways to increase energy and improve health. Invest in a water filter if needed.

Eat Enough

When trying to lose weight, the #1 pitfall is not eating enough calories. Diet books and doctors may be at fault.

The body is very adept at slowing the metabolism and resisting weight loss if there are not enough calories to support the resting metabolic needs.

There is “portion distortion” that confuses many on what is an appropriate amount of food.

coach yourself thin

Balance Your Intake

There are only three sources of calories: fats, protein, and carbohydrates. Keep it simple by learning what are healthy versions of each and have all three at meals and at least two at snacks.

The more you tune in to your inner signals, the easier it is to find balance.

The cultural “distortion” is that portions are over-sized and we’re encouraged to stay out of balance with our food intake.

Eat Mostly Whole Foods

What is the ingredient list of a banana?

Whole foods are simple. A few centuries ago, the only choice was whole foods. There were no refined sugars, extracted oils, artificial sweeteners, or chemical preservatives.

Your body responds to a diet that includes whole foods. Like drinking clean water, eliminating processed foods and sticking with whole foods (almost exclusively) is the best way to reclaim your health.

And the good news is that we don’t have to understand how it works. Just eat whole foods!

coach yourself thin

b) Fitness

Seek Out Natural Movement

Before target heart rate, fat burning zones, and the obsession with calories burned, walking was as simple as going for a walk or riding a bike.

As a child, exercise was play.

You already know how to move. Yes, there is a correct way to lift heavy things and scientific ways to measure intensity, but these things don’t matter if you’re just being active.

So many people miss opportunities to “just be active” and then can’t figure out how to “exercise”.

Listen to Your Body

If it feels too hard, then it usually is.

If it hurts, stop.

Let go of the need to punish yourself or your body for lost time.

Keep It Fun

Focus on doing what is fun, what you enjoy.

Would you really seek out the latest “body blaster” workout if you were focused on enjoyment and not re-making your body?

If you enjoy gardening, it doesn’t matter if you aren’t burning tons of calories.

Stop Searching for the “Best” Exercise

Typically the result of:

1) seeking to burn lots of calories

2) trying shrink or shape a certain body part

3) wanting to get more results for less effort

Release these false hopes and it will free you up to do the other 3 keys to simplifying your exercise that we have discussed.

Often, it is the need to do the biggest, baddest workout that keeps people from doing anything at all. A stroll with a friend, working in the garden, a gentle yoga or t’ai chi class is “enough”!

coach yourself thin


On chocolate

The weight issues interview


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Disclaimer: The nutritional and health information provided on this site is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional advice of any kind. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any illness. Your use of this website indicates your understanding and agreement with these terms.

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