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Lean Eating coaches confess – Part 3


Last week, I brought you confessions from our women’s Lean Eating Program coaches.  The LE women shared some awesome exercise and nutritional wisdom that you can put to work for you immediately.

Now, it’s the men’s turn.  In this article they tell us their secrets, and how they use their PN knowledge and habits to stay on track.

Remember, I asked them three questions:

  • What have you learned from hard experience? (And what do you still struggle with sometimes?)
  • Fill in the following sentence: “Despite being an ‘expert’, I still…”
  • What was your lousiest workout?

Ryan Andrews

From experience, I’ve learned…

…that to eat and exercise a certain way each day, I need a purpose beyond how I look.

Being able to divert my focus with eating towards bettering the planet, animals and my health gives me powerful incentive. When I get too wrapped up with how food/exercise makes me look, I become preoccupied and selfish.

…that whenever my daily eating habits aren’t going well, the problem never has to do with food/eating. The problem has to do with my life.

Whether it’s eating too much, eating too little, obsessing about food, or eating lots of non-nutritious food, something in my life is out of balance and is manifesting itself via food habits.

…that if I’m not hungry enough to eat a real food like broccoli or lentils, I’m really not that hungry.

Enough said.

Despite being an expert…

…I still have the same food temptations as other North Americans.

Therefore I focus on eating enough nutritious food each day — it kills cravings.

…I still have only 24 hours each day to get things done.

Therefore I take ownership of my days and get done what I need to get done.

…I still get a pleasure response from sitting on the couch with a bag of chips watching TV.

Therefore I don’t keep chips in the house and don’t have cable/satellite TV.

One time, for instance, I was watching the TV show Scrubs on DVD. I purchased a big bag of heavily oiled and salted popcorn (but gosh, it was organic). 6 episodes later, the bag of popcorn was gone, and I felt like I had swallowed a bowling ball.

Let’s just say my GI tract didn’t like me for about 24 hours.  And I think I drank about 3 litres of water after all the salt.

Big bags of popcorn + Scrubs on DVD = bad memories.

Warning: Do not watch this with a giant bag of popcorn in hand.
Warning: Do not watch this with a giant bag of popcorn in hand.

My worst workouts

The worst workout I ever had was the one I stressed about ahead of time. And the worst workout I ever had was the one I tried to make perfect.

Jason Bonn

From experience, I’ve learned…

…that I need to assess how I feel rather than how I look.

To me this is a much better indicator of whether I’m on track with things.

My eyes can play some serious tricks on me when I look in the mirror or at pics, but my sense of feeling never changes. This is true not just acutely (for example, when I overeat at a meal, or have certain foods/combination of foods, etc.), but also chronically (i.e. following certain protocols).

…that I need to focus on parasympathetic activities.

In addition to environmental things (i.e. traffic), I’m always in a “go, go, go” mode — it’s the New Yorker in me!

Plus, I’ve always loved to push my body to its limits. It’s ironic, because I’ve always understood the need for balance and have always advised others to do so, but never did it. It wasn’t until injuries and fatigue started piling up (shocker, huh?) that I began to take action.

Luckily, we know that rest and recovery is just as important as time in the gym, so I have lots of suggestions for ways that stressed-out and hard-working Lean Eating clients can chill out. And I’ve got time-saving tips like All About Eating on the Go.

…that I sometimes overeat when I read while eating.

Therefore I… ummm… sometimes still read when I eat!  Seriously, I’m still working on this one, but it is getting better. Silly little tactics, like picking shorter things to read, have helped. Considering I was at a point where I’d sometimes read things for a second time, this is progress.

The funny thing is, it’s only with reading things in print. If I’m in front of a computer, I won’t overeat. Other distractions like television, rodeo clowns, etc. don’t faze me one bit either. So why don’t I just not put anything in front of me? If only it were that easy!

Despite being an expert…

…I still become too preoccupied with my personal nutrition/exercise.

At times I simply have to put things in perspective by either thinking of past events or undesirable situations that could happen. Basically, it’s the “Worse things could happen” mindset.

Having nutrition/exercise be a major part of my life is where I’m at most of the time, but there are times when it borders on obsession. In the past, things like the gym opening late, meetings running late/sitting in traffic with me starving, etc. would affect me. Now, not so much. But it does happen at times.

My worst workout?

Honestly, I never really had one workout that just went kaput.

However, I want to kick myself in the ass whenever I let my ego take over. This often results in crap form and/or doing too much, both of which lead to aches, injuries, suboptimal results, etc.

Roland Fisher

From experience, I’ve learned…

…that no matter how good a theory is, things either work for me or they don’t.

For a very long time I believed that low carb eating was the best way to go. In spite of several weeks of low energy, poor results, moodiness, and poorer sleep I pressed on with fewer than 50 g of carbs a day.

I thought: Most clients do well with low carb;, I just need to wait it out and my body will “switch”… right? Wrong!

My workouts suffered, my body composition suffered, and I felt enormously better after a “cheat meal” of pasta or potatoes. If I’d actually observed and respected my outcomes, I’d have been enjoying carbs a lot sooner than I did. I learned to recognize that some folks are good carb burners. Plus, my clients got better results when I got “present” enough to respect outcomes.

(For more on carb burning and body type, see All About Eating for your Body Type.)

…that despite being rather experienced with nutrition and fitness, I’m still a sucker for breakfast cafés.

So I schedule things heavier in the morning to keep busier at those times that I want to go. Also, when I do in fact go, I share my meal when I can.

Despite being an expert…

…I still sometimes struggle with body image.

I’m very small for six feet.  For a couple or years straight, I wasn’t able to train; and now I’ve got a reduced training load. This resulted in 35 lbs of muscle lost and much more difficulty in managing body fat levels. When I slip from being present and accepting I wonder where the athlete went.

This state is rare and doesn’t last long, but it still shows up from time to time. The cure for that ailment is simple enough, though. Acceptance and presence is only a few breaths away for me when I notice I’m in a negative mode.

My worst workouts

The worst workouts I have ever had were the ones that I could not do. I have had many injuries sustained outside of the gym and not having the privilege of training is very hard to accept for me.

However, these experiences have given me a lot of knowledge and empathy for what my Lean Eating clients go through.

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 18 years, we’ve used the Precision Nutrition Coaching method to help over 100,000 clients lose fat, get stronger, and improve their physical and mental 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 now. You'll get a free gift today, save up to 54%, and have the chance to secure a spot 24 hours early.

We’ll be opening up spots in our next Precision Nutrition Coaching on Tuesday, July 16th, 2024.

If you're interested in coaching and want to find out more, join the presale list below. Being on the list gives you three special advantages.

  • You’ll pay less than everyone else. Join the presale list and you’ll save up to 54% off the general public price.
  • 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. By joining the presale list you’ll get the opportunity to register 24 hours before everyone else, increasing your chances of getting in.
  • You’ll get a free gift—plus an inside look at the program. When you join the presale list today, we’ll send you a free 35-page ebook: Your Best Nutrition Starts Here—a complete guide to building a health plan for your body, goals, and lifestyle (no calorie-counting or restrictive dieting required). Plus, you'll get our new Enrollment Packet, giving you an inside look at the PN Coaching program, complete with stories from past clients who’ve overcome huge obstacles and achieved the transformation of their dreams, and more.

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].