Hiring a trainer to help you lose weight can be a very useful tool if you find the right trainer, and can afford the cost. The trick lies in making sure the trainer knows what they are doing.
A good trainer will be able to take your fat loss goal, and be able to break it down into more behavior based weekly goals that will get you to where you want to be. There is a lot more to losing weight, than just dieting down. Sustainability is the biggest factor that comes to mind. We can all lose the weight if we really wanted to, but keeping it off a year later is the hard part.
A trainer will have that game plan set. His goal, ironically, should be to educate you so you eventually DON’T need him/her in the long run other than for a check-in once and awhile if you feel you are veering off.
Ability to Pivot
The other hardest part of losing weight is stalling. We ALL succumb to it. The more weight you have to lose, or the leaner you want to get, the harder and harder it becomes. I’ve seen so many friends and family members do great the first couple weeks on their own. Then, they hit a plateau, get frustrated and inevitably give up. If you hire a good trainer, they will anticipate this plateau coming, and have a plan to get you out. It could be a 1-2 week diet break, or a refeed day to bring your metabolism back up. There are strategies to deal with these problems, but it takes someone with experience to implement them properly.
Strengths and Weaknesses
There is a TON of information online about how to lose weight. That goes for both diets and workout plans. You could definitely experiment, and try different plans out. In fact, I’m a big proponent of experimentation so that you can learn what works for your body and what doesn’t. The issue with this is, not everyone wants to spend all the time and money to do that. In most cases, people are losing weight for a specific event or timeline, so guessing isn’t an option.
It is not worth just randomly picking free diet and workout plans, with no background experience just so you can save some money. Certain things are actually worth investing money on to get your time back. Investing in yourself and your health is one of them. A trainer will have streamlined everything already. They will know what workouts you should be doing. YOU are not like everyone else. You have different limitations, injuries, a metabolism unique to you.
They Should Have a Track Record
On that same note, because they have everything streamlined, it is also worth it to make sure this trainer has achieved these goals with another client before. Some trainers specialize in helping clients lose weight while others are better at injury prevention. Seek out the ones who have that proven track record. They will have answers to any questions you have, and most likely a solution to any obstacle you foresee.
Being Objective and Accountable
This may actually be the most important reason for hiring a trainer. We’re humans. We get all too emotional and subjective about our process. We have all had that experience where the advice we know to give to our friends we end up rarely following ourselves.
Hiring a good trainer will give you that third party objectivity to KNOW what needs to be done despite what your feelings say. They will also hold you accountable to your goals. Afraid of spending the money? That’s actually perfect. Use that as motivation. I know for myself, if I am investing a lot of money into something, I’m going to want to see the return on that investment. Even just knowing I’m paying them to train me, will be a good enough reason to get me to the gym when I start feeling lazy. It’ll make me put that extra cookie down, when I know my trainer is expecting a text or weigh-in to see if I hit my weekly goals.
There is still tremendous value in even hiring a trainer for a few sessions. Although a trainer won’t be able to guide you every step of the way if you only hire them for a few sessions, they will still be able to provide you with massive value. They can teach you proper exercise form and help direct you towards the right track. For a cost-effective approach, I recommend getting 2-4 sessions and spacing them out. One session a week or every other week is a good strategy. In this scenario a trainer will show you good exercise form, write you a workout and then meet with you a couple weeks later to hear your feedback of how it all went.