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

++++

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

$25,000 Grand Prize Winner: Katrina

Lost 41 lbs and 38 total inches!

Age: 44 years
Weight Lost: 41 lbs (from 170 lbs to 129 lbs)
Total Inches Lost: 38 inches (from 225 inches to 187 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.

Katrina McKinney loved to run.

She started fifteen years ago, tackling her first marathon in 2008.

She loved logging the miles, loved the community, and loved the fact that running had helped her go from her heaviest adult weight to her lightest.

But she couldn’t sustain it.

Running 30 or 40 miles a week wasn’t always compatible with her busy work schedule, and inconsistency with that mileage opened the door to injury.

Also, while she knew a lot about fitness and nutrition, she couldn’t consistently apply her knowledge. It was tempting to look for the easy fix, like the latest supplement or the hot new trendy diet.

“I was always trying something,” Katrina says.

But in the end, Katrina’s nutrition and fitness efforts always felt random.

No matter what she did or what progress she made, she always seemed to return to the same old condition—tired, discouraged, and overweight.

Then she got married, and while her life got better, her fitness got worse.

After work, it was all too tempting to discuss the day with her husband, Keith, over a bottle of wine or an extra-large portion of their evening meal. She started skipping workouts and missing runs. Over time, those extra calories added up.

Finally, both Katrina and Keith reached a breaking point: They knew they had to do better.

After all, if they were struggling with health and fitness now, in early middle age, what would happen later?

“I wanted to set us up for a healthy future.”

Enter Precision Nutrition. Taking a leap of faith and investing in their long-term health, Katrina and Keith signed up for coaching—together.

It wasn’t long before their rituals began to change. Instead of bonding over a beer, they’d start the day with a gym date and close it with a conversation about that week’s nutrition habit or the most recent lesson in the program.

This mutual encouragement proved crucial to their success.

“Even though our experience was different, we were always there to support each other. It’s like we were on the same train, even if we sometimes rode in different cars.”

The kids also came along for the ride. “They weren’t always giddy about eating so many veggies,” Katrina admits. But they were game to try. “The youngest happens to love licorice. I’ll never forget her smile when I showed her that fennel smells and tastes like her favorite candy!”

It was that mindful approach to cooking, eating, exercise, and sleep that made the biggest difference to Katrina. Day after day, she made small, consistent efforts. She stopped thinking in terms of depriving herself. Instead, she took care of herself.

The number on the scale seemed to take care of itself, too.

For Katrina, watching her weight drop was a thrill. Better yet was the experience of flying through the hills on a long trail run, and feeling as energetic after the race as before it.

Best of all was her newfound ability to listen to herself, to trust her inner voice.

For example, that inner voice prompted Katrina to quit a 12-hour challenge race after seven hours in the heat and torrential rain. Instead of pushing herself beyond her limits, or just sticking it out to drink beer and eat junk food, she opted to leave–and enjoy a cozy supper with Keith.

Other times, the inner voice gave Katrina the encouragement she needed to decline that extra drink at a social event so she could prioritize sleep.

Often, Katrina’s inner voice nudged her to get outside and connect with nature. To listen to the babble of the stream, to feel the stones under her feet.

These days, people ask Katrina what she’s been doing to get so healthy and happy.

“Honestly, it isn’t hard,” she says. It’s really about slowing down, listening, making one small positive choice, and then another.

“Focus on the process instead of on outcomes. What you do to and with your body matters,” she says.

“Most of all, remember that you’re worth it.”

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

$25,000 Grand Prize Winner: Glen

Lost 52 lbs and 33 total inches!

Age: 57 years
Weight Lost: 52 lbs (from 243 lbs to 191 lbs)
Total Inches Lost: 33 inches (from 262 inches to 229 inches)

An avid rower, Glen Schultz knew it may be time for a change the day he tried to get in the racing shell—and wouldn’t fit.

Though active, Glen, like many of us, had arrived at middle age carrying some extra baggage around his middle.

He couldn’t squeeze into his suits, either. Invited to a wedding, he had to make a trip to the Goodwill store to find something formal to wear.

But these were just irritations. Annoying, yes, but also funny. It was the confrontations with mortality that Glen found harder to shrug off.

First, his wife’s mother passed away. Then, he lost his own mother. A former classmate died of a stroke.

And he found himself dwelling on the reality that in his mid-50s, he had fewer years ahead of him than behind. With a loving wife and two teenage boys to raise, he didn’t feel ready to cut those years even shorter.

His medical checkup was the final straw.

“You’re pre-diabetic,” his doctor told him, and then mentioned something about “medications.” That’s when Glen decided to take control of his health.

He signed up for Precision Nutrition Coaching, began to follow the habits and workouts, and bit by bit his mindset and waistline both started to change.

“In the past, I’d never really thought about how I eat,” he says.

Glen knew all about what he should eat, and why. But it turned out that slowing down, taking time, and reflecting on his choices made all the difference.

“Instead of going for that midnight ice cream, I’d write down how I was feeling.”

Afterwards, he might still hit the freezer for a snack, but he took a smaller portion and enjoyed it more.

Midway through his year of coaching he went for another checkup. This time, his blood work came back clear. He wasn’t pre-diabetic any more. And his GP had to cancel an upcoming appointment with a cardiologist.

Glen didn’t need it. His heart was in great shape.

That bin of “too small” clothes at the back of his closet? Now Glen found himself raiding it for something to wear.

In fact, he had to buy a new bin for the “too big” clothes.

The first item he tossed: that Goodwill suit he’d had to buy for the wedding a few months earlier.

Eventually, it got to the point where all his clothes were too big.

“I think I’ll have a ceremonial bonfire,” he laughs.

These days, Glen is rowing again. He bikes to work sometimes, and takes long walks on the weekends. His wife, who supported him from the start, has joined the coaching program herself, so they share their successes and challenges.

Glen’s old pattern was to do things the way he’d always done them and to fix every problem himself. To repair the broken bathtub, even though he didn’t know anything about fiberglass. To wear his hair the way he’d always worn it, even if it went against his natural part.

But his year of coaching has taught him the value of accepting help from the pros.

It turns out that bathtub repair guys really know how to work with fiberglass, barbers really understand hair, and PN coaches really know how to guide people towards greater fitness and health.

“You could wander in the vastness of what’s out there on the internet forever and get lost. Or you could ignore the flotsam and jetsam and get real help,” Glen says.

Also, you don’t need to be Michael Jordan or Lebron James to do this program.

“I can’t overstate it. This works for regular people. It really works.”

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

Meet our other Women’s winners:

Marie

$10,000 women’s Winner:

Age: 39 years

Weight Lost: 36 lbs (167 lbs to 131 lbs)

Total inches lost: 29″ (217″ to 188″)

As a perfectionist, if I wasn’t able to do everything perfectly, to a T, I would often fall into a ‘why bother’ mindset. What I love about PN is that it is made for ‘real-life,’ ‘normal’ people! At times it is almost too easy, but that is the beauty of it! If you just follow along, one step at a time, just trying to be ‘one percent better every day,’ you’ll see amazing, lasting, and sustainable results!

– Marie

Laurie

$10,000 women’s Winner:

Age: 54 years

Weight Lost: 38 lbs (195 lbs to 157 lbs)

Total inches lost: 24″ (235″ to 211″)

I was looking for a program that would lead to positive, life-long, sustainable changes for my health and well-being. PN Coaching put me in control of my journey by providing thorough, well-researched information; lots of helpful advice; and supportive, empathetic, insightful coaching (much appreciated!). By helping me tailor my own program, I was choosing something meaningful and doable for me. I found that small changes done consistently led to amazing results.

– Laurie

Kathleen

$2,500 women’s Winner:

Age: 50 years

Weight Lost: 21 lbs (143 lbs to 122 lbs)

Total inches lost: 20″ (215″ to 195″)

As an avowed do-it-yourselfer, I spent a year studying the PN website and trying to follow the guidance on my own. I made some progress, but what a difference a year of PN Coaching made! Not only did I celebrate my 50th birthday leaner, healthier, and more confident than I had in decades, I got there in a way that felt natural, sustainable and easier than I ever imagined.

– Kathleen

Marilyn

$2,500 women’s Winner:

Age: 70 years

Weight Lost: 51 lbs (217 lbs to 166 lbs)

Total inches lost: 56″ (259″ to 203″)

I joined PN hoping to lose weight, and I did. A wonderful, unexpected bonus was that, along the way, I found my true, authentic self, and discovered how to align my life with my values. Thank you for giving me the calm and peace I need!

– Marilyn

Mia

$2,500 women’s Winner:

Age: 37 years

Weight Lost: 21 lbs (168 lbs to 147 lbs)

Total inches lost: 10″ (216″ to 206″)

I made the commitment to PN to regain my health, happiness, and confidence—but most importantly to establish myself as a top priority again. My transformation has been both challenging and exciting, but through PN I have formed and reinforced healthy habits that will support my continued consistency. BOOM!!

– Mia

Donna

$2,500 women’s Winner:

Age: 61 years

Weight Lost: 26 lbs (145 lbs to 119 lbs)

Total inches lost: 20″ (211″ to 191″)

Precision Nutrition is the “magic pill” I’ve been looking for most of my adult life. I’ve tried everything, but never experienced this success, which I achieved even while dealing with a new autoimmune inflammatory diagnosis that causes pain and a treatment that causes weight gain. It’s hard to believe that just over a year ago I could hardly walk, and although it has been an uphill climb it’s been worth every step. The daily inspiration, encouragement, and guidance I received from PN has touched every area of my life. I’m so very thankful to finally be healthy and fit enough to enjoy my retirement years (hopefully soon) and my grandchildren!

– Donna

Sarah

$1,000 women’s Winner:

Age: 24 years

Weight Lost: 45 lbs (180 lbs to 135 lbs)

Total inches lost: 33″ (229″ to 196″)

I feel physically, mentally, and emotionally free. I’ve lost pounds and inches, and I gained a confident, happier, energetic lifestyle with a sense of purpose. By prioritizing my health, I am able to have the fullness of a life rooted in unshakable faith: in myself, in my relationships, and in my daily choices.

– Sarah

Joanne

$1,000 women’s Winner:

Age: 64 years

Weight Lost: 52 lbs (222 lbs to 170 lbs)

Total inches lost: 51″ (266″ to 215″)

I feel reenergized, stronger than I’ve ever been, living a much more active and fulfilling life, and dedicated to always taking care of myself from now on, even when ‘life happens.’ PN has been there, week after week, encouraging, supporting, and providing solid information as I’ve made changes both inside and out. PN has sparked a real joy in me in learning again. I know now it is never, ever too late!

– Joanne

Sibylle

$1,000 women’s Winner:

Age: 40 years

Weight Lost: 20 lbs (125 lbs to 105 lbs)

Total inches lost: 17″ (198″ to 181″)

Having been a lifelong yoyo dieter, PN was going to be a last-ditch effort to get my eating under control and to make lasting changes. While it wasn’t all smooth sailing, I feel that PN taught me the fundamental skills and gave me the mindset to finally find balance in my life, stop obsessing over food, and get into the best shape of my life! Through PN’s lessons and the support of my coach, Denise, I developed the necessary tools to lead a healthy, balanced life.

– Sibylle

Yami

$1,000 women’s Winner:

Age: 32 years

Weight Lost: 27 lbs (162 lbs to 135 lbs)

Total inches lost: 29″ (226″ to 197″)

PN Coaching has been so much more than a physical transformation, it’s been a journey that’s transformed my mental capacity to understand my real strengths. I am convinced that small incremental changes over time make a big difference. I’m taking with me skills to make this a lifetime lifestyle change, and the motivation and desire to keep learning and continue to grow.

– Yami

Cheryl

$1,000 women’s Winner:

Age: 56 years

Weight Lost: 38 lbs (212 lbs to 174 lbs)

Total inches lost: 24″ (241″ to 217″)

PN has given me the tools to understand that change comes from the inside and works its way out. The journey is ongoing, but instead of fear, the foundation is now being built on pride, love and compassion.

– Cheryl

Michelle

$1,000 women’s Winner:

Age: 39 years

Weight Lost: 14 lbs (145 lbs to 131 lbs)

Total inches lost: 19″ (216″ to 197″)

I started out with PN desperate to lose weight. But at the end of this, what has really changed my life is what I have gained—healthy, sustainable habits; workouts that have challenged me and made me stronger; and unshakable confidence in my body and all the amazing things it can do. PN has helped me shift my entire way of thinking, and while I’m happy with my physical transformation, what I am really so grateful for are all the changes on the inside.

– Michelle

Sabrina

$1,000 women’s Winner:

Age: 46 years

Weight Lost: 57 lbs (252 lbs to 195 lbs)

Total inches lost: 28″ (278″ to 250″)

What has impacted me the most in PN is learning the difference between hunger and eating for boredom or emotions. PN has given me the tools to be aware of what my body needs to be healthy and maintain that health for the rest of my life.

– Sabrina

Kelly

$1,000 women’s Winner:

Age: 54 years

Weight Lost: 43 lbs (181 lbs to 138 lbs)

Total inches lost: 43″ (237″ to 194″)

I’ve had an amazing year with PN Coaching. I lost weight, became physically stronger, and dug deep into the issues that had held me back from being the fit person I’d always wanted to be.

– Kelly

Meet our other Men’s winners:

Gavin

$10,000 men’s Winner:

Age: 34 years

Weight Lost: 27 lbs (181 lbs to 154 lbs)

Total inches lost: 20″ (230″ to 210″)

I joined PN to transform my body. Not only did they deliver on that, but they reignited my love of great food and cooking!

– Gavin

Rich

$10,000 men’s Winner:

Age: 59 years

Weight Lost: 39 lbs (213 lbs to 174 lbs)

Total inches lost: 22″ (242″ to 220″)

I joined PN to support my wife, with few expectations of my own. Along the way I admitted to myself that my hesitation to join had to do more with my own self-doubt and history. Previously, I had not kept up new eating habits, saw food as a reward, and hoped exercise would overcome bad eating habits. PN really helped me become more aware of my body’s signals and become more mindful of how these affect me, eventually leading to a physician- and wife-approved healthier me!

– Rich

Paddy

$2,500 men’s Winner:

Age: 44 years

Weight Lost: 64 lbs (225 lbs to 161 lbs)

Total inches lost: 34″ (248″ to 214″)

Over the past year I feel I’ve taken back control of body. I’ve learned to listen to my body to understand when I need rest and what food I need. The best thing over the past year: I’m pretty much pain-free.

– Paddy

Scott

$2,500 men’s Winner:

Age: 50 years

Weight Lost: 18 lbs (248 lbs to 230 lbs)

Total inches lost: 4″ (264″ to 260″)

PN Coaching was the catalyst for me to change my life and the direction it was heading. Knowing someone was there who ‘had my back’ allowed me to become accountable to myself and it brought out parts of me I had forgotten were there. Truly a life changing program physically, mentally and spiritually!

– Scott

Raj

$2,500 men’s Winner:

Age: 41 years

Weight Lost: 29 lbs (163 lbs to 134 lbs)

Total inches lost: 20″ (214″ to 194″)

The Precision Nutrition program does a stellar job of providing tools (presenting habits such as “Make Time,” “Eat to 80% Full,” and “Plan to eat Whole Foods”) through which you can restructure and reshape how you approach nutrition and fitness in your life. It enables a client to drive personal growth via INCREMENTAL change, which I’ve learned is the best way to achieve lasting change. Externally, I’ve lost 40+ pounds in the past 18 months, about 30 of that in the past year alone. Over the same timeframe, I’ve fundamentally changed my identity from someone who was just “getting older” to someone who clearly prioritizes nutrition and fitness and is a challenge-seeking leader.

– Raj

Wade

$2,500 men’s Winner:

Age: 47 years

Weight Lost: 26 lbs (190 lbs to 164 lbs)

Total inches lost: 21″ (242″ to 221″)

For me the PN Journey was all about my ‘inner game.’ I learned the outer, physical changes were not possible until I changed my inner-self. PN Coaching and specifically Coach Scott helped me recognize that my beliefs, old scripts, and the story I was telling myself were no longer serving me, and in fact weren’t even mine or true to begin with. As soon as I was able to analyze, question, and change them, everything started to change for the better. I felt a shift, improvement, or a ‘release’ in myself internally. With that, the external changes began to flow easily in all areas of my life.

– Wade

Jim

$1,000 men’s Winner:

Age: 48 years

Weight Lost: 33 lbs (201 lbs to 168 lbs)

Total inches lost: 21″ (241″ to 220″)

Simply put, Precision Nutrition changed my relationship with food to a much healthier and sustainable one. By doing this, the changes in my life have gone beyond the basic measures of weight and girth. I feel more energized and more in control overall, and I even set a new personal best on a recent half marathon, by 16 minutes.

– Jim

Nathan

$1,000 men’s Winner:

Age: 35 years

Weight Lost: 28 lbs (202 lbs to 174 lbs)

Total inches lost: 17″ (238″ to 221″)

Prior to PN, I didn’t really feel comfortable in my own skin. My body had changed over the past few years in ways I wasn’t happy with, and I felt helpless. However, as the year progressed, PN helped me build up habits and take control of my physical and mental health. Now I take the time each week to plan and prep for fun new recipes, and I get excited for my daily workouts, finding new ways to grow and challenge myself.

– Nathan

Ben

$1,000 men’s Winner:

Age: 26 years

Weight Lost: 15 lbs (197 lbs to 182 lbs)

Total inches lost: 22″ (243″ to 221″)

My journey with PN has been incredible. I was challenged in ways I didn’t expect, and was taught the core skills I can use to stay healthy for the rest of my life. Getting fit is simply a decision: Once you make it, PN has you covered for the rest.

– Ben

Mike

$1,000 men’s Winner:

Age: 38 years

Weight Lost: 28 lbs (213 lbs to 185 lbs)

Total inches lost: 15″ (248″ to 233″)

Precision Nutrition has been an amazing experience for me. The program has equipped me with straightforward tools and techniques that I can use forever to maintain long-lasting health. I couldn’t be happier with results.

– Mike

Charles

$1,000 men’s Winner:

Age: 39 years

Weight Lost: 29 lbs (179 lbs to 150 lbs)

Total inches lost: 29″ (229″ to 200″)

Having been physically active for most of my life with martial arts, sports, and weight training, I hit a roadblock when I injured my back in my late 20s and had to stay in bed for nine months. Since then, I have been struggling with back pain, disk problems, etc., and I thought I was doomed to recurring injuries every few months. I thought I knew what I was doing because of my background in fitness, but PN has taught me things I never learned in all my years of training. I have been injury-free for the past eight months, and I feel better than I have in years! With my new priceless PN habits, I really have no words to say with how thankful I am! PN truly helped me change my mindset, my body, and the way I see life and myself in this world. I feel good, and I feel that I am more conscious and mindful of everything. Thank you, PN.

– Charles

Ashwin

$1,000 men’s Winner:

Age: 31 years

Weight Lost: 26 lbs (174 lbs to 148 lbs)

Total inches lost: 8″ (225″ to 217″)

The biggest impact that PN Coaching has had on me is that I’ve BECOME that person who sees himself as someone who trains consistently, eats well most of the time, and takes good care of himself every day. Even though I used to train before and sort of knew the optimal food choices to make, there was always a gap between what I knew and what I ended up doing. PN has helped me develop the skillset required to effectively bridge this gap, and for that I’m forever grateful.

– Ashwin

James

$1,000 men’s Winner:

Age: 54 years

Weight Lost: 32 lbs (221 lbs to 189 lbs)

Total inches lost: 22″ (259″ to 237″)

When I began with PN Coaching, I thought it was just a one-year program. It’s not; it’s a lifetime of healthy habits. PN Coaching taught me how to be engaged through the lessons and workouts, and to focus on the habits that helped me achieve the greatest reward: better health. This is my life now, and I have never felt mentally, physically, and emotionally healthier than I am right now. I am proud of what I have accomplished with the help of Coach Jonathan and the PN Team.

– James

John

$1,000 men’s Winner:

Age: 44 years

Weight Lost: 37 lbs (203 lbs to 166 lbs)

Total inches lost: 26″ (247″ to 221″)

What has really changed for me in the course of this program is what has eluded me with every previous effort to finally ‘get in shape’: a sustainable lifestyle shift. The weight has come off, I’m stronger, healthier and more energetic, but more importantly, for the first time in my adult life, I’m confident that I can maintain it. It’s not one big thing, it’s everything: My entire lifestyle has changed over the course of a year.

– John

Meet a few hundred more Precision Nutrition clients.

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

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

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

Want to transform your body and health?

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

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

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

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

Being on the presale list gives you two special advantages.

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

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

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

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

Source: Health1

Precision Nutrition clients usually start out hoping for a better body. They walk away with much more, including surprising mental shifts that lead to happier, richer lives. Today we feature 14 of their Postcards From The Future, showcasing what can happen with the right kind of support.

++++

Most of the folks who sign up for Precision Nutrition Coaching are after a strong, healthy, nice-looking body that makes them proud and keeps them feeling good for decades.

After 12 months — and, believe me, a lot of hard work — that’s what most achieve. (For more on their physical changes, check out our Men’s and Women’s Hall of Fame).

However, despite all the amazing before and after photos, despite the fantastic weight loss, despite the gains in strength, there’s one thing that really makes them light up.

They’ve become capable, confident, and free.

That’s worth thinking about.

You see, Precision Nutrition Coaching is both research-driven and personal. This means we use the latest scientific findings to help coach people through the unique challenges in their own lives; whether physical or emotional ones.

It’s part physiology. Part psychology. Part science. Part art.

And it typically leads to fantastic physical changes: Our clients lose weight, gain strength, go off meds, shed scary medical diagnoses, and more.

For most clients, these changes are only the tip of the iceberg. Because their improved bodies have now become vehicles for accomplishing inspiring things.

Indeed, they’ve become ready, willing, and able to tackle challenges they were previously afraid of, even incapable of.

About the Postcards From The Future exercise.

We often ask clients to envision where they’ll be in the future. What their new bodies will look like. What they’ll feel like. What they’ll be able to do.

But we take it one step further. We ask them to write ‘Destination Postcards’: Personal notes from their future selves to their current selves to inspire, motivate, and encourage.

Kinda like:

“Hey John, the weather’s great here. You won’t believe it but Dr. Smith, for the first time in years, gave us a clean bill of health. Plus, get this, we just ran a 5K. Can you imagine?!?”

Then, at the end of the program, we ask clients to make it real. To share photos and stories of what they are now able to accomplish after working with us.

The submissions are always incredible. And today I’m going to share a few.

These clients started out obese, or overweight, or injured, or bogged down, or unconfident, or feeling incapable, or imprisoned by all of the above.

Now, they’re climbing mountains, cycling on top of the world, and vaulting railings that stopped them before. Most importantly, they’re full of hope and looking forward to the adventurous, active years still ahead of them.

(Be sure to check out both the front and back, which describes the accomplishment, by tapping on each postcard.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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.

That’s why we work closely with Precision Nutrition Coaching clients to help them lose fat, get stronger, and improve their health… no matter what challenges they’re dealing with.

It’s also why we work with health and fitness pros (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, July 17th, 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 Postcards from the future. [Inspiring photos] 12 months of healthy movement and nutrition. A stronger body. And achievements that could change your life. appeared first on Precision Nutrition.

Source: Health1

Just one year ago, these 20 men were inspired to make a change. They wanted to take control of their health and fitness. To eat healthier, move better, and get stronger. And that’s exactly what they did.

Now, after 12 months of Precision Nutrition Coaching, they’ve transformed their health, bodies, and lives more than they ever thought possible. 

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

++++

Every year in Precision Nutrition Coaching, we help men and women all over the world dramatically improve their eating habits, exercise routine, 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 July 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 27 lbs and 20 total inches!

Age: 34 years
Weight Lost: 27 lbs (from 181 lbs to 154 lbs)
Total Inches Lost: 20 inches (from 230 inches to 210 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 29 lbs and 20 total inches!

Age: 41 years
Weight Lost: 29 lbs (from 163 lbs to 134 lbs)
Total Inches Lost: 20 inches (from 214 inches to 194 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 39 lbs and 22 total inches!

Age: 59 years
Weight Lost: 39 lbs (from 213 lbs to 174 lbs)
Total Inches Lost: 22 inches (from 242 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 52 lbs and 33 total inches!

Age: 57 years
Weight Lost: 52 lbs (from 243 lbs to 191 lbs)
Total Inches Lost: 33 inches (from 262 inches to 229 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 26 lbs and 8 total inches!

Age: 31 years
Weight Lost: 26 lbs (from 174 lbs to 148 lbs)
Total Inches Lost: 8 inches (from 225 inches to 217 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 18 lbs and 4 total inches!

Age: 50 years
Weight Lost: 18 lbs (from 248 lbs to 230 lbs)
Total Inches Lost: 4 inches (from 264 inches to 260 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 24 lbs and 18 total inches!

Age: 60 years
Weight Lost: 24 lbs (from 157 lbs to 133 lbs)
Total Inches Lost: 18 inches (from 216 inches to 198 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 64 lbs and 34 total inches!

Age: 44 years
Weight Lost: 64 lbs (from 225 lbs to 161 lbs)
Total Inches Lost: 34 inches (from 248 inches to 214 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 37 lbs and 26 total inches!

Age: 44 years
Weight Lost: 37 lbs (from 203 lbs to 166 lbs)
Total Inches Lost: 26 inches (from 247 inches to 221 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 26 lbs and 21 total inches!

Age: 47 years
Weight Lost: 26 lbs (from 190 lbs to 164 lbs)
Total Inches Lost: 21 inches (from 242 inches to 221 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 18 lbs and 13 total inches!

Age: 36 years
Weight Lost: 18 lbs (from 142 lbs to 124 lbs)
Total Inches Lost: 13 inches (from 212 inches to 199 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 15 lbs and 22 total inches!

Age: 26 years
Weight Lost: 15 lbs (from 197 lbs to 182 lbs)
Total Inches Lost: 22 inches (from 243 inches to 221 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 29 lbs and 29 total inches!

Age: 39 years
Weight Lost: 29 lbs (from 179 lbs to 150 lbs)
Total Inches Lost: 29 inches (from 229 inches to 200 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 33 lbs and 21 total inches!

Age: 48 years
Weight Lost: 33 lbs (from 201 lbs to 168 lbs)
Total Inches Lost: 21 inches (from 241 inches to 220 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 28 lbs and 15 total inches!

Age: 38 years
Weight Lost: 28 lbs (from 213 lbs to 185 lbs)
Total Inches Lost: 15 inches (from 248 inches to 233 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 28 lbs and 17 total inches!

Age: 35 years
Weight Lost: 28 lbs (from 202 lbs to 174 lbs)
Total Inches Lost: 17 inches (from 238 inches to 221 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 16 lbs and 14 total inches!

Age: 46 years
Weight Lost: 16 lbs (from 196 lbs to 180 lbs)
Total Inches Lost: 14 inches (from 232 inches to 218 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 17 lbs and 14 total inches!

Age: 31 years
Weight Lost: 17 lbs (from 167 lbs to 150 lbs)
Total Inches Lost: 14 inches (from 224 inches to 210 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 32 lbs and 22 total inches!

Age: 54 years
Weight Lost: 32 lbs (from 221 lbs to 189 lbs)
Total Inches Lost: 22 inches (from 259 inches to 237 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 22 lbs and 12 total inches!

Age: 39 years
Weight Lost: 22 lbs (from 230 lbs to 208 lbs)
Total Inches Lost: 12 inches (from 252 inches to 240 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, July 17th, 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: July 2019 Men’s Finalists. Help us give away $125,000! appeared first on Precision Nutrition.

Source: Health1

Only a year ago, these 25 women were feeling frustrated. They were inspired to eat healthier, move better, and feel stronger, but unsure how to make a change that would really stick.  

Now, after 12 months of Precision Nutrition Coaching, they’ve taken control of their health and fitness for good—transforming their health, bodies, and lives more than they ever thought possible.

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

++++

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

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

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

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

See, women come to us wanting big changes:

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

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

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

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 July 2018 and is wrapping up now—we’ve once again committed $125,000.

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

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

The women below started their Precision Nutrition Coaching journey in all shapes and sizes.

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

How’d they do it?

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks for your help!

Finalist #1

Lost 21 lbs and 10 total inches!

Age: 37 years
Weight Lost: 21 lbs (from 168 lbs to 147 lbs)
Total Inches Lost: 10 inches (from 216 inches to 206 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 38 lbs and 24 total inches!

Age: 54 years
Weight Lost: 38 lbs (from 195 lbs to 157 lbs)
Total Inches Lost: 24 inches (from 235 inches to 211 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 52 lbs and 51 total inches!

Age: 64 years
Weight Lost: 52 lbs (from 222 lbs to 170 lbs)
Total Inches Lost: 51 inches (from 266 inches to 215 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 27 lbs and 29 total inches!

Age: 32 years
Weight Lost: 27 lbs (from 162 lbs to 135 lbs)
Total Inches Lost: 29 inches (from 226 inches to 197 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 45 lbs and 33 total inches!

Age: 24 years
Weight Lost: 45 lbs (from 180 lbs to 135 lbs)
Total Inches Lost: 33 inches (from 229 inches to 196 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 41 lbs and 38 total inches!

Age: 44 years
Weight Lost: 41 lbs (from 170 lbs to 129 lbs)
Total Inches Lost: 38 inches (from 225 inches to 187 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 26 lbs and 20 total inches!

Age: 61 years
Weight Lost: 26 lbs (from 145 lbs to 119 lbs)
Total Inches Lost: 20 inches (from 211 inches to 191 inches)
Vote for Finalist #7

Finalist #7 selected!

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

Finalist #8

Lost 36 lbs and 29 total inches!

Age: 39 years
Weight Lost: 36 lbs (from 167 lbs to 131 lbs)
Total Inches Lost: 29 inches (from 217 inches to 188 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 51 lbs and 56 total inches!

Age: 71 years
Weight Lost: 51 lbs (from 217 lbs to 166 lbs)
Total Inches Lost: 56 inches (from 259 inches to 203 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 43 lbs and 43 total inches!

Age: 54 years
Weight Lost: 43 lbs (from 181 lbs to 138 lbs)
Total Inches Lost: 43 inches (from 237 inches to 194 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 14 lbs and 19 total inches!

Age: 39 years
Weight Lost: 14 lbs (from 145 lbs to 131 lbs)
Total Inches Lost: 19 inches (from 216 inches to 197 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 21 lbs and 20 total inches!

Age: 50 years
Weight Lost: 21 lbs (from 143 lbs to 122 lbs)
Total Inches Lost: 20 inches (from 215 inches to 195 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 57 lbs and 28 total inches!

Age: 46 years
Weight Lost: 57 lbs (from 252 lbs to 195 lbs)
Total Inches Lost: 28 inches (from 278 inches to 250 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 20 lbs and 17 total inches!

Age: 40 years
Weight Lost: 20 lbs (from 125 lbs to 105 lbs)
Total Inches Lost: 17 inches (from 198 inches to 181 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 36 lbs and 41 total inches!

Age: 35 years
Weight Lost: 36 lbs (from 188 lbs to 152 lbs)
Total Inches Lost: 41 inches (from 233 inches to 192 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 12 lbs and 9 total inches!

Age: 41 years
Weight Lost: 12 lbs (from 122 lbs to 110 lbs)
Total Inches Lost: 9 inches (from 195 inches to 186 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 48 lbs and 36 total inches!

Age: 39 years
Weight Lost: 48 lbs (from 240 lbs to 192 lbs)
Total Inches Lost: 36 inches (from 271 inches to 235 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 39 lbs and 39 total inches!

Age: 57 years
Weight Lost: 39 lbs (from 156 lbs to 117 lbs)
Total Inches Lost: 39 inches (from 226 inches to 187 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 34 lbs and 25 total inches!

Age: 46 years
Weight Lost: 34 lbs (from 192 lbs to 158 lbs)
Total Inches Lost: 25 inches (from 239 inches to 214 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 27 lbs and 18 total inches!

Age: 44 years
Weight Lost: 27 lbs (from 145 lbs to 118 lbs)
Total Inches Lost: 18 inches (from 208 inches to 190 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.

Finalist #21

Lost 23 lbs and 24 total inches!

Age: 31 years
Weight Lost: 23 lbs (from 169 lbs to 146 lbs)
Total Inches Lost: 24 inches (from 231 inches to 207 inches)
Vote for Finalist #21

Finalist #21 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 #22

Lost 38 lbs and 24 total inches!

Age: 56 years
Weight Lost: 38 lbs (from 212 lbs to 174 lbs)
Total Inches Lost: 24 inches (from 241 inches to 217 inches)
Vote for Finalist #22

Finalist #22 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 #23

Lost 40 lbs and 26 total inches!

Age: 37 years
Weight Lost: 40 lbs (from 285 lbs to 245 lbs)
Total Inches Lost: 26 inches (from 266 inches to 240 inches)
Vote for Finalist #23

Finalist #23 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 #24

Lost 35 lbs and 20 total inches!

Age: 32 years
Weight Lost: 35 lbs (from 159 lbs to 124 lbs)
Total Inches Lost: 20 inches (from 213 inches to 193 inches)
Vote for Finalist #24

Finalist #24 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 #25

Lost 25 lbs and 22 total inches!

Age: 51 years
Weight Lost: 25 lbs (from 168 lbs to 143 lbs)
Total Inches Lost: 22 inches (from 224 inches to 202 inches)
Vote for Finalist #25

Finalist #25 selected!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Want to transform your body like these women did?

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

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

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

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

We’ll be opening up spots in our next Precision Nutrition Coaching on Wednesday, July 17th, 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: July 2019 Women’s Finalists. Help us give away $125,000! appeared first on Precision Nutrition.

Source: Health1

Check out this FREE 5-day Secrets of Body Transformation course to learn the world’s most effective strategies for losing fat, building strength, and living a healthier life.

The post The Secrets of Body Transformation – Free 5-Day Course appeared first on Precision Nutrition.

Source: Health1

Diet challenges are usually all about what you can’t eat. But what if you could see huge results from a self-experiment that doesn’t make any foods off-limits? Instead of focusing on what you eat, our 30-day eating challenge emphasizes how you eat. And the results? They could be transformational.

++++

“You want the next level stuff?” I asked.

“Do this first, and let’s see if you can handle it.”

The nutrition advice I’d just given Cameron Lichtwer wasn’t what he expected, so I made it a challenge.

As an instructor at the British Columbia Personal Training Institute, a strength and conditioning coach, and a former competitive athlete, Cameron was no stranger to exercise and nutrition. In fact, he thought he’d tried it all.

But my advice? It was so… basic. Wasn’t he far beyond that?

Well, no. Because what I told him can help almost anyone, from the most advanced dieters to those who’ve struggled with healthy eating for a lifetime.

“Eat slowly and mindfully.”

I know: It sounds too ridiculously simple to work.

But guess what? It was exactly what Cameron needed. In two months, his body fat dropped from 13.9 percent to 9.5 percent, the lowest level he’s ever achieved. This was without weighing and measuring food, or following a restrictive meal plan.

Soon after he started, he sent me this text:

“I can’t believe it. I’m losing fat and destroying my workouts. I’m sleeping better. I feel awesome.”

Cameron was surprised by the results he got from such a simple process.

But I wasn’t.

Eating slowly is one of the core practices of Precision Nutrition Coaching.

Because it works.

So why not try the slow-eating challenge yourself?

Practice it for just 30 days, and you may be shocked at what you achieveeven if you don’t change anything else.

++++

5 ways this 30-day eating challenge will change your body and mind.

When it comes to eating better, most folks worry about the little details:

  • “Are potatoes fattening?”
  • “If I don’t drink a protein shake after my workout, is it even worth exercising?”
  • “Is keto really the best way to lose weight? Or should I be doing Paleo? Or what about the alkaline diet?!”

Yet they eat over the kitchen sink. Or in their car. Or in a daze while in front of the TV.

And who can blame them? We’ve been taught to think about what we eat, not how we eat.

That’s too bad since…

Eating slowly and mindfully can actually be more important than:

  • what you eat
  • when you eat
  • getting anything else “perfect”

Now, this may seem a bit controversial. After all, if you only eat Oreos, the speed at which you consume them isn’t your biggest problem.

But setting aside the extremes, slow eating may be the single most powerful habit for driving major transformation.

Instead of having to figure out which foods to eat, in what frequency, and in what portions—all important factors, of course—eating slowly is the simplest way anyone can start losing weight and feeling better, immediately. (Like, after your first slow-eaten meal.)

That fuels confidence and motivation, and from there, you can always tighten up the details.

Because why go to the complicated stuff right away, when you can get incredible results without it?

Slow eating isn’t just for nutrition newbies. Nutrition nerds can also see big benefits. If you’re like Cameron, for example, it could be the key to unlocking never-before-seen progress. In fact, we’ve seen it work for physique competitors, fitness models, and even Olympic athletes.

Slow eating is like the secret weight loss weapon everyone has access to, but nobody knows about.

That’s because it can help you…

1. Eat less without feeling deprived.

Sure, many popular diets claim this as a benefit. But with slow eating, this phenomenon can occur even if you don’t change what you’re eating.

For example, in one study, University of Rhode Island researchers served the same pasta lunch to 30 normal-weight women on two different days. At both meals, participants were told to eat until comfortably full.

But they were also told:

  • Lunch 1: Eat this meal as fast as you can.
  • Lunch 2: Eat slowly and put your utensils down between every bite.

The results:

  • When eating quickly, the women consumed 646 calories in 9 minutes.
  • When eating slowly, they consumed 579 calories in 29 minutes.

So in 20 more minutes, the slow-eaters ate 67 fewer calories. What’s more, it also took them longer to feel hungry afterward compared to when they were speeding through their lunch.

These effects, spread across every meal and snack, could add up to hundreds of calories saved over the course of a day.

Granted, this is just a single study, but it demonstrates what we’ve seen with our clients over and over.

(Feel free to try this experiment at home right now, if you like.)

Why does this happen?

Reason 1: Physiology.  It takes about 20 minutes for your body’s satiety signals to kick in. Slow eating gives the system time to work, allowing you to better sense when you’ve had enough.

Reason 2: Psychology. When you slow down, and really try to savor your meal, you tend to feel satisfied with less, and feel less “deprived.”

Rachel Levy: Facing fear and anxiety.

Rachel Levy’s initial reaction to this challenge: “I can’t possibly eat slowly. I will die!”

As you can guess, she didn’t perish after giving it a try. In fact, she went on to be the female winner of our July 2018 transformation contest.

How’d she make it happen?

I decided to just try. Just put one foot in front of the other, and only do what was being asked of me—eat just a little bit slower.

“I faced the fear of doing something different.

During her first two weeks of eating slowly, Rachel had one of those “aha moments.”

“I suddenly realized that the reason I ate quickly was actually a feedback loop: I ate quickly to calm my anxiety, but eating quickly was making me anxious.”

The upshot: Discovering this connection immediately made it easy for Rachel to eat slowly.

2. Look and feel better.

Have regular bloating, cramping, or stomach pains? Many of our clients say slow eating helped solve their digestive issues.

Why does speed matter?

Because when you wolf down your food, you take larger bites and chew less.

Your stomach has a harder time mashing those big chunks of food into chyme—the sludgy mix of partially digested food, hydrochloric acid, digestive enzymes, and water that passes from your stomach into your small intestine.

When food isn’t properly broken down into chyme, it can cause indigestion and other GI problems. We may absorb fewer nutrients, depleting ourselves of valuable vitamins and minerals.

Besides making you uncomfortable (maybe even miserable), shoddy digestion can also affect your mindset.

For instance, if your meal leaves you bloated, burpy, and sluggish, you may interpret this as “feeling out of shape,” and become discouraged about your efforts. On the other hand, slowing down and digesting your food properly may help you “feel leaner.”

3. Learn what “hungry” and “full” feel like.

Ever have a meal because it’s a certain time of day, even if you’re not particularly hungry?

Or clean your plate, though you’re pretty sure you’ll regret it?

These are just a couple of ways people tune out their internal hunger and satiety cues. There are plenty more, but the point is:

Many of us eat when we’re not hungry, and keep eating when we’re full.

Slow eating can help get you right again. With regular practice, it improves your appetite awareness. You learn to recognize —and more importantly, trust—your body’s own internal signals.

Over time, this retrains you to eat when you’re hungry and stop when you’re full. Not because some rigid meal plan demands it, but because your body (a.k.a. your new best friend) tells you so.

This is the difference between being “on a diet” and learning how to “listen to your body”… a valuable skill that allows you to make healthier choices for the rest of your life.

Voila—lasting body transformation in a way that doesn’t suck.

Nellie Long: Tackling food addiction.

Nellie was already “healthy” when she started Precision Nutrition Coaching. She went to the gym three to five times a week, ate mostly whole, unprocessed foods, and wasn’t really looking to lose weight.

There was just one problem: She struggled with food addiction. “I needed to face the reason I was eating a pound of carrots in one sitting,” she says.

When first introduced to the habit of eating slowly, Nellie was so worried she couldn’t do it, she considered leaving the program. But instead, she accepted the challenge. And although there were setbacks—like the day she ate seven cupcakes—little by little, it started to get easier.

Now, it’s revolutionized her relationship with food. On a recent backpacking trip, Nellie’s friend brought some Fritos along. At the end of their 13-mile day, Nellie started craving those chips.

“Before, I would have pounded them down. But this time, I put one in my mouth and savored it.” She still ate the chips—slowly—but instead of feeling ashamed and overstuffed, she felt nourished and satisfied.

Big lesson for Nellie:

“I’ve learned that when I listen to my body, it tells me everything I need to be successful.”

4. Disrupt patterns that derail your progress.

If you struggle with binge eating, learning to go slow can help.

That might sound odd, since a binge is driven by an overwhelming urge to consume as much food as possible, as fast as possible. (This quality is what differentiates binge eating from run-of-the-mill overeating.)

But the skills you develop from slow eating can help you mitigate the damage, and build resilience over time.

Here’s how: When you’re in the grip of a binge, slow down as soon as you realize what’s happening.

Pause. Breathe. The food will wait for you. Even just one breath between bites will help.

You might not be able to stop eating right away, and that’s okay. How much you eat isn’t as important as getting back into a more thoughtful state of mind.

With this “binge slowly” technique, most people can regain a sense of control. And the more you practice it, the more effective it will be.

If you keep slowing down, even during your most difficult moments:

  • You’ll become more aware of why, where, and how you’re binging (so it won’t seem random, and eventually you can break the chain).
  • You’ll likely eat less and stop sooner.
  • You’ll feel less panicked and powerless.
  • You’ll be able to soothe yourself more effectively, and get back into “wise mind” faster.

In time, this’ll help normalize your eating, boost your physical and psychological health, and improve body composition (or help you maintain a healthy body composition more easily, without restriction-compensation cycles).

5. Gain a tool you can use anytime, anywhere.

We don’t always have control over what foods are available to us. But we always have control over how quickly we chew and swallow.

Think of slow eating as the low-hanging fruit of nutrition: super accessible in any situation.

It doesn’t require specialized meal plans or a food scale. No matter what’s going on in your life, or what’s on your plate, you can practice eating slowly.

Elaine Gordon: Finding a better way.

When Precision Nutrition Coaching client Elaine Gordon started the program, she already knew a lot about nutrition from years of working with coaches and researching on her own.

“I knew the ‘whats’ of eating well, but really benefited from the ‘hows’ that PN teaches,” she says.

“It’s incredible to see how your relationship with food changes when you bring attention and awareness to the process of eating.”

Thanks to her new, more mindful relationship with food, Elaine began to get the results she’d been after all those years. And after seeing how effective it was for Elaine, her husband even started eating slowly. Now they practice the habit together.

The best part? Elaine knows she has this tool at her disposal, no matter where she is or what she’s doing.

“Even if all else fails with my diet, I can always choose to eat slowly.”

How to eat slowly.

Eating slowly and mindfully is simple and effective—but not necessarily easy.

Most people have to work at it.

Thankfully, you don’t have to get it “perfect.” Shoot for “a little bit better” instead. You might be surprised at how effective this can be.

Try one of these tips. You can experiment with them for just one meal, or take on a full 30-day slow-eating challenge, if you feel up to it.

Take just one breath.

Before you eat, pause. Take one breath.

Take one bite. Then take another breath.

Take another bite. Then take another breath.

Go one bite, and one breath at a time.

That’s it.

Add just one minute.

At first, most people panic at the idea of “wasting time” on eating or having to be alone with their thoughts and the sounds of crunching for too long. Plus, life is busy and rushed. Having long leisurely meals may feel impossible.

So, start small. Add just one minute per meal. Or two, or three, if you’re feeling sassy about it.

When you start your meal, start the clock (or use an app like 20 Minute Eating to time yourself).

The game: Stretch out that meal as long as you can. Then try to make your next meal last one minute longer.

Over time, you can gradually build up how long you spend at meals.

Don’t be hard on yourself: If you forget to slow down during one meal, no biggie. Just slow down next time, and notice what happens.

And remember, even one minute better—or one breath-between-bites better—can help.

Put down the remote.

For the next level of challenge, don’t eat while you drive, watch TV, or play with your phone. Sit at a table, not on your living room couch, and for heaven’s sake, don’t eat standing over the sink. Try to relax and experience your meal.

The whole point is to pay attention to your food and body. So, over the next 30 days, do your best to eat in a calm environment with minimal distractions.

Eat foods that need to really be chewed.

Try this experiment: Eat a whole food, like an apple slice, and count how many chews it takes to swallow a mouthful. Then grab a highly processed snack, like a cracker or cookie, and count your chews.

What differences do you notice?

Which food do you think will be easier to eat slowly?

Now act accordingly.

Minimally processed lean proteins, fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans and legumes require more effort—and time—to eat.

The more you have to chew, the longer it’ll take you to eat, giving your fullness signals a chance to catch up.

Do something between bites.

Pacing yourself is easier when you have a specific action in mind to break up mouthfuls of food.

Between bites, try:

  • setting down your utensils
  • taking a breath (or three)
  • taking a sip of water
  • asking someone at the table a question

Savor your food.

When you eat… eat. Enjoy it. Really taste it.

Is it salty? Sweet? Does it coat the roof of your mouth? What’s the texture like?

Notice these little details with each bite.

To really tap into this experience, try “wine tasting” your food. Practice chewing slowly, sniffing, and savoring your food, as if it were a fine wine.

Notice what affects your eating speed.

As you experiment, try to identify what affects your eating speed or focus.

Consider factors such as:

  • who you eat with
  • when you eat
  • what you eat
  • where you eat

Once you’ve made some observations, ask yourself:

  • What could you do to improve on what is already working well?
  • What could you change, given what isn’t working well?

Refine your practice.

Pay attention to the eating speed of those around you. Observe the slowest-eating person in the group and match their speed.

If you find yourself rushing, that’s okay. Put your utensils down and take a minute to re-focus. If slow eating isn’t habitual for you, this will take some time to master.

Embrace an experimental mindset and notice what you learn.

Remember: every meal is a chance to practice.

Phillip Wilson: Getting leaner and learning to be present.

Like many others, Phillip was skeptical about eating slowly.

“I never expected it to work. It sounded too easy,” he says.

Eating slowly was more challenging than he expected, but with practice, things started to click, and the results have been major.

“The simple act of making time to eat slowly has gotten me closer to my goals than anything I’ve ever tried,” says Phillip.

And the results aren’t just physical: Slowing down his eating helped Phillip set a more comfortable pace in other areas of his life, too.

“Not only am I leaner, but life doesn’t just pass me by anymore. I’m more aware of the moments that are right in front of me.”

I ate slowly, now what?

At the end of your 30-day slow-eating challenge, tune into what’s different.

You’re probably going to observe some changes in your body—such as how your stomach feels after a meal or how your pants fit. You may also notice mental changes, like what you think about while you’re eating, or how you react to feeling hungry or full.

Look at how much has changed in just 30 days, and imagine:

What would happen if you continued working on this habit… forever?

There’s a good reason to do just that: No matter what other habits you adopt or “next level stuff” you try, eating slowly will always enhance your efforts. And how often can you say that about anything?

But don’t just keep it to yourself: Share the 30-day slow-eating challenge with your friends, family, and co-workers. It could be exactly what they need, but never even knew to try.

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

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, July 17th, 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 The 30-day eating challenge that can blow your mind—and transform your body. appeared first on Precision Nutrition.

Source: Health1

Listen in as 8 Precision Nutrition Coaching clients talk about their experiences with the program. Learn how their bodies, mindsets, and outlooks changed for the better.

The post Precision Nutrition Coaching: What are ACTUAL USERS saying about it? appeared first on Precision Nutrition.

Source: Health1

From ruining your progress to making you feel like a failure, food cravings aren’t your friend (no matter what they say). In this article, we break down the real reasons you can’t stop over-snacking, and explain how to combine smart behavioral strategies with healthy junk food alternatives—so you can finally conquer your cravings.

++++

Have you ever stared at a pile of crumbs, with a belly full of shame, and wondered, ‘How did I let this happen?’

We can relate. Because almost everyone can relate.

Besides driving you to eat, cravings can drive you nuts—making you feel like an out-of-control failure who can’t keep from overindulging.

But you aren’t powerless against these urges, even if it seems that way.

The secret to winning the cravings game?

It’s not about eliminating your cravings altogether. That’s wishful thinking.

It’s not about building your willpower, either. Relying solely on self-discipline all-too-often ends with a binge (and then a whimper).

No, the way you conquer your cravings is by outwitting them.

How? By understanding why, where, and when they occur and creating a strategic action plan ahead of time.

Think of it as learning junk food jiu-jitsu.

And if you’re ready, you can start today.

Here 5 simple strategies—along with 16 delicious recipes—to help you get off the cravings train for good.

++++

Dig to the root of your cravings.

No one hates on themselves when they crave a salad, Super Shake, or a grilled chicken breast.

But most cravings are closely tied to junk food and have little to do with true hunger. And each time you indulge these urges you reinforce the behavior, creating a “cravings cycle” that can hijack your progress… and your sanity.

The cravings cycle works like this:

First comes the urge (the craving), followed by the behavior (finding a food that satisfies that craving). Then, you get the reward (eating the food you wanted). That last part is accompanied by a release of dopamine, giving your brain a “hit” of pleasure1.

From there it can snowball: The more often you reward your brain, the more likely it is to stimulate the craving, and the stronger that craving may become.

Find your trigger

Ever had your mouth water at the mere sight of a McDonald’s drive-thru? Or smell that movie popcorn and make a beeline for the concession stand—even though you swore you’d skip it this time?

Cravings are often brought on by environmental cues such as sight, smell, taste, location, or company. So tracking when and where your cravings occur can you help you figure out what triggers them. From there, you can adjust your environment and habits to disrupt the cycle.

Each time you experience a craving, jot down the answers to these questions:

  • What are you craving? (A specific food? A certain flavor or texture?)
  • Where are you? (Note your location, but also any smells or visual cues—like a restaurant billboard or commercial.)
  • What are you doing? (Driving? Working? Watching TV?)
  • What are you feeling physically? (Shaky? Lightheaded? Tense?)
  • What are you feeling emotionally? (Happy? Cranky? Rushed?)
  • What are you thinking? (For instance: ‘I might as well eat this… I’ve already blown my diet.’)
  • Who are you with? (Be very specific.)

This isn’t a one-time exercise. Try it for a couple of weeks so you can see what patterns emerge. And trust us, there are almost always patterns.

To make it easy for you, use this cravings journal, which takes you through the process step-by-step.

Change your patterns.

Let’s say you tend to reach for ice cream an hour after dinner every night. According to your notes, you’re not even really hungry; you’re just craving something sweet, salty, or crunchy… or maybe a combination of the three.

Or perhaps you’ve noticed that every day after your 2 pm conference call, you saunter down to the office cafeteria “just to see if there’s anything new.” (There’s not.) And you end up with a 500-calorie “treat” you didn’t need or even truly want.

You’ve just identified a pattern. Now you can disrupt the cycle with these smart behavioral strategies.

Strategy #1: Give your craving a timeout.

Yes, the strategy traditionally used with willful toddlers can also work with Rocky Road.

Notice your snack urge, and sit with it for five minutes without taking action.

This isn’t about exercising willpower. It’s about pausing just long enough to let your conscious mind say, ‘Hey, I’m in charge here!’ This gives you the chance to evaluate all your options, and make a rational decision, rather than a reactionary one.

Are you actually hungry? Or are you bored or stressed or procrastinating?

Does a steak or baked potato sound good, or is it just those donuts in the break room?

These are the kinds of questions you can ask yourself.

Granted, you may still decide to go ahead and indulge. After all, maybe you’re truly hungry. Or perhaps you’re just not having your best day. (Trigger alert.) And that’s okay.

Don’t consider this a failure.

In your efforts to break your cravings cycle, you won’t be perfect. Simply think of this as an opportunity to gather more data about your cravings, so you better understand them for next time. (And give yourself a pat on the back for taking five minutes.)

But here’s the really important part: You don’t have to choose between giving in to your cravings and depriving yourself.

There’s a space in between the two, and that’s where you can really break the cravings cycle.

Strategy #2: Choose an activity that doesn’t involve chewing.

What happens if you step away from the freezer and go for a walk, clean up your phone’s camera roll, or make a new Spotify playlist?

By immersing your mind or body in an activity long enough, you may run the urge all the way out of your system.

That’s because cravings are often psychological rather than physical. And with the exception of very strong grief or trauma, intense feelings don’t usually last longer than 15 to 20 minutes. If you’re not really hungry, the craving will likely dissipate.

You’ve probably even experienced a form of this “diversion therapy” before. Ever get so involved in a project that you actually forget to eat lunch? Or the afternoon flies by, and you didn’t even think about a snack? Same concept, only this time, you’ll do it on purpose.

Once you sense a craving, choose an activity you can really dig into, such as:

  • working on a project you’re passionate about
  • crossing an item off of your daily to-do list
  • responding to a few emails
  • calling a friend
  • playing an instrument or video game
  • shooting hoops in the driveway
  • coloring a page or two in a coloring book
  • exercising, gardening, or cleaning

Remember, you’re looking to activate and occupy your mind and/or body. So, while different activities may work better for different people, watching TV probably won’t help (and in fact, is often a trigger).

Strategy #3: Try an experiment.

Hunger and cravings tend to come in waves, rising and falling throughout the day.

It helps to understand how this feels. That’s why we often suggest our healthy clients (those without any pre-existing health conditions) try a fasting experiment. For 24 hours, they don’t eat (they’re reminded to stay well hydrated, though). Although some are afraid they’ll be “starving all day long,” that’s not usually what happens.

Yes, they get hungry. Yes, they get cravings. But these feelings come and go, and for many folks, this can be both eye-opening and empowering. In a sense, fasting forces them to “lean in” to urges, and accept “it’s okay to be hungry.”

Do they waste away? No.

Do they collapse from exhaustion? No.

Does the world end? No.

Again, this isn’t about testing your willpower or denying yourself. It’s about giving you a fresh perspective, and reducing the anxiety, discomfort, and urgency you feel the moment hunger or cravings arise.

Strategy #4: Indulge your cravings—under the following conditions.

Really craving a chocolate bar? Okay, have one. But choose a pricey, high-quality chocolate. Eat it slowly, and savor the experience. Though it seems counterintuitive, clients tell us they eat far less of the chocolate (or any craved food) this way. And research shows the same.

Or even better, try this unconventional strategy from Krista Scott-Dixon, Ph.D., Precision Nutrition’s Director of Curriculum. She tells her clients they can have any snack they want, but it has to be purchased—right before eating—from a grocery store that’s 15 minutes away.

She’s discovered that half the time, people decide it’s not worth the effort.

What about clients who do set out for the grocery store? By the time these folks arrive, they sometimes don’t even want the snack because the craving’s gone.

Precision Nutrition Master Coach Dominic Matteo has used a similar method with his clients. It goes like this:

You can eat it, but you have to make it.

That’s right: Potato chips need to be sliced from actual potatoes and cooked in the air fryer. Cake needs to be baked in the oven. Ice cream needs to freeze.

Sound ridiculously impractical? Sure, it does, and that’s the point.

It helps answer this question: How hungry are you, really? Besides, this is exactly what people have had to do for most of human history. (Sans the air fryer, of course.)

One important consideration for both of these strategies: They work a lot better if your kitchen pantry and office desk aren’t full of ready-to-eat temptations.

So remember Berardi‘s First Law (named for its originator, Precision Nutrition co-founder Dr. John Berardi):

If a food is in your house or possession, either you, someone you love, or someone you marginally tolerate will eventually eat it.

Strategy #5: Eat the right foods during the day.

Though cravings can happen any time of day, nighttime cravings and overeating are very common.

At PN, we don’t necessarily like to tell people exactly when or how many meals to eat. It’s okay whether you eat a couple of times a day or several, or if you have most of your food in either earlier in the day or later. So long as it’s working for you, it’s all fair game.

But over the years, our coaches have discovered clients who overeat at night are often restricting their intake throughout the day—knowingly or unknowingly.

For example, they might be skipping breakfast and having a salad with little or no protein for lunch. By dinner, they could be making solid choices rich in fiber, protein, and healthy fats, but their appetite is already in overdrive. So it’s no wonder they’re feeling snacky before bed.

What you eat during the day matters. Not so much what you eat on any given day, but what you eat most days.

Fiber (especially from low-calorie vegetables) helps fill you up, and protein keeps you full longer between meals. This makes eating a combination of these nutrients, in sensible portions at regular intervals, key for regulating appetite.

Through years of experience, our coaches have found that even small adjustments to eating habits, such as adding a daily breakfast with a healthy dose of protein and veggies—along with reasonable amounts of smart carbs and healthy fats—can help curb after-dinner overeating.

The message here is simple: If you have a voracious night-time appetite, look at what you’re eating the rest of the day. You may find if you do a better job of nourishing your body at other meals, you won’t hear that little “feed me!” voice when you’re about to brush your teeth.

Junk food alternatives: Marketing trick or healthier treat?

Answer: It depends.

“Healthy” snacking options are everywhere, from frozen yogurt to those keto-friendly “fat balls” that keep showing up on your Instagram feed.

These junk food alternatives can be helpful, but there are a couple of caveats to keep in mind.

First, these shouldn’t be your only strategy. There’s evidence2 suggesting that when people purposely choose a “healthy substitute,” they often overeat later.

So in order for junk food alternatives to be helpful—instead of harmful—they need to be used in conjunction with other strategies, like the ones in this article. Otherwise, you’re just continuing the cravings cycle with a different type of food.

Second, not all substitutes are created equal. Though they include labels like “organic,” “gluten-free,” or even “low calorie,” store-bought junk food alternatives are often made with a delicious combination of sugar, fat, and salt or other brain-pleasing ingredients.

In fact, they’re frequently manufactured to be easy to eat in large quantities. So sure, these products might be slightly better choices than straight up junk food. But they’re unlikely to help you avoid overeating when cravings strike.

But hey, it’s not all bad news.

Chosen wisely, healthy substitutes could help change your taste preferences. If you become accustomed to eating homemade, no-sugar-added ice cream, you may start to crave that instead of the store-bought stuff.

After that, maybe the next step is switching to fresh fruit when you crave something sweet. You’re still dealing with a craving, but you’re making progress toward prioritizing healthier foods.

Eventually, you may start to crave fruit itself, and in most cases, craving fruit isn’t too big of a problem for anyone.

For these reasons, choosing junk food alternatives that contain mostly whole-food ingredients, can be made at home, and aren’t extremely calorie-dense is your best bet.

Decide if you want the real thing.

Arguably, truly enjoying a full-fat ice cream in a reasonable portion beats a compulsive, automatically-gobbled pint of a “healthy substitute” that leaves you with a weird chemical aftertaste. And no matter what your goals are, you absolutely have the right to choose to indulge from time to time.

So before opting for a junk food alternative by default, decide whether or not you truly want the “real thing.” Ask yourself:

  • When was the last time you had it?
  • Are you actually hungry? Or do you just feel like eating?
  • Do you think you can eat it slowly, mindfully, and stop when you’re about 80 percent full?
  • Will you be able to feel happy and satisfied after eating it? Or are you more likely to feel guilty and regretful?

If you decide you want to eat the real thing, enjoy it. Savor it, and then move on. (And note all of this in your cravings journal.)

If you decide the real thing isn’t worth it or that you don’t really want it all that badly, go for a swap that’s both wholesome and satisfying.

And remember, not eating anything is also an option. If you’re not truly hungry, you may find doing one of the activities listed earlier helps relieve the craving.

Satisfy your craving with a healthier substitute.

Disrupting the cravings cycle is key, but it takes time and practice to master it.

And no matter how in tune you are with your appetite, emotions, and eating habits, there are going to be times when you have a craving, truly feel hungry, and want another choice.

That’s when healthy junk food alternatives come in handy.

And you won’t find better options than the 16 recipes that follow, created by Precision Nutrition Chef Jennifer Nickle.

Most of these treats can’t be whipped up in just a couple of minutes… and that’s a good thing. Because they take a little time and effort, they may even help disrupt your cravings cycle. And though they taste indulgent, they’re made with fresh, wholesome ingredients.

So go ahead: Enjoy them all… just not all at once.

Recipes: 16 junk food alternatives to satisfy your craving

If you’re craving: Chocolate…

Chocolate Avocado Mousse

prep time: 15 minutes | makes 16 servings

  • 4 ripe bananas
  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 4 tbsp almond butter
  • 4 tbsp cacao powder
  1. Place all ingredients into a blender or food processor. Purée until smooth.
  2. Divide mixture equally into eight small containers. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate for up to 4 days.

Nutrition Facts

Precision Nutrition
Chocolate Avocado Mousse
Kraft®
Chocolate Mousse
Per serving Per serving
Calories 80 Calories 220
Carbs 10g Carbs 17g
Fat 5g Fat 16g
Protein 1.5g Protein 4g
Fiber 3g Fiber 2g

If you’re craving: Spicy potato chips…

Edamame with Wasabi and Sea Salt

prep time: 10 minutes | cook time: 10 minutes | makes 2 servings

  • 2 cups frozen edamame beans (in pod)
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • ½  tsp wasabi paste or powder
  1. Bring a medium-sized pot of water to a boil.
  2. Add edamame and cook for two minutes.
  3. Drain and toss hot beans in a bowl with coconut oil, salt, and wasabi. Serve immediately.

Nutrition Facts

Precision Nutrition
Edamame with Wasabi and Sea Salt
Miss Vickie’s®
Jalapeno Potato Chips
Per serving Per serving
Calories 80 Calories 260
Carbs 9g Carbs 29g
Fat 5g Fat 15g
Protein 7g Protein 4g
Fiber 4g Fiber 2g

If you’re craving: Coffee ice cream…

Espresso and Cacao Nib Ice Cream

prep time: 20 minutes, plus overnight freezing | makes 8 servings

  • ½ cup pitted prunes
  • 2 tablespoons instant coffee
  • 1 ½ teaspoon cocoa powder
  • 1 scoop chocolate whey protein powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons brandy
  • ¾ cup unsweetened almond milk
  • ½ (14 oz.) can full-fat coconut milk
  • ½ cup low-fat plain Greek yogurt (or unsweetened almond milk)
  • ¼ cup cacao nibs
  1. In a blender or food processor, blend the prunes, instant coffee, cocoa powder, protein powder and brandy until a smooth paste forms.
  2. Add the unsweetened almond milk and coconut milk in a slow stream.
  3. Add the yogurt and cacao nibs, and pulse until just combined.
  4. Freeze overnight.

Nutrition Facts

Precision Nutrition
Espresso & Cacao Nib
Häagen Dazs®
Coffee Ice Cream
Per serving Per serving
Calories 98 Calories 250
Carbs 10g Carbs 20g
Fat 5g Fat 17g
Protein 5g Protein 4g
Fiber 1g Fiber 0g

If you’re craving: Fudge…

Spiced Date and Almond Balls

prep time: 30 minutes | makes about 30 servings

  • 2 cups chopped almonds, divided
  • 1 cup pitted dates
  • 1 cup dried figs
  • ½ cup hot water
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½  tsp ground cardamom
  • ¼  cup warm honey
  1. Using a food processor, blend dates, figs, water, spices and one cup of the almonds into a paste, scraping down the sides as you go.
  2. Form mixture into one-inch balls.
  3. Roll each ball in honey and coat with remaining almonds.
  4. Store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks or freeze for up to three months.

Nutrition Facts

Precision Nutrition
Spiced Date and Almond Balls
Eagle Brand®
Maple Walnut Fudge
Per serving Per serving
Calories 90 Calories 180
Carbs 14g Carbs 18g
Fat 3g Fat 12g
Protein 2g Protein 2g
Fiber 2g Fiber 0g

If you’re craving: Frozen yogurt…

Frozen Yogurt Fruit Pops

prep time: 15 minutes, plus overnight freezing | makes 8 portions

  • 2 cups Greek yogurt
  • 2 cups strawberries
  • 2 bananas
  • 1 cup water
  1. Blend all ingredients together in a blender or food processor until smooth.
  2. Pour mixture into small paper cups or popsicle molds.
  3. Place popsicle stick into the center of each and freeze overnight.

Nutrition Facts

Precision Nutrition
Frozen Yogurt Fruit Pops
Ben & Jerry’s®
Strawberry Banana Low Fat Frozen Yogurt
Per serving Per serving
Calories 70 Calories 120
Carbs 12g Carbs 23g
Fat 1g Fat 1g
Protein 4g Protein 3g
Fiber 1g Fiber 0g

If you’re craving: Savory potato chips…

Quick Pickled Cucumbers

prep time: 10 minutes plus 30 minutes to marinate | makes 4 to 8 servings

  • 6 baby cucumbers, cut into ½ inch slices
  • ¼ cup rice or wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh dill
  1. Toss all ingredients together in a medium-sized bowl. Mix well.
  2. Chill and marinate for thirty minutes.
  3. Refrigerate up to ten days.

Nutrition Facts

Precision Nutrition
Quick Pickled Cucumbers
Lay’s®
Dill Pickle Chips
Per ½ recipe Per ½ recipe
Calories 25 Calories 270
Carbs 6g Carbs 26g
Fat 0g Fat 17g
Protein 1g Protein 3g
Fiber 1g Fiber 1g

If you’re craving: Strawberry shortcake…

Strawberries with Balsamic Vinegar and Cottage Cheese

prep time: 10 minutes, plus 10 minutes to marinate | makes 4 servings

  • 1 cup sliced strawberries
  • 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup cottage cheese or Greek yogurt
  • Sea salt, for garnish
  1. Mix together strawberries and vinegar. Let marinate for ten minutes.
  2. Top with cottage cheese or yogurt. Garnish with salt.

Nutrition Facts

Precision Nutrition
Strawberries with Balsamic Vinegar and Cottage Cheese
Duncan Hines®
Strawberry Shortcake
Per serving Per serving
Calories 56 Calories 300
Carbs 5g Carbs 51g
Fat 1g Fat 8g
Protein 7g Protein 4g
Fiber 1g Fiber 1g

If you’re craving: A frozen margarita or daiquiri…

Watermelon “Gazpacho”

prep time: 15 minutes | makes 2 servings

  • 2 cups seedless watermelon chunks
  • 2 cups sparkling water
  • 2 sprigs fresh mint (about 10 leaves)
  • ½ cup fresh raspberries
  1. Combine watermelon, sparkling water, and mint and blend until smooth.
  2. Top with raspberries. Serve ice cold with a soup spoon.

Nutrition Facts

Precision Nutrition
Watermelon “Gazpacho”
Frozen Margarita
Per serving Per serving
Calories 60 Calories 200
Carbs 15g Carbs 30g
Fat 0g Fat 0g
Protein 1.5g Protein 0g
Fiber 3g Fiber 0g

If you’re craving: Chips and onion dip…

Spiced Yogurt and Veggies

prep time: 15 minutes | makes 4 servings

  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp chopped dill
  • ½ tsp Kosher salt
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for garnish
  • 1 cup vegetable crudites
  1. Mix yogurt, herbs, and salt in a small bowl. Chill and refrigerate for up to four days.
  2. Drizzle with olive oil and serve with raw vegetable crudites.

Nutrition Facts

Precision Nutrition
Spiced Yogurt and Veggies
Ruffles®
Onion Dip & Regular Chips
Per serving Per serving
Calories 66 Calories 340
Carbs 8g Carbs 28g
Fat 2g Fat 23g
Protein 3g Protein 4g
Fiber 2g Fiber 2g

If you’re craving: Chocolate ice cream…

Hazelnut Dark Chocolate Ice Cream

prep time: 20 minutes, plus overnight freezing | makes 12 servings

  • ½ cup blanched hazelnuts
  • ½ cup pitted dates
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cocoa powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup low-fat plain Greek yogurt (or unsweetened almond milk)
  • 1 scoop chocolate whey protein powder
  • 2 cups 1% chocolate milk (or chocolate unsweetened almond milk)
  • ¼ cup dark chocolate chunks
  1. In a blender or food processor, puree hazelnuts, dates, cocoa powder, and salt until a chunky paste forms.
  2. With blender running, slowly add yogurt, protein powder, and chocolate milk until everything is combined; stop blender.
  3. Add dark chocolate chunks and pulse.
  4. Freeze overnight.

Nutrition Facts

Precision Nutrition
Hazelnut Dark Chocolate Ice Cream
Häagen Dazs®
Chocolate Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
Per serving Per serving
Calories 103 Calories 300
Carbs 12g Carbs 26g
Fat 4g Fat 19g
Protein 5g Protein 5g
Fiber 2g Fiber 2g

If you’re craving: French fries…

Baked Sweet Potato Fries

Prep time: 10 minutes | cook time: 20 minutes | makes 2 servings

  • 1 (½ lb) sweet potato, skin on, cut into ½ inch batons
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • ½ tsp coconut or extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
  2. Toss all ingredients in a large bowl until evenly coated. Spread onto baking tray in a single layer.
  3. Bake for about twenty minutes, turning once, until golden brown.
  4. Let cool for ten minutes on tray before serving.

Nutrition Facts

Precision Nutrition
Baked Sweet Potato Fries
McDonald’s®
French Fries
Per serving Per serving
Calories 126 Calories 350
Carbs 20g Carbs 46g
Fat 4.5g Fat 17g
Protein 1.5g Protein 4g
Fiber 3g Fiber 4g

If you’re craving: Peanut butter cups…

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chia Pudding

prep time: 20 minutes, plus overnight chilling | makes 12 servings

  • 3 cups water
  • 10 dates, pitted
  • 4 Tbsp peanut butter
  • 4 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 10 Tbsp Chia seeds
  1. Blend water, dates, peanut butter, cocoa powder, and salt in a blender until smooth.
  2. Add mixture to a large bowl with chia seeds. Whisk well.
  3. After ten minutes, whisk again. Ladle mixture equally into six small containers.
  4. Chill overnight.

Nutrition Facts

Precision Nutrition
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chia Pudding
Reese’s®
Peanut Butter Cups
Per serving Per serving
Calories 148 Calories 220
Carbs 22g Carbs 24g
Fat 6g Fat 13g
Protein 4g Protein 5g
Fiber 7g Fiber 2g

If you’re craving: Cookies…

Almond oatmeal cookies

prep time: 20 minutes | cook time: 10 minutes| makes 12 cookies

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup protein powder
  • ½  cup almond flour
  • ½ cup sliced almonds
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp Kosher salt
  • 2 egg whites
  • ½ cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • ½ cup almond butter
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Mix together dry ingredients in a large bowl, and wet ingredients in another large bowl.
  3. Combine dry ingredients into wet ingredients and mix well until incorporated.
  4. Form twelve small balls and place onto a baking sheet, evenly spaced apart. Flatten each ball slightly with the palm of your hand.
  5. Bake for ten minutes.
  6. Remove from tray and let cool completely. Store in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to one week, or freeze for up to three months.

Nutrition Facts

Precision Nutrition
Almond oatmeal cookies
Pepperidge Farm®
Oatmeal Cookies
Per serving Per serving
Calories 175 Calories 195
Carbs 10g Carbs 33g
Fat 10g Fat 8g
Protein 12g Protein 3g
Fiber 3g Fiber 1g

If you’re craving: Bar food, like Buffalo chicken wings…

Tandoori roasted cauliflower bites

prep time: 25 minutes | cook time: 25 minutes | makes 6 servings

  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp store-bought tandoori spice paste
  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Lime wedges, for garnish
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Mix yogurt and tandoori paste together in a large bowl until combined. Add cauliflower and toss to coat well.
  3. Place on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Roast for twenty-five minutes or until dark and crispy. Garnish with lime wedges.

Nutrition Facts

Precision Nutrition
Tandoori roasted cauliflower bites
Perdue®
Buffalo Style Chicken Wings
Per 140g serving Per 160g serving
Calories 70 Calories 320
Carbs 8g Carbs 2g
Fat 3g Fat 20g
Protein 4g Protein 36g
Fiber 2.5g Fiber 0g

If you’re craving: Italian ice or sorbet…

Mango and lime granita

prep time: 1 hour | makes 8 servings

  • 2 ripe mangos
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup apple sauce
  • 1 lime, juiced & zested
  1. Combine all ingredients and blend until smooth.
  2. Pour mixture into a shallow tray and freeze.
  3. After thirty minutes, scrape the partially frozen mixture using a fork. Scrape again every thirty minutes until frozen and flaky.
  4. Transfer to an airtight container and store in the freezer for up to three months.

Nutrition Facts

Precision Nutrition
Mango and lime granita
Häagen Dazs®
Mango Sorbet
Per serving Per serving
Calories 40 Calories 150
Carbs 10g Carbs 38g
Fat 0g Fat 0g
Protein 0g Protein 0g
Fiber 1g Fiber 0g

If you’re craving: Vanilla ice cream…

Ginger, Saffron, and Vanilla ice cream

prep time: 20 minutes, plus overnight freezing | makes 8 servings

  • 1 ½ (14 oz.) cans full-fat coconut milk
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 ½ tablespoons grated ginger
  • 1 tablespoon saffron threads
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ vanilla bean, scraped
  • 1 ½ teaspoons arrowroot starch
  • ½ cup low-fat plain Greek yogurt (or unsweetened almond milk)
  • ⅛ teaspoon sea salt
  1. In a saucepan over medium heat, warm the coconut milk and add the honey, ginger, saffron, vanilla extract, and vanilla bean.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk ½ cup of coconut milk mixture with arrowroot starch until smooth; pour back into the pot, whisking as you go.
  3. Squeeze out and remove the vanilla bean, and pour the mixture into a food processor or blender; add the yogurt and salt and slowly blend until thick and frothy.
  4. Freeze overnight.

Nutrition Facts

Precision Nutrition
Ginger, Saffron, and Vanilla ice cream
Häagen Dazs®
Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream
Per serving Per serving
Calories 140 Calories 330
Carbs 9g Carbs 25g
Fat 12g Fat 22g
Protein 2g Protein 7g
Fiber 0g Fiber 2g

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

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, July 17th, 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].

jQuery(document).ready(function(){
jQuery(“#references_link”).click(function(){
jQuery(“#references_holder”).show();
jQuery(“#references_link”).parent().hide();
});
});

References

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

1. Carter, A., Hendrikse, J., Lee, N., Yücel, M., Verdejo-Garcia, A., Andrews, Z. B., & Hall, W. (2016). The Neurobiology of “Food Addiction” and Its Implications for Obesity Treatment and Policy. Annual Review of Nutrition, 36, 105–128. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27296500

2. Cohen, D. A., & Babey, S. H. (2012). Contextual influences on eating behaviours: heuristic processing and dietary choices. Obesity Reviews: An Official Journal of the International Association for the Study of Obesity, 13(9), 766–779. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3667220/

The post Conquer your cravings: Break the sinister cycle that makes you overeat. appeared first on Precision Nutrition.

Source: Health1

Changing your eating and exercise habits is hard enough. Getting loved ones to support your healthy lifestyle changes? Prepare to grit your teeth. The company you keep does affect your progress toward healthier living. So here’s how to reduce peer pressure and get the social support you need.

++++

You beam as you gather your family ‘round the dining table, where you’ve lovingly assembled a colorful and nutritious meal.

Everyone takes a seat.

You serve the grilled chicken, the sauteed broccoli, the pumpkin seed-studded salad. You nervously watch for reactions.

It’s really delicious…You swear!

Then, within moments:

A floret of broccoli makes a perfect arc across the room after your toddler daughter catapults it from her fork.

Your preteen son slumps so low that only his furrowed brow and the top of his phone peek above the table.

Your partner, trying to be polite and supportive, has been chewing his first bite for a good two minutes. Without swallowing.

Even the dog, usually hovering shamelessly, sniffs at a spinach leaf and then flops down in the corner with a sigh.

You feel… alone.

Now what?

To change your eating and exercise habits, do you have to convince your friends and family to change too?

Would getting loved ones on board with your healthy lifestyle changes make the whole endeavor easier?

And if so, how the #@*% do you do that?

This really matters to you.

You’re excited about your experiments with lifestyle changes.

You’re eating more vegetables. You’re walking on your lunch breaks and seeing a trainer on the weekend.

Your body is looking, working, and feeling better.

You feel sparks of inspiration and hope. And you want to keep going.

You desperately want loved ones with you.

Why?

Well, because you love them.

You want your family and friends to be healthy and safe — to feel good. You want to protect them from the pain of poor health.

You want the best for them.

And frankly, you need support from the people closest to you.

It seems hard — even near impossible — to make these big changes alone.

If you’re feeling these things it’s important to know: The thoughts are really, really normal.

It is hard to eat and move in ways that support your own health goals when, in your social circle, Fridays mean beer and tacos; Saturdays mean a Jenga tower of bacon at the greasy spoon; hanging out means meeting at the bar to shoot tequila instead of at the park to shoot hoops; etc.

In some ways, you are the sum of your social circle.

Habits can be contagious.

The people around you matter. And you matter to the people around you.

Research shows that we are affected by the body composition, habits, and lifestyles of those around us. The more people around us are doing something, or living a certain way, the more likely we are to do and live the same — whether that’s what we eat, how we eat, whether we move (or not), how we move, and so on.

If your friends and family are fitter and healthier, you’re more likely to be fitter and healthier. And the reverse is true, too.

Research shows that:

  • The weight of those closest to you may help determine your own weight. According to one large-scale study, having a friend, an adult sibling, or a spouse who is obese increases your own obesity risk by 57 percent, 40 percent, and 37 percent respectively.
  • Even your friends’ friends matter. Two degrees of separation between you and someone who is obese increases your own chances of being obese by 20 percent. You don’t even have to have met them for this to be a factor in your own weight.
  • Your weight is more influenced by people of your own gender. For women, this means that a girlfriend’s or same-sex partner’s weight may have a larger effect than a guy friend’s or opposite-sex partner’s; and vice versa for men.
  • Weight convergence likely happens subconsciously. Researchers believe that we change our habits to match those of our social group without talking or even thinking about it.
  • The amount you eat depends on who you’re eating with. Dine with a big eater, and you’re liable to consume more; sit down with a light eater, and you’re likely to take in less. This effect has been observed even among strangers. When asked, the diners usually attribute the mirroring effect to taste and hunger as opposed to the behavior of others around them.
  • How much you eat also depends on the size of the group you’re with. Eating with one, two, three, four, five, six, and seven or more other people is associated with a 33, 47, 58, 69, 70, 72, and 96 percent increase in energy consumed, respectively.
  • Your social network can also have a big impact on what you eat. People whose friends generally meet the guidelines for produce intake are more likely to eat at least five servings of fruit and vegetables per day.
  • Your impression of social norms help determine what you eat, how much you eat, and your physical activity level. If getting a light salad for lunch seems “normal”, that’s what you’re likely to do, even if no one’s going to see you eat it. Conversely, if eating a bag of Ruffles for lunch seems “normal”, you may do that, even if you know the salad is more aligned with your health goals. Those who report a high level of physical activity as the social norm are also more likely to be active themselves.

As you can see, most of this happens subconsciously. We often change our habits to match those of our social group without talking or even thinking about it.

It’s not just how you eat and move, of course. Research indicates that you’re influenced by family and friends for other big-deal game-changers, like whether to get married or when to have a baby.

Of course, all of these findings are correlations — researchers are still working out exactly why the body weight and lifestyle of friends and family affects your own.

But why does it work this way? Why can’t you be a lone wolf or a unique individual? Well, in some ways, social influence is a good thing.

Social cohesion keeps us alive.

Human beings are social creatures.

We evolved in small groups who depended on one another for survival. Much of our brain is devoted specifically to social cues and communication: recognizing faces, reading emotions, making and understanding language, etc.

We depended on social cohesion — on belonging — to survive. To be alone (whether abandoned, rejected, or left behind) often meant certain death.

Today, modern medicine shows us that loneliness can still kill: our bodies respond to social rejection and isolation as if they were viral threats. When we are persistently lonely, inflammation goes up, immunity goes down; we get more chronic diseases and die sooner.

Aloneness is scary. Vulnerable. Difficult.

“Aloneness” can be “real”, like the actual aloneness of a young woman who chooses to stay in to eat a healthy dinner and get a good night’s sleep when all her roommates have gone out for pizza and partying.

“Aloneness” can also be a feeling, like the way a guy feels when all his buddies are drinking beer and he’s got a seltzer.

If you’re the only one at happy hour ordering a side salad instead of fries, it’s basically like you’re outside the campfire circle of social safety, just waiting for the lions to attack your tender, undefended flesh.

Thus, protecting ourselves against aloneness is in our DNA.

Swimming against the current is hard.

Of course, it is possible to go it alone. (Terms like “pioneer” and “trailblazer” exist, after all.)

But let’s face it: It’s a lot easier to eat better and get more exercise when your social environment — the behavior of your family and friends — supports your goals.

As with all things, the laws of physics come into play. When you’re trying to change, you may encounter either friction, or momentum.

Friction can make you feel stuck.

Friction makes things harder to do.

Eye-rolling coworkers, spinach-resistant kids, and chili nachos-loving friends — people who explicitly disagree with you or simply engage in opposing habits — create environmental and emotional barriers as you try to move toward your goals.

Friction is:

  • when you make a big batch of kale chips for your family on movie night instead of the usual popcorn, and your kids respond with flailing limbs, screeching protests, and exaggerated gagging performances.
  • when you sign up for a 10K run and your friends wag their fingers at you and tell you that running will kill your knees.
  • when you make an agreement with your mother-in-law that you will take care of the sides for Thanksgiving dinner because you want to provide healthy options, but when you arrive she has prepared all the usual greasy, sugary dishes because she “didn’t want to break tradition”.

When you’re dealing with friction, lifestyle change is like climbing a steep mountain with gravel moving underneath you — complete with cursing, tripping, and slow progress.

Momentum helps you keep rolling.

Momentum boosts you and replenishes your energy.

Willing and/or like-minded loved ones can help keep you accountable, connected, and supported, bolstering you as you work to change your eating and exercise routine.

Momentum is:

  • when your whole family chips in to make a wholesome meal, turning food preparation into a family project. You talk about what fruits and vegetables you like, research healthy recipes, and try new weird-shaped vegetables, together.
  • when you sign up for a 10K run and your friends ask if you want a cheering section, or at least someone to throw water on you (supportively, of course).
  • when you make an agreement with your mother-in-law that you will take care of the sides for Thanksgiving dinner. She gets the hint, lets you do your thing, and takes a cue from you and puts out some local berries for dessert as well. (Of course, people still hit the pie… but… well… c’mon, it’s pie.)

Be brave; be positive.

Now here’s some “PN physics”: You can have friction and momentum, together.

In other words, even if you encounter resistance, you can still get support too.

Even if your loved ones aren’t super-enthusiastic about your nutrition and fitness experiments, or will never love pea sprouts like you do, it doesn’t mean they don’t care, or won’t help.

  • You can pursue your goals in the face of wavering or stingy support.
  • You don’t have to dump all your friends and family.
  • Most importantly, you may not even have to try to convince anyone in order to get them on board.

Social support works both ways.

The people around you can influence you. And you can influence them back.

This is where the good type of “going it alone” comes in: leadership.

While it may be easier to wait until your immediate social circle comes around to prioritizing healthy choices, it’s also incredibly empowering and inspiring to be a leader for change, despite the forces against you.

And in doing so, you’ll build your own small wave of momentum that, little by little, erodes the friction you encounter.

But here’s an important tip: You don’t reduce friction by pushing back. A powerful healthy-lifestyle pioneer… is a peaceful one.

In order to step into that role, try this gentle, sometimes counterintuitive, action plan.

3 crucial strategies for getting friends and family to support your healthy lifestyle.

1. Accept that you may not be “right”.

Step back and embrace some hard truth.

How much of the friction you feel from others… is actually created by you?

Even if you mean well, and even if you are absolutely 100% correct (yes, smoking is bad; yes, vegetables are good)…

How often have you been judgemental? Insistent? Preachy? Self-righteous? Dismissive? Over-enthusiastic? Maybe even a bit… culty? (That t-shirt that says “Kale University”? We see it.)

Conversely, how often have you been curious? Interested in others’ perspectives? Able to deal with diversity and tolerate various viewpoints? Open-minded? Empathetic and compassionate? A good listener?

Consider this: Maybe “right” isn’t so obvious.

All behaviors and choices have a reason to be there. You might not know the reasons; you might not quite understand the reasons or even agree with the reasons.

But whatever habits your loved ones are practicing, they are doing them for a reason. In some way, their habits are “right” for them. They may have only a limited toolbox of options or coping skills.

This means:

  • understanding that your brother feels panicked and crushed under work stress, and sees drinking as the best way to cope.
  • having compassion for your best friend, who is terrified to confront her body, and therefore gets defensive and critical every time you bring up your new health regimen.
  • understanding that your parents were raised to respect traditional authority figures, so they still believe margarine is better for you than butter, because that’s what their doctor drilled into them 30 years ago.

When we focus on defending our “right-ness” and proving our loved ones’ “wrongness”, our perspective becomes very narrow and our relationships become oppositional.

However, when we let go of judgement and choose compassion and empathy, we make room for understanding.

Understanding dissolves conflict, because it usually shows us that, at our cores, we are all dealing with the same themes — we’re more alike than different.

Understanding helps us collaborate instead of clash; connect instead of criticize. We start to ask questions that, instead of inducing blame and shame, invite connection and support:

Why are they so different from me?
becomes
When have I dealt with something similar?

How do I get them to stop the bad habit?
becomes
What problem is the bad habit trying to solve?

What is wrong with them?
becomes
What might they really need?

As your loved ones begin to feel more understood, and less judged, they may begin to practice more flexibility and less judgement toward your new habits and beliefs too.

(And by the way, it’ll serve you immensely to practice non-judgement, compassion, and understanding on yourself too.)

2. Be persistent, not pushy.

Resistance more often comes from fear than from true philosophical opposition.

Change can feel scary. It can bring up issues of control, security, and identity, and it can also bring up painful emotions like anxiety, panic, shame, or loss.

When our loved ones resist change (in all the creative ways they can come up with — consciously and unconsciously, kindly and unkindly), what they might actually be feeling underneath it all… is fear.

Their fear can be the result of thoughts like:

  • What if you become a different person?
  • What if this new food tastes gross?
  • What if your healthy habits make me confront my unhealthy habits?
  • What if people don’t accept us?
  • What if you judge me or don’t love me anymore?
  • What if I can’t keep up with you?
  • What if life gets uncomfortable?
  • What if I lose you?

Just like a scared child, resistance and fear in their adult forms don’t respond well to rational arguments and pushing.

So while you must press forward with the changes you’re trying to make for your own well-being, you’ll more likely get support if you practice persistence rather than pushiness.

Pushiness means attempting to force friends and family to join/agree with you, and accepting only a rigid set of compliant responses.

Persistence means continuously offering opportunities for your friends and family to join you on your quest for a healthier life, and yet remains open to a wide range of responses to any given invitation.

So be persistent:

  • Keep offering healthy dishes at the dinner table.
  • Keep inviting your friends and family to join you on runs, hikes, and exercise classes.
  • Keep having conversations about nutrition, healthy body image, and what it means to have a truly good, capable life.

Prioritize positivity and connection when you present these options, and expect resistance, sometimes over and over and over again.

As much as you can, take the drama and emotional charge out of these conversations. Validate your loved ones’ reasons for staying the way they are, and don’t push back.

Perhaps, when their fear subsides and they realize it’s safe to dip their toe in the land of green smoothies and box jumps, your loved ones will join you, and you’ll ride off into the sunset (on your recumbent bikes, drinking coconut water) together.

3. Just “do you”.

Change is difficult.

In order to overcome the many bumps, blocks, and blusters inherent to significant lifestyle change, we need to be anchored to a deep, internal, personalized “why” that will pull us through.

You can’t manufacture this type of motivation for someone else. No matter how hard you try to coerce your kids, spouse, parents, and friends to change, they may have none of it.

And in fact, that may be a good sign. Because that means they know that in order to make the kinds of changes you’re making, they have to want it too.

We call this “intrinsic motivation” — a connection to one’s own, internal reasons for doing something. Research shows that intrinsic motivation leads to change that’s longer-lasting and more self-sustaining than extrinsic motivation, which is based on the desire to obtain external outcomes such as good grades or the approval of others (ahem).

Intrinsic motivation requires deep thought and reflection, and may take longer to develop.

So respect that your loved ones may take time to connect to their own reasons for eating and moving better.

Meanwhile, just “do you”.

Focus on your own intrinsic motivations. Stay connected to what’s driving you, deep inside, to make these personal changes.

Without ignoring your natural love and concern for loved ones, let your attention turn inward. Spend more energy on your own growth and development.

Which could lead to something else amazing…

Think about how you feel when you watch someone you love work toward a BIG goal with heartfelt determination, grit, and bravery.

Think about how you feel when you watch that person persist despite setbacks, failures, and fears.

Think about how you feel when you watch that person triumph, however messily and imperfectly, over adversity.

You feel inspired.

You feel like anything is possible.

You feel like maybe you could do something great too.

And that is the beautiful irony in “doing you”:

By working toward and achieving a healthier, happier, more confident and capable version of yourself, you become the inspiration, the positive influence to your family and friends.

And it all comes full circle when that little healthy-lifestyle wave you started attracts other riders, builds, and then becomes a huge tidal of momentum to carry you to your final objective — a fit, healthy you — and keep you there.

Influence happens in both directions, remember?

Lead the way.

What to do next.

We’ve learned that change is hard, and changing others is harder. It can be challenging to know where to start.

Take one of these concrete steps today to start reducing conflict and maximizing your own efforts toward healthy living.

Practice sacrificing a “win”.

If you find yourself in a conflict with a loved one, check your instinct to want to be “right”.

Ask yourself who you want to win: you, or the team that makes up you and your loved one(s).

Sometimes we have to sacrifice personal “wins” for the sake of the greater good of the family/friend unit. Often that means loving and accepting our loved ones even when they disagree or aren’t compliant with what we believe is “right”.

This takes practice, and it can be uncomfortable at first.

Find one opportunity to practice non-rightness today, and note the result.

Use “approach” goals instead of “avoid” goals.

To foster understanding among you and loved ones, play with the language you use to (gently) coach them.

“Avoidance” goals — such as “stop eating junk food”, “don’t watch TV after dinner”, and “don’t overeat” — are more likely to make people feel restricted, rebellious, and resistant.

“Approach goals” — such as “try two new vegetables this week”, “eat three different colors of plants today”, and “do something that gets you out of breath for 20 minutes” — are more likely to make people feel expansive, creative, interested, and willing.

Approach goals help make the process of change more harmonious, positive, and even fun for you and your family.

Find objective support that’s just for you.

Having a support person that is detached from your social bubble can be tremendously helpful.

A skilled nutrition and fitness coach provides an objective perspective and functions as a sounding board, a voice of reason, and a resource for practical ideas and inspiration — a source of momentum.

An experienced coach can also provide accountability, which is especially important if you are the lifestyle “trailblazer” in your social circle.

Check your motives.

Each time you make a decision about food or exercise (or any other health factor you’re trying to improve) ask yourself:

Am I doing this because everyone else is doing it, or because it matches my own internal intentions and values?

This doesn’t mean it’s wrong to want to do what other people are doing. But if you do go the way of the crowd, do it consciously.

Involve your loved ones.

Small moments of support can make a huge difference when you’re trying to move away from friction, toward momentum.

So:

  • Ask your spouse to help you stretch out after a workout, or to accompany you on a morning walk.
  • Ask your children to help you menu plan, choose vegetables at the grocery store, or even help prepare a meal.
  • Ask your best friend for a hug when you’ve had a stressful week.
  • Ask your friends and family to cheer you on at a race.

Involve and integrate your social network, into your life, without forcing them to change themselves.

Accept them as they are, and be sure to tell them how much it means to you that they are there for you.

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

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, July 17th, 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].

jQuery(document).ready(function(){
jQuery(“#references_link”).click(function(){
jQuery(“#references_holder”).show();
jQuery(“#references_link”).parent().hide();
});
});

References

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

de Castro LM. Eating behavior: lessons from the real world of humans. Nutr Burbank Los Angel Cty Calif. 2000; 16: 800-813.

Christakis NA, Fowler JH. The spread of obesity in a large social network over 32 years. N Engl J Med. 2007 Jul 26;357(4):370-9.

Emmons KM, Barbeau EM, Gutheil C, Stryker JE, Stoddard AM. Social Influences, Social Context, and Health Behaviors Among Working-Class, Multi-Ethnic Adults. Health Educ Behav April 2007 vol. 34 no. 2 315-334.

Alison L Hill, David G Rand, Martin A Nowak, Nicholas A Christakis. Infectious Disease Modeling of Social Contagion in Networks. PLoS Computational Biology, 04 Nov 2010 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1000968

Holt-Lunstad J, Smith TB, Baker M, Harris T, Stephenson D. Loneliness and Social Isolation as Risk Factors for Mortality: A Meta-Analytic Review. Perspectives on Psychological Science March 2015 vol. 10 no. 2 227-237

Hruschka DJ, Brewis AA, Wutich A, Morin B. Shared Norms and Their Explanation for the Social Clustering of Obesity. Am J Public Health. 2011 December; 101(Suppl 1): S295–S300.

Junge C (2011, May 24). How your friends make you fat—the social network of weight.

Lin N, Ye X, Ensel WM. Social support and depressed mood: a structural analysis. J Health Soc Behav. 1999 Dec;40(4):344-59.

Robinson E, Thomas J, Aveyard P, Higgs S. What everyone else is eating: A systematic review and meta-analysis of the effect of informational eating norms on eating behavior. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. 114 (3), 414-429.

Szalavitz M (2013, March 26). Social Isolation, Not Just Feeling Lonely, May Shorten Lives.

Umberson D, Karas Montez J. Social Relationships and Health: A Flashpoint for Health Policy. J Health Soc Behav. 2010; 51(Suppl): S54–S66.

Vartanian LR, Herman CP, Wansink B. Are We Aware of the External Factors That Influence Our Food Intake? Health Psychology. 2008, Vol. 27, No. 5, 533–538.

Wang D (August 2014). An Empirical Study on the Influence of Social Networks and Menu Labeling on Calorie Intake in a University Dining Hall.

Wansink B. Environmental factors that increase the food intake and consumption volume of unknowing consumers. Annu. Rev. Nutr. 2004. 24:455–79.

The post 3 critical (and counterintuitive) strategies for getting loved ones to support your healthy lifestyle. appeared first on Precision Nutrition.

Source: Health1

If you’re new to health, fitness, or nutrition coaching you’ve probably worried — at least a little — about how you’re going to get clients. Especially in this age of paid search, Facebook ads, and more. Well, worry no longer. These simple, fast, and free client acquisition strategies will help you get your first few clients. Or, if you already have a few, they’ll help you get a few more.

++++

After coaching over 50,000 health, fitness, and wellness professionals through the Precision Nutrition Certification program, I’ve learned that new coaches (or coaches going out on their own for the first time) struggle most with one thing:

Getting new clients.

That’s totally understandable.

Beyond the early discomfort many new pros feel around learning “sales” and “marketing”, it’s also easy to get a little intimidated when looking at established brands and seeing the big audiences they’ve built, the content they’re creating, or the ads they’re running.

“JB, how can I compete?”

“I don’t even know the first thing about marketing funnels.”

“And who’s got that kind of money to invest in ads?”

While I can totally empathize with these feelings, I’ve got some good news:

You don’t have to compete!

Instead, you have to start at the beginning, just like those companies did. You start by going from zero to a few clients. Then you go from a few clients to a few more.

Even better news?

Getting your first few (or your next few) clients is cheap and easy.

You don’t need to master SEO, or spend money that you don’t yet have on Facebook ads, or build a big Instagram following.

Yes, those are the things getting attention today. But, for someone just starting out, they’re a distraction from the real work, which I’ll share below.

Indeed, use any of the three strategies I’m about to share and you’ll be shocked and amazed at how cheap and easy it is to attract your first few clients.

But, before the strategies, do you even know what you’re selling?

If I pressed, you’d probably give me a bunch of really smart answers:

“JB, of course I know what I’m selling!”

“I’m selling evidence-based nutrition coaching!”

“I’m selling my thousand years of education and master-level expertise!”

“I’m selling my slick, efficient online coaching platform!”

And I’ll say:

No you’re not.

Here’s something that might sound confusing at first, but will change the way you view your business, and how powerfully you attract clients.

No one wants nutrition, exercise, or lifestyle coaching.

No one wants daily practices, new habits, or lessons and thought exercises. No one wants custom workouts. No one wants diets, meal plans, or menus.

No one wants the product or service you’re selling.

What people want is to become a better version of themselves.

This image (from this excellent post) says it all:

You see, people don’t buy a university degree or certification, they buy the promise of ending up more knowledgeable, smarter, and (maybe) more employable.

People don’t buy canvas shoes or fancy sunglasses, they buy the idea of looking cooler, having special things, and making a fashion statement.

Likewise, people don’t buy nutrition coaching, they buy a hopeful vision of their future, one where they are healthier, stronger, and happier.

In other words, you’re not the subject of sales pitch, your client is.

Make them the hero of the story.

In essence, it’s your job to show them how working with you will turn them into an “Awesome person who can do rad stuff!”

(For more on this, with lots of examples, check out: How to sell sustainable coaching in a world of ‘overnight abs’. 6 strategies for better client buy-in and a stronger coaching business.)

For now, onto your “get a few new clients” strategies.

Strategy #1:
Survey Selling

Survey selling is something we do extensively, and very effectively, at Precision Nutrition. But we do it in a more complex, “scaled-up” kinda way.

You probably don’t need all that.

Which is why I love sharing this simpler way of doing survey selling from my friend Jon Goodman, of the Personal Trainer Development Centre and OnlineTrainer.com.

Jon’s strategy involves creating a simple survey (using Google Forms) that you can post on social media to attract the exact kind of client you’re after.

Here’s how to do it.

First, think about the type of person you want to serve.

Write down your ideal client’s:

  • Age range
  • Gender
  • Specific goal
  • Potential limitations

Here are two examples of what you might come up with:

My ideal clients are 20-30-year-old guys who want to lose a bit of fat and put on 5-10 lbs of muscle and have no serious injuries.

My ideal clients are 45-55-year-old females who want to lose no more than 10 lbs of fat but feel like they’ve tried everything and nothing seems to work.

Next, create a Google Form.

(If you don’t know how to make a Google form, click here for a tutorial.)

When starting a new survey, according to Jon’s method, you’ll need to create:

  • a title
  • a compelling description,
  • a few demographic + contact info questions

Here’s an example of what you might come up with:

Feel free to copy the exact format above, adjusting the title and description to match what you’re offering.

When it comes to the description, here’s the formula:

“I’m looking for {number of people}  {gender} ages {age range} who live in {your location} and are looking to {goal}. If this is you, please fill out the form below.

All eligible applications will be contacted by phone.”

Once you’re happy with the form, click “Send” at the top right and select the link icon in the pop-up window. This will give you a direct link to your form.

Be sure to save that link somewhere.

Finally, enable notifications so that you’ll be emailed every time a prospective client submits a completed form. To do this, go to your Google Drive, select your form, and click on the header titled “Responses”.

Then click the “Create spreadsheet” icon, which will redirect you to a Google spreadsheet.

In the spreadsheet page, click “Tools” at the top and select “Notification rules”.

A window will pop up with an option to have the system email you whenever users submit, either immediately, or collected into a daily digest. Select your preference.

Finally, share your survey on Facebook, Instagram, wherever.

For example, on Instagram change your description link to your survey link and upload a pic saying that you’re taking on clients (specific to the type) and use the script below, which directs people to click the link.

And, on Facebook you’ll share a status update with the same script (below) that links to your form. Here’s your script:

***I’m looking for {number of people} {gender} ages {age range} looking to {goal} that live in {location}.***

I am looking for {gender} who want to:

-{benefit 1}

-{benefit 2}

-{benefit 3}

Spots are extremely limited and I’m only looking for {number of people} who are ready to make a change today. To apply, fill out the quick survey below and I’ll be in touch if you meet the requirements:

===> {link to your Google form}

The benefits you include will vary but they should speak to the hopeful future I described earlier. In other words, list things that help them envision becoming an “Awesome person who can do rad stuff!”

Again, for lots of examples of this, check out my new article: How to sell sustainable coaching in a world of ‘overnight abs’. 6 strategies for better client buy-in and a stronger coaching business.

Note: You can use this method on any platform, via email, whatever. Just get the message out there and send people to your survey.

Be sure to call them right away.

Ideally you’ll call people within 20 minutes of them filling out your survey. I don’t care what you’re doing. Strike while it’s hot.

Go through the same process that you would on any other sales call.

(If you’re not sure how sales calls should go, check out Jon’s article: Selling Personal Training in 5 Steps).

Keep following up.

If they answer, it’s a great call, and you sell/book them in for an appointment, and they show up… go ahead and dance your happy dance.

If they don’t answer, if they answer but don’t book an appointment, or if they answer and book an appointment but don’t show up… keep following up once a week for the first month. And once a month after that until they become a client or ask you to stop calling.

And, folks, that’s pretty much it.

If you decide to try this method, you’ll be up and running with your first post, for free, inside of 30 minutes. And, most people who try it, report getting 1-3 new clients within a day or two.

No joke.

Even if you think this is too simple, or couldn’t possibly work, try it anyway. People constantly tell me that they would have never expected something like this to help them… but that it did, big-time.

Strategy #2:
The “Tell People What You Do” Challenge

In our ProCoach Facebook group we recently did a 2-week challenge. Coaches were encouraged to do something incredibly simple (yet radical in 2018, it seems).

They were asked to talk to people.

You know, like, real people. In real life.

Specifically, we asked them to tell one person a day what they do. That person could be anyone: the barista that frothed the milk on their latte, the cashier at the grocery store, or the lady sitting next to them on their commuter train.

The goal was to develop a “script” about what they do, get comfortable talking about it, and maybe even get a new client or a referral.

Our coaches went nuts. It kinda blew everyone’s minds.

Some of our coaches felt that icky stretch feeling you get when growth is happening. ProCoach Melissa Dow found she had to override her usual instinct to wait for people to come to her. “It was uncomfortable, but that’s where learning begins, right?” she says.

Many found they got better at it along the way, like ProCoach Beth Balcezak Daugherty who found that although she often felt hesitant before reaching out, most people thanked her afterwards. “It got easier!” she reassures us.

ProCoach Jen Kates also found it got easier: “IT DOESN’T SUCK, AND IT’S ACTUALLY A LOT OF FUN ONCE YOU GET OVER THE HURDLE!!!”  (Note: The caps and exclamation points are hers.)

At the conclusion of the challenge, many coaches remarked on the tremendous potential of this simple act.

“The biggest takeaway from this process for me was just how many opportunities there are hidden in plain view.” said ProCoach Simon Dannapfel.

Interested in trying this challenge yourself?

Here’s how to do it:

Build your elevator pitch.

Begin by making sure you can actually describe what you do without rambling and without boring listeners with irrelevant details.

A simple way to do this is to fill in the following blanks.

“I help {kind of person}

to {action/benefit}

so that they can {brighter future/more inspiring benefit}.”

Here are some examples of what you might come up with:

“I help {new moms}, to {get active and eat better}, so that they can {drop their baby weight and feel more energy}.”

“I help {busy executives}, to {find time in their schedule for healthy habits}, so they can {finally get their health under control}.”

“I help {young athletes}, to {improve their movement quality}, so that they can {dominate on the playing field & injury-proof themselves}.”

“I help {people in their 60s and 70s}, to {begin a new movement practice}, so they can {walk, jump, run, & play with their grandkids}.”

Next, pick a person (any person) every day to talk to.

Approach folks however you like to get the conversation started.

If you’re not sure how to do that without coming off creepy, break the ice with something like this:

“Hey!

I’m doing this 2 week challenge where I have to tell someone about what I do, and you’re who I chose today!”

“Is that cool?”

Then lay the elevator pitch — or something like it — on them.

And, if they seem interested, expand on it.

If you make a genuine connection, ask if you can follow up.

The conversation could end pleasantly but without any real interest on their part. That’s totally fine. You will still benefit from the practice.

However, should they express real interest, keep the conversation going with something like:

“Hey, thanks for listening today. Mission accomplished on the contest!

Before I roll, you seemed kinda interested in {some aspect of what you talked about} and a really cool resource just popped into my head that I’d love to share.

Could you write down your email address so I can send it over?
(Alternatively you can get their cell number, FB page, or whatever).

Just so you know, “no” is a fine answer here. After all, we just met. However, I do think you’ll dig it. And I promise not to bug you beyond that.”

Then give them something awesome!

If they share their email address, wait a day and follow up with a cool article, some recipes, an infographic, an inspiring YouTube video, whatever you think will be helpful and is in line with what you talked about.

It doesn’t have to be your own content. Just something that’s high quality and will be genuinely helpful.

“Hi!

It’s {your name], we met yesterday at {place} and we talked about {topic}.

Wanted to follow up with {the thing I promised}, which I think you’ll like.

Here’s the link:

{link to the thing here}

No obligation to {watch it, read it, etc}. I just thought it might help.”

If they respond, remind them about your services.

If they follow up, reply with a casual reference to your services.

“Thanks for the note!

I’m so glad you liked {the thing you sent}!

I don’t know if you, or anyone you know, would be interested in this… but I’m running this program that starts in two weeks.

I’ll be working with {number of people} {gender} ages {age range} looking to {goal} that live in {location}.

Spots are extremely limited and I’m only looking for {number of people}.

Let me know if you’re interested by filling out this super-quick survey below.

===> {link to your Google form}

Again, no pressure. Just sharing this in case you, or a friend, might be interested.”

So there you have it.

A step-by-step guide on how to talk to people, and how to follow-up in a non-creepy, not-overly-pushy kind of way.

The point of this exercise is to show you that there are potential clients everywhere.

You just need to speak up so they know you’re there.

Strategy #3:
Leverage Your Existing Communities

Many of us belong to one group, or a host of them, either online or in-person.

These are often unrelated to health and fitness, which — in this case — is a good thing as it gives you the opportunity to share what you do with a novel audience.

For example, you might be part of:

  • A Facebook group for new moms, because hey! You have spit-up on your shirt too!
  • A Saturday morning bring-your-dog-and-hike group. People who love dogs and all-terrain boots??! Your tail is wagging.
  • An online forum for people who dig classic cars. Mustang Fastback? I’m all in.
  • A faith community where you worship once a week plus participate in community service activities together.
  • A weekly online mastermind group of career-change-entrepreneurs. You all have great stories about the day you broke free from corporate shackles.

If you do it right, these groups can be an amazing source of new clients.

ProCoach Carolina Belmares has a great story of how she used this method.

Carolina is from Mexico, but currently lives just outside of Toronto, Canada. She joined a Facebook group for Mexican women living abroad.

Carolina was genuinely excited to connect to this group of women and took her time getting to know them. She responded to people’s posts, and posted her own successes and woes living abroad as a Mexican woman.

She took note of the tone and “vibe” of this group, and generally just tried to be kind, helpful, and supportive to the other members without talking much about what she does for a living.

After a while, she posted about her coaching work.

It was more of a “this is my life story” kind of post, but she also happened to mention that she was an online nutrition coach and dropped some information about a program she was running that was starting soon.

In Carolina’s words, “The response was beyond insane.”

Not long after she posted, her tally was:

714 reactions to the original post

181 comments asking for more information

259 new “Likes” on her personal coaching Facebook page

83 brand new subscriptions to her mailing list

Too many private messages to count

Not bad for a free group that you were interested in hanging out with anyway.

To try this method yourself:

Consider the groups you’re currently a member of (online or in person).

If you’re not a member of any, consider whether there are any groups you’d like to be a part of and would be good candidates for your coaching. (Remember, it’s better if they’re not fitness or nutrition groups).

Engage with the group in an authentic, helpful, supportive way.

Don’t just go joining groups to make your elevator pitch as “pitching” in groups is universally frowned upon. Instead, become a real part of the community and only talk about what you do if it’s relevant to the conversations already going on.

If a fitness or nutrition topic comes up, bingo!

Be the biggest keener in the room. Help answer questions. Offer support. Send people helpful links, articles, videos, and other resources. But, still, hold back a little on mentioning your services.

After you’ve built some trust and genuine connections, mention your services.

Have your information easily available if people want it, but don’t be pushy about it. If you need a ratio to work with, then let’s say for every 10 genuine, non-work related comments, you can slide in something about your coaching.

In the end, joining a group is one of the most mutually beneficial methods for building your practice. You’ll have access to a wide audience to which you can extend help and support, but you’ll also connect with “your people”.

Bonus Strategy:
Send People To The Right Place

So you’ve employed one or more of the free strategies above… and your prospect list is growing. Awesome!

These prospects will likely have questions about your expertise, experience, the services you provide, and — most importantly — how you’ll help them improve their habits, health, and body.

Answering these by chatting one-on-one works. In fact, it’s one of my favorite options since it offers a personal touch. However, if you’re an online coach, or your prospect list is booming, you may need something more scalable.

That’s where a “landing page” comes in.

Your landing page lets people know who you are, what you’re offering, what your credentials are, who you’ve worked with, and how you can help them live the hopeful future they’re dreaming of.

With Precision Nutrition’s ProCoach we automatically generate this for ProCoaches. After answering a few simple questions within their ProCoach dashboards they get a customized mini-site for their business, complete with a custom web address. It lays out their services including the features, benefits, and hopeful future they’re promising.

Not only does this “do the selling for them”, it also positions them as the skilled, experienced, and educated coaches their clients need to reach their goals.

Example custom mini-site we generated for one of our ProCoaches.

Whether your landing page is a Facebook profile, a single web page, or a full-blown mini-site is up to you. The key is to make sure you have a place to send prospects that’s clear, compelling, and increases their desire to work with you.

What to do next:
Some tips from Precision Nutrition

In this article we’ve outlined a few highly effective strategies for getting a few new clients, or the next few after that. Begin with…

Knowing the “why” of what you’re selling, not just the “what”.

Spend time thinking about what prospective clients want their lives to be like. And how you can start connecting your coaching to those outcomes.

Again, you’re not selling your superstar nutrition knowledge, your sleek online program, or even health coaching.

You’re selling possibility to your clients: the possibility to feel, look, and move better; to gain more confidence, strength, and resilience; to have a better life.

Refine your elevator pitch.

Come up with a concise way of describing how you help people.

“I help {kind of person}

to {action/benefit}

so that they can {brighter future/more inspiring benefit}.”

Pick a challenge, any challenge.

The above strategies only work if you practice them. Not just once, but consistently. (Remember, they get easier the more you do them!)

So pick one of the client-attracting methods above. Any one will do.

And get started today.

I mean, like, right now.

Even if you don’t know how to do it perfectly yet, start anyway. Because perfection is often the enemy of action.

Stay consistent.

Once you deploy one, or more, of the methods above, challenge yourself to stick with it for at least a month.

For extra points, use a calendar to track your consistency and your results. At the end of the period, evaluate your progress. Did it work? If not, was there something about the way you executed it that could be refined?

Practicing these methods will show you precisely where you need to grow.

Does your voice shake every time you talk to a new person? No sweat, that just means you need more practice talking to strangers.

Did your Google Form get zero clicks? Maybe you need to work on your written communication.

Did someone call you a know-it-all jerk on your Facebook group? Maybe you need to practice coming off as less judgmental and more compassionate.

Failure isn’t possible here. Everything you get back from this practice is simply feedback to inform future growth.

Learn to follow up.

In all of these methods, following up is key.

Remember that when people are considering change, they often start out with ambivalence. They’re kinda interested in taking the leap, but also kinda scared and inclined to stay safe under the covers.

Following up with people can gently move them towards ready-to-take-a-leap.

But selling without looking sleazy is an art. If you push too hard with people, it can have the opposite effect.

In your early follow-ups with someone, aim simply to be useful and offer support. Send them cool content, ask them about their challenges, and encourage them.

When you sense some interest, subtly mention your services, in a “no pressure” kind of way. Let them know you’re available when they’re ready.

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 3 simple, fast, free strategies for getting coaching clients… even if you don’t like marketing. appeared first on Precision Nutrition.

Source: Health1

Will protein help me lose weight? Should I eat it at every meal? Could too much damage my kidneys? At Precision Nutrition, our inbox is filled with questions about the pros and cons of eating more protein. In this article we’ll set the record straight, so you can finally separate the facts from the fiction.

++++

Maybe you’re a protein promoter.

You buy protein powder in “bucket with a handle” format. You know the protein counts of every food you eat.

After every workout, you jam those amino acids into your cells. You swear you can feel them getting swole.

Or maybe you’re a protein avoider.

Maybe you’ve heard bad things.

Like: Protein will damage your kidneys.

Or: Protein will give you cancer.

Or simply: We all eat too much protein.

Maybe you want to lose fat. Or gain muscle. Or be healthy.

You just want to do the right thing and eat better. But with conflicting information about protein, you don’t know what to think.

Or, if you’re a fitness and nutrition coach, you’re wondering how the heck to clear up the confusion about protein among your clients.

Let’s get into it.

In this article, we’ll explore:

  • What are high-protein diets?
  • What does the evidence say about high-protein diets and health?
  • Does protein source matter?
  • How much protein is right for me?

How to read this article

If you’re just curious about high-protein diets:

  • Feel free to skim and learn whatever you like.

If you want to change your body and/or health:

  • You don’t need to know every detail. Just get the general idea.
  • Check out our advice at the end.

If you’re an athlete interested in performance:

  • Pay special attention to the section on athletic performance.
  • Check out our advice for athletes at the end.

If you’re a fitness pro, or interested in geeking out with nutritional science:

  • We’ve given you some “extra credit” material in sidebars throughout.
  • Check out our advice for fitness pros at the end.

Why protein?

A quick intro if you aren’t a nutrition pro:

  • Protein is one of the three main macronutrients that makes up the food we eat. (The other two are fat and carbohydrate.)
  • Protein itself is made up of amino acids.
  • Amino acids are the building blocks for most stuff in our bodies. They’re like Legos that can be broken down and re-assembled in different ways.
  • Unlike extra fat (which we can store very easily on our bums and bellies), we don’t store lots of extra amino acids. Protein is always getting used, recycled, and sometimes excreted.
  • If we don’t get enough protein, our body will start to plunder it from parts that we need, such as our muscles.
  • So we have to constantly replenish protein by eating it.

We need protein.

Protein is so important that without it, we die or become seriously malnourished.

(This protein-deficiency disease is known as kwashiorkor, and we often see it in people who have suffered famines or who are living on a low-protein diet.)

All your enzymes and cell transporters; all your blood transporters; all your cells’ scaffolding and structures; 100 percent of your hair and fingernails; much of your muscle, bone, and internal organs; and many hormones are made of mostly protein. Hence, protein enables most of our bodies’ functions.

Put simply, you are basically a pile of protein.

No protein, no you.

How much protein do we need?

Short answer: It depends.

Let’s look first at the current Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA).

The RDA for protein is  0.8 g/kg (0.36 g/lb) — the more you weigh, the more protein you need:

  • A 150-lb (68 kg) person would need 68 x 0.8, or about 54 grams of protein a day.
  • A 200-lb (91 kg) person would need 91 x 0.8, or about 73 grams of protein a day.

That generally works out to about 10 percent of daily calories coming from protein.

However.

RDAs were originally developed as a way to prevent malnutrition — to represent the minimum amount of a nutrient we need to not die (or get sick).

“You’re not dead” is not the same thing as “You’re kicking ass.”

The RDA for surviving may be different than what we need to thrive.

The RDA is also a very general recommendation. It doesn’t take other things into account, such as:

  • How much total energy (i.e. calories) we eat or need
  • Our carbohydrate intake
  • When we eat the protein
  • Our biological sex
  • Our age
  • How active we are
  • What activities we do
  • How “eco-friendly” various protein sources are

The Institute of Medicine (US) suggests a huge range in individual protein requirements — from 0.375 g/kg to 1.625 g/kg body weight (0.17 to 0.74g/lb body weight).

In other words, our hypothetical 150-lb person might have protein needs ranging from 26 to 111 grams per day.

Well that narrows it down nicely, doesn’t it!?

Let’s take a deeper look: Amino acids

Protein in our food is made up of many different building blocks, or amino acids.

Most people focus on Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for total protein, but they don’t think about how much of each amino acid they might need.

If your diet isn’t varied enough, you may be eating enough total protein, but not enough of a specific essential amino acid.

Every day, you need this much of these essential amino acids:

  • 14 mg/kg of histidine
  • 19 mg/kg of isoleucine
  • 42 mg/kg of leucine
  • 38 mg/kg of lysine
  • 19 mg/kg of methionine + cysteine
  • 33 mg/kg of phenylalanine + tyrosine
  • 20 mg/kg of threonine
  • 5 mg/kg of tryptophan
  • 24 mg/kg of valine

Of course, you don’t need to spend hours in your kitchen with an eyedropper of lysine solution, carefully calibrating your intake.

Just eat a variety of protein-rich foods and let nature do the rest.

What does a high-protein diet look like?

People often assume that “high protein” means “low carbohydrate”. In fact, you can eat more protein without making any drastic changes to other things in your diet.

Many types of diets can be considered high-protein. “High protein” is a bit of a relative concept; there’s no clear rule.

The average protein intake for adults in the US is about 15 percent of calories coming from protein.

The Institute of Medicine suggests that up to 35 percent of total calories is an OK proportion of protein for healthy adults.

And most researchers would say that once you get more than 25 percent of total calories from protein, you’re in “high protein” territory.

Here’s what high- and low-protein diets might look like for a given meal.

2016.08-Pn-Low protein-American-Meals-1

The upper tolerable limit (UL) of something tells you how much you can eat without having health problems.

Currently, there’s no established UL for protein.

Does that mean you can eat as much protein as you’d like without any negative side effects? No. It just means researchers haven’t figured it out yet.

But we do know that eating up to 4.4 g/kg (2 g/lb) body weight didn’t cause any short term health problems in clinical studies.

Let’s take a deeper look: Calculating maximum protein

The Institute of Medicine suggests that high protein intake, where about 35 percent of your calories comes from protein, is safe.

What does that mean in grams per kilogram body weight (or g/lb body weight)?

Say you’re 74.8 kg (165 lb) and reasonably active. You need about 2,475 calories per day to maintain your weight.

If you get 35 percent of your total energy intake from protein, you’d be eating about 866 calories from protein each day.

1 gram of protein has 4 calories. So 866 calories is around 217 grams of protein per day.

That’s about 1.3 grams per pound of body weight, or 2.9 g/kg.

Will eating a high-protein diet hurt me?

For years, people have been concerned with the safety of eating too much protein.

Will eating too much protein explode my kidneys?

How about my liver? My left femur?

The most common health concerns of eating more protein are:

  • kidney damage
  • liver damage
  • osteoporosis
  • heart disease
  • cancer

Let’s explore these.

Claim: High protein causes kidney damage.

This concern about high protein and kidneys began with a misunderstanding of why doctors tell people with poorly functioning kidneys (usually from pre-existing kidney disease) to a eat a low-protein diet.

But there’s a big difference between avoiding protein because your kidneys are already damaged and protein actively damaging healthy kidneys.

It’s the difference between jogging with a broken leg and jogging with a perfectly healthy leg.

Jogging with a broken leg is a bad idea. Doctors would probably tell you not to jog if your leg is broken. But does jogging cause legs to break? No.

That’s the same thing with protein and kidneys.

Eating more protein does increase how much your kidneys have to work (glomerular filtration rate and creatinine clearance), just like jogging increases how much your legs have to work.

But protein hasn’t been shown to cause kidney damage — again, just like jogging isn’t going to suddenly snap your leg like a twig.

High-protein diets do result in increased metabolic waste being excreted in the urine, though, so it’s particularly important to drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration.

Verdict: There’s no evidence that high protein diets (2.2g/kg body weight) cause kidney damage in healthy adults.

Claim: High protein causes liver damage.

The liver, like the kidneys, is a major processing organ. Thus, it’s the same deal as with kidneys: People with liver damage (such as cirrhosis) are told to eat less protein.

Yes, if you have liver damage or disease you should eat less protein. But if your liver is healthy, then a high-protein diet will not cause liver damage.

Verdict: There’s no evidence that high-protein diets (2.2g/kg body weight) cause liver damage in healthy adults.

Claim: High protein causes osteoporosis.

Eating more protein without also upping your fruit and vegetable intake will increase the amount of calcium you’ll lose in your pee.

That finding made some people think that eating more protein will cause osteoporosis because you’re losing bone calcium.

But there is no evidence that high protein causes osteoporosis.

If anything, not eating enough protein has been shown to cause bone loss. Bones aren’t just inert sticks of minerals — a significant proportion of bone is also protein, mostly collagen-type proteins.

Like muscle, bone is an active tissue that is constantly being broken down and rebuilt. And like muscle, bone needs those Lego building blocks.

Women aged 55 to 92 who eat more protein have higher bone density. So eating more protein improves bone density in people most at risk of having osteoporosis.

(Eating more protein plus adding resistance training: Double win for bone density.)

Verdict: High protein diets do not cause osteoporosis, and actually may prevent osteoporosis.

Claim: High protein causes cancer

Unfortunately, we still don’t have conclusive human studies on the cause of cancer and the role of protein.

There are studies that asked people how much protein they ate over their lifetime, and then looked at how often people got cancer. The research shows a connection between protein intake and cancer rates.

But these studies are correlational studies and don’t prove that protein is the cause of cancers. Plus, some researchers have gone so far to say that studies relying on subjects to recall what they ate are basically worthless because human memory is so inaccurate.

A big part of the proposed cancer and protein link comes down to confounding factors, like:

  • where you get your protein from — plant or animal
  • how you cook your protein (i.e. carbonized grilled meat)
  • what types of protein you’re eating (e.g. grass-fed steak versus a hot dog)

And so on.

In other words, we can’t say that any particular amount of protein causes cancer.

Verdict: Limited evidence that protein causes cancer; many other confounding factors.

Let’s take a deeper look: Protein and cancer

A study from 2014 looked at protein and cancer risk. It was widely misinterpreted as proof that eating a lot of protein caused cancer.

First, it was actually two studies, one asking people questions and following them for years; and one that fed mice a high-protein diet and implanted them with cancer.

With the human study, researchers looked at people’s self-reported protein intake and their rates of cancer over the following 18 years.

They found that people aged 50-65 who ate diets high in animal protein (≥20% of total calories) had a 4-fold greater risk of dying of cancer over the next 18 years compared to people who ate a moderate amount of protein (10-20% of total calories).

(Just so you get an idea, smoking increases your risk of cancer by 20-fold.)

Then, it gets more interesting, because for people over 65, eating more protein decreased cancer risk by more than half. In summary:

Eating more protein from 50-65 years old was associated with a higher risk of death from cancer, but over 65 years old that association was reversed.

The second part of the study is where people really misunderstood what the study had proven.

Researchers fed mice a high-protein diet (18% of total calories), then implanted cancerous cells. They found that the high-protein diet increased tumor size. This is not a surprise, since protein increases IGF-1 (an anabolic protein) that stimulates growth in pretty much all tissues, including cancerous tissue.

Higher protein diets stimulated cancerous growth in mice.

So, while eating more protein might increase the size of existing tumors (depending on what treatment someone is undergoing), this study does not show that high-protein diets cause cancer.

Claim: High protein causes heart disease.

Eating animal-based protein daily is associated with an increased risk of fatal coronary heart disease (70 percent for men and 37 percent for women), whereas plant-based proteins aren’t linked to higher rates of heart disease.

This suggests that where you get your protein from may matter more than how much protein you eat.

However, just like cancer, the link between heart disease and high-protein diets is from questionnaires rather than a double-blind randomized study (the gold standard in research).

There are many confounding factors. For one, consider the type of animal — does seafood cause the same issues as red meat, for example?

We don’t yet know the whole story here.

Verdict: Limited evidence that protein causes heart disease and the source of protein is a major confounding factor.

Let’s take a deeper look: Protein source

A new study in the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) looks not only at protein intake, but where people got their protein from.

More than 131,000 people were asked:

  • how much protein they ate; and
  • if it came from animals or plants.

This study took over 35 years to do (starting in the 1980s).

What they found:

Eating more animal protein was associated with a higher risk of death… if you were also doing something else that was a risk factor.

Such as:

  • smoking
  • being overweight
  • not exercising
  • drinking alcohol
  • history of high blood pressure
  • low intake of whole grains, fiber, and fruits and vegetables

Eating more plant protein was found to be associated with lower risk of early death.

What does this mean?

You might think at first glance that you should eat less animal protein, since this study seems to say that animal protein is bad for you.

But there’s more to it.

If you’re doing everything else “right”, then eating more animal protein doesn’t seem to be a problem.

Likely, it’s not the animal protein on its own but a lot of lifestyle things that come with eating more animal protein.

For instance, this study began in the 80s. At that time, nearly every doctor told their patients to eat less fat and meat, and to avoid eggs.

So if you were a somewhat health-conscious person, then you’d likely be eating less animal protein compared to someone who was less health-conscious (or if you went against your doctor’s advice) — but you’d also likely be engaging in a bunch of other health-supporting decisions and activities.

The problem with these types of studies, called correlational studies, is that you can never be sure whether the associations are caused by one onto the other or if they’re simply happening at the same time.

Protein quality matters

Most people think about how much protein, but they don’t think all that much about the quality of the protein they’re eating.

There are huge differences in the chemical makeup of a given protein source, and how valuable that protein is nutritionally.

The higher a protein’s quality, the more easily it can give your body the amino acids it needs to grow, repair and maintain your body.

The two big factors that make a protein high or low quality are:

  • Digestibility:
    • How easy is it to digest?
    • How much do you digest — and absorb and use?
  • Amino acid composition:
    • What amino acids is it made of?

A high-quality protein has a good ratio of essential amino acids, and allows our body to use them effectively.

Amino acid composition is more important than digestibility.

You can have way more protein than you need, but if the protein you’re eating is low in an important amino acid (known as the limiting amino acid), it causes a bottleneck that stops everything else from working (or at least slows things down).

High-quality proteins have more limiting amino acids, which means the bottleneck is lessened and our bodies can use that protein source better.

Let’s take a deeper look: Measuring protein’s worth

Scientists use many ways to calculate protein quality, or how well we might digest, absorb, and use a given protein.

Here are a couple.

Protein Digestibility Corrected Amino Acid Score (PDCAAS)

PDCAAS is calculated using a ratio of limiting amino acids and a factor of true digestibility to give you a value that lets you know how much of a given protein is digestible.

The higher the score, the higher the quality of protein.

PDCAAS is the current gold standard for measuring protein quality, but there are a few other protein quality scoring methods that we cover in the Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certification program.

Indicator amino acid oxidation (IAAO)

When we don’t have enough of a particular indispensable amino acid, then all the other amino acids, including that indispensable one, will be oxidized (i.e. essentially wasted) rather than used for stuff like repairing tissues.

It’s kind of like a team sport: You can’t play without the goalie, so all the players sit around twiddling their thumbs, even though they’re all great players in their own right.

But if we’re getting enough of that particular amino acid, then we won’t see all that oxidation. We have a goalie and the rest of the players can play.

So, you want the IAAO score to be low, indicating that all your amino acids are doing their jobs to rebuild you.

Thus far, the IAAO method seems like a very useful way to judge the metabolic availability of amino acids from different protein-containing foods, and to determine total protein requirements for all kinds of people.

New assessment techniques like IAAO are giving us a more precise idea of protein use, which means that we may see recommendations change in future.

Most likely, based on these recent findings, the RDA for protein will increase — i.e. doctors may tell us to eat more protein.

“Complete” and “incomplete” proteins

Back in the day, scientists used to talk about “complete” and “incomplete” proteins.

If you had a plant-based diet (i.e. vegetarian or vegan), you were told that you had to eat a mix of incomplete proteins (i.e. protein from a variety of plants) at each meal in order to meet your needs.

We now know this isn’t true.

As long as you eat a mix of different protein sources, you’ll get all the amino acids you need. No need for mealtime protein algebra to make sure you’re getting all your amino acids.

That being said, many plant-based sources are less protein-dense than animal sources. So if you choose not to eat animal products, you’ll have to work a little harder to get more protein from a wide variety of plant sources to make up the difference and meet your protein needs.

2016.08-Protein per serving chart-1.1-01

Animal vs. plant proteins

More and more, it seems that where you get your protein has a huge impact on your health.

Eating a high-protein plant-based diet improves health outcomes compared to low-protein diets and high-protein animal-based diets. Again, it comes down to the quality of your protein more than how much protein you’re eating.

If you’re a diehard carnivore, no worries — just add some more plant protein to your diet. Diversity is good. Hug some lentils today.

Why might you eat MORE protein?

Since we need protein to grow, maintain, and repair our tissues, hormones and immune system, there are times we need more protein.

The standard RDA of 0.8 g/kg is great if you’re sedentary and not building or repairing your tissue.

But you may need more protein if you are:

  • physically active, either through workouts or your job
  • injured or sick
  • not absorbing protein normally
  • pregnant / breastfeeding
  • younger (and growing)
  • older (and potentially losing lean mass)

Higher protein diets can also:

  • lower blood pressure;
  • improve glucose regulation;
  • improve blood cholesterol; and
  • improve other indicators of cardiometabolic health.

Win all around.

Here are some specific scenarios that might call for more protein.

Protein for athletes

Athletes and active people should eat more protein, but we don’t know exactly how much more.

The current recommendations vary from 1.2 to 2.2 g/ kg of body weight.

The International Society of Sports Nutrition says a range of 1.4-2.0 g/kg is safe and may help with recovering from exercise.

It looks like 2.2 g/kg (1g/lb of body weight) is the highest recommendation, but this shouldn’t be confused with the idea that more than 2.2 g/kg is unsafe.

More may not be necessary, but there is little evidence that more is unsafe.

Protein for aging

As you get older, you lose lean mass — both muscle and bone. This affects how long you live, as well as how functional and healthy that life is.

New research shows that most older people, particularly women over 65, need more protein than the current recommendations to slow down muscle loss.

Experts now recommend over 2.0 g/kg of body weight for people older than 65.

Protein for building muscle

The more protein in your muscles, the bigger and stronger your muscles can get.

Bodybuilders have long known that there is an “anabolic window” after a workout (24-48 hours) during which muscles are especially greedy for amino acids.

So, if you’d like to build muscle, make sure you eat a protein-rich meal within a few hours after training. Some advanced folks also like to add branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) or essential amino acids (EAAs) as a during-workout or after-workout supplement.

Here, it seems that a fast-digesting animal protein supplement (whey) is better at getting your body to make more muscle compared to plant-based protein (soy). Of course, you can also just eat “real food” after working out.

Protein for losing fat

Eating protein helps with losing fat, for a few reasons.

1. When you eat more protein, you tend to feel fuller longer.

Protein stimulates the release of satiety (stop-eating) hormones in the gut. So when you eat protein, you naturally tend to eat less, without feeling hungry.

(You can test this theory if you want. Go and try to eat an entire plain skinless chicken, or a few pounds of lean fish.)

2. Protein makes your body work to digest it.

Not all nutrients take the same energy to digest. Fat and carbohydrates are pretty easy for your body to digest and absorb, but protein takes more energy to digest and absorb.

If you eat 100 calories of protein, you’ll only use about 70 calories of it. (This thermic, or heat-producing, effect of protein is why you sometimes get the “meat sweats” after a big protein-heavy meal.)

3. Protein also helps you hang on to lean mass while you’re losing fat.

When you’re in a significant energy deficit (i.e. eating less than you burn), your body tries to throw out everything — fat, muscle, bone, hormones, etc. — all the stuff you need. It doesn’t tend to throw out just fat and keep muscle… unless you eat lots of protein.

Let’s take a deeper look: Protein, lean mass, and energy restriction

A recent study at McMaster University in Canada explored what would happen if people who were on a very low-calorie diet (about 40 percent less than normal energy needs), ate a lot of protein, and worked out hard.

For 4 weeks, a group of young men in their 20s were basically starved, but on a high-protein diet — about 2.4 g/kg.

So, for instance, a 200 lb (91 kg), relatively active young man whose energy needs would normally be 3000 calories per day might get:

  • 1800 calories per day (40 percent less than normal)
  • 218 grams of protein per day (2.4 x 91 kg)

This means that out of those 1800 calories per day, about 48 percent of them were from protein.

The men trained hard — lifting weights and doing high-intensity intervals 6 days a week.

After 4 weeks, on average:

  • The men gained about 1.2 kg (2.6 lb) of lean body mass (LBM).
  • They lost about 4.8 kg (10.5 lb) of fat.

The fact that they lost fat isn’t surprising, though that amount of fat loss in 4 weeks is pretty impressive.

What is surprising is that they gained LBM.

There was a control group, who ate more of a normal-protein, low-energy diet — about 1.2 grams of protein per kg (so, for our 200 lb / 91 kg man, that would be around 109 grams per day). This group, on average:

  • Gained 0.1 kg (0.2 lb) of LBM
  • Lost 3.5 kg (7.7 lb) of fat

This study was only 4 weeks long, and on a specific population group under close supervision, but it’s a cool experiment that suggests protein might be able to do some nifty things even under difficult and demanding conditions.

It’s particularly useful because it’s a randomized controlled trial. In other words, it’s not a food questionnaire where you try to remember what you ate last year — it’s a direct comparison of two similar groups whose food parameters are being closely monitored.

We don’t recommend a highly restrictive, high-protein diet combined with a Spartan-style workout plan as a long-term strategy, but if you want to try something crazy for 4 weeks, see if you can replicate these results!

Why might you eat LESS protein?

Protein and longevity

Everybody is looking for the elixir of life; from 17th-century chemists to Monty Python.

And for years, living in a semi-starvation state has been shown to increase lifespan in nearly every animal from flatworms to rats to humans.

Looking into it more closely, it looks like restricting protein rather than calories, is the key to longevity.

Protein is anabolic: It triggers your body to build more tissues and other body bits. This is great if you want to build muscle, but there’s seems to be a downside: Eating protein triggers the body to release and make more IGF-1. In some people, this decreases longevity.

There’s a lot of work on lower IGF-1 and longer lifespan in animals (flatworms, rats and mice mostly) and some in people.

But it’s more complicated than saying that less protein leads to less IGF-1, which means living longer. There’s a genetic component. Some people do better with more IGF-1. In their case, more IGF-1 later in life actually increase lifespan.

And in terms of quality of life and functional longevity, a higher protein intake is probably still better. A semi-starved body may indeed live longer… but probably not better.

Age-related muscle loss alone could have serious consequences for metabolic health and mobility.

So: It’s difficult to say whether this is a good idea, despite interesting data. We probably need more research to say for sure.

What this means for you

If you’re a “regular person” who just wants to be healthy and fit:

  • If you’re over 65, eat more protein.
    This helps slow down age-related muscle loss, which improves long-term health and quality of life.
  • If you’re a plant-based eater: Plan your meals carefully.
    Without animal products, you’ll probably have to work a little harder to get enough protein. You might consider adding a plant-based protein powder to help yourself out.

If you’re an athlete:

  • Follow our PN portion recommendations.
    We suggest a portion of lean protein at every meal, to keep that protein pool full and ready to help your body repair and rebuild. You may need more than this if you are especially active.
  • Boost your protein intake around exercise.
    Eating protein around workouts may improve your body’s response to exercise. If you can tolerate whey protein, that’s one of the best options. Or, stick with real food.
  • Increase plant-based protein sources.
    The more the merrier.

If you’re a fitness professional / nutrition coach:

  • Help people understand as much as they need to understand in order to make an informed choice, with your guidance.
    Your clients will likely have questions. Prepare your answers in advance.
  • Refer out as needed.
    If you think a client might have an underlying health condition, work with their doctor to make sure they don’t have kidney or liver disease that a high-protein diet should be avoided.

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’s evidenced-based and personalized for their unique body, goals, and preferences—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, October 2nd, 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.

jQuery(document).ready(function(){
jQuery(“#references_link”).click(function(){
jQuery(“#references_holder”).show();
jQuery(“#references_link”).parent().hide();
});
});

References

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

Dietary reference intakes for energy, carbohydrate, fiber, fat, fatty acids, cholesterol, protein, and amino acids. Chapter 10 Protein and Amino Acids (pp 589-768). 2005.National Academies Press.

Antonio J, Ellerbroek A, Silver T, Orris S, Scheiner M, Gonzalez A, Peacock CA.A high protein diet (3.4 g/kg/d) combined with a heavy resistance training program improves body composition in healthy trained men and women—a follow-up investigation. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2015 Oct 20;12:39.

Antonio J, Ellerbroek A, Silver T, Vargas L, Peacock C. The effects of a high protein diet on indices of health and body composition—a crossover trial in resistance-trained men. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2016 Jan 16;13:3.

Arentson-Lantz E, Clairmont S, Paddon-Jones D, Tremblay A, Elango R. Protein: A nutrient in focus. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2015 Aug;40(8):755-61

Baum JI, Kim IY, Wolfe RR. Protein Consumption and the Elderly: What Is the Optimal Level of Intake? Nutrients. 2016 Jun 8;8(6). pii: E359

Bonjour JP. Dietary protein: an essential nutrient for bone health. J Am Coll Nutr. 2005 Dec;24(6 Suppl):526S-36S. Review.

Brooker, R. W., et al. Improving intercropping: a synthesis of research in agronomy, plant physiology and ecology. New Phytol, 206 (2015): 107–117. doi:10.1111/nph.13132

Carreiro AL, Dhillon J, Gordon S, Higgins KA, Jacobs AG, McArthur BM, Redan BW, Rivera RL, Schmidt LR, Mattes RD. The Macronutrients, Appetite, and Energy Intake. Annu Rev Nutr. 2016 Jul 17;36:73-103.

Courtney-Martin G, Ball RO, Pencharz PB, Elango R. Protein Requirements during Aging. Nutrients. 2016 Aug 11;8(8). pii: E492. doi: 10.3390/nu8080492.

Eshel G, Shepon A, Makov T, Milo R. Land, irrigation water, greenhouse gas, and reactive nitrogen burdens of meat, eggs, and dairy production in the United States. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014 Aug 19;111(33):11996-2001

Deutz NE, Bauer JM, Barazzoni R, Biolo G, Boirie Y, Bosy-Westphal A, Cederholm T, Cruz-Jentoft A, Krznariç Z, Nair KS, Singer P, Teta D, Tipton K, Calder PC. Protein intake and exercise for optimal muscle function with aging: recommendations from the ESPEN Expert Group. Clin Nutr. 2014 Dec;33(6):929-36.

Devries MC, Phillips SM. Supplemental protein in support of muscle mass and health: advantage whey. J Food Sci. 2015 Mar;80 Suppl 1:A8-A15.

Elango R, Ball RO, Pencharz PB. Recent advances in determining protein and amino acid requirements in humans. British Journal of Nutrition. 2012 Aug 1;108(S2):S22-30.

Elango R, Ball RO, Pencharz PB. Indicator amino acid oxidation: concept and application. J Nutr. 2008 Feb;138(2):243-6.

Helms, Eric R. Caryn Zinn, David S. Rowlands, and Scott R. Brown. A Systematic Review of Dietary Protein During Caloric Restriction in Resistance Trained Lean Athletes: A Case for Higher Intakes. International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, 2014, 24, 127 -138.

Landi, Francesco, Riccardo Calvani, et al. Protein Intake and Muscle Health in Old Age: From Biological Plausibility to Clinical Evidence. Nutrients 2016, 8, 295; doi:10.3390/nu8050295

Levine ME, Suarez JA, Brandhorst S, Balasubramanian P, Cheng CW, Madia F, Fontana L, Mirisola MG, Guevara-Aguirre J, Wan J, Passarino G, Kennedy BK, Wei M, Cohen P, Crimmins EM, Longo VD. Low protein intake is associated with a major reduction in IGF-1, cancer, and overall mortality in the 65 and younger but not older population. Cell Metab. 2014 Mar 4;19(3):407-17.

Longland, Thomas M., Sara Y Oikawa, Cameron J Mitchell, Michaela C Devries, and Stuart M Phillips. Higher compared with lower dietary protein during an energy deficit combined with intense exercise promotes greater lean mass gain and fat mass loss: a randomized trial. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 103 (2016):738–46.

Manninen AH. Are high-protein diets safe for kidney function? J Am Diet Assoc. 2007 Oct;107(10):1722.

Mitchell WK, Wilkinson DJ, Phillips BE, Lund JN, Smith K, Atherton PJ. Human Skeletal Muscle Protein Metabolism Responses to Amino Acid Nutrition. Adv Nutr. 2016 Jul 15;7(4):828S-38S.

Morton, Robert W., Chris McGlory and Stuart M. Phillips. Nutritional interventions to augment resistance training-induced skeletal muscle hypertrophy. Frontiers in Physiology 6 Article 245 (September 2015).

Paddon-Jones, Douglas, Wayne W Campbell, Paul F Jacques, Stephen B Kritchevsky, Lynn L Moore, Nancy R Rodriguez, and Luc JC van Loon. Protein and healthy aging. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2015.

Peters, Christian J., Jamie Picardy Amelia F. Darrouzet-Nardi Jennifer L. Wilkins Timothy S. Griffin Gary W. Fick. Carrying capacity of U.S. agricultural land: Ten diet scenarios. Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene. DOI 10.12952/journal.elementa.000116

Phillips SM, Chevalier S, Leidy HJ. Protein “requirements” beyond the RDA: implications for optimizing health. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2016 May;41(5):565-72.

Phillips SM, Tang JE, Moore DR. The role of milk- and soy-based protein in support of muscle protein synthesis and muscle protein accretion in young and elderly persons. J Am Coll Nutr. 2009 Aug;28(4):343-54.

Rafii M, Chapman K, Owens J, Elango R, Campbell WW, Ball RO, Pencharz PB,
Courtney-Martin G. Dietary protein requirement of female adults >65 years determined by the indicator amino acid oxidation technique is higher than current recommendations. J Nutr. 2015 Jan;145(1):18-24. doi: 10.3945/jn.114.197517.

Rand WM, Pellett PL, Young VR. Meta-analysis of nitrogen balance studies for estimating protein requirements in healthy adults. Am J Clin Nutr. 2003 Jan;77(1):109-27.

Sassenrath, G.F., J.M. Schneider, R. Gaj, W. Grzebisz and J.M. Halloran. Nitrogen balance as an indicator of environmental impact: Toward sustainable agricultural production. Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems, 2012. doi:10.1017/S1742170512000166

Simmons E, Fluckey JD, Riechman SE. Cumulative Muscle Protein Synthesis and Protein Intake Requirements. Annu Rev Nutr. 2016 Jul 17;36:17-43
Solon-Biet SM, Mitchell SJ, de Cabo R, Raubenheimer D, Le Couteur DG, Simpson SJ. Macronutrients and caloric intake in health and longevity. J Endocrinol. 2015 Jul;226(1):R17-28.

Song M, Fung TT, Hu FB, Willett WC, Longo VD, Chan AT, Giovannucci EL.Association of Animal and Plant Protein Intake With All-Cause and Cause-Specific Mortality. JAMA Intern Med. 2016 Aug 1. doi: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.4182 [Epub ahead of print]

Soultoukis GA, Partridge L. Dietary Protein, Metabolism, and Aging. Annu Rev Biochem. 2016 Jun 2;85:5-34

van Vliet S, Burd NA, van Loon LJ. The Skeletal Muscle Anabolic Response to Plant- versus Animal-Based Protein Consumption. J Nutr. 2015 Sep;145(9):1981-91

Westerterp-Plantenga MS, Lemmens SG, Westerterp KR. Dietary protein – its role in satiety, energetics, weight loss and health. Br J Nutr. 2012 Aug;108 Suppl 2:S105-12.

Save

Save

Save

Save

The post Will a high-protein diet harm your health? The real story on the risks (and rewards) of eating more protein. appeared first on Precision Nutrition.

Source: Health1

Sick of your clients not following the plan? It might not be their fault. It might be… yours. The reason: Just telling clients what to do isn’t very effective. After all, it’s hard to make people do anything—even when they know it’s good for them. (That’s why we still have texting-while-walking accidents.) But in this article, we’ll show you a proven way to get your clients… to get with the program. For better results and the lasting change you both want.

++++

Clients rarely say, “There’s no way I’m doing that.”

Even though that’s often what they’re thinking.

Maybe you prescribe a new eating or exercise habit, and in return, they give you the side eye.

Or they say, “No problem!”, but later admit they always knew they’d never follow through.

Perhaps you could sense they just weren’t that into:

  • eating more vegetables
  • going to bed an hour earlier
  • cutting out soda

But you forced it anyway because, hey, it’s what they needed to do.

Here’s the truth:

Telling clients what to do doesn’t work.

There’s a far better way. It starts with a simple question, and it ends with a plan that doesn’t just help clients thrive—it almost guarantees they will.

So much so, we can tell you straight-faced: This method could change the way you coach forever. (It did for us.)

++++

No one wants to be a minion.

In the health and fitness industry, most people are trained to use a “coach-centric” approach.

It goes something like this:

“I’m the expert, and you’re going to do what I say. Because it’s good for you.”

That works… when your client’s a Navy Seal. Read: highly disciplined, does what it takes (no matter the cost), and always follows the “chain of command.”

But everyone else? Not so much. That makes it a very ineffective strategy, at least in the long term.

By telling a client you know what’s best for them, you’ve minimized their input.

They don’t see it as their plan; they see it as your plan. As a result, they’re not 100% invested. (Often not even close.)

The fix: a “client-centric” approach.

The concept is simple.

Before a client attempts any new habit or type of change, ask them to rate how they feel about it.

For example, say they’re not exercising now, but you want them to work out hard at least five days a week.

On a scale of 0 (no way in hell) to 10 (a trained monkey could do it), how do they rank their confidence that they will follow through?

Ask them, and emphasize the need for honesty. Not only is it okay for them to voice doubts and concerns now, it’s the absolute right thing to do. For everyone involved.

If they say “9” or “10,” you’re good to go.

But anything less? You need to scale back the proposed plan, and ask again.

What does it take to get them to a solid 9?

Maybe it’s only doing hard workouts four days a week. Or three days. Or perhaps it’s just one 20-minute brisk walk.

Sometimes you’ll have to scale back so much, you might think, ‘This will never work! It’s too easy.’

It doesn’t matter.

Because if they can stick with the change for 2 weeks, they’ll start to gain the confidence to scale up. As they do, you can push them a little further, as long as it’s not beyond their capabilities.

This makes them an active participant in their own plan, instead of an order-taking minion.

They’re now adopting habits and making changes at a pace that’s comfortable for them.

And since you’re making these decisions together, they’re helping create the prescription themselves. One that matches their abilities, preferences, and lifestyle.

The result: You get full buy-in. Which is the catalyst for sustainable change.

Now, that’s the basic version of the client-centric method. You can keep it this simple to start, but if you want to take it to the next level, keep reading.

Supercharge this strategy.

Okay, so you can ask one simple question, and make some serious progress with your clients. But if you want true mastery, you need to dig a little deeper by asking three questions.

  • How ready are you to do this task?
  • How willing are you to do this task?
  • How able are you to do this task?

These might sound similar, but each can spark unique conversations and provide you—and your client—with greater insight and better strategies.

Let’s look at them one by one.

1. “Are you ready?”

Being “ready” means you see the need for change and feel an urgency to take action.

It doesn’t mean it’s the perfect time to change.

In fact, you can’t ever count on that.

Sometimes, clients say they’re not ready because they don’t feel like they have it “together.” Their lives are crazy, and now just doesn’t feel like the right time to add something new.

But here’s the truth: There’s never going to be a time when things are magically easier.

Life doesn’t come with a pause button.

Let’s say you’ve suggested your client stop using electronics 30 minutes before bed in the name of better sleep, recovery, and overall health. You ask, “How ready are you to do this?”

And… they give you a “5.”

They agree shutting down earlier would be good for their health (and sanity), but work is crazy right now… and they have all the emails… and they need to use every waking moment to stay on top of their inbox.

Maybe it’d be better to do this later on, they say. Like in a few weeks, when their job isn’t so hectic. (The work gods laugh about this at their cocktail parties.)

The message: They’re not quite ready.

But what if you scaled it back?

For instance, what if they signed off email just 5 minutes before bed? While 5 minutes might seem irrelevant, it could be what it takes for your client to feel ready now.

It’s not 30 minutes, but it is progress.

And progress is what matters, not perfection. After all, consistently doing a little bit better adds up to major change over time. (Exhibit A: Our clients, who show how even small efforts can lead to impressive health transformations.)

In a couple of weeks, your client might be ready to shut down 10 minutes early, and ultimately, work up to 30 minutes over time. So eventually, you get them where you wanted—but you do it on their schedule.

Conversation starters

Anytime you ask, “How ready are you?” and your client answers 8, 5, or even 1, it’s time to probe for “why.” Asking these questions can lead to helpful (and even surprising) insights.

Ask this:

“What does being ‘ready to change’ mean to you?”

How it can help: This answer shows you where your client really is. Do they want to change, but like our examples, just feel like they’re too busy, or it’s not right time? It’s an opportunity to help them see perfection isn’t a prerequisite.

Ask this:

“Imagine a world where you’re completely ready to make a change. What would that world look like?”

How it can help: Considering what the “perfect” time would look like helps a client see there won’t ever be a perfect time. What’s more, you might be able to steal something from this imaginary “completely ready” world, and incorporate it into their life right now—to help them feel more ready.

Ask this:

“What’s pushing you away from making this change right now? Is there anything pulling you toward trying something different?”

How it can help: Many clients feel ambivalent about change. Read: They want to, but they also don’t want to. Instead of trying to talk your client into changing, this question gets them to do it themselves—by reminding them why they came to you in the first place.

Ask this:

“Instead of making a big, massive change you don’t feel ready for, how could you do just a little bit better in this area today?”

How it can help: This question gives your client the opportunity to tell you what feels reasonable and sane to them at this moment in their life. Work from there.

2: “Are you willing?”

Being willing to change doesn’t mean you have zero reservations about doing things differently.

It means you’re game for pushing past those doubts.

Imagine you’ve trained to be a cliff diver for several months. Your body’s in great shape, and all techniques have been honed. You’re ready.

When you get to the top of the cliff, you start thinking, ’What if I slip? What if I didn’t train right? What if the tide is too low?’ But you jump anyway. Because you’re willing.

That’s often not how it goes with clients, though. Their doubts create resistance they can’t get past. Only they may not tell you that directly.

True story…

A coach is assessing a new client, and discovers he’s drinking 10-20 Diet Cokes a day.

She tells him he should drink more water instead. He replies: “Isn’t Diet Coke made of water?” (Smart client.) Plenty of back and forth followed, but it was more of the same.

The client didn’t say, “I’m not willing to give up Diet Coke,” but through his endless debating, yeah, that’s pretty much what he said. He wasn’t a 9 or 10; he was more like a 1 or 2.

Don’t push against a client’s resistance. You’ll only meet more.

Instead, get them to “notice and name” where their resistance is coming from, so you can explore the reason for it.

You may find it’s not the change itself that’s the problem; it’s what the change represents.

Suppose you have a client who wants to improve their body composition, but doesn’t like the idea of “eating to 80 percent full.”

This is one of the core habits in the Precision Nutrition coaching method, because it can help people better tune into hunger and fullness cues.

But after years of eating until stuffed, it can feel like a big—and unwelcome—change.

Maybe your client rates this a 4, and voices their resistance like this:

“I like eating until I’m totally full. There’s just something so satisfying about it.”

You might ask them:

  • What would happen if they stopped eating until they were stuffed?
  • How would they feel?
  • Why don’t they want to feel that way?

They might respond with something like:

“My life is so busy and stressful. I feel like I deserve a big meal at the end of the day. It just makes me feel happy and comfortable. I’m afraid I’ll lose that feeling if I stop.”

And there it is.

They’ve just noticed and named the real reason they’re not willing to eat to 80 percent full.

From there, you can work with your client to find other ways they can comfort themselves at the end of a hard day, if they’re open to it.

Conversation starters

Use the questions that follow to delve into the source of a client’s resistance. Also: Remind your clients they always have the option not to change. Often just knowing this makes them more willing to change.

Ask this:

“What comes up for you when you think about making this change?

How it can help: This question gives your client an opportunity to notice and name the resistance they feel when they think about starting a particular habit.

Ask this:

“Imagine what would happen if you did make the change, despite your reservations. What do you think the outcome would be?”

How it can help: Picturing the benefits can help a client decide that even though the change might be challenging, it could also be worth it. (Or not—that’s okay too.)

Ask this:

“What would happen if you didn’t make the change? What would that look like?”

How it can help: The natural answer is, “Well, things would stay the same as they are now.” And no one invests in coaching because they want things to stay the same, right?

Ask this:

“How would making this change help you achieve your goals? Are there any ways it could keep you from losing weight or feeling healthier or moving better or [insert client objective here].”

How it can help: Getting your client to weigh the pros and cons of making a change helps them reevaluate their willingness to try it.

3: “Are you able?”

Being able to change doesn’t mean your path is free of obstacles.

It means you’ve figured out how to remove—or dodge—the stuff blocking your way.

Let’s say your client lives on an isolated military base. They’re ready and willing to add lean protein to each meal—another of our core principles—but they don’t feel able.

Their food choices on the base aren’t so great. The grocery options are limited, and they often eat their meals in a cafeteria, so they have no control over what’s served.

The good news: The problem isn’t coming from your client; it’s coming from their circumstances. So by brainstorming together, you can “engineer” the habit to fit their life.

Maybe they could:

  • Order portable protein options like packets of tuna or single-serving protein powders.
  • Be better at checking the cafeteria menu ahead of time, and strategically plan around the most protein-challenged meals.
  • Work on their meal prep skills to make sure there’s always a good option in the freezer.
  • Discover smart solutions in the store they hadn’t considered.

If all else fails, perhaps it means accepting that eating lean protein with each meal just isn’t going to happen. But could they eat lean protein at two out of three meals a day?

Remember: Perfection isn’t required for progress.

Conversation starters

There’s always a solution. Make sure your clients know that. After all, humans managed to send people to the moon with less computing power than what’s on an iPhone. (Android, too, of course!) We can surely troubleshoot healthy eating obstacles. Use these questions to help identify and overcome their obstacles.

Ask this:

“What does being ‘able to change’ look like to you?”

How it can help: Just as there’s no perfect time to change, there’s also no scenario where there are zero barriers to change. Asking this question helps your client realize with some creative problem solving, they probably can change right now.

Ask this:

“What obstacles are in your way? How are they limiting you?”

How it can help: Narrowing down exactly why an obstacle is limiting your client may make previously hidden solutions more obvious.

Ask this:

“Let’s say you can’t remove the obstacles completely. How could you ‘dodge’ them?”

How it can help: This question opens up a brainstorming session, allowing your client to come up with solutions that make sense for them as an individual.

What to do next

Let’s say your client is ready, willing, and able (for whatever habits and changes you’re agreed upon).

Now it’s time to see what happens.

Observe and monitor how they’re doing with the habit. Gather your data. You may want to keep track of the following in regard to their new habit or task:

  • how often they’re getting it done
  • how well they’re completing it
  • the questions and concerns that come up for them
  • how it’s impacting their chosen progress markers (weight, girth measurements, energy levels, and so on)

Ask yourself: Is your client getting closer to the result they’re looking for? Are there any patterns or trends that are becoming clear to you?

Once you’ve analyzed your data, decide what’s next.

If you determine the new habit isn’t taking your client in the right direction, maybe you want to try something completely different.

If the client had a tough time completing the task, perhaps you want to scale back and make it more approachable (decrease from 5 servings of veggies a day to 3).

Did they totally master their habit or task? Then consider increasing the difficulty (ramp up from 15 minutes of screen-free time before bed to 30).

And if they haven’t nailed the habit yet, but they feel confident they can, maybe you keep things exactly as they are for a little longer.

No matter which path you choose, remember:

Your clients will tell you what they need to change. You just have to listen.

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 way that gets them to fully invest in the plan and achieve sustainable results—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, October 2nd, 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 won’t clients just do what I say?!?!” How to fix every coach’s #1 frustration. appeared first on Precision Nutrition.

Source: Health1

From a certain perspective, nutrition science can seem like a mess. From another, it illustrates the very nature (and beauty) of the scientific process. Here we’ll explain why nutrition science is so confusing at times. We’ll also explain why, in the grand scheme of things, that’s okay.

++++

I recently participated in a health and fitness roundtable at a large event.

During the discussion, one smart, educated, PhD-trained expert complained about the state of nutrition science.

“You nutrition people make me mad!”
“Why so much conflicting information?”
“Why so much nonsense?”
“Why can’t you make it clear and simple?”

I can totally empathize.

From a certain perspective, nutrition science can seem like a mess.

Lots of competing theories. One study seems to suggest one thing. The very next study seems to say the opposite.

People interested in health, fitness and wellness are stuck in the middle. Confused. Directionless.

From another point of view, that “mess” of competing ideas demonstrates the real beauty of science.

You see, science means putting all the ideas — good, bad, otherwise — into the ring and letting them fight it out over hundreds of years, using a particular method to determine the winners.

And that’s precisely why nutrition science is so confusing at times. We haven’t yet had the hundreds, even thousands, of years for the best ones to emerge.

For example, macronutrients (fat, carbohydrates, and protein) weren’t even discovered until the mid-1800s. Vitamins weren’t discovered until the 1900s.

And that’s just the study of what’s in food, driven by problems — malnutrition and starvation — that we don’t face as often today in industrialized countries. (They’re still a problem in many parts of the world, though.)

It’s only in the last 20 years that we’ve begun studying newer problems, such as what’s healthy in a world full of tasty processed food and very little movement.

Just so you know, all scientific disciplines begin with confusion, dead ends, frustration, and silliness. (Before humans understood weather patterns, a tornado happened because someone angered the wind gods.)

But what’s young is destined to mature.

Nutrition science will eventually grow up.

Perhaps not as quickly as we’d like. Yet over time, the scientific method will cut and prune and do its work.

Meanwhile, here’s a nice summary of 9 main reasons why nutrition science can be so confusing at times.

And why (sometimes) the media screws up reporting it.

There you have it: Why nutrition science is so confusing at times. And why (sometimes) the media screws up reporting it.

Print out or save the infographic as a reminder when you’re feeling frustrated with nutrition research. And please share with a friend, client, or colleague who might benefit from it.

Passionate about fitness and nutrition?

If so, and you’d like to learn more about it, consider the Precision Nutrition Level 1 CertificationOur next group kicks off shortly.

What’s it all about?

The Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certification is the industry’s most respected education program. It gives you the knowledge, systems, and tools you need to really understand how nutrition influences a person’s health and fitness.

Developed over 15 years, and proven with over 100,000 clients, 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 nutrition and fitness pros 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 to boost your education, and take your nutrition game to the next level, let’s go down the rabbit hole together.

jQuery(document).ready(function(){
jQuery(“#references_link”).click(function(){
jQuery(“#references_holder”).show();
jQuery(“#references_link”).parent().hide();
});
});

References

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

History of Chemistry. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.columbia.edu/itc/chemistry/chem-c2507/navbar/chemhist.html. [Accessed October 2016].

National Institutes of Health: History of Congressional Appropriations, Fiscal Years 2000-2016 [ONLINE] Available at:
https://officeofbudget.od.nih.gov/pdfs/FY16/Approp%20History%20by%20IC%20FY%202000%20-%20FY%202016.pdf [Accessed October 2016]

Bes-Rastrollo M, Schulze MB, Ruiz-Canela M, Martinez-Gonzalez MA. Financial conflicts of interest and reporting bias regarding the association between sugar-sweetened beverages and weight gain: a systematic review of systematic reviews. PLoS Med. 2013 Dec;10(12):e1001578; discussion e1001578. doi: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1001578. Epub 2013 Dec 31. Review.

Carpenter KJ. A short history of nutritional science: part 4 (1945-1985). J Nutr. 2003 Nov;133(11):3331-42. Review.

Carpenter KJ. A short history of nutritional science: part 3 (1912-1944). J Nutr. 2003 Oct;133(10):3023-32.

Carpenter KJ. A short history of nutritional science: part 2 (1885-1912). J Nutr. 2003 Apr;133(4):975-84.

Carpenter KJ. A short history of nutritional science: part 1 (1785-1885). J Nutr. 2003 Mar;133(3):638-45.

College Park, MD: U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Section 23CRF101.9(g)

Cornelis MC, El-Sohemy A, Kabagambe EK, Campos H. Coffee, CYP1A2 genotype, and risk of myocardial infarction. JAMA. 2006 Mar 8;295(10):1135-41.

Guevara C, Cook C, Herback N, Pietrobon R, Jacobs DO, Vail TP. Gender, racial, and ethnic disclosure in NIH K-Award funded diabetes and obesity clinical trials. Account Res. 2006 Oct-Dec;13(4):311-24.

Livesey G. Metabolizable energy of macronutrients. Am J Clin Nutr. 1995 Nov;62(5 Suppl):1135S-1142S. Review.

Novotny JA, Gebauer SK, Baer DJ. Discrepancy between the Atwater factor predicted and empirically measured energy values of almonds in human diets. Am J Clin Nutr. 2012 Aug;96(2):296-301.

Ropella K (Author), Enderle JD (Editor). Introduction to Statistics for Biomedical Engineers Paperback. Morgan & Claypool Publishers; 1 edition (Oct. 1 2007)

Rosenbaum M, Leibel RL. Adaptive thermogenesis in humans. International journal of obesity (2005). 2010;34(0 1):S47-S55.

Simonson DC, DeFronzo RA. Indirect calorimetry: methodological and interpretative problems. Am J Physiol. 1990 Mar;258(3 Pt 1):E399-412. Review.

Westerterp KR, Goris AH. Validity of the assessment of dietary intake:
problems of misreporting. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2002 Sep;5(5):489-93. Review.

Save

The post Why nutrition science is so confusing. [Infographic] 9 reasons eating well isn’t as straightforward as we’d like it to be. appeared first on Precision Nutrition.

Source: Health1

Academic studies aren’t going to top any “best summer reads” lists: They can be complicated, confusing, and well, pretty boring. But learning to read scientific research can help you answer important client questions and concerns… and provide the best evidence-based advice. In this article, we’ll help you understand every part of a study, and give you a practical, step-by-step system to evaluate its quality, interpret the findings, and figure out what it really means to you and your clients.

+++

Twenty-five years ago, the only people interested in studies were scientists and unapologetic, card-carrying nerds (like us).

But these days, everyone seems to care what the research says. 

Because of that, we’re inundated with sensational headlines and products touting impressive sounding, “science-backed” claims.

Naturally, your clients (and mother) want to know which ones have merit, and which ones don’t.

They may want your take on an unbelievable new diet trend that’s “based on a landmark study.”

Maybe they’re even questioning your advice:

  • “Aren’t eggs bad for you?”
  • “Won’t fruit make me fat?”
  • “Doesn’t microwaving destroy the nutrients?”

(No, no, and no.)

More importantly, they want to know why you, their health and fitness coach, are more believable than Dr. Oz, Goop, or that ripped social media star they follow (you know, the one with the little blue checkmark).

For health and fitness coaches, learning how to read scientific research can help make these conversations simpler and more well-informed.

The more you grow this skill set, the better you’ll be able to:

  • Identify false claims
  • Evaluate the merits of new research
  • Give evidence-based advice

But where do you even begin?

Right here, with this step-by-step guide to reading scientific studies. Use it to improve your ability to interpret a research paper, understand how it fits into the broader body of research, and see the worthwhile takeaways for your clients (and yourself).

++++

Know what counts as research, and what doesn’t.

People throw around the phrase, “I just read a study” all the time. But often, they’ve only seen it summarized in a magazine or on a website.

If you’re not a scientist, it’s okay to consult good-quality secondary sources for nutrition and health information. (That’s why we create Precision Nutrition content.) Practically speaking, there’s no need to dig into statistical analyses when a client asks you about green vegetables.

But for certain topics, and especially for emerging research, sometimes you’ll need to go straight to the original source.

Use the chart below to filter accordingly.

Okay, so how do you find the actual research?

Thanks to the internet, it’s pretty simple.

Online media sources reporting on research will often give you a link to the original study.

If you don’t have the link, search databases PubMed and Google Scholar using the authors’ names, journal name, and/or the study title.

(Totally lost? Check out this helpful PubMed tutorial for a primer on finding research online.)

If you’re having trouble finding a study, try searching the first, second, and last study authors’ names together. They rarely all appear on more than a handful of studies, so you’re likely to locate what you’re looking for.

You’ll almost always be able to read the study’s abstract—a short summary of the research—for free. Check to see if the full text is available, as well. If not, you may need to pay for access to read the complete study.

Once you’ve got your hands on the research, it’s time to dig in.

Not all research is created equal.

Be skeptical, careful, and analytical.

Quality varies greatly among publishers, journals, and even the scientific studies themselves.

After all, is every novel a Hemingway? Is every news outlet 100 percent objective? Are all your coworkers infallible geniuses?

Of course not. When it comes to achieving excellence, research has the same challenges as every other industry. For example…

Journals tend to publish novel findings.

Which sounds more interesting to read? A study that confirms what we already know, or one that offers something new and different?

Academic journals are businesses, and part of how they sell subscriptions, maintain their cutting-edge reputations, and get cited by other publications—and Good Morning America!—is by putting out new, attention-grabbing research.

As a result, some studies published in even the most well-respected scientific journals are one-offs that don’t mean all that much when compared to the rest of the research on that topic. (That’s one of many reasons nutrition science is so confusing.)

Researchers need to get published.

In order to get funding—a job requirement for many academics—researchers need to have their results seen. But getting published isn’t always easy, especially if their study results aren’t all that exciting.

Enter: predatory journals, which allow people to pay to have their research published without being reviewed. That’s a problem because it means no one is double-checking their work.

To those unfamiliar, studies published in these journals can look just like studies published in reputable ones. We even reviewed a study from one as an example, and we’ll tell you how to spot them on your own in a bit.

In the meantime, you can also check out this list of potentially predatory journals as a cross-reference.

Results can differ based on study size and duration.

Generally, the larger the sample size—the more people of a certain population who are studied—the more reliable the results (however at some point this becomes a problem, too).

The reason: With more people, you get more data. This allows scientists to get closer to the ‘real’ average. So a study population of 1,200 is less likely to be impacted by outliers than a group of, say, 10.

It’s sort of like flipping a coin: If you do it 10 times, you might get “heads” seven or eight times. Or even 10 in a row. But if you flip it 1,200 times, it’s likely to average out to an even split between heads and tails, which is more accurate.

One caveat: Sample size only matters when you’re comparing similar types of studies. (As you’ll learn later, experimental research provides stronger evidence than observational, but observational studies are almost always larger.)

For similar reasons, it’s also worth noting the duration of the research. Was it a long-term study that followed a group of people for years, or a single one-hour test of exercise capacity using a new supplement?

Sure, that supplement might have made a difference in a one-hour time window, but did it make a difference in the long run?

Longer study durations allow us to test the outcomes that really matter, like fat loss and muscle gain, or whether heart attacks occurred. They also help us better understand the true impact of a treatment.

For example, if you examine a person’s liver enzymes after just 15 days of eating high fat, you might think they should head to the ER. By 30 days, however, their body has compensated, and the enzymes are at normal levels.

So more time means more context, and that makes the findings both more reliable and applicable for real life. But just like studying larger groups, longer studies require extensive resources that often aren’t available.

The bottom line: Small, short-term studies can add to the body of literature and provide insights for future study, but on their own, they’re very limited in what you can take away.

Biases can impact study results.

Scientists can be partial to seeing certain study outcomes. (And so can you, as a reader.)

Research coming out of universities—as opposed to corporations—tends to be less biased, though this isn’t always the case.

Perhaps a researcher worked with or received funding from a company that has a financial interest in their studies’ findings. This is completely acceptable, as long as the researcher acknowledges they have a conflict or potential bias.

But it can also lead to problems. For example, the scientist might feel pressured to conduct the study in a certain way. This isn’t exactly cheating, but it could influence the results.

More commonly, researchers may inadvertently—and sometimes purposefully—skew their study’s results so they appear more significant than they really are.

In both of these cases, you might not be getting the whole story when you look at a scientific paper.

That’s why it’s critical to examine each study in the context of the entire body of evidence. If it differs significantly from the other research on the topic, it’s important to ask why.

Your Ultimate Study Guide

Now you’re ready for the fun part: Reading and analyzing actual studies, using our step-by-step process. Make sure to bookmark this article so you can easily refer to it anytime you’re reading a paper.

Step 1: Decide how strong the evidence is.

To determine how much stock you should put in a study, you can use this handy pyramid called the “hierarchy of evidence.”

Here’s how it works: The higher up on the pyramid a research paper falls, the more trustworthy the information.

For example, you ideally want to first look for a meta-analysis or systematic review—see the top of the pyramid—that deals with your research question. Can’t find one? Then work your way down to randomized controlled trials, and so on.

Study designs that fall toward the bottom of the pyramid aren’t useless, but in order to see the big picture, it’s important to understand how they compare to more vetted forms of research.

Research reviews

These papers are considered very strong evidence because they review and/or analyze a selection of past studies on a given topic. There are two types: meta-analyses and systematic reviews.

In a meta-analysis, researchers use complex statistical methods to combine the findings of several studies. Pooling together studies increases the statistical power, offering a stronger conclusion than any single study. Meta-analyses can also identify patterns among study results, sources of disagreement, and other interesting relationships that a single study can’t provide.

In a systematic review, researchers review and discuss the available studies on a specific question or topic. Typically, they use precise and strict criteria for what’s included.

Both of these approaches look at multiple studies and draw a conclusion.

This is helpful because:

  • A meta-analysis or systematic review means that a team of researchers has closely scrutinized all studies included. Essentially, the work has already been done for you. Does each individual study make sense? Were the research methods sound? Does their statistical analysis line up? If not, the study will be thrown out.
  • Looking at a large group of studies together can help put outliers in context. If 25 studies found that consuming fish oil improved brain health, and two found the opposite, a meta-analysis or systematic review would help the reader avoid getting caught up in the two studies that seem to go against the larger body of evidence.

PubMed has made these easy to find: to the left of the search box, just click “customize” and you can search for only reviews and meta-analyses.

Your evidence-based shortcut: The position stand.

If you’re reading a research review and things aren’t adding up for you, or you’re not sure how to apply what you’ve learned to your real-life coaching practice, seek out a position stand on the topic.

Position stands are official statements made by a governing body on topics related to a particular field, like nutrition, exercise physiology, dietetics, or medicine.

They look at the entire body of research and provide practical guidelines that professionals can use with clients or patients.

Here’s an example: The 2017 International Society of Sports Nutrition Position Stand on diets and body composition.

Or, say you have a client who’s older and you’re wondering how to safely increase their training capacity (but don’t want to immerse yourself in a dark hole of research), simply look for the position stand on exercise and older adults.

To find the position stands in your field, consult the website of whatever governing body you belong to. For example, if you’re a personal trainer certified through ACSM, NASM, ACE, or NSCA, consult the respective website for each organization. They should feature position stands on a large variety of topics.

Randomized controlled trials

This is an experimental study design: A specific treatment is given to a group of participants, and the effects are recorded. In some cases, this type of study can prove that a treatment causes a certain effect.

In a randomized controlled trial, or RCT, one group of participants doesn’t get the treatment being tested, but both groups think they’re getting the treatment.

For instance, one half of the participants might take a drug, while the other half gets a placebo.

The groups are chosen randomly, and this helps to counteract the placebo effect—which occurs when someone experiences a benefit simply because they believe it’ll help.

If you’re reading a RCT paper, look for the words “double blind” or the abbreviation “DBRCT” (double blind randomized controlled trial). This is the gold standard of experimental research. It means neither the participants nor researchers know who’s taking the treatment and who’s taking the placebo. They’re both “blind”—so the results are less likely to be skewed.

Observational studies

In an observational study, researchers look at and analyze ongoing or past behavior or information, then draw conclusions about what it could mean.

Observational research shows correlations, which means you can’t take an observational study and say it “proves” anything. But even so, when folks hear about these findings on the popular morning shows, that part’s often missed, which is why you might end up with confused clients.

So what’re these types of studies good for? They can help us make educated guesses about best practices.

Again, one study doesn’t tell us a lot. But if multiple observational studies show similar findings, and there are biological mechanisms that can reasonably explain them, you can be more confident they’ve uncovered a pattern. Like that eating plant foods is probably healthful—or that smoking probably isn’t.

Scientists can also use these studies to generate hypotheses to test in experimental studies.

There are three main types of observational studies:

  • Cohort studies follow a group of people over a certain period of time. In fact, these studies can track people for years or even decades. Usually, the scientists are looking for a specific factor that might affect a given outcome. For example, researchers start with a group of people who don’t have diabetes, then watch to see which people develop the disease. Then they’ll try to connect the dots, and determine which factors the newly-diagnosed people have in common.
  • Case control studies compare the histories of two sets of people that are different in some way. For example, the researchers might look at two groups who lost 30 pounds: 1) those who successfully maintained their weight loss over time; 2) those who didn’t. This type of study would suggest a reason why that happened and then analyze data from the participants to see if might be true.
  • Cross sectional studies use a specific population—say, people with high blood pressure—and look for additional factors they might have in common with each other. This could be medications, lifestyle choices, or other conditions.

Case studies and reports

These are basically stories that are interesting or unusual in some way. For examples, this study reviewed the case of a patient who saw his blood cholesterol levels worsen significantly after adding 1-2 cups of Bulletproof Coffee to his daily diet.

Case studies and reports might provide detail and insight that would be hard to share in a more formal study design, but they’re not considered the most convincing evidence. Instead, they can be used to make more informed decisions and provide ideas about where to go next.

Animal and laboratory studies

These are studies done on non-human subjects—for instance, on pigs, rats, or mice, or on cells in Petri dishes—and can fall anywhere within the hierarchy.

Why are we mentioning them? Mainly, because it’s important to be careful with how much stock you put in the results. While it’s true that much of what we know about human physiology—from thermal regulation to kidney function—is thanks to animal and lab studies, people aren’t mice, or fruit flies, or even our closest relatives, primates.

So animal and cell studies can suggest things about humans, but aren’t always directly applicable.

The main questions you’ll want to answer here are: What type of animal was used? Were the animals used a good model for a human?

For example, pigs are much better models for research on cardiovascular disease and diets compared to mice, because of the size of their coronary arteries and their omnivorous diets. Mice are used for genetic studies, as they’re easier to alter genetically and have shorter reproduction cycles.

Also, context really matters. If an ingredient is shown to cause cancer in an animal study, how much was used, and what’s the human equivalent?

Or, if a chemical is shown to increase protein synthesis in cells grown in a dish, then for how long? Days, hours, minutes? To what degree, and how would that compare to a human eating an ounce of chicken? What other processes might this chemical impact?

Animal and lab studies usually don’t provide solutions and practical takeaways. Instead, they’re an early step in building a case to do experimental research.

The upshot: You need to be careful not to place more importance on these findings than they deserve. And, as always, look at how these small studies fit into the broader picture of what we already know about the topic.

Bonus: Qualitative and mixed-method studies

We haven’t mentioned one research approach that cuts across many study designs: qualitative research, as opposed to quantitative (numeric) research.

Qualitative studies focus on the more intangible elements of what was found, such as what people thought, said, or experienced. They tell us about the human side of things.

So, a qualitative study looking at how people respond to a new fitness tracker might ask them how they feel about it, and gather their answers into themes such as “ease of use” or “likes knowing how many steps taken.”

Qualitative studies are often helpful for exploring ideas and questions that quantitative data raises, and providing context for the relationships researchers observe.

For example, quantitative data might tell us that a certain percentage of people don’t make important health changes even after a serious medical diagnosis.

Qualitative research might find out why, by interviewing people who didn’t make those changes, and seeing if there were consistent themes, such as: “I didn’t get enough info from my doctor” or “I didn’t get support or coaching.”

When a study combines quantitative data with qualitative research, it’s known as a “mixed-methods” study.

Your takeaway: Follow the hierarchy of evidence.

There’s a big difference between a double blind randomized controlled human trial on the efficacy of a weight loss supplement (conducted by an independent lab) and an animal study on that same supplement.

There’s an even bigger difference between a systematic review of studies on whether red meat causes cancer and a case report on the same topic.

When you’re looking at research, keep results in perspective by taking note of how strong the evidence can even be, based on the pyramid above.

Step 2: Read the study critically.

Just because a study was published doesn’t mean it’s flawless. So while you might feel a bit out of your depth when reading a scientific paper, it’s important to remember that the paper’s job is to convince you of its evidence.

And your job when you’re reading a study is to ask the right questions.

Here’s exactly what to look for, section by section.

Journal

High quality studies are published in academic journals, which have names like Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, not TightBodz Quarterly.

To see if the study you’re reading is published in a reputable journal:

  • Check the impact factor. While not a perfect system, using a database like Scientific Journal Rankings to look for a journal’s “impact factor” (identified as “SJR” by Scientific Journal Rankings) can provide an important clue about a journal’s reputation. If the impact factor is greater than one, it’s likely to be legit.
  • Check if the journal is peer-reviewed. Peer-reviewed studies are read critically by other researchers before being published, lending them a higher level of credibility. Most journals state whether they require peer review in their submission requirements, which can generally be found by Googling the name of the journal and the words “submission guidelines.” If a journal doesn’t require peer review, it’s a red flag.
  • See how long the publisher has been around. Most reputable academic journals are published by companies that have been in business since at least 2012. Publishers that have popped up since then are more likely to be predatory.

Authors

These are the people who conducted the research, and finding out more about their backgrounds can tell you a lot about how credible a study might be.

To learn more about the authors:

  • Look them up. They should be experts in the field the study deals with. That means they’ve contributed research reviews and possibly textbook chapters on this topic. Even if the study is led by a newer researcher in the field, you should be able to find information about their contributions, credentials, and areas of expertise on their university or lab website.
  • Check out their affiliations. Just like you want to pay attention to any stated conflicts of interest, it’s smart to be aware if any of the authors make money from companies that have an interest in the study’s findings.

Note: It doesn’t automatically mean a study is bogus if one (or more) of the authors make money from a company in a related industry, but it’s worth noting, especially if there seem to be other problems with the study itself.

Abstract

This is a high-level summary of the research, including the study’s purpose, significant results, and the authors’ conclusions.

To get the most from the abstract, you want to:

  • Figure out the big question. What were the researchers trying to find out with this study?
  • Decide if the study is relevant to you. Move on to the later parts of the study only if you find the main question interesting and valuable. Otherwise, there’s no reason to spend time reading it.
  • Dig deeper. The abstract doesn’t provide context, so in order to understand what was discovered in a study, you need to keep reading.

Introduction

This section provides an overview of what’s already known about a topic and a rationale for why this study needed to be done.

When you read the introduction:

  • Familiarize yourself with the subject. Most introductions list previous studies and reviews on the study topic. If the references say things that surprise you or don’t seem to line up with what you already know about the body of evidence, get up to speed before moving on. You can do that by either reading the specific studies that are referenced, or reading a comprehensive (and recent) review on the topic.
  • Look for gaps. Some studies cherry-pick introduction references based on what supports their ideas, so doing research of your own can be revealing.

Methods

You’ll find demographic and study design information in this section.

All studies are supposed to be reproducible. In other words, another researcher following the same protocols would likely get the same results. So this section provides all the details on how you could replicate a study.

In the methodology section, you’ll want to:

  • Learn about the participants. Knowing who was studied can tell you a bit about how much (or how little) you can apply the study results to you (or your clients). Women may differ from men; older subjects may differ from younger ones; groups may differ by ethnicity, medical conditions may affect the results, and so on.
  • Take note of the sample size. Now is also a good time to look at how many participants the study included, as that can be an early indicator of how seriously you can take the results, depending on the type of study.
  • Don’t get bogged down in the details. Unless you work in the field, it’s unlikely that you’ll find value in getting into the nitty-gritty of how the study was performed.

Results

Read this section to find out if the intervention made things better, worse, or… the same.

When reading this section:

  • Skim it. The results section tends to be dense. Reading the headline of each paragraph can give you a good overview of what happened.
  • Check out the figures. To get the big picture of what the study found, seek to understand what’s being shown in the graphs, charts, and figures in this section.

Discussion

This is an interpretation of what the results might mean. Key point: It includes the authors’ opinions.

As you read the discussion:

  • Note any qualifiers. This section is likely to be filled with “maybe,” “suggests,” “supports,” “unclear,” and “more studies need to be done.” That means you can’t cite ideas in this section as fact, even if the authors clearly prefer one interpretation of the results over another. (That said, be careful not to dismiss the interpretation offhand, particularly if the author has been doing this specific research for years or decades.)
  • Acknowledge the limitations. The discussion also includes information about the limits of how the research can be applied. Diving deep into this section is a great opportunity for you to better understand the weaknesses of the study and why it might not be widely applicable (or applicable to you and/or your clients.)

Conclusions

Here, the authors sum up what their research means, and how it applies to the real world.

To get the most from this section:

  • Consider reading the conclusions first. Yes—before the intro, methodology, results, or anything else. This helps keep the results of the study in perspective. After all, you don’t want to read more into the outcome of the study than the people who actually did the research, right? Starting with the conclusions can help you avoid getting over-excited about a study’s results—or more convinced of their importance—than the people who conducted it.
  • Make sure the data support the conclusions. Sometimes, authors make inappropriate conclusions or overgeneralize results, like when a scientist studying fruit flies applies the results to humans, or when researchers suggest that observational study results “prove” something to be true (which as you know from the hierarchy of evidence, isn’t possible). Look for conclusions that don’t seem to add up.
Let’s take a deeper look: Statistical significance

Before researchers start a study, they have a hypothesis that they want to test. Then, they collect and analyze data and draw conclusions.

The concept of statistical significance comes in during the analysis phase of a study.

In academic research, statistical significance, or the likelihood that the study results were generated by chance, is measured by a p-value that can range from 0 to 1 (0 percent chance to 100 percent chance).

The “p” in p-value is probability.

P-values are usually found in the results section.

Put simply, the closer the p-value is to 0, the more likely it is that the results of a study were caused by the treatment or intervention, rather than random fluke.

For example:

Let’s say researchers are testing fat loss supplement X.

Their hypothesis is that taking supplement X results in greater fat loss than not taking it.

The study participants are randomly divided into two groups:

  • One group takes supplement X.
  • One group takes a placebo.

At the end of the study, the group that took supplement X, on average, lost more fat. So it would seem that the researchers’ hypothesis is valid.

But there’s a catch: Some people with supplement X lost less weight than those who took the placebo. So does supplement X help with fat loss or not?

This is where statistics and p-values come in. If you look at all the participants and how much fat they lost, you can figure out if it’s likely due to the supplement or just the randomness of the universe.

The most common threshold is a p-value under 0.05 (5 percent), which is considered statistically significant. Numbers over that threshold are not.

This threshold is arbitrary, and some types of analysis have a much lower threshold, such as genome-wide association studies that need a p-value of less than 0.00000001 to be statistically significant.

So if the researchers studying supplement X find that their p-value is 0.04, that means: 1) There’s a very small chance (4 percent) that supplement X has no effect on fat loss, and 2) there’s a 96 percent chance of getting the same results (or greater) if you replicated the study.

A couple of important things to note about p-values:

  • The smaller the p-value does NOT mean the bigger the impact of supplement X. It just means the effect is consistent and likely ‘real.’
  • The p-value doesn’t test for how well a study is designed. It just looks at how likely the results are due to chance.

Why are we explaining this in such detail?

Because if you see a study that cites a p-value of higher than 0.05, the results aren’t statistically significant.

That means either 1) the treatment had no effect, or 2) if the study were repeated, the results would be different.

So in the case of supplement X, if the p-value were higher than 0.05, you couldn’t say that supplement X helped with fat loss. This is true even if you can see that, on average, the group taking supplement X lost 10 pounds of fat. (You can learn more here.)

The takeaway: Ask the right questions.

We’re not saying you should read a study critically because researchers are trying to trick you.

But each section of a study can tell you something important about how valid the results are, and how seriously you should take the findings.

If you read a study that concludes green tea speeds up your metabolism, and:

  • the researchers have never studied green tea or metabolism before;
  • the researchers are on the board of a green tea manufacturer;
  • the introduction fails to cite recent meta-analyses and / or reviews on the topic that go against the study’s results;
  • and the study was performed on mice…

… then you should do some further research before telling people that drinking green tea will spike their metabolism and accelerate fat loss.

This isn’t to say green tea can’t be beneficial for someone trying to lose weight. After all, it’s a generally healthful drink that doesn’t have calories. It’s just a matter of keeping the research-proven benefits in perspective. Be careful not to overblow the perks based on a single study (or even a few suspect ones).

Step 3: Consider your own perspective.

So you’ve read the study and have a solid idea of how convincing it really is.

But beware:

We tend to seek out information we agree with.

Yep, we’re more likely to click on (or go searching for) a study if we think it will align with what we already believe.

This is known as confirmation bias.

And if a study goes against what we believe, well, we might just find ourselves feeling kind of ticked off.

You will bring some biases to the table when you read and interpret a study. All of us do.

But the truth is, not everyone should be drawing conclusions from scientific studies on their own, especially if they’re not an expert in the field. Because again, we’re all a little bit biased.

Once you’ve read a study, use this chart to determine how you should approach interpreting the results.

The takeaway: Be aware of your own point of view.

Rather than pretending you’re “objective” and “logical,” recognize that human brains are inherently biased.

A warning sign of this built-in bias: if you’re feeling especially annoyed or triumphant after reading a study.

Remember, science isn’t about being right or wrong; it’s about getting closer to the truth.

Step 4: Put the conclusions in context.

One single study on its own doesn’t prove anything. Especially if it flies in the face of what we knew before.

(Rarely, by the way, will a study prove anything. Rather, it will add to a pile of probability about something, such as a relationship between Factor X and Outcome Y.)

Look at new research as a very small piece of a very large puzzle, not as stand-alone gospel.

That’s why we emphasize position stands, meta-analyses, and systematic reviews. To some degree, these do the job of providing context for you.

If you read an individual study, you’ll have to do that work on your own.

For each scientific paper you read, consider how it lines up with the rest of the research on a given topic.

The takeaway: Go beyond the single study.

Let’s say a study comes out that says creatine doesn’t help improve power output. The study is high quality, and seems well done.

These results are pretty strange, because most of the research on creatine over the past few decades shows that it does help people boost their athletic performance and power output.

So do you stop taking creatine, one of the most well-researched supplements out there, if your goal is to increase strength and power?

Well, it would be pretty silly to disregard the past 25 years of studies on creatine supplementation just because of one study.

Instead, it probably makes more sense to take this study and set it aside—at least until more high-quality studies replicate a similar result. If that happens, then we might take another look at it.

Getting the most out of scientific research, and potentially applying it to our lives, is more about the sum total than the individual parts.

Science definitely isn’t perfect, but it’s the best we’ve got.

It’s awesome to be inspired by science to experiment with your nutrition, fitness, and overall health routines or to recommend science-based changes to your clients.

But before making any big changes, be sure it’s because it makes sense for you (or your client) personally, not just because it’s the Next Big Thing.

Take notice of how the changes you make affect your body and mind, and when something isn’t working for you (or your client), go with your gut.

Science is an invaluable tool in nutrition coaching, but we’re still learning and building on knowledge as we go along. And sometimes really smart people get it wrong.

Take what you learn from research alone with a grain of salt.

And if you consider yourself an evidence-based coach (or a person who wants to use evidence-based methods to get healthier), remember that personal experiences and preferences matter, too.

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’s evidence-based and personalized for each individual’s lifestyle and preferences—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 percent 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.

jQuery(document).ready(function(){
jQuery(“#references_link”).click(function(){
jQuery(“#references_holder”).show();
jQuery(“#references_link”).parent().hide();
});
});

References

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

Biau, D.J., Jolles, B.M. & Porcher, R. (2010). P Value and the Theory of Hypothesis Testing: An Explanation for New Researchers. Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research, 468 (3), 885-892.

Head, M. L., Holman, L., Lanfear, R., Kahn, A. T., & Jennions, M. D. (2015). The extent and consequences of p-hacking in science. PLoS Biology, 13(3), e1002106.

Ehrlinger, J., Johnson, K., Banner, M., Dunning, D., & Kruger, J. (2008). Why the Unskilled Are Unaware: Further Explorations of (Absent) Self-Insight Among the Incompetent. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 105(1), 98–121.

Greenhalgh, T. (1997a). Assessing the methodological quality of published papers. BMJ , 315(7103), 305–308.

Greenhalgh, T. (1997b). How to read a paper. Getting your bearings (deciding what the paper is about). BMJ , 315(7102), 243–246.

Greenhalgh, T. (1997c). How to read a paper. Papers that report drug trials. BMJ , 315(7106), 480–483.

Greenhalgh, T. (1997d). How to read a paper. Statistics for the non-statistician. I: Different types of data need different statistical tests. BMJ , 315(7104), 364–366.

Greenhalgh, T. (1997e). How to read a paper. Statistics for the non-statistician. II: “Significant” relations and their pitfalls. BMJ , 315(7105), 422–425.

Greenhalgh, T. (1997f). Papers that summarise other papers (systematic reviews and meta-analyses). BMJ , 315(7109), 672–675.

Greenhalgh, T., & Taylor, R. (1997). Papers that go beyond numbers (qualitative research). BMJ , 315(7110), 740–743.

Kruger, J., & Dunning, D. (1999). Unskilled and unaware of it: how difficulties in recognizing one’s own incompetence lead to inflated self-assessments. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 77(6), 1121–1134.

Institute of Medicine (US) Roundtable on Environmental Health Sciences, Research, and Medicine. (2011). Environmental Health Sciences Decision Making: Risk Management, Evidence, and Ethics – Workshop Summary. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US). 21-24.

Pain, E. (2016, March 21) How to (seriously) read a scientific paper. Retrieved from https://www.sciencemag.org/careers/2016/03/how-seriously-read-scientific-paper

Purugganan, M., & Hewitt, J. (2004) How to Read a Scientific Article. Retrieved from http://www.owlnet.rice.edu/~cainproj/courses/HowToReadSciArticle.pdf.

Sever, P.S., Dahlöf, B., Poulter, N.R., Wedel, H., Beevers, G., Caulfield, M., …Rory Collins, McInnes, G.T., et al. (2003). Prevention of coronary and stroke events with atorvastatin in hypertensive patients who have average or lower-than-average cholesterol concentrations, in the Anglo-Scandinavian Cardiac Outcomes Trial—Lipid Lowering Arm (ASCOT-LLA): a multicentre randomised controlled trial. Lancet. 361(9364), 1149–1158.

Sullivan, G. M., & Feinn, R. (2012). Using Effect Size-or Why the P Value Is Not Enough. Journal of graduate medical education, 4(3), 279–282.

Toklu, Bora et al. (2015). Rise in Serum Lipids After Dietary Incorporation of “Bulletproof Coffee.” Journal of Clinical Lipidology. 9 (3), 462.

Wasserstein, R.L., & Lazar, N .A. (2016). The ASA’s Statement on p-Values: Context, Process, and Purpose, The American Statistician, 70 (2), 129-133.

The post What’s that study REALLY say? How to decode research, according to science nerds. appeared first on Precision Nutrition.

Source: Health1

Avoiding heart disease and looking ‘fab’ aren’t always great reasons to lose weight. However, here are 5 immediate and significant ways your life can change when you trim the fat.

++++

I’d like you to join me in a thought experiment.

I promise there’s a point to it. In fact, we’ll soon talk about why most popular reasons for losing weight are either uninspiring or scientifically worthless.

But, for now, let’s begin by setting our feelings, insecurities, assumptions, stories, and beliefs about body fat aside.

You might feel confused. Or defensive. Or saying “Yes, but…”

Please bear with me. Just for a few minutes.

Forget, for a moment, about looking good.

Forget about “thin privilege”. Forget about “fat privilege”.

Forget about personal rights or civic obligations.

Forget about abs and guns and lats and whatever other laundry list of nonsense is now used to describe various body parts.

While you’re at it, forget about whatever other wretchedness the Internet has spawned this week. (Thigh gap? Duck lips? Bikini bridge? Manscaping?)

So, yeah, forget about body image.

Forget, for a moment, about disease.

Forget about all the big-name medical scares including atherosclerosis, arterial plaque, cardiac arrest, pulmonary hypertension, stroke, all the cancers, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome.

And forget about what some randomly chosen biomarker says.

“My glucose tolerance is good. I’m healthy and fat!”

“My triglycerides are low. I’m healthy and thin!”

“My cholesterol is excellent. I’m healthy and jacked!”

For a moment, let all of that go. (More on why in a second).

And, most of all, forget about “health at any size”.

Yes, obese people do have the right to be treated with dignity.

Absolutely and certainly.

And, yes, obese people should be supported in efforts to become more healthy outside of weight loss. As we all know, health isn’t a direct function of your weight.

However, the “health at any size” movement goes one step too far in suggesting that obesity is harmless. That it’s not bad for you. That having excess body fat is of no more consequence than wearing a red sweater or driving a Nissan Sentra.

This is simply not true; it contradicts most of the available evidence.

So, for now, forget a) looking good, b) disease, and c) “health at any size”.

Each of these obscures the real, significant reasons people should consider losing weight.

For example: The mainstream conversation about fatness and health focuses on medical conditions that can kill or disable us. While these make for great headlines, this angle isn’t very compelling.

Why not? Well, imagine that bacon (or broccoli, or some other food) causes a 10 percent increase in some horrible cancer-type disease. Scary, right?

Not when you realize that your chance of dying from that horrible cancer-type thing without bacon (or broccoli) is only 1 in 100,000 (or 0.00001 percent). And that a 10 percent increase from eating bacon (or broccoli) means your chance rises to 1.1 in 100,000 (or 0.000011 percent).

Meh.

Since we’re all going to die anyway, medical scare tactics simply don’t come off as scary (especially when you know what the data really mean). Nor do they motivate change.

The fitness industry, of course, takes another approach.

In fitness it’s all about looking great in a certain type of clothing, or on the beach, or at your high school reunion. And while that can seem inspiring for a minute, it’s not proven to be a sustainable way to achieve long-term weight loss and maintenance.

5 GOOD reasons for losing weight.

In the end, the most popular incentives — scary disease statistics and fitness industry vanity trips — aren’t very effective, useful, or scientifically valid ways to promote weight loss.

That’s a huge missed opportunity, because there are much better reasons to lose weight. More pressing, more evidence-based, more quality-of-life focused reasons.

Sadly, they’re not often talked about in the public debate.

(Notice that I said public debate. Scientists and doctors talk about them all the time. They’re well established in research. They just haven’t made it to the public yet).

So let’s talk about them now.

Reason #5: Your knees and elbows will thank you.

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease, in which we lose cartilage and gradually destroy the bones of our joints.

Imagine two rocks grinding together and you get the idea of how fun that is.

In my experience, healthy people don’t think much about osteoarthritis because it’s common. Aging makes it more likely. Everyone’s grandma has a twinge of arthritis.

So we think it’s normal.

This hides the degree to which it can be very unpleasant and debilitating.

Like most chronic illnesses, osteoarthritis is a vicious cycle.

  • Your joints hurt, so you move less.
  • Moving less means your joints don’t get loaded.
  • Less joint loading means muscle weakness.
  • Muscle weakness means force doesn’t get cushioned correctly.
  • Less cushion means the condition worsens.
  • More osteoarthritis means more pain.
  • And, onwards, we circle the drain.

The point? Obesity makes it much more likely that you’ll get osteoarthritis.

In one study comparing the heaviest patients to the lightest, the chance of being diagnosed with osteoarthritis in one knee was more than 6 times in the heavy group. For both knees it was almost 18 times.

(Naturally, other studies over the last 20 years have investigated the same relationship. Some estimates are higher, some are lower. But the association between body fat and osteoarthritis has been replicated several times.)

The reason this happens is complicated.

It isn’t just that heavier people put more weight on their joints, and those joints then degrade over time. It’s also that there seems to be a relationship between the presence of excess fat tissue and inflammation.

Thus, osteoarthritis probably comes from a combination of excess joint loading plus the inflammatory chemical and hormonal environment that having too much body fat creates.

Bottom line: One important reason to lose weight is to reduce joint pain and improve your movement. These are things you can benefit from almost immediately.

precision-nutrition-joints-reasons

 

Reason #4: You’ll get a good night’s sleep.

Think of what happens when a rockslide blocks a tunnel.

That’s sleep apnea: The upper airway collapses while you sleep, cutting off that oxygen tunnel.

Just so you know, sleep apnea is more than a little snoring.

Sleep apnea means you stop breathing. Over and over and over. As you sleep.

Which is bad.

More body fat means more potential for sleep apnea. This comes from a few combined factors:

  • Fat in your airway narrows the space available. This makes your airway more prone to collapsing.
  • Fat in your upper body puts weight on your lungs and reduces the space available to them. You need more oxygen but you can’t get it as well.
  • Fat — a hormone-producing organ — changes your hormonal signals. This rewires your respiratory systems.

While around 25 percent of adults have sleep apnea, 50 percent of obese adults have it.

Even more scary: If you have mild sleep apnea, and you put on weight, the chances of you graduating to moderate or severe sleep apnea are:

  • 5 percent weight gain = 250 percent increase of severe sleep apnea
  • 10 percent weight gain = 650 percent increase of severe sleep apnea
  • 20 percent weight gain = 3,700 percent increase of severe sleep apnea

(And it’s scariest for children:  46 percent of obese children have sleep apnea, while the typical incidence in children is approximately 3 percent).

So, why is sleep apnea bad?

Sleep is a major regulator of our metabolism. If our sleep is bad, so is our metabolic health.

This means things like elevated inflammation, rapid cell aging and oxidation, and hormonal disruption (and, yes, higher risk for all kinds of nasty chronic diseases in the long term).

Bottom line: Another important reason to lose weight is so that you can sleep better. Not only does this help regulate metabolism, hormone systems, and more. It helps you feel, think and live better right away.

Reason #3: You’ll actually start to taste your food.

This may sound weird, but it seems that people who struggle with their weight don’t taste food as well.

Wait, what? People who often eat more food can’t taste as well? Exactly.

Why? We’re not sure. We don’t yet know whether excess body fat changes your tastes. Or whether your tastes change your appetite and cause weight gain.

We also don’t know whether this is an issue of:

  • “wanting” tastes: seeking and craving the reward of tastes
  • “liking” tastes: actually enjoying tastes
  • chemical signaling: how taste is created in the mouth and interpreted by the brain

Here’s what we do know.

People vary in how well and sensitively they can perceive different flavors and textures such as fattiness or sweetness.

One hypothesis is that if we can’t taste as well, we eat more food to compensate.

On the flip side, people with high BMIs seem to avoid bitter foods more, and have a stronger “disgust” response. As it happens, many vegetables are bitter or astringent (think of kale, Brussels sprouts, green peppers, etc.).

So there seems to be a relationship between:

  • excess body fat;
  • wanting and liking fat / sweet foods and pleasant tastes;
  • eating fat / sweet foods; and
  • avoiding unpleasant tastes.

How might this happen?

Animal models are handy here since we can control their food intake and they don’t seem to care much about food advertising.

So, in animal models:

  • Overfeeding obesity-prone mice changes how their taste cells function.
  • Rats with obesity-related changes in fat/sugar reward can at least somewhat reverse those changes with weight loss.
  • Rats given weight loss surgery (yes, that’s a real thing) appear to go back to their “normal” liking/wanting behavior.

Put simply, what this could mean is:

  • Many people with excess body fat also have altered flavor perception.
  • The flavor perception could pre-date gaining fat.
  • Or, the flavor perception could be caused by gaining fat. Or both.

The only observation I’ll add is that the foods we consider to be the most responsible for obesity just happen to pander directly to this dysfunction by having aggressively over-sweet, over-salty, over-fatty, etc. flavor profiles.

We eat and eat and eat them, but they never seem to satisfy. It’s a Sisyphean irony.

The good news is that in both humans and rats, tastes are changeable.

This means that losing fat, getting fit, and consistently building healthy habits can actually change how we perceive flavors. In a good way.

(One day, you might just find you like Brussels sprouts after all).

More importantly, when you truly enjoy food, you eat less, but you feel much more satisfied.

Bottom line: Obese people have altered taste perceptions leading to eating more and eating more of the wrong foods. By losing weight you’ll end up craving less high-sugar and high-fat food. You might even enjoy an extra veggie or two.

Reason #2: Your immune system will work properly again.

We tend to think of body fat like an ATM: a place where we deposit or withdraw energy. It isn’t.

Instead, fat is an active endocrine organ. That means it secretes hormones and cytokines (cell signaling molecules).

Hormones and cytokines have effects throughout the body. They “talk” to one another chemically.

Like all things, balance is important. If we have a healthy amount of fat, our hormones and cell signals work properly. If we have too much, things go wrong.

For example, with too much body fat our immune systems get off kilter.

There’s a huge, scary pile of evidence here so let’s keep it simple.

Increased BMI and more body fat is associated with greater risk for several kinds of infections including:

  • gum infections,
  • nose and sinus infections,
  • stomach infections, and
  • herpes (thankfully, the mouth kind).

Why? Too much adipose (fat) tissue can release large amounts of immune chemicals. Over time, this chronic high exposure can interfere with the body’s ability to spot and stop actual outside infections.

Bottom line: Losing body fat can mean a healthier, more responsive, more robust immune system. And that means fewer colds, fewer infections, and a healthier daily life.

precision-nutrition-immunity-reasons

 

Reason #1: You’ll survive surgery and childbirth.

People with a lot of body fat:

  • are harder to intubate,
  • have a higher risk of incisional hernia post-laprascopy
    (i.e. popping open again),
  • have a longer operation time,
  • have a higher risk of catheter site infection, and
  • have a higher rate of serious postoperative complications.

Surgery is a risky business for people who are obese.

This is a double whammy because people who struggle with obesity also struggle with more health issues that may require surgery.

So obese people may need surgery… but not be able to get it, or not recover as well when they do.

Pregnancy is a good example of this.

  • Among women who are significantly obese, about 50 percent of them must undergo Caesarean sections, compared to only about 20 percent of the general population.
  • Even if they give birth vaginally, obese women may have to have a lot more instruments and medical procedures involved.
  • After surgery, mothers with obesity may end up with more surgical site infections.

This is aside from other pregnancy complications, which also go up significantly as body fat increases.

Bottom line: Every surgery patient wants a safe and speedy recovery. And every mother wants a safe birth and a thriving, bouncing baby. Having a healthy range of body fat makes those happy outcomes much more likely.

What to do next:
Some tips from Precision Nutrition

Let’s forget about all the “shoulds”, as in, “You should lose weight because blah blah terrible thing will happen.”

Let’s focus on how awesome life can get when your body is as functional, mobile, and metabolically healthy as it can possibly be.

1. Go toward the good

We’ve noticed a trend in the stories of people who lost a great deal of weight:

They focus on the small blessings and achievements of everyday life.

  • “I can live in a walk-up apartment now.”
  • “I can run around with my kids.”
  • “I don’t get tired through the day.”
  • “Food tastes better. I can’t explain how.”
  • “My random aches and pains stopped.”
  • “I can carry my two-year old without wheezing.”
  • “I have so much more energy.”
  • “I bounce back from illness straightaway now.”

And they always sound so satisfied.

2. Seek incremental change

“Thigh gap” and “healthy at any size” are the two extremes of one problem: an all-or-nothing approach to health and body weight.

Real, lasting changes in diet and lifestyle require a different approach.

Precision Nutrition Coaching clients who achieve the most success come to realize that incremental change serves them best — and, to their surprise, produces immediate improvements in quality of life.

3. Focus on the tangible benefits

Losing weight isn’t magical. Your life is still your life, regardless.

Yet with a healthy amount of body fat, your life often becomes a little bit easier and better. You’re a little more functional and mobile. A little more able.

So if we talk about fat, let’s not tell people (or ourselves) how to feel. Or how to cheat death.

Keep the focus on positive changes you could see in your life in just a few weeks’ time:

  • Knees that work.
  • Colds that go away.
  • A good night’s sleep.
  • Food that tastes nice.
  • A straightforward recovery after surgery.

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.

jQuery(document).ready(function(){
jQuery(“#references_link”).click(function(){
jQuery(“#references_holder”).show();
jQuery(“#references_link”).parent().hide();
});
});

References

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

Arens Raanan, Muzumdar Hiren. Childhood obesity and obstructive sleep apnea syndrome. Journal of Applied Physiology Feb 2010, 108 (2) 436-444; DOI:10.1152/japplphysiol.00689.2009.

Bamgbade OA, Rutter TW, Nafiu OO, Dorje P. Postoperative complications in obese and nonobese patients. World J Surg. 2007 Mar;31(3):556-60; discussion 561.

Bomberg H, Albert N, Schmitt K, Gräber S, Kessler P, Steinfeldt T, Hering W, Gottschalk A, Standl T, Stork J, Meißner W, Teßmann R, Geiger P,Koch T, Spies CD, Volk T, Kubulus C. Obesity in regional anesthesia–a risk factor for peripheral catheter-related infections. Acta Anaesthesiol Scand. 2015 Sep;59(8):1038-48. doi: 10.1111/aas.12548. Epub 2015 Jun 4.

Bonsignore MR, McNicholas WT, Montserrat JM, Eckel J. Adipose tissue in obesity and obstructive sleep apnea. Eur Respir J. 2012 Mar;39(3):746-67. doi: 10.1183/09031936.00047010.

Chang SJ, Chae KY. Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome in children: Epidemiology, pathophysiology, diagnosis and sequelae. Korean Journal of Pediatrics. 2010;53(10):863-871. doi:10.3345/kjp.2010.53.10.863.

de Heredia FP, Gómez-Martínez S, Marcos A. Obesity, inflammation and the immune system. Proc Nutr Soc. 2012 May;71(2):332-8. doi: 10.1017/S0029665112000092. Epub 2012 Mar 20.

Garcia-Burgos D, Zamora MC. Facial affective reactions to bitter-tasting foods and body mass index in adults. Appetite. 2013 Dec;71:178-86. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2013.08.013. Epub 2013 Aug 30.

Hart DJ, Spector TD. The relationship of obesity, fat distribution and osteoarthritis in women in the general population: the Chingford Study. J Rheumatol. 1993 Feb;20(2):331-5.

Heidari B. Knee osteoarthritis prevalence, risk factors, pathogenesis and features: Part I. Caspian J Intern Med. 2011 Spring;2(2):205-12.

Kinugasa T, Yoshida T, Mizobe T, Isobe T, Oka Y, Akagi Y. The Impact of Body Mass Index on Perioperative Outcomes After Laparoscopic Colorectal Surgery. Kurume Med J. 2015;61(3-4):53-8. doi: 10.2739/kurumemedj.MS64005. Epub 2015 Mar 25.

Lee S, Kim TN, Kim SH. Sarcopenic obesity is more closely associated with knee osteoarthritis than is nonsarcopenic obesity: a cross-sectional study. Arthritis Rheum. 2012 Dec;64(12):3947-54. doi: 10.1002/art.37696.

Maliphol AB, Garth DJ, Medler KF. Diet-Induced Obesity Reduces the Responsiveness of the Peripheral Taste Receptor Cells. Ishimaru Y, ed. PLoS ONE. 2013;8(11):e79403. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0079403.

Marchi J,  Berg M, Dencker A, Olander EK, Begley C. Risks associated with obesity in pregnancy, for the mother and baby: a systematic review of reviews. Obes Rev. 2015 Aug;16(8):621-38. doi: 10.1111/obr.12288. Epub 2015 May 28.

Marcus, C. L., Curtis, S., Koerner, C. B., Joffe, A., Serwint, J. R. and Loughlin, G. M. (1996), Evaluation of pulmonary function and polysomnography in obese children and adolescents. Pediatr. Pulmonol., 21: 176–183. doi: 10.1002/(SICI)1099-0496(199603)21:3<176::AID-PPUL5>3.0.CO;2-O

Milner JJ, Beck MA. The impact of obesity on the immune response to infection. Proc Nutr Soc. 2012 May;71(2):298-306. doi: 10.1017/S0029665112000158. Epub 2012 Mar 14.

Papalia R, et al. Sarcopenia and its relationship with osteoarthritis: risk factor or direct consequence? Musculoskelet Surg. 2014 Jun;98(1):9-14. doi: 10.1007/s12306-014-0311-6.

Peppard PE, Young T, Palta M, Dempsey J, Skatrud J. Longitudinal Study of Moderate Weight Change and Sleep-Disordered Breathing. JAMA. 2000;284(23):3015-3021. doi:10.1001/jama.284.23.3015.

Poobalan AS, Aucott LS, Gurung T, Smith WC, Bhattacharya S. Obesity as an independent risk factor for elective and emergency caesarean delivery in nulliparous women–systematic review and meta-analysis of cohort studies.Obes Rev. 2009 Jan; 10(1):28-35. Epub 2008 Oct 23.

Romero-Corral A, Caples SM, Lopez-Jimenez F, Somers VK. Interactions Between Obesity and Obstructive Sleep Apnea: Implications for Treatment. Chest. 2010;137(3):711-719. doi:10.1378/chest.09-0360.

Saiganesh H, Stein DE, Poggio JL. Body mass index predicts operative time in elective colorectal procedures. J Surg Res. 2015 Jul;197(1):45-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jss.2015.02.067. Epub 2015 Mar 6.

Shin AC, Townsend RL, Patterson LM, Berthoud H-R. “Liking” and “wanting” of sweet and oily food stimuli as affected by high-fat diet-induced obesity, weight loss, leptin, and genetic predisposition. American Journal of Physiology – Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology. 2011;301(5):R1267-R1280. doi:10.1152/ajpregu.00314.2011.

Shin AC, Zheng H, Pistell PJ, Berthoud H-R. Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery changes food reward in rats. International journal of obesity (2005). 2011;35(5):642-651. doi:10.1038/ijo.2010.174.

Sowers MR, Karvonen-Gutierrez CA. The evolving role of obesity in knee osteoarthritis. Current Opinion in Rheumatology. 2010;22(5):533-537. doi:10.1097/BOR.0b013e32833b4682.

Sleep. 1996 Feb;19(2):104-15. Obesity and weight loss in obstructive sleep apnea: a critical review. Strobel RJ, Rosen RC.

Stevanovic K, Sabljak V, Toskovic A, Kukic B, Stekovic J, Antonijevic V, Kalezic N. Anaesthesia and the patient with diabetes. Diabetes Metab Syndr. 2015 Jul-Sep;9(3):177-9. doi: 10.1016/j.dsx.2015.04.001. Epub 2015 Apr 24.

Stewart JE, Feinle-Bisset C, Golding M, Delahunty C, Clifton PM, Keast RS. Oral sensitivity to fatty acids, food consumption and BMI in human subjects. Br J Nutr. 2010 Jul;104(1):145-52. doi: 10.1017/S0007114510000267. Epub 2010 Mar 3.

Weiss JL, et al. Obesity, obstetric complications and Cesarean delivery rate–a population-based screening study. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2004 Apr;190(4):1091-7.

Zhou Y, Blustein J, Li H, Ye R, Zhu L, Liu J. Maternal obesity, caesarean delivery and caesarean delivery on maternal request: a cohort analysis from China. Paediatr Perinat Epidemiol. 2015 May;29(3):232-40. doi: 10.1111/ppe.12191. Epub 2015 Apr 1.

The post 5 significant reasons to lose weight: Forget heart attacks and skinny jeans. This is why weight loss is important. appeared first on Precision Nutrition.

Source: Health1

The magazines got it wrong. Sure, the promise of “six-pack abs” might be motivating at the airport newsstand. But as soon as your flight’s delayed, it’s an easy goal to forget. Because stress, frustration, and… a conveniently-located Smashburger. (Same as every day, really.) There is a fix, though. If you’re willing to ask—and answer—some hard questions, you can discover a much deeper purpose for change. One that’ll ignite passion and drive you to get the results you want—no matter how badly the airline screws you.

++++

I could already see the pain in Michelle’s eyes as we sat down to talk.

“What are you hoping to achieve by hiring me?” I asked.

Michelle shrugged. “I just want to lose some weight and get fit again.”

After 10 years as a fitness coach, I knew there was more to the story. There always is.

“Have you always been overweight?” I asked.

She looked surprised at the personal question. I didn’t flinch.

After a moment, Michelle told me she’d been fighting her weight for more than 15 years. Now she has prediabetes.

“How does that make you feel?” I asked.

She hesitated again, but then said, “Scared. My mom was overweight and had diabetes, and I feel like I’m following in her footsteps.”

At this point, Michelle stopped holding back; tears trickled down her cheeks.

“It all hit me two weeks ago. My daughter said she didn’t trust me to be alone with my granddaughter because I’m too overweight and immobile to keep up. I was so devastated. So embarrassed.”

Many of us are like Michelle: Ashamed to talk about what’s really bothering us.

But since I started encouraging my clients to dig deep into their pain, their results have skyrocketed.

Why? Because to achieve real, lasting change, many people have to confront the emotional pain that’s making them want that change.

Once they do, their true motivation is crystalized. And that’s often far more powerful than any single exercise plan or diet approach.

The challenge is uncovering it.

++++

You never start with the pain.

When it comes to goals, people usually talk about losing fat or moving better or getting healthy. All fine aspirations, indeed.

But for many of us, these goals aren’t very meaningful in the context of our everyday lives. They’re more like health and fitness clichés.

Our true motivations run much deeper than having a “bikini body” or “sleeve-busting arms” (as the ads and coverlines promise).

That’s the surface level stuff we think we want.

Sure, these types of goals might inspire you to show up for six weeks of training and cut back on alcohol for a while. But for most people, how much do they really matter? How easy are they to give up on?

On the other hand… you know what’s way more motivating?

Michelle wanting to be able to take care of her granddaughter so badly that months of new habits, tiring workouts, and saying no to cupcakes in the break room seemed like the only choice. It wasn’t just a “look better” fitness goal—it was her burning passion.

Discovering why you really want to change gives you resolve.

A wise person (okay, it was Tony Robbins) once said: “Change happens when the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of change.”

There’s just one problem: A lot of us never actually get to the root of what’s bothering us. We don’t face our pain because it’s uncomfortable. As a result, we’re much more likely to stay the same.

Find your pain… to stoke your passion.

Sometimes, pain will be obvious: divorce, a scary diagnosis, the loss of a loved one. This kind of pain is easy to identify. It’s right there in front of you, flagging you down.

Other times, pain can be more subtle: It’s hiding in a dark corner of the basement—always there, even if you aren’t constantly aware of it.

Maybe it stems from all those times you were picked last as a kid. Or from that “harmless” comment a loved one made about your body… or about someone else’s body (who looks like you).

These hits of pain may not feel that impactful in the moment, but over time, they accrue power and influence over your actions and self-worth.

The result? Pain that’s hidden can crop up as:

  • avoiding activities that are fun or good for you, like going to a party or trying that new gym down the street
  • feeling your heart race when someone asks if you’re okay
  • revisiting some mortifying moment over and over, using it as evidence that you’re the worst
  • turning down exciting opportunities because your inner voice says, ‘No way, I can’t do that.’
  • living well into your 20s with the assumption you’ll never find companionship… because you got rejected on the middle school dance floor… and you assumed it was because the boys thought you were too big… so that must mean men don’t like you. (Is that TMI?)

These examples all suggest there’s trouble below the surface. Pain is discouraging you and holding you back. If you can access the source of this emotional discomfort, you can use it to achieve serious change.

Here’s how to do just that, in three steps.

Step #1: Find your true “why.”

Michelle wanted to lose weight, sure.

But more importantly, she wanted to be trusted to take care of her granddaughter. That was her real reason for wanting to lose weight.

In the Precision Nutrition coaching method, we call this “finding your why.”

Your “why” is the reason behind the reason… behind the reason… behind the surface reason you want to make a change in your life.

Finding your “why” is a shortcut to finding your pain.

Because often, your deepest reason for wanting to change your body or habits dredges up yucky stuff.

For example, the shame of having gained 30 pounds after having kids. (‘Why does every other mom seem to have it all together?’).

Or the helplessness of realizing you can’t even bend down to pick up a pencil off the floor.

Or the regret that comes with admitting you’re not the kind of active, inspiring father you want to be.

These are the “whys” that drive change.

Don’t settle for the easy answer.

Getting to your “deepest reason” requires some introspection. An exercise called the “5 Whys” can help kickstart the process.

Here’s how it works: Take your initial reason for wanting to make changes to your nutrition, workout routine, or lifestyle, and use that as a starting point.

Maybe you want to get fit. Now ask yourself “why?”

(If you’re a coach, you can go through this exercise with a client. You ask the questions, but let them do most of the talking.)

Keep asking—remember, it’s called the 5 Whys—until you feel like you’ve identified the real reason you want to change. The illustration below shows what this might look like.

Put in the work.

Some people can define—and confront—their “why” quickly. For others, it requires a little more time and effort.

Practicing meditation and/or mindfulness can help you access uncomfortable thoughts you’ve been avoiding or pushing away. To get started, try this simple mind-body scan.

Find a quiet place. Take 5 minutes and find somewhere you can be without interruptions. This could be just before bed or just after waking. Or in your office, resting on a park bench, or sitting in your parked car.

Notice physical sensations. Scan your body from the top of your head down to your toes, part by part. Note how you feel along the way. Don’t judge or rush to change anything.

Notice emotions and thoughts. Once you’ve done your “body scan,” do the same exercise for your emotions and thoughts. Again, don’t judge or try to make sense of it. Just observe.

Ask yourself 3 questions. Right now…

  • What am I feeling physically?
  • What am I feeling emotionally?
  • What am I thinking?

You may find it helpful to jot down a few notes after each session. (It’s okay if you can’t find the perfect words.)

Over time, you’ll notice feelings, thoughts, and ideas that crop up consistently. These can be important clues to revealing your “why”… and your pain.

Step #2: Turn your pain into action.

Let’s start with an example.

When Nivi Jaswal entered Precision Nutrition Coaching, she was overweight, stressed, and had prediabetes. Through lots of reflection, Nivi uncovered the pain that was holding her back: a deep fear of not being good enough. If she couldn’t do something perfectly, she wouldn’t do it at all. So now what?

Do the hard thing.

Once you’ve defined your pain, you have a framework to experiment with an exercise PN calls “difficult-easy” and “difficult-difficult.” (No, those aren’t typos.)

Difficult-easy describes things you do that are hard, but still within your comfort zone: going to work every day even though you hate your job, for example. Or giving up carbs again even though you love pasta and cookies.

In Nivi’s case, difficult-easy was spending countless hours researching diet and exercise routines, looking for the “perfect” answer.

Difficult-difficult, however, is the stuff that’s truly challenging—the actions you shy away from because they seem overwhelming or even impossible. This is the place where you grow.

Here are some examples:

  • For the mother who always prioritizes her family’s needs over her own, difficult-difficult might be carving out two hours per week for her favorite yoga classes.
  • For the business executive who chooses to work 60 hours a week, difficult-difficult might be hanging out with friends twice a month (to start).
  • For Nivi, difficult-difficult meant making small nutrition and lifestyle changes instead of going all-in. She was skeptical of this approach. It seemed like it wouldn’t work, and she was afraid she’d be wasting her time and effort. That’s what made it difficult-difficult.

Ask yourself:

What are you afraid of? Difficult-easy tasks tend to annoy us. Like when you say “yes” even though you don’t actually have any room on your plate for another task. Because saying “no” is too scary. The things that scare us are usually the difficult-difficult ones.

What would you do if it were Opposite Day? Difficult-easy stuff grinds you down, but you keep doing it anyway. Take a moment to consider: How’s that working for you? What could you do that’s new, that would force you to grow and put you on a new path? That’s your difficult-difficult.

Make one change at a time.

Once you’ve identified your difficult-difficult, chip away at it one small piece at a time. It might sound weird, but focusing on less can help you achieve more.

Pick one small, new habit.

Select one habit that supports progress toward the body and health you want. Make it something simple and reasonable, that you think you can practice every day.

Let’s say you want to get fitter, but you’re terrified of the gym because you feel like an outsider. Your difficult-difficult is hitting the gym on a regular basis.

Consider starting with a habit that gets you closer to that goal, but doesn’t go all the way.

For your first habit, you might choose one of these options:

  • foam rolling for a few minutes every morning
  • taking a 10-minute walk after dinner each evening
  • doing a 15-minute home workout twice a week
  • going to the gym once a week, but only committing to one exercise you’re comfortable with, and then leaving

Maybe one of these seems excruciatingly hard, while another is hard, but doable. Go with the latter.

Practice your habit.

Do your new habit every day for at least two weeks. Some days, it’ll feel like a grueling climb up Everest. Other days it may feel like you’re flying. Eventually, there’ll be more flying days than Everest ones. That’s how you know you’re ready for the next step.

Build on your habit.

Now maybe you’re ready for four home workouts per week, or two exercises when you go to the gym. Practice this new habit for another two weeks. Keep repeating this cycle.

With this practice, your difficult-difficult will become easier. As a result, you’ll get better at facing your pain and fears… and better at changing.

Step #3: Share your pain.

I once had a client named Nadia. Her commitment waxed and waned, and eventually she stopped showing up for workouts—a story any trainer knows all too well.

Two years later, Nadia asked if we could meet up. Over coffee, she explained she has a learning disability, but she’d been embarrassed to tell me about it before. During our workouts, she’d felt lost and anxious.

Armed with this new information, we figured out how to make her more comfortable this time around. She started showing up four days a week and made tons of progress.

Talking to people about your pain can:

  • take some of the pain’s power away (you could realize you’re not at fault)
  • make previously hidden solutions seem more obvious
  • open up new sources of support that weren’t available before
  • help you connect with people who are going through similar changes
  • let others know that you’re open to help, if they’re able to provide it.

Start with the people you love.

Even once Michelle opened up to me, she still had no intention of telling her husband or her daughter about her pain. At first, she didn’t even tell them she had joined a gym.

After a few months, she’d lost some weight, but her motivation started to dwindle, and she was still angry at her daughter. I asked her what she thought might happen if she talked to her daughter about it.

“I was really hoping to avoid conflict,” she said.

What resulted was the opposite. Michelle’s daughter and son-in-law were highly encouraging. In fact, both committed to making nutrition changes with her to show their support. Michelle’s husband even purged all the junk food from their house.

While there are no guarantees, most of the time, if you allow yourself to be vulnerable with the people you’re close to, they’ll rally to support you.

And that can make all the difference in continuing to make progress.

Give yourself permission to take it slow.

If you don’t feel ready to reveal your pain to someone else just yet, you can use the principles of stress inoculation training (SIT) to help you start sharing little by little.

SIT is like a stress vaccination. The basic idea is to slowly get comfortable being… uncomfortable.

Think of it like this: Exposing yourself to small amounts of stress regularly—in levels that don’t overwhelm you—trains you to handle much tougher situations. Just like with exercise.

In this case, tell your story in pieces, at your own pace, until you start to adapt to the stress of sharing. Or maybe reveal your pain in a journal first, then with a stranger, and then with someone you’re close to.

Because you can do this alone, but you don’t have to.

If it feels a little uncomfortable, you’re on the right track.

Remember, we call it difficult-difficult for a reason.

But if you’re willing to dig deep, find your why, and uncover the root of your pain, you may discover the purpose and passion you’ve been missing.

So move past thinking you “just want to get fit” or “can’t lose weight.” And open yourself to the possibility there’s more to the story.

That’s where you’ll find the motivation you really need… for the results you really want.

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—by helping them discover their true motivation—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, October 2nd, 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 Better than swimsuit season: Discover relentless motivation for transforming your body. appeared first on Precision Nutrition.

Source: Health1

When it comes to health, fitness, and nutrition, why do so many people struggle? In this video, Dr. John Berardi explains the biggest challenges. He also shares what you can do to make things easier, for yourself or for clients and patients.

The post Why Health and Fitness Change is Hard. (Plus 4 Ways To Make It Easier.) appeared first on Precision Nutrition.

Source: Health1

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. 

++++

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.

Source: Health1

“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.

+++

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.

Source: Health1

Everyone in health and fitness eventually hits the same wall: Time. Specifically, they run out of it. They start feeling like there aren’t enough hours to coach clients, manage their businesses, and keep an eye on growth.

How do top coaches save time, increase their effectiveness, and work on their own terms? With very specific strategies. In this article, I’ll cover those strategies. I’ll also share one of the tools that’s helping thousands of coaches change the game in terms of time management and work flexibility.

++++

Today’s article is really exciting because I’m going to cover something that every single person working in health and fitness (or who wants to work in health and fitness) needs to know.

I’ll cover how to:

  • Take stock of what you spend time on in your business.
  • Weed out low-value, annoying activities.
  • Increase the time you spend on lucrative and fulfilling tasks.

And, in doing so, I’ll show you how you can coach more clients, more effectively; make more money; and have more time off.

Before digging in, however, I wanted to let you know that the ultimate coaching time-saver — Precision Nutrition’s ProCoach — is opening up very soon.

Tested with over 100,000 clients, ProCoach makes it easy to deliver world-class, proven nutrition and lifestyle coaching to your own clients.

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.

John Berardi 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 your clients 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 PN Certification students and graduates around the world.

For now though, if you’re ready to start saving time, increasing your effectiveness, and working on your own terms, read on.

++++

“If only I had more time…

…I could make more money, be better at what I do, and even take a weekend off every once in awhile.”

If you’ve thought this, you’re definitely not alone.

In fact, you share the same problem as most of the driven, ambitious, successful people I know: At a certain point, you reach capacity.

On the one hand, that’s great news. Whatever you’re doing is working. You’re in demand. People want to coach with you. More people than you can handle.

On the other, you’re maxed. You can’t find a way to enroll more clients, make more money, or just take a vacation without magically adding hours to the day.

Of course, some of you might have the opposite problem.

You might be new to the field, excited to grow your business, and enthusiastic about getting more clients… yet you don’t feel like you have the time, energy, or resources to create and market an offering to get people in the door.

Either way…

Your problem isn’t actually time. It’s strategy.

To take on more clients and make more money — all while delivering world-class results and living the healthy, flexible, passionate life you envisioned — you have to be more strategic.

In other words, there is a way to magically add hours to your day.

To get those hours, though, you have to learn and fully adopt certain techniques that radically decrease the time you spend on lower-value tasks. Only then can you transfer that “extra” time to much higher-value (and more lucrative) tasks.

I know, I know. When in the depths of “time depression” it can feel like no matter how much you want to power through responsibilities, there are always three sets of 10,000 other things to do.

More emails, more sessions, and, yeah, your website could use an update.

(Enjoy a nice, long workout for yourself? Or a day off? That’s funny.)

It can seem like there’s no rope to help you climb over that no-time wall. All you can do is bang your head against it, hoping to one day break through.

Trust me, I had the same problem as you.

Before Precision Nutrition was born, I was a health and fitness coach running my own personal training business in Miami, Florida.

Like you, I was super busy and way too stressed out. My frustrations included:

  • Spending 45-60 hours a week training clients on the gym floor.
  • Spending another 15-20 hours a week doing things like program writing, nutrition plan development, record keeping, billing, and sales.
  • Arranging my schedule around the training availability of clients, i.e. working both early mornings and evenings, plus weekends.
  • Finding that despite how hard I worked, I couldn’t get past a certain cap on how many clients I could coach or how much money I could make.

Working 60-80 hours every week, my client roster looked something like this:

And, when I was being completely honest, I realized the results weren’t all that great. The breakdown looked kinda like this:

This went for a few years. I was first frustrated. Then mad.

Then I decided to figure it out.

Fast forward to today.

Our 20-person PN coaching team works with about 5,000 clients a year. At any given time, each coach works with around 300 people.

Even better? They do it virtually, from wherever in the world they like.

One of our coaches just spent another winter working with her clients from sunny Costa Rica, surfing in the morning, coaching online in the afternoon.

Another is a dad of four children and he coaches around drop-offs and pick-ups, which he does himself every day.

The best part? Even with this amazing flexibility and 10x increase in client:coach ratio, we’re still getting consistently jaw-dropping results like these.








 

So how does one go from maxed-out and burned-out with 20 clients to coaching 300 clients, making more money, living a more flexible life?

By changing how you think about time management.

It all started back in the mid 2000s when I met a systems design engineer named Phil Caravaggio.

Phil was accustomed to looking at companies outside fitness — like IBM, Dell, Apple — to see how they used systems to simplify or amplify their businesses.

He taught me that “being busy” is never the real problem.

Instead, the problem is how we think about productivity and effectiveness.

We’re told that, to be more “productive”, we have to work hard and hustle more. We’re told that, to fit more into each day, we have to use so-called productivity hacks and juggle everything that comes at us.

This approach is fundamentally flawed; it really just asks us to do more without showing us how to do more of the right things, less of the wrong things.

It makes me exhausted just thinking about it.

In truth, productivity and effectiveness isn’t…

  • sleeping less, working more, and hustling harder,
  • multi-tasking your social media while a client is cursing through burpees,
  • a million cobbled together “productivity hacks” that are supposed to make you more efficient but actually just make your brain hurt.

Productivity and effectiveness is…

  • organizing and prioritizing your time ruthlessly,
  • ditching low-value tasks and replacing them with high-value tasks,
  • automating the things that can be automated,
  • focusing the rest of your time on things that we call unique abilities.*

*Unique abilities are the things that a) you’re uniquely good at, b) you enjoy doing, and c) make a real impact on your business.

Back in the day, we needed a system. And so do you.

Back in the early days of Precision Nutrition, we sat down to figure out how to:

  • coach more clients,
  • get better results with each client,
  • make more money, and
  • reclaim our time.

To accomplish these goals, we’d need to focus on getting some time back and driving toward effectiveness. We approached it by:

  • First, figuring out which tasks were low-value and repeatable.
  • Next, automating and personalizing the stuff that was repeatable.
  • Finally, spending our newfound hours on higher-value tasks.

Want to know exactly how we did it?

Here’s the 4-step formula we originally developed to coach more people to better results in less time. (It’s also the formula that underpins ProCoach, which you can use in your business too).

Step 1.
Take a look at where you’re spending your time.

When I first came up against major time management frustrations, I was spending around 60 hours a week on the gym floor in one-on-one client sessions…

…plus an additional 15-20 hours a week on business management tasks like record keeping, program writing, lead nurturing, marketing, and on-the-fly lifestyle coaching.

I got a ton of fulfillment coaching clients through times when they felt overwhelmed, incapable, or stuck — in fact, in those areas, I felt irreplaceable.

Frankly, everything else I did in my business seemed like a time waster. So I got real with exactly what I was spending my time on.

Here’s how you can do the same:

What to do

Spend a couple weeks documenting where every minute of your workday is going and how those minutes make you feel.

Then divide the tasks you document into two categories:

1. Time wasters

Time wasters are the tasks that make you mad and never go away; the stuff that makes you dread getting up in the morning.

For me, it was the stuff that seemed like “busywork” — invoicing, counting clients’ reps, answering basic questions about protein and peanut butter.

Remember: Your “time wasters” might be different from mine. Everyone’s unique abilities and business goals are different.

2. Time warriors

Time warriors are the tasks you do for your business that you love, that you feel have a tangible impact on your income, and that you know you’re uniquely suited for.

What do your clients 100% depend on your for? What do you do that makes them so excited and brag to their friends? What are the special things that only YOU can give them?

Again, the answer will depend on your particular strengths and business goals. Maybe you have an impressive grasp on nutrition coaching? Or marketing? Or you’re a work-from-home mom who can crush it helping new mothers maintain a fit life after kids.

Step 2.
Automate every “time waster” you can.

Your goal is to spend significantly less time on tasks you dislike and that don’t particularly support client results or business growth.

Ask yourself: Am I reinventing the wheel every time I write a workout program or answer an email about peanut butter?

(If so, that’s probably one reason why you resent the task so much.)

Think about it: Much of your job as a coach is made up of work that you repeat over and over and over.

Coaches:

  • Help clients define and commit to health and fitness goals.
  • Design workout and nutrition plans for people who have common goals.
  • Check in on client adherence and provide accountability.
  • Create and distribute marketing materials for their business.

Have you ever noticed that clients all seem to have the same questions?

  • “How many calories can I eat?”
  • “How many reps this time?”
  • “What workout can I do on my own this week?”
  • “Is it OK to eat cheese while I’m on vacation in France?”

Can you even count the number of times you’ve typed the same eating suggestions? Or how many times you’ve sent a passionate plea to keep going?

Or how many times you’ve said, “Yes, enjoy France, and the cheese!”

The truth is, you’re providing the same basic information again and again (and again and again), slightly adjusted for each individual.

Now imagine being able to automate 90 percent of work involved in your “time-wasting” tasks.

If you’ve been in coaching long enough you’ll realize that the arc of a client typically follows a particular pattern: You have to pass along certain info at certain times, you have to take measurements at particular benchmark moments to track progress, and so on.

So take your list of repeated/repeatable “time wasters”, and complete (and — this is crucial — save) the work in one fell swoop.

How?

1. Create your “General” file.

Open up a new document in Word or Google, or whatever tool you prefer. Make a list of the types of written communication you need over and over in your business. For a standard coaching biz, this will probably include:

  • information about services and pricing
  • welcome messages
  • reminders about upcoming sessions
  • post-session check-ins
  • monthly “how’s it going?” emails
  • regular “you’re doing great” emails
  • requests and guidance for data like weight, measurements, etc.

Once you have your categories, write (or paste in from emails you’ve already written) the messages themselves.

Depending on the nature of your business offerings, and how often you like to check in with clients, there might be a lot of standard emails to document. Take a few weeks to get this done. Don’t rush — do it right.

You now have your “General” file — a super solid foundation for any general business communication you need to send out.

2. Create your “Programs” file.

Whatever services you offer in your business, you undoubtedly have to communicate about them over and over.

Start a new document and list them out. This might include:

  • workout plan (weight loss)
  • workout plan (weight gain)
  • meal plan (weight loss)
  • meal plan (weight gain)
  • meal planning strategies
  • intake questionnaires
  • body measurement guidelines
  • goal setting tips

Write (or paste in from programs you’ve already written) and save into this document.

Here again, this task might take some time, especially if you’re writing programs and questionnaires from scratch. These resources will pay you back for your time, trust me.

This is now your “Programs” file, from which you can pull any time you need to communicate what to do to your clients (or what your business offers to prospective clients).

3. Create your “Emails” file.

Go through a couple months’ worth of “sent mail” messages and look for patterns. In the seeming hodgepodge of your communications with clients, there are probably lots of repetitions. Typically, coaches send lots of messages regarding:

  • questions about nutrition and workout programs
  • meal-planning challenges
  • questions about nutrition basics
  • general anxieties about life/goals/programs/progress

Which emails are virtually the same?

In a new document, make a list of your email categories. Under each category heading, paste in your best email on the topic, and tweak/perfect it as necessary. Save it.

This is your “Emails” file, which you can refer to whenever you need to communicate with a client (or prospective client) via email.

4. Create your Master Folder.

Save your “General”, “Programs”, and “Emails” files in one folder that is handy for you to access. Now, you will have a master database of all of the most common things you need to share with your clients. You can pull from them when you reply to questions or you proactively send messages to your clients.

You just saved yourself thousands of hours.

Step 3.
Personalize.

By the time you pull information from your Master Folder and paste it into a new document or body of an email, you’re 90 percent done.

The other 10 percent? Customizing for the specific client or prospect you’re communicating with.

  • Start with a friendly greeting and a sentence or two about how they’re doing, what they’ve been up to, etc.
  • Now, personalize your answer or information based on the client or prospect’s specific question.

Sign and send. All set.

Step 4.
Put your saved time toward “time warriors” (and a long-awaited vacation).

The thousands of hours you just saved? Some of them get delivered straight to your personal life. Spend some time with your kids, take yourself on vacation.

Seriously, it’s time.

Also trying to grow your business? Now’s your chance.

Put a lot of the “gained” hours toward high-value tasks — i.e. your “time warriors”.

Remember, these are the tasks that 1) you love doing and are uniquely good at, 2) can’t be automated, 3) have a tangible impact on your business and earnings.

That could include spending one-on-one time with clients in a much more targeted way (i.e. ONLY to work on the lift they’ve been struggling with or ONLY to help them find a solution to their I-don’t-have-time-to-cook problem).

Or it could be lead nurturing. Or highly targeted marketing. Or running group coaching sessions. Or working on a certification.

In the end, here’s a critical, often-missed point: A time-management system based on automation allows you to be more personal.

If you can automate the universal material, then you have more time to engage with people by listening, understanding, customizing advice, and interacting.

What to do next:
Some tips from Precision Nutrition

You are you, and your business is your business.

I can share the strategies that worked for me and for Precision Nutrition, but you get to pick what’s best for you.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, start here.

1. Re-frame “If only”

Stop saying “if only I had more time” and start taking command of your time.

Review your tasks and assess which ones are “time wasters” and which ones are “time warriors”.

Consider: How can you free yourself up to do more of what is most important? How can you use systems to do less of what is not important?

2. Stop working harder. Start working smarter.

Systems were invented to smooth and streamline processes, and take busywork off your plate.

Try the PN motto: “Never repeat yourself”.

If there’s something you do more than once, you can probably automate it or make it more efficient somehow.

Get stuff out of your mind, off the Post-it notes, and into a program that will do the work of organizing and remembering for you.

Become vigilant: Every time you do something that you know you’ll have to repeat later, capture it in Word or a Google document. Keep that file handy so you can copy-and-paste it next time you need it.

Meanwhile, if you have existing systems, evaluate them. What’s working well? Which ones do you trust most, and why? Aim to do a little more of what’s already working.

3. Make sure your efforts align with the life you want.

If the genie jumps out of the bottle and you finally get the free time you’ve been wishing for, what will you do with it?

Will you use it for the certification you want to get? Upgrade your web presence? Have more personalized exchanges with your clients? Or spend quality time with your family?

Know what you want your time for.

Then be deliberate and intentional about how you use it.

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 How top-earning health and fitness coaches save time, get better results, and work + live on their own terms. appeared first on Precision Nutrition.

Source: Health1