The Deep Health Coaching method from Precision Nutrition

Lose 10 pounds. Run a half marathon. Get six-pack abs. How do you change customers’ short-term goals into something meaningful, sustainable and inspiring? Enter: deep health coaching, the revolutionary method that gives your customers the results they want, plus the results they need.


Do you really change the health of your customers?

Do you help them thrive in all aspects of life?

Of course you can help them increase their bench pressures, have confidence in their beach vacation, or get a cracking swole.

But what if we told you that eating and fitness – the domains of physical health – make up only 16 percent of what determines the success of your customers?

What if you could go further than ’12 weeks of beach bid programs’ or ‘weight loss before the wedding’, towards something truly meaningful and sustainable, and even more inspiring?

After all … what will happen to the beach floor in week 13?

Or by the 10th wedding anniversary?

Can your customers stay at their goal or even grow without feeling deprived, hungry and miserable?

Without turning food and fitness into a full-time job?

And without falling back from short-lived pride and mirror selfies in lasting shame and baggy sweatshirts?

Is there a way YOU can build one sustainable coaching company where you constantly help people learn, grow and improve … without constantly having to print on new customers or having to start over?

Where your customers are not only good with the quick-fix results they get … but have been transformed inside and out, to the point that they are enthusiastic about you to their friends and family?

What if you could be a coaching alchemist … someone who transforms superficial physical goals into content gold?

After working with more than 100,000 customers, we believe that you can become more ambitious – and more effective and fulfilled – with an approach that goes far beyond the superficial.

It is called coaching for deep health.

This is when all domains of health are synchronized, instead of just the physical.

It’s not just about how your customers look or perform.

It is also about how they think, respond, solve problems and deal with the world around them.

“Wait,” you could say. “I’m all for deep health, but my sixteen is here and they want to lose 20 pounds.”


Deep health coaching will help you get them there faster and easier than ever before – in a way that fits their lives and is sustainable.

(That’s good for your customers.)

Their results will translate into glowing assessments, many referral activities and an invaluable sense of career development.

(That’s good for you.)


The six domains of deep health

Deep health does not come from a pill or surgery.

Deep health comes from a balanced diet of fresh, whole foods. It comes from sufficient exercise combined with real peace. It comes from clean air and clean water. It comes from a real human connection and genuine emotional expression.

And it comes by living with purpose and joy, and using your life as an expression of these things.

When you coach for deep health, you consider the multidimensional success of an entire person throughout his life.

Not only body fat percentage and blood work, but also factors such as how people think, feel, live and make contact with others.

Don’t worry: we do not recommend that you master psychotherapy or tackle the human condition.

We suggest that you understand how healthy eating and lifestyle affect every aspect of your client’s well-being. And vice versa.

Here are the six domains of deep health.

These areas of health are closely intertwined and strongly connected.

You probably know how we can feel how we eat. (After all, this is the # 1 nutritional challenge for most people.)

You may also have noticed that people with supporting families, strong connections in their gyms or hospitable fitness communities (such as running or cycling groups) show up more often for their training.

Or that people with a clear goal, self-stories that promote healthy activities, or the willingness to turn suffering into action, remain motivated and succeed.

Every domain of deep health influences eating and exercise behavior.

That is what deep health coaching is all about.

Let’s see what this might look like in real life.

Example 1: Your client is a dedicated runner with an injury.

They cannot walk well, which means that they cannot train and that they become deconditioned. That is the current state of their physical health.

But because of this situation they are also:

  • feeling depressed and frustrated (emotional health)
  • lonely and unconnected, miss their weekend run clubs and races (relational health)
  • begins to wonder what the use of something is (existential health)

Example 2: Your customer works long hours on a stressful job.

They sit at a desk (that affects their physical health through inactivity and back / neck pain), and they don’t get the right sleep (physical impact again)

Because of this situation they are also:

  • anxious and stressed, answering emails late at night (emotional health)
  • arguing with their partner about too much work (relational health)
  • spend most of their time in a windowless cupboard with takeaway meals, phone call away (environmental hygiene)
  • at the point of a midlife crisis (existential health)

Now … here’s the really cool part:

The problems are connected … but also the solutions.

Struggling in one domain of deep health usually means wrestling in others.

But there is also a downside.

Improving one domain can also improve others.

This is the power of deep health coaching.

Maybe you help your injured client to find alternative activities and you can deal with his pain mentally.

You can, for example, introduce them to water sports or swimming. You help them to normalize injuries and work on rehabilitation.

They start moving again. They feel happier. They meet new friends at the dragon boat or at the local swimming pool.

Or maybe you give your stressed customer some relaxation techniques, a little mobility work at their desk and the number of healthy delivery services. Moreover, you sympathize with their challenges.

They calm down a bit, move more in their day, concentrate better and (due to a better focus and therefore productivity) they even find time to come home half an hour earlier, which makes their spouse happier.


Pull a lever in a domain of deep health, and gears in other domains will also move.

Use the connections between deep health domains to your advantage. If an area is forbidden or temporarily disconnected, try another area.

Deep health looks different for everyone.

For a young parent staying at home it can be to balance a certain size with weekly ice cream evening with their children.

For an elite powerlifter, it could push its bench presses without ruining their shoulders or social life.

For a retiree in the 1970s, it can be ‘mobility over medication’ – taking off the blood pressure pills and enjoying long walks with their partner.

That is why your customers need coaching that is individual and well thought out.

Deep health is not about rules or ideals.

It is about exploration and invitation.

Explore the worlds of your customers to find areas for growth, improvement and learning. Then invite them to learn that growth and that together with you.

This offers you unlimited coaching options … and a long-term, lucrative and satisfying coaching relationship for both client and coach.

Coach for deep health … and better results

Where do you start

Easy … just ask your customers.

They can tell you where they need the most help or where they want to thrive more.

Do not consider this process as a diagnosis or an interrogation.

Instead, think more about opening a conversation, building a story and deepening a coaching connection.

You can casually ask one of these questions, or all of them, if you want.

You can ask questions and do intuition in different ways, collecting data from a series of customer directions (for example their body language).

You can even use these questions as part of your progress check using the questionnaire below.

(Download a printable copy that you can use for yourself or your customers.)

While you and your client go on research, you will both receive valuable attention.

Your client can begin to notice where they are not in line with their deeper values ​​and goals. Or where one domain is connected to another, in a way that they had never realized. (Example: “Gosh, on days when I don’t get exercise, I’m really grumpy”.)

Often this simple awareness is sufficient to start a conversation about change.

Or you can consciously guide customers towards noticing what may require their attention. (Example: “I find that customers who have difficulty sleeping also have difficulty controlling their appetite … Does that feel true for you?”)

Of course, as you probably know, it doesn’t work to tell customers what to do. So instead of evaluating your client’s questionnaire and giving him an ‘assignment’, ask him:

“What is on your waste list?”

These are behaviors that you know are totally “waste” for your health, common sense and well-being – but you do them anyway. Everyone has a few.

Overeating on the weekend, skipping recovery days and not getting enough sleep are some of the most common items on the garbage list. But they can also be anything from a negative self-talk to filling the freezer with ice every Friday.

Asking for a customer’s garbage list is a quick and dirty way to find out where you should prioritize your efforts and help them on their way to deep health.

But it’s just the beginning.

If you really want to learn to master this coaching philosophy, read on.

Ask the right questions … to find amazing solutions.

After the first assessment you probably have a good working hypothesis about the deep health of your customer.

So as a coach you currently have two roles to play:

Deep health detective: investigate.

  • In which areas does it seem that there is more to discover?
  • What does your customer struggle with the most?

Deep health sherpa: guide.

  • Not ‘repairing’, but increasing the awareness of your customer.
  • Work together to investigate where they can seek help – or come up with their own solutions (with supportive coaching).

In short: let your customer tell you what he needs to see results.

Below is a handy quick start conversation guide to help you with this. There are a few ways to use it.

Option 1: Work your way through each question and look for places where you want to dig deeper. Use the follow-up questions in those areas for more information.

Option 2: Go directly to the question that relates to the area where your customer needs the most help. Use the first question to start a conversation and then dive into the follow-up questions for more information.

In either case you can use the ‘action-oriented thinking”Ask to help your customer with starting brainstorming solutions.

They don’t have to make decisions about how to change things right away, but these questions help get the process going.

Deep Health Domain # 1

Physical Health: “How do you feel physically?”

Sometimes people can tell you clearly and specifically about their food, exercise, health, mobility / pain and general recovery.

For example, they might say, “I’m tired because I work 12 hours a day.” My knees hurt from being at work a lot. I don’t have the energy to cook, so I eat junk in the supermarket. “

Excellent! Now you have a fixed direction.

Sometimes they can’t tell you what’s going on. Or they say, “Hey, okay, I guess.”

If that happens, no problem. Try some of the follow-up questions below and see what your customer says. If you are not making progress, you can always focus on a different area.

Possible follow-up questions

  • More information about nutritional problems: “What is your biggest nutritional challenge right now?
  • Find obstacles for movement: “How do you feel when you exercise?”
  • Action-oriented thinking: “What keeps you from getting the body you really want?”

Deep Health Domain # 2

Emotional health: “How are you emotionally?”

This can be difficult to talk about, but it is important. How your client feels emotionally every day can affect everything from their eating habits to their relationships with others.

A quick pro-tip: for many of these questions, what your customer is not saying is almost as important as what they are saying.

Look for clues in the body language, especially if they tell an emotionally charged story. Like, when they smile stiffly when they say “I want to kill my boss”, or seem to collapse if a pile was unwashed while saying, “I am so discouraged with my achievements.”

If they give you a one-word answer, you can consider pressing on. Maybe there’s nothing, but you won’t find out unless you ask.

Possible follow-up questions

  • Understand their ability to handle emotions: “It sounds like you had a pretty bad day yesterday. How did you deal with that? “
  • Evaluate the general mood: “If you were to describe your overall mood in three words, what would they be?”
  • Action-oriented thinking: “What do those three words (above) tell you? Is there anything you would like to change about your emotional health? “

Deep Health Domain # 3

Mental health: “What happened the last time you encountered a major logistical challenge?”

This area is mainly about how well their mind works. And this question helps clients evaluate their ability to solve problems, focus, prioritize and put things in perspective.

You also get a chance to see what their capacity for insight is. Do they offer additional reflections on how they dealt with the situation? Or how they could have handled the situation differently?

A client who is not doing well in this area may have difficulty concentrating on work or constantly forgetting important items on his task list. So watch out for signs that they can benefit from increasing their mental game.

Possible follow-up questions

  • Search for gaps in organization and mental clarity: “How do you keep track of all the things you need to do on a given day?”
  • Rate creativity: “Where and when do you have the best ideas?”
  • Action-oriented thinking: “What do you think you need to have a clearer head?”

Deep Health Domain # 4

Existential health: “Why do you want to change your health?”

Existential health refers to having a deeper “why,” or the sense that our actions have meaning.

When we have a strong sense of ourselves and what we are doing here, we feel worthwhile. Appreciation for ourselves then influences how we deal with our minds, our bodies and the people around us.

People find meaning in roles as varied as the best parent they can be to make the world a better place through their work. The most important thing is that your client finds meaning in something.

It is also important to clearly understand the motivations, or what the desire is to change. We can change without knowing exactly why we do it, but it helps us feel that there is a deeper purpose to the discomfort that we face.

And just a warning, the more often you offer a curious “why”, the greater the chance that you will get the real reason to make a change in their lives. Practice starting sentences with “I wonder about …” and “Why …?”

Possible follow-up questions

  • Search for general purpose: “What drives you here? What is a fire under your ass to do this, or live life in general?”
  • Ask for the “not-why”: “What doesn’t drive you? What are you not interested in doing or having? “(Sometimes it’s easier for people to name what they don’t want, then you can explore the opposite to find out what they really appreciate.)
  • Measure their sense of belonging: How do you see yourself fitting into the “big picture”?
  • Action-oriented thinking: “What do you think your life would give more meaning? Is there anything you already do that you think makes sense? “

Deep Health Domain # 5

Relational health: “Who in your life supports you on this health journey?”

Social support is incredibly important for success in a health and fitness trip, so if you find out if your client has it, you can better assess his needs.

If your client has someone in mind who he knows can rely on support, it is a good practice for him to “notice and name that person.” This question can also help your client realize that he should ask for help from someone close to him, such as a partner or spouse.

Relationships can influence your client’s habits without realizing it. For example, if their partner prefers to watch TV while eating, it may be more difficult for them to eat slowly and concentrate on their food.

Possible follow-up questions

  • Probe for meaningful relationships: “It sounds like Person X is really important to you! Can you tell me more about how they support you? “
  • Measure their sense of belonging: “Where and with whom do you feel that you belong?”
  • Action-oriented thinking: “What do you need from the people around you to succeed?”

Deep Health Domain # 6

Healthy living environment: “How does your environment affect your health?”

Everything from the food in your house to the weather in your city to the political atmosphere in your country belongs to your environment.

Because you feel safe, secure and supported by your environment, you can make better choices for your health.

Access to resources such as health care or healthy food is also part of the health of the environment.

We cannot control some elements of our environment. They are more structural and systematic, woven into the fabric of our societies. These are mentioned social determinants of healthand include poverty, racism, homophobia, lack of accommodation for the disabled and displacement (as in the case of refugees).

In each of these situations it can be very difficult to take steps to change someone’s environment. What can help is to focus on the things you can control where possible.

Possible follow-up questions

  • Determine access to resources: “Is there anything you need to achieve your goals that you currently don’t have access to?”
  • Evaluate their safety and security: “Where do you feel most comfortable and safe?”
  • Action-oriented thinking: “If you could change your environment to help you achieve your goals better, how would you do that?”

What to do now …

Look at the big picture.

You now understand how seemingly unrelated factors, such as relationships and work, can influence their ability to lose fat, gain muscle and / or improve their overall health.

So for the best results, judge each client on a deep health condition, even if he has a super-specific aesthetic goal.

Search for connections.

The social bone is connected to the mental bone, is connected to the physical bone, and so on. Curiously draw a thread from your client’s life, assuming that things have to do with each other and see what it unravels.

This also means that small specific things are a microcosm. If a customer comes to you with major problems, ask for concrete examples of how those problems manifested. For example:

Client: I eat terribly.

Coach: Can you tell me a specific situation in the last day or two in which you ate horribly? Like one meal maybe? What happened then?

And so on.

Work together with your customer.

Tell, direct, do not teach or do not immediately jump in with ‘useful’ suggestions.

Instead: investigate together. Ask, learn, listen.

Every customer needs a unique approach and must first purchase. That happens when they feel autonomous and self-determined and when they can tell their story without judgment from the coach.

All you have to do to create an individualized plan is to ask the right questions and listen to the answers.

Remember that coaching is a science, but it is also an art.

The science of nutrition can get your customers abs. Artful coaching can improve their lives. Combine the two and you make yourself (and your customers) successful.

What if you could really make a difference in the lives of others – and never feel confused about nutrition again?

When it comes to better health and fitness, focus on nutrition is the most important and effective step. But there is a big problem: most people do not feel qualified to coach food, especially in a way that leads to profound health and lasting change.

That is where we come in. If you want to know everything about nutrition – especially how you can use it to help yourself and others – consider the Precision Nutrition Level 1 certification. The next group will start soon.

What is it about?

The Precision Nutrition Level 1 certification is the most respected nutrition education program in the world. It gives you the knowledge, systems and tools you need to feel confident and qualified to coach food with everyone.

Developed in 15 yearsand proven with more than 100,000 customers, the Precision Nutrition curriculum stands on its own as the authority in the field of nutrition science and the art of coaching.

Whether you are in the middle of your career or just starting out, the PN Level 1 certification is your springboard to one deeper understanding of nutrition, the authority to coach it and the ability to translate what you know into results—For yourself and your customers.

(Of course, if you are already a student or graduate of the Level 1 certification, check out our Level 2 certification Masterclass. It is an exclusive, year-long mentorship designed for elite professionals who want to master the art of coaching and want to be part of it of the top 1% of health and fitness coaches in the world.)

Interested? Add your name to the presale list. You save up to 30% and secure your place 24 hours for everyone.

On Wednesday 8 April 2020 we will open places in our next Precision Nutrition Level 1 certification.

If you want to know more, we have prepared the following presale list, which offers you two advantages.

  • Pay less than everyone else. We are happy to reward people who want to increase their reputation and are ready to commit to the training they need. So we offer a discount of up to 30% on the general price when you sign up for the presale list.
  • Apply 24 hours for the general public and increase your chances of finding a place. We only open the certification program twice a year. Due to the high demand, places in the program are limited and sold out within a few hours. But when you sign up for the presale list, we give you the option to register 24 hours before someone else.

When you are ready for one deeper understanding of nutrition, the authority to coach it, and the ability to turn what you know into results… this is your chance to see what the best professional nutrition coaching system in the world can do for you.

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