FAQ

Q: What is online nutrition coaching?

This is so much more than “here’s a meal plan, don’t eat sweets, good luck” approach to nutrition coaching that many have tried.

Using an industry-leading curriculum, technology, and me as your coach guiding you along this 12 month program, you’ll receive true coaching that helps improve your mindset, nutrition, movement and overall quality of life.

Q: What can I expect?

You’ll receive an email invitation from Precision Nutrition referencing me as your coach.

You’ll be asked to fill out an intake questionnaire. Once that is complete you’ll begin receiving:

  1. Daily emailsYou’ll get daily emails containing brief descriptions of what you should be working on and thinking about that day. These emails link to a special ProCoach homepage where lessons, habits, and assignments are outlined.

Example of the daily emails you will receive.

  • Daily Habits – Every 2 weeks you are presented with a new habit, something you’re asked to practice every day, to develop a particular nutrition or lifestyle skill. These habits are explained in detail on day one. And every day after, ProCoach reminds you about your habit.

daily-updateExample habit / practice for clients to follow.

3.) Daily habit checks – Every day you’ll also be asked to record whether or not you practiced your habit. Consistency is tracked in a special “Progress” area of the ProCoach client interface. This helps you see how consistent you’re being. As your coach, I’ll also get access to these data in my admin area.

habitMore detail about each habit / practice.

4.) Daily lessons and assignments – To support the daily habits, ProCoach offers brief lessons in the form of articles, videos, audio files, and/or downloads. Client engagement with lessons and assignments is tracked in your progress area and recorded in my admin area.

Lesson-exampleExample lesson that accompanies the current habit / practice.

5.) Regular progress checks – Every week or two, you are asked to provide your body weight, girths, photos, and other markers of progress, including subjective ones. These are tracked in the your progress area and recorded in my admin area (no information is ever shared, sold, or used without your explicit consent).

progressOne of the progress checks that comes every few weeks.

Q: What is ProCoach?

Precision Nutrition’s ProCoach is designed to help you benefit from world-class, habit-based nutrition coaching in an automated and affordable way.

After you add a client to the ProCoach program, they’ll activate their account and fill out a comprehensive intake / assessment form online.

Once that’s complete, the client will begin receiving:

1) Daily emails.

Clients get daily emails containing brief descriptions of what they should be working on and thinking about that day. These emails link to a special ProCoach homepage where lessons, habits, and assignments are outlined.

2) Daily habits.

Every 2 weeks clients are presented with a new habit, something they’re asked to practice every day, to develop a particular nutrition or lifestyle skill. These habits are explained in detail on day one. And every day after, ProCoach reminds them about their habit.

3) Daily habit checks.

Every day they’ll also be asked to record whether or not they practiced their habit. Consistency is tracked in a special “Progress” area of the ProCoach client interface. This helps clients see how consistent they’re being. You’ll also get access to these data in your admin area.

4) Daily lessons and assignments.

To support the daily habits, ProCoach offers brief lessons in the form of articles, videos, audio files, and/or downloads. Client engagement with lessons and assignments is tracked in the client’s progress area and recorded in your admin area.

5) Regular progress checks.

Every week or two, clients are asked to provide their body weight, girths, photos, and other markers of progress, including subjective ones. These are tracked in the client’s progress area and recorded in your admin area.

Q: Why are Precision Nutrition and ProCoach so special?

I’m not sure if you caught the byline at the top of this page, but just in case you didn’t: I’m Dr. John Berardi, co-founder of Precision Nutrition.

I’ve devoted my entire career to making health and fitness something that’s achievable and attainable for every type of person, from every walk of life. (Here’s a bit more about me, if you’re interested.)

At Precision Nutrition, we have a world-class coaching team made up of doctors, exercise specialists, naturopaths, dietitians, nutritionists and counselors.fast-company2015

Precision Nutrition was named one of the 10 most innovative companies in fitness by Fast Company magazine.

We’ve coached and mentored people in nearly 100 countries through our research programs, professional education courses, and personal coaching groups.

When people want the best, they work with us.

Thousands of people from all over the world. Companies like Nike and Apple. Professional sports teams like the San Antonio Spurs and dozens of Olympic athletes and their coaches.

featured-publications

PN has written for, or been featured in, these leading publications.

consulted-orgs

And they’ve consulted with these organizations.

Lots of people consider PN the world’s leading experts in nutrition coaching. That’s a big responsibility not taken lightly.

I’ve personally been following the team at Precision Nutrition since they opened their doors. I became PN Level 1 in 2008 and more recently was part of their first ever PN Level 2 certification course – the same course and training that the PN Coaches go through themselves.

I’m such a fan of PN because they have consistently wowed me with their level of expertise, compassion, and real-world approach to coaching that has helped me and all of my clients that I’ve used the PN curriculum and philosophy with.

I’m incredibly excited to offer you the exact same software program they have used to help over 45,000 clients lose over 900,000 pounds!

Q: How does ProCoach compare to other nutrition software out there?

A: There’s nothing else like this.

Sure, there are other “nutrition software packages”. But they’re generally geared toward generating “customized meal plans”.

Here’s how those programs work: Your statistics and food preferences are inputted, the program spits out a meal plan, and you’re asked to follow that.

Sounds good in principle.

Sadly, only about 1 in 10 clients actually follow a customized meal plan for more than a few weeks. You see, meal plans just aren’t practical. (We’ll talk about this more below.)

But let’s say you are one of the few who can follow the meal plan. That’s great. How long can you (or will you want to) follow a specific menu? A year? 10 years? 25 years?

While “meal plan software” sounds good in principle, it’s not very useful in practice. And the evidence is written all over the market.

Hundreds of meal plan websites and apps have come and gone in the last 20 years. None of them stick around very long. It’s a fitting end considering that’s exactly what happens to the clients trying to follow their meal plans.

Needless to say, we use a totally different approach.

Q: So what’s wrong with meal plans?

A: In PN’s early days, they learned something the hard way: Meal plans and diets aren’t useful or sustainable for the vast majority of clients.

Clients 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:

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

…following a meal plan becomes hopeless.

I 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 PN’s 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 PN left them behind, for most of their clients, a long time ago.

Q: If you don’t offer meal plans, what do you offer?

A: Instead of meal plans, we use something called habit-based (or practice-based) coaching.

Habit-based coaching is rooted in the best practices of change psychology. In other words, it’s built on the latest science of what actually helps people develop new skills and make change in their lives.

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

…you’ll get a series of 2-week habits — which are both solid and flexible — to help you 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 a client’s unique schedule, priorities, belief system, food preferences, food tolerances, and more, we help them build their own “Owner’s Manual”.

If you’d like to see what this looks like in practice, check out our curriculum outlines:

In the end, rather than telling people what to eat for breakfast and when to eat it, you’ll get help building the skills (and daily habits) required to eat well, every day, no matter what life throws at you.

You’ll also discover what’s right for you, in the context of your own unique life. That’s why the program’s results are so sustainable.

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

A: Sure.

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

  • Break down what they want to do (goal) into specific aptitudes (skills).
  • 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 you to learn, practice, and repeat each habit. At the end of a month, you have two very important habits that you can now use for the rest of your life. You’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.

The ProCoach software delivers weekly habits (like the two above), supported by daily lessons and assignments, to help you not only eat better now — but also build the skills necessary to eat better for life.

lessons-habits-presented

How lessons and habits are presented on your “today page”.

Sound a little weird? Maybe too slow?

It did to me 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.

You can’t argue with PN’s results. They’ve coached over 45,000 clients (who’ve lost 900,000 pounds) this way. The method has produced amazing transformations.

Check these out:

 

Q: What dietary philosophy is ProCoach built on?

A: None, really.

You see, we’re nutritional agnostics. (For more on what this means, check out this article).

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:

  • You’ll find the right mix of all these foods for your goals, lifestyle, and preferences.
  • You’ll see how to make meals suitable for you.
  • And you’ll get help to 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).

Q: Since ProCoach is nutritionally agnostic, can I use it if I’m vegan or if I’m Paleo?

A: Absolutely.

As mentioned above, through lessons, assignments, and daily habits you’ll get help finding the right mix of plants, proteins, fats, carbohydrates, and calories for your goals, lifestyle, and preferences.

Then, once you’ve built your unique “Owner’s Manual”, I’ll help you stay consistent with what’s best for you.

One of the “Build Your Owner’s Manual” exercises from the program.

There’s nothing in the program that forces a meaty (or non-meaty) agenda.

So, yes, we can help Vegans “Vegan better” and Paleos “Paleo better”. (And everyone else do stuff better too.)

Q: ProCoach looks awesome. How easy is it to use?

A: It’s incredibly easy to use.

If you have a regular internet connection, can visit normal websites, can use a keyboard and mouse, and can send/receive email, using ProCoach will be a breeze.

You don’t have to be a computer expert or even particularly tech-savvy to make it work. We make sure everything is spelled out clearly for you.

Q: You mentioned built-in client accountability. What does that look like?

A: For real change to happen, clients have to practice healthy habits every day.

As mentioned above, ProCoach makes it easy for clients with the following features:

1) Daily emails.

You get daily emails containing brief descriptions of what you should be working on and thinking about that day. These emails link to a special ProCoach homepage where lessons, habits, and assignments are outlined.

daily-update

Example of the daily emails clients will receive.

2) Daily habits.

Every 2 weeks you are presented with a new habit, something you’re asked to practice every day, to develop a particular nutrition or lifestyle skill. These habits are explained in detail on day one. And every day after, ProCoach reminds you about your habit.

habit

Example habit / practice for you to follow.

3) Daily habit checks.

Every day you’ll also be asked to record whether or not you practiced your habit. Consistency is tracked in a special “Progress” area of the ProCoach client interface. This helps you see how consistent you’re being.

daily-habit-check

More detail about each habit / practice.

4) Daily lessons and assignments.

To support the daily habits, ProCoach offers brief lessons in the form of articles, videos, audio files, and/or downloads. Client engagement with lessons and assignments is tracked in the client’s progress area and recorded for your coach (me) to see.

lesson

Example lesson that accompanies the current habit / practice.

5) Regular progress checks.

Every week or two, you are asked to provide your body weight, girths, photos, and other markers of progress, including subjective ones. These are tracked in the your progress area and only your coach (me) can see them.

progress

One of the progress checks that comes every few weeks.

That’s an overview of the comprehensive client experience. Notice how it’s all automated.

Q: What does the process look like to sign-up?

A: Getting started is really easy.

After payment (through paypal here) I’ll simply add you as a client to the program by including your name and email address.

Adding you as a client is easy, I’ll just need your name, email address, and gender.

Once added, you will receive an email telling you a bit more about the program and asking them to activate your account.

new-clients

What clients are sent when invited to the program.

This email will prompt you to create your own unique username and password.

new-clientsII

What clients are sent when invited to the program.

Once you’ve set up your username and password you’ll be taken to a special client home page.

new-clientsIIi

What clients will see once accepting their invitation.

And you’ll fill out a comprehensive intake / assessment form.

new-clientsIII

Client intake questionnaire.

Once you’ve completed your intake form, you’ll begin receiving your daily lessons, assignments, and habits on the following Monday.

new-clientsIV

Client onboarding lessons after completing intake questionnaire.

In the end, the intake process is designed to be very simple and effortless.

Q: What kinds of assessments are collected, and when?

A: During the coaching program, various types of assessments are collected including:

1) Intake.

Once you sign up, you’ll fill out a comprehensive intake questionnaire. The questionnaire gathers a wide range of nutrition, fitness, and lifestyle information for me to help coach you better.

intake

Client intake questionnaire.

2) Progress updates.

Every few weeks, you are asked to provide body weight, girths, photos, and other progress indicators. Also included are questions about whether you felt like your behaviors for the last week or so matched up with your goals.

behavior

Example of a behavior based question.

3) Surveys.

Every few months clients are asked to fill out a quick survey. One is a psychological assessment evaluating their mindset and resiliency. Another asks important questions regarding how they feel about their progress so far. Another asks them to rate the program.

surveys

Example client surveys.

Q: Does ProCoach offer exercise advice, or just nutrition?

A: The habit-based curriculum focuses on:

  • nutrition
  • sleep
  • stress-management
  • mindset
  • overall healthy living

While ProCoach does not offer exercise advice through it’s platform I can provide you with a monthly exercise training program as needed. I am also a FMS certified coach (functional movement systems) and certified kettlebell instructor through the Russian Kettlebell Challenge (RKC).

Q: Can I get a look at the entire curriculum?

A: Absolutely.

Click one of the links below to check out it out:

Q: What is the philosophy of the curriculum?  

A: You can think of the ProCoach curriculum as an evidence-based framework that’s standardized, allowing for significant customizing on the client side of the program.

It’s what we call “Building Your Owner’s Manual”.

ownersmanual

One of the “Build Your Owner’s Manual” exercises from the program.

You see, through the habits, lessons, and assignments, we ask you, the client to track your progress, gather data, and reflect on thought exercises.

We’ll do this to write your “Owner’s Manual” — a collection of information and analysis about your life, body, needs, wants, and real-life-tested experiences.

This process helps you, the client:

  • Take responsibility for yourself — your thoughts, your beliefs, your stories, your environments, and most importantly, your behaviors. (No more “This diet / workout plan didn’t work for me!”)
  • Feel empowered by and invested in the idea that you now have a set of “handling instructions for your body”. (No more “one-size-fits all” programs.)
  • Test hypotheses, gather data, and draw conclusions, just like scientists. (No more blindly “just following the rules”.)

The Owner’s Manual empowers you to make informed decisions about your own needs, wants, and priorities (instead of your coach (me) telling you what to think or feel or do).

It’s client-centered coaching at its best!

So don’t think of the curriculum as a set of interchangeable habits and lessons. It’s not that. It’s a skill-building self-discovery tool that Precision Nutrition built using state-of-the-art psychological principles.

Of course, no matter how great the curriculum, it can never eliminate the need for a coach (me) that provides:

  • Guidance and support.
  • Strategies to get through blocks and setbacks.
  • Problem solving and goal setting.

Indeed, that’s what coaching is actually for. That’s what I’m here for.

Again, PN has used ProCoach to help over 45,000 men and women to over 900,000 pounds lost. That’s a whole lot of — very diverse — clients. And the key has been to deliver customization on the client and coaching side, not on the curriculum side.

Q: How long is the program?

A: The program delivers healthy eating and lifestyle habits over the course of a full year (12 months).

Yes, this might seem like a huge commitment when compared to a 14 day cleanse or a 40 day fitness challenge. But consider what you get after you’ve invested 12 months towards this program.

Why a full year? Because the program is about progressively building habits over a longer period of time to promote confidence and long-term sustainability.

The curriculum builds an interesting change arc that culminates with some awesome experiences towards the end.

Q: What happens at the end of the year?

A: As mentioned above, ProCoach delivers healthy eating and lifestyle habits over the course of a year. (That’s how long our clients commit to being with us. And we’d recommend you set things up the same way.)

Once the year is up, the next steps are entirely up to you.

Most clients will feel self-sufficient and in control of their nutrition and lifestyle choices. (After all, that’s the goal). At that point they’d graduate from the program – maybe throw a little celebration – and continue practicing their healthy habits.

Other clients might choose to repeat the program (at a 20% discount for year 2). With habit-based programming, repeating the process only serves to deepen your experience. Think of it as “more reps” or “more practice” at healthy eating.

Q: What if I want to gain muscle?

A: The ProCoach curriculum works well for those interested in:

  • eating better,
  • looking better,
  • feeling better,
  • improving their health,
  • losing body fat, and
  • experiencing body recomposition.

 

However it’s not designed to teach clients how to eat for maximal muscle gain, maximal strength gain, or specific sports performance goals.

Q: Where can I learn more about the pricing?

A: Get more info on pricing here.