Author: Kelly Coghill

Dave Aquino Review – Advanced 11 Hour Options

Advanced 11 Hour Options is a course that helps new traders understand how to trade options for income. The course also covers risk management strategies to help reduce losses. The course is taught by Dave Aquino, who has years of trading experience. He is also a partner at Base Camp Trading.

Dave Aquino Review is a partner at Base Camp Trading, and has years of experience as a trader and portfolio manager. He started his career at Merrill Lynch, and later worked at Vanguard, where he managed $650 million in assets, specializing in options income strategies. He is a graduate of Vanderbilt University.

He created Advanced 11 Hour Options to teach people how to make money with options trading. The course includes lessons, video tutorials, and practice sessions to help you learn the basics of options trading. It also teaches you how to use stop-loss orders, which can help you avoid big losses. The course is available online, and you can get a free trial by signing up for their newsletter.

In addition to the online courses, Dave Aquino teaches live events that allow you to meet other investors and learn from each other. He has also created an app called Options Trader Pro that helps you make smarter trades. You can learn more about Dave Aquino’s background by visiting his website.

While Dave Aquino has an impressive resume, there are many negative reviews about his program. Some of these reviews are from people who have never taken the course or have been scammed. Others are from people who have used the course and have found it to be useful. However, you should always do your research before choosing a trading course. It’s important to choose a course that is legitimate and will provide you with the best possible results. In addition, you should always look for trading courses that have high customer satisfaction ratings.

Whether you’re a novice or a seasoned trader, you can benefit from Dave Aquino’s approach to options trading. In his program, you’ll learn to use stop-loss orders as safety nets for your trades and how to size contracts to match your risk tolerance.

A free trial of Dave’s program is available at his website, but the offer expires soon. To sign up, you’ll need to provide some basic information and a valid credit card number.

There are no performance disclosures on the website for Base Camp Trading. This could be because the company’s founder, Drew Day, is an alias and doesn’t want to share his real name. He also doesn’t post any videos on his YouTube channel and hasn’t tweeted in over a year.

Dave Aquino is a professional trader who has 20+ years of real-world experience as a trader and portfolio manager. He started his career at Merrill Lynch and later managed over $650 million in assets, specializing in options income strategies for Vanguard Asset Management. He also holds a degree from Vanderbilt University. He currently specializes in creating workshops for individuals looking to learn how to trade options for consistent income.

The Advanced 11-Hour Options Workshop is a comprehensive trading course that teaches you how to use weekly options strategies for a steady income stream. The program is backed by a money-back guarantee and features several success stories from actual members. The program is available online and includes access to live trading rooms and extra learning sessions.

However, it’s important to note that the advanced options strategy is more complex than traditional stock trading and carries more financial risks. In fact, studies show that 70% of option traders lose their money. As such, it’s essential to find a trading mentor with a strong reputation and a solid track record.

While the program does have a high customer satisfaction rating, it’s worth noting that there are many negative reviews for Base Camp Trading and Dave Aquino. This raises doubts about the credibility of the program and its claims. It is therefore advisable to explore other options trading gurus before making a decision.

Dave Aquino looks competent enough on paper. He’s a partner at Base Camp Trading and has over 20 years of experience as a professional trader. He specializes in options income strategies and graduated from Vanderbilt University. He also boasts of managing over $650 million in assets, which is impressive. However, there is no proof that he actually makes money from his trades. Many trading gurus only paper trade or don’t invest at all. This is why you should always research a program before signing up.

The website for Advanced 11 Hour Options features several testimonials from individuals who claim to have made money adopting the trades. These claims are difficult to validate, as they’re posted on the company’s website. Additionally, the company doesn’t provide any performance disclosures for their instructors. This raises questions about the legitimacy of their program. If you’re looking to learn options trading, it’s best to find a program that offers transparent performance data. It will save you a lot of time and headache in the long run. The truth is, very few traders make any significant profits from options trading, so it’s important to understand the risk involved.

Automated ecom profits is not an Amazon FBA business, but it does offer a similar business model. They’re a little different from other Amazon automation services, in that they take a cut of your profits. They’re also a little more expensive, but it’s worth the investment if you’re looking for a quick way to boost your profits. In addition to a higher profit margin, they’ll also handle all of your logistics and marketing so that you can focus on your day job.

One of the most important metrics for evaluating SEO success is organic search traffic, which represents visitors who reach a website through natural search results. A high organic search traffic rate indicates that your SEO strategy is working. It is also important to look at user behavior metrics such as bounce rates and time on site. These metrics indicate whether your content is engaging and relevant to users’ needs and interests.

Another important metric is the conversion rate, which measures how many visitors to your website take the action you want them to take. For example, if a visitor buys something from your website or fills out a form, this is considered a conversion. A high conversion rate shows that your website is meeting users’ needs and generating revenue.

Backlink analysis is a valuable tool in SEO analytics, as it allows you to assess the quality and relevance of links that point to your website. It also enables you to compare your competitors’ link profiles and determine how they are performing in the SERPs. By conducting this analysis, you can improve your website’s ranking and boost its online visibility.

Social media analytics is a valuable tool in SEO analytics, because it allows you to track the number of likes, shares, and retweets your posts receive on different social media platforms. This information can help you determine which types of content resonate with your audience and how effective your social media marketing efforts are.

A crucial part of SEO analytics is goal tracking, which involves setting specific objectives and tracking the progress towards those goals. This can be a difficult task, especially for smaller agencies that have multiple clients. However, there are tools available that can help you automate this process and create reports for your clients in a professional way. These tools can save you a lot of time and effort, and some of them even have the capability to create custom dashboards for each client.

What You Need to Know About Exterior House Paint

exterior house paint

If you are looking to redo your home’s exterior paint, there are several factors to consider. You need to consider things such as the type of siding you have, the finish you are going for, the color of the undertone, the gloss or high gloss, and whether or not you want a water-based or oil-based finish.

Gloss or high-gloss

When you want to paint your home, you should know about the different finishes available. Gloss and high-gloss exterior paint are great for accent walls, railings, and doors. They are also ideal for areas that need a tough, durable coating. For more ideas and design, check out Painters website.

The exterior of your home is subjected to many stress factors. It may get wet or exposed to heavy activity. If you are considering painting your house, you will want to choose a finish that is able to withstand the wear and tear. High-gloss and satin are two finishes that work well for exterior paint.

Exterior paint is a tough, durable coating that will last for years. Because it bonds to the surface, it will help prevent cracking and flaking. In addition, it will help your home stay dry and maintain its color.

You can easily determine the sheen of your paint by examining how it reacts to sunlight. A higher sheen will reflect more light. A lower sheen will absorb more. This sheen is important because it will affect how your paint performs.

Water-based vs oil-based

When you’re shopping for exterior house paint, there are many options available. It’s important to choose a paint that will last long and look good. But before you go out and buy that expensive paint, it’s important to know the difference between water-based and oil-based paint.

Water-based exterior paint can be applied on hardboard siding, vinyl siding, and most masonry. This type of paint offers a longer-lasting, softer finish that’s also more resistant to damage, fading, and UV light.

Oil-based exterior paint is usually preferred for larger areas such as a home’s siding or bricks. It’s hard to beat the high gloss of an oil-based paint.

However, water-based paints have a number of advantages. They are more flexible, easier to clean, and have low odor. Plus, they’re safer to use with ventilation.

In addition, water-based paints retain color for a longer period of time. Since they have less volatile organic compounds, they emit fewer harmful chemicals into the air.

Siding type

There are a number of different types of siding available. Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages. Choose the one that is best for your home.

Choosing the right kind of siding for your home will have a significant impact on the look and feel of your exterior. It also plays a big role in protecting your house against the elements. The right type can make your home stand out and last longer.

Whether you want wood, metal or some other type, you should choose the one that matches your vision for your home. Wood, for example, comes in many different styles and can be stained or painted to suit your taste.

Metal siding is a great option for any home. It can be painted, but it doesn’t retain heat well during winter. Adding insulation can reduce heating bills.

Siding materials are available in a wide variety of colors. CertainTeed offers 11 vinyl collection types, including vertical and horizontal. Some manufacturers offer custom colors.


If you want to make the right choice when painting your exterior, you’ll need to be aware of paint color undertones. This is important because the undertones of paint colors can affect how your home looks.

For instance, a gray exterior with a blue undertone will look colder. In contrast, a gray with a green undertone will look warmer. It’s best to choose an undertone that complements the rest of your house.

The undertone of your paint can also affect your home’s curb appeal. To start, select three or four color choices. You don’t need to be a paint expert to decide on the best color. However, if you have questions, you may want to create a sample board and move it around your home.

Paint manufacturers list undertones on the back of their color swatches. Using the color wheel is another way to identify undertones.

Taking the time to choose paint colors with the same undertone will help you achieve a coordinated look. This will also improve the curb appeal of your home.

Superstition, sciencestition, and how to stop overthinking your food choices.

What if I told you I start my morning with a glass of lemon water?

Maybe you’d think:

‘Who cares?! Why does it matter what Berardi drinks first thing in the morning?’

You wouldn’t be wrong.

But if you’re a certain type of person—the kind who loves to geek out on nutrition science—it might spark your curiosity (and maybe a little FOMO).

Perhaps you’d ask:

“Why add lemon? For digestion? Liver detoxification? Antioxidant protection?”

In other words:

“Does lemon contain some sort of biochemical superpower I haven’t yet learned about? And, if so, should I be including it myself?”

If you’re another type of person—more skeptical in nature—you might be less curious and more annoyed:

“Ugh—more detoxing BS?!? Detoxing isn’t even a thing. I thought you were evidence-based!”

If you’re super up-to-date on the latest research, you might even say:

“Lemons, really? Haven’t you done your research? Don’t you know that [enter nutrient/supplement du jour] has proven to be more effective?”

So, just in case you’re wondering, here’s the real reason I drink lemon water in the morning:

I wake up thirsty. And I like the taste of lemon in my water.

(Cue anti-climactic music.)

Yep, that’s it.

That’s the big secret behind my beverage choice.

I’m not trying to support liver detoxification or digestion.

Nor am I trying to add antioxidant power or alter my body’s pH.

(I’m also not an “industry shill for Big Lemon.” Promise.)

I simply like the taste.

Now, if that answer disappoints you—or you were already halfway to the store to pick up some lemons—you might need to hear what I’m about to say.

Because I think it’s time we stop over-nutritionalizing our food.

Before we go any further, I have to admit something.

I’ve been guilty of the very thing I’m critiquing in this article. In fact, if you like, you can blame the whole problem on me. 

Early in my career, I wrote A LOT, perhaps too much, about the biochemical and physiological properties of food.

I churned out article after article examining various signaling pathways in fat and muscle cells, and the specific nutrients that could alter them.

Now, I didn’t intend to start a trend of over-focusing on the scientific properties of food. To be honest, I didn’t really think much about my intention at all. (That was kinda the problem).

I was just really into biochemistry and physiology.

As a PhD candidate, publishers gave me a platform to share what I was learning, what I was experimenting with (in the lab), and what I found intriguing.

And when I co-founded Precision Nutrition, I was able to reach and influence even more people.

Along the way, readers took a cue from me.

Coaches, trainers, and fellow “nutrition nerds” fell down the rabbit hole too. They followed my interests. They started focusing on the biochemical and nutritional details of food. And, like me, they shared their interests, thoughts, and experiments with others.

It started a chain reaction.

Yet, as Precision Nutrition developed, my perspective changed. 

My understanding of food broadened.

I came to believe (as I still do) that food is not merely fuel. That no single diet is universally superior. And that there are a lot more considerations to eating than “how does nutrient X affect pathway Y in my body?”.

Don’t get me wrong: Understanding the scientific properties of food is helpful—to a point.

There’s a reason why PN teaches the science of nutrition in the Precision Nutrition Level 1 Nutrition Coaching Certification: because it’s useful to understand the “why” behind nutrition recommendations before you start doling them out to clients.

But when I look around these days, I see a lot of people hyper-focused on the biochemical and physiological aspects of food. 

Call it over-nutritionalizing, over-intellectualizing, or over-sciencing. Whatever name you give it, it’s characterized by an almost obsessive interest in the nutritional and physiological aspects of a given food.

And we need to tamp that down. Or, at least, balance it out.

People always ask me, “Why’d you choose THAT food / ingredient / supplement?”

Sometimes, I share pictures of what I eat on Instagram.

Either a single meal or an entire day of meals.

People are always asking me how I eat so, occasionally, I oblige by sharing my own meals or what our family is eating.

But every time I do, the same thing happens: People send a barrage of questions, most of them having to do with the physiological or health value of a particular inclusion (or exclusion). I try to answer the queries, but frankly, it’s hard to keep up.

Photo shows Dr. John Berardi’s breakfast, with callouts that identify each item, questions he gets about the item, and quick answers he gives to people. Item 1: Steel-cut oats + raw mixed nuts + frozen mixed berries. Q: Why steel-cut oats? A: I like the texture better. Item #2: Chicken bacon + 1 cup egg whites + 1 whole egg + hot sauce. Q: Why chick bacon? A: I like it best. Q: What chicken bacon? A: Whatever I find at store. Q: Why egg whites? A: More protein without extra cals. Q: Why only 1 egg? A: I get fat from other sources too. Q: Why hot sauce? A: I like it. Q: What hot sauce: I like all kinds. Item 3: Caffeine-free herbal tea. Q: Why no caffeine. A: I don’t like how it makes me feel. Item 4: 1 Liter water + 1 scoop green drink + 1 scoop collagen protein. Q: Why greens drink? A: Tastes goo, extra nutrients.
This is a photo of my recent breakfast, with annotated captions to give you a small taste of the back and forth. You can see the entire Q and A in my original Instagram post

No matter how much explanation I provide, the questions keep coming. Here’s a sampling from recent posts of various meals.

Why do you add lemon to your water?Why don’t you eat yams or brown rice or (my favorite starchy carb source)?
Why don’t you eat pineapple, watermelon, or (my favorite fruit)?
Why don’t you drink milk, eat cheese, or (my favorite dairy)?
I see you eat sauerkraut. Why not kimchi?
I see you use collagen protein. Why not whey?
You take a vitamin or a protein supplement or a probiotic? Which brand? Which strain? For what benefit? But what about the research that says X or Y or Z?

You get the idea.

Hence my lemon water example from earlier. Every time I show a meal with a glass of water with lemon, people are deeply concerned with the “health value” of the lemon.

In essence, it feels like everything the nutritionist eats MUST have a scientific reason for its inclusion.

Folks seem disappointed or dissatisfied when I tell them I add it because I like the taste. Or it’s one of my favorite foods. Or it’s all I had available that day.

Similarly, if I don’t include a particular food on a given day, like brown rice or mangoes or coffee, folks get really wrapped up in whether I think the missing food is somehow “bad for you.”

Heck, everything the nutritionist doesn’t eat MUST ALSO have a scientific reason for its exclusion.

But here’s the truth:

Not every food decision I make is grounded in science.

Sometimes I eat foods because I like them. (Shocking, I know.) Or because they make me feel good. Or because our children want me to share a particular food with them.

Likewise, I often avoid other foods that I don’t like. Or that make me feel bad. (Yep, even the “healthy” ones.) Or that aren’t easily accessible to me.

Here’s an example I posted about recently.

I’ve learned, through the process of self-experimentation, that tomatoes and peppers seem to cause flare-ups in the osteoarthritis that bothers my knees.

So, most of the time, I avoid them.

Even though I like to eat them. Even though there isn’t much data to suggest that nightshades like tomatoes and peppers are problematic. I minimize them in my diet because they make me feel bad.

Now, just because I’ve stopped eating them…

Am I saying that tomatoes and peppers (or other nightshades) will affect everyone with osteoarthritis?


Can I tell you for sure that it’s the biochemical properties of the tomatoes and peppers that affect me and not something else (like the placebo effect)? 


Am I suggesting that other people should stop eating tomatoes and peppers? 

Definitely not.

They just don’t work for me.

So, what’s wrong with nerding out on nutrition?

Like I said, I’m a science guy. There’s nothing wrong with knowing your facts.

But this hyper-nutritionalizing can be problematic in a few ways:

#1: Your “research” may not be all that good.

It’s time to get real about something.

Nutrition science is complicated, and relatively early in its evolution. This means there’s a fair bit of research out there that’s open to interpretation.

(And very few absolute hard and fast rules that apply to everybody.)

As a result, it’s not hard to find research that justifies our own preferences.

Imagine this…

Suppose I enjoy a glass of lemon water in the morning. So I think to myself, “Hmm, maybe there’s a health benefit to this. Let’s find out.”

So I visit PubMed (the world’s largest index of biomedical research) and search for scientific studies that support the use of lemon water.

Or I Google something like: “health benefits of lemon water in the morning” (Try it. You’ll get lots of results.)

Bingo. Now I can start spreading the news of the virtuous lemon water—and give myself a pat on the back for enjoying my superior morning beverage.

See the problem here? 

We’re biased. This type of “research” is often a desire to justify our preferences and natural inclinations through “evidence.”

That’s a dangerous practice, one that breeds self-justification and a certain kind of “evidence blindness” to research that doesn’t support one’s preferences.

It also signals the end of curiosity, which is at the heart of scientific inquiry.

And it happens all the time, even to smart people and good thinkers.

They let their personal preferences lead their information search, instead of legitimately trying to get to the bottom of what humans do know (or can know) about a particular subject. Then, once they’ve found the research that supports what they were going to do anyway, they proselytize it as “proven” or “evidence-based.”

But “knowledge” that was gained in this fashion is, at best, incomplete.

At worst, it isn’t really knowledge at all.

#2: Food is more than its biochemical make-up. (And so are we.)

When we get hyper-focused on the science behind our food intake, we miss out on other benefits of eating, like:

Cultural practices/traditionsEnjoyment and pleasureExpressing hospitality or spending time with family and friends over a mealHow they make us feel, physically or otherwise

Just as “health” is more than “not being sick,” food is more than just nutrients.

And, for that matter, humans are much more than our biochemical and physiological makeup.

Whether or not a food “works for us” in the context of our daily lives has to do with more than just research.

It also has to do with our goals, our preferences, our lifestyle, our cooking skills, our cultural background, our eating and living situation, our access to certain foods, our taste buds, our social determinants of health, and so much more.

Sure, there are some general nutritional basics that work for most of us, but that doesn’t mean that someone is doing it wrong if they prefer regular whole oats to steel-cut oats.

#3: It breeds judgment and the moralization of foods.

In a recent Instagram post, I mentioned that I’ve been “zero alcohol” for three years now and that I think it’s contributed, in small part, to some positive health outcomes, particularly around hormonal health.

This statement was interpreted as a win for those with a “clean eating” or  “virtuous health” or “why would you put that poison in your body?” mindset.

Many folks gave me a virtual pat on the back for this choice—as in, “Exactly! Alcohol is poison!”

Meanwhile, others took it as a personal affront. Like I was attacking their decision to drink.

But for me, not drinking isn’t a moral decision. Or a tribal one. I personally abstain because avoiding alcohol seems to help with my autoimmune disease.

And, to be honest, I never enjoyed drinking that much anyway. (Alcohol makes me irritable and sleepy which, alone, is annoying and, in social settings, makes me want to go home.)

But just because I don’t drink doesn’t mean I search for all the info I can find about why alcohol is bad for everyone and then proselytize against it. I understand it serves different needs for different people. And that some of those, on balance, could be healthy… in the right context. (For examples, check out: Would I be healthier if I quit drinking?)

Bottom line: ⁠⁠I’m not anti-alcohol, nor am I pro-alcohol; I just made a decision that felt best for me. And my point here is this:

Someone else’s food choices—whether scientifically supported or not—shouldn’t send you into a tailspin. 

Nor should your personal food choices be the basis for telling others what they should or shouldn’t do, regardless of what your self-directed scan of the research tells you is “right” or “wrong.”

If you find yourself doing either, it’s time to back up and gain some perspective.

I can’t recommend a “best food” or a “best diet,” but I can recommend this.

Try to stay open-minded.

It’s up to you to find foods that you enjoy eating, and that help contribute to your goals, whatever they might be.

And if you’re a coach, it’s your job to help your clients find those foods—and those goals—for themselves.

A healthy relationship with food doesn’t require you to nitpick over every small decision or have a scientific justification for everything you choose. 

In fact, once you understand the basics of how various nutrients work in the body, a healthy relationship with food might mean the exact opposite… broadening your perspective on eating beyond the “scientific benefits.”

Yes, it can take time and practice to understand what works best for you, your body, your family, and your lifestyle. And to enjoy those foods without overthinking them.

That’s the balance here.

To recognize that, at the beginning of your “healthy eating journey,” you might actually need to spend more time learning about your food to help facilitate better, more thoughtful choices.

But then, at a certain point, you might need to step back and try to integrate that new knowledge into the context of your real life. To situate it within a broader, more robust framework for making eating decisions.

Because, if you go too far here, your ideas about food can end up mired in superstition or “sciencestition.” When that happens, it’s difficult to be objective. Difficult to stay curious and open-minded. Difficult to learn anything, for yourself or for your clients.

So that’s your first experiment.

Back away from the research database. Make yourself a meal without overanalyzing it. And while you’re at it, pour yourself a glass of water. Lemon or no lemon? The choice is yours.

Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certification. The next group kicks off shortly.


If you’re a coach, or you want to be…

Learning how to coach clients, patients, friends, or family members through healthy eating and lifestyle changes—in a way that’s personalized for their unique body, preferences, and circumstances—is both an art and a science.

If you’d like to learn more about both, consider the Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certification.

Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certification.


The post Superstition, sciencestition, and how to stop overthinking your food choices. appeared first on Precision Nutrition.

Did you miss our previous article…

Do nutrition and health coaches need insurance?

“Look into whether health coaches need insurance” is one of those lines that many of us put at the bottom of a to-do list—and that’s generally where it stays.

Day after day.

The thing is:

Getting up to speed on coaching insurance doesn’t have to be painful.

This article walks you through a straight-forward three-step process that won’t require a legal degree to understand. You’ll learn whether you need insurance, as well as the types that work best for health coaches.

One note:

This content focuses on the needs of health and nutrition coaches in the U.S. and Canada. If you live in another region, you may or may not need the type of insurance discussed here depending on your local laws. When in doubt, check with an attorney, other coaches in your area, or a local insurance company to find out what they have to say.

What kind of insurance do coaches need?

To figure out whether you need insurance, consider your personal vulnerability to malpractice claims and license complaints.

Both issues are usually covered by professional liability insurance—the most common type of insurance for health and nutrition coaches.

(FYI, we’ll tell you about other types below.)

Let’s start with malpractice issues.

(Check out the video below yo see a more detailed discussion—with an actual attorney—of some of the legal issues coaches encounter.)

ll health professionals are vulnerable to malpractice claims.

That means if a client gets injured or sick, and believes it’s the result of your advice, they could make a malpractice claim against you. In other words, you could get sued.

If you’re self-employed and don’t have professional liability insurance, you’ll be responsible for your own defense as well as any judgement against you. That means all of your personal assets are fair game: your house, your car, and your savings account.

Professional liability insurance protects those personal assets.

(FYI, if you started a business, like an LLC, to protect your personal assets, liability insurance for your business may be a good idea.)

Some health professionals are also subject to license complaints.

This is mostly a concern for coaches who need a license to practice some of their services, so think:

health coaches who are board-certifiedmental health professionals who also do health or nutrition coachingnurses, pharmacists, and physical therapists who coach as a side-gig

Let’s say you’re a physical therapist and a health coach. You get a DUI, and your neighbor finds out. Your neighbor complains to the health coaching and physical therapy organizations where you’re licensed. Those organizations will investigate whether to revoke your license.

During that time, these organizations might put your licenses on probation, so you can’t work. And you may have expenses related to defending yourself during the investigation. That’s when your insurance policy will kick in.

All this might sound a little far-fetched, but these things do happen.

The benefit here? Insurance should pay for the costs related to the investigation (up to the limit on your policy).

The top five types of coaching insurance

If you’re looking into insurance, you have several types to consider.

Professional liability insurance, also known as errors and omissions insurance, kicks in if you need to defend a malpractice suit or license complaint. This may offer the best match for nutrition and health coaches. (The bulk of this article looks at this insurance type.)

General liability insurance protects you from third-party claims. So if someone trips over a kettlebell in the gym you own and gets hurt, or they damage to the space you rent, this type of insurance would cover the fallout. General liability insurance may make the most sense if you’re working with clients in a physical space.

Cyber liability insurance protects against any fallout from client data breaches. If you coach online, you may want this type of insurance.

Commercial property insurance covers the contents of your commercial office space or gym from things like water damage or theft.

Commercial auto insurance covers anything that happens while you’re driving for work. It might come in handy if you ever drive clients in your own car (for example, to go work out at a nearby park), or if you’re transporting lots of heavy workout equipment in your car on a regular basis.

n employer’s insurance policy may not completely protect you.

If you work for a hospital, gym, or company that provides insurance coverage, do you need your own personal insurance policy?

Potentially, yes. 

Generally, your employer’s insurance priority is your employer and not you. That usually means no coverage for those license complaints. (Reminder: License complaints are where you are at risk for getting your license revoked.)

An employer’s policy may also leave you vulnerable to certain types of malpractice claims.

For instance, your employer’s insurance probably won’t cover situations that arise when you:

Casually give coaching advice to a neighborPerform coaching volunteer workCoach clients outside of work

What’s more, personal liability policies may insure you for a higher amount, and will usually stay in place if you change jobs,.

In fact, some organizations require that their employees (and independent contractors) have their own personal liability insurance for exactly these reasons. That means you might be required to carry your own insurance even if an organization covers you under theirs.

What if my clients sign a waiver? Should I still consider insurance?

Having your clients sign a waiver or disclaimer is a very good idea.

The waiver brings attention to the idea that there’s always risk in taking nutrition, fitness, or health advice from another person.

Most waivers for health coaches make it clear that:

It’s the client’s responsibility to run any changes to their routine by their primary care provider.The client accepts responsibility for the advice they follow.

(For an example of a standard disclaimer, see our client intake form.)

So… if your client has signed a waiver, why would you need insurance? The short answer is that a waiver can’t protect you from every type of claim. And in the US, different states have different laws about how much a waiver protects.

Bottom line: Still ask your clients to sign a waiver or disclaimer, but don’t write off insurance. Think of it like double protection, just as your car has seatbelts and airbags.

If you decide you want health coaching insurance coverage, use these steps to get started. 

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text-align: center>Over 150,000 health & fitness professionals certified

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Step 1: Identify potential providers.

You have several options.

Option 1: Use a health coach-specialized insurance company.

Quite a few insurance companies work specifically with health professionals.

Some examples include HPSO and Alternative Balance. (Full disclosure: PN has partnered with HPSO to provide a smooth application pathway for PN Certified coaches).

Some PN graduates also find the policies they’re looking for with insurers that specialize in all types of small businesses, such as NEXT Insurance and Hiscock Insurance.

If you’re having trouble finding a company that provides coverage in your area or for your specific type of coaching, ask around. Other coaches in your area or niche can most likely provide solid leads.

Option 2: Find out if any of your professional associations provide insurance.

Many personal training certifying bodies include an insurance option when you pay your membership dues.

For many people, this is the easiest insurance route.

Option 3: Check to see if you your existing insurance provider can cover you.

If you have homeowners or vehicle insurance, your provider might be able to add a rider that covers your home-based business as well.

Similarly, if you already have professional liability insurance for another health profession—for instance, you’re a pharmacist with a nutrition coaching side-hustle—you may be able to add health or nutrition coaching onto your policy.

One quick note: Insurance companies can decide whether they want to insure you. You can be declined for coverage based on any number of factors, including which certifications you have/don’t have, where you’re based, and the type of coaching you do.

If one insurer won’t cover you, don’t get discouraged—there may be another that’s a better fit.

Step 2: Be clear and honest when collecting quotes.

Insurance companies can only make a payout on a claim if you’ve provided them with accurate information when applying for your policy.

Be prepared to answer questions about:

The services you provide: Do you only do nutrition coaching? Or also personal training?Where you practice: Do you have a home-based business? Do you do virtual coaching? Do you go into clients’ homes?Any other certifications or qualifications you have: Are you also a therapist, nurse, or any other type of health professional? Insurance companies need this information in order to give you an accurate quote.

Most of the time, you apply for insurance and get a quote online.

Step 3: Compare your options.

Once you’ve collected quotes, look at the fine print.

What’s covered?

Take note of whether the policy covers malpractice claims only, or whether it also includes licensure complaints (if that’s relevant for you). Will you be covered if your client’s data is breached? Or if they slip and fall while you’re training them?

If you’re not sure, call the insurance company and ask. Pose hypotheticals, asking about certain situations and whether they’d be covered under the policy you’re looking at.

How much insurance coverage will you get?

It can be tricky to figure out how much coverage you actually need. Insurance companies stay up to date on the average legal fees and settlement payouts related to each profession they cover. They use this information to recommend minimum coverage amounts to their clients.

For instance, HPSO’s standard health coach policy covers $3,000,000 aggregate, and up to $1,000,000 for each claim. That means if you had 3 claims against you in one year, you’d get up to $1,000,000 in coverage for each one. It also covers up to $25,000 to defend your license.

If you think you might need more than the standard coverage, however, talk to the insurance company about your specific needs.

How much will it cost?

Know the premium (what you pay up front) and deductible (how much you pay out of pocket before the policy kicks in). Some policies offer lower premiums, but higher deductibles—and vice versa.

What’s the company’s reputation?

Ask other coaches about their experiences with the insurance companies you’re considering. Check each company’s Better Business Bureau profile, or look them up on TrustPilot. See if you can find out how easy it is to file a claim, and how people’s experiences interacting with the insurer have been.

From there, all that’s left to do is choose your policy.

How much does insurance cost?

Probably not as much as you think.

In general, health coaches can expect to pay between $100 and $500 per year for professional liability insurance.

Where you fall on that spectrum will depend on what type of work you do with clients, which certifications and licenses you have, and how your business is set up. For example: Some companies have lower rates for employed coaches (as opposed to those who are self-employed).If you’re only coaching part-time, you could pay less than a full-time coach.If you started your own business entity to protect your personal assets, like an LLC or S-Corp, your rates could be higher than the range mentioned above. That’s because you’re being treated as a business, not an individual, and businesses have higher risks in an insurance company’s eyes.

3 ways to get the most from your health coach insurance

So now you’re insured. What happens next? Hopefully nothing. But here are some tips to keep in mind in case something does happen.

1. Document anything weird.

Let’s say a client gets injured in a session. Or says a supplement you mentioned made them sick.

Write down what happened, and include as many details as possible. You can also give your insurance company a heads up.

Particularly if it’s something serious, it’s good to get everything documented as soon as possible while the incident is fresh in your mind.

2. If you receive a formal complaint, call your insurance provider ASAP.

This gets the process of defending you started, and leads us to…

3. Don’t ask any random lawyer for help.

You don’t want to use your divorce lawyer down the street for a malpractice lawsuit or a licensure complaint.

First, that divorce lawyer probably won’t be an expert in this area of law.

Second, lawyers can be really expensive. If you’re looking at $500 an hour, you could drain your defense coverage pretty quickly.

Insurance companies usually have lawyers they work with that are experts in defending against these types of claims and complaints. These lawyers also generally have a relationship with the insurance company that makes them more cost effective.

Most people get insurance hoping they’ll never have to use it. And in most cases, that’s exactly what happens.

So sit back and relax, because you’ve got it covered.

Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certification. The next group kicks off shortly.


If you’re a coach, or you want to be…

Learning how to coach clients, patients, friends, or family members through healthy eating and lifestyle changes—in a way that’s personalized for their unique body, preferences, and circumstances—is both an art and a science.

If you’d like to learn more about both, consider the Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certification.

Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certification.


The post Do nutrition and health coaches need insurance? appeared first on Precision Nutrition.

Did you miss our previous article…

Top sleep doctor: Trainers, health coaches, and dietitians can make seriously great sleep coaches.

As a trainer, therapist, health coach, or dietitian, you probably see your clients more than most physicians see their patients.

That extra time allows you to build rapport and trust—critical components for helping clients get unstuck.

Now here’s something you might not know:

That rapport and trust could make you a seriously great sleep coach.

The reason: A lot of emotional investment goes into helping people change the multitude of daily habits that affect sleep, says Chris Winter, MD, a leading sleep specialist, author of several books (including The Sleep Solution and The Rested Child) and contributing expert to PN’s Sleep, Stress Management, and Recovery certification.

“Trainers, therapists, health coaches, and dietitians might be positioned to do that better than a doctor,” says Dr. Winter.

(And, yes, that’s actually coming from a sleep doctor.)

Plus, according to Dr. Winter…

There aren’t enough sleep doctors.

Long wait lists prevent people from getting the help they need—and some of those people suffer from mild sleep issues that truly don’t rise to the level of “I need a doctor to look at this.”

Take that person who knows their 4 pm cup of coffee keeps them up at night.

This person most likely doesn’t need a doctor. A sleep coach, on the other hand, can help them identify and try many different strategies—weaning off caffeine slowly, substituting another activity for their coffee break, drinking an alternative beverage—until the client finds the one that works.

That’s just the start, though.

Sleep, stress management, and recovery coaching is often the missing link to achieving nutrition and fitness goals. 

With specific training, you can help your clients go from overwhelmed and backsliding to feeling as if they can handle whatever life pitches them.

(And life hurls some wicked curveballs.)

The best news…

You likely ALREADY have several traits and skills needed to become a highly effective sleep, stress management, and recovery coach.

Here are three more reasons you’re perfect for the job.

Reason #1: Sleep and stress affect health and fitness… a lot.

Professional athletic teams like the Red Sox hire sleep specialists like Dr. Winter to help their players level up.

That’s because elite performers know:

Improved sleep and stress resilience lay the foundation for improved health and performance. 

This is true for all humans, not just professional athletes.

“Optimal sleep, stress, and recovery makes every other aspect of someone’s health journey easier to achieve,” says Greg Wells, PhD, performance physiologist, author of Rest, Refocus, and Recharge, and a consultant for our Sleep, Stress Management, Recovery certification.


Reason #2: You already have a lot of the qualities needed to help people change.

Maybe you’ve committed your life to helping people.

“That means, almost by default, you’re empathetic and you have compassion,” Dr. Wells says.

In addition to those traits, you’ve probably also developed many skills that facilitate behavior change.

For example, you probably know how to:

Clarify people’s goals (and dig up the crucial motivations behind them)Listen to (and actually hear) peopleHelp people transform their old habits into new, healthier behaviors

Despite all of that, you might still feel inadequate when trying to help people with their sleep and stress management issues.

That’s where additional training can help. By gaining specific knowledge and expert techniques, you can  build the confidence you need.

Reason #3: This falls squarely into your scope of practice.

Knowing when to refer out for sleep, stress, and recovery is not all that different from knowing when to refer out for health or fitness.

As a sleep coach, you can work with people to develop practices that improve sleep quality and quantity—but you can’t diagnose their sleep apnea or insomnia, offer to run a sleep study, or adjust someone’s CPAP machine. They’ll want to see a physician for those sorts of things.

Their doctor will likely prescribe some behavioral changes:

“Have a better pre-bedtime ritual.”“Practice these cognitive-behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) exercises.”“Use the CPAP consistently.”

And that’s where you come in: You can help your clients actually do these things…  successfully.

(If you’re ever in doubt about what is and isn’t without your scope of practice, check out our Scope of Practice Worksheet.)

The takeaway: While you can’t replace the value and necessity of a doctor, you can help clients effectively implement a doctor’s advice.

You’ve got the chops. (Really.)

By learning to help your clients improve their sleep, stress management, and recovery, you’ll add an edge to your coaching expertise and business.

But even better? You can help your clients move to a level of health they never realized was possible.

If you’re a health and fitness coach…

Learning how to help clients manage stress, build resilience, and optimize sleep and recovery can be deeply transformative—for both of you.

It helps clients get “unstuck” and makes everything else easier—whether they want to eat better, move more, lose weight, or reclaim their health.

And for coaches: It gives you a rarified skill that will set you apart as an elite change maker.

The brand-new PN Level 1 Sleep, Stress Management, and Recovery Coaching Certification will show you how.

Want to know more?

The post Top sleep doctor: Trainers, health coaches, and dietitians can make seriously great sleep coaches. appeared first on Precision Nutrition.

Did you miss our previous article…

Menopause and sleep: The struggle is real (and so are these solutions)

If only you could sleep in the fridge, then menopause wouldn’t be a problem.

There, snuggled up next to the baloney, head resting on a cool heirloom tomato, you’d finally be able to sink into a cool, temperature-controlled slumber.

For many people, the above fantasy, no doubt, sounds… bizarre.

If you’re nearing menopause, however, we’re guessing you can relate.

Though we can’t offer any advice that will erase every single symptom, we can help ensure this rite of passage doesn’t wreck your sleep.

In this article, we’ll explain why sleep becomes so elusive around menopause (hint: it’s not all about hormones).

Plus, we’ll give you (or your clients) five ways to manage symptoms—and sleep easier.

Worry not: Cooler, more restful nights are in your future.


The real reason menopause affects sleep

Menopause is marked by a full year without a menstrual period.

Long before your final period, during perimenopause, levels of estrogen, progesterone, luteinizing hormone (LH), and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) fluctuate. This can affect your sleep wake cycle (a.k.a. your circadian rhythm), body temperature regulation, mood, and sleep quality.1,2,3

Once you reach menopause, levels of estrogen and progesterone will typically be more stable—and quite low. A few years after you’ve waved a final goodbye to your monthlies, thankfully, your symptoms and sleep issues may dissipate. (No wonder the menopausal transition is so frustrating!)

Despite all this, it’s important to know:

Sleep disruptions are caused by many different factors, not just hormones.

Many biological, psychological, and social factors can affect sleep.

For example, you might also experience changes in:

Metabolism: As you approach menopause, abdominal fat tends to accumulate—which increases your risk of insulin resistance.4

This, in turn, can change how often you need to go to the bathroom, or how thirsty you feel.5 (Meaning: You find yourself making more trips to the bathroom at night, or to the kitchen for a glass of water.)

Mood and mental health: Almost like a second puberty, you may discover new depths of hair-trigger rage, or a sadness you haven’t felt since you were 13 and your mom wouldn’t let you sleep at Janey’s house on a school night.

These mood changes are thought to be connected to sleep disruptions.6

Roles, relationships, and general health and aging: The onset of menopause may go along with other big life changes:

Jobs or financial status (losing a job, retiring, paying for kids’ college, supporting a relative)Relationships (deaths of parents or friends, divorce, estrangement)Overall health (due to aging, the accumulation of poor health habits, or just bad luck)Sex drive (from lack of desire, vaginal dryness, fatigue)Familial responsibilities (your nearing-adulthood kids might not need you as much, but your aging parents might need you more)Body image (aka “who the heck is that person in the mirror?!”)Identity (struggling with who you are, or the fear of aging and mortality)

No wonder you feel as if you can’t power down at night.

(And just when you do, there’s your bladder calling again.)

5 ways to improve sleep

Make each night more restful by experimenting with the following solutions.

1. Prepare for those night sweats.

The following three ideas are… three ideas. We could have listed dozens.

We welcome you to experiment with what we’re suggesting here, as well as try different strategies. If the lady at the crystal store said that giant amethyst will help you sleep better—and it consistently works for you—onwards!

Keep a spare set of PJs or a towel beside the bed. This way, when you wake up soaked, you won’t have to search for something clean and dry.

Sleep with a fan. The cool air will minimize the chances of overheating. Plus, it doubles as a white noise machine if your partner’s (or dog’s) snoring occasionally wakes you up.

If you have the financial means, try cooling sheets, pads, and pillows. These products range from breathable, sweat-wicking fabrics to full-on electric covers and pads that allow you to set your preferred sleeping temperature.

While the above tools might not completely vanish sleep problems, they can minimize one of the more disruptive symptoms, and give you—or your client—a sense of control.

2. Reframe your thoughts about sleep loss.

Night sweats can create a vicious circle.

They wake you one night. You feel tired the next day. The following night, you think, “I NEED to sleep.” But, no, you’re up and sweating again.

Eventually the sweating might stop, but you’re still… awake.

What gives?

When you layer anxiety about sleep overtop of existing sleep disruptions, you lose rest not just because of night sweats, but also because of the catastrophic thoughts you have about how your sleep loss is somehow going to make you lose your job.

To turn this around, steal a strategy from cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which has been shown to be extremely effective for sleep anxiety.

Write down the thoughts or beliefs that come up when you can’t sleep.

For example:

I’ll never sleep well again.I can’t work out / think clearly / take care of everyone because I’m so tired.My bad sleep is going to cause me to get some terrible illness, like cancer or heart disease.

Notice how worried thoughts tend to:

Use absolutes (like “always” or “neverPredict the future (even though you’re not a licensed fortune-teller)See things as “all-or-nothing” (“If I don’t sleep well, I can’t do ANYTHING.”)

Now, reframe those beliefs using a realistic, compassionate perspective.

For example:

I might lose sleep occasionally, but other nights will probably be okay.I’m not feeling my best, but I can do some exercise / work and maybe find a few moments of peace in my day.Sleep is just one aspect of good health. If I don’t sleep well, I can still make sure I eat nutritious foods, drink enough water, and get outside for a few deep breaths.

By training yourself to reframe your thoughts about sleep, you can minimize how much you worry about sleep, allowing you to, well, sleep.

3. Design better days for better nights.

Restful sleep has as much to do with what you do during the day as it does with what you do at night.

When your days are filled with relentless stress—particularly if that stress feels isolating, purposeless, and unending—it’s understandable if your body’s still buzzing when it’s time to turn off.

This is especially true around perimenopause, when loopy hormones can make you extra sensitive to stress.

While you can’t always prevent stressful moments like the dishwasher breaking down right after you’ve made your cheesy macaroni casserole, you can improve how you recover from these unwanted life events.

Think of yourself as a jug (okay, not glamorous… but bear with us):

Stress drains the jug, and recovery fills it back up.

The image below offers several ways to recover, and there’s more in this article too: Secrets for using stress to build you up—instead of break you down.
A graphic showing how to keep your recovery tank full. The illustration shows a water tank with a tap pouring water in, and a tap on the tank itself that lets water out. The tap that fills the tank is recovery, which includes elements like: good nutrition, regular sleep, gentle movement, fulfilling activity, social connections, positive emotions, time in nature, and mindfulness. The tap that empties the tank is stress, which includes elements like poor nutrition, low energy intake, intense exercise, work stress, relationship stress, caregiving, financial stress, loneliness, negative emotions, environmental stress, alcohol and drug use, illness, and injury.

Try to fill your jug, at least as much as you drain it, by punctuating your days with moments of:

Rest (like a 10-minute guided meditation after an intense meeting)Joy (grabbing a coffee with your friend who always makes you laugh)Self-kindness (protecting your time to take care of yourself)

When you do that, you’re less likely to lie awake because you haven’t stopped all day and this resting thing feels so foreign (and you’re dreading the next day).

Instead, you’ll be reminiscing about the good conversation you had with a friend, and looking forward to that tai chi class you registered for at your local community center.

(Cool fact: Tai chi—as well as yoga, meditation, and other relaxation practices—aren’t just good for your overall health and fitness. They also can alleviate symptoms of menopause, including hot flashes, mood swings, and sleep loss.7)

Menopause Rx: Talk to your doctor about these sleep-management tools

If menopause-related symptoms are severe, persistent, and overwhelming, talk to your doctor about whether you’re a good fit for…

Menopausal hormone therapy (MHT): MHT can improve sleep quality, decrease the time it takes to fall asleep, and reduce the number of nighttime awakenings.6,8,9 Caution: It can also raise disease risk for some women, so a conversation with your doctor is important.10

Antidepressants: If sleep issues are primarily due to persistent mood issues like anxiety and depression (and not night sweats), antidepressants can help.11 When treating sleep, these medications are usually recommended in combination with CBT-I, a form of cognitive behavioral therapy specifically used to improve sleep.

Prolonged/slow release melatonin: Talk to your doctor to see if you’re a good candidate for melatonin—a hormone you naturally produce in your brain that regulates your sleep-wake cycle. In research, two milligrams has been shown to be effective.11

4. Bring some self-compassion and common humanity to your situation.

Self-compassion can activate your calming nervous system and improve sleep.12 The elements include:

Mindfulness: Notice what you’re feeling. (For example, validating for yourself, ‘Hey, retiring from a career or dealing with an aging parent, is stressful.’)Common humanity: Appreciate how universal your experience is. You’re not alone, and so many women are going through this too. Imagine all those women, just like you, staring at the ceiling. Send them some imaginary kindness, and mentally reassure them that they’ll be okay too.Self-kindness: Speak to and treat yourself with care. Even if you’ve snapped at your partner way too many times this morning (“After 20 years of marriage, STILL with the toilet seat?!”), you’re not a monster. You’re just a human, trying to do your best. Ask yourself what you need to care for yourself, and try to prioritize it.

Admittedly, self-compassion won’t change that you can’t wear wool anymore. Or that everyone’s getting older.

But it can change how you experience your situation, possibly even making the experience of menopause more unifying, cathartic, and empowering.

5. Notice your strengths and superpowers.

During peri- and post-menopause, a lot can feel out of your control—on your worst days, like a slippery slope towards doom.

Transition periods can trigger these feelings: The old way is lost, but the new path isn’t visible yet. Meanwhile, you’re tangled in branches and fighting off angry squirrels in the dark woods of the in-between.

So, shine a light on the good.

If you’re lying awake at night worrying about how much you’re going to miss your kid who’s going away to college: You must be someone who cares deeply about your relationships.

If you’re tossing and turning about a presentation you have to give in the morning: You must be someone with a strong attention to detail.

If you’re wondering how you’re going to make a casserole for a grieving friend, work, volunteer as a crossing guard, and visit your dad: You must be someone that other people depend on.

Whatever you’re struggling with, there’s a flipside: That side reveals your values, your strengths, and your unique superpowers.

So, when you’re having a hard time, ask yourself:

‘Why does this matter to me?’

Let the answer point you to what’s special about YOU.

And celebrate it.

Because if anything, menopause is a victory. You’ve made it this far. And the next adventure is waiting.



Click here to view the information sources referenced in this article.

1. Hatcher, Katherine M., Sara E. Royston, and Megan M. Mahoney. 2020. “Modulation of Circadian Rhythms through Estrogen Receptor Signaling.” The European Journal of Neuroscience 51 (1): 217–28.

2. Lampio, Laura, Päivi Polo-Kantola, Sari-Leena Himanen, Samu Kurki, Eero Huupponen, Janne Engblom, Olli J. Heinonen, Olli Polo, and Tarja Saaresranta. 2017. “Sleep During Menopausal Transition: A 6-Year Follow-Up.” Sleep 40 (7).

3. Zambotti, Massimiliano de, Ian M. Colrain, and Fiona C. Baker. 2015. “Interaction between Reproductive Hormones and Physiological Sleep in Women.” The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism 100 (4): 1426–33.

4. Walton, C., I. F. Godsland, A. J. Proudler, V. Wynn, and J. C. Stevenson. 1993. “The Effects of the Menopause on Insulin Sensitivity, Secretion and Elimination in Non-Obese, Healthy Women.” European Journal of Clinical Investigation 23 (8): 466–73.

5. Stachenfeld, Nina S. 2014. “Hormonal Changes during Menopause and the Impact on Fluid Regulation.” Reproductive Sciences 21 (5): 555–61.

6. Brown, Alana M. C., and Nicole J. Gervais. 2020. “Role of Ovarian Hormones in the Modulation of Sleep in Females Across the Adult Lifespan.” Endocrinology 161 (9).

7. Innes, Kim E., Terry Kit Selfe, and Abhishek Vishnu. 2010. “Mind-Body Therapies for Menopausal Symptoms: A Systematic Review.” Maturitas 66 (2): 135–49.

8. Zhu, Dongxing, Xiaosa Li, Vicky E. Macrae, Tommaso Simoncini, and Xiaodong Fu. 2018. “Extragonadal Effects of Follicle-Stimulating Hormone on Osteoporosis and Cardiovascular Disease in Women during Menopausal Transition.” Trends in Endocrinology and Metabolism: TEM 29 (8): 571–80.

9. Gambacciani, Marco, Massimo Ciaponi, Barbara Cappagli, Patrizia Monteleone, Caterina Benussi, Gemma Bevilacqua, Francesca Vacca, and Andrea R. Genazzani. 2005. “Effects of Low-Dose, Continuous Combined Hormone Replacement Therapy on Sleep in Symptomatic Postmenopausal Women.” Maturitas 50 (2): 91–97.

10. Lobo, Roger A. 2017. “Hormone-Replacement Therapy: Current Thinking.” Nature Reviews. Endocrinology 13 (4): 220–31.

11. Proserpio, P., S. Marra, C. Campana, E. C. Agostoni, L. Palagini, L. Nobili, and R. E. Nappi. 2020. “Insomnia and Menopause: A Narrative Review on Mechanisms and Treatments.” Climacteric: The Journal of the International Menopause Society 23 (6): 539–49.

12. Kemper, Kathi J., Xiaokui Mo, and Rami Khayat. 2015. “Are Mindfulness and Self-Compassion Associated with Sleep and Resilience in Health Professionals?” Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine 21 (8): 496–503.

If you’re a health and fitness coach…

Learning how to help clients manage stress, build resilience, and optimize sleep and recovery can be deeply transformative—for both of you.

It helps clients get “unstuck” and makes everything else easier—whether they want to eat better, move more, lose weight, or reclaim their health.

And for coaches: It gives you a rarified skill that will set you apart as an elite change maker.

The brand-new PN Level 1 Sleep, Stress Management, and Recovery Coaching Certification will show you how.

Want to know more?

The post Menopause and sleep: The struggle is real (and so are these solutions) appeared first on Precision Nutrition.

Did you miss our previous article…

Warning: People Who Try These Experiments Tend to Get a Lot More Done

The internet is full of energy hacks.

Try fasting! Put butter in your coffee! Take this supplement!

What if you’ve tried all that—and your doctor has also declared you the healthiest and fittest of specimens?

Yet your energy and focus still aren’t where you want them.

Is it time to face the reality that you’ll never feel as spunky or get as much done as you want?

Nope, not quite.

There’s a good chance you haven’t yet explored all of your options. In this article, we’ll share three unexpected solutions. Experiment with one, two, or all three—and get ready to feel a whole lot better.


#1: Optimize your sleep environment.

Our sleep habits are tied to our physical environment.

For instance, one PN client couldn’t figure out why she avoided going to bed every single night.

It turned out, her bedroom was a bit of a dumping ground for junk, which reminded her of all the work she had yet to do. More stress meant less sleep.

The thing is…

A relaxing environment is essential for a good night’s rest. 

People sleep better when their bedroom is optimized for comfort, light, and noise and temperature.

The experiment: Redesign your sleep area.

Think of this experiment in two levels.

Level 1: Declutter.

Marie Kondo, the famous tidying consultant, author, and Netflix star, based her “KonMari” cleaning method on this idea:

You can transform your home into a space of serenity and inspiration just by decluttering. 

In addition to helping you sleep, a soothing, restful environment can lead to mental clarity. (Hello, energy you’ve been missing!)

Importantly, your bedroom doesn’t have to reach Kondo-perfection, and you don’t have to do all the cleaning at once.

(If you’re completely happy sleeping in a pile of laundry or with your pet tarantula… then enjoy.)

That client we mentioned earlier, for example, committed to tackling one tiny pile of stuff every day.

Within a few weeks, her bedroom became a sanctuary, rather than a dumpster.

And guess what? She couldn’t wait to crawl into bed every night, relax with a cup of tea, read a good book, and go sleepytime.

Which leads us to…

Level 2: Redecorate your sleep environment.

Once you’ve decluttered, consider setting up your bedroom for optimal sleep. You might want to adjust:

➤ Light levels and quality: Dimmed or red/orange spectrum light (as opposed to bright or blue/green-spectrum light) can help promote sleep and relaxation.

For some people, a night light adds a feeling of safety, making it easier to sleep.

➤ Environmental temperature: In general, body temperature drops during sleep, so having a cool environment is considered sleep-promoting. However, some folks may find warmth more relaxing, and prefer a heated blanket or warm bath before bed. Again, go with what works for you (or your client).

➤ Noise (and silence) levels: Some folks need silence to sleep best. Others find background sounds—like music, storm or songbird playlists, or white noise—more relaxing.

➤ Tactile stimulation: How do you feel about flannel pajamas? A fluffy cat or dog? A body pillow or stuffed animal? A weighted blanket?

Don’t forget: These are all experiments. 

Not everyone is the same. Try stuff, and see what works.

#2. Help yourself feel socially safe.

Humans need supportive social connections.

And yet, other people often cause the most pain.

In other words, relationships can be a source of energy… or energy drain. 

One way to gauge whether a relationship is giving or taking your energy: attachment.

Attachment is the ability to form strong, secure, stable bonds with others.

When you’re securely attached, you feel free to be yourself and express your needs. You trust the other person to have your back and be an ally and advocate. You also gain energy from engaging and connecting.

When you’re not securely attached, you may feel as if you can’t honestly share your true thoughts or feelings. And that can be exhausting.

Your energy gets drained by the work of hiding yourself, attempting to manage others’ feelings, and/or trying to protect yourself from their toxicity.

The experiment: Do an attachment inventory.

Make a list of the people in your life.

Include animals (such as your dog, cat, or horse) as well as yourself.

For each relationship, consider how strong, safe, secure, or supportive the attachment or connection is.

Strong: The bond is robust and nearly unbreakable. This relationship has “life” and vitality. You’re connected.Safe: You feel validated, seen, and accepted. You can be messy, real, and vulnerable, and won’t be criticized, judged, or rejected.Secure: You trust this relationship. It’ll be there for you no matter what.Supportive: The other person genuinely cares about your goals and values, and wants to help you succeed.

Jot down some notes.

Whatever you notice, don’t judge it. Just observe. Then, record your answers to these questions:

Who gives you energy when you interact with them? Who drains it?Which relationships feel the most connected and close? What gives you that feeling?Which relationships feel more complicatedrisky, stale, or insecure? What gives you that feeling?Who helps you move towards being the person you want to be? How exactly do they do that?

Once you have your answers, consider which relationships might be stealing some of your energy. Is there anything you can do to strengthen them? Or, is it time to let go of some?

Conversely, who gives you energy, and how can you spend more quality time really engaging?

Maybe, instead of liking his photo on social media, you call the uncle who always makes you laugh. Or rather than half heartedly throwing the ball to your dog while you’re distracted on your tablet, you take Fluffy on a nature walk.

The answers won’t necessarily involve a quick fix. (You may not want to cut your sister loose even though your relationship is freaking draining.)

But bringing awareness to how relationships either energize or drain you  can be a key step.

#3: Give back… wisely

Giving some of your time to others can help you feel like you have more time overall, research shows.1

But there’s a catch. You can also deplete yourself, especially if you give for the wrong reasons, such as, say, to please certain people.

To gain energy rather than drain it, carefully choose the service and care you offer, and care for yourself, too. Look for options that bring you and others joy and comfort, but don’t run you down.

When you prioritize what you truly value, and select your caring and service thoughtfully (rather than it being just one more obligation), then giving to others feels great—rather than just another draining chore that pushes you further down your own to-do list.

The experiment: Create your own personal mission statement.

First, consider these questions.

Are you someone who enjoys thinking about Big QuestionsAre you someone who prefers “just the facts,” and doesn’t have a lot of time for that nonsense?Do your cultural traditions involve existential, philosophical, and/or spiritual exploration? If so, how and what?Have you ever had a profound, life-changing, “bigger-than-me” experience? A sense of wonder and awe? Or something that changed your sense of “self”? If so, what?Flip side: Have you ever had a tiny, single-moment experience that made a big difference? (Think: a kind word when you were down, a spontaneous gesture, sharing a genuine emotion with someone, a joke that caught you off-guard and made you laugh in spite of yourself?)

Take this exercise one step further by writing a personal mission statement. Create a list of three existential commandments (or, at least, personal guardrails) that guide your life.

Dig deep and reflect on the following questions:

What are the core values and beliefs that drive what you do?How do you give back or support others through your daily life, profession, or volunteer work—or simply by being who you are?What aspects of life are most important to you? What do you want to experience while you are here?What kind of a legacy do you want to leave behind?Okay now: What’s the smallest possible version (think: 5-minute action or less) of all of the above?

With your personal mission statement in hand, brainstorm ways you might be able to give back without totally overwhelming yourself, such as trying to brighten someone’s day and make them smile, bringing a coffee to a coworker, or holding the door open for someone.

Note: You’ll probably find that you’re already giving back in some ways.

That’s awesome. Recognize that, and remember that it’s a pretty great reason to get out of bed every day every day.

Here’s an example. Let’s say you’re a health coach who’s passionate about helping others live their healthiest lives.

You probably already give back by working with clients. But you might also:

Volunteer at a food bank, refugee welcome center, or soup kitchen to help everyone eat healthier—or even just get a square meal.Start, or contribute to, a community garden, cooking program, or walking group to boost neighborhood health.Organize a pick-up sports league (like an “everyone-welcome” soccer game) with the neighborhood kids to help fight sedentary habits.Offer a free coaching spot for someone in need.

Energy can hide in surprising places.

The experiments in this story? They’re just the beginning. Not every solution for better focus and energy will work for you or anyone else. Chances are, however, that, if you keep experimenting, you’ll eventually find the focus, spunk, and motivation you want.



Click here to view the information sources referenced in this article.

1. Mogilner C, Chance Z, Norton MI. Giving time gives you time. Psychol Sci. 2012 Oct 1;23(10):1233–8.

If you’re a health and fitness coach…

Learning how to help clients manage stress, build resilience, and optimize sleep and recovery can be deeply transformative—for both of you.

It helps clients get “unstuck” and makes everything else easier—whether they want to eat better, move more, lose weight, or reclaim their health.

And for coaches: It gives you a rarified skill that will set you apart as an elite change maker.

The brand-new PN Level 1 Sleep, Stress Management, and Recovery Coaching Certification will show you how.

Want to know more?

The post Warning: People Who Try These Experiments Tend to Get a Lot More Done appeared first on Precision Nutrition.

Did you miss our previous article…

Invisible stressors: Are they sucking the life out of your health?

Your roof isn’t leaking, your thyroid’s fine, and you’ve never been chased by a hungry tiger.

So why are you so exhausted, cranky, and foggy?!

We’d like to introduce you to invisible stress.

You’re probably familiar with visible stress. That’s the stuff that most of us register as obviously stressful—trying to console a screaming infant at 3:30 am, or doing a presentation in front of people who are paid to criticize your work.

Invisible stress, on the other hand, quietly does its dirty work beneath your level of awareness.

When enough of these silent stressors add up, however, you can feel as if you’ve just crawled out of the lion enclosure at the zoo.

Worse, you’re left wondering: “Why am I feeling so crummy? What’s wrong with me? Nothing dramatic happened!”

In this article, we’ll expose what causes five hidden stressors that can wear away at your health and wellbeing.

Even better, we’ll show you how to recover, so you can return to your life with more energy, wisdom, and resilience.


Stressor #1: Information overload & filter failure

Technology has given us many great things—including an end to couples fighting about the need to ask for directions.

One double-edged technological gift: An overabundance of information.

Many of us have jobs that require us to process reams of electronic fodder—in the form of emails, video calls, and chat messages.

On top of that, we often fill our non-work hours with more electronic material: social media, YouTube reaction videos, and clicking on that ad for shoes and falling into a black hole of online shopping.

People used to call this nerve-jangling problem information overload. But, as computer scientist and productivity sage Cal Newport has popularized: The information itself isn’t the problem.

The real problem is this: We fail to filter out the junk. 

Without the skill of consciously choosing where to place our attention (filtering and focusing), our attention gets yanked away from us like leaves in the wind.

Imagine a busy emergency room where nobody triaged and prioritized. Stuffy noses and sprained ankles would be as important—and randomly attended to—as someone who’d just been in a catastrophic car accident.

Fortunately, emergency personnel learn to identify what matters most right now and quickly switch gears to crucial priorities as needed.

You can learn to do the same.

Signs you’re suffering from this stressor

Consider if any of the following are true for you:

✓ You feel tired and edgy after spending time on the internet or watching the news.

✓ You don’t spend as much time on your health, fitness, and life goals, because you get distracted by what’s going on online or with the latest Netflix release.

✓ You keep finding yourself somewhere in an information ocean, not sure how you got there.

✓ The idea of a digital vacation feels scary—but maybe also a teeny bit freeing.

✓ You struggle to know where to put your attention, because everything’s trying to grab it.

✓ It all just feels like… too much. 

How to recover

A focus filter allows you to consciously choose—with purpose—where you want to place your attention.

To create one, you’ll first want to spend time thinking about who you are (a.k.a. your identity) as well as what matters to you (a.k.a. your values).

Maybe you’re a family person who values time with your kids.

Or you’re a fitness enthusiast who cares deeply about breaking a sweat in the great outdoors.

There are no right or wrong answers here. This isn’t about what your parents want for you or what you think society wants for you.

Rather, it’s about what YOU want for YOU.

For help, check out our Identity, Values, and Goals chart.

And, yes, this is hard work. If you feel lost trying to identify your values, here’s a cool way to figure it out. Ask yourself:

What makes you angry?

Anger can be a sign your values have been violated. The following table lists a few examples.

I got mad when…So _________ is important to meSomeone lied to meHonestyI got ripped offFairnessMy boss asked me to work late and miss my son’s gameFamilySomeone was rude to meCourtesy

Once you know your identity and values, take an honest look at where you spend your time and energy.

Are you putting enough time and energy toward what you value?

Heads up: Your time, energy, and attention will always be limited.

When you say “yes” to what you value, you’ll probably have to say “no” to something else. 

Stressor #2: Toxic positivity

Remember those self-improvement gurus from the 90s and aughts who advised us to “think positive” in the face of stress?

Whether you’d just stubbed your toe or lost your entire family in an avalanche, the advice was the same: “You can find a silver lining! Just stay positive! Everything happens for a reason!”

However, we now know contrived positivity can be counterproductive—even harmful: When it’s not authentic, positivity can actually intensify the stress we experience.1,2

Also, slapping an “EVERYTHING’S FINE” label over everything can block us from recognizing problems, which stops us from solving them.

Signs you’re suffering from this stressor

Positive thinking isn’t all bad.

Take the belief you can deal with and learn from the many complications life throws your way. That can help you feel capable, resourceful, and strong, and lead to growth.

Toxic positivity, however, generally leads to stagnation.

You’re not moving through challenges with courage and vulnerability. Rather, you’re getting stuck in “Everything’s okay! I don’t have to deal with that because it’s not a problem! I swear!”

More signs that toxic positivity is keeping you stunted:

✓ You don’t permit yourself to experience or discuss difficult emotions such as anger or grief.

✓ Repressed negative emotions seem to leak out in other ways: muscle tension, disappearing wine bottles, disproportionate explosions of rage when you can’t find your keys.

✓ You feel guilty or ashamed whenever you experience a negative emotion like frustration or sadness. (“I have no right to feel this. My life is okay and so many other people are suffering.”)

✓ You feel uncomfortable when people around you are suffering, so you say things like “just look on the bright side.”

✓ You’ve unsuccessfully started a million gratitude journals and hated them immediately.

How to recover

Pay attention to your full range of emotions—especially the uncomfortable ones you wish you didn’t have to experience.

When you notice a negative emotion, name it. This can be as simple as saying (out loud or inwardly): “I’m feeling angry” or “I’m so lonely right now.”

Notice how that feeling lives in your body. Are you feeling restless? Is your jaw tight? Face hot? Tears poking at your eyes?

Be curious. Is there something important or valuable that the emotion is trying to tell you? If the emotion had a voice, what would it say? Be honest with yourself, at least in your own head.

See if you can welcome—or at least feel a little softer towards—the feeling as a necessary and normal life experience that’s neither good, nor bad.

Stressor #3: Your neighbor’s leaf blower

Lawn equipment, car alarms, barking dogs, and other noisy goings on are more than just annoying.

They can trigger a body-wide stress response.

In order to survive, we evolved to perceive, interpret, and respond to the world’s cacophony of sensory information.

Based on the sounds around us, your body will perk up (say, to the sound of a crying baby), jolt you into action (to respond to a blaring car horn), or just do nothing (interpreting the constant hum of the air conditioner as NBD).

We’re well equipped to process much of this sensory stimuli. 

However, when this information overwhelms our ability to process it, it becomes a stressor.

This is especially true when that noise is yammering on when you’re trying to finish that assignment your boss slammed in your inbox this morning.

Or listen to that lecture you know will be covered on the exam.

Or, heck, just relax and have some peace and quiet.

Signs you’re suffering from this stressor

Some noises are almost universally stressful. Think: the off-key teenage punk rock band that practices in a neighbor’s garage.

If the noise goes on long or often enough, you’ll notice symptoms of stress.

Some of us are unusually sensitive to sensory input. 

We feel uneasy in situations that don’t bother other people—such as a crowded restaurant with lots of competing conversations. If others around us don’t understand or feel the same way, the stress gets amplified.

You might be unusually sensitive to sensory input if you…

✓ Feel overstimulated and/or uncomfortable in environments other people find relaxing or neutral (restaurants, doctor’s waiting rooms)

✓ Avoid certain environments (like airports and malls) because you worry you won’t be able to handle all the commotion

✓ Have other sensory sensitivities. For example, you reject many foods because of taste or texture, or diligently rip tags off clothes because the little pieces of fabric torment you

How to recover

We wish we could tell you about a magic switch that would turn off the world.

Truth is, some background noises are inevitable and out of our control.

But not all of them. To regain a sense of control, consider two questions:

Question #1: How might you turn down the volume on sounds that trigger your stress? 

Could you close the blinds during work calls to prevent your dog from barking at the mail carrier?

Wear noise-cancelling headphones in crowded environments to muffle background noise?

Talk to your neighbors about mutually-agreed upon quiet hours?

Question #2: How might you invite more quiet?

Are there ways to build “quiet breaks” into your day?

Some of our clients like to stop at a park for 10 minutes before heading home after a stressful day.

Others hang out in “sensory rooms” (restorative spaces designed specifically for people with sensory issues) in airports, malls, and other places where these rooms are available.

Some families schedule “quiet time” during which everyone can be immersed in their own silent pursuits: coloring, reading, listening to music with headphones, or building Legos.

(Shhhh. That’s the sound of a pin drop.)

Stressor #4: Emotional labor

Imagine you work in customer service.

All day long, you must pretend to care deeply about the often minor concerns of your customers.

Even when people are rude or offensive, you must adopt a pleasant tone and stick to the script, which in part, involves you repeatedly saying “I’m sorry” for a situation that isn’t remotely your fault.

Nurses, therapists, coaches, and even parents might relate: No matter what kind of day you’re having, you still try to seem caring and cheerful.

That’s emotional labor, a term coined by sociologist Arlie Hochschild in the 1980s. It’s the internal work needed to actively manage the feelings of others, as well as control our own response.

And it can be as exhausting as laying bricks on a summer day in Miami.

If we don’t account for this emotional labor, and recover from it appropriately, we risk burnout.

Signs you’re suffering from this stressor

Consider whether any of the following are true for you:

✓ As a marginalized person at work, you feel you must plaster a smile to your face in order to not provoke coworkers who make hurtful, demeaning comments.

✓ You work in a profession that involves concealing your own emotions and prioritizing the emotions of the customer or client. Think: healthcare, law, customer service, social work, and you guessed it… coaching.

✓ You feel exhausted at the end of the day because you spend most of it graciously placating cranky people. (Hi, caregivers of small children and teenagers.)

✓ You’re the one in your household who’s always smoothing ruffled feathers, playing peacekeeper, and trying to ensure everyone gets along—ignoring your own desire to tell your housemate to take a hike, your parent to quit telling you how to live your life, or your spouse to clean up their own #^@%! mess.

How to recover

Consider this question:

Where can you find emotional rest? 

Boundaries are a key tactic, especially if you’re a high-empathy person who often takes on others’ problems and emotions.

Deciding when—and when not—to get emotionally invested is a skill that most coaches (and caring people with feelings) have to work to develop.

Maybe you…

Create boundaries between home and work, perhaps by not checking work email during dinner, or after a set hour.

Have a crucial conversation with your family during which you explain that you’re no longer the United Nations for their infighting.

Schedule 5-minute breaks into your workday so you can slam a medicine ball into a wall, take a walk around the block, or stare out a window.

Get extra support—for instance, from an ally or therapist who understands your struggles.

The best form of emotional recovery will vary from one person to another.

Experiment with options until you find what works best.

Stressor #5: Microaggressions

Microaggressions are small, often subtle, everyday statements or actions that communicate hostile, derogatory, and negative attitudes towards someone.

They can sound like…

To an Asian American:“Where are you from? I mean where are you really from?”To a person of color:Clutches their purse more tightly.To a same-sex couple with a child:“So who’s the real parent?”To a person in a larger body:“You’d look so good if you just lost weight.”To a person who is gender-diverse:“Aren’t you in the wrong bathroom?”To a person with a visible disability:Gets ignored.

To those who haven’t experienced them, microaggressions might seem too small to matter.

These are silly little everyday things, why complain?

Yet microaggressions often sting. A lot. Like, “Dang, was that a paper cut or a hot chainsaw??”

Though subtle and, at times, unintended, these jabs have a significant impact.

They can build over time, wearing you down and affecting how you experience the world.

And telling yourself to “suck it up” or “I shouldn’t be bothered by this” can backfire, making the stress even worse.

Signs you’re suffering from this stressor

After years of aggregated pokes and pushes, you may:

✓ Continually brace for impact, waiting for the next shot to come

✓ Feel exhausted. Change may feel like another chore to face

✓ Become suspicious of the people around you, even if they seem to have good intentions

✓ Mistrust an entire group of people or avoid particular situations

How to recover

There’s one bright spot: Micropower.

It involves taking small actions on your own behalf to resist the feeling of being beaten down by your circumstances.

Here are some examples of how someone might discover their micropower.

Find communities, spaces, and allies who understand specific struggles—such as coworkers who “get it,” a support group, or a therapist who understands this particular type of marginalization.

Ask, “What do you mean by that?” and put the aggressor on the spot.

Discern and prioritize: Is this the battle you want to fight right now?

Practice aggressive self-care. Double down on recovery and replenishing. Microaggressions can be draining.

If it’s safe, call it out. Say, “That term isn’t used any more. Please don’t refer to me like that.”

Or, “I’m sure you didn’t mean to imply ____, but it came across as ____. Instead could you please _____.”

(This is scary and has potential risks, so build a base of support and allies first, if you can.)

If you have the resources, build something out of your experience that benefits others.

For instance, after years of experiencing stigma and discrimination, Coach Meghan Crutchley started Habit Queer, a coaching and speaking business that uses the PN behavior-based approach to support LGBTQ+ clients.

Even if the rest of the situation sucks right now, these actions help you gain crucial control and empowerment.

Micropower for coaches

If you’re serving clients from groups that have been traditionally marginalized or discriminated against (such as people from racialized groups, recent immigrants, LGBTQ+ people, people who think or learn differently, people with disabilities, and so on), assume they’ve dealt with microaggressions.

As a coach, you’ll want to integrate this understanding into your own practice.

Consider how to provide safe, secure social support:

Offer compassion. Try to empathize and understand your clients’ hesitation, discomfort and anxiety. Recognize they may have dealt with innumerable social hurts that affect their perceptions, engagement, and comfort within certain spaces.Choose your words thoughtfully and sensitively. Small things (like well-intentioned constructive criticism) can feel like an attack when a client’s threat radar is up.Make the client the boss. Microaggressions can feel like they take away our power to act and advocate. Help clients feel more in control and safe by emphasizing their ownership over their own change process. Help them find opportunities for acts of productive micropower.

Less stress, more recovery

When you see hidden stressors clearly, you have a better chance of being able to take empowered steps to recover from them.

Think about the balance of stress and recovery as a tank that can be simultaneously filled (through recovery) and drained (from stress).

Graphical depiction of a faucet, showing that recovery practices (good nutrition, regular sleep, gentle movement, fulfilling activity, social connections, positive emotions, time in nature, mindfulness) turn on the tap. Stress (poor nutrition, low energy intake, intense exercise, work stress, relationship stress, caregiving, financial stress, loneliness, illness) increase what's leaking out.

Using the strategies listed in this story as well as what’s shown in the above illustration, aim to:

Put more in the tank by cranking up recovery practicesSlow or plug the leak by decreasing or better managing stress

You won’t be able to eliminate stressors—invisible or otherwise—completely. But by slowing the leak as well as filling the tank, you can feel a little more equipped for life.



Click here to view the information sources referenced in this article.

1. Torre JB, Lieberman MD. Putting Feelings Into Words: Affect Labeling as Implicit Emotion Regulation. Emot Rev. 2018 Apr 1;10(2):116–24.

2. Lieberman MD, Eisenberger NI, Crockett MJ, Tom SM, Pfeifer JH, Way BM. Putting feelings into words: affect labeling disrupts amygdala activity in response to affective stimuli. Psychol Sci. 2007 May;18(5):421–8.

If you’re a health and fitness coach…

Learning how to help clients manage stress, build resilience, and optimize sleep and recovery can be deeply transformative—for both of you.

It helps clients get “unstuck” and makes everything else easier—whether they want to eat better, move more, lose weight, or reclaim their health.

And for coaches: It gives you a rarified skill that will set you apart as an elite change maker.

PN’s brand-new certification—announcement coming soon!—will show you how.

Want to know more?

The post Invisible stressors: Are they sucking the life out of your health? appeared first on Precision Nutrition.

Did you miss our previous article…

The truth about adrenal fatigue.

Reviewed by Helen Kollias, PhD

What isadrenal fatigue?SymptomsScienceTreatment

Every month, roughly 80,000 people type “what is adrenal fatigue?” into a search bar, hoping for answers.

And the internet gives them plenty. (About 17 million, give or take.)

Click on any number of these offerings and you can read a super-convincing theory about how adrenal fatigue works.

That line of reasoning goes like this:

Prolonged stress or illness overworks your adrenal glands. Eventually, your glands fatigue, and sleep disruptions, cravings, brain fog, exhaustion, and other symptoms set in.

According to certain people on the interwebz, expensive supplements, restrictive eat-this-not-that diet lists, and essential oil blends can turn this sad state of affairs around.

If you’re desperate for help, this adrenal-fatigue theory can seem like manna from Heaven.

Except it’s not true, as we’ll explain below.

Unfortunately this misinformation prevents people from understanding what’s really going on.

In this article, we’ll help you sort the facts from the fiction. By the end, you’ll know the real cause of these symptoms—as well as evidence-based strategies that actually work.

What is adrenal fatigue?

To fully understand adrenal fatigue theory, you need a quick anatomy lesson.

At the top of each of your kidneys, you have an adrenal gland that releases an array of hormones. One of those hormones, cortisol, gets you out of bed, regulates blood pressure, and snaps you to attention during an emergency, among other things.

According to adrenal-fatigue theory, too much stress causes the adrenals to stop functioning properly.

They either don’t generate enough cortisol, or they produce it at the wrong times (like when you’re trying to sleep).

This then leads to symptoms like:

feeling tired and lethargicpoor healing and recoveryaches and painshaving salt or sugar cravingshaving trouble falling asleep or waking uprelying on caffeine to get through the day

Those are all real problems. We’re guessing you’ve experienced one (or all) of them. Or you know someone who has. (Because why else would you be reading this story?)

Is adrenal fatigue real?

The truth: There isn’t much evidence in favor of the adrenal fatigue theory.

But there is quite a bit of evidence that refutes it.

After carefully examining 58 different studies, researchers from Brazil found that, in most people tested for adrenal fatigue, cortisol levels were… normal. In other words, their adrenal glands were anything but depleted.1

They concluded: “Adrenal fatigue does not exist.” (Pretty clear where these scientists stand!)

Sure, if you dig around PubMed long enough, you’ll find a few studies that claim to support the adrenal fatigue theory.

Those studies tend to measure fatigue levels—rather than actual adrenal function. In other words, they show that fatigue exists, but not necessarily adrenal fatigue.

So why do so many people swear that adrenal fatigue exists?

That’s probably because their so-called adrenal fatigue symptoms are very real, common—and frustrating.

Tiredness is one of the top reasons people seek medical care. It plagues a lot of folks.2

For most of those people, stress—and not adrenal fatigue—is the more likely problem. (More about this below).

Yet there’s no easy medical test for stress.

There are, however, a wide range of tests for the dozens of complex medical conditions that can also lead to fatigue, including thyroid issues, sleep apnea, and anemia.

This can leave people in a situation where they continually tell their doctors about how crummy they feel.

So their doctors order more tests that reveal nothing out of the ordinary, which can make patients feel unheard and misunderstood.

When someone’s not getting the answers they need, adrenal fatigue theory becomes super attractive.

drenal insufficiency

Many people confuse adrenal fatigue with adrenal insufficiency (AI).


Adrenal insufficiency is a recognized medical diagnosis.3

In AI, the adrenal glands don’t produce their full roster of hormones.

This includes cortisol as well as aldosterone (which regulates salt and water balance), DHEA (a “master” hormone necessary for testosterone and estrogen production), plus others.

AI can result from Addison’s disease, a condition where the adrenal glands are physically damaged, often due to an autoimmune reaction where the body attacks its own healthy tissue.

Or, it can result from hormonal signalling problems. Meaning, the hormonal signals from the pituitary or hypothalamus aren’t communicating properly with the adrenal glands.4, 5

The symptoms of AI are typically more severe than those proposed in “adrenal fatigue.”

They include:

weight loss and loss of appetitesignificant joint painstomach pain and upsetdry skindisrupted electrolytes (like sodium and calcium)low blood pressuremajor fatiguehyperpigmentation (darkened areas of skin)

Adrenal insufficiency can only be diagnosed and treated by a medical doctor.

Stress: The real reason you feel so awful

Here’s what the proponents of adrenal fatigue get right: Stress is a real problem—for a lot of people.

Chronic stress doesn’t just affect the adrenal glands.

Our stress response is a whole-body experience, affecting the nervous, digestive, and immune systems, among many other parts of the body.

Short bouts of stress followed by adequate recovery are no big deal. In fact, that’s how we grow stronger.

If that stress is ongoing and there’s not enough recovery, however, the body starts to break down.

Graphic depicting a bell curve with labels that show how too much stress can change how you feel. Being bored correlates with too little stress, rocking it with just enough stress, and crashing and burning with too much stress.

Consider what might happen if you hoisted heavy dumbbells… forever. You wouldn’t get stronger; you’d get weaker.

And that’s what happens when you’re under unrelenting stress, even low-level stress. Chronic stress without respite feels terrible, head-to-toe, as the graphic below shows.

Graphical depiction of a human body with text pointing to various areas. According to the text, stress can tighten muscles, intensify pain, intensify heartburn, make workouts feel impossible, induce forgetfulness and brain fog, increase colds and flu, and boost cravings and hunger.

If you’re experiencing these symptomscheck with your doctor to rule out any medical conditions.

If you leave with a clean bill of health, you may be suffering from the consequences of unrelenting stress, without adequate recovery. Luckily, simple, accessible practices can help.

Reduce stress that’s within your control.

It’s not realistic (or even ideal) to obliterate all stress. But you can turn some stressors down a few notches. Your first step: Identify your areas of stress, using the Stress Web, below, as a guide.

A graphic called

Consider your stress level for each area of the web.

To make this easy, you might download and print out the web so you can color in the areas based on how much stress they deliver.

Let’s say you’re training hard in the gym several days a week. Then you might color in all four sections of the physical part of the circle.

On the other hand, maybe you’re not dealing with any of the financial stressors. In that case, you might not color any of those in.

Once you see which areas pose the most stress, brainstorm ways to reduce those areas of stress.

And know that it’s not always about the big things.

For example, our client, Zahra, noticed that her environmental and mental dimensions of the stress web were particularly high.

After some thought, she made a couple changes. She:

bought noise-cancelling headphones to drown out her household

installed apps on her computer to block certain websites during periods of the day

Those strategies allowed her to cut down on unproductive distractions and focus on her work tasks.

After a month, Zahra was feeling more clear-headed, and actually started enjoying her workday more. Plus, she had way more energy. She hadn’t realized how depleting all those competing distractions had been.

Jack up recovery, in multiple areas of your life.

The more stress we deal with, the more we need to prioritize recovery.

Think of your “mojo reserve” as a jug: Stress drains it, and recovery fills it back up.

Try to fill your jug at least as much as you drain it.

Graphical depiction of a faucet, showing that recovery practices (good nutrition, regular sleep, gentle movement, fulfilling activity, social connections, positive emotions, time in nature, mindfulness) turn on the tap. Stress (poor nutrition, low energy intake, intense exercise, work stress, relationship stress, caregiving, financial stress, loneliness, illness) increase what's leaking out.

Recovery can take many forms. In working with over 100,000 clients, however, we’ve noticed that the following three practices offer an enormous impact.

Eat a nutrient-packed diet

Consume enough calories to support your body and activity levels, with a balance of macronutrients (including carbs!).

Bonus points if you can eat slowly and mindfully. (Here’s why slow eating is way better than dieting: The 30-day eating challenge that can transform your body.)

For more specific recommendations check out our Nutrition Calculator. Plug in some basic info, and it’ll give you a personalized nutrition plan based on YOUR body, lifestyle, and goals.

Get appropriate levels of exercise

If your intense spin or CrossFit sessions feel more like they’re breaking you down than building you up, lower the intensity and/or duration.

Schedule in recovery days, and consider replacing some of your more intense training sessions with gentle, restorative movement that activates the parasympathetic “calming” nervous system. Think: yoga, tai chi, walks in nature (or “forest-bathing” if you prefer!), stretching, and foam rolling.

Form good sleep habits

While we can’t force ourselves to fall asleep on cue, we do have a lot of control over our sleep hygiene—the habits and routines we engage in around sleep.

Experiment with the following strategies and see what works for you:

Power down devices 30 minutes before bedUse a journal to write down thoughts, worries, and reminders before turning off the lightsTurn down the thermostat a degree or twoTake a hot shower or bath before bedSleep alone, so you’re not disturbed by your partner or pets

Remember, “experiment” means to try it. Any individual practice may or may not be useful. But you won’t ever really know unless you make a concerted effort to give it a shot.

You can always decide to stop doing it if it doesn’t make a difference. In fact, at PN, when we make a change or try something new, we like to say, “It’s forever for now.”

Adopting this “nothing has to be permanent” mindset might help you (or your clients) be more open to experimentation.

(For a visual guide on how to engineer your life for better sleep, check out: The power of sleep).

You can build stress muscles.

When you face stressful events—with a strong mindset, relationships, and recovery practices—you grow stronger.

If you’ve been stuck in a downward spiral, small improvements can give you some much needed energy, and hope for a better future.

Eventually, stress can feel like surfing: Challenging and dynamic, without pulling you under.



Click here to view the information sources referenced in this article.

1. Cadegiani FA, Kater CE. Adrenal fatigue does not exist: a systematic review. BMC Endocr Disord. 2016 Aug 24;16(1):48.

2. Stadje R, Dornieden K, Baum E, Becker A, Biroga T, Bösner S, et al. The differential diagnosis of tiredness: a systematic review. BMC Fam Pract. 2016 Oct 20;17(1):147.

3. Bornstein SR, Allolio B, Arlt W, Barthel A, Don-Wauchope A, Hammer GD, et al. Diagnosis and Treatment of Primary Adrenal Insufficiency: An Endocrine Society Clinical Practice Guideline. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2016 Feb;101(2):364–89.

4. Charmandari E, Nicolaides NC, Chrousos GP. Adrenal insufficiency. Lancet. 2014 Jun 21;383(9935):2152–67.

5. Husebye ES, Allolio B, Arlt W, Badenhoop K, Bensing S, Betterle C, et al. Consensus statement on the diagnosis, treatment and follow-up of patients with primary adrenal insufficiency. J Intern Med. 2014 Feb;275(2):104–15.

If you’re a health and fitness coach…

Learning how to help clients manage stress, build resilience, and optimize sleep and recovery can be deeply transformative—for both of you.

It helps clients get “unstuck” and makes everything else easier—whether they want to eat better, move more, lose weight, or reclaim their


And for coaches: It gives you a rarified skill that will set you apart as an elite change maker.

PN’s brand-new certification—announcement coming soon!—will show you how.

Want to know more?

The post The truth about adrenal fatigue. appeared first on Precision Nutrition.

Truly horrible fitness advice: “If I can do it, you can do it.”

“If I can do it, you can do it.”

You’ve heard that fitness advice. Maybe you’ve even said the words yourself.

(Sheepishly raises hand.)

And it’s time for this cliché to end.

Especially when it comes to fitness, nutrition, and health.

Because most of the time:

It’s not true. 

Just because you can do something doesn’t mean someone else can do it.

More importantly, this phrase backfires, making people feel worse than before.

Here’s why, and the fitness advice you might want to offer instead.


When we use this fitness advice, we usually have the best of intentions.

Maybe we’re trying to relate to a client: “Hey, I’ve been there!”

Or perhaps we’ve felt inspired by any number of news stories. Think: Blind man climbs Everest.

But there’s a problem.

No two people are exactly the same.

We might, as coaches, think we’re comparing apples (our life) to apples (our client’s life). But more likely, our client knows they’re an orange… and feels misunderstood and alienated—usually for one (or all) of the following reasons.

#1: Someone’s background impacts their health.

Things like where we’re born, how we grew up, and what we do for work shape how we eat, move, and live. They also affect our ability to change for the better.

Technically, these factors are called social determinants of health. And they can influence us positively or negatively.

Examples of social determinants include:

IncomeEducationJob stabilityWork conditionsFood access and securityHousing and environmentEarly childhood developmentSocial communityNeighborhood environmentAccess to affordable and high-quality health care

Social determinants can be more important than lifestyle choices in influencing health, according to the World Health Organization

Here’s how this can play out with clients.

You tell someone to hit the gym. If you can muster the effort to get to the gym on a busy schedule, so can your client, right?

Well no, not necessarily.

Especially if they work long hours and don’t have childcare.

Or maybe you suggest “more veggies” to a virtual client.

You don’t like veggies either, you say, but if you can find a way to eat them, your client can surely figure it out. Except, your client lives with their mother-in-law who cooks all of their main meals, which tend to include few veggies. In your client’s home, everyone thanks the cook, whether they like the food or not.

Does your client have some options? Sure—but not as many as someone who has more control over their dinner plate.

There are thousands of ways social determinants of health can make what’s possible for you (with some hard work) straight up impossible (or a whole lot harder) for someone else. Some social determinants of health are really hard to recognize—especially if you haven’t walked in that person’s shoes. So heed this universal rule of thumb: Don’t make assumptions.

#2: Every person’s body is unique.

Let’s assume you and your client have the same social circumstances.

Is it okay to say “if I can do it, you can do it?”

Spoiler alert: Nope.

Because genetics also play a role. 

Say you’re a person who puts on muscle easily. For you, maintaining a lean, athletic physique means working hard in the gym and keeping a close eye on your nutrition.

Of course, those two things require effort. Maybe a lot of effort.

But a person who has a harder time building muscle, and tends to store fat around their middle thanks to their genes?

They’re not going to get the same results as you—even if they eat and exercise exactly the same way. Those are the genetic cards they’ve been dealt.

So no—they can’t “do it” just because you can.

#3: Some people are luckier than others.

Most people who’ve worked hard to get where they are don’t want to admit that the universe might have helped them out a bit.

Imagine this: You’re an athlete competing at the CrossFit Games.

The final workout—the one that decides who’ll win—happens to be deadlift-focused, something you’re specifically great at. (If it’d been snatches, it’d be a totally different situation.)

When you win the CrossFit Games after that final workout, it doesn’t mean you haven’t worked hard. But did you also benefit from the luck of the draw? Yup.

Perhaps a more relatable example: Maybe you met a coach or friend—just as you’re ready to make a change—who revolutionizes how you think about nutrition and fitness. And that sets you down the path to a healthier lifestyle.

In an alternate universe, where you didn’t meet that amazing coach at the right time, it might’ve taken you a whole longer to get where you are today.

The point: Don’t discount the “right place, right time” effect.

3 better ways to help your clients

Use all three together—or pick what works best in a given conversation.

1. Use limited relatability.

Say someone’s going through a divorce, and their coach has been through one, too. It could be tempting to offer advice like:

“I know this is a hard time for you. My divorce was brutal! But I managed to stay on top of my nutrition while going through mine, so I know you can do it.”


There’s a better way to use the experiences you have in common with a client, without making assumptions about their situation.

It’s called limited relatability, which helps you relate, while also allowing your client to feel heard and understand.

To master the technique, use this simple two-step formula.

Share your experience:“I know what [fill in the blank] looks like for me.”Get curious about your client’s experience by asking an open-ended question:What does it look like for you?”

Translated to a real-life coaching conversation, you might say something like:

“That sounds tough. When I was struggling with binge eating, I felt so powerless and frustrated. What are you feeling in this moment?”

2. Notice and name the bright spot.

This strategy is all about taking a moment to appreciate and applaud what your client has just shared.

You might say:

“You know what? It actually takes pretty amazing self-awareness to identify and acknowledge that this is a barrier for you right now. What does it feel like to have such a firm grasp on your situation?”

Or maybe:

“We can talk problem-solving in a second, but before we do that, I want to pause and tell you that it’s amazing you’ve pinpointed this as an issue. I don’t know if you’d have been able to do that six months ago!”

This can be really effective because the client isn’t expecting to pause. They’re expecting ways to move forward. You’re giving them a moment to stop, take stock, and reflect on their awesomeness before taking action.

3. Inspire them with their own accomplishments.

Let’s say your client’s apprehensive about the idea of shutting down earlier to get more sleep.

Instead of that old “if I can do it, you can do it” advice, try highlighting their past accomplishments. That could sound like:

“You know what? You actually told me this exact same thing a couple of months ago about going to the gym. And now you’re going regularly! We can talk about specific strategies to make going to bed earlier more doable, but also, remember how far you’ve come.”

Basically, instead of saying “if I can do it, you can do it,” you’re saying, “if you can do this one thing, you can do this other thing!”

You’re showing them that you see their hard work.

And most importantly, because of that hard work, you believe in them.

When you use the above strategies with your clients, you’ll accomplish something that the phrase “If I can do it, so can you” just can’t:

You’ll help them feel heard, seen, and valued.

That’ll go a long way towards strengthening your relationship—and ultimately help your clients get better results.

Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certification. The next group kicks off shortly.


If you’re a coach, or you want to be…

Learning how to coach clients, patients, friends, or family members through healthy eating and lifestyle changes—in a way that’s personalized for their unique body, preferences, and circumstances—is both an art and a science.

If you’d like to learn more about both, consider the Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certification.

Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certification.


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