Meet the Nutrition and Wellness Coach Who Has Helped People Lose And Keep Off Thousands Of Pounds
Updated: Jan 15, 2020
Sharon O' Connor, Contributor
Through her online and in-person coaching, Ali Brigham, MA, CHHC, NANP
has helped men and women lose a combined 12,000 lbs. Originally from
New York City, Ali resides with her family in Charlotte, North Carolina
where she set up her sought-after health and wellness practice.
What sets her apart? Two things. Ali's approach is personalized,
hands-on and genuine. She tailors each of her client's nutrition program to
meet their own individual needs.
The second is her method - which focuses on long-term success and
understanding and teaching her clients what causes them to over-eat
or reach for unhealthy foods; instead of simply telling clients what to eat
and what to avoid.
I had to opportunity to sit down with Ali in a more intimate setting so
I could pick her brain and find out some of her secrets.
My interview with Ali Brigham
1. If you're at a dinner party with someone - how do you describe
what you do?
I love this question, because most people simply answer, I'm an accountant", or "I'm a lawyer". But my answer is different. I say I change people's lives. This opens up room for discussion. What does that mean? It means I help my clients achieve optimum health and wellness using a mind-body nutrition approach, so their body's will naturally gravitate toward the leanest, fittest, version of themselves. It’s a natural and holistic approach to weight loss, rather than forcing their body into starvation mode with a militant, restrictive diet. Understanding the root cause of their weight issue is critical to the process. Nutrition alone is no longer adequate in addressing the challenges that we face with food, our weight, body image and overeating.
2. What's the most common question you get around food and nutrition?
That’s a great one! I think it would be ‘How can I lose weight and still enjoy food?’ Far too often people think they have to be super restrictive and eat plain, bland food in order to achieve their desired results. I have worked with thousands of people over the years, who have lost a combined 12,000+ pounds, without limiting their enjoyment of food. I combine mind-body nutrition coaching and flexible eating, so that my clients can enjoy food, while also achieving their desired results.
3. Is there one thing that unites individuals who have been successful in losing weight and keeping it off? A common thread or trait?
Yes indeed!. There are a few common traits that I've noticed over the last 2 decades of my career with individuals who have had the greatest success in losing weight and keeping it off. Number one would be, they are truly committed to solving their weight (or health issues) once and for all. The second one is they are open to trying new things. And the third is they don't give up when things get challenging. When someone comes to me for nutrition coaching, they have made a commitment to get well, whether that be lose weight, solve health issues or have a healthier relationship with food. Throughout the process I become their cheerleader to help them make the necessary changes and have them stick. Sometimes this means reinventing their community of friends, other times we go through a healing process and I help them to begin believing in themselves again. Whatever shift needs to happen, once it does – they achieve success.
6. Walk me through your daily routine - both how you eat and train and what your day looks like with clients/meetings etc.
A typical day begins by waking up before my little one and prepping for the day. I first meditate for 5 minutes and reflect on all the wonderful things that have occurred, and then I say (out loud) 3 things I am grateful for. Then I enjoy a cup of coffee and a morning tonic, while making a breakfast of pastured eggs loaded with fresh herbs, hot sauce and sour cream. That's my favorite. After I get my little one up, fed and off to school, my girlfriend comes over for a quick 15-minute workout (I design a new one everyday). That's how I start my day off with a bang. I immediately set myself up for success. I usually follow my work-out with some form of hydrating tonic or a smoothie. Afterwards I begin my one-on-one online coaching sessions until lunch.
Lunch for me varies so much; sometimes red lentil pasta, sometimes a sprouted veggie wrap, sometimes balsamic chicken salad, sometimes creamy salmon salad.
After lunch, my coaching sessions continue, followed by late afternoon meetings before grabbing my daughter off the bus from school. Our afternoons together include a variety of snacks...anything from fruit with raw goat cheese, or trail mix with raw nuts and seeds, or a chocolate protein bar or a healthy homemade muffin.
Our dinners are typically a lean protein with a healthy carb, healthy fat and veggies. One of our household favorites are nachos (lentil chips) piled high with red onions, scallions, cilantro, beans, shredded chicken, shredded melted goat cheddar and hot sauce. Another Brigham-home favorite is grass fed sirloin or filet with roasted broccoli with garlic and a side of sweet potato hash. Once a week, we have a date night (daughter included) with sushi or one of our favorite farm-to-table restaurants. I usually turn in early around 9am (I'm an early riser), but not before doing my research. Listening to podcasts, studying peer-review literature and watching documentaries on health and wellness has always been a passion for me. Nutrition is an ever-evolving field, and I like to stay of top of it.
8. The fitness and nutrition space is already a saturated market - what makes what you do different?
What makes me different is that I’m not looking to help someone find a quick fix that will ultimately be unsuccessful and keep them coming back for more. My coaching method is a full circle holistic approach that addresses not only food, but metabolism, hormones, cellular toxicity, stress and mind-body health. it is when we address all of these components, that true changes emerge. I’m not looking to create repeat customers; I want lifelong success stories!
9. What gets you out of bed every day?
My drive to succeed! I absolutely love my job and wake up every day looking forward to what’s in store. Seeing men and women struggle with weight and body image, beating themselves up and feeling like a failure breaks my heart. I know this, because I've been there. I just want them to know, there is a better way.
You can contact Ali at firstname.lastname@example.org.