Meet the Experts

Krista Scott-Dixon

PhD

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Krista Scott-Dixon, PhD, is Precision Nutrition’s director of curriculum. She earned her doctorate in Women’s Studies from York University. She holds counseling certifications from George Brown College and Leading Edge Training, which is certified by the Canadian Psychological Association. Currently, she’s pursuing a master’s degree in Counseling Psychology at Yorkville University in New Brunswick, Canada.

In her role at Precision Nutrition, Dr. Scott-Dixon develops the curriculum for the PN Women’s and Men’s Coaching programs, the PN Level 1 Certification, and the PN Level 2 Certification Master Class, along with other educational guides and courses such as The Science and Practice of Macros.

Dr. Scott-Dixon is the coauthor of PN’s Level 1 textbook, The Essentials of Nutrition and Coaching and The Universe Within: Genetic Testing and What It Can Tell Us About Nutrition, Health, and Athletic Performance. She’s also contributed to an extensive list of academic publications, book chapters, website articles, and reports.

Dr. Scott-Dixon is well known for her ability to help real people with real lives understand, embrace, and master the complex issues of nutrition, health, and lifestyle improvement. She’s a sought-after speaker, writer, and podcast guest who has presented to organizations, businesses, and conferences around the world.

Twitter: @stumptuous
Instagram: stumptuous


Articles by Krista Scott-Dixon, PhD

Male athlete with a prosthetic leg in an explosive running position on an outdoor running track.

The new rules of sports nutrition: This could revolutionize the way you coach athletes.

Sports nutrition is about more than biochemistry and advanced training plans. Here’s how to help your clients get to the next level.

Three people in athletic clothing chatting by a window

How do you rank as a health, fitness, and nutrition coach?

Want to know how you rank as a health, fitness, and nutrition coach? Then take this short coaching skills quiz. Not only will it help you see where you are today, it’ll help you level up for tomorrow.

Closeup of a woman sitting at a table holding a burger in her hands with a plate of fries underneath.

The 30-day eating challenge that can blow your mind—and transform your body.

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.

Graph shows how a traumatic event affects ability to cope. Time on the x-axis. Ability to cope on the y-axis.

How trauma affects health and fitness: Is it the reason your client can’t make progress?

Many coaches aren’t aware of how trauma affects health and fitness—or how common trauma actually is. The good news? Affected clients can make progress. Here’s how you can help.

Closeup of woman sitting at the kitchen table, resting her cheek against a closed fist, staring at a bowl of cereal and a coffee mug.

Overstressed and overeating:

Feeling overworked and underappreciated? Having trouble staying consistent with your nutrition or exercise plan because you're overstressed and overeating? This article is for you.

I’d love to get started…

Many of us wait for the "perfect time" with our health, nutrition, and fitness. But this all-or-nothing thinking—as in, If I don't do this perfectly then it's awful—rarely gets us "all." It usually gets us "nothing."

Precision Nutrition Coaching:
January 2020 Women’s Finalists.

Only a year ago, these 20 women were overweight, out of shape, stressed, and almost out of hope. Now, after 12 months of Precision Nutrition Coaching, they've transformed their health, their bodies, and their lives. They also have the chance to take home part of the $125,000 in prize money we've once again committed to our latest round of top clients. Scroll through these amazing photos and vote for the finalist whose transformation inspires you most.

Precision Nutrition Coaching
Grand Prize Winners: July 2019

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.

Precision Nutrition Coaching:
July 2019 Men’s Finalists.

Just one year ago, these 20 guys were overweight, out of shape, and tired of wanting the fitter, healthier body they couldn't seem to get no matter how hard they tried. Now, after 12 months of Precision Nutrition Coaching, they've transformed their health, their bodies, and their lives. 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.

Precision Nutrition Coaching:
July 2019 Women’s Finalists.

Only a year ago, these 25 women were overweight, out of shape, and worried they would be that way forever. Now, after 12 months of Precision Nutrition Coaching, they've transformed their health, their bodies, and their 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.

5 uncommon ways to level up as a fitness professional.

To level up as a fitness professional you can’t limit yourself to easy clients and clients like you. You’ll eventually have to learn how to work with -- and get results for -- clients of all shapes, sizes, ages and backgrounds. Here’s how.

Boundary issues: What to do when a client is in love with you, and other sticky situations.

What do you do when your fitness client asks you out for a drink? Or sends you texts at 2am? Or slightly recoils from your touch? When you’re a health professional working closely with people who need your help, things can occasionally get awkward. Use this guide to create a trusting coach-client relationship, but still maintain clear, professional boundaries.

Genetics:
The Universe Within

Genetic testing companies promise they can tell you how to eat and exercise, sleep and supplement for your goals. If you’ve wondered whether this is true, or merely hype, you’ll love this extremely comprehensive (and free) online book from Dr. John Berardi and the experts at Precision Nutrition.

“I’m a coach, not a therapist!”
9 ways to help people change while staying within your scope.

As a health and fitness coach it’s easy to feel frustrated when clients share deep concerns that go beyond eating and exercise. It’s easy to think: “I’m a coach, not a therapist!” However, you’re more therapist-like than you think. And, in this article, we’ll help you turn clients’ emotional pain into meaningful change without going outside your scope of practice.

Avoiding coach burnout:
8 strategies for building resilience and becoming burnout proof.

You know those coaches who seem balanced, resilient, content, successful? They’re not superhuman. They just have strategies to help them surf the ups and downs of their meaningful but challenging work. Here are eight big ones, designed to help you build resilience and avoid coach burnout

I want to be ‘That Girl’.

Ah, That Girl. She’s got a defined waist, hair that looks styled even when it’s not, and a noticeable lack of kid throw-up on her sweater. After coaching thousands of clients, I can confidently say: Wanting to be That Girl can either propel you toward your goal… or completely paralyze you. Here’s what to do about it. After coaching thousands of clients, I can confidently say: Wanting to be That Girl can either propel you toward your goal…or completely paralyze you. Here’s what to do about it.

How I quit weekend overeating.

In my world, weekend overeating (and over-boozing) was ‘just what people did'. It felt good to let loose...until I got sick of the regret, guilt, bloating, and extra pounds. That's when I discovered the surprising *real* reason behind my Friday-to-Sunday gorging. Here are the 5 strategies I used to ditch the habit (and the weight) for good.

The benefits of overindulgence. (And the 4 key lessons that eating too much can teach you).

New clients often come to us feeling guilty and weak after a holiday season, a vacation, or a long weekend of overeating. Our response often surprises them. Because we know that there are some surprising benefits of overindulgence and key lessons that eating too much can teach.

How to find a mentor, and why mentorship is so important for you (and your clients).

So you want to be a great coach, maybe even a full-on “Super Coach”. But how do you evolve and grow when you don’t know… what you don’t know? The right mentor can make all the difference. Here’s how mentorship can improve your career — and what to look for in a mentor.

That fit person who’s ‘got it all together’… doesn’t.

Seem like everyone else is better, fitter and healthier than you? Like you'll never be that 'fit person'? If so, we've got some surprising news. Plus 7 steps to define and reach your goals—and finally feel more “OK” with you.

The real (and surprising) reasons healthy movement matters.

To most people, healthy movement = exercise. As in cardio, crunches, and fitness models. But moving your body is about so much more, like improved thinking, stronger relationships, and expressing your purpose in life.

5 powerful strategies for getting results with every client, even the “difficult” ones.

Wonder how the most well-known and well-regarded coaches get results with every client, even the difficult ones? Well wonder no more. Nab these skills to go from great personal trainer to world-class super coach.

How to eat right for your age.

Good health and a killer bod might come naturally in your 20s… but what about your 30s through to your 80s? Here’s how to eat right for your age and feel great at every stage of life.

12 awful fitness coaching techniques that could be hurting your clients.

Is your coaching style helping—or hurting—clients? It’s worth exploring. Because, when your go-to fitness coaching techniques kill progress, it’s time to explore some different methods.

Brain training for fitness coaches. (Plus Jedi mind tricks.)

Welcome to brain training for fitness. Most fitness pros know that helping clients develop physical skills is critical. But most don’t realize that helping clients develop mental skills may be even more important.

How to do anything
(even the hard stuff).

Skipped your run? Ate too much again? Don’t freak out. You can get unstuck with the right roadmap. Here’s how to do anything, even the hard stuff.

Why we stopped recommending fish oil:

Fish oil is an excellent supplement proven to provide significant benefits to most people. Here’s why we changed our fish oil recommendations anyway.

What you don’t know about willpower:

We’ve come to think of willpower as a psychological resource that runs dry... and then you’re just SOL. Here’s the truth — and a much more hopeful approach.

The Positivity Trap:

Using positive language with clients may seem like an essential part of your job. The reality? It can make them fail.

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Edible bugs and insects:

Think eating bugs is gross? Think again. A new generation of chefs, farmers, sustainability experts, and adventure eaters is embracing entomophagy (insect-eating). Fitness enthusiasts might be the next group to jump on the buggy bandwagon. Krista Scott-Dixon explores why.

Do fitness pros need coaching too?

Sometimes, even smart, talented fitness professionals can get out of shape. In this article, Ron Dykstra talks about how he got off track. And what he did to reclaim his health & create a bad-ass physique.

Fitness fanatic!

People are going to ask; so how do you describe your eating choices, your exercise habits, and your healthy lifestyle...without sounding crazy?

Fitness and health pros: 3 steps to being a better coach

If you’re a fitness pro, you might have wondered: Could I be coaching better? Could my clients be getting better results? Not just good… but awesome? If so, here are three things to consider.

Who’s your mentor?

Even coaches need coaching. Having a mentor is crucial to coaching career development. From establishing your mindset, to helping you move to the “next level”, to sharing the unofficial, unwritten rules of your field, mentors can form an essential part of your evolution as a fitness and nutrition coach. If you do have one, high-five yourself. If you don’t have one, start looking.

Three easy-to-use coaching tools:

Today, we're going to give away some of our best coaching tools. They're simple and easy to use. They include: The 5 most powerful words in coaching, The 2 most powerful words in coaching, and Outcome-based decision making. Even if you don't have a lot of coaching knowledge yet, you can transform yourself into a brilliant coach with these three simple tricks.

Trainers and coaches:

In this article we share 12 tips guaranteed to kill client progress (and poison your coaching relationship). Then we follow up with the antidote; proven strategies for becoming the best coach you can be.

Prescriptions, fitness, & body fat:

Could your prescription medications use actually harm your body composition, fitness, and overall health? In this article, we'll give you a brief overview of common medications, and some potential side effects that you may not have considered.

Women’s health stories:

Below are the raw, unvarnished stories from our actual clients, describing why they sought our help. Turns out, everyone struggles with food. Everyone thinks they're crazy. And everyone thinks they're the only one. No, it's not just you.

The food label series:

Food labels are intended to help us make better decisions at the grocery store. But do they? In this 5-part series, Ryan Andrews and I will explore how food labels work and how to use them to make better eating decisions.

Food labels part 1:

In theory, food labels help us make informed – and, ideally, healthier – decisions. But does that hold true in practice? This first article in the 5-part series looks at why we label food, what’s on those labels, and where label information comes from.

Food labels part 2:

Manufacturers depend on consumers being rushed, busy, inattentive, and impulsive. Part 2 of our food label series examines the truthfulness, accuracy, and usefulness of label claims, and shares the most important information for you to know about a given product.

Food labels part 3:

In Part 3 of this article series, we look at back-of-package labeling: nutritional information and ingredients. In particular, we look at how calorie counts don’t accurately reflect how our bodies process food; and we challenge the classic “calorie math” of “energy in versus energy out”.

Food labels part 4:

Often we look for particular information, such as calories or fat content, on food labels, but don’t always interpret this information correctly. Or know how to apply it. Part 4 of our series on food labels looks at what consumers want (or think they want) on food labels, and how this affects their actual buying and eating behavior.

Food labels part 5:

However you choose the “baseline” that suits you, your nutritional level, and your own needs, what’s most important is that you are in charge of your food choices. To conclude this series, Part 5 will give you some tips and action steps to ensure you’re getting the most from your food labels.

Meegan finds love in the trenches

Girl meets life rut. Girl meets Precision Nutrition Coaching, climbs out of life rut. Girl meets girl. Girls lose 100 lb each. First girl gets hit by a truck. Girl uses Precision Nutrition Coaching lessons to recover and rebuild.

Meet the real John Berardi:

Through his books and articles, it's estimated that Dr. John Berardi has published nearly a million words. But even the most diligent of readers is left without an understanding for the man behind Precision Nutrition. Because despite the million words Berardi has written, only a few thousand have been written about him. Today, that changes.

Your brain on nature.

Getting outside is good for our brain and body, says naturopath Dr. Alan Logan, author of Your Brain on Nature. In a modern world, our wellbeing might depend on embracing our ancient human "biophilia" -- or love of the natural environment. Stress levels, exercise performance, focus and concentration. They're all improved with even brief exposure to nature.

Paleo For Everyone seminar: Part 3

In March 2012, we were invited to speak at the PaleoFX conference in Austin, TX. In this third installment of Paleo for Everyone, we look at how real people can make small changes in their daily lives to get the best elements of ancestral-style health approaches.

Paleo for Everyone seminar: Part 2

In March 2012, we were invited to speak at the PaleoFX conference in Austin, TX. In this second installment of Paleo for Everyone, we discuss how real people can adapt the ideas of healthy living, including the best practices of primal or ancestral health. Hint: it involves using change psychology rather than dogmatic nutritional fundamentalism.

Paleo for Everyone seminar: Part 1

In March 2012, we were invited to speak at the PaleoFX conference in Austin, TX. In this first installment of our presentation, we look at how understanding the reality of behaviour change works better than dogmatic nutritional fundamentalism.

Nutrition Coaching for Cancer Survivors

Carrie Stricker, PhD, RN, and Kathryn Schmitz, PhD, MPH - researchers at the University of Pennsylvania's Abramson Cancer Center - are investigating whether Precision Nutrition's Lean Eating Coaching Program might benefit young adult cancer survivors. And, as of January 2012, 45 cancer survivors joined Lean Eating as part of the initial pilot project.

Squash chronic cisease with Vitamin A

In every issue of Spezzatino, the food magazine that supports the Healthy Food Bank, Lab to Lunch examines the latest development in food and nutrition sciences, focusing on the health benefits of our chosen foods. This week: the benefits of Vitamin A.

Squash recipes from Spezzatino magazine

Spezzatino is a food magazine that supports the Healthy Food Bank charity. In its recent issue, Squash, Spezzatino looks at one of fall's favourite -- and healthiest -- foods.

Dealing with mysterious hunger

Mysterious hunger is when you "feel hungry" but you know you can't be. It's when you're "hungry" for more food even though you're already full. In this article we explore how you can actually feel hungry but be experiencing a totally different emotion instead. We also share a dozen strategies for uncovering the mystery of "mysterious hunger."

Kitchen 911

Coach Jay is air-dropped by the PN secret ops into a New York City apartment. The mission: Save a Precision Nutrition client from his own cupboards. Coach Jay shows us how to prep 20 lb of meat and a "crap-ton" of vegetables in record time.

Eat, Sweat, Love: A day in the life of PN

What happens when 17 fit people get together? A behind-the-scenes look at what goes on at PN HQ. Hint: It involves steak, salad, and Swiss balls.

Weight gain advice from PN Coaching clients

Last week, I brought you some advice from guys enrolled in the Scrawny to Brawny coaching program -- advice from skinny guys that can actually help you lose fat. This week, people who are trying to lose fat return the favour.

Weight loss advice from skinny guys

While there are undoubtedly some physiological differences between "naturally" lean people and "naturally" heavier people, it's not all just genetics or metabolism. Naturally leaner people think and act differently too.

Make your own (healthy) chocolate

Dark chocolate brings us bliss, keeps us alert, and nourishes us. And it's easy to make!

Fighting fit with Chad Waterbury

How do MMA athletes get their elite fitness? Chad Waterbury knows. He's the strength & conditioning genius who prepared Ralek Gracie to endure his gut-wrenching, lung-busting three rounds with Kazushi Sakuraba. And he's releasing his new conditioning program, Body of F.I.R.E. I caught up with Chad and asked about his trade secrets.

Lean Eating coaches confess – Part 3

Last week, I brought you confessions from our women's Lean Eating Program coaches. Now it's the men's turn to tell us their secrets, and how they use their PN wisdom to stay on track.

Lean Eating coaches confess – Part 2

Last week I brought you some True Tales from The PN Trenches, and kicked off some confessions from one of the Lean Eating Program coaches... me. (And I reminded you of JB's commitment to a junk-free house.) This week, let's check in with the coaches of the women's Lean Eating and Lean Eating Alumni program.

How to lose 70 lbs & 20% fat

PN member YLR astounded the judges at the end of the second 2009 Lean Eating program. His remarkable transformation -- losing 50 lbs and 13% body fat in 6 months -- enabled him to walk away with a cool $10,000 as the winner of the men's division. Was he a superstar? A keener? No, he was just a regular guy who got a second chance. Here's his story.

Lean Eating coaches confess – Part 1

We've got some pretty amazing people running our Lean Eating and Lean Eating Alumni programs. You'd think that because our coaches are "experts", they're perfect. They probably never have a bad hair day, a bad workout, or a bad meal. Guess again.

How to lose 40 lbs & 20% fat

PN member Cynthia was a clear winner at the end of 2009's Lean Eating contest, showing that she knew how to stuff a wild bikini and walk away with our top prize of $10,000 as the winner of the women's division. Here, she tells her story of losing 40 lbs and 20% bodyfat.

Athlete Profile: Jody Burrows

What happens when the student becomes the teacher? When star basketball player Jody Burrows became the assistant coach of Northeastern University's women's team and learned about the PN system, she realized she had a chance to learn from her mistakes... and to share that insight with others.

Expert tips: Female body breakthroughs

In March 2009, we profiled expert trainer Rachel Cosgrove, who was running a 12-week body transformation challenge for her female clients. Along with their bodies, the women also transformed their lives and mindset. Now Rachel's shared those stories in a new book, The Female Body Breakthrough. Here, she sits down with Lean Eating coach Krista Scott-Dixon to talk about women, strength training, and what REALLY works.

Interview with Pam Boteler

Pam Boteler is a sprint canoeist and raw vegan advocate. Here, Pam talks about her diet, her champion mindset, and how nutrition fuels her world-class performance.

Interview with Lierre Keith

Making good food choices can become a deeply personal journey that teaches us about science, themselves, and the world around us. Many people turn to plant-based eating, and commit to a plant-based lifestyle. In this profile, I interview Lierre Keith, author of The Vegetarian Myth: Food, Justice, and Sustainability (Oakland, CA: PM Press, 2009) about her journey from twenty-year vegan to hunter-gatherer eater, and the emotional, social, and political changes she experienced along the way.

Expert Tips: The cone of learning

Revealed: JB's magic secret for making nutrition and exercise knowledge stick to your brain like a barnacle!