Paying Homage To The Fat Loss Hierarchy

I am not sure if I call this the best business move but I have to admit that the last thing that I would ever proclaim myself as is a fat loss specialist. It is not something that I put a considerable amount of time in when it comes to participating in fat loss challenges or developing fat loss protocols. I do my best to not over think or over discuss fat loss. Most of all I am not one to take a client of mine who may be self conscious about their current weight, strip them down to their underwear, have them hold today's paper, snap them at multiple unflattering angles, give them the riot act, and hope the after photo works out for the best (unless they want date.....0).

The funny thing is I have seen some remarkable fat loss success stories over the years. Enough for me to discuss my fat loss strategies with other trainers and obviously enough for me to decide to write this piece.

My take on fat loss is that we have saturated our market with products, systems, diets, and supplements all geared toward fat loss and all geared to be competitive in this growing fitness marketplace. Where things tend to go wrong in my eyes is the tendency to over think and over complicate fat loss. I have seen, read, and listened to a lot of fat loss systems out there and for the most part, if you follow certain systems I can assure you that you will get results for a certain period of time and I am all for that. Where I see confusion set in time after time is the fixation on what system works better, which one is faster, which one is safer. My problem with competitive fat loss systems is that one key point is often overlooked.


I too can say that I have made the mistake of forgetting this in my early days of training where I had my own generalizations of what my clients needed for effective fat loss. The problem was that it lacked culture. Once the initial training response began to wear off I had to start digging deep into my programming and soon after I realized that it was not just my programming that I needed to revamp. I needed to completely revamp my outlook and understand that while systems are good, it really comes down to the culture that I can create with the people that I work with.

I now look at good fat loss in the same way that I look at good business. A good company creates a good mission statement based on the culture they create in their environment. They don't sit in a boardroom and manufacture one that sounds good and hope that they can live by it. Good fat loss follows a similar model. The mission is identified, progress is straight line and well thought out, habits become beliefs, a culture is created and the once overwhelming goals that we had set ourselves up for are smashed before we even realize it.

For that reason, I no longer look at fat loss as a system. I believe that it is an outcome that follows a certain hierarchy of events that occur over time depending on the individual. When I answer fat loss questions, this is the "system" that I have used and believed in for a number of years now and it has yet to fail me. Not because of what it is made of but because of what YOU make of it.

1. Movement

Fat loss is nothing without good nutrition, but in my opinion good nutrition is nothing without exercise preceding good decision making. My movement protocol consists of movement that tests inefficiencies but can be performed so it looks pretty. It consists of full body, mobilizing and engaging exercise with the mission being that someone walks out feeling better than they did walking in. The result?

Outcome: Fat Loss

2. Physical and Emotional Response to Movement

All of a sudden you're feeling better. Energy levels are up, prior aches and pains are far more uncommon, you're feeling stronger, you're feeling better. Damn, you're looking better! Starting to warm up to this exercise business.......

Outcome: Fat Loss

3. Consistency With Movement

It becomes more unnatural to not move than it is to move. Getting in the gym is no longer the task it once was. In fact you feel lost without it. You catch yourself slouching and begin to correct it without thinking about it. The stairs become a more reasonable option than they once were. Then it dawns on you....

4. Increasing Fascination In Nutrition

Your movement is dialed in so how do you keep this going? I know that my workouts are effective when the people I work with have a growing reexamination of their dietary habits. You begin to ask the right questions and accumulate appropriate answers when it comes to what you should and should not eat and become to take action on them.

Outcome: Fat Loss

5. Physical and Emotional Response to Nutrition

You continue to look and feel better as your growing fascination evolves into growing implementation when it comes to what you eat. Each item pulled off of a grocery store shelf goes through a process of critical thinking and ingredient scanning before it goes into your basket and your body is thanking you for it.

Outcome: Fat Loss

6. Consistency With Good Nutrition

You're dialed in. You are lost without movement and lost without a solid meal. Much like exercise,
poor nutrition becomes more unnatural than good nutrition once was. You're eating with performance in mind not just aesthetics and you feel no guilt about loosening the belt on the weekend. But you know that come Monday it is time to get after it.

Outcome: A lot of fat loss

7. Recognition of Other External Factors

Your workouts and nutrition are full steam ahead. But you're not done yet you want to take this above and beyond anything you would have initially imagined. This is where recognition of other external factors steps in. I am talking factors such as stress, sleep, work, and lifestyle and their dramatic influence on your fat loss goals. You're hungry for more and your wellness iq is now evolved enough to take action on improving external factors. Getting better sleep becomes a greater priority, work/life balance is reexamined, stress levels are monitored with care and your body once again begins to thank you for it.

Outcome: Fat loss that was once perceived as difficult

This is how I would best observe the fat loss success stories I have witnessed. It seems to start out one step at a time to make continuing progress. The aftermath of it all is that it becomes a much more integrative process as these factors become hard wired and play a big role in your daily decision making. They work individually to build your culture of fat loss and work together to maintain and evolve into a culture of wellness and performance.

As for systems, I do believe in them. There really are some great ones out there and if you are able to adhere to them it is more than likely that you will see success. They will provide you with the directions that you need regarding training and food planning. However, no matter how elaborate the fat loss program you are investing in, it really comes down to making your own decisions, improving your own mindset, and being the designer of your own outcome.