Emma Doherty chats to West London Living about her bespoke coaching program for women who want to get in the best shape of their lives

Jasmine Pradhan interviews Emma Doherty, the founder of Empower Online Coaching, the bespoke fitness coaching organisation taking the internet by storm.

JP: What is Empower Online Coaching?

ED: Empower Online Coaching is an inclusive and holistic approach to achieving a transformation far beyond just a physical change in the mirror. Our mission is to help women around the world achieve a body they feel proud of; whilst eating delicious food, enjoying the journey and living a healthy, happy and balanced lifestyle. We don’t believe in quick fixes or fad diets. We don’t believe in cutting out food groups or doing exercises you hate. We don’t believe in a cookie-cutter approach, and we place a huge emphasis on personalising our clients’ coaching journeys. Our coaching is a collaborative journey between us (the coaches) and our clients to collectively create a ‘perfect plan’ for that one individual.

All of our clients get access to the Empower App where everything is housed. They get 1-2-1 communication in our built-in WhatsApp-style chat so they can message us as much as they like; no question is a silly question. They get personalised nutrition plans with all their favourite foods, tailored workout programmes with video demonstrations, workout logging, integration for their Apple Watch, habit trackers, educational e-books, goal setting and a hub to document all of their progress.

JP: What was your inspiration for starting it?

ED: My inspiration for starting Empower was from my own struggles; I noticed a gap in the market for an online coach who genuinely cared about their clients. I have worked with many online coaches in the past but I never received the care, empathy, compassion or education that I needed. I felt like there needed to be a service which helped women not only change their physical appearance; but also work on the mindset challenges that females struggle with. I know how it feels to hate what you see in the mirror and to not have a clue what you’re doing in the gym – so after overcoming this myself, I felt compelled to help other women do the same.

JP: Tell us about your personal journey with health and fitness…

ED: My own personal fitness journey has had a plethora of highs and lows but I’m genuinely grateful for the challenges and setbacks along the way as I have learned so much about myself, and it’s inspired me to learn and educate myself as much as I possibly could to overcome these struggles. I used to be known as the ‘fat’ friend; 20kg overweight and I got bullied in school. I have also been to the other end of the spectrum; suffering in silence with an eating disorder and being dangerously underweight. I was once a beginner who was scared of the gym and confused about what information to believe… but my struggles have led me to where I am today: a strong, empowered, healthy and happy girl- and now my number one passion in life is to help other women reach their full potential and avoid all of the mistakes I made.

JP: What’s been the highlight of your work so far?

ED: The highlight of my work has got to be seeing the life-changing impact we’ve had on hundreds of females; seeing them grow into strong, empowered confident women who achieved goals they used to dream about. Two clients that pop into my mind in particular:

Emily started working with us after her husband had an affair after she gave birth. She gained a lot of weight, lost her job and hit rock bottom with her mental health. We worked together for a year and she lost 25kg, she fell in love with exercise, regained her confidence and got her life back! The mental shift I saw in Emily was so inspiring and it’s moments like this that make me realise how much I love the work we do.

Another client; Caitlin – who I recently met in person when I travelled to Australia. She started working with Empower as a last resort as she didn’t get the help, guidance or support she needed after being an inpatient for anorexia nervosa. A couple of years prior to starting with us, doctors told her she had 48 hours left to live due to her organs shutting down. Her journey working with us wasn’t just about weight gain and achieving food freedom – it was so much deeper than that. Thankfully, she is now in a place where she has recovered from her eating disorder, she’s gained a healthy amount of weight, she’s overcome her exercise addiction and she’s now living her dream travelling Australia.

The work we do with our clients extends far beyond aesthetics; it’s about how we can impact their happiness, their life, and their mindsets so that they can live the life they deserve!

JP: What one piece of advice would you give to someone struggling with body image and confidence?

ED: It’s very hard to just give one piece of advice so I’ll give my top 3:

1. Not comparing yourself to other females!! EVER!! Don’t do it. You are you and that is your unique beauty!

2. Setting goals, showing up for yourself and keeping promises you make to yourself. I swear this gives you an incredible amount of self-confidence.

3. Always remember that confidence is an attitude, it’s not about how you look. Just act confident and it will slowly start to become natural. This honestly happened to me. I used to be SO shy and insecure but now I’m super outgoing, bubbly and confident.

JP: Do you think hormones play a role in our weight loss/fitness journeys for women?

ED: Absolutely! This is why it’s essential to take a holistic approach to weight loss and body transformation as it involves so much more than just what you eat and how you exercise. I’ll quickly talk about two hormonal changes that can massively influence body composition and weight loss:

Firstly; stress and cortisol can have direct and indirect impacts on weight loss (emotional/ binge eating), digestion, sleep quality, energy levels, and immunity and it can also cause hormone dysregulation. If you’re in a state of CHRONIC stress with elevated cortisol levels – this can then lead to a number of issues such as:

-Promoting muscle breakdown
-Inhibiting protein synthesis
-Insulin resistance + diabetes
– Increase in ghrelin hormone that stimulates appetite/cravings
-Decrease in leptin hormone that tells your body that you’re full

Also, the female menstrual cycle has a noticeable impact on weight and body fluctuations each month.

JP: There is so much conflicting information about food and macronutrients out there, what is Empower coaching based on and what makes you confident that your approach is the right one?

ED: One of my biggest passions is to expel and “undo” the myths circulating in the dieting industry and show females that you CAN eat your favourite foods whilst sculpting your best physique. Losing body fat and changing how you look in the mirror should be a fun, exciting and empowering journey! I want women to put an end to the restrictive fad diets, the yo-yo weight fluctuations, endless cardio and feeling like a ‘failure’. My mission is to empower females to say goodbye to inflexible dieting, food obsessions and body anxieties for good.

It doesn’t have to be complicated or confusing – I want females to realise that getting in shape doesn’t have to be an extreme “all or nothing” way of living. Our approach is flexible dieting; prioritising whole nutrient-dense foods but also enjoying the sweet treats and yum foods that the dieting industry has led us to believe are “off limits”. All of our clients eat a healthy balance of proteins, carbs and fats; there are no foods off limits or specific guidelines they have to follow in terms of meal timings. If you want to lose weight and become healthier my top 3 tips would be these:

Increase your protein intake
Cook from home more and start creating healthier versions of your favourite meals
Increase your veggie and fibre intake

JP: What would you say to the woman who thinks they’ve tried everything to get in shape and nothing has worked?

ED: I relate; I know how this feels. But you have to remember that it starts with your mindset. If you keep telling yourself you’re a failure and that it’s never going to work- then it probably won’t. You need to vision the best version of yourself and truly believe in your heart that you can become her; and I promise you – if I can do it, you can too!

So instead of avoiding the uncomfortable, difficult times on your health/fitness journey when you lose motivation and look for every single possible excuse as to why you can’t: challenge yourself by arguing the reason why you can! Yes it might take some initial motivation/ discipline and hard work to change your lifestyle habits at first… but you need to ask yourself this question:

Would you prefer to apply the discipline required to start working towards your goals?


suffer from the gut-wrenching regret of having done nothing for your future self…. And being stuck in the same position, again… 1 year today

Do it for your future self! And tell yourself every single day that you can do it!

Q: Tell us about your latest program: Emerge…

ED: Emerge is a coaching programme which encompasses everything I have learnt over the past few years of being a female transformation coach. After my own 20kg + weight loss transformation and from working 1-2-1 with hundreds of females; I now know exactly what it requires to achieve long-lasting results in a healthy and enjoyable way!

I can relate to the pain points, I understand the common barriers & how to tackle them, and I would consider myself an expert when it comes to permanent behaviour change, habit formation and female physique transformations.

In short – Emerge is a 6-month, 3-step coaching programme which is designed around YOU! It is 100% tailored to your unique struggles and barriers, your goals and your lifestyle. This programme has been designed to slowly instil the habits, routines and fundamental foundations to set you up for a PERMANENT physique transformation – with physical results that last far beyond just a summer holiday!

I want to help you develop an enjoyable routine that fits around your family and work commitments; I want to show you how you can truly eat all your favourite foods and still reach whatever goals you have for yourself!; I want to educate you so that you UNDERSTAND the changes we’re making; I want to show you how to track macros, eat out and enjoy social occasions whilst staying on track; I want to help you overcome that all-or-nothing mentality for GOOD! No more binge eating followed by restrictive crash diets.

I want to help you EMERGE into the absolute best version of you!!

What’s your fave food?


Breakfast: Empower biscoff overnight oats (one of our in-app recipes)
Lunch: Nandos-style chicken wraps and salad
Snack: Blueberry and peanut butter protein smoothie
Dinner: Empower BBQ chicken pizza wraps or a nutrient-dense poke bowl!

JP: And your fave way to move your body?

ED: I absolutely love weight training; It makes me feel strong, capable and empowered. I also love boxing as I find it very therapeutic and it’s great for cardio. I’m also a big fan of hitting a step count and I love going on little walks throughout the day.

JP: Quote for life?

ED: “If outside validation is your only source of nourishment you will be hungry for the rest of your life”

You can find out more about Empower Online Coaching and the EMERGE program by visiting https://empoweronlinecoaching.com

Plus, look out for one of the team’s review of the coaching program coming later in the year!

Fitness Professionals