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35 lessons from Precision Nutrition’s most successful clients.
Advice on how to get in your best shape from people who’ve done it.


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Tired of so-called “experts” telling you how to eat better and improve your fitness? If so, this article is your antidote. In it we share 35 tips, ideas, and strategies that actual clients—folks like you—have used to get into the best shape of their lives.

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Imagine a life where you…

…feel physically and mentally strong, capable of taking on any challenge without worrying that your energy levels or bodyweight will get in the way.

…can run around with your kids, or grandkids, without feeling pain, winded, or tired; and you can do it again the next day.

…excitedly book a beach vacation without wondering how you’ll look (or feel) in a swimsuit, walking along the beach.

…look forward to having your picture taken without wondering “who’s that person, and when did they start looking like that?”

It’s not a pipe dream.

Here at Precision Nutrition, we’ve worked with thousands of clients and heard their deepest reasons for wanting to change their bodies and their lives.

(You’ll read about some of them below, you’ll even see some of their photos.)

Strange as it’ll seem, most of them didn’t believe change was really possible. Not within the context of their uniquely busy, often stressful lives.

When they started working with us, their goals seemed more like fantasies. Even the simple ones—like wanting to get up off the floor without having to say “umphhhh”—felt out of reach.

But notice what happened next.

They lost body weight and fat. They built strength. The reclaimed their health. And they took control of their fitness, some for the first time in their lives.

Nowadays they’re the women you see projecting confidence and walking tall. The men with superhero energy and a totally clean bill of health.

So we decided to ask them:

How’d you do it?

Their real-world answers were so good we decided to share them today.

In this article you’ll learn:

  • The common obstacles many of our clients face.
  • The fears many of them felt when starting out.
  • How they overcame their fears, got past their obstacles.
  • And how you can do the same.

Before getting into it, though, I wanted to let you know that we’re soon opening spots in our Precision Nutrition Coaching program.

You see, twice a year we work with small groups of men and women interested in looking and feeling better. Over the course of 12 months we help them get into the best shape of their lives… and stay that way for good.

Just so you know, we’ve tested Precision Nutrition Coaching with over 100,000 clients over the past 15 years. Plus, several peer-reviewed research papers have documented the safety and effectiveness of our approach.

For a sneak peek at the amazing things we’ve helped them accomplish, check out this short video:

Meet some of the people whose bodies—and lives—have been changed by Precision Nutrition Coaching.

 

 

Wondering how you can experience these kinds of results for yourself?

Let’s turn it over to our Precision Nutrition Coaching graduates.

Don’t think, just do.

“If it’s your time, and you’re sitting on the fence—you want to do it, you’re thinking of doing it, you’re not sure if you should do it—jump off that fence,” says Patrick, 35, who lost 152 pounds with Precision Nutrition.

“Give it everything you’ve got; why sit out when you can be part of life?”

Patrick's Transformation

Lost 152 lbs and 20% body fat!

  • Age: 35 years
  • Weight Lost: 152 lbs (from 417 lbs to 265 lbs)
  • % Body Fat Lost: 20% (from 39.1% to 19.1%)
  • Total Inches Lost: 73 inches (from 337 inches to 264 inches)

Ignore mainstream advice.

Unrealistic (and, frankly, insulting) click bait like “Flatten Your Tummy in 5 Minutes a Day” and “Sculpt Your Butt While Sitting Still” are meant to drive ad sales, not get you in shape.

Most of our clients, once they see Precision Nutrition’s positive, practice-based approach, realize that the misleading tone of health and fitness media was holding them back for years.

Find trustworthy friends or acquaintances who lost weight, and do what they did.

Why reinvent the wheel? When you see a true success story unfold before your eyes, copycat away. That’s how 46-year-old Sharon D’Arcy found Precision Nutrition, and she ended up losing more than 30 pounds.

(Click here for her story, which includes a bit of surprising inspiration.)

Sharon's Transformation

Lost 33 lbs and 13% body fat!

  • Age: 46 years
  • Weight Lost: 33 lbs (from 151 lbs to 118 lbs)
  • % Body Fat Lost: 13% (from 28% to 15%)
  • Total Inches Lost: 18.5 inches (from 209.1 inches to 190.6 inches)

Un-diet your mindset, and change the way you think about food.

Before he started Precision Nutrition Coaching, Owen was stuck in an all-or-nothing approach to his diet.

“I’d be in situations where I was trying to explain to my 5-year-old niece that I couldn’t have a piece of cake because it wasn’t a ‘cheat day,’” Owen explains. “Then cut to me three days later, and I’m putting mac and cheese on a pizza.”

Through PN, Owen learned to think about food choices on a continuum. After a decade of extremes, he started to practice moderation. No foods were “forbidden” (or counted as “cheating”), but that also meant less of a need to binge later.

“About a month ago, I’d just finished an insane 70-hour work week. At the store, I decided to get myself a treat. I got home and realized that I didn’t get a box of donuts or a frozen pizza. I got a pineapple. That was a pretty cool moment, realizing just how far I’ve come.”

Precision Nutrition Coaching Client Owen F
Owen after resistance training.

Stop living in “coulda, woulda, shoulda”.

To make true progress, allow yourself to focus exclusively on what you can do now. Not in some hypothetical future where everything is perfect.

Just do the best you can with what you’ve got right now. It’s what allowed Sharon to lose weight and fight cancer—all in the same year.

Realize that you don’t have to be perfect to progress (especially when crap hits the fan).

For Gautham, 2020 won the prize of “biggest dumpster fire.” An important relationship disintegrated, a family member got sick, and then, the pandemic hit.

With all the stress, Gautham found he couldn’t sleep, which affected his energy levels.

So he turned to his PN coach, Jonathan Pope, who helped him scale things back.

Gautham went into his workouts aiming only for a 6 or a 7 on a 1 to 10 scale. He didn’t lift as heavy or run as hard. He reminded himself that an intensity level of 6 was a lot better than zero.

Now one year later, Gautham’s body is leaner and 10 pounds lighter. “This is definitely the lightest I’ve ever been, and it makes it easier to move.”

But what’s changed even more: his mindset. He now knows that he can still move forward even if he can’t do things perfectly, even if there is chaos around him.

You never know what life will throw at you. As Gautham says, “You just have to find a way to deal with it and make it work.”

Gautham after Precision Nutrition Coaching.

Feel more than you see.

Sure, wanting to look better is what motivates most clients to sign up for Precision Nutrition Coaching. But it’s not what gets them to oh-my-god-you-look-amazing transformations.

Healthy eating habits end up improving how people feel—how they move, think and generally enjoy life—which leads to continued healthy eating and dozens of pounds lost over time.

Focus on the joy of movement.

“Enjoy your body,” Sharon says. “Take pleasure in movement. Take pride in what you can do.”

This deep appreciation for physical health is what allows many clients to maintain fitness regimens and weight loss over time.

Recognize true enjoyment.

Most Precision Nutrition clients come to realize that they’ve been eating mindlessly—packing in calories without really tasting the food—for a long time.

“There’s nothing inherently wrong with dessert,” explains Yano, 35, who lost 76 pounds with Precision Nutrition.

He still enjoys dessert occasionally, of course, and finds that having it only once in awhile is the key to really appreciating it.

Yano's Transformation

Lost 76 lbs and 20.9% body fat!

  • Age: 35 years
  • Weight Lost: 76 lbs (from 256 lbs to 180 lbs)
  • % Body Fat Lost: 20.9% (from 34.1% to 13.2%)
  • Waist Inches Lost: 10 inches (from 43 inches to 33 inches)

Pay attention to your environment.

Recognizing how their surroundings might have caused unhealthy habits to develop—like 29-year-old Sarah’s years of work in fast food restaurants—allows many Precision Nutrition clients to discover the why of who they are and start zeroing in on the power of how to change it.

Sarah's Transformation

Lost 52 lbs and 14.2% body fat!

  • Age: 29 years
  • Weight Lost: 52 lbs (from 191 lbs to 139 lbs)
  • % Body Fat Lost: 14.2% (from 26.3% to 12.1%)
  • Total Inches Lost: 50 inches (from 239 inches to 189 inches)

Don’t fall to pack mentality.

“It turns out that a lot of people have health and weight issues, just like I used to have,” Yano says.

“And often they don’t want to eat poorly; they just do it because everyone else—friends, family, the people around them—is doing it. That was my problem for a long time.”

Dive below the surface.

We can skim the top of our diet issues and see some small, fleeting changes on the scale… or we can really dig into our relationship with food, and make it better for the long run.

For Sarah, letting herself get vulnerable as she went through Precision Nutrition’s program turned into her greatest strength, opening her up to the process of self-questioning:

“How have trying times brought me to where I am now, and how have I coped?” Sarah asked herself. “What do I really care about? What gives me joy? How can I get more of that?”

Along the way, Sarah lost 52 pounds.

Say goodbye to the old you.

This isn’t some meaningless cliché. We’ve found that many people harbor an invisible fear of losing themselves if they lose a bunch of weight.

Consciously mourn your old self as you greet the healthier you. Lots of Precision Nutrition clients were able to recognize and minimize certain anxieties this way.

Stay connected to what you love about yourself.

“Just remember, you deserve all of the amazing insights, strength gains, friendships, learning—whatever you take from this program as you find and discover a new and best version of yourself,” Sarah says.

“You are worthy.”

Know that everyone—everyone—has to work at it.

Fit, healthy people who look like they’ve got it all figured out have to put effort into eating right, too.

We know because Precision Nutrition coaches themselves talk about it a lot.

Clients say getting to know them is comforting, because you can see how they’re so focused on learning, growing, and becoming the best versions of themselves.

De-emphasize the “work” in “working out”.

So many Precision Nutrition clients say that one outcome of our program—and something that helps them maintain an optimal exercise schedule—is coming to see movement as play, as fun, as release.

Find the activities you love, and moving your body will become something you seek out, not dread.

Let it be easy.

Like many Precision Nutrition clients, 34-year-old Chrystalene used to beat herself up when she failed, and thought she should be able to get fit without a speck of help.

Luckily, through Precision Nutrition Coaching, she learned, “it doesn’t have to be hard all the time. And it’s okay to seek support. There’s probably a way to make your heavy thing lighter, and finding out how to do that is worth it.”

Her results—including an 86-pound weight loss—show what’s possible when you relax a little, and lean on the people around you.

Chrystalene's Transformation

Lost 86 lbs and 55 total inches!

  • Age: 34 years
  • Weight Lost: 86 lbs (from 259 lbs to 173 lbs)
  • Total Inches Lost: 55 inches (from 269 inches to 214 inches)

Swap “comparison” for inspiration.

Forget envy and intimidation. Precision Nutrition clients notice that the program allows them to stop saying, “That could never be me” and start thinking of others’ success stories as inspiration.

Lots of Precision Nutrition clients come to the program with significant health issues to solve. Talk to them and let their energy fuel you.

Just take small steps every day

It’s easy to think you have to make all of the changes, all at once. But small steps really do add up.

That’s what 51-year-old Mark learned when he lost 42 pounds in Precision Nutrition Coaching.

Says Mark, “Be patient. Just show up every day and focus on making small changes consistently”.

Mark's Transformation

Lost 42 lbs and 32 total inches!

  • Age: 51 years
  • Weight Lost: 42 lbs (from 192 lbs to 150 lbs)
  • Total Inches Lost: 32 inches (from 237 inches to 205 inches)

Try something different.

Mickler thought he knew a lot about dieting.

After all, he’d been on and off extremely restrictive diets for years. Coming from a big family whose gatherings often centered around food, this was tough.

Mickler often had the shredded body he wanted—but just as often, he didn’t.

“Eventually I recognized that I couldn’t continually go up and down like that,” Mickler says. “I needed to find a way to be steady.”

Mickler found Precision Nutrition Coaching through a Facebook ad and signed up at first chance.

Mickler’s Coach, Jonathan Pope, was a source of reassurance through the sometimes tough transitions. Early on, he gently recommended that Mickler practice mindful eating.

Mickler tried it and discovered that being more aware of how he felt when eating was way more effective—and practical—than a “diet.”

“I could have the body I want but still be present for my family. I could have a better relationship with food and the people around me. I could be free.”

Precision Nutrition Coaching Client Mickler C
Mickler before and after Precision Nutrition Coaching.

Let others take the helm.

Many Precision Nutrition clients know a whole lot about health and nutrition coming into our program. In fact, a lot of them are fitness instructors and health professionals themselves. Why’s the weight still sticking to them?

Their lightbulb moment: Relinquishing control to coaches, who offer the practical lifestyle advice, daily habits, and—this is key—accountability that’s needed to create real change.

Turn “knowing” into “doing.”

Leor, 40, knew about the value of slow, mindful eating. She also knew about nutritious foods. Her problem: actually doing it.

Her grandmother had dieted a lot when she was younger and often tried to eat mindfully. But until PN, healthy eating was just a theory—Leor hadn’t actually put it into action. This time she told herself: “Practice this and give it a chance.”

When Leor dropped below 200 pounds—for the first time in more than a decade—she saw that knowing something was one thing, but living it resulted in something very different.

And actually, the doing was a lot simpler than she thought it would be.

“I didn’t have to make these massive changes that were going to be super complicated and take me forever to do. With PN, I just focused on a few simple things and, collectively, they made a big difference.”

Precision Nutrition Coaching Client Leor Z
Leor after Precision Nutrition Coaching.

Realize there’s no such thing as “too busy”.

Precision Nutrition’s program is practically custom-designed for people who think they just “don’t have the time”. Oftentimes they’re our most successful clients.

Lisanne, 39, lost 38 pounds on the Precision Nutrition program while taking care of three small kids—including a nursing infant—and getting certified as a yoga instructor and doula.

Other clients work multiple jobs or have to travel five days a week and never know where they’ll be staying next. They tell us that Precision Nutrition coaching actually ends up easing their schedule by lending structure to their lives.

Lisanne's Transformation

Lost 38 lbs and 14% body fat!

  • Age: 39 years
  • Weight Lost: 38 lbs (from 160 lbs to 122 lbs)
  • % Body Fat Lost: 14% (from 36% to 22%)
  • Total Inches Lost: 41 inches (from 229 inches to 188 inches)

Focus on what you can do right now.

Forget what you can’t do. Figure out what you’re capable of in this moment, and build from there.

“I had to find it within me to accept that it was okay to do things a bit differently, says Richard, 49, who dropped 103 pounds in our yearlong program.

“I had to accept that it was okay to do what I was capable of.”

Eventually, Precision Nutrition clients internalize this mantra: Start wherever you are. Use whatever you have. Do whatever you can.

Richard's Transformation

Lost 103 lbs and 20% body fat!

  • Age: 49 years
  • Weight Lost: 103 lbs (from 318 lbs to 215 lbs)
  • % Body Fat Lost: 20% (from 40.9% to 20.9%)
  • Total Inches Lost: 30 inches (from 285 inches to 255 inches)

Picture the role model you want for your kids.

Now be that.

“I want my kids to be healthy and happy and proud of the way they’re living their lives,” Lisanne says. “It’s not enough for me to pay lip service to that idea—I have to be an example.”

Don’t confuse selfishness with self-love.

A lot of Precision Nutrition clients worry that prioritizing themselves will take them away from the people who need them, potentially damaging professional or personal relationships.

Sneha, 44, whose struggle to lose weight was tied to her deep commitment to her family, can relate.

Namely: Sneha found it hard to find time to… exercise, get proper sleep, prepare meals, de-stress… because she had to take care of others.

Her PN coach suggested: “How about drawing some boundaries?”

This made Sneha angry.

“I was thinking, ‘I grew up in an Indian family. How can I draw boundaries? That would mean the end of relationships!’”

It took a lot of work and reflection, but Sneha eventually realized that she’s deserving of care too, not just her family members.

She also discovered her journey wasn’t about getting a certain body at all. “My primary goal was to change my relationship with myself. It took me so long to understand that,” Sneha says.

Funny thing: Now that Sneha’s caring for herself and feeling better, she’s a better support to her loved ones than ever.

Precision Nutrition Coaching Client Sneha K
Sneha treated herself to a photo shoot at the end of Precision Nutrition Coaching.

Stop thinking you have to dedicate your whole life to losing weight.

Sure, some of the changes you have to make to get healthy will be fundamental. But the truth is that you only need a few hours per week to build a great body.

By getting the right kind of help and following simple yet powerful daily practices, anyone can lose weight, get healthy, and feel better.

That’s what 34-year-old Kia realized, and she lost 61 pounds.

Kia's Transformation

Lost 61 lbs and 19% body fat!

  • Age: 34 years
  • Weight Lost: 61 lbs (from 199 lbs to 138 lbs)
  • % Body Fat Lost: 19% (from 37% to 18%)
  • Total Inches Lost: 50 inches (from 252 inches to 202 inches)

Recognize that progress isn’t usually a straight line.

If you’re gauging success based on how much you weigh each morning, you’re bound to give up before you can establish healthy habits or see real change.

Almost as a rule, our clients’ progress graphs look like a crazy, twisted line of progress, regress, more progress, and lessons learned along the way (we know, because our software tracks it for them so they can follow along the whole time).

A year later, dozens of pounds lost—for good. Worth the roller coaster ride, for sure.

Every problem has a workaround.

When Donna, 68, joined PN after seeing her daughter’s success with the program, she had one goal: to get fit.

Her motivation? Two young, extremely active grandchildren.

Donna’s body transformed during the few months of the program. She could even knock-out a Turkish get-up (a complex weight training move), no problem. But around the five-month mark, Donna was diagnosed with arthritis and tendonitis.

“I was eating better and working out and losing weight—and now arthritis wanted to take control of my body? That didn’t feel fair,” she says. “Thank God for my coach.”

Coach Pam Ruland helped Donna to focus on what she could do—rather than on her limitations.

”Before I would just push, push, push. Telling myself, ‘Don’t be a wimp,’” Donna says. “But I’ve got to find things that work for my body.”

Despite her setback, Donna is now 42 pounds lighter, and more importantly, brimming with energy. Her grandkids have to keep up with her.

Precision Nutrition Coaching Client Donna M
Donna before and after Precision Nutrition Coaching.

Stop blaming external factors.

“What I learned was that I had to take responsibility for my own decisions,” says Heather, 37, who lost 47 pounds on the Precision Nutrition program.

“I had to get real with myself. I learned the difference between thinking, ‘I have to do x,’ and ‘I choose to do x,’ and ‘I’m doing x.’”

Heather's Transformation

Lost 47 lbs and 10% body fat!

  • Age: 37 years
  • Weight Lost: 47 lbs (from 219 lbs to 172 lbs)
  • % Body Fat Lost: 10% (from 38% to 28%)
  • Total Inches Lost: 43 inches (from 253 inches to 210 inches)

Make health programs bend to your needs.

Too often, people trying to get fit become discouraged because exercise and nutrition programs seem inflexible, not designed for their lives.

That’s what Precision Nutrition coaches help with. We help you build an “Owner’s Manual” of operating instructions for your life.

49-year-old Cheryl lost 68 pounds—despite the fact that she was diagnosed with degenerative disc disease partway through the Precision Nutrition program. No heavy lifting? No problem. We helped her modify the workouts.

“In some ways, the diagnosis was a relief,” Cheryl says. “At least it was okay for me to admit that I hadn’t been doing what others were doing in the gym.”

Cheryl's Transformation

Lost 68 lbs and 20% body fat!

  • Age: 49 years
  • Weight Lost: 68 lbs (from 245 lbs to 177 lbs)
  • % Body Fat Lost: 20% (from 44% to 24%)
  • Total Inches Lost: 65 inches (from 280 inches to 215 inches)

Don’t let one cookie derail you.

“I realized I could have a clean slate every time I ‘messed up’ because this was about my healthy lifestyle, and not just a diet,” says Patricia, 46, who lost 69 pounds with Precision Nutrition.

“Precision Nutrition Coaching taught me habits and changed the way I view my body and the food I put in it. It’s a life plan, and it’s something I know I can manage forever.”

Patricia's Transformation

Lost 69 lbs and 25% body fat!

  • Age: 46 years
  • Weight Lost: 69 lbs (from 250 lbs to 181 lbs)
  • % Body Fat Lost: 25% (from 50% to 25%)
  • Total Inches Lost: 35 inches (from 250 inches to 215 inches)

Don’t expect unbroken enthusiasm.

Look, at times it’s a slog—and that’s true for everyone.

“I learned that sometimes you have to drag your ass to the gym, even if you don’t feel like going, and it was a huge burden that got lifted off me,” says Kim, 25, who lost 24 pounds with Precision Nutrition.

“And while the workout may be slow moving and uninspired at first, once you’re there it’s super easy to finish.”

Kim's Transformation

Lost 24 lbs and 16.3% body fat!

  • Age: 25 years
  • Weight Lost: 24 lbs (from 160 lbs to 136 lbs)
  • % Body Fat Lost: 16.3% (from 29.5% to 13.2%)

Remember that change can catch you by surprise.

42-year-old Javier lost 60 pounds with Precision Nutrition Coaching.

Yet, until he saw his final photos, he did not fully recognize the change he had undergone.

In fact, just a few weeks before the photoshoot he was threatening to quit, and it was only the encouragement of his coach that kept him going.

Javier’s lesson: “remember that the road to success is paved with failures.”

Javier's Transformation

Lost 60 lbs and 32 total inches!

  • Age: 42 years
  • Weight Lost: 60 lbs (from 245 lbs to 185 lbs)
  • Total Inches Lost: 32 inches (from 269 inches to 237 inches)

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, January 19th, 2022.

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].

Don't miss out!

Spots open January 19th. Get on the PN Coaching presale list today, to learn more about the program and:

Save up to 54% on the PN Coaching program. (Everybody else will pay full price!)

Register 24 hours before the general public. Spots are limited!