Ah, Friend Feast. My favorite annual non-holiday event. (If you’re new around here: What started as a potluck-type Friendsgiving many years ago morphed into a multi-course dinner party and now — with a table set for 13 friends this year — it’s probably the biggest event we host at our house, complete with wine-pairing by me and/or beer-pairing by our good friend Jim of KC Beer Scouts.) Seeing that 2017’s Spanish-inspired Friend Feast was such a hit (see past years’ recaps here, here, here and here), this year my husband and I decided to go a similar route — turning to a different region for culinary inspiration…

The post My Mexican-Inspired Friend Feast appeared first on Fit Bottomed Girls.

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Jen and Nathaniel spent the past 12 months transforming their eating habits, health, bodies, and lives with personal help from a PN coach. And now? They’re our latest Grand Prize winners. See how we surprised them with $25,000 each, and meet the rest of our January 2019 Precision Nutrition Coaching winners.

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Every six months, in our Precision Nutrition Coaching program, we give away more than $125,000 to the men and women who have the most incredible, inspiring body transformations.

Yep, that’s more than $250,000 a year.

And today, you’ll meet our latest amazing winners.

These folks started working with us in January 2018 and—over the course of the past year—completely transformed how they eat, move, look, and feel.

They lost weight, gained strength, boosted their health, and inspired their friends and families.

What’s more, they did all of this without extreme diets or crazy workout routines. There were no meal plans or off-limit foods. No unbreakable rules. No deprivation. And perhaps best of all, no guilt.

Each person simply committed to making a change, stayed consistent, and used the accountability and support of one of our dedicated coaches.

$25,000 Grand Prize Winner: Jen

Lost 54 lbs and 43 total inches!

Age: 42 years
Weight Lost: 54 lbs (from 182 lbs to 128 lbs)
Total Inches Lost: 43 inches (from 234 inches to 191 inches)

Nobody could ever accuse Jen Kruczek of being a couch potato.

She plays softball. Flag football. Indoor soccer.

She loves boxing. Tennis. Swimming. Yoga. Running.

“I hate having to choose,” she laughs. “I want to do it all!”

Jen’s athleticism had always been key to her identity. There was just one little problem: By the time she turned 40, her performance just wasn’t what it used to be.

Her joints felt stiffer. She tired more easily. She couldn’t always follow through on her softball coach’s suggestions.

And a series of five hamstring injuries in a year and a half didn’t help.

Nothing in Jen’s life had given her the same pleasure and sense of fulfillment as movement. And now, movement was becoming… complicated.

Was this the start of a downward spiral?

The prospect of losing mobility and strength was so upsetting that it forced Jen to ask herself a difficult question.

Could her struggles in the gym and on the field be traced to the 40 or 50 extra pounds she was carrying?

Weight had always been an issue for Jen. She’d try a diet, lose fifteen or twenty pounds, go off the diet, and quickly regain. It was demoralizing. She was tired of living that way.

Even worse was the frustration she felt. She wasn’t ignorant. She understood the basics of healthy eating.

She knew what she was supposed to do. So why was it so hard to make the change?

Jen knew she needed a true game changer. Reading about Precision Nutrition Coaching’s daily lessons appealed to her orderly, organized side. It seemed like the kind of program that could help her trade less healthy habits for better ones… for good.

With her coach and fellow clients providing support and accountability, Jen put down the cheese curls. Stopped going for takeout every day after the gym. Learned how to make mindful choices in the break room at work when the aroma of homemade donuts or bagels enticed her.

Slowly but surely, she started losing weight. Still, she didn’t realize how well the program was working until her ninth month, when she signed up for a half marathon.

Jen had run about a dozen half marathons in the past. But each successive run had seemed just a little bit tougher. In fact, she’d made her best time on her very first race back when she was 30.

Looking ahead, she didn’t think she’d ever be able to top that.

Imagine her surprise when, at the age of 42, she finished a full ten minutes ahead of her previous record. “When I started this program, I just wanted to avoid injuring myself so much,” she says.

Now, she’s not only injury-free, but she’s also performing at a higher level.

“That extra weight was dragging me down. Now it’s gone.”

Jen lives on Cape Cod. On the beach, she’s seen older people who can barely walk in the heavy sand or who struggle to stand up once they’ve settled themselves on a beach towel.

“Thinking about my future, I didn’t want to end up that way,” she says. Instead, she wanted to be like the vibrant 70-year-old who plays on her softball team. Or the women in their sixties who still play soccer with her.

“I want to become that active older person.” Precision Nutrition gave her the tools to make her dream a reality.

Her advice for anyone chasing their own transformation dream?

“Give yourself a year,” she says. “And trust the process.”

Want to get results like Jen? Learn more about the Precision Nutrition Coaching Program for Women.

$25,000 Grand Prize Winner: Nathaniel

Lost 54 lbs and 42 total inches!

Age: 36 years
Weight Lost: 54 lbs (from 289 lbs to 235 lbs)
Total Inches Lost: 42 inches (from 295 inches to 253 inches)

At 35, Nathaniel knew he had a weight problem.

Indeed, he’d had a weight problem for most of his life.

In 4th grade, he already weighed in at 140 pounds. By high school graduation, he was over 275. And in his early thirties, he’d really let himself go.

Still, he figured he was healthy. He was young, and he’d always been active.

Then, he suddenly found himself in an emergency room waiting for a heart catheterization test. His blood pressure medication wasn’t working. “I failed a stress test,” he recalls. “They had to stop it partway through.”

Hang on, he thought.

“If I don’t make a change, I could die soon.”

Nathaniel credits a friend for guiding him toward Precision Nutrition. “He was a finalist himself a few years back. He knew the company was reliable.”

With his friend’s recommendation, Nathaniel committed himself to the program.

Right from the start, he treated it like a second job. He completed every lesson. Showed up for every workout. Put himself on the line by telling almost everybody he knew about his weight loss plan.

He even promised his kids that if he won, he’d take them to Disneyland. “When a 6-year-old is depending on you, that’s a lot of pressure,” he laughs.

The process wasn’t always easy.

While his family and friends supported him, they didn’t share his goal, so sometimes they’d be eating his favorite foods while he opted for a Tupperware container filled with something lighter.

Even on family vacations, he planned ahead of time and sometimes even brought along his own food to ensure he would have healthy options to choose from.

“They thought I was crazy,” he remembers.

And while he looked forward to exercising most days, there were inevitably some afternoons when he just didn’t feel like going to the gym. On top of that, he had to find ways to work around significant injuries at two different points during the program.

First, he tore his plantar fascia, the connective tissue that spans the bottom of the foot. This confined him to a walking boot and temporarily put an end to any running.

Since running was out of the question, he turned to rowing for aerobic conditioning. But rowing turned out to be a physical and mental trial.

When he started, he could barely squeeze out 11 minutes on the machine. That wasn’t exactly encouraging.

Still, there’d been signs of improvement, and those small progressions were enough to spark his hope and keep him going.

Take his hypertension, for example. About four months into coaching, around the time of that first injury, he started experiencing some weird symptoms again.

Turns out, his blood pressure wasn’t spiking. Instead, it was bottoming out! He’d improved so much that his doctors had to reduce his medications.

And by Nathaniel’s eleventh month—when he tore his biceps tendon playing touch football—eleven minutes of rowing was just a warm up for the two hours he could now sustain.

Not only that, but he’d also been off all blood pressure medications for six months.

Changing the way he ate and moved was only the start.

“I learned to see setbacks as challenges, not excuses,” he explains.

As Nathaniel’s health improved and his mindset shifted, his whole family took note. The changes in his mentality rubbed off.

Today, his wife is taking steps to pursue an important dream of her own.

His older daughter works out with him at the gym.

And his younger daughter’s getting ready to pack for Disneyland.

“I look like a different person now,” Nathaniel reflects. “But the outward changes are nothing compared to the inner changes. I’ve strengthened my mind even more than my body.”

Best of all, he’s healthy.

“At the beginning, this goal seemed so lofty, so unattainable,” he says. Now, he’s eager to tackle new challenges in every facet of his life.

After all, why settle for peak fitness?

Want to get results like Nathaniel? Learn more about the Precision Nutrition Coaching Program for Men.

Meet our other Women’s winners:

Anne

$10,000 Women’s Winner:

Age: 67 years

Weight Lost: 57 lbs (204 lbs to 147 lbs)

Total inches lost: 37″ (249″ to 212″)

The secret to my transformation lies in the PN method. Very small changes in food choices, which, when combined with other very doable lifestyle habits, have convinced me I can live like this for the rest of my life. My progress was steady and surprisingly easy.

– Anne

Hanna

$10,000 Women’s Winner:

Age: 38 years

Weight Lost: 40 lbs (183 lbs to 143 lbs)

Total inches lost: 33″ (227″ to 194″)

PN Coaching has taught me to listen to my body and make decisions about nutrition, exercise, and rest based on what makes me feel best physically and emotionally. I wasn’t sure about sharing my photos, but this year really helped me a lot, and I hope that they might inspire and encourage others to join.

– Hanna

Sheila

$2,500 Women’s Winner:

Age: 49 years

Weight Lost: 52 lbs (201 lbs to 149 lbs)

Total inches lost: 44″ (262″ to 218″)

I joined PN because I was tired of being invisible in my own life. Slowly, this program instilled in me a sense of empowerment and confidence in my own abilities. I never wanted to be ‘skinny’—I wanted to be strong. I’ve learned so much about what my body is capable of. It hasn’t been a perfect year, but it’s been amazing. I am not invisible anymore.

– Sheila

Annette

$2,500 Women’s Winner:

Age: 45 years

Weight Lost: 37 lbs (189 lbs to 152 lbs)

Total inches lost: 28″ (238 ” to 210″)

This past year, I learned self-acceptance and how to stop trying to be perfect. I found peace. Food no longer controls me. PN truly gave me my life back.

– Annette

Shelley

$2,500 Women’s Winner:

Age: 60 years

Weight Lost: 32 lbs (148 lbs to 116 lbs)

Total inches lost: 26″ (217″ to 191″)

I have transformed into a more confident person. A person who stands up taller with self-pride. A person who has learned what is important in life. A person who I like.

– Shelley

Jodi

$2,500 Women’s Winner:

Age: 38 years

Weight Lost: 17 lbs (141 lbs to 124 lbs)

Total inches lost: 24″ (206″ to 182″)

PN has constantly pushed me a little further, sometimes out of my comfort zone, past the limits I’ve set for myself. But man, have I come far. I can finally say it’s my time to shine!

– Jodi

Trish

$1,000 Women’s Winner:

Age: 48 years

Weight Lost: 41 lbs (229 lbs to 188 lbs)

Total inches lost: 48″ (265″ to 217″)

Before PN, I was not sure if I would ever be able to move like I did before my car accident. Now I’m not only moving better, but I’m also stronger than I have ever been! It’s been a true life transformation. PN not only gave me my life back, but a stronger, happier, and healthier version of myself. I’m so grateful!

– Trish

Krista

$1,000 Women’s Winner:

Age: 62 years

Weight Lost: 15 lbs (142 lbs to 127 lbs)

Total inches lost: 18″ (218″ to 200″)

At first, PN Coaching was all about losing the excess weight I’d been carrying around for the last ten years. But as my year progressed, my journey became much more than that. Through the lessons, which were eerily timely to exactly what I was going through or thinking, I regained my old self: a person with healthy self-esteem, confidence, pride, a positive outlook, good relationships, and LOTS of energy. I now look forward to working out, sweating and—ahem—flexing my muscles. I wake up happy every morning, and I know this is due to the results I’ve achieved. I practically bounce out of bed feeling great about myself and looking forward to another new day and a chance to be active.

– Krista

Olivia

$1,000 Women’s Winner:

Age: 26 years

Weight Lost: 22 lbs (163 lbs to 141 lbs)

Total inches lost: 19″ (223″ to 204″)

Over the past year, I feel like I’ve rediscovered a part of myself that was missing. Thanks to my experience with PN Coaching, I have the self-knowledge and empowerment to sustainably care for myself and to boldly pursue my goals long-term.

– Olivia

Alana

$1,000 Women’s Winner:

Age: 54 years

Weight Lost: 32 lbs (224 lbs to 192 lbs)

Total inches lost: 31″ (260″ to 229″)

I’ve gone from someone in pain and barely able to move to someone who does lunges and squats while cleaning the house. I can run two flights of stairs when I forget the laundry in the basement, and I didn’t mind a two-kilometer backtrack in the mountains this summer to avoid a grizzly bear and her cubs. I am proud of my body and what it’s able to do. Oh, and there was that Spartan race I did—and more I plan to do. My whole life has changed. I’m back in school, pursuing a life-long dream, and I’m excited about my life.

– Alana

Nivi

$1,000 Women’s Winner:

Age: 37 years

Weight Lost: 16 lbs (121 lbs to 105 lbs)

Total inches lost: 25″ (207″ to 182″)

Precision Nutrition took the fearful, insomniac, crabby, insulin-resistant, coffee/chocolate/wine hound at 34 percent body fat version of me, and transformed it into a happy, healthy social entrepreneur and wellness coach! In short, just when the caterpillar thought the end of the world had come… it turned into a butterfly. That, in a nutshell, is the impact of PN on one year of my life (and continuing!).

– Nivi

Brandy

$1,000 Women’s Winner:

Age: 70 years

Weight Lost: 29 lbs (164 lbs to 135 lbs)

Total inches lost: 27″ (230″ to 203″)

Precision Nutrition, for me, was never a ‘diet.’ PN just gently, persistently, consistently, and compassionately guided me into a new paradigm. One of health, strength, endurance, flexibility, and confidence—all amazing ‘gains!’ And along the way, I managed to shed pounds, inches, clothing sizes, and above all, a negative self-image.

– Brandy

Jennifer

$1,000 Women’s Winner:

Age: 34 years

Weight Lost: 37 lbs (171 lbs to 134 lbs)

Total inches lost: 33″ (240″ to 207″)

PN YEAR = BEST YEAR OF MY LIFE! Just a few habits that stick with me daily include: self-compassion, noticing my accomplishments, perseverance, surviving setbacks, and creating a pattern of striving to be or do just 1 percent better each day. The greatest part of all of this for me is that I can now passionately share these lessons with others!

– Jennifer

Tracie

$1,000 Women’s Winner:

Age: 62 years

Weight Lost: 24 lbs (141 lbs to 117 lbs)

Total inches lost: 19″ (209″ to 190″)

I’ve been thinking a lot about how to handle the incredible sense of POSSIBILITY and ABILITY I’ve gained through PN Coaching. As my physical body gets leaner and smaller, everything else—confidence, body awareness, and the sense of what is possible—not just in terms of fitness and nutrition, but in life, has expanded.

– Tracie

Meet our other Men’s winners:

Warren

$10,000 men’s Winner:

Age: 44 years

Weight Lost: 58 lbs (225 lbs to 167 lbs)

Total inches lost: 45″ (261″ to 216″)

Before Precision Nutrition Coaching, I was a yo-yo exerciser and a chronic dieter. I would follow a plan for three months, take maybe 6 months off, and then go back on for a month. On and on it went. I was 225 pounds, and I had back problems and severe vertigo from Meniere’s disease, which had me bedridden multiple times a month. But, I decided to commit to 12 months of coaching, and I put my trust in the program. The lessons and exercises were easy to follow, and helped me form habits that will continue well after the program has finished. Fast forward to today: My back (as well as the rest of my body) is stronger, and the pain has disappeared. My last vertigo episode was almost a year ago. I’m the lightest and fittest I’ve been in over 20 years, I have more energy, and I’m more engaged with my work and with my family. I cannot thank the PN program and coaches enough. They’ve helped me achieve so much.

– Warren

Regan

$10,000 men’s Winner:

Age: 29 years

Weight Lost: 43 lbs (191 lbs to 148 lbs)

Total inches lost: 26″ (237″ to 211″)

Precision Nutrition freed me from the ‘paralysis by analysis’… when you overthink nutrition and exercise to the point that you’re left not knowing what to do… so you don’t do anything at all. When I finally allowed myself to let go of the minutia and just trust the program, things started to shift. I’m amazed at how much success I achieved. PN helped me build a foundation free of nutrition and fitness BS.

– Regan

Scott

$2,500 men’s Winner:

Age: 43 years

Weight Lost: 64 lbs (272 lbs to 208 lbs)

Total inches lost: 37″ (276″ to 239″)

Precision Nutrition Coaching has helped me reconnect with my health and fitness. I used to be very passive about my health, but now I’ve become an active participant. I’ve learned how my body responds to different foods, exercise, and stressors, and now I know how to support myself with nutrition, fitness, and the right mindset so I can achieve my goals. The program brought me to a better nutritional, physical, and mental state.

– Scott

Kevin

$2,500 men’s Winner:

Age: 44 years

Weight Lost: 36 lbs (166 lbs to 130 lbs)

Total inches lost: 31″ (232″ to 201″)

Precision Nutrition Coaching has been the best investment in my health that I’ve ever made. Not only is my body fat lower, and my energy, endurance and strength better, but my problem solving skills and choices are healthier, too. The lessons, habits, and coaching tear down unhealthy thinking and build up wise, creative thinking that leads to improving physical wellbeing.

– Kevin

Michael

$2,500 men’s Winner:

Age: 54 years

Weight Lost: 32 lbs (186 lbs to 154 lbs)

Total inches lost: 24″ (234″ to 210″)

My Precision Nutrition Coaching experience has been awesome. It has been a year of learning and understanding my body and how it relates to food. I have finally learned how to eat according to my body’s cues. Not only did I lose weight, but I’m also now the leanest and strongest I’ve ever been.

– Michael

Tony

$2,500 men’s Winner:

Age: 48 years

Weight Lost: 45 lbs (259 lbs to 214 lbs)

Total inches lost: 25″ (270″ to 245″)

Precision Nutrition Coaching guided me through a total transformation, extending beyond pounds and inches lost. With PN’s guidance, I learned how to think, eat, and act in a way that promotes and sustains health and well-being as a lifestyle.

– Tony

Vincent

$1,000 men’s Winner:

Age: 60 years

Weight Lost: 14 lbs (200 lbs to 186 lbs)

Total inches lost: 5″ (246″ to 241″)

My Precision Nutrition experience brought me so much more than weight loss. I’ve lost weight dozens of times over the years, but this time I discovered a lot about myself and developed a new relationship with food. I will carry this with me for the rest of my life. Precision Nutrition doesn’t tell you what to do. It showed me the path so I could decide what works best for me and my lifestyle. PN helped me stay accountable while still being human. PN allows for and even expects mistakes, setbacks, and failure. We all fail at times and that’s ok. It’s accepting failure and moving on that leads to success. I’ve learned the value of sleep, rest, stress reduction, and nutrition. Thanks to Precision Nutrition, the weight is lost forever. My cholesterol, blood pressure, and lab tests have all improved significantly, too. I move better, my inflammation is dramatically reduced, and for the first time in decades am relatively pain-free.

– Vincent

Rodney

$1,000 men’s Winner:

Age: 49 years

Weight Lost: 54 lbs (271 lbs to 217 lbs)

Total inches lost: 29″ (244″ to 215″)

Trying to put my experience this year into words is difficult for me. I look back to when I started and how I thought and felt about exercising and eating, and I realize why I couldn’t ever achieve consistency in my health before. I used to think I was lazy, that I had no motivation, that I wasn’t an athlete, and that exercising was a chore to get done. Food was something to limit and control, and certain foods were just off limits. I didn’t see how food could be a tool, and that I had the opportunity to choose things to benefit my health. This year has been this slow, gradual change that has transformed the way I view health and life. So many eating and exercising programs use a “copy and paste” approach: “Do this exactly like I did and you will see these results.” Precision Nutrition Coaching is instead a process of self discovery. It helps you create a life of health that works for you, whatever stage you’re at. The habits and principles PN teaches are flexible and adaptable to anyone’s life. I joined PN because I wanted to lose some weight, but I quickly discovered that PN was so much more than a weight loss program: It was a complete shift in my approach to health. I’ve lost lots of weight, but most importantly, I’ve learned to see myself and my life in a different way. And I learned the consistency I needed in order to accomplish my goals.

– Rodney

Dan

$1,000 men’s Winner:

Age: 42 years

Weight Lost: 36 lbs (217 lbs to 181 lbs)

Total inches lost: 21″ (241″ to 220″)

For years, I’ve struggled with the mental, physical, and emotional roller coaster of weight loss and gain. That’s because I was focusing on the wrong goals and purpose. With the help of Precision Nutrition Coaching, I’ve finally found the true purpose and value of my health and fitness. It’s the glue my life has been missing.

– Dan

Ryan

$1,000 men’s Winner:

Age: 26 years

Weight Lost: 65 lbs (264 lbs to 199 lbs)

Total inches lost: 42″ (269″ to 227″)

Precision Nutrition Coaching has given me the knowledge and foundation to pursue an active and healthy lifestyle. The coaches and the program have helped me regain my self confidence, improve my mobility, and lose more weight than I thought was possible.

– Ryan

Brad

$1,000 men’s Winner:

Age: 47 years

Weight Lost: 22 lbs (193 lbs to 171 lbs)

Total inches lost: 13″ (235″ to 222″)

I have learned that through changing behaviors steadily over time, the process of getting in better shape takes care of itself. Precision Nutrition gave me the tools I needed to succeed, and habits I can sustain for a lifetime.

– Brad

Alisdair

$1,000 men’s Winner:

Age: 47 years

Weight Lost: 46 lbs (229 lbs to 183 lbs)

Total inches lost: 23″ (246″ to 223″)

Like most people, I knew what to eat. What I had forgotten was how to eat. Over this past year, Precision Nutrition Coaching helped me realize this, and it taught me good habits so I could develop a better relationship with food. It also empowered me to take responsibility for my health. This results in the holy grail of sustainable change.

– Alisdair

Jonas

$1,000 men’s Winner:

Age: 32 years

Weight Lost: 52 lbs (225 lbs to 173 lbs)

Total inches lost: 34″ (253″ to 219″)

The most important thing that I’ve learned from Precision Nutrition Coaching is that I am not tied to any of the past struggles I’ve had with fitness. I’ve changed my mindset. I now know that every second of every day is an opportunity to make choices that lead to a better life. Being able to stay present in the moment has helped me take steps to remain consistent and develop good habits that have stuck with me and will continue to do so.

– Jonas

Marc

$1,000 men’s Winner:

Age: 50 years

Weight Lost: 28 lbs (208 lbs to 180 lbs)

Total inches lost: 5″ (235″ to 230″)

This last year with Precision Nutrition has been one of balance. Finding balance at the gym, in nutrition, and in life have been lessons that have been at the forefront of my PN education. From balancing my family life, my professional life, and my nutritional education, to balancing my go-to, “all or nothing” attitude in the gym, PN has taught me how to keep my life in perspective. It’s allowed me to develop a healthy lifestyle at work and at home, and it’s taught me the principles of healthy eating that I now incorporate into my everyday routine.

– Marc

Meet a few hundred more Precision Nutrition clients.

To view all the men’s and women’s finalists from the January 2019 Coaching Program, click the links below.

To view all the men’s and women’s finalists from all of our Precision Nutrition Coaching programs, click one of the links below.

Of course, if you’re interested in working toward a body or health transformation of your own, consider joining our next Precision Nutrition Coaching group. We’re opening up a few spots in the coming weeks.

Want to transform your body too?

As you probably know, you won’t overhaul your body this dramatically by counting calories, logging time on a treadmill, or reading health tips on Twitter. 

Awesome, lasting, wow-what-happened-to-you transformations usually require personal attention from an expert coach.

And here’s the good news: Precision Nutrition Coaching will be accepting new clients very soon, at our lowest, most accessible price ever.

If you’re interested and want to find out more, I’d encourage you to join our presale list.

Being on the presale list gives you two special advantages.

  • You’ll pay less than everyone else. At Precision Nutrition we like to reward the most interested and motivated people because they always make the best clients. Join the presale list and you’ll save up to 54% off the general public price, which is the lowest price we’ve ever offered.
  • You’re more likely to get a spot. To give clients the personal care and attention they deserve, we only open up the program twice a year. Last time we opened registration, we sold out within minutes. By joining the presale list you’ll get the opportunity to register 24 hours before everyone else, increasing your chances of getting in.

[Note: If your health and fitness are already sorted out, but you’re interested in helping others, check out our Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certification program].

If you’re ready to change your body, and your life, with help from the world’s best coaches, this is your chance.

The post Precision Nutrition Coaching Grand Prize Winners: January 2019. We just surprised our latest winners with more than $125,000 in prizes! appeared first on Precision Nutrition.

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I’ve finally found a fitness-focused New Year’s resolution that’s worth making. And here it is, along with 10 client-proven ways to reach your own health and fitness goals this year.

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If you’re reading this, it means you survived the holidays.

It’s the most wonderful (crazy, stressful, awesome, magical) time of the year.

You know the drill: Kids and toys everywhere. In-law invasions. And get this: My 6-year-old daughter and I found reindeer tracks in the backyard on Christmas morning again this year, ha!

Berardi Family Christmas

The Berardi Family with Santa and Mrs. Claus.

Amid all the craziness — in fact, because of the craziness — my wife and I decided to break tradition and actually make New Year’s Resolutions this year.

Ordinarily it’s not something we would do.

In fact, it’s not something we would ordinarily suggest you do either. Especially if your resolutions typically involve detoxes or juice cleanses, or chasing an unrealistic level of leanness.

Stats on New Year’s Resolutions — especially fitness ones — are abysmal. Packed gyms on January 2 are ghost towns on March 2.

I thought about this the other day while driving home from a family function (and while trying to keep Kid #1 from punching Kid #2).

At Precision Nutrition, we often use the phrase:

“Fitness in the context of a real human life…”

What does “real life” actually mean?

It means something like this:

  • All 4 kids are sick (at the same time), so you’re getting virtually no sleep…
  • Your mother-in-law is going through cancer treatment and you visit daily…
  • It’s Christmas/Thanksgiving/Passover/Diwali/Eid or the long weekend…
  • Because of the holiday, you’ve got a tight deadline at work…
  • When you’re stressed your lower back acts up…
  • And just as you’re about to head out for the blessed 30-minute workout you’ve been looking forward to all day, your dog drops a diarrhea poop on the living room carpet.

That, my friends, is fitness in the context of a real human life.

So, is it any wonder most fitness resolutions fail?

If you think about it, most health and fitness plans live outside the context of a real life:

“Here’s a 30-day detox diet to follow… and a new hardcore workout DVD…”

“Why not do a fitness competition in April… and a triathlon in August…”

“It’s time to go all-in… it’s the only way to win!”

Except that it’s not. Because all-or-nothing thinking rarely gets you all. It usually gets you nothing.

That diet plan, or workout DVD, or one-size-fits-all training program you pulled from Triathlon magazine was never built to accommodate sick kids or cancer treatment or your co-worker’s two-week vacation.

Yet when the insane idea that you have to do all things perfectly takes hold, it’s pretty hard to shake loose.

Sure, we can play make-believe. We can imagine a life where everything is peaceful, calm, and totally in our control all the time. But that’s a surefire recipe for failure.

Real human lives are messy and complicated. Real human lives are unpredictable. 

When we learn to accept this, they can also be dynamic and exciting. They can push us to grow.

Therefore, this year’s resolution.

With 4 children, aging parents, active social lives, and thriving businesses — my wife and I really did make New Year’s Resolutions this year.

As we always do, we plan on continuing to prioritize our health, build strength and fitness, and maybe even maintain our abs.

But this year we’ll do it flexibly and honestly in the context of our real human lives.

Our children will be fevered, snotty, and barfy. Our time will be limited. And we’ll miss last call at the gym because of doggie poo.

Yet this year we’ll plan for all that in advance.

After we’ve cleaned up the poo, we might work out in that same living room. With no weights or machines, maybe we’ll jump around like maniacs so we can move our bodies while keeping an eye on the kids.

Or maybe we’ll be stuck eating nasty hospital food. If so, we’ll make the best choice we can within the spectrum of choices. And then do push-ups and air squats in the cafeteria, or walk laps around the cancer center.

And on those rare days we’re not dealing with emergencies?

Maybe we’ll soothe our control-freak souls with a luxurious, 2-hour, relaxed, well-rounded workout. Or a weekend of cooking healthy food to prep meals before a busy week. (Even though neither is actually required.)

It’s not easy. But at least we have a plan.

You know, all this got me thinking…

How are our clients doing it?

I run a nutrition and fitness coaching company, so when it comes to figuring out health and fitness in the context of real life, I’m sitting on a virtual pot of gold.

Clients go through our coaching program for a year, and with the help of our expert coaches, sort out just that: How to make their health and fitness goals a reality, even as the chaos of life continues.

So I decided to ask them which new strategies they’ve developed to make it all work — nutrition + snotty kids + work deadlines… all of it.

They responded with dozens of great tips for real-life healthy living. Here are some of the most common (and awesome) ones we heard.

1. Check in with yourself every morning.

“I start my day with reading my Precision Nutrition Coaching lesson. It’s essentially plugging into myself first thing every morning. By doing the program work when I wake up, I remind myself that when I am healthy and happy, I have more to give to the world.”

2. Eat protein at breakfast.

“I include protein at every breakfast. My favorite: breakfast meatballs. Turkey + shredded veggies (zucchini, carrot, celery and onion), quick oats, egg whites and spices made into balls and cooked in muffin trays in advance. Then I heat ‘em up in the morning.”

3. Bring a lunch you’re excited to eat.

“I bring a lunch that is a simple salad with (quality) lunch meat for protein. Adding little extras like seeds and nuts to my salad along with avocado makes it something I look forward to eating, instead of leftovers that I would rather leave behind when others are going out.”

4. Pre-prep dinners.

“PREP! This has been huge for me. I come home late and I’m often rushed to get food in me. Now I just take everything I’ve already cut up or cooked (in advance) and put it in a pan. It’s a much less ‘rush-y’ situation, which carries over into eating… so I’m eating slowly and not inhaling food right past my full point.

5. Eat at the table.

“In the past, I ate dinner in a rush, then ran off to the next activity (soccer, coaching, etc.). I have been making a conscious effort to sit down and slowly eat the meal, so I can actually remember tasting and enjoying it.”

6. Exercise whenever, wherever, and however possible.

“I never choose the closest parking spot. This way I can get in a little more walking. Also during the school day (I’m a teacher), I walk as much as possible around my classroom as students are working, and around the building.”

7. Aim for “a little better” instead of “perfect”.

“It’s not about being perfect. It’s about gradual and continuous improvement. I used to get really down on myself if I ate unhealthy or missed some workouts and felt like I had failed. Now I feel that I’ve put in some great work, and I can do even better tomorrow and next week.”

8. Get all sorts of support.

“I use a meal service for healthy meals, which are pre-portioned. I commute an hour each way to/from work and I work long hours as an attorney, so having the ingredients there with recipes has helped immensely.”

9. Find accountability.

“My coach consistently reaches out to me, and the PN lessons remind me to move daily and claim the day for myself.  Doing those things before I head out to work keep me focused. It reminds me this is my life and my choices can be life-affirming in every moment.”

10. Show up again the next morning.

“Show up each day and do what you can on that day. Don’t jump ahead. This is not a race. It’s not a diet. It’s your life.”

What could your “real life resolution” look like?

My wife and I have no clue what life will bring us this coming year.

But we’re committed to doing the best we can, when we can, with whatever we’ve got. Day in and day out.

I hope you are too.

With the New Year around the corner, it’s an interesting time to make (or renew) your commitment to health and fitness.

Why not do that while considering the context of your own unique, interesting, and (no doubt) challenging life?

What to do next

1. Consider your health and fitness goals for this coming year.

What does a renewed commitment to health and fitness look for YOU — in the context of YOUR own unique, interesting and challenging life?

How could you aim to make things “a little bit better” this year, instead of “perfect or nothing”?

2. Celebrate your accomplishments from the past year.

Even if there’s lots you want to change, think back and call out at least two or three things you did well this past year.

Give yourself a pat on the back for any and all signs of progress, no matter how small.

3. Plan for things to go wrong.

What challenges do you anticipate might interfere with the progress you want to make?

Think about those roadblocks now. Consider some adjustments and workarounds in advance.

Accepting the messy “real-life” stuff will be key to your success.

4. Start small.

What is one little thing you could do today to help you prepare for success this year?

Maybe it’s researching a healthy meal delivery service for busy weeks, downloading a relaxing meditation podcast, or booking a babysitter one evening a week.

Take one small action now, and you’ll already be on your way.

5. Take inspiration from PN clients.

Do any of the strategies above intrigue you? Pick one and give it a shot.

If you usually eat dinner on the go, try sitting down for a meal at the table. If you want accountability, find someone to check in with.

Remember, you don’t have to get it “perfect”. Not now, not ever.

All you have to do is make an effort, and keep showing up every day.

Want help overcoming your health and fitness barriers?

Most people know that regular movement, eating well, sleep, and stress management are important for looking and feeling better. Yet they need help applying that knowledge in the context of their busy, sometimes stressful lives.

Over the past 15 years, we’ve used the Precision Nutrition Coaching method to help over 100,000 clients lose fat, get stronger, and improve their health… for the long-term… no matter what challenges they’re dealing with.

It’s also why we work with health, fitness, and wellness professionals (through our Level 1 and Level 2 Certification programs) to teach them how to coach their own clients through the same challenges.

Interested in Precision Nutrition Coaching? Join the presale list; you’ll save up to 54% and secure a spot 24 hours early.

We’ll be opening up spots in our next Precision Nutrition Coaching on Wednesday, January 9th, 2019.

If you’re interested in coaching and want to find out more, I’d encourage you to join our presale list below. Being on the list gives you two special advantages.

  • You’ll pay less than everyone else. At Precision Nutrition we like to reward the most interested and motivated people because they always make the best clients. Join the presale list and you’ll save up to 54% off the general public price, which is the lowest price we’ve ever offered.
  • You’re more likely to get a spot. To give clients the personal care and attention they deserve, we only open up the program twice a year. Last time we opened registration, we sold out within minutes. By joining the presale list you’ll get the opportunity to register 24 hours before everyone else, increasing your chances of getting in.

If you’re ready to change your body, and your life, with help from the world’s best coaches, this is your chance.

[Note: If your health and fitness are already sorted out, but you’re interested in helping others, check out our Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certification program].

The post A fitness-focused New Year’s resolution that’s worth making. Plus 10 real-world ways to actually keep that resolution. appeared first on Precision Nutrition.

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Just one year ago, these 20 guys were stressed, out of shape, and tired of wanting the fitter body they just couldn’t seem to pull off. Now, after 12 months of Precision Nutrition Coaching, they’ve transformed their health, their bodies, and their lives.

They also have the chance to take home part of the $125,000 in prize money we’ve once again committed to this latest round of top clients. Scroll through these amazing photos and vote for the finalist whose transformation impresses you most.

++

Every year in Precision Nutrition Coaching, we help men and women from around the world dramatically improve their eating habits and lifestyle.

They lose weight, gain strength, and completely transform their bodies, health, and fitness.

We also give them a big, motivating goal to shoot for: $250,000 in cash prizes.

Consider it an antidote to the “you must suffer and feel guilty to get in shape” message you typically get from the fitness industry.

See, guys come to us wanting big changes:

  • They want to lose weight, build muscle, and shed body fat.
  • They want to feel physically and mentally strong.
  • They want to make healthier food choices, consistently.
  • They want to stop worrying about their health.
  • They want to start doing all the awesome things they previously wanted to do but thought they couldn’t.

Above all, they want to become the fittest, strongest, healthiest versions of themselves.

In our experience, big, inspiring, life-changing goals like these are a whole lot easier to achieve when there’s a huge bonus at stake.

So, every six months, we divvy up a big pot of prize money for the best transformations among our male and female clients.

For the current group—which started in January 2018 and is wrapping up now—we’ve committed $125,000.

And right now, we need your help to choose our Men’s Grand Prize winner.

Help choose our Men’s Grand Prize winner (Top prize = $25,000)

The guys below started their Precision Nutrition Coaching journey in all shapes and sizes, and they hail from all parts of the globe. They’re a diverse group with one thing in common: They finally have the bodies and health they’ve wanted for a long time, and they’re confident they’ll stay this way for good.

How’d they do it?

No crash diets. No Biggest Loser-type bootcamps. And no full-time chefs.

Just research-based nutrition and lifestyle habits practiced daily with personalized help from our expert coaches.

To vote for the guy you think should win the $25,000 Grand Prize, scroll through the photos below. Make your choice by clicking the “Vote for Finalist” button under the one you think achieved the best transformation.

But please don’t stop there. Once you’ve seen all the finalists and selected your #1 choice, scroll down to the bottom of this post.

At the bottom you’ll need to verify your choice. To do this, click the “Place your vote” button. This will log your vote and help us make our decision.

Thanks for your help!

Finalist #1

Lost 43 lbs and 26 total inches!

Age: 29 years
Weight Lost: 43 lbs (from 191 lbs to 148 lbs)
Total Inches Lost: 26 inches (from 237 inches to 211 inches)
Vote for Finalist #1

Finalist #1 selected!

After reviewing all the finalists – you can change your vote at any time – click “Place your vote” at the bottom of this page to record your choice.

Finalist #2

Lost 64 lbs and 37 total inches!

Age: 43 years
Weight Lost: 64 lbs (from 272 lbs to 208 lbs)
Total Inches Lost: 37 inches (from 276 inches to 239 inches)
Vote for Finalist #2

Finalist #2 selected!

After reviewing all the finalists – you can change your vote at any time – click “Place your vote” at the bottom of this page to record your choice.

Finalist #3

Lost 36 lbs and 21 total inches!

Age: 42 years
Weight Lost: 36 lbs (from 217 lbs to 181 lbs)
Total Inches Lost: 21 inches (from 241 inches to 220 inches)
Vote for Finalist #3

Finalist #3 selected!

After reviewing all the finalists – you can change your vote at any time – click “Place your vote” at the bottom of this page to record your choice.

Finalist #4

Lost 45 lbs and 25 total inches!

Age: 48 years
Weight Lost: 45 lbs (from 259 lbs to 214 lbs)
Total Inches Lost: 25 inches (from 270 inches to 245 inches)
Vote for Finalist #4

Finalist #4 selected!

After reviewing all the finalists – you can change your vote at any time – click “Place your vote” at the bottom of this page to record your choice.

Finalist #5

Lost 54 lbs and 42 total inches!

Age: 36 years
Weight Lost: 54 lbs (from 289 lbs to 235 lbs)
Total Inches Lost: 42 inches (from 295 inches to 253 inches)
Vote for Finalist #5

Finalist #5 selected!

After reviewing all the finalists – you can change your vote at any time – click “Place your vote” at the bottom of this page to record your choice.

Finalist #6

Lost 58 lbs and 45 total inches!

Age: 44 years
Weight Lost: 58 lbs (from 225 lbs to 167 lbs)
Total Inches Lost: 45 inches (from 261 inches to 216 inches)
Vote for Finalist #6

Finalist #6 selected!

After reviewing all the finalists – you can change your vote at any time – click “Place your vote” at the bottom of this page to record your choice.

Finalist #7

Lost 36 lbs and 31 total inches!

Age: 44 years
Weight Lost: 36 lbs (from 166 lbs to 130 lbs)
Total Inches Lost: 31 inches (from 232 inches to 201 inches)
Vote for Finalist #7

Finalist #7 selected!

After reviewing all the finalists – you can change your vote at any time – click “Place your vote” at the bottom of this page to record your choice.

Finalist #8

Lost 32 lbs and 24 total inches!

Age: 54 years
Weight Lost: 32 lbs (from 186 lbs to 154 lbs)
Total Inches Lost: 24 inches (from 234 inches to 210 inches)
Vote for Finalist #8

Finalist #8 selected!

After reviewing all the finalists – you can change your vote at any time – click “Place your vote” at the bottom of this page to record your choice.

Finalist #9

Lost 14 lbs and 5 total inches!

Age: 60 years
Weight Lost: 14 lbs (from 200 lbs to 186 lbs)
Total Inches Lost: 5 inches (from 246 inches to 241 inches)
Vote for Finalist #9

Finalist #9 selected!

After reviewing all the finalists – you can change your vote at any time – click “Place your vote” at the bottom of this page to record your choice.

Finalist #10

Lost 52 lbs and 35 total inches!

Age: 41 years
Weight Lost: 52 lbs (from 245 lbs to 193 lbs)
Total Inches Lost: 35 inches (from 260 inches to 225 inches)
Vote for Finalist #10

Finalist #10 selected!

After reviewing all the finalists – you can change your vote at any time – click “Place your vote” at the bottom of this page to record your choice.

Finalist #11

Lost 54 lbs and 29 total inches!

Age: 49 years
Weight Lost: 54 lbs (from 271 lbs to 217 lbs)
Total Inches Lost: 29 inches (from 244 inches to 215 inches)
Vote for Finalist #11

Finalist #11 selected!

After reviewing all the finalists – you can change your vote at any time – click “Place your vote” at the bottom of this page to record your choice.

Finalist #12

Lost 65 lbs and 42 total inches!

Age: 26 years
Weight Lost: 65 lbs (from 264 lbs to 199 lbs)
Total Inches Lost: 42 inches (from 269 inches to 227 inches)
Vote for Finalist #12

Finalist #12 selected!

After reviewing all the finalists – you can change your vote at any time – click “Place your vote” at the bottom of this page to record your choice.

Finalist #13

Lost 52 lbs and 34 total inches!

Age: 32 years
Weight Lost: 52 lbs (from 225 lbs to 173 lbs)
Total Inches Lost: 34 inches (from 253 inches to 219 inches)
Vote for Finalist #13

Finalist #13 selected!

After reviewing all the finalists – you can change your vote at any time – click “Place your vote” at the bottom of this page to record your choice.

Finalist #14

Lost 22 lbs and 13 total inches!

Age: 47 years
Weight Lost: 22 lbs (from 193 lbs to 171 lbs)
Total Inches Lost: 13 inches (from 235 inches to 222 inches)
Vote for Finalist #14

Finalist #14 selected!

After reviewing all the finalists – you can change your vote at any time – click “Place your vote” at the bottom of this page to record your choice.

Finalist #15

Lost 14 lbs and 3 total inches!

Age: 34 years
Weight Lost: 14 lbs (from 192 lbs to 178 lbs)
Total Inches Lost: 3 inches (from 224 inches to 221 inches)
Vote for Finalist #15

Finalist #15 selected!

After reviewing all the finalists – you can change your vote at any time – click “Place your vote” at the bottom of this page to record your choice.

Finalist #16

Lost 46 lbs and 23 total inches!

Age: 47 years
Weight Lost: 46 lbs (from 229 lbs to 183 lbs)
Total Inches Lost: 23 inches (from 246 inches to 223 inches)
Vote for Finalist #16

Finalist #16 selected!

After reviewing all the finalists – you can change your vote at any time – click “Place your vote” at the bottom of this page to record your choice.

Finalist #17

Lost 28 lbs and 5 total inches!

Age: 50 years
Weight Lost: 28 lbs (from 208 lbs to 180 lbs)
Total Inches Lost: 5 inches (from 235 inches to 230 inches)
Vote for Finalist #17

Finalist #17 selected!

After reviewing all the finalists – you can change your vote at any time – click “Place your vote” at the bottom of this page to record your choice.

Finalist #18

Lost 20 lbs and 18 total inches!

Age: 49 years
Weight Lost: 20 lbs (from 204 lbs to 184 lbs)
Total Inches Lost: 18 inches (from 261 inches to 243 inches)
Vote for Finalist #18

Finalist #18 selected!

After reviewing all the finalists – you can change your vote at any time – click “Place your vote” at the bottom of this page to record your choice.

Finalist #19

Lost 26 lbs and 17 total inches!

Age: 29 years
Weight Lost: 26 lbs (from 191 lbs to 165 lbs)
Total Inches Lost: 17 inches (from 235 inches to 218 inches)
Vote for Finalist #19

Finalist #19 selected!

After reviewing all the finalists – you can change your vote at any time – click “Place your vote” at the bottom of this page to record your choice.

Finalist #20

Lost 32 lbs and 19 total inches!

Age: 41 years
Weight Lost: 32 lbs (from 202 lbs to 170 lbs)
Total Inches Lost: 19 inches (from 235 inches to 216 inches)
Vote for Finalist #20

Finalist #20 selected!

After reviewing all the finalists – you can change your vote at any time – click “Place your vote” at the bottom of this page to record your choice.

Confirm your choice for the Men’s $25,000 Grand Prize winner

When confirming your vote, it’s important to remember that we’re not rewarding the best bodies per se. We’re rewarding the most incredible transformations.

In Precision Nutrition Coaching, we certainly don’t expect folks to start off looking like fitness models. Heck, we don’t even expect folks to end up looking like fitness models.

We’re looking for winners who’ve made the most dramatic changes in their own bodies, starting from wherever they were at the beginning.

That’s because our coaching is for men and women of all shapes and sizes. And your vote should reflect who you think achieved the most dramatic changes over the last 12 months.

Note: There is a poll embedded within this post, please visit the site to participate in this post’s poll.

Want to transform your body just like these men did?

Most people know that regular movement, eating well, sleep, and stress management are important for looking and feeling better. Yet they need help applying that knowledge in the context of their busy, sometimes stressful lives.

Over the past 15 years, we’ve used the Precision Nutrition Coaching method to help over 100,000 clients lose fat, get stronger, and improve their health… for the long-term… no matter what challenges they’re dealing with.

It’s also why we work with health, fitness, and wellness professionals (through our Level 1 and Level 2 Certification programs) to teach them how to coach their own clients through the same challenges.

Interested in Precision Nutrition Coaching? Join the presale list; you’ll save up to 54% and secure a spot 24 hours early.

We’ll be opening up spots in our next Precision Nutrition Coaching on Wednesday, January 9th, 2019.

If you’re interested in coaching and want to find out more, I’d encourage you to join our presale list below. Being on the list gives you two special advantages.

  • You’ll pay less than everyone else. At Precision Nutrition we like to reward the most interested and motivated people because they always make the best clients. Join the presale list and you’ll save up to 54% off the general public price, which is the lowest price we’ve ever offered.
  • You’re more likely to get a spot. To give clients the personal care and attention they deserve, we only open up the program twice a year. Last time we opened registration, we sold out within minutes. By joining the presale list you’ll get the opportunity to register 24 hours before everyone else, increasing your chances of getting in.

If you’re ready to change your body, and your life, with help from the world’s best coaches, this is your chance.

[Note: If your health and fitness are already sorted out, but you’re interested in helping others, check out our Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certification program].

The post Precision Nutrition Coaching: January 2019 Men’s Finalists. Help us give away $125,000! appeared first on Precision Nutrition.

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Only a year ago, these 20 women were overweight, out of shape, stressed, and almost out of hope. Now, after 12 months of Precision Nutrition Coaching, they’ve transformed their health, their bodies, and their lives.

They also have the chance to take home part of the $125,000 in prize money we’ve once again committed to our latest round of top clients. Scroll through these amazing photos and vote for the finalist whose transformation inspires you most.

++

Every year in Precision Nutrition Coaching, we help men and women from around the world dramatically improve their eating habits and lifestyle.

They lose weight, gain strength, and completely transform their bodies, health, fitness, and lives.

We also give them a big, motivating goal to shoot for: $250,000 in cash prizes.

Consider it an antidote to the “you must suffer and feel guilty to get in shape” message you typically get from the fitness industry.

See, women come to us wanting big changes:

  • They want to lose weight and shed body fat.
  • They want to make healthier food choices, consistently.
  • They want to feel at ease, instead of stressed out, when eating.
  • They want to feel confident and comfortable in their own skin.
  • They want to start doing all the awesome things they’ve always wanted to do, but thought they couldn’t.

Above all, they want to become the fittest, strongest, healthiest versions of themselves.

In our experience, big, inspiring, life-changing goals like these are a whole lot easier to achieve when there’s a huge bonus at stake.

So, every six months, we divvy up a big pot of prize money for the best transformations among our male and female clients.

For the current group—which started in January 2018 and is wrapping up now—we’ve committed $125,000.

And right now, we need your help to choose our Women’s Grand Prize winner.

Help choose our Women’s Grand Prize winner (Top prize = $25,000)

The women below started their Precision Nutrition Coaching journey in all shapes and sizes, and they hail from all parts of the globe.

They’re a diverse group with one thing in common: They finally achieved the bodies and health they’ve wanted for a long time, and they’re confident they’ll stay this way for good.

How’d they do it?

No crash diets. No Biggest Loser-type bootcamps. And no full-time chefs.

Just research-based nutrition and lifestyle habits practiced daily with personalized help from our expert coaches.

To vote for the woman you think should win the $25,000 Grand Prize, scroll through the photos below. Make your choice by clicking the “Vote for Finalist” button under the one you think achieved the best transformation.

But please don’t stop there. Once you’ve seen all the finalists and selected your #1 choice, scroll down to the bottom of this post.

At the bottom you’ll need to verify your choice. To do this, click the “Place your vote” button. This will log your vote and help us make our decision.

Thanks for your help!

Finalist #1

Lost 40 lbs and 33 total inches!

Age: 38 years
Weight Lost: 40 lbs (from 183 lbs to 143 lbs)
Total Inches Lost: 33 inches (from 227 inches to 194 inches)
Vote for Finalist #1

Finalist #1 selected!

After reviewing all the finalists – you can change your vote at any time – click “Place your vote” at the bottom of this page to record your choice.

Finalist #2

Lost 57 lbs and 37 total inches!

Age: 67 years
Weight Lost: 57 lbs (from 204 lbs to 147 lbs)
Total Inches Lost: 37 inches (from 249 inches to 212 inches)
Vote for Finalist #2

Finalist #2 selected!

After reviewing all the finalists – you can change your vote at any time – click “Place your vote” at the bottom of this page to record your choice.

Finalist #3

Lost 54 lbs and 43 total inches!

Age: 42 years
Weight Lost: 54 lbs (from 182 lbs to 128 lbs)
Total Inches Lost: 43 inches (from 234 inches to 191 inches)
Vote for Finalist #3

Finalist #3 selected!

After reviewing all the finalists – you can change your vote at any time – click “Place your vote” at the bottom of this page to record your choice.

Finalist #4

Lost 37 lbs and 28 total inches!

Age: 45 years
Weight Lost: 37 lbs (from 189 lbs to 152 lbs)
Total Inches Lost: 28 inches (from 238 inches to 210 inches)
Vote for Finalist #4

Finalist #4 selected!

After reviewing all the finalists – you can change your vote at any time – click “Place your vote” at the bottom of this page to record your choice.

Finalist #5

Lost 52 lbs and 44 total inches!

Age: 49 years
Weight Lost: 52 lbs (from 201 lbs to 149 lbs)
Total Inches Lost: 44 inches (from 262 inches to 218 inches)
Vote for Finalist #5

Finalist #5 selected!

After reviewing all the finalists – you can change your vote at any time – click “Place your vote” at the bottom of this page to record your choice.

Finalist #6

Lost 22 lbs and 19 total inches!

Age: 26 years
Weight Lost: 22 lbs (from 163 lbs to 141 lbs)
Total Inches Lost: 19 inches (from 223 inches to 204 inches)
Vote for Finalist #6

Finalist #6 selected!

After reviewing all the finalists – you can change your vote at any time – click “Place your vote” at the bottom of this page to record your choice.

Finalist #7

Lost 32 lbs and 26 total inches!

Age: 60 years
Weight Lost: 32 lbs (from 148 lbs to 116 lbs)
Total Inches Lost: 26 inches (from 217 inches to 191 inches)
Vote for Finalist #7

Finalist #7 selected!

After reviewing all the finalists – you can change your vote at any time – click “Place your vote” at the bottom of this page to record your choice.

Finalist #8

Lost 16 lbs and 25 total inches!

Age: 37 years
Weight Lost: 16 lbs (from 121 lbs to 105 lbs)
Total Inches Lost: 25 inches (from 207 inches to 182 inches)
Vote for Finalist #8

Finalist #8 selected!

After reviewing all the finalists – you can change your vote at any time – click “Place your vote” at the bottom of this page to record your choice.

Finalist #9

Lost 41 lbs and 48 total inches!

Age: 48 years
Weight Lost: 41 lbs (from 229 lbs to 188 lbs)
Total Inches Lost: 48 inches (from 265 inches to 217 inches)
Vote for Finalist #9

Finalist #9 selected!

After reviewing all the finalists – you can change your vote at any time – click “Place your vote” at the bottom of this page to record your choice.

Finalist #10

Lost 17 lbs and 24 total inches!

Age: 38 years
Weight Lost: 17 lbs (from 141 lbs to 124 lbs)
Total Inches Lost: 24 inches (from 206 inches to 182 inches)
Vote for Finalist #10

Finalist #10 selected!

After reviewing all the finalists – you can change your vote at any time – click “Place your vote” at the bottom of this page to record your choice.

Finalist #11

Lost 15 lbs and 18 total inches!

Age: 62 years
Weight Lost: 15 lbs (from 142 lbs to 127 lbs)
Total Inches Lost: 18 inches (from 218 inches to 200 inches)
Vote for Finalist #11

Finalist #11 selected!

After reviewing all the finalists – you can change your vote at any time – click “Place your vote” at the bottom of this page to record your choice.

Finalist #12

Lost 37 lbs and 33 total inches!

Age: 34 years
Weight Lost: 37 lbs (from 171 lbs to 134 lbs)
Total Inches Lost: 33 inches (from 240 inches to 207 inches)
Vote for Finalist #12

Finalist #12 selected!

After reviewing all the finalists – you can change your vote at any time – click “Place your vote” at the bottom of this page to record your choice.

Finalist #13

Lost 32 lbs and 31 total inches!

Age: 54 years
Weight Lost: 32 lbs (from 224 lbs to 192 lbs)
Total Inches Lost: 31 inches (from 260 inches to 229 inches)
Vote for Finalist #13

Finalist #13 selected!

After reviewing all the finalists – you can change your vote at any time – click “Place your vote” at the bottom of this page to record your choice.

Finalist #14

Lost 29 lbs and 27 total inches!

Age: 70 years
Weight Lost: 29 lbs (from 164 lbs to 135 lbs)
Total Inches Lost: 27 inches (from 230 inches to 203 inches)
Vote for Finalist #14

Finalist #14 selected!

After reviewing all the finalists – you can change your vote at any time – click “Place your vote” at the bottom of this page to record your choice.

Finalist #15

Lost 19 lbs and 19 total inches!

Age: 48 years
Weight Lost: 19 lbs (from 162 lbs to 143 lbs)
Total Inches Lost: 19 inches (from 226 inches to 207 inches)
Vote for Finalist #15

Finalist #15 selected!

After reviewing all the finalists – you can change your vote at any time – click “Place your vote” at the bottom of this page to record your choice.

Finalist #16

Lost 23 lbs and 32 total inches!

Age: 33 years
Weight Lost: 23 lbs (from 180 lbs to 157 lbs)
Total Inches Lost: 32 inches (from 235 inches to 203 inches)
Vote for Finalist #16

Finalist #16 selected!

After reviewing all the finalists – you can change your vote at any time – click “Place your vote” at the bottom of this page to record your choice.

Finalist #17

Lost 24 lbs and 19 total inches!

Age: 62 years
Weight Lost: 24 lbs (from 141 lbs to 117 lbs)
Total Inches Lost: 19 inches (from 209 inches to 190 inches)
Vote for Finalist #17

Finalist #17 selected!

After reviewing all the finalists – you can change your vote at any time – click “Place your vote” at the bottom of this page to record your choice.

Finalist #18

Lost 20 lbs and 19 total inches!

Age: 62 years
Weight Lost: 20 lbs (from 134 lbs to 114 lbs)
Total Inches Lost: 19 inches (from 201 inches to 182 inches)
Vote for Finalist #18

Finalist #18 selected!

After reviewing all the finalists – you can change your vote at any time – click “Place your vote” at the bottom of this page to record your choice.

Finalist #19

Lost 26 lbs and 20 total inches!

Age: 29 years
Weight Lost: 26 lbs (from 154 lbs to 128 lbs)
Total Inches Lost: 20 inches (from 221 inches to 201 inches)
Vote for Finalist #19

Finalist #19 selected!

After reviewing all the finalists – you can change your vote at any time – click “Place your vote” at the bottom of this page to record your choice.

Finalist #20

Lost 13 lbs and 14 total inches!

Age: 41 years
Weight Lost: 13 lbs (from 115 lbs to 102 lbs)
Total Inches Lost: 14 inches (from 186 inches to 172 inches)
Vote for Finalist #20

Finalist #20 selected!

After reviewing all the finalists – you can change your vote at any time – click “Place your vote” at the bottom of this page to record your choice.

Confirm your choice for the Women’s $25,000 Grand Prize winner

When confirming your vote, it’s important to remember that we’re not rewarding the best bodies per se. We’re rewarding the most incredible transformations.

In Precision Nutrition Coaching, we certainly don’t expect folks to start off looking like fitness models. Heck, we don’t even expect folks to end up looking like fitness models.

We’re looking for winners who’ve made the most dramatic changes in their own bodies, starting from wherever they were at the beginning.

That’s because our coaching is for men and women of all shapes and sizes. And your vote should reflect who you think achieved the most dramatic changes over the last 12 months.

Note: There is a poll embedded within this post, please visit the site to participate in this post’s poll.

Want to transform your body like these women did?

Most people know that regular movement, eating well, sleep, and stress management are important for getting the body and health they want. Yet they need help applying that knowledge in the context of their busy, sometimes stressful lives.

Over the past 15 years, we’ve used the Precision Nutrition Coaching method to help over 100,000 clients lose fat, get stronger, and improve their health… for the long-term… no matter what challenges they’re dealing with.

It’s also why we work with health, fitness, and wellness professionals (through our Level 1 and Level 2 Certification programs) to teach them how to coach their own clients through the same challenges.

Interested in Precision Nutrition Coaching? Join the presale list; you’ll save up to 54% and secure a spot 24 hours early.

We’ll be opening up spots in our next Precision Nutrition Coaching on Wednesday, January 9th, 2019.

If you’re interested in coaching and want to find out more, I’d encourage you to join our presale list below. Being on the list gives you two special advantages.

  • You’ll pay less than everyone else. At Precision Nutrition we like to reward the most interested and motivated people because they always make the best clients. Join the presale list and you’ll save up to 54% off the general public price, which is the lowest price we’ve ever offered.
  • You’re more likely to get a spot. To give clients the personal care and attention they deserve, we only open up the program twice a year. Last time we opened registration, we sold out within minutes. By joining the presale list you’ll get the opportunity to register 24 hours before everyone else, increasing your chances of getting in.

If you’re ready to change your body, and your life, with help from the world’s best coaches, this is your chance.

[Note: If your health and fitness are already sorted out, but you’re interested in helping others, check out our Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certification program].

The post Precision Nutrition Coaching: January 2019 Women’s Finalists. Help us give away $125,000! appeared first on Precision Nutrition.

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Wouldn’t it be nice if embarking on a health and fitness journey meant a straight line to success? For better or worse, that’s not real life — but there is hope. Here are six true stories from Precision Nutrition Coaching clients who faced major obstacles on the road to weight loss, overcame them, and used what they learned to become better and stronger people than ever before.

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It’s become a quintessential question of the modern age: Why is it so hard for people to lose weight and get fit?

The answer is, well, life.

Demanding jobs. Fear of change. Plummeting self-confidence. Social lives that revolve around beer and bar food. Starting a family. Caring for a sick loved one, or maybe even grieving a loss.

These health and fitness barriers can feel insurmountable to those facing them.

Sometimes, for a period, hopelessness will have its way. You might feel like no one understands and no one can help you. You might feel like there’s nothing beyond the bottom.

In the course of coaching over 100,000 clients, Precision Nutrition coaches have heard ALL the stories of struggle — nail-biters and gut-punchers and heartbreakers. And if we’ve learned anything from these stories, it’s that people are strong.

It seems somewhere inside us all there’s a little voice that says: Keep going.

The following six stories are from people who kept going.

Despite the major obstacles they faced, these Precision Nutrition Coaching clients managed to keep moving forward and crest the top of their personal mountain.

These stories are from real people just like you.

Which means, if you’ve hit a seemingly immovable rock, whatever that looks like for you, the story isn’t over.

You just have to keep going.

Meet Bob.

At just 59, Bob Miller had experienced several brushes with death due to serious heart and kidney problems. But a desire to meet his someday grandkids pushed him to enroll in coaching, and he achieved what once seemed impossible. Now, with a healthier body and significant weight loss, Bob is embracing a future full of possibilities.

Meet Nivi.

Nivi Jaswal was a high-performing senior executive with a relentless drive to succeed — until one day she woke up on a hotel room floor having passed out from exhaustion. At 37 years old, she learned that self-compassion, not perfectionism, was the way to achieve her full potential.

Meet Daniel.

Daniel Hayes, a dedicated marathon runner, came close to suffering a fatal heart attack at age 38. After surgery and metabolism-slowing meds, Daniel just couldn’t seem to find a way back to his fit, healthy self. Precision Nutrition Coaching helped him find the path to sustainable habits that will keep him healthy for the long term.

Meet Sheila.

Before Precision Nutrition Coaching, going to the gym was terrifying for 49-year-old Sheila Brooks. After years of believing she wasn’t cut out for exercise due to a disability, she got comfortable picking up heavy barbells — and redefined herself as capable and strong in the process.

Meet Dan.

After the unexpected loss of his wife, Dan Hibbert was left with a tremendous amount of grief and five kids to care for. He made the powerful choice to step up for his family, and through Precision Nutrition Coaching, the 45-year-old has discovered that fitness could be one of his greatest allies in coping with loss.

Meet Alana.

When Alana Wylie-Reeves, 54, started Precision Nutrition Coaching, she could barely bend over to pick something up off the floor. After a year with the program, she shed the extra weight that was slowing her down, and gained the knowledge that she’s more resilient than she ever imagined.

Want help overcoming your health and fitness barriers?

Most people know that regular movement, eating well, sleep, and stress management are important for looking and feeling better. Yet they need help applying that knowledge in the context of their busy, sometimes stressful lives.

Over the past 15 years, we’ve used the Precision Nutrition Coaching method to help over 100,000 clients lose fat, get stronger, and improve their health… for the long-term… no matter what challenges they’re dealing with.

It’s also why we work with health, fitness, and wellness professionals (through our Level 1 and Level 2 Certification programs) to teach them how to coach their own clients through the same challenges.

Interested in Precision Nutrition Coaching? Join the presale list; you’ll save up to 54% and secure a spot 24 hours early.

We’ll be opening up spots in our next Precision Nutrition Coaching on Wednesday, January 9th, 2019.

If you’re interested in coaching and want to find out more, I’d encourage you to join our presale list below. Being on the list gives you two special advantages.

  • You’ll pay less than everyone else. At Precision Nutrition we like to reward the most interested and motivated people because they always make the best clients. Join the presale list and you’ll save up to 54% off the general public price, which is the lowest price we’ve ever offered.
  • You’re more likely to get a spot. To give clients the personal care and attention they deserve, we only open up the program twice a year. Last time we opened registration, we sold out within minutes. By joining the presale list you’ll get the opportunity to register 24 hours before everyone else, increasing your chances of getting in.

If you’re ready to change your body, and your life, with help from the world’s best coaches, this is your chance.

[Note: If your health and fitness are already sorted out, but you’re interested in helping others, check out our Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certification program].

The post True stories: How these 6 people overcame huge health and fitness barriers (and you can too). appeared first on Precision Nutrition.

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Hot flashes, mood swings, weight gain, brain fog: Menopause can make you wonder if your body is totally cuckoo. But what many women don’t realize is that they do have some control over these symptoms. Here’s what’s going on, plus six lifestyle strategies to feel your best during menopause.

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Mood swings. Weight gain. Waking up to sweat-soaked pajamas and bedsheets every… darn… night.

Menopause can feel weird, uncomfortable, and downright scary for many women.

Your body is suddenly doing all this stuff you don’t recognize.

Sometimes it feels like your body and brain are no longer under your control.

You ask yourself…

Is this normal?

Is my body against me?

Is there anything I can DO?!

When you look to the internet for advice, you’re confronted with headlines like this:

“8 sneaky symptoms of perimenopause — Do YOU have it?”

“Rare jungle herbs to cool your hot flashes & heat up your libido!”

“Fight biology and battle your meno-belly with this celebrity diet.”

This is not that kind of article.

We won’t prescribe a “to do” list so you can “overcome” menopause.

No “life hacks”, “cool tricks”, or “quick fixes” either.

Instead, we hope to help you:

  • understand your body;
  • appreciate the intelligent adaptations it makes with age; and
  • embrace change, with all the possibilities that come with it.

Because if you’re a woman (or if you coach women), understanding what’s changing during menopause, why it’s happening, and how to deal with it can make the whole process a lot less confusing, uncomfortable, and frustrating.

While you might feel like your body is all over the place, you actually do have control over your mindset, your lifestyle, and your environment — all of which also affect the symptoms that come along with menopause.

You have the power to affect your hormones.

Yep, really.

There are things you can do to ensure you feel healthy, strong, and — yes — sexy during menopause.

  • If you’re a woman going through perimenopause or menopause, you might find recognition and relief in this article. You’ll learn exactly what’s going on with your body and what you can do about it.
  • If you’re a woman who hasn’t yet reached perimenopause or menopause, you’ll learn about what lies ahead. That way, when it happens, you’ll know (or at least have some ideas about) what to do.
  • If you’re a coach who works with women, you’ll gain insight into what your female clients or patients in midlife may be experiencing. Understanding what’s happening on a biological, psychological, and social level will help you sharpen your coaching superpowers.

In this article:

  • We’ll outline and examine the different hormonal phases of a woman’s life.
  • We’ll explain what causes menopause and its warm-up act, perimenopause.
  • We’ll explore how menopause can affect the body, the symptoms women commonly experience, and what can help.
  • We’ll suggest lifestyle habits and strategies that can help you feel empowered and in control of your hormones during midlife.

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First, a disclaimer.

Of course, not all women will experience what we’re describing.

We’re speaking here about bodies that have female reproductive systems and a hormonal environment that’s within the statistically “normal” range.

But some people with female reproductive systems don’t identify as female.

And just as there is no single standard experience of menopause, there’s also no single standard way to be a woman (or, for that matter, a man).

People are diverse, and that’s a good thing.

Take what’s useful for YOU from this article, and leave the rest.

A woman walks into a medical office…

Yes, menopause often starts like the first line of a bad joke.

It might begin with your period getting a little wonky.

Maybe it starts showing up late (or early). Or it’s longer (or shorter), more painful (or less painful), heavier (or lighter). And sometimes it doesn’t show up at all.

And it’s not just your period.

Whatever your “normal” is starts changing.

Sleep deceives you.

Like a fickle ghost, it visits only at random points in the night.

Your temperature is weird too.

You might find yourself going for a walk in the middle of winter and having to tear your scarf off and unzip your jacket, your neck literally steaming.

You might be a little moodier than usual.

Yesterday at the drugstore, you became enraged because you couldn’t find the toilet paper brand you wanted. I can’t use this sandpaper! you howled at the confused clerk, and stormed out.

Maybe you’ve heard about these symptoms before. From girlfriends, from your older sister, from Googling late at night when you can’t sleep… again.

So you make an appointment with your doctor.

You sit down with your doctor and tell them about your symptoms:

“Hey doc, my vagina is chafing and feels like fire… just kidding… unless you know what to do about that?”

“Hey doc, let’s say someone bled for 17 days last month. Is that normal? I’m asking for, er, a friend.”

“Hey doc, yesterday at the gym, mid-squat, I peed a little. It also happens when I cough, laugh, orgasm, jump, or yell at my dog in a sudden fit of fathomless rage.”

Your doctor tells you these symptoms are consistent with perimenopause.

Wait, what? You’re only 38! You thought hormone stuff was for, like, your mom.

There’s no single start or end point for menopause.

You might look back on one moment in your life as “the time I realized I was a grown-up”.

Holding that first retirement fund receipt. Buying clothes for quality stitching, not style. Keeping an orchid alive for more than 8 weeks.

But biology operates on a continuum. That means there’s no single moment when menopause (or perimenopause) begins.

In general, physiological processes and systems are complex and ever-changing.

They ebb and flow from moment to moment, and year to year.

That means:

Menopause is a dynamic and responsive process, not a single event.

And it may show up when you’re not expecting it.

Just as we go through puberty at different ages, perimenopause and menopause kick in at different times, too. Usually, perimenopause begins in a woman’s 40s (although it can happen as early as her 30s), and menopause can happen anytime between a woman’s 40s and 60s.

The exact timing varies for each woman. It’s is kind of like a repair person who says they’ll be there between 9am and 8pm — a bit hard to predict.

That said, there are some district hormonal stages, which generally work as a linear process. Our first major hormonal event is that zit-sprouting, growth-spurting, heart-palpitating time — puberty!

When we hit puberty, our hormonal factories open for business.

In our reproductive years, a complex symphony of hormonal feedback loops occurs approximately once a month.

Our brain sends a signal to our ovaries, which respond by increasing production of the reproductive hormones estrogen and progesterone and other related hormones. We ovulate, build a uterine lining, shed it, and begin the cycle again.

Over and over, these hormonal feedback loops carefully coordinate to ensure that the uterus can support a fetus.

Hormones are pulsatile (meaning they’re released in bursts), and strongly affected by a variety of factors.

Hormones levels rise and drop at varied points during each monthly menstrual cycle.

At some point, the feedback loops start to change subtly.

Perimenopause is the time before menopause.

As women age, their ovaries gradually start producing less estrogen, progesterone, and other related hormones.

However, this isn’t a linear or steadily progressive process.

Just like during reproductive cycles in the years prior, hormone levels vary throughout menopause.

Hormone levels don’t drop all at once; they fluctuate throughout mid-life.

Just like within a reproductive cycle, in perimenopause there are hormonal ups and downs, which create (or contribute to) the seemingly random and unpredictable physical and psychological manifestations we experience.

This stage can be as short as a few years, or longer than a decade.

Menopause marks the end of menstrual cycles.

“Officially”, menopause occurs when a woman hasn’t had a period for 12 months in a row. But there are different ways menopause can occur:

“Natural” menopause: When estrogen, progesterone, and other gonadal hormones (our reproductive / sex hormones) decline on their own as a result of aging.

Premature (or early) menopause: When menopause occurs before the age of 40. Sometimes, we don’t know why this happens. Other times, there are known risk factors, including medical conditions like diabetes or hypothyroidism; certain medications; pituitary damage from brain trauma (e.g. a history of concussions); smoking; or genetic inheritance.

Artificial menopause: When menopause occurs when ovaries are removed or damaged (for example, by some types of cancer treatments). Because of the sudden drop in hormones, menopause symptoms begin abruptly and may be more severe than other versions of menopause.

In women without a uterus, menopause can be identified by very high levels of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), which shows that the brain is telling the ovaries to increase production, but the ovaries aren’t listening. High FSH occurs in all women during menopause.

Postmenopause describes the phase after menopause.

At this point, hormonal fluctuations have leveled out, gonadal hormone production has shut down, and levels of most reproductive hormones are now relatively low.

Hormonal changes drive these shifts.

But what does “hormonal change” even mean? And what do hormones do?

Hormones signal our body to do stuff.

Most hormones act widely throughout the body. So, our reproductive hormones don’t just affect our reproductive organs.

Hormones impact how we feel, behave, function, and more.

When hormones change, we change too.

Hormones are complex, and everyone’s are a little different.

When we say “hormones”, what we’re really describing are dozens, if not hundreds, of bioactive chemical compounds that make up complex signalling networks in our bodies.

For instance, “estrogen” is more accurately “estrogens”:

  • estrone (E1);
  • estradiol (E2);
  • estriol (E3); and
  • several other molecules that have estrogenic activity (in other words, that act somewhat like estrogen does).

And along with our gonadal hormones, we also have many other key hormonal systems, such as:

  • thyroid hormones;
  • neurotransmitters (e.g. serotonin, dopamine, and oxytocin);
  • gastrointestinal hormones such as insulin;
  • adipose (fat) tissue hormones such as leptin.

Then, there are other cell signalling molecules, known as cytokines, which play with hormones.

All of these molecules interact with each other, and all are governed by our genetic and epigenetic expression, as well as various other factors.

Each one of us has a unique, ever-changing “hormone fingerprint”.

This means that menopause is not as simple as flipping an estrogen on-off switch, and everyone’s hormones are affected by their unique genetics.

That’s part of why menopause is such a different experience from person to person.

Hormones change for many reasons.

While all of the interactions of our reproductive systems are far too complex to predict, one thing is clear:

The hormonal phenomena and experience of perimenopause, menopause, and postmenopause are all strongly affected by other factors.

We have the power to influence our hormones through our mindset and lifestyle.

Some things, like what we choose to eat, how we work out, or what meaning we make from our experiences, we can control. Others, like our genes, or how often our bedmate disrupts our sleep with their snoring, we can’t.

Here are the changes you may notice during menopause, plus what can help.

Symptoms of hormonal changes might show up consistently, intermittently, or rarely.

They might be intense or barely noticeable.

But remember:

  • Each woman’s experience is unique.
  • These changes aren’t “just” biological. They’re also closely linked to our thoughts, feelings, relationships, and environments.
  • Many of these symptoms aren’t inevitable. Your environment and behaviors can, to some degree, affect the outcome.

There’s only one given: Endogenous (self-generated) sex hormone production will decline. Everything else is like that randomly appearing repair person: Don’t plan your day around it.

Bladder

Decreased estrogen can lead to a reduced ability to control the urinary tract. You may have to pee more often, get more bladder infections, and have trouble controlling your bladder as pelvic muscles weaken due to aging.

What can help:

  • Exercises from a pelvic physiotherapist to rehabilitate and prevent stress incontinence (when physical stress — such as coughing, sneezing, or laughing — causes an involuntary loss of urine)
  • A vaginal pessary (a removable device that you insert into the vagina that supports pelvic organs) recommended by your doctor, especially if you have uterine prolapse
  • Staying hydrated, peeing after sex, and supplementing a simple, safe carbohydrate known as D-mannose dramatically reduces bladder infections

Body composition

Changing hormones also lead to changing shape.

Lean mass (muscle, bone, and connective tissues) goes down while body fat goes up, a phenomenon known as sarcopenia.

You might notice more fat around your middle and lower belly in particular.

What can help:

Hormone replacement therapy

About 15 to 25 percent of women find their menopause symptoms so severe that they need hormone replacement therapy (HRT), which usually involves some combination of prescription bioidentical (i.e. just like the molecules our bodies make) estrogen and progestogen pills, patches, creams, or injections.

Most menopause symptoms are triggered by a sudden drop of estrogen, rather than a lack of estrogen overall. HRT that includes estrogen may stabilize levels and alleviate symptoms of menopause.

Because HRT has some risks, choosing it as a therapy depends on a woman’s personal medical history, family medical history, age, and symptom severity. All of these factors should be discussed with a doctor.

Benefits of HRT include relief from symptoms like hot flashes, vaginal dryness and thinning, sleep disruption, and low libido. Increased estrogen also means a better chance of preventing postmenopausal osteoporosis and fractures.

Unfortunately, HRT may also increase the risk of cancer (especially breast cancer) as well as heart attack, stroke, and blood clots.

For now, both the medical community and the research support short-term use of HRT to treat moderate to severe symptoms in healthy women in early menopause. Short-term use of low-dose HRT in healthy women (who have no specific contraindications) does not show increased risk of coronary heart disease, clotting disease, or specific cancers.

As an alternative to HRT, regular exercise, calcium, and vitamin D also play protective roles in maintaining healthy bones.

Anti-inflammatory and antioxidant-rich foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables, and phytoestrogenic foods such as soy and omega-3 rich flaxseeds may help to alleviate the severity and frequency of hot flashes.

If you’re suffering from moderate to severe symptoms of perimenopause / menopause, discuss your options with your doctor or another trusted healthcare practitioner.

Brain function

Hormones can affect thinking, reasoning, perception, and memory. Many women notice “brain fog” or trouble remembering things with declining hormones.

What can help:

Breast health

Breasts and nipples may become more lumpy and tender. You’re also now at a higher risk for breast cancer.

What can help:

Digestion and bowel function

We tend to make less of our digestive enzymes and stomach acid as we age. Our smooth muscle tissue and intestinal absorption isn’t as peppy as it used to be.

This means you may notice changes in appetite, digestion, and bowel function. Heartburn, gas, and constipation might become your dinner companions more and more.

You may notice new food intolerances and sensitivities. Red wine?! Avocado? Really??

What can help:

Disease risk

“Female hormones” typically lower our risk of chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, and so on… at least, until they run out. Then, our risk of these chronic diseases becomes greater.

What can help:

Dizziness / vertigo

Dizziness can occur with changes in how your brain regulates blood pressure (see temperature regulation below).

Women may also notice cyclical benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), a sensation of spinning or dizziness occurring when their head is in particular positions, or when lying down or turning over. While we don’t completely know why this happens, researchers think that declining estrogen weakens the protein matrix that makes up our vestibular (balance) system in our inner ear.

Dizziness can also be related to migraines.

What can help:

  • Staying hydrated, as changes in hydration and sodium levels can affect dizziness and vertigo
  • Discontinuing medications that contribute to dizziness and vertigo, such as sedatives
  • Balance training

Hair

Hair may grow more in some places (like on the face), and less in others (scalp, lower legs, armpits, pubic region).

What the heck, biology?

What can help:

Menstrual cycles

Obviously, menstrual cycles change. They may become more or less frequent, heavier or lighter, more or less painful. Sometimes, they may be astonishingly heavy, like “Hahaha, Super Plus tampon, I will take you DOWN” heavy.

While you can’t do much to affect menstrual frequency or duration, nor the eventual end of menstruation, you can often improve related symptoms, like cramps.

What can help:

Migraines / headaches

Migraines can be stunningly painful or completely painless. For example, with “aura migraines” or ocular migraines, you might see the characteristic sparkling or flashing visuals of a regular migraine without pain. These are typically harmless and resolve in about 20-30 minutes. Other times, a migraine can make you want to submit yourself to a guillotine.

Hormonal fluctuations during perimenopause and menopause can exacerbate headaches and migraines, although these seem to settle after menopause.

What can help:

  • Quality nutrition
  • Keeping a “trigger diary”, which may help you notice that certain things (such as what you eat or your stress levels) make a migraine more likely
  • Hormone replacement therapy or hormonal birth control (for those in perimenopause) may also affect headaches / migraines

Mood and mental health

Mental health covers a wide range of feelings, experiences, and domains, but in general, you might notice:

  • More depression, “blahs”, emotional flatness, trouble “getting motivated”
  • A sense of overwhelm or “it’s all too much”
  • Feeling more irritable or less able to deal with small hassles
  • Feeling more anxious, worried, fearful, or risk-averse
  • Feeling distracted and/or preoccupied, having racing thoughts
  • Crying or other emotional outbursts that happen more often, more unexpectedly, and/or more intensely
  • More mood swings, and/or stronger swings
  • More intense emotions, positive or negative
  • Everyone around you has suddenly turned into a jerk

These mood changes can be attributed to not just variation in hormone levels, but also all the other biopsychosocial shifts that happen during menopause.

For instance, you may have good reasons for those mood swings. Maybe it is all too much, and this is a signal to make some important changes in your life choices, relationships, workload, etc.

What can help:

  • Managing stress
  • Counseling and/or coaching
  • A good social support network
  • In consultation with your doctor, medication like antidepressants

Pain and inflammation

Progesterone and estrogen are linked to pain and inflammation.

As sex hormones decline, you may notice changes in muscle pain, arthritis, other types of joint pain, pelvic pain, or flare-ups of other chronic pain concerns.

What can help:

Sexual function

As estrogen and progesterone decline, the vaginal and urethral epithelium (lining) thins and becomes less elastic. Additionally, lubrication decreases, so the vagina will be drier.

This means that penetration can cause burning, itching, and a feeling like sandpaper on a sunburn.

Libido fluctuates. You may feel more liberated and sexy at midlife — many women say they’re having the greatest sex of their life, because they’re so much more confident, experienced, and assertive.

Or, you may feel like you don’t want anyone touching you, and would give up sex for sleep or chocolate 100 percent of the time.

What can help:

  • Managing stress
  • Doctor-prescribed estrogen creams or lubricants that you can apply to the vaginal area in order to reduce chafing, dryness, and tissue thinning
  • For a non-hormonal option, one study showed that a vaginal gel containing hyaluronic acid (a natural compound involved in tissue repair and moisture regulation) was nearly as effective as estrogen cream at reducing symptoms of vaginal dryness
  • Although vaginal tissue atrophies as a result of declining estrogen, the clitoris shows no such signs of stepping down from its position of pleasure glory. Just sayin’.

Skin

You may notice your skin getting drier or oilier as hormones shift. Perhaps you’re even getting some teenage-style acne.

Protein synthesis slows, so you’ll start to wrinkle, heal slower, and have less collagen. You’ll also likely lose fat from your face, and things will start to sag (because, gravity). You may notice changes in skin pigment.

What can help:

Teeth

Your dentist might start making tsk-tsk noises about gum disease, receding gums, dry mouth, and so on.

What can help:

  • Quality nutrition
  • A good oral health routine (Make your dentist happy!)
  • Not smoking

Temperature regulation

Hot flashes are one of the most puzzling and annoying experiences of menopause.

About 85 percent of North American women report having hot flashes during perimenopause and menopause, and 10-15 percent of them say these temperature changes are so severe that they interfere with daily life.

On average, hot flashes persist for 3-5 years.

Most women describe a hot flash as a feeling of extreme warmth, usually in their upper body and face and lasting a few minutes. Night sweats, as the name implies, are hot flashes that happen at night — you wake up flushed and sweaty, often enough to soak through clothes or bed sheets.

Hot flashes and night sweats seem to be triggered by a sudden dips in estrogen levels, rather than declining estrogen overall.

Body temperature can also be affected by changes in the brain’s vasomotor center, which regulates your blood vessels, making them tighter (vasoconstriction) or more open (vasodilation). However, we still don’t know exactly how the change in estrogen levels affects the vasomotor center.

What can help:

  • Quality nutrition
  • Paced breathing exercises. Try it: Breathe in from the belly while slowly counting to 5. Then, release the breath while slowly counting to 5. Practice this every day for 10-15 minutes. When a hot flash hits, start paced breathing and continue it for 5 minutes. Bonus: Paced breathing may also help lower blood pressure, decrease anxiety, and promote relaxation.

Aging is part of life.

In biology, cells senesce — they naturally deteriorate and decline with age.

We can speed this process up, or slow it down, but (for now) we haven’t quite figured out how to stop it altogether.

One thing we do know?

The changes that come with aging — like menopause — are not just in a physiological vacuum.

In other words, the changes we experience during menopause are not just tied to what’s going on with our bodies. Our mindset, the people we spend time with, and the life changes we’re experiencing matter, too.

Life changes are biospsychosocial.

When we experience life changes, they’re due to a complex interaction of the biological, the psychological, and the social dimensions of our lives.

For instance, many of our female nutrition coaching clients are tireless workers and caregivers — whether that’s at work, home, school, or out in the world.

The women we speak to are trying get their kids to school AND write their thesis AND deadlift with proper form AND visit Aunt Ruby who’s recovering from her hip replacement AND remember to vote AND stir the pasta sauce that’s about to bubble over on the stove.

So, if a woman feels fatigue or mood swings — two symptoms of perimenopause or menopause — what’s the “real” reason?

Hormones?

Stress?

Other people?

Not chanting enough positive affirmations?

The answer may be “several of the above” (but probably not the last one).

Often, menopause coincides with other life changes.

These can include:

  • The “empty nest” phase. If you have kids, they usually move out (eventually). Suddenly, your focus shifts from offspring-rearing to… what?
  • Relationship adjustments. If you have a partner, they’re getting older too. Or maybe you’re grappling with divorce, coming out, or starting to date again.
  • Aging parents. If you have parents (or older relatives) who are alive, they may be dealing with health problems or need more attention.
  • Work burnout. You gave at the office… and gave, and gave. What was an inspiring career path at 30 now feels like a joyless death march at 50.
  • A desire for change. You may not have the feverish energy that you used to, but you may find yourself thinking about beginnings: new careers*, new relationships, new places to live.

*Fun fact: Nearly 10 percent of our Precision Nutrition Certification students start a new career at midlife. In fact, one of the authors of this article, Pamela Ruhland, went back to university at 45, did her PN Certification at 48, and was then hired to be an in-house coach with PN on the eve of her 50th birthday!

All these shifts in identity, responsibility, and interest may feel a little disorienting.

But they also create openings for positive change.

Menopause is a great time to build new healthy habits — and maintain current ones.

Many women say middle age is a time of empowerment.

During this period of life, some things die (such as our simplistic youthful illusions, or any desire to wear a crop top).

But new things will grow — fresh identities, opportunities, possibilities.

Women say they feel:

  • More authentic: They care less about what others think and feel more free to be themselves.
  • More courageous: They’ve been through it all, so why not?
  • Less willing to tolerate BS: They’ve put up with crap long enough. They reclaim their time.

Experiences, even difficult ones, bring insight, wisdom, and resilience.

By midlife, we’ve built a nice set of life skills, and we’re looking to use them in new ways.

If you’re going through perimenopause or menopause, you probably won’t like all the changes you’re experiencing.

But remember that that bidirectional relationship between your hormones and the rest of your body that we described earlier?

Just as hormonal changes can affect your sleep, body composition, mental health, and more, your daily habits can impact how strongly you feel the impact of those hormonal shifts.

You’ve got power, lady.

6 lifestyle strategies that can help alleviate menopause symptoms.

Strategy #1: Prioritize quality nutrition.

At this point in life, you may be ready to say goodbye to 10-day cucumber cleanses, fad diets, and get-fit-quick plans. We say: Right on!

And here’s some very good news:

Good nutrition can ease or even alleviate much of the discomfort of midlife physical changes, plus it’ll help you maintain a healthy body composition.

Many of our clients find that through quality nutrition, they can manage their appetite and improve their digestion and bowel habits. (‘Cause no matter how old you are, a good poop is still terrific.)

Prioritizing good nutrition can also decrease disease risk, help manage symptoms of changing menstrual cycles, reduce inflammation (and inflammation-related pain), improve skin quality, and promote dental health.

How to do it:

Most of us are busy, rushed, and hovering over our keyboard as we eat our tuna salad. Slow down and pay attention. This will help you know when you’re truly physically hungry, and when you’ve eaten the amount your body needs.

It’ll also help to alleviate digestive upset like bloating and heartburn, which are really just your body’s way of avenging that spicy calzone you just ate in 17 seconds.

If good nutrition is a goal, consider:

  • Protein: Evidence suggests that our protein needs go up, not down, as we age. More protein means more lean mass and better bone density, especially if you’re also doing resistance training. Shoot for at least 1 palm-sized portion of protein at most meals. More protein can also help with skin quality as we age. Here’s more advice.
  • Phytoestrogens: The research on phytoestrogens in food (such as soy) suggests that they may help with hot flashes… or they may not. In other words, it’s not entirely clear. Feel free to experiment with adding soy to your diet, especially more traditional versions like fresh edamame, miso, and tempeh. These are consumed in Japan, China, and other Southeast Asian countries, where women have much lower rates of hot flashes.

If you have a family history of breast cancer and/or the BRCA gene, check with your doctor before adding estrogenic foods.

  • Hydration: Drink plenty of water and keep your salt intake moderate. This can help with water retention and breast tenderness, which can fluctuate over your cycle, as well as skin quality.
  • Vitamin D: Some evidence suggests that vitamin D can lessen perimenopausal and menopausal symptoms. Get your D levels checked, and if they’re low, either book that tropical vacation you’ve always wanted (hey, it’s for medical reasons), or supplement. Vitamin D is also important for maintaining bone health.
  • Caffeine: Notice whether caffeine in coffee, tea, energy drinks, dark chocolate or medications (such as painkillers) triggers or exacerbates any symptoms you have, such as breast tenderness or migraines. Experiment with reducing or avoiding caffeine to see if it’s worth the trade-off.
  • Flaxseed: Flaxseeds are rich in plant compounds called lignans. With the help of intestinal bacteria, lignans can be converted to weak estrogens (enterodiol and enterolactone) which may help reduce menopausal symptoms.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids:  Omega-3 fatty acids (2-6 grams a day) may help with some symptoms, like hot flashes, depressive symptoms, and memory decline. There also may be added benefit to starting supplementation before the onset of perimenopause, although the research is unclear. Including high-quality fats in your diet may also help with skin changes.
  • Iron: If you’ve stopped menstruating, you’ll need less iron (down to about 8 mg a day), unless you’re doing something else that increases iron needs, like Ultimate Fighting. (Pfff, after 30 odd years of monthly bloodshed, a nosebleed doesn’t even make you blink.)
  • Calcium: For bone health, calcium needs increase during menopause to about 1200 mg a day, preferably from food sources such as quality dairy products; cooked dark leafy greens; bone-in canned salmon or sardines; or calcium-fortified foods.
  • Magnesium: Magnesium is important for calcium metabolism and also helps preserve bone health. Supplemental magnesium (200 – 400 mg / day) may also help alleviate hormone-related cramps and migraines.

Strategy #2: Approach alcohol intake mindfully.

The image of middle-aged women who love wine has become a cultural cliché.

You’ve seen the t-shirts at those tacky souvenir shops. “Wine is for women what duct tape is for men: It fixes everything!” they read in bold pink letters.

But although a buttery Chardonnay goes nicely with fish, it doesn’t necessarily pair well with our bodies, especially as we age and our livers become less efficient at processing it.

Limiting alcohol consumption may help reduce inflammation, as well as your risk of breast cancer and other diseases.

How to do it:

Notice where, when, how, and with whom you drink. Are there certain triggers — like work functions, or your friend Marie — that always seem to end with you having a strong urge to dance on (or lie under) the table?

Notice what happens if you think about (or actually do) stop drinking for a week or two.

There’s no “right” amount to drink. You may choose to drink less for your health, or you may drink more because you genuinely enjoy it and want to prioritize pleasure.

Either way, drinking should always be a calm and conscious choice, rather than an obligation or compulsion.

Strategy #3: Commit to regular exercise that you truly enjoy.

Exercise (moving at moderate intensity 2-4 times per week for 30-60 minutes per session) seems to help with menopausal symptoms like cramps associated with changing menstrual cycles and inflammation, though it varies from woman to woman.

Women who have lower fitness levels going into exercise sessions may be less likely to see a benefit, which has made interpreting the impact of exercise more difficult.

Still, regular exercise is your best shot at having a healthy, strong, functional body composition. This means lots of protective lean mass (like strong muscles and bones) and less body fat (especially the more risky stuff around your internal organs, called visceral fat). It also means a lower risk of disease, including breast cancer.

How to do it:

You may have less time to exercise right now, which means you’ll have to get creative about squeezing in movement when you can.

Or maybe you have more time. Your 20-year-old son may still live at home but it’s time he does his own laundry… because you’re off to Zumba.

Here are some guidelines to consider for exercising during menopause:

  • If you still love intense workouts, recognize that you’ll need more recovery. And have a good physiotherapist on speed dial.
  • Whether it’s a full yoga routine or simply a 5-minute mobility warmup, make sure to include regular joint mobility / injury-prevention type movements to keep joints lubricated and flexible.
  • Do some weight-bearing movements / resistance training at least 2-3 times a week. This tells your bones, muscles, and connective tissues that you need them to stay dense and strong.
  • Start where you are. If you’re just picking up an exercise habit for the first time in midlife, start gently. In women who are sedentary, yoga may be a good activity to start with and has been shown to improve quality of life in menopausal women.
  • Consider making it social. Many of us are more likely to stick with things if we have accountability, support, and community. Join a class or group, or find a workout buddy. Or get a dog. Their toilet is outside, so they’re always motivated for a walk.
  • Keep cool. Your body is having a tough time regulating your temperature, so exercise in a cool place and drink cool fluids.
  • Consult with a physiotherapist who specializes in pelvic rehab if you’re noticing you’re peeing during squats, jump rope, or other movements, or if you’re having pelvic pain under load.
  • If you use a trainer / coach, make sure they understand how to train a body at midlife. They should be able to balance challenge with respect for any limitations you have.
  • Have fun. That’s an order.

Strategy #4: Practice self-compassion, especially when it comes to your body.

When your sleep is disrupted by a hot flash that rivals the fires of Mount Vesuvius, or when you’re urging your hips into jeans that used to feel roomy and now feel like sausage casings, it’s understandable to feel angry and frustrated. Or even sad.

At midlife, you will put on more body fat. As ovarian production of estradiol (a type of estrogen) shuts down, our body relies on our adipose (fat) tissue (along with a few other types of tissue) to produce similar hormones.

We actually need that extra bump in our rump to keep us healthy as we age.

And it turns out, there’s a “sweet spot” for our body composition.

While having enough body fat will maintain hormonal health, too much body fat increases our risk of estrogen-dependent cancers (e.g. ovarian and breast cancer) as well as other metabolic diseases.

So, it’s important for your health to be conscious of your body composition, but it’s also key to make peace with your body as it is now.

How to do it:

Forget about the celebrities that somehow look 25 when they’re 55. They pay a team of surgeons, personal trainers, stylists, and magical wizards to keep them camera-ready.

Define what “fitness” and “health” mean for you.

Decide what you value, in terms of your physical self.

Maybe you value strength more than aesthetics, and maybe you don’t. (Although it does feel good to know you can open any pickle jar life throws at you.)

Your body will change. You will look different. Whatever you feel you’ve lost, mourn it.

Punch and cry snottily into your pillow. Burn an effigy. Do whatever you need to do to herald the end of the old and the beginning of now.

Then, consider what a sane, realistic, and achievable set of expectations and goals for yourself look like right now. (If you aren’t sure, check out The Cost of Getting Lean.)

Approach these goals with self-compassion rather than self-criticism.

Strategy #5: Prioritize and schedule recovery and sleep.

When things don’t go the way we want, most of us do more and push harder.

For example, if your waistline has changed despite being a regular exerciser and mindful eater, you may (understandably) think it makes sense to add more and higher intensity exercise, combined with less food on your plate.

Grrr, that should do it.

But it doesn’t.

While you may not think of exercise as a stressor, it is.

Exercise requires your body to work harder. And work = stress (even when it’s “good” stress.)

With every stressor you add on, you also need proportionate recovery from it.

Restricting food is also a stressor. Women who worry about limiting food intake to manage body weight tend to have higher levels of cortisol, a stress hormone, than women who don’t.

Add that to the sleep disruptions so common in menopause (between 40-60 percent of women going through menopause have poor sleep quality or insomnia), and your “stress bucket” is getting pretty full.

Lower estrogen levels also means your body has a decreased capacity to deal with stress. That bucket fills up quicker than it used to.

Even though many stressors are good for us (like exercise, learning, and change), they only make us stronger if we give ourselves the chance to recover from them.

Not getting enough recovery and sleep can also contribute to pain, inflammation, and age-related skin changes.

How do to it:

Check in with yourself. Are you exhausted? Are your workouts feeling like a heavy slog?

If so, try this radical idea: Take a week off from the gym. Focus on activities that are less intense and more pleasurable. Like taking your dog for a walk in the park, or paddling around in the pool.

When you go back to the gym, notice how you feel. Do you have more energy? Or a renewed sense of interest? Are your muscles feeling stronger or less achey?

Play around with exercise frequency and intensity. Try reducing the number of sessions a week or decreasing the intensity of a few sessions. Replace some higher intensity weight training or cardio sessions with lower intensity sessions like yoga or long walks.

Every month or so, schedule a “recovery week”. For that week, decrease exercise volume, or skip the gym altogether and just engage in gentler movement like stretching, foam rolling, tai chi, or quiet hikes in nature.

Sleep is also a key part of recovery. If you have difficulty sleeping, here are some things to try:

  • See what you can do to reduce hot flashes, which can disrupt sleep.
  • See a therapist who specializes in sleep. Cognitive behavioral therapy or hypnosis designed specifically for insomnia can be effective.
  • Try exercise like yoga, weight training, or brisk walks, which can improve chronic insomnia in perimenopausal women.
  • Experiment with natural remedies like valerian root, tart cherry juice, and isoflavones (from soy), which may improve sleep.
  • Talk to your doctor. Certain prescription medications, such as hormone replacement therapy or low-dose SSRI’s can help.
  • Get a massage. Because anything that makes you drool from bliss and relaxation is good.
  • Many women even opt for a separate bedroom if they have a partner whose flailing and snoring is making their already-fragile sleep unworkable.

Strategy #6: Take steps to manage your stress.

You may find that, compared to your younger years, you just don’t care as much about what people think of you. This can be hugely stress-relieving.

But thanks to all the changes you’re going through, you may also be dealing with feelings you’re not used to, sometimes swinging wildly.

Unmanaged stress can have a negative impact on your sex life, brain function, pain and inflammation, and overall disease risk — not to mention your overall quality of life.

How to do it:

Coaching or counseling, mindfulness or relaxation practices, and other mental health strategies can dramatically improve your existing mental health or preserve the wellbeing you have. Mindfulness and relaxation practices can also help manage pain.

If the mood fluctuations or psychological distress are severe and causing problems with your daily-life function, consider consulting a mental health professional. For instance:

  • You might consider getting coaching or counseling.
  • You might consider speaking to your doctor or psychiatrist about antidepressant or anti-anxiety medication.
  • Also discuss these feelings with your doctor or psychiatrist if you’re on hormone replacement therapy.

Your mental state also affects your sexuality.

Setting aside time for yourself, learning to have healthy relationships, and practicing good “intimacy habits” can also help you feel juicy and sexy. Consider looking at other factors in your life and relationships to see if you can bring some calm, joy, and ooh-la-la back.

Speaking of relationships, consider which ones are serving you right now. Are there any relationships that you need to let go of, or adjust so that they feel healthier?

At this point in life, it’s helpful to be willing to let go of (and grieve, if necessary) old patterns and identities. Maybe your primary identity used to be “Mom”, and that doesn’t fit as well anymore now that your kids have moved out and you’re itching for adventure.

Be open to stepping into new versions of yourself and new ways of relating.

Menopause can be a gift… it kinda means you “made it”.

Many of our prehistoric ancestresses didn’t survive past the age of 40.

In some ways, making it past the childbearing years and into the “wise elder” years is a luxury.

While men can theoretically reproduce until they die (um, not that we’re recommending that), menopause signals the end of a woman’s ability to have children.

It’s kinda like nature is telling us, “Nah, it’s time for you to do you now. The rest of your life is for you.

Hm. Why thank you, Mother Nature.

What will you do with that gift, that wide open space of possibility?

What to do next:
Some tips from Precision Nutrition

Don’t worry about fixing everything… or anything.

Remember, you aren’t broken.

Menopause is a normal, inevitable, adaptive stage of womanhood.

You’re totally allowed to sink into the hammock of biology and let your body work this out without intervention.

If you are considering positive changes to feel better, pick one small thing at a time.

Practice that change consistently, then add on more if / when you feel ready.

Keep a journal of your experience.

Write your own Owner’s Manual. You’re the expert on you.

If you have a symptom that’s especially vexing, consider tracking it and notice any patterns. For example, you may notice that when you have coffee, your cramps are worse. Or every time you watch CNN, you get a hot flash.

Get to know the natural rhythms of your body over time by gently and non-judgmentally noticing and recording what comes up.

Use your emotions as tools (instead of being possessed by them).

Just like puberty, menopause is a time of intense hormonal flux, and corresponding emotional and physical changes.

But unlike your 15-year-old self, you are now a grown-up ladyperson, and you can choose to make use of the feelings that come up, instead of being owned by them.

When sadness comes up, you might look at what you need to grieve or let go of. When anger comes up, you might look at what needs to be protected or spoken up for. When fear comes up, you might look at what needs to be reassured or supported.

Use your emotions as tools to learn more about yourself, and to create a life that feels good for you.

Talk to other women.

Whether it’s a coach, a wise mentor, your mom, a friend, or that lady at the gym who just seems friendly and healthy, find and talk to older women about their experiences.

Not only will this give you practical advice (“Always dress in layers; never wear a pleather unitard”), it will also give you a feeling of support, normalcy, and sisterhood.

Several Precision Nutrition coaches have personal experience with perimenopause / menopause, or at least have coached hundreds of women through it.

Distribute your “craps given” wisely.

Perimenopause and menopause, with all its changes, may feel a little overwhelming for some.

Which is why you’re allowed to take some things off your plate.

Maybe you don’t give a crap anymore about “always being polite”.

Maybe you don’t give a crap anymore about fitting into a size X dress.

Maybe you don’t give a crap anymore about achieving “eternally youthful skin”.

You’re allowed to not care about whatever you don’t want to care about anymore.

Leave your caring for stuff you really care about.

Assemble your support team.

Think of the kind of support you need to be your best self at this stage of life.

You’ll probably want some loving friends or family members to talk to or reassure you.

A good family doctor or OBGYN you feel comfortable discussing all the gory bits helps too.

Add on whatever else you need, such as:

  • A physiotherapist to help your pelvic muscles perform.
  • A trainer to help you move safely and joyfully. (Maybe a boxing coach who can help you channel that pent-up rage healthily.)
  • A coach or therapist to talk through difficult feelings.
  • A naturopath, nutritionist, or dietician to help you figure out what foods will support your health.
  • A “menopause mentor” who will remind you that you’re not going crazy.
  • And so on.

Gather your posse, and conquer.

If you’re a coach, or you want to be…

Learning how to coach clients, patients, friends, or family members through healthy eating and lifestyle changes through all life stages — including menopause — is an art and a science.

If you’d like to learn more about both, consider the Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certification. The next group kicks off shortly.

What’s it all about?

The Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certification is the world’s most respected nutrition education program. It gives you the knowledge, systems, and tools you need to really understand how food influences a person’s health and fitness. Plus the ability to turn that knowledge into a thriving coaching practice.

Developed over 15 years, and proven with over 100,000 clients and patients, the Level 1 curriculum stands alone as the authority on the science of nutrition and the art of coaching.

Whether you’re already mid-career, or just starting out, the Level 1 Certification is your springboard to a deeper understanding of nutrition, the authority to coach it, and the ability to turn what you know into results.

[Of course, if you’re already a student or graduate of the Level 1 Certification, check out our Level 2 Certification Master Class. It’s an exclusive, year-long mentorship designed for elite professionals looking to master the art of coaching and be part of the top 1% of health and fitness coaches in the world.]

Interested? Add your name to the presale list. You’ll save up to 33% and secure your spot 24 hours before everyone else.

We’ll be opening up spots in our next Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certification on Wednesday, April 3rd, 2019.

If you want to find out more, we’ve set up the following presale list, which gives you two advantages.

  • Pay less than everyone else. We like to reward people who are eager to boost their credentials and are ready to commit to getting the education they need. So we’re offering a discount of up to 33% off the general price when you sign up for the presale list.
  • Sign up 24 hours before the general public and increase your chances of getting a spot. We only open the certification program twice per year. Due to high demand, spots in the program are limited and have historically sold out in a matter of hours. But when you sign up for the presale list, we’ll give you the opportunity to register a full 24 hours before anyone else.

If you’re ready for a deeper understanding of nutrition, the authority to coach it, and the ability to turn what you know into results… this is your chance to see what the world’s top professional nutrition coaching system can do for you.

References

Click here to view the information sources referenced in this article.

The post ‘What’s happening to my body!?’ 6 lifestyle strategies to feel your best during menopause. appeared first on Precision Nutrition.

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Organic produce, artisanal sourdough, strictly grass-fed meat: Yes, they’re ‘good’ for you… but they’re also too expensive for most people. The great news? There are foods that are both nutrient-rich and budget-friendly. In this infographic, we’ll show you five ways to eat healthy on a budget — while making your taste buds happy too.

+++

People who struggle to consistently eat healthier often face one or more of the following common (and very legitimate) challenges:

  • Zero time to cook or do meal prep.
  • Deeply ingrained food habits that provide a sense of comfort and routine.
  • A strong preference for french fries over steamed broccoli.

In Precision Nutrition Coaching, we have a host of time-saving, prioritizing, and palate-developing strategies to help clients overcome these obstacles.

But there’s another everyday barrier to good nutrition that can be a bit trickier to negotiate: Money.

Considering all the pressures and expenses folks are dealing with, it’s understandable that eating healthy can feel financially daunting.

Unfortunately, it’s true that fresh fruits and vegetables, lean animal proteins, whole grains, and nuts and seeds will cost you more than a diet of mostly processed and fast foods.

But it is possible to eat a very healthy diet, even when money is tight.

For this infographic, we collaborated with Community Food Centres Canada to offer five effective, real-life strategies to help you put nutritious, delicious food on the table regularly,  sometimes for just a few extra cents per meal.

The coolest part: Some of the changes to your routine may be surprisingly small — yet lead to really big benefits.

Download this infographic for your printer or tablet, and keep use it next time you’re planning meals or making a grocery list. (And coaches: Feel free to hand this out to clients who could benefit.)

 

Don’t forget to download the printer or tablet version of this infographic. Post it on your fridge or in your pantry for easy access.  (And coaches: Share these strategies with your patients/clients to show them how healthy eating can be within their reach.)

Want help becoming the healthiest, fittest, strongest version of you?

Most people know that eating plenty of fresh, whole foods is key to getting the health and body they want. But they need help figuring out how to eat that way consistently, in the context of all the other priorities and demands in their lives.

Over the past 15 years, we’ve used the Precision Nutrition Coaching method to help over 100,000 clients lose fat, get stronger, and improve their health… for the long-term… no matter what challenges they’re dealing with.

It’s also why we work with health, fitness, and wellness professionals (through our Level 1 and Level 2 Certification programs) to teach them how to coach their own clients through the same challenges.

Interested in Precision Nutrition Coaching? Join the presale list; you’ll save up to 54% and secure a spot 24 hours early.

We’ll be opening up spots in our next Precision Nutrition Coaching on Wednesday, January 9th, 2019.

If you’re interested in coaching and want to find out more, I’d encourage you to join our presale list below. Being on the list gives you two special advantages.

  • You’ll pay less than everyone else. At Precision Nutrition we like to reward the most interested and motivated people because they always make the best clients. Join the presale list and you’ll save up to 54% off the general public price, which is the lowest price we’ve ever offered.
  • You’re more likely to get a spot. To give clients the personal care and attention they deserve, we only open up the program twice a year. Last time we opened registration, we sold out within minutes. By joining the presale list you’ll get the opportunity to register 24 hours before everyone else, increasing your chances of getting in.

If you’re ready to change your body, and your life, with help from the world’s best coaches, this is your chance.

[Note: If your health and fitness are already sorted out, but you’re interested in helping others, check out our Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certification program].

The post How to eat healthy on a budget: 5 ways to prioritize nutrition while reducing cost. [Infographic] appeared first on Precision Nutrition.

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“What is the best diet?” It’s one of the most common questions in health and fitness — and everyone has an opinion. Here, Dr. John Berardi offers the surprising answer, plus 4 ways to assess if you’ve found the best diet for YOU (or your clients).

The post Level 1 – What’s The Best Diet? Well, You Might Be Surprised. appeared first on Precision Nutrition.

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With so many conflicting opinions out there, it can be tough to separate fact from fiction. The diet options are endless: Paleo, vegan, keto, low carb, fasting, and more. So how do you figure out what actually works… and what’s pure hype?

The post Best Diet Nutrition Guide – Paleo, vegan, low carb, or intermittent fasting… what’s the best diet? appeared first on Precision Nutrition.

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