As a fitness and diet coach, I always ask myself what’s the best way to teach my students about the most important principles of weight loss. There are so many websites, books and courses on weight loss that it’s easy to get confused and to lose motivation.
It’s your job to not let that happen to you and I will do my best to help you with it. To do this I want to show you one of the best resources of practical dieting advice I have ever seen. It’s amazingly simple yet very effective.
I call it the weight loss pyramid and it is designed to show people the different factors that go into weight loss and how important they are.
It’s amazingly simple yet very effective. It is designed to show people the different factors that go into weight loss and how important they are. Let’s have a look at it:
Note: The concept of the weight loss pyramid is closely related to Eric Helms concept of the nutrition pyramid
Now I’m sure you have seen similar models before. But usually, these types of pyramid include certain foods that should make up your diet. This is not what this pyramid is all about. The weight loss pyramid orders the different aspects of your diet according to their importance towards your weight loss goal.
As you can see a calorie deficit is at the very bottom. What this means is that any diet that is designed for weight loss purposes has to include a calorie deficit. It doesn’t matter how healthy you eat or what kind of fancy supplements you take if you don’t have a calorie deficit in place none of that is going to make a difference.
I will talk about the principle of a right calorie deficit in another post in more detail, but for now, just keep in mind that this is the most important aspect of your diet and the base of the pyramid. Without it, everything will collapse like a house of cards.
The next important principle is your macronutrients so your daily protein carbs and dietary fats. As I will explain in my post on weight loss vs. fat loss, your macros along with your exercise regime will determine how you lose weight, which can be fat muscle or water.
Of course, what we want to accomplish is pure fat loss so optimizing your macros is important in this regard. Here, protein is the most important macronutrient because it helps grow and maintain muscle tissue.
Your macros aren’t as significant as your calories but they do make a difference and take on an important role in any weight loss diet.
Next comes your food sources, so what foods you actually consume. Food composition is a tricky subject and many people ask me why it’s not lower on the pyramid meaning more important in the overall diet. The thing you have to keep in mind is that when it comes to your health food composition is definitely very important.
The quality of your foods directly impacts your vitamin and mineral intake and can drastically improve your overall well being. But when we look only at weight loss and want to design a diet that accomplishes this what you eat is a lot less important.
There are several examples where people have followed very bad diets that still led to weight loss because they simply made sure to have a calorie deficit in place and get enough protein. This is not what we are going to do, but you have to know that it’s possible in theory and the reason why food composition is only in third place when it comes to importance.
At this point, we are already pretty high up the pyramid. this means that anything that comes after the first three factors of a calorie deficit, macronutrients, and food composition will only have a minor impact on your diet success. Of course, this doesn’t mean you should neglect the following factors, but make sure you have the first three in place before moving on.
Also, if you lead a busy lifestyle and want to follow a diet that is a simple and straightforward as possible then make sure you focus on the first two or first three aspects. These alone will account for 85% to 90% of dieting success and are enough to get you great results.
One reason why many people give up their weight loss goals is that they overcomplicate things which leads to confusion. You don’t have to follow a perfect diet to see results as long as you stick to the lower parts of the weight loss pyramid.
But what if you want to perfect your diet and want 100%? then you can also consider the last two aspects of the weight loss pyramid, which are meal frequency and meal timing and supplements.
Meal frequency and meal timing basically state how often and what time of day you eat and supplements refer to anything that is not considered a normal or natural food.
I will go over them in later posts but like I said before they aren’t nearly as important as many fitness gurus make them out to be. Most of the supplements out there are pure hype and only a handful will actually help you in the long run.