You know you need a good balance of proteins, carbs, fats. But how do you turn that knowledge into healthy meals that taste delicious? Just mix and match these ingredients, flavor profiles, and cooking methods to create the perfect meal every time. Seriously, this guide could change your life.

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At Precision Nutrition, it’s our mission to help clients develop healthy eating habits for life. That means:

  • Eating fresh, minimally-processed food as often as possible.
  • Including a balance of protein, veggies, smart carbs, healthy fats.
  • Adjusting portions to meet health and body composition goals.

That all sounds great. But the trick is to do it all in a way that’s super-easy and tastes awesome.

That’s where Precision Nutrition’s all-star chef, Jennifer Nickle, comes in.

Jen’s been chef to UFC legend Georges St-Pierre and to tennis pros like Sloane Stephens and Eugenie Bouchard. She’s taught some of the best athletes in the world how to eat.

And now it’s your turn.

Behold the Perfect Meal cheat sheet.

For the past few weeks Jen and I have been working together to create a cheat sheet that helps clients build amazing meals that pack in maximum flavor with minimal effort. And it’s finally ready.

Using the simple instructions in this infographic, you’ll be able to mix and match ingredients and flavor profiles to come up with literally thousands of easy, delicious, health-supporting meals.

Warning: This guide could change your life.

Download the infographic for your printer or tablet. Keep it in your kitchen or bring it along on your next grocery shopping trip. And be sure to share it with your friends.

Again, don’t forget to download or print out this infographic so you have it handy next time you want to create the perfect meal.

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 — including helping them with meal transformation — is both 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, June 5th, 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.

The post Create the perfect meal with this simple 5-step guide. [Infographic] Hundreds of healthy meal combinations made easy. appeared first on Precision Nutrition.

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Here’s an inside look at how Precision Nutrition coaches clients, including our client-centric philosophy, habit-based methodology, and full client curriculum. I’ll even pull back the curtain on ProCoach, the program that’s allowing health and fitness pros around the world to coach the way we do. 

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Today’s article is really exciting because I’m going to pull back the curtain and show you exactly (with, in some cases, screenshot-by-screenshot detail) how Precision Nutrition coaches clients.

I’ll also reveal how we mix world-class curriculum, elite-level coaching skills, and cutting-edge technology to get unprecedented client + business results.

Finally, I’ll share strategies that you can use immediately, in your own practice, to maximize client numbers and income while still maintaining control of your schedule and helping people get the best results.

Before digging in, however, I wanted to let you know that our industry-leading coaching platform — Precision Nutrition’s ProCoach — is opening soon.

Tested with over 100,000 clients, ProCoach makes it easy to deliver research-proven nutrition and lifestyle coaching to anyone who needs it… from paying clients, to family members, to co-workers, to loved ones.

It’ll help you grow your business while working less, getting better results, and living life on your own terms.

Want to coach in-person? Online? Or a combination of the two? Whatever fits your ideal lifestyle, it’s all possible with ProCoach.

To understand ProCoach you first need to understand why it was created, and the key problems it helps health and fitness professionals overcome.

JB shares his early coaching struggles and how PN went from 20 to over 100,000 clients with ProCoach.

Want to know exactly how ProCoach works? Then check this out.

See how other health and fitness pros are using ProCoach with their clients.

 

 

In summary, ProCoach delivers — to your clients, on your behalf — a total coaching solution, complete with daily lessons, habits, check-ins, and more.

Plus, as their coach, you’ll support them by answering questions, offering encouragement, and tracking progress through special ProCoach software.

The good news? On Wednesday, June 5th, we’ll be opening ProCoach to our Precision Nutrition Certification students and graduates around the world.

When you enroll, you’ll be able to use this ground-breaking software and curriculum in your business — with your clients — and easily, quickly, effectively deliver the habit-based coaching you learned in the PN Certification.

You see, everyone knows that habit-based coaching is more effective and has longer-lasting effects than typical diets or meal tracking. But not everyone knows how to do it effectively. We do, and today…

I’d like to show you how we coach. And how YOU can coach this way too.

In today’s article we’ll discuss how you can:

  • Dramatically increase how many clients you can coach.
  • Assess nutrition-coaching clients efficiently.
  • Build a habit-based curriculum for each client.
  • Deliver new habits, lessons, and assignments.
  • Monitor consistency and adherence.
  • Track physical, mental, and behavior changes.
  • Provide accountability, mentorship, and support.
  • Set clients up for long-term, sustainable success.

So let’s get started.

(By the way: This is a long post with a lot of detail. So please set aside some distraction-free time before digging in. Maybe even read it in two or three parts. You’ll be happy you did.)

Client-centered coaching: Shush your “inner expert”.

The history of fitness and health is littered with hard-ass authoritarian coaches.

Taking a page out of the military, these coaches deliver a series of no-pain, no-gain boot-camps where clients are given tough love and are taught to pay for their laziness and dietary transgressions with push-ups, cardio, and burpees.

This style of coaching features the coach as: Expert, Drill Sergeant, and Dictator. In this model it’s their job to tell clients what to do.

Sure, some coaches are at least polite about it. But, no matter how nicely they command, this approach remains coach-centered. It’s all about the coach and what they know. And it’s the opposite of client-centered.

Of course, as a great fitness / health coach, you probably are an expert. You have well-informed ideas and opinions on nutrition, movement, stress, and sleep. But…

There’s one thing you’re not an expert on:
Your clients’ lives.

Each client is actually the expert on their own bodies and their own lives. They live in their bodies and experiences 24/7. You don’t.

That’s a critical distinction. Because…

Your clients have their own abilities and reasons for change.

They have their own limits, beliefs, preferences, backstories, and motivations. Some of these will be so far outside your personal experience that you couldn’t possibly have “standard” advice for them.

But that’s okay. As a change-based, client-centered coach, all you have to do is slow down and…

Quiet your own “expert” voice.

Ask questions. Listen deeply to your clients’ stories. And build your coaching approach around what you hear.

In doing so, you’ll actually uncover your clients’ unique abilities, reasons, and motivations (which will often be very different from yours). These will become your secret weapons.

Now you can help clients identify their own individual limiting factors. And then — more excitingly…

You’ll be able to help them propose their own solutions to their own problems.

We believe what we hear ourselves say.

So if you help clients produce and describe their own solutions, they’ll feel empowered, and embrace the solutions without you having to nag or boss them around.

This is a foolproof recipe for sustainable, long-term change.

Of course, this isn’t about coddling or being too nice or acquiescing to client demands.

Rather, client-centered coaching is about collaborating with clients and creating action plans based on what they feel they can do, not what you think they should be doing.

Let’s explore this methodology a little more.

Clients change by doing and experiencing.

These days, there’s a lot of emphasis on setting goals (e.g. lose 20 pounds) and then following a program (e.g. a diet plan or workout DVD set) to achieve those goals.

How’s that working?

On the goals side of the equation, we’re taught to think about what we want to accomplish. Then we’re supposed to make the goal specific, measurable, attainable, etc.

What happens once we’ve done all that? When we’ve set the ultimate goal?

For most people, not much.

That’s because goals aren’t achieved through the mere act of setting them. And goals aren’t achieved through sheer force of will.

On the program side of the equation, we’re taught to seek out a “Do this, don’t do that” program, summon up our motivation, and then turn our lives into “achieve that goal at all costs” projects.

We’re to become single-minded, unthinking, obedient little goal-chasing machines.

As you’ve probably seen…

This goal-focused approach fails most of the time.

Particularly when competing priorities come up and we haven’t built the necessary skills to be flexible and adaptable.

Then, since we haven’t “met our goal”, we feel bad. We think we’ve failed. We get frustrated and ashamed.

We might even give up. Or put that goal on the back burner till next January 1st, when we vow to take a crack at it again.

Based on my experience, success actually follows a different process.

  1. First, you break down the things you want to do into specific skills.
  2. Next, you develop those skills through intentional daily actions.

The formula pretty much looks like this:

Practice daily to build skills.
Build skills to achieve goals.

Some people call this approach habit-based, others call it practice-based. They’re one and the same, and are based on current research around skill acquisition and change psychology.

Growth and development come through daily habits and supporting experiences.

Here’s an example of how this works:

Goal: Eat better consistently

Let’s say you want to lose weight. You know that to lose weight you’ll need to eat better consistently. So that’s your real goal: Eat better consistently.

But you don’t have all the skills to do it just yet. So you have to break it down into…

Skill: Hunger and appetite awareness

Which skills are required to eat better consistently? We’ve identified hunger / appetite awareness as the most important initial skill for making progress.

But that’s not quite a concrete thing you can do. So you have to break it down into…

Practices: Eat slowly, and stop eating when satisfied

We use two daily habits to build the skill of hunger and appetite awareness.

Habit 1: Eat slowly.
Habit 2: Eat until satisfied, not stuffed.

This takes a month — two weeks for clients to learn, practice, and repeat each of the two habits. At the end of a month, clients have two very important habits that they can now use for the rest of their lives. They’ve learned it by doing it.

Not surprisingly, clients usually lose weight during this time. Because, of course, they’re learning to eat a bit less and adjust their intake according to body signals.

Even better, they’ve built two new habits that they can use for the rest of their lives, no matter what else happens.

Here’s how we present habits (and track their completion).

This approach is the perfect antidote to “program-thinking” in fitness and health.

Instead of a meal plan to follow, which is a very short-term (and limited) solution that never really addresses core problems, this approach is progressive and helps clients build transferable skills while stair-stepping their way to real change.

If you integrate this style of coaching with your clients:

  • They’ll accomplish goals more quickly (with less effort).
  • They’ll have an easier time maintaining results.
  • They’ll be able to do it within the context of a real human life (with its distractions, complexities, and surprises).

Here are some practical ways we implement this in our own coaching program.

The habits of Precision Nutrition Coaching.

Precision Nutrition Coaching is a one-year program that uses a client-centered, habit-based approach to help clients lose fat, gain strength, and improve their health.

Here’s an outline of the habits we recommend in our women’s nutrition coaching program. (Keep in mind, this is just one example; since we’re client-centered, we tailor habits to clients’ needs, gender, goals, etc.).

Weeks Habit
1-2 Take a 5-minute action
3-4 Eat slowly
5-6 Stop eating at “80% full”
7-8 Eat lean protein with each meal
9-10 Eat at least five servings of colorful fruits / vegetables
11-12 Make smart carb choices
13-14 Eat healthy fats
15-16 Plan PN-friendly meals
17-18 Record what you eat
19-20 Create & use a sleep ritual
21-22 Drink only calorie-free beverages
23 Break week
24-25 Use a targeted recovery strategy
26-27 Eat whole foods only
28-29 A little more, a little better
30-31 Protein & colorful plants at each meal
32-33 Practice 80% full
34-35 Do a 5-minute mind-body scan
36-37 Take a fitness information vacation
38-39 20 minutes of de-stressing
40-41 Create and practice your fitness mission
42-43 Choose your own adventure
44-45 Prepare for your final photo shoot
46-47 Celebrate your progress
48-50 Spread the love, pay it forward

Some of these habits (like “Eat slowly” or “Eat healthy fats”) are more straightforward. Others (like “Celebrate your progress” or “Pay it forward”) might be more open-ended.

The order of these habits, of course, isn’t an accident.

This is a carefully planned, cumulative client development experience.

We start simply and concretely, with clear and specific early habits that help our clients build a foundation. Over time, as clients develop skills and independence, we give them more freedom and opportunities to explore and expand their horizons.

Each habit builds on the previous ones.

Clients are able to do habits more effectively because of the skills they’ve already built. Which makes them feel even more successful and empowered.

They might start out tentative or nervous, but by the time they get to the final habits, they’re rocking ‘n’ rolling.

Here’s how our nutrition coaching software works.

Every day, clients:

  • Receive an email with what’s on deck for that day.

Example of the daily emails clients will receive.
  • Log in to a personal home page for more detail.
  • Read a lesson (which supports the habit).

How lessons and habits are presented on a client’s “today page”.
  • Mark whether or not they’ve read their lesson for the day.

Example lesson for a client to read.
  • Practice their habit for the day.
  • Mark whether or not they’ve done their habit for the day.

Example habit / practice for clients to follow.

Then…

Every week:

  • Clients measure and record their progress. This can be body measurements or other indicators (such as energy levels, mood, or habit consistency).

One of the progress checks that comes every few weeks.

Every 2 weeks:

  • Clients get a new habit to practice.

Example of a new habit / practice, which a client will get every two weeks.

Every month:

  • Clients upload more progress indicators such as photos, body measurements, etc.

One of the progress checks that comes every few weeks.

How do we support clients’ new habits?

Habits are supported by lessons.

We ask clients to practice a new habit for 2 weeks. During this time we share short lessons and assignments that help them understand the habit more deeply and implement it within the context of their lives.

For example, here’s a list of the lessons we use with the habit “Eat at least five servings of colorful fruits and vegetables.”

Lesson 1: How to get your colors.

Lesson 2: Just add vegetables.

Lesson 3: How to prep and cook your vegetables.

Lesson 4: The waste-not game.

Lesson 5: Greens supplements and powdered veggies.

Lesson 6: Tomato travels.

Lesson 7: Who’s your farmer?

Lesson 8: What’s for breakfast?

Lesson 9: PN Coaching movie night.

Lesson 10: Are you over-processing your fitness?

Example lesson that supports the habit “Eat at least five servings of colorful fruits and vegetables.”

Most habits offer Level 1 and Level 2 options.

Clients can make a habit as easy or as challenging as they like.

For newer clients, this takes away the fear of “doing it right” or “having to do too much”. Even the most intimidated beginner can usually find a habit level that works for them.

For more experienced clients, a bit of difficulty or a tougher game to play keeps them interested, challenged, and growing.

For example:

Level 1:
If you’re new to eating our plant friends, feel free to mix up veggies and colorful fruit. Keep it simple and just get in the habit of eating the rainbow.

Level 2:
If you’re already a produce-eating ninja, then use this habit to polish your plant consumption skills. Here are some things to try (choose one):

  • Improve your overall consistency.
  • Try more servings, especially of colorful vegetables.
  • Try new vegetables.
  • Try a new way of prepping or cooking familiar favorites.
  • Aim for more dark leafy greens.
  • Hit up the farmer’s market and try something in season or something organic.

We don’t just give our clients habits.
We build their skills.

Over the course of each program, we help clients build dozens of skills through very specific and well-defined daily habits.

Each habit is decided upon using our “Five S Formula”.

Simple.

The best habits are small daily actions that can be done in the context of real life.

If you ask yourself or your client, “On a scale of 0-10, how confident do you feel you could do this habit every day for the next 2 weeks?” the answer should be a 9 or 10. Anything lower and the habit is too challenging or intimidating.

Segmental.

Most goals are too big, or complicated, to try for in one go. Most skills are the same way.

So you break them down into defined and organized segments. Just like when learning / teaching complex exercises, you need to chunk bigger things into their component parts.

Sequential.

Once you have segments, you have to practice those segments in the right order.

If you do “thing 4” before “thing 1” you’re less likely to succeed. So start with thing 1, then do thing 2, then thing 3, and so on.

Do the right things in the right order and success is a reliable outcome.

Strategic.

Being strategic means being purposeful.

Strategic habits create a set of smart, deliberate decisions that leverage your strengths to help you address the thing that’s in your way right now.

Focus on that one thing — and only that thing — and a difficult process becomes easier and faster.

Supported.

Nothing worth doing can be done alone.

Habits work best when they’re supported by some form of teaching, coaching, mentorship, and accountability.

Habits are good.
A curriculum is even better.

The habit-based approach is awesome. However, if you — or your clients — have ever tried a habit-based program or app on its own, you probably got stuck with questions like:

  • Which habits?
  • In what order?
  • How do I actually do the habits?
  • What if this habit is too hard or easy for me?
  • Why can’t I do four habits at once?
  • And so on.

That’s why we focus on a habit-based curriculum.

A curriculum is a set of strategic, logical lessons and activities that go in a particular order, step by step.

It’s a purposeful program, plan, and progression based on the best practices of client learning, engagement, and development.

The PN Coaching curriculum, at a glance.

While the order of the habits above might seem a bit random, each one is carefully placed in a particular sequence based on very specific learning objectives.

To check out detailed curriculum guides, including a lesson-by-lesson breakdown:

Habits and lessons are cumulative and coherent.

Each habit / lesson builds the skills for future habits / lessons.

Then, later habits and lessons return to themes and ideas from earlier ones.

Everything is connected to everything else in a logical progression.

For instance:

Week 4:
The “Notice and name” lesson covers the importance and basic process of self-observation and self-awareness.

Example of the “Notice and name” lesson.

this leads to…

Week 14:
The “Experiment day: Snapshot” lesson, a very simple self-tracking exercise that looks at a few items throughout the day like energy levels, mental state, mood.

Example of the “Experiment day: Snapshot” lesson.

which leads to…

Week 17:
“Record your intake” habit

Example of the “Record your intake” habit.

and eventually…

Week 29:
The “How to listen to your body” lesson, which helps clients analyze patterns in habits.

Example of the “How to listen to your body” lesson.

Week 35:
The “Your schedule doesn’t lie” lesson, which helps clients keep a time diary.

Example of the “Your schedule doesn’t lie” lesson.

Week 38:
The “Time bandits, time warriors” lesson, which helps clients review time use and what it says about priorities.

Example of the “Time bandits, time warriors” lesson.

And so on.

As you can see…

It all fits together. It’s progressive.

Just like any other subject, you start at the beginning.

When learning math, students learn what numbers are, then how to count them, then how to add and subtract them, and so on… before they can start doing calculus or algebra.

Notice also…

“Anchor habits” come first.

These are things you can do anytime, anywhere. They’re foundational behaviors.

For example, for fat loss, the two anchor habits are “eat slowly” and “eat to 80% full”. These trump all other habits.

When clients get stuck or overwhelmed with new habits, they can simply return to these “anchor habits”.

Concrete, practical, prescriptive habits come first.

“Do X in Y way” habits lead the way.

While clients can still customize all habits to their needs and nutritional levels, early habits focus on clear, unambiguous basics.

Then, we start loosening the reins, allowing more open-ended habits and interpretations of them.

For example:

  • Early, concrete habit:
    Eat 5 servings of colorful fruits and vegetables each day
  • Somewhat open-ended habit midway through:
    Use a targeted recovery strategy
  • Completely open-ended habit near the end of the program:
    Pay it forward

Example of habit progression.

In addition, we like to mix things up. For example…

We mix up “hard” and “easy” habits.

Not all clients will struggle with the same habits. However, some habits tend to be harder than others.

We carefully dole out “hard” and “easy” habits so that clients aren’t constantly asked to do difficult things.

We also mix up “new stuff” and “review / consolidation” habits.

For example:

  • Habit:
    Eat whole foods only (a “stretch” habit, fairly difficult, requires learning new things) is followed by…
  • Habit:
    A little more, a little better (relaxing the control, scaling back expectations, allowing client to choose the next actions and simply improve slightly on what is familiar).

Clients are presented with new habits and have opportunities to improve on existing habits.

Some habits are “stretch habits” or “experiment habits”.

(Rather than “forever” habits.)

These are presented as “things to try” for 2 weeks, rather than “you should always do these as specified, forever”.

For example:

  • Eat mostly whole foods.
  • Drink only calorie-free beverages.

Example of a “stretch” habit and an “experiment” habit.

The idea here is for clients to:

  • Try something that pushes their boundaries for 2 weeks.
  • Expand their skills and repertoire while doing so.
  • See what they learn and discover about themselves.
  • See what they like, need, and/or want through this process of experimenting.
  • Add this information and insight to their understanding of their needs.

At the end of the 2 week “play period”:

  • Clients decide what was most interesting, valuable, and useful for them.
  • They decide what pieces of that habit to keep.

Stretch habits in particular are great opportunities for coaching and collaboration.

  • For Level 1 clients, stretch habits get them outside their comfort zone.
  • For Level 2 clients, stretch habits encourage them to “up their game”, improve their execution and/or variety, and refine their skills.

A new kind of personal: Building your Owner’s Manual.

What’s interesting about this habit-based approach (supported by daily lessons and assignments) is that it’s personal in a unique way.

When most coaches think “personal”, they think about telling clients what to do based on something physiological.

For example:

  • You weigh 180 pounds, so start eating xx grams of protein.
  • You have xx genotype, so avoid xx foods.
  • You just finished working out, so eat exactly xx.

And while there’s nothing wrong with suggestions based on known physiology, it’s still a coach-centered approach.

A client-centered approach recognizes all this physiological information while also taking into account what clients can reasonably do within the context of their lives.

We call this process “Building Your ‘Owner’s Manual”.

One of the “Build Your Owner’s Manual” exercises from the program.

Throughout our coaching, we ask clients to track their progress, gather data, and reflect on thought exercises. The purpose of this is to write an “Owner’s Manual” — a collection of information and analysis about their lives, bodies, needs, wants, and real-life-tested experiences.

The Owner’s Manual:

  • collects information about the client,
  • asks the client to test hypotheses and collect data for making decisions,
  • increases the client’s self-awareness and self-knowledge, and most importantly,
  • puts the client in charge (which makes them take responsibility and reduces their resistance).

Each client creates their own Owner’s Manual by answering several sets of questions online throughout the course of the program. This process helps clients:

  • Take responsibility for themselves — their thoughts, their beliefs, their stories, their environments, and most importantly, their behaviors. (No more coach-blaming or “This diet / workout plan didn’t work for me!”)
  • Feel empowered by and invested in the idea that they now have a set of “handling instructions for their bodies”. (No more “one-size-fits all” programs.)
  • Test hypotheses, gather data, and draw conclusions, just like scientists. (No more blindly “just following the rules”.)

Example of “Owner’s Manual” questions.

This is a very different kind of personal.

A good Owner’s Manual empowers clients to make informed decisions about their own needs, wants, and priorities (instead of you telling them what to think or feel or do). It’s client-centered coaching at its best.

Of course, none of this eliminates the need for:

  • Guidance and support.
  • Strategies to get through blocks and setbacks.
  • Problem solving and goal setting.

Indeed, that’s what what coaching is actually for.

Unfortunately, a lot of coaches spend too much time trying to measure adherence, trying to put together one-off education sessions, and doing a host of other tasks that should be automated.

This robs them of valuable time they could use to do what humans do best…

Build accountability, support, and relationships.

Automated lessons, habits, assignments, accountability checks, and progress checks are awesome. In fact, they’re the cornerstone of our very successful program, which produces results like these:

And these:

And these:

However, both research and experience show:

People do their best when they have strong, supportive relationships with a mentor or coach.

Having a ready-made curriculum (a clear, strategic, purpose-driven progression through client development and learning) frees coaches up to do the relationship-building, supporting, guiding, helping, and coaching that clients deserve.

Sure, if clients are ridiculously motivated and relentlessly tenacious, they might be able to figure everything out on their own without a coach or mentor.

Maybe.

However, most people need some amount of support. And that’s okay. It’s not a sign of weakness or incompetence. In fact, it’s the way most humans do most things.

The individual hero who accomplishes big things all by themselves is a myth.

That’s why, as a coach, it’s important to provide the following to your clients:

Encouragement during the courage phase.

The “courage phase” is the gap between when your clients commit to something and when they have the skill to actually do it.

At first, clients are committed but not capable. That’s scary and takes courage.

At times like this, it’s important to get enthusiastic support from coaches or mentors who’ve been through the process themselves.

A known cadence of accountability.

We all know accountability — regularly checking in with someone — is important. The social commitment helps us stick with what we started.

But accountability works best if it happens at regular, expected times. Whether through an app, in a group, or one-on-one, accountability should have a known cadence (i.e. weekly, every other week, etc).

Access to a respected coach.

Most people don’t want “a coach”. They want a leader, an expert, someone they trust and respect.

Most people don’t want someone in their face “coaching” them 24/7. They just want the security of knowing for sure that someone is there if they need them.

A positive progress focus.

Comparing clients to some superhero ideal doesn’t work. It makes them feel inadequate.

Which is why it’s important to seek out any and all positive progress. Bonus points for celebrating that progress when it happens.

Even if clients aren’t seeing physical results yet, if they’re showing up, good things are happening. By identifying and celebrating that, the physical progress will follow.

Proactive obstacle identification.

It’s not all high-fiving and progress celebration. Sometimes real challenges come up. People need strategies to move past these inevitable obstacles.

What’s better than solving the problem? Avoiding that problem in the first place.

Experienced coaches can give clients a heads-up about what they’re likely to come up against. That way clients know what problems to look out for, and they’re less likely to get derailed.

Help when stuck.

Even with the best daily habits, ongoing progress tracking, accountability, and proactive obstacle identification, sometimes clients get stuck.

That’s when an expert guide can help. Someone who’s “been there, done that” and knows how to navigate.

In our coaching programs, this is where our coaches really shine. They’re available to provide careful, patient, empathic coaching to clients as they go through the full journey.

But here’s the thing… this is only possible because we’ve automated so much.

The habits, lessons, assignments, consistency trackers, and progress reports are delivered reliably in a way that can scale. So coaches aren’t wasting time doing “admin” work.

Now they’re free to do what only a caring, empathic human coach can do: connect.

Here’s one of the ways our coaches connect with their clients.

As a special bonus: Coaches can take on more clients this way, helping more people than they ever thought possible.

You see, when I started doing online nutrition coaching, I soon realized that I could only handle 25-50 clients at a time while preserving quality control. Most of my time was wasted on admin tasks.

However, with automation, Precision Nutrition now coaches about 5,000 amazing clients per year with 20 full-time Precision Nutrition supercoaches (and an awesome group of part-time interns and mentors). That’s an average of about 250 clients per coach.

It’s the best of both worlds: 10 times the clients with even better results because of our proven, progressive, and change-promoting curriculum.

Client list within the ProCoach dashboard.

Tracking, feedback, and oversight for coaches.

So far I’ve talked a lot about the client side of things. Let’s look at the coach experience.

How do our coaches onboard, monitor, and provide feedback to clients?

Over the last 15 years, we’ve spent millions of dollars building our coaching software and curriculum — Precision Nutrition’s ProCoach — with the help of world-class researchers and dozens of full-time ninja programmers.

ProCoach is designed to:

  • Triage and assess new clients quickly and efficiently.
  • Deliver habits, lessons, and assignments from our curriculum.
  • Monitor consistency and habit adherence every single day.
  • Track physical, mental, and behavior changes every week.
  • Set clients up for long-term, sustainable success.
  • Help you attract new prospects and clients with photos, data, testimonials, and straight-up, irrefutable, hard-data evidence of success.

The home page of the ProCoach™ dashboard.

We start by getting to know our clients.

When clients enroll, we ask them lots of questions about themselves. We want to know as much as possible so we can best help them.

  • What do their lives look like?
  • Who are they as people?
  • What are their goals?
  • What are their biggest challenges?
  • How much do they know about nutrition right now?
  • How much of that can they actually do?
  • Do they have any injuries or other limitations?
  • Etc.

Client intake questionnaire.

Then we track our clients.

Not only do coaches get the confidence of knowing their clients are well taken care of, they can also see their progress through a special dashboard that allows them to track their entire client list at a glance.

Client list within the ProCoach dashboard.

The client list gives coaches overview stats on each client, including:

  • where they are in the program,
  • how consistent they’ve been, and
  • how their body has changed.

But that’s just the beginning.

We keep learning about our clients as individuals.

Coaches can also drill down to each person’s client details by clicking on their name.

Client details page within the ProCoach dashboard.

There, coaches see photos, important details about clients (from their intake questionnaire), and how they’re doing in the program. Coaches also get access to pretty much everything they’ve done (or not done) in the program to date.

We keep an eye on how clients are doing.

Once a coach’s client list gets longer, they keep close tabs on their communications with each individual with this real-time feed of messages and updates.

Real-time feed of messages and updates.

Each client’s “Progress” section records whether the client did their habit and completed their lesson for the day.

Lesson and habit adherence are tracked on the client’s “my progress” page.

Responses to their assignments and lessons are also recorded in the “Archive” section.

Lesson and habit archive.

Of course, coaches get access to these adherence and consistency data through the Client List and Client Details areas of the ProCoach dashboard, as well.

We help clients assess themselves.

Along with the lesson and habit completion information, the system collects such other assessments as:

Progress updates.

Every few weeks clients are asked to report body weight, girths, photos, and other progress indicators. Also included are questions about whether they felt like their behaviors for the last week or so matched up with their goals.

Example of a behavior based question.

Surveys.

Every few months, clients are asked to fill out a quick survey. One is a psychological assessment evaluating their mindset and resiliency. Another asks important questions about how they feel about their progress so far. Another asks them to rate the program.

Example client surveys.

Coaches can easily access all of this within the ProCoach dashboard area.

We stay in touch.

Finally, there’s a built-in messaging system within the ProCoach software.

Through this system, clients can reach out to coaches and vice-versa. It’s like email but it’s all contained within the ProCoach software.

Imagine having all of your client’s details right there in front of you as you emailed them: their body stats, progress, latest messages and lesson responses, photos… everything.

Each time a coach is messaging with a client, all of that client’s data will be up on the screen at the same time. Coaches don’t have to rely on memory.

Everything coaches need to know is all right there for them, literally at their fingertips.

Messaging system within the client detail page.

In addition to the messaging system, there’s a built-in feedback system. So, when a coach reviews a client’s progress updates or assignments, they can send feedback or encouragement that’ll be delivered to them via their coaching homepage.

Coach feedback on a lesson in the “today page”.

15 years ago we set out to build a nutrition coaching platform and curriculum to deliver client-centered, habit-based coaching in a way that’s awesome for both clients and coaches.

Today, we now have efficient tracking, seamless oversight, and easy sharing of feedback.

By automating as much as possible, coaches can work with more clients, deliver better results, and spend less time on recordkeeping.

Help more clients with our software’s reliability, scaleability, and automation.

So far I’ve talked a lot about automating certain tasks so they’re done reliably and in a way that scales.

But what does that really mean?

Reliable

You’re able to deliver the same high-quality coaching experience to every client regardless of what else is going on… in your life or your clients’.

This is hard to do when your coaching is one-off or when you have more than one employee.

Scaleable

You’re able to coach 5 clients, 50 clients, or 500 clients.

(And going from 5 clients to 500 requires very little additional effort.)

We’ve used ProCoach to help over 100,000 clients over the past 15 years. So I think it’s safe to say that scalability is well-proven.

Automated

You’ll be able to deliver nutrition habits, lessons, and assignments on time and on track, no matter what else you’re doing.

Whether we’re sleeping, busy, out of town, in bed with the flu, stuck in traffic or on a plane somewhere above the Pacific ocean… it doesn’t matter.

Our system will take care of your clients regardless, and make sure they get what they need.

Daily, weekly, and monthly check-ins are completely automated too.

In the end, I think Precision Nutrition Coaching is so unique because it does what nothing else out there can do:

It uses high-powered technology (ProCoach) to automatically deliver a progressive and carefully curated curriculum (built right into ProCoach) that’s supported by live coaches.

Want help doing this yourself?

With this article, I tried to break down each component of Precision Nutrition Coaching to give you an inside look at exactly how we use all three elements:

  • software,
  • curriculum, and
  • coaching.

Hopefully you now have a better understanding of how we coach as well as how you can use some of these elements in your own coaching.

If you’d like some support with this, we can help.

As I mentioned, Precision Nutrition’s ProCoach software has been specifically designed to help you use client-centered, habit-based coaching in your own business.

ProCoach will help your business.

  • Add habit-based nutrition coaching to your existing services, easily.
  • Add a totally new, and highly profitable, revenue stream, immediately.
  • Market and sell your services to clients and prospects, effectively.
  • Take on more clients, while offering high-quality coaching and attention.

ProCoach will help your clients.

  • Assess new clients quickly and efficiently.
  • Deliver habits, lessons, and assignments from our proven curriculum.
  • Review every client’s consistency and habit adherence at any time.
  • Track every client’s physical, mental, and behavior changes every week.
  • Set clients up for long-term, sustainable success.
  • Attract new clients with photos, data, testimonials, and straight-up, irrefutable, hard-data evidence of success.

Ready to build a thriving coaching practice?

Tested with over 100,000 clients now, Precision Nutrition’s ProCoach makes it easy to deliver the sustainable, research-proven nutrition and lifestyle coaching discussed in this article to anyone who needs it… from paying clients and patients, to family, to co-workers, to loved ones.

Want to coach in-person? Online? A combination of the two? Whatever fits your ideal lifestyle, it’s all possible with ProCoach.

With the ProCoach curriculum, coaching tools, and software, you’ll be able to turn what you learned in the Precision Nutrition Certification into a thriving practice, getting better results with dozens, even hundreds, of people while working less and living life on your own terms.

Interested? Add your name to the presale list. You’ll save 30% and secure your spot 24 hours before everyone else.

On Wednesday, June 5th, 2019, ProCoach becomes available to all Precision Nutrition Certification students and graduates.

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 professionals, because they always make the best students and clients. Join the presale list and we’ll give you 30% off the monthly cost of Precision Nutrition’s ProCoach.
  • You’re more likely to get a spot. Remember, last time we sold out within hours. But 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 help more people live their healthiest lives, grow your business, and worry less about time and money… ProCoach is your chance.

The post Fitness and health pros: How Precision Nutrition coaches (and how you can coach this way too). appeared first on Precision Nutrition.

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“I’ll resume healthy eating after my vacation… once the baby is born… after Dad gets out of the hospital… January 1… Monday.” While this kind of “pause-button mentality” seems reasonable, it could be ruining your health and fitness. Here’s why, and what to do about it.

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There’s a question that’s been finding its way to me a LOT lately — from Precision Nutrition Coaching clients, Certification studentsProCoaches.

“Why don’t your programs offer a ‘pause’ feature?”

After all, what’s the harm in letting clients/patients take a break from a nutrition and fitness plan when they’re:

  • leaving for vacation,
  • completely swamped at work,
  • pregnant, or just after delivery,
  • injured, or
  • caring for an ailing family member?

For a client, the thought process boils down to:

If I miss some workouts, eat the wrong things, skip the homework… I fail.

Aren’t I more likely to succeed if I take a break, just until I have the time to do it right?

This is what I call the ‘pause-button mentality’.

Now, don’t get me wrong.

I think it’s normal — even commendable — to want to do your best. To consider taking time to regroup and then resume (or start over) when life feels easier.

At the same time, this completely natural and well-meaning impulse is one of the fastest, surest, most reliable ways to sabotage your plans for improved nutrition, health, and fitness.

Here’s why — and what to do instead.

Starting fresh after you lose your way is a really comforting thought.

That’s probably why New Year’s resolutions are so popular, especially following the indulgence-fueled holiday season.

Give me that cheesecake. I’ll pick my diet back up on Monday!

In fact, we’ve learned in our nutrition coaching programs that the idea of a do-over is so alluring you don’t even need a mess-up for the pause-button mentality to take over.

Every January, we welcome a new group of clients. Every July, we take in the second, and final, group of the year.

In July, six months in, just knowing that there are new clients starting the program fresh in January makes some July clients “itch” for a new beginning, even though they’re already making progress, changing their bodies.

If only you’d let me start over, I’d really nail it this time!

But here’s the problem: The pause-button mentality only builds the skill of pausing.

Whether it’s tomorrow, Monday, next week, or even next year, hitting that imaginary pause button gives you some sense of relief.

It allows you a little respite from what can be a really tough slog.

(And the middle is always a tough slog, it doesn’t matter what kind of project you’re working on.)

This perceived relief is compounded by the illusion that if we “start fresh” later we can find the magical “right time” to begin.

Listen, I get it.

It can feel absurd to try to improve your eating and exercise habits while you’re in the midst of chronic stress / looking for a job / starting a new job / going on vacation / caring for aging parents / raising small children.

That’s probably why there are so many 21-day this and 90-day that. What adult has more than 90 days to go after their fitness goals with an all-out effort?

But what do these intense fitness sprints teach you?

The skill of getting fit within a very short (and completely non-representative) period of your life.

What don’t they teach you?

The skill of getting fit (or staying fit) in the midst of a normal, complicated, “how it really is” sort of life.

This is why the yo-yo diet thing has become such a phenomenon.

It’s not about willpower. It’s about skills.

In most fitness scenarios, you learn how to get fit under weird, tightly-controlled, white-knuckle life situations.

You build that one, solitary, non-transferrable skill — to slam the gas pedal down, drive the needle into the red, and squeal down the road for a little while, burning the rubber off your tires until you (quickly) run out of gas and crash.

What you don’t build is the ability to get fit under real-life conditions.

That’s why it doesn’t stick. Not because you suck.

But because the natural and predictable consequence of having a limited skill set is short-term progress followed immediately by long-term frustration.

What will be different next time?

I remember having lunch with a colleague who swore up and down that his low-carb diet plus daily running was the secret to staying in shape.

I had to follow up with a painful question: “Well, why aren’t you actually in shape?”

After a long pause: “Uhh, I’ve had a hard time sticking with it. We just had our second child. The holidays just ended. I just switched jobs.” He trailed off…

“But, once everything settles down, I’ll get with the program and get in shape again! I guess I’m just on a little break.”

This story illustrates the point perfectly.

Here’s someone who’s built his fitness on a house of cards. He knows only one thing: How to get in shape by following a very challenging program when the conditions are perfect.

And whenever life isn’t perfect, which is most of the time, he hits the pause button. He waits for a better time. (All the while losing the health and fitness he previously worked so hard for.)

That’s why, when our clients ask to press pause, we usually ask them:

“What will be different when you come back?”

Nine times out of 10, the honest answer is nothing. Nothing will be different.

Life is just… happening. And it’ll happen again in January, or after the baby is born, or after Mom gets better, or at any other arbitrary point you pick.

And what then?

I’ve wanted to press “pause” myself.

If you’ve ever felt like pressing pause, or you feel this way right now, it might help to know I’ve felt exactly the same way.

A few years back, my wife and I decided to renovate a home. During the reno, we lived in a tiny apartment above my in-laws’ garage. At the time I was also starting up Precision Nutrition.

Every day we’d wake up and get straight to work. At the end of the day, we’d drive 1 ½ hours to the new house to chip away at the reno. Then, late at night, we’d drive 1 ½ hours back and fall into bed. Repeat.

At first, I thought there was no way to exercise. My schedule was completely packed, I had nowhere to work out, and my eating was less than ideal.

But after a couple of weeks I realized that something was going to be better than nothing.

The renovations would continue. Running a business would only get more demanding. And we were planning to have our first child.

I realized I couldn’t wait. I couldn’t press pause. Because, if I didn’t continue, there’d never be that “perfect time” to hit play again.

I needed to find a way to squeeze in some kind of workout, however quick, easy, and unglamorous.

Let’s accept that life has no pause button.

The key lesson here is that, like it or not, the game of life keeps going.

There is no timeout.

There’s never going to be a moment when things are magically easier.

You can’t escape work, personal, and family demands. Nor can you escape the need for health and fitness in your life.

Here’s a thought experiment:

What if you tried to hit pause in other areas of your life?

Imagine you’re up for a big promotion at work. For the next two weeks, all you want to do is focus on mastering an upcoming presentation, and winning over your boss.

Trouble is, you’ve got two young children at home who tend to grasp, koala-like, onto your legs and demand your full attention.

Honey, you say to your spouse, I’m just gonna press pause on being a parent for now. I’ll be staying at a hotel. Don’t contact me.

I don’t know about you, but that would NOT go over well in my family.

You can’t really press pause — and you definitely can’t hit reset — on being a parent. (You’ve thought about it, though. I know you have.)

Just like you can’t stop showing up for work and expect not to get fired. Or “take a break” from being married and not wind up divorced.

Generally, when it comes to life, we know we’re not always going to be on our A Game. Sometimes we’re superstars. Most of the time we just do our best.

We muddle through. We keep going.

So why do we expect it to be any different with fitness?

In my case, above, I hired a coach and we came up with a simple workout program that met these criteria:

  • No more than 3x a week.
  • No more than 10 minutes per session.
  • Has to be done upon waking up, right next to the bed.
  • Requires no equipment.

I did that for about 6 months. Was it the Best Workout Ever? No! Did I end up, after 6 months, fitter than ever? Heck no!

But was it better than hitting the pause button and doing nothing? You bet!

See, perfectionism is not the point.

“Completing” a program, PN Coaching or any other, is not the point.

Being the “best” for a tiny window of time is not the point.

The point is to keep going. Sometimes awkwardly, sometimes incompetently, sometimes downright half-assed. But to keep going nonetheless.

As I often teach our new clients:

The “all or nothing” mentality rarely gets us “all”. It usually gets us “nothing”.

That’s when I propose a new mantra:

“Always something”.

Instead of pressing pause, adjust the dial.

Nowadays I like to think of my fitness and nutrition efforts as a dial.

There are times when I want to dial my efforts up, and times when I want to dial them down. But I never want to turn the dial off completely.

Here’s how this plays out in the context of my life.

Sometimes, say when I’m training for a track competition or concentrating on a particular goal, my fitness dial might be tuned to 9 or 10 out of 10.

Channel 10 means I work out every day. Every meal is planned and carefully considered. I think a lot about fitness. And not much about anything else.

Work, family, hobbies… they’re all in maintenance mode (with the permission of the people this affects, of course).

However, as I write this, my life involves the following:

  • Settling into a new home.
  • Conducting major home renovations.
  • Raising 4 children, one of them still a baby.
  • Running a growing business with nearly 100 team members.

So these days, the dial rarely goes past 3 or 4. I work out, maybe, three days a week. And most of my meals are just “good enough”.

(For the record, I’m totally cool with that. There is no guilt about having my dial set a little lower. What’s most important is that the dial is still set to “on”.)

The important lesson: There’s a big difference between tuning your dial to 3, 2, or even a 1, and turning the whole thing off.

And when you realize how doable — and effective — channels 3 and 2 and 1 can be, you see that there’s never a good reason to hit “pause”.

nutrition routine progressions

overall wellness routine progressions

I get it. It’s easy to discount the lower channels. Especially when you’ve done more in the past. But remember your new mantra…

“Always something.”

Precision Nutrition Coaching graduate Susan Olding was dealing with a family crisis during the program: Her dad became ill and eventually passed away.

Susan could have given up when her dad was sick. Asked for a pause. And no one would have blamed her.

Instead, she challenged herself to embrace imperfection and do something every day:

Each day, I asked myself: If I can’t do what was asked of me, what can I do? What can I manage (physically, emotionally, mentally) now?

Then I went and did it.

Meanwhile, I also tried to add spontaneous activity into my days. I paced the hospital halls, parked at a distance and walked to the hospital door. I went for evening walks.

Anything to stay active.

I remember Susan telling me about the random sets of squats she did in the corner of her dad’s hospital room while he was resting.

Susan’s takeaway:

Perfection never happens in real life.

We’re always going to be doing the best we can with what we have.

And that’s okay.

We can still make progress toward our goals and still improve our health and our fitness – whatever’s going on in our lives.

That progress doesn’t happen if you “press pause” and wait for a better time.

It doesn’t happen if you say “I’ll squat again once the Dad situation resolves itself”. Or if you ask for a re-do next week, next month, next year.

“Fitness in the context of real human life”.

That’s one of our mottos here at Precision Nutrition.

It’s what I think we’re the best in the world at: Helping clients be healthy and fit in the context of their real lives.

Not while pretending to be someone they’re not. Not by signing up for a 12-week boot camp with daily workouts and restrictive diets.

But by living their own lives and practicing “always something”.

In my opinion, pressing pause is buying into an imaginary ideal: a “perfect” time when everything will fall into place; a beautiful, linear trajectory from total suckiness to apex awesomeness:

you suck - you rule graph

Asking for a restart because you don’t want to mess that line up is deluding yourself that somehow, next time will be easier. Next time will be perfect. No interruptions, no distractions… no… life.

Unfortunately, there is no perfect time.

We may have magical moments, of course. Short periods of time when things seem to “click” and come together.

But then the dog poops on the rug. Or the kid throws up on the couch. Or both… and then one or the other tracks it all through the house.

You keep pressing pause, and your progress looks like this.

no progress over time graph

Or, worse yet, you end up flatlining, stuck on a never-ending (maybe eternal) pause.

What to do next.

Fitness in the context of real human life is just like the rest of life.

We’re all just doing the best we can in challenging, complicated circumstances. We are all living messy, imperfect lives. We are all human.

If we can just keep moving forward, no matter what happens, no pause buttons, no do-overs, we win the game.

Here are a few strategies for getting out of the pause-button mentality and into a more realistic, effective, sustainable way of thinking.

1. Try the dial method.

Think of your fitness like a dial that goes from 1 – 10.

If you were to dial it up to “10”…

  • What would your workouts look like?
  • What would your nutrition look like?
  • What other actions/habits would you practice in that scenario?

If you were to dial it down to “1”…

  • What would your workouts look like?
  • What would your nutrition look like?
  • What other actions/habits would you practice in that scenario?

Giving thought to your life right now, where is your dial set?

Would you like to make any adjustments?

Could you move the dial up a channel, or even half a channel?

If so, what would that look like?

On the other hand…

Should you move the dial down a channel so you can stick with health and fitness even during a difficult time?

2. Aim for a little bit better.

An all-or-nothing approach usually doesn’t get us “all”. It usually gets us “nothing”.

You know what actually works?

Small improvements done consistently over time work — we have proof in the over 100,000 clients we’ve helped through Precision Nutrition Coaching method.

You might be trying to make a meal out of hospital cafeteria food, or gas station food, or airplane food. You might be spending hours awake with a newborn in the middle of the night, or stuck in yet another full-day meeting.

These aren’t ideal scenarios, but they’re not necessarily hopeless either.

Look around. Get creative. See if you can find some small — maybe minuscule — improvements.

3. Anticipate, strategize and plan.

Since we already know that stuff is going to go wrong, the best thing we can do is anticipate and make plans for how to deal when they do.

A simple way to do this is by answering two questions:

  1. What’s likely to get in the way of what I hope to accomplish?
  2. What is something I can do today to help me keep going when I face those obstacles?

For some people, that might be a Sunday ritual where they prep food for the week so they won’t be scrambling for healthy meals on busy weeknights. For others, it might mean having a healthy meal-delivery service on speed dial.

Don’t be surprised and dismayed when things go haywire. They will at some point. Just arm yourself with the best tools and strategies so you can stay in the game when you’re thrown a curveball.

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—in a way that helps them make consistent progress even when life gets complicated—is both 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, June 5th, 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.

The post Why the “pause-button mentality” is ruining your health and fitness. ‘Getting a fresh start’ isn’t the magic bullet you thought it’d be. appeared first on Precision Nutrition.

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If you love nutrition, health, and fitness — or you’re already a professional in one of these fields — you probably get a LOT of diet- and nutrition-related questions from friends, family, clients, and/or patients. 

That’s why we created this cheat sheet, with evidence-based, easy-to-understand answers to the most common questions, all of which are covered in our newly updated Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certification program.

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If you’re a health and fitness professional, no doubt you get a ton of diet- and nutrition-related questions.

Heck, even if you’re just really passionate about health and fitness, you’re probably getting questions all the time.

Coming up with the right answers can be difficult, because:

  • The right answer depends on who the asker is. Young athlete? Middle-aged man? Sixty-something woman? Whether you’re actively coaching, or you just have a diverse social network, the questions will run the gamut.
  • There are so many facets of nutrition. Macronutrients, micronutrients, supplements, pesticides, GMOs… where do you start?
  • There’s a TON of confusion about nutrition “truths.” Is red wine saving your life, or killing you? What about red meat? Eggs? And how ’bout that new plant-based diet?

The truth is, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to any nutrition question.

However, if you build a strong foundation of nutrition knowledge, you can:

  • learn how to accurately determine each person’s individual needs,
  • understand how targeted nutrition can support their goals, and
  • get better results for them, confidently and reliably.

With this article, you’ll start to build that foundation.

Here we’ll cover:

  • what’s really behind the most common nutrition questions,
  • why each person’s unique physiology matters,
  • how each person’s situation can help determine your response,
  • how to handle diet trends (Paleo, carb-phobia, etc.), and
  • how you can incorporate this knowledge… starting today.

Of course, this “cheat sheet” is just a start. There’s so much more you can learn.

That’s why devote the entire first unit of our newly updated Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certification — 300 pages, 8 chapters, 8 comprehensive video lectures — to the most crucial elements of nutrition science.

That includes the most up-to-date findings in cell physiology, digestion, energy transfer, nutrient biochemistry, and more.

And, in case you’re wondering, the other 300 pages, 9 chapters, and 9 video lectures are devoted to the art of nutrition coaching.

That includes the most up-to-date findings in change psychology and the latest things we’ve learned having coached over 100,000 clients.

So…

If you want to learn, we’re here to teach.

If you feel excited and inspired by what you learn today, and you’d like to learn more about the program, please put your name on our Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certification presale list below.

We’re excited and inspired too.

We recently updated the program with the latest research, and enhanced it with a new workbook/study guide, over 35 new client assessment forms and questionnaires, and 17 brand-new animated videos.

The program opens up on Wednesday, April 3rd.

Since we only take a limited number of students, and the program sells out every time, we recommend adding your name to our presale list below. When you do, you get the chance to sign up 24 hours before everyone else. Even better, you’ll save up to 33% off the general price of the program.

Double win.

For now, let’s get started with some of the most common nutrition questions, including:

Question #1: “I’m new to this whole nutrition thing. Where do I start?”
Question #2: “What’s the best diet to follow?”
Question #3: “Is counting calories important for weight loss?”
Question #4: “Should I avoid carbs?”
Question #5: “Should I avoid grains?”
Question #6: “What (and when) should I eat around my workouts?”
Question #7: Should I drink less alcohol?
Question #8: “Does the Paleo Diet live up to the hype?”
Question #9: Should I do a detox or juice cleanse?
Question #10: “Do sleep habits and stress really affect nutrition?”
Question #11: How should I eat to get six-pack abs?”

Question #1
“I’m new to this whole nutrition thing. Where do I start?”

Answer:
Let’s start by eliminating nutritional deficiencies.

This one is always interesting, because no one ever wants to believe they have nutritional deficiencies.

People might not want to hear it at first, but nutrition beginners don’t need a major diet overhaul on day one. They don’t need to “go Paleo” or “eliminate sugar.”

As their coach, your first step should be to open newbie clients’ eyes to the fact that they probably have one or more nutritional deficiencies (seriously — more than 80 percent of the population has at least one).

Until nutritional deficiencies are removed, the body simply won’t function properly — and that makes any health or fitness goal a lot harder.

So, to eliminate deficiencies, your first order of business is to help the person find workable strategies for rounding out the diet, so they get:

  • a bit more protein,
  • ample vitamins and minerals,
  • sufficient healthy fats, and
  • more water.

Tell them that you’re going to help them establish optimal eating habits one step at a time. Then talk through some strategies: Find out which of the nutritional areas listed above will be most challenging for them (for example, some of the beginners we work with don’t know how to cook meat). That’s the problem you’re going to help them solve first.

Once nutritional deficiencies are addressed, you can start to focus on things like food quality and portions.

What to say when the person seems impatient? Explain: “This process isn’t slow; it’s systematic. It focuses on the things that are in your way right now. Once they’re eliminated, progress happens fast.”

READ MORE:

Question #2
“What’s the best diet to follow?”

Answer:
There is no “best diet.”

As you emerge as a health, fitness, and nutrition expert, everyone’s going to want to know: Which dietary “camp” do you belong to?

The best coaches maintain a neutral position on this. If you can, strive to be a nutritional agnostic: someone who doesn’t subscribe to any one dietary philosophy.

Why? All dietary protocols have their pros and cons. What works best for one person won’t work best for another. Also: A diet that has worked best for someone in the past won’t necessarily be what works best for them moving forward.

Tell your client or patient that you’re going to help them find the approach to eating that works best for them right now, whether it be Paleo or vegan, high-carb or low-carb, tight budget or unlimited funds — or some blend of all of these.

The truth is, the human body is amazingly adaptable to a vast array of diets, so the best diet is the one that:

  • matches the person’s unique physiology,
  • includes foods they enjoy enough to follow consistently, and
  • is realistic for them in terms of life logistics and budget.

Indeed, you can make people lean, strong, and healthy on a plant-based or a meat-based diet. You can help improve their health with organic, free-range foods and with conventional foods. They can lose weight on a low food budget or an unlimited one.

It just takes a little know-how and a system for using the best practices across all diets.

READ MORE:

Question #3
“Is counting calories important for weight loss?”

Answer:
For many people, calorie counting may be more of a hassle than it’s worth. The good news: There is a better way.

Weight management is a simple equation: Eat more than you burn, and you gain weight. Eat less and you lose weight.

But the physiology behind “calories in, calories out” is actually much more complex and dynamic than most people realize. Plus, it’s imprecise; we estimate that there’s typically an error of up to 25 percent on the ‘calories in’ side, and on the ‘calories out’ side.

Beyond that, counting calories is an external system (outside of your body). In essence, people who count calories are less likely to see lasting results because they’re outsourcing appetite awareness to the food-label gods. To really win at portion control, coach your clients or patients on tuning into their internal hunger signals.

For these reasons, and more, we tell our clients that for most people, counting calories is a lot of work for very little benefit.

(Interestingly, most clients become elated when they realize they can get the body transformation they want without ever counting calories again.)

Instead of calorie counting, we recommend a hand-measure system for portion sizes. Here how it works:

  • Your palm determines your protein portions.
  • Your fist determines your veggie portions.
  • Your cupped hand determines your carb portions.
  • Your thumb determines your fat portions.

This system counts your calories for you, and gets your macronutrients lined up too, without having to do any annoying food-label math.

Plus, your hands are portable — they go wherever you go, making portion-sizing very convenient. In addition, your hands are generally scaled to your size — the bigger you are, the bigger your hands, so the more food you need and the more food you get.

Clients typically get the hang of this system within a week of learning it; then we help them monitor results and tweak as needed.

READ MORE:

Question #4
“Should I avoid carbs?”

Answer:
No; but let’s make sure you’re getting the right kind of carbs.

Ask almost anyone what they need to do to lose a few pounds, and they’ll probably say: “Cut back on carbs.” As a professional in a health/fitness field, you’ve probably heard it dozens of times.

However, most folks would do best eating a moderate amount of quality carbs—whole grains (when tolerated), fruit, potatoes, sweet potatoes, beans and legumes, etc. (We emphasize moderate, of course).

For men, this usually means about 1-2 cupped handfuls per meal. And women, about 1 cupped handful per meal.

Of course, the needs of each individual may differ, based on their size, activity level, goals, and genetics.

But, bottom line, carbs are not inherently fattening, especially whole food sources. And getting adequate carbs can help most clients exercise harder and recover better, optimizing progress.

Yep, this is a controversial position to take. But it works. And while avoiding carbs may facilitate rapid weight loss initially, we’ve found that it’s not practical (or necessary) for long-term success for most people.

READ MORE:

Question #5
“Should I avoid grains?”

Answer:
No; most people trying to stay lean do best with a reasonable amount of whole grains.

Grain discussions are really trendy right now, as many people have suggested they’re dietary enemy #1 and should be completely eliminated. This is hot news as, just ten years ago, they were supposedly one of the healthiest foods on the planet.

From our perspective, grains aren’t as evil as they’ve been made out to be by the Paleo and Whole30 camps. At the same time, they aren’t the superfood vegans and macrobiotic eaters suggest either.

Bottom line: While you don’t need to eat grains, unless you have celiac disease or a FODMAP intolerance, there is absolutely no need to avoid them. (And even in those two scenarios, it’s only specific grains you need to worry about).

Most people follow a better, more health-promoting diet if they’re allowed grains in reasonable amounts, along with a wide array of other non-grain carb sources like fruit, potatoes, sweet potatoes, beans, lentils, etc.

Remember, it’s the ability to follow a diet consistently over time that provides the greatest results, regardless of what that diet is. And unless you’re intolerant, there’s no good reason to totally exclude certain foods, especially foods you enjoy.

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Question #6:
“What (and when) should I eat around my workouts?”

Answer:
It depends on your goals. Let’s talk about those… then we can come up with specific recommendations for you.

If you train athletes, this is a really common question. But lots of non-athletes are curious too.

Contrary to popular media, most folks are best served by eating good quality whole foods in reasonable amounts, without having to focus on specific workout nutrition products or protocols.

So you can advise non-athlete level clients to eat a normal, balanced meal 1-2 hours before and after exercise. This will provide adequate protein and carbs to both fuel the workout and maximize recovery/adaption.

However, if you coach advanced, hard-training clients or athletes, tell them you’re going to help with their unique workout-nutrition needs.

Endurance athletes, bodybuilders, or those looking to maximize muscle gain could add a protein and carbohydrate drink during their workout. We usually recommend about 15 g of protein and 30-45 g of carbohydrate per hour of exercise.

Physique competitors, as well as people trying to maximize fat loss, could add essential amino acids (or branched chain amino acids) during their workout. We usually recommend 5-15 g of EAA (or BCAA) per hour of exercise.

In the end, rather than having one stock answer here, you need to be clear about who you’re working with.

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Question #7
Should I drink less alcohol?

Answer:
If optimal health and fitness is your priority, consider reevaluating your drinking habits.

People may balk at that answer initially, but once you lay out the facts and make it clear that you’re not telling them not to drink, their ears will open.

There’s a lot of confusion about whether drinking is good for you or not. That’s mainly because the news media likes to play up new studies revealing the possible cardiovascular benefits of alcohol.

But the truth is, no one really knows who will benefit from light to moderate alcohol consumption. Meanwhile, any level of drinking (even “moderate”) comes with health risks that should be considered.

Heavy drinking — more than 7 drinks a week for women and more than 14 per week for men — increases the risk for a long list of health problems involving the heart, brain, immunity, hormones, liver, and metabolism.

But even light to moderate drinking can affect sleep, appetite, and decision making — which absolutely can have a negative impact on your clients’ health and fitness goals.

Still, drinking is an undeniable part of culture, and when enjoyed reasonably it can be delicious and fun.

Tell your clients or patients that you’re going to help them sort out their priorities to determine the best level of drinking for them. Then encourage them to track their drinking habits — and how their drinking habits make them feel physically and psychologically — for a couple weeks.

Most drinkers consume a lot more alcohol than they think, and when they stop to evaluate, many decide on their own that it would feel better to cut back.

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Question #8
“Does the Paleo Diet live up to the hype?”

Answer:
Mostly, yes. But not for the reasons you think.

The Paleo Diet is one of the most popular nutrition approaches in the world right now. There’s no doubt that it works for many people. However, the reason it works has little to do with the story the Paleo proponents tell (evolutionary adaptation, inflammation, etc.).

Here’s the deal. Paleo does work for a lot of people because it emphasizes mostly whole-food sources of lean protein, vegetables, fruits, and healthy fats.

However, while Paleo is starting to incorporate more high-quality carbs, grass-fed dairy, red wine, and other things that used to be “off limits” — the diet can still be too restrictive for some folks.

In the end, Paleo likely gets more right than wrong. And if people want to follow it, you can help them do it in a sane, reasonable, sustainable manner.

But for most, it’s unnecessary to follow such a strict dietary ideology. You can take the good from the Paleo approach and get rid of the silly dogma.

READ MORE:

Question #9
Should I do a detox or juice cleanse?

Answer:
Probably not; most popular detox diets don’t remove toxins or lead to fat loss.

Lots of people are worried about the effect of modern lifestyle factors like poor nutrition, sleep deprivation, stress, and environmental pollutants on their health.

So you probably get a fair number of questions about detox diets and juice cleanses, which have come into vogue as an efficient way to (supposedly) lose weight and rid the body of impurities.

But detox diets don’t clean out toxins or help you lose body fat. In fact, detox diets can work against these goals by bypassing the body’s natural detoxification systems and creating a feast-or-famine cycle of eating.

Among many problems, detoxes and cleanses often:

  • are protein deficient,
  • are extremely low in energy,
  • cause unhealthy blood-sugar swings,
  • cause GI tract dysfunction, and
  • lead to a yoyo of restrictive eating and overcompensation.

If doing a juice cleanse or detox diet helps a person get ready to make further helpful and sustainable changes in their life, OK. Just coach them through a cautious and monitored protocol.

However, we prefer helping them build life-long skills and incorporate daily practices to improve their health, performance, and body composition without extreme (and unsustainable) things like detoxes and cleanses.

READ MORE:

Question #10
“Do sleep habits and stress really affect nutrition?”

Answer:
Yes, but those effects vary from person to person, as do the best sleep and stress management strategies.

Sleep is just as important as nutrition and exercise when it comes to improving your health, performance, and body composition.

Clients and patients should be coached through:

  • creating a sleep routine, including having a regular schedule,
  • limiting alcohol and caffeine, especially in the afternoon/evening,
  • choosing de-stressing activities before bed,
  • setting an appropriate room temperature for sleep,
  • making the room dark,
  • keeping the room quiet, and
  • waking up appropriately, with light exposure and soft noise.

As for stress, it’s all about finding the sweet spot. Too much stress, or the wrong kind, can harm our health. Yet stress can also be a positive force in our lives, keeping us focused, alert, and at the top of our game.

It all depends on what kind of stress it is, how prepared we are to meet it — and how we view it.

Since stress affects the mind, body, and behavior in many ways, everyone experiences stress differently. Each of us has a unique “recovery zone,” whether that’s physical or psychological, and our recovery zone depends on several factors.

It is critical to teach people strategies and skills to view and handle their own stress load appropriately. The following can increase stress tolerance or diminish stress load:

  • meditation or yoga
  • outdoor time
  • snuggling a pet
  • listening to relaxing music
  • deep breathing
  • drinking green tea

READ MORE:

Question #11
How should I eat to get six-pack abs?”

Answer:
First let’s explore whether a six pack is worth the trade-offs.

To answer this one, you first have to know if six-pack abs are really what your client wants. (And if they’re prepared to do what it takes.)

Getting ripped abs is a much bigger undertaking than most people realize. There are definite benefits to getting that lean (<10 percent for most men, and <20 percent for most women), but there are real trade-offs too.

Alcohol, processed foods, and desserts all need to be severely limited if you’re trying to lose fat and show off a washboard stomach. Social situations often become difficult. Other interests and hobbies may need to decrease.

However, if clients really want to get a six-pack in the healthiest possible way, they’ll need to follow these principles 90-95 percent of the time:

  • eat protein and vegetables at every meal,
  • include healthy fats at most meals,
  • eat a small amount of carbs post-workout only,
  • limit carbs at all other meals,
  • exercise intensely 4-5 times per week, and
  • get at least 8 hours of sleep each night.

Armed with this information, you can have an honest conversation about whether your clients want the six-pack badly enough. (Or if they’d settle for moderately lean and healthy without giving up some of the other things they enjoy).

READ MORE:

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In the end, yes, it’ll take some time to master these answers on the fly with a wide variety of people, but the only way to get started is to dive right in.

Remember: While you’re expected to know all the answers, you can’t be expected to know everything about every single person.

So use the answers in this cheat sheet as a starting point (I recommend that you do the deeper reading first), and then learn more with strategic questions about their particular needs and goals.

In the end, being the go-to coach for nutrition questions is about — yes — knowing the facts. But it’s also about meeting people where they’re at and garnering experience while you make the journey together.

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 — including how to manage energy balance — is both 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.

The post How to answer the most common nutrition questions like a boss: A cheat sheet for helping anyone hone their eating habits. appeared first on Precision Nutrition.

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Sweet potatoes vs. potatoes: A nutritional debate fueled by misinformation, baseless ‘superfood’ obsessions, and carbohydrate phobias. Here’s how these tubers compare — and why both deserve a place in your diet.

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A few years back, some crazy nutrition enthusiasts decided to figure out whether white or sweet potatoes were “healthier”.

One group compared the glycemic index and load of sweet potatoes vs. potatoes. They suggested that since white potatoes tend to be higher, they should be avoided.

Another group suggested that sweet potatoes are a vitamin A ‘superfood’, putting them way ahead of their white potato competitors.

And, of course, the carbophobes had their own take: All potatoes should be avoided because they’re too high in carbs and all those carbs will mess with your insulin regulation and cause fat gain.

Nonsense, all of it.

Both white and sweet potatoes, when eaten as part of a balanced and intentional diet, provide a fantastic array of nutrients while contributing to the satiety and deliciousness of any meal.

Check out this infographic to learn more about white and sweet potatoes, and why you should consider including both in your diet. (You can even download them for your printer or tablet).

Want to share this with family, friends, and clients? Click here to download the infographic and print it out, or save it on your tablet.

For an even more comprehensive take on this topic, check out our accompanying article, “Sweet vs. regular potatoes: Which are really healthier?”.

Passionate about nutrition and health?

If so, and you’d like to learn more about it, consider the Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certification. Our 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.

The post Sweet potatoes vs. potatoes: Which are really healthier? [Infographic] 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.

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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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As a devoted runner, fitness was just a way of life for Daniel Hayes. So when his health threw him a curveball and he wound up on meds that slowed his metabolism, none of his usual approaches to weight maintenance worked. Now, 35 pounds later, he’s fit again, and an inspiration to his young son.

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When you’re an avid marathoner, you expect your body to obey.

You run more miles each week; your body readily responds with improved conditioning and endurance.

You dial up protein and vegetables, your body snaps to attention with more muscle and less fat.

But in 2008, at the age of 38, the easy cause-and-effect, master-and-servant relationship that Daniel Hayes had with his body suddenly reversed.

While training for his fifth marathon, Daniel, of Chicago, Illinois, began experiencing a heartburn-like sensation every time his heart rate went above a certain point.

Knowing his body well enough to be concerned, he made an appointment with a cardiologist. The exam revealed a problem that would change the course of his life: One of his arteries was 90 percent blocked.

If he hadn’t caught it, Daniel’s doctors said his condition would have culminated in a fatal heart attack.

Now with stents in two coronary arteries and working his way through cardiac rehabilitation, Daniel was recovering well and started running again. But his body wasn’t the same.

“One of the unfortunate things is that I was put on a heavy dose of statins and a beta-blocker, which really slowed down my metabolism,” Daniel says.

“I gained about 30 pounds over the next 5 or 6 years just from the meds alone.”

Although he had years of experience maintaining a fit body, Daniel discovered his tried-and-true strategies no longer worked. They were simply no match for his new health realities.

What’s more, the time he could devote to figuring out a nutrition and fitness approach that would work was more limited than ever.

For one thing, Daniel was spending lots of time caring for his mother, who was struggling with dementia and, sadly, eventually passed away in 2013.

Meanwhile, the company he worked for was bought out, and Daniel found himself dealing with the pressures and commitments that come when you know your job is on the rocks.

Thankfully, there was a bright spot too: The birth of his first son. But as any new parent soon finds out, caring for a small child doesn’t usually increase the amount of time you’re able to dedicate to nutrition and fitness.

Daniel at his heaviest, the result of a slowed metabolism plus lots of competing priorities.

Though he continued to exercise, Daniel no longer felt like the fit, healthy guy he once was.

By 2015, with his weight not budging from his new high of 238, it was clear to Daniel that he needed to try something different. He couldn’t expect a quick fix; that ship had sailed.

“I just looked myself in the eye and said, ‘I’ve got do something about this. I need to be healthy. Especially for my wife and son.’”

Enter Precision Nutrition Coaching.

Daniel realized that in order to lose weight in a way that worked with his medications, health history, and demanding life, he would need some help.

So he researched nutrition coaching options online, and liked what he read about PN’s habits-based approach.

He would need to “meet himself where he was” and focus on sustainable practices rather than short-term hacks.

So he dug into the PN program’s habits and gradually changed his approach to food.

One of the biggest changes? Eating slowly to 80 percent full — a lifelong “anchor” practice that helps you reconnect with your metabolism and hunger cues.

Daniel realized he had gotten used to feeling completely stuffed after meals.

“My parents grew up during the depression and I think that’s where my habits came from,” explains Daniel. “You had to finish everything on your plate. Nothing could be wasted. I grew up with that mindset, so it was a hard one to break through.”

After a year in the program, Daniel had added muscle mass (and lots of strength), and lost about 12 pounds of body fat. Plus, by trying out activities he hadn’t done before, he learned to think of movement and exercise as enjoyable rather than an obligation.

But the biggest transformation after that first year? The depth of his self-knowledge.

A slowed metabolism paired with deep-seated clean-your-plate habits don’t resolve overnight. So six months after finishing the program, Daniel realized that he missed the support and accountability of having a nutrition coach.

Daniel knew he had more healthy-habit practicing to do, and more weight he wanted to lose. He was on a longer journey than he’d realized — and that was ok.

Daniel finished that second year feeling more grounded than ever, and couldn’t resist the urge to sign up for a third round. To date, he has lost almost 35 pounds.

Daniel preps for a workout several months into his PN journey.

The strategy that Daniel has embraced, with much success: playing the long game.

Just like marathon training, sustainable eating and fitness habits that make sense for complicated health and life circumstances often require time and repetition to take hold.

“It takes a while for someone to get into the state they’re in, so it’s going to take them a while to get out of it,” Daniel says.  “It’s not going to happen overnight.”

Now, even when life throws its characteristic challenges at Daniel — these days, it’s usually in the form of a busy schedule or having to travel for work — he knows he can rely on his newly ingrained healthy habits.

“At the very least, I know I can always practice eating slowly and eating to 80 percent full. And I can usually fit in some quick body weight exercises. Those familiar practices keeps me on track even when life gets crazy.”

Another advantage of the long game: You have the resilience to understand that your health and weight can absorb life’s inevitable nutrition and fitness “missteps.”

“Be patient,” Daniel urges. “Be patient with the process and be patient with yourself. You take it day by day. It’s these small, incremental changes that get you to your goal.”

“Sometimes you’ll eat or drink too much. Instead of being really hard on yourself, you can just say, ‘You know what? Life happens. Tomorrow is a new day.’”

More importantly, Daniel knows that his new long-term habits make him a better role model for his son.

At the outset of that first year of PN Coaching, as he dreamed of somehow getting back to being the healthy guy he’d once been, Daniel envisioned taking up martial arts… to keep up with his young son, who’s been a karate enthusiast since he was 4 years old.

The moment Daniel realized he finally had enough confidence to start taking Brazilian jiu-jitsu, he know he’d “made it.”

Daniel after a jiu jitsu spar with his young son.

 

“Now when my son sees me doing martial arts, he wants to do it more too. I’m proud of that.”

Daniel’s son is most excited about finding a worthy sparring opponent.

Daniel laughs, “He’s small, but I’m his kicking bag. He thinks I’m indestructible.”

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 Daniel Hayes: Making peace with the long game. appeared first on Precision Nutrition.

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Early in their marriage, Dan Hibbert’s wife, Susan, inspired him to take better care of himself and prioritize health and fitness. Later, after tragedy struck, Dan had to get through his grief and find the strength to stay the course for the most important reason of all: his kids.

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One day, in the late 1990s, Dan Hibbert’s wife, Susan, took him aside.

Dan had been overeating, turning to food for comfort during times of stress, and he was negIecting his health. Worried for his well-being, Susan encouraged him to make some changes.

“I was probably 40 or 50 pounds overweight at that point,” Dan, of Calgary, Canada, remembers.

“My wife, bless her heart, sat me down and said, ‘I’m concerned about you and I want you to be healthy.’ And that was great. It gave me a great kick in the backside, and I did get rid of all that weight, and maintained the weight loss for quite some time.”

Dan and his family before his wife, Susan, got sick.

Then, in 2011, something terrible happened.

Susan was diagnosed with colorectal cancer. After multiple surgeries and extensive chemotherapy, she entered a major depression due to sleep problems and anxiety.

Despite everyone’s best efforts, in August of 2012 Susan took her own life. It was unexpected and traumatic for Dan and their five children.

After losing Susan, 40-year-old Dan knew it was going to be challenging not only to work through his own grief, but also to take care of their five kids, dog, and the family business. But he made a decision.

“The minute I knew that the suicide had happened in our family, I felt it was my mission in life to take care of our kids.”

“I didn’t want this to define them in a negative way. I had to be there for them,” Dan says.

Dan did what he needed to do to help himself and the family cope. One of his best outlets was exercise, particularly CrossFit.

But after a couple years, Dan’s old patterns of emotional eating returned.

Once again, Dan turned to food for comfort.

He found himself reaching for a beer or glass of wine each night. And social situations became excuses to overeat. After a while, he could feel his weight creeping up.

“When you have to track off to buy new jeans, it’s like, ‘Okay. Problem,’” he laughs.

Joking aside, Dan took his weight gain seriously. He knew the importance of taking care of his own mental and physical health.

When Dan saw the scale moving into the 220s, he had a “moment of truth.”

Dan thought about his kids and his personal mission to support them. “I thought, ‘If I keep going down this road, I’m not going to be a good dad.’”

And he thought about Susan. “If she would have been here, she would have intervened,” says Dan.

“But, she wasn’t. So it was one of these moments where it’s like, ‘Well, I gotta step up and do this on my own, I guess. For my kids. And for myself, too.’”

Dan’s late wife, Susan, continues to inspire his efforts to stay healthy and fit, for himself and especially for their five kids.

Dan considered his options. He could do a six-week transformation challenge of some kind, but then the results wouldn’t last. Besides, he knew he needed some support and accountability.

He’d been following Dr. John Berardi and Precision Nutrition for some time, so he took the plunge and signed up for Precision Nutrition Coaching.

With PN, Dan was able to reset his old patterns of comfort eating, and practice new, healthier strategies.

“The program vastly expanded my toolkit of knowing what to do, and the practical ability to do it,” he explains.

Dan was committed and consistent with the program from the get-go. He found the daily check-ins and the ability to track his progress immensely helpful.

“If there’s numbers, I do well,” Dan says. “Give me a set of numbers and tell me to get from A to B, and I’m going to work hard to do it.”

And that’s exactly what he did.

Of course, we all need a little extra support sometimes, and Dan was no exception.

After a few months of steady weight loss, he found himself at a plateau, and reached out to his PN coach, Calvin, who provided some simple “suggestions and tweaks” to help Dan keep moving forward.

Then, toward the end of the PN Coaching program, Dan broke his wrist during a CrossFit class. Despite this extra challenge, Dan managed to stay consistent with his habits.

Once again, the combination of daily accountability, support from Coach Calvin, and the ability to track his progress helped Dan stay the course.

The results of that commitment? Dan lost 30 pounds, and gained lifestyle strategies to keep himself healthy and fit — inside and out.

“I appreciate the change the program made for me in appearance, and more importantly, my overall mindset.”

When Dan looks back, he’s glad he course-corrected in order to stay true to his mission of taking care of his kids.

“You do need to stop and take inventory once in a while,” he reflects. “Have those conversations with yourself about the general trends of things in your life.

“Whether it be weight, or mental health, or your habits… take some time to confront those things, and search for help with them.”

He adds, “and if there is coaching help available, make use of it. Coaching is such an asset.”

Today, Dan’s kids are all thriving, and he even has a new member of the family: his first grandchild.

All thriving, Dan and his kids goofed off during a family photo shoot recently.

Of course, coaching can’t magically eradicate grief. Change takes time, and so does healing.

“I’ve learned there are certain things that you have to allow time to get through, and you can’t exactly hurry them up,” Dan acknowledges. “But, with that said, there are things that you can do that will help.”

“The main thing to remember,” says Dan, “it’s that it’s a marathon, not a sprint.”

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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.

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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.

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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 Dan Hibbert: Getting through grief. appeared first on Precision Nutrition.

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