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Nutrition Coaching Frequently Asked Questions

Nutrition Coaching Frequently Asked Questions


QWhat’s the program all about?

Nutrition Coaching is a transformation program that guides you through important—yet sustainable—changes in your eating and lifestyle habits with help from an expert coach. Dozens of diet and exercise fads come and go. That’s why we don’t follow fads. Instead, we’ve carved our own path, testing and continuously updating our methods.

We specialize in taking complex nutritional problems and breaking them down into strategic daily practices—doable daily actions that are designed to fit into a busy lifestyle. Daily habits that are formulated to deliver results.

Q: Who is Nutrition Coaching for?

It’s for men and women who want to get in the best shape of their lives—for the rest of their lives. It’s for people with busy schedules who want personal accountability, a structured nutritional program to follow, and a coach to help keep them consistent and on-track.The main focus of the program is to strategically help you improve your eating and exercise habits—all within the context of your day-to-day life. We don’t give you a crazy diet or exercise program to follow; instead, we help our clients build the habits they need to get results that last forever.

Q: Will Nutrition Coaching work for me?

If you follow our recommendations and stick to your behavior changes, then yes, you will get results.

But you have to commit to making small strategic changes in your life. That’s something no one ever likes to admit about getting in better shape: it takes hard work, time, and determination. Changing your body isn’t easy, but it is possible. Want to lose weight? Eat better? Feel less stressed? Get more sleep? For 15 years we’ve helped thousands of people do all that and more. No other company has that track record, and we’re confident we can help you, too.

Q: So what’s wrong with meal plans?

In our early days, we learned something the hard way: Meal plans and diets aren’t useful or sustainable for the vast majority of clients. You often feel like they’re either “on” them or “off” them. The black and white nature of a meal plan suggests that people have to eat perfectly at each meal (to match what’s listed in the plan) — or they’ve failed. It’s psychologically unpalatable and unsustainable. Even more, meal plans are too inflexible. They don’t work with the reality of people’s busy lives. Work meetings, children’s programs, meals out, dogs that need walking, cars that break down, family members that get ill, etc. Meal plans take none of these into account. Finally, meal plans assume people already have the skills to follow them. But that’s simply not true. Most people who aren’t eating healthy today don’t have the basics down.

Without skills like:

  • eating slowly and mindfully;
  • tuning into hunger and appetite cues;
  • planning grocery shopping;
  • choosing the right items from the store;
  • storing and preparing food correctly;
  • avoiding problem foods; and
  • choosing better options at restaurants…

…following a meal plan becomes hopeless.

You might as well ask someone who’s only strong enough to bench press 135 pounds to do 405 pounds. No matter how badly they want to, they don’t have the skills or capacity. But these aren’t just intellectual objections. In our experience, only 1 in 10 people can actually follow a meal plan for more than a few weeks.

In the end, meal plans have such limited utility that we left them behind, for most of our clients, along time ago.

Q: If you don’t offer meal plans, what do you offer? What will I learn in?

We use habit-based (or practice-based) coaching, a method rooted in change psychology and built on the latest science of what actually helps people develop new skills and make change in their lives.

So rather than telling people what to eat for breakfast and when to eat it, we help them build the skills (and daily habits) required to eat well, every day, no matter what life throws at them. We also help them discover what’s right for them, in the context of their own unique lives. That’s why our program’s results are so sustainable.

So, instead of giving people a menu that looks like this:

  • Meal 1 (6:30am): 3 eggs, ½ cup oatmeal, 1 banana
  • Meal 2 (9:30am): protein shake
  • Meal 3 (12:30pm): turkey breast sandwich and small salad

…we give them a series of 2-week habits — which are both solid and flexible — to help them build the skills necessary to make better nutrition and lifestyle choices today (and for life). To support these habits, we also offer relevant lessons and assignments. Taking into account things like your unique schedule, priorities, belief system, food preferences, food tolerances, and more, we help you build your own “Owner’s Manual”.

Q: Can you explain habit-based coaching a little more?

We believe that people can only reliably get to their goals when they do two things:

  1. Break down what they want to do (goal) into specific aptitudes (skills).
  2. Build those aptitudes (skills) through strategic daily habits (practices).

The formula pretty much looks like this: Practice daily to build skills. Build skills to achieve goals. In the end, growth and development comes through daily practices 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. 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 practices to build the skill of hunger and appetite awareness.

Practice 1: Eat slowly.

Practice 2: Eat until satisfied, not stuffed.

This takes a month — two weeks for clients to learn, practice, and repeat each habit. 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.

Sound a little weird? Maybe too slow?

It did to us at first too. But it grows on you. We also like the fact that it’s the only method that really works in the long run.

Q: What kinds of results are possible with habit-based coaching?

Since the introduction of habit-based coaching about 10 years ago, approximately 50,000 clients have used it and those clients have lost almost 900,000 pounds of body fat.

Q: What dietary philosophy is your Nutrition Coaching built on?

None, really. We’re nutritional agnostics.

While meal-plan approaches require you to choose between vegan, Paleo, Mediterranean, or other “labeled” diets, habit-based approaches don’t force this choice.

This means our progressive systems of habits, lessons, and assignments can work equally well for vegetarians (who eat no meat) or meatatarians (who eat mostly meat).

Of course, we do believe that a healthy diet generally consists of:

  • whole, minimally processed foods;
  • lots of plants;
  • enough protein to meet your needs;
  • a healthy mix of different fats;
  • plenty of water; and
  • carbohydrates based on activity levels.

Through lessons, assignments, and daily habits:

  • We help clients find the right mix of all these foods for their goals, lifestyle, and preferences.
  • We show them how to make meals suitable for them.
  • And we help them stay consistent.

However, we go much deeper than just the food.

We also dig into:

  • Food behaviors (food timing, meal frequency, meal speed, and food amount).
  • Food attitudes (food views, restriction vs. abundance, disordered thinking).
  • Stress management (in general, how it relates to food).
  • Rest, recovery, and sleep (in general, how they relate to food).
  • Outlook (confidence, resiliency, mastery, and growth mindset)


Much of the information contained on this page is courtesy of Precision Nutrition Inc.
Nutrition Coaching services are provided by Precision Nutrition PN1 Certified Coaches.
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