Combined lifestyle interventions (CLIs) can be effective in reducing weight and improving lifestyle-related behaviours but it is unclear how CLIs can best be implemented in practice in order to achieve sustained lifestyle changes. The Coaching on Lifestyle programme (CooL) is a CLI in the Netherlands, in which professional lifestyle coaches counsel adults and children (and/or their parents) who are obese or at high risk of obesity to achieve a sustained healthier lifestyle. The CooL intervention consists of group and individual sessions addressing the topics of physical activity, dietary behaviours, sleep and stress. Our longitudinal one-group pre-post study aimed to identify lifestyle changes among participants (adults, children and their parents) at 8 and 18 months after initiation. We assessed constructs ranging from motivation and behaviour-specific cognitions to behaviours and health outcomes. Positive and sustained changes among adults were found regarding perceived autonomy, motivation, perceived barriers, lifestyle behaviours, quality of life and weight. Among children and their parents, few improvements were found regarding behaviours and quality of life. CooL has been successful in coaching adult participants towards sustained behavioural change during the intervention period. Mixed results and smaller effect sizes were found for children and their parents.
Keywords: behaviour change; coaching; combined lifestyle intervention; lifestyle; nutrition/diet; obesity; overweight; physical activity.