35 lessons from successful clients.
Advice on how to get in your best shape from people who’ve done it.
Project Body Smart – Certified Precision Nutrition Coach
Coaching Online or in Person. Please feel free to contacts us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
Imagine a life where you…
…feel physically and mentally strong, capable of taking on any challenge without worrying that your energy levels or body weight 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 flat stomachs 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 opening spots in our 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 close to 50,000 clients over the past 10 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 can you experience these kinds of results for yourself?
Let’s turn it over to our graduates.
Having trouble getting started?
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?”
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)
Turned off by every weight-loss program and tip you see?
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 negative 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.)
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)
Make it about your journey.
Don’t assume you have to be “perfect” or “special” in order to be fit and healthy. 48-year-old Alicia had been on the diet-mobile for so long she started to think change just wasn’t possible for her.
Then one day, her mindset shifted. “Why not me?” she asked herself. She stuck that mantra to her mirror.
Every day, in a mindful, conscious way, she visualized her success. Forty-nine pounds later, Alicia went from a size16 to a size 6 and became our $25,000 grand prize winner.
Lost 49 lbs and 46 total inches!
- Age: 48 years
- Weight Lost: 49 lbs (from 181 lbs to 132 lbs)
- Total Inches Lost: 46 inches (from 219 inches to 173 inches)
Struggling to get motivated and inspired?
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 (above) to lose weight and fight cancer — all in the same year.
Have your reason.
Keep your specific motivation in mind, whether it’s getting fit enough to play sports with your kids or looking great on your wedding day. That last one is what helped 32-year-old Melissa lose 55 pounds.
“The whole time, I had this image of myself on my wedding day in my head,” Melissa says. “Walking tall, feeling amazing — feeling statuesque instead of soft around the edges.”
Lost 55 lbs and 16% body fat!
- Age: 32 years
- Weight Lost: 55 lbs (from 231 lbs to 176 lbs)
- % Body Fat Lost: 16% (from 34% to 18%)
- Total Inches Lost: 38 inches (from 242 inches to 204 inches)
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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 they 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 (above) 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.
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)
Feel like the ‘real you’ has gotten lost somewhere along the way?
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.
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 (above) 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 (above), 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 (above) says.
“You are worthy.”
Exhausted just thinking about how much work you’ll have to do?
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 — 86 pounds lost and a $25,000 Grand Prize from Precision Nutrition — show what’s possible when you relax a little, and lean on the people around you.
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 everyday
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 — who lost 42 pounds and won a $25,000 Grand Prize — learned from Precision Nutrition Coaching.
Says Mark, “Be patient. Just show up every day and focus on making small changes consistently”.
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)
Know a lot about health and nutrition, but can’t seem to change?
“It’s about realizing that no matter how smart I am and how much I know about exercise, if I’m not living it, I don’t really know it,” says Kevin, 40, who lost 37 pounds on the Precision Nutrition program.
Lost 37 lbs and 12.8% body fat!
- Age: 40 years
- Weight Lost: 37 lbs (from 177 lbs to 140 lbs)
- % Body Fat Lost: 12.8% (from 20.1% to 7.3%)
- Waist Inches Lost: 21 inches (from 226 inches to 205 inches)
Coaching Online or in Person firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
Find your route at the grocery store.
“Knowing” is not always the same as “doing”. So many people trying to “eat clean” get derailed by the mere sight of processed food.
Precision Nutrition clients learn how to navigate the supermarket (or restaurants or their workplaces) to avoid temptation.
The secret: Stay on the perimeter. Calorie-packed chips, cookies, pasta, sauces, and dressings are in the middle. The good stuff like vegetables, meats, eggs, and fruits are stocked on the outside, away from the aisles.
That’s what 46-year-old John learned, and he lost 106 pounds.
Lost 106 lbs and 13% body fat!
- Age: 46 years
- Weight Lost: 106 lbs (from 332 lbs to 226 lbs)
- % Body Fat Lost: 13% (from 39% to 26%)
- Waist Inches Lost: 12 inches (from 50 inches to 38 inches)
“The truth is, I probably knew three-quarters of Precision Nutrition Coaching’s dietary recommendations before I started,” says Peter, 52, who dropped 33 pounds with Precision Nutrition.
“But the secret to losing weight and maintaining a healthy weight is consistency,” he says. Get someone to breathe down your neck, and you’ll make healthy choices your habit.
Lost 33 lbs and 11% body fat!
- Age: 52 years
- Weight Lost: 33 lbs (from 180 lbs to 147 lbs)
- % Body Fat Lost: 11% (from 18% to 7%)
- Waist Inches Lost: 5 inches (from 35 inches to 30 inches)
Can’t figure out how to work it into your busy life?
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.
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.
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 health 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 (above) 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.
Then they discover that the opposite is true: Caring for themselves by addressing their diet and lifestyle makes them look and feel better — and that actually makes them more accessible and present for other people.
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.
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)
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Sometimes get frustrated and then quit?
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.
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.’”
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 part way 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.”
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)
Rewrite the basics.
“When I was in the middle of it, losing weight was at the forefront of my mind; now, everything is a habit,” says 36-year-old Katey, who despite having virtually no compliance with the Precision Nutrition program for the first 90 days went on to lose an impressive 116 pounds.
The key? Allowing herself to make truly fundamental lifestyle changes. “It feels a lot more like living,” she says.
Lost 116 lbs and 21% body fat!
- Age: 36 years
- Weight Lost: 116 lbs (from 255 lbs to 139 lbs)
- % Body Fat Lost: 21% (from 39% to 18%)
- Total Inches Lost: 65 inches (from 260 inches to 195 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.”
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.”
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 and took home a $25,000 grand prize at the end of his Precision Nutrition Coaching program.
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.”
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)
Is it your time to become your healthiest, fittest self?
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 Project Body Smart clients to help them lose fat, get stronger, and improve their health… no matter what challenges they’re dealing with.