How’s That Working For You?

When someone finds out what I do for a living they react in one of two ways. They either act like I’m the food police and run a mile. Or they tell me their diet and exercise life story and ask why I think they aren’t losing weight (Note: they’ve usually got a glass of wine in their hand and a plate full of ‘party’ food at the time).

At a get together a few weeks back a friend came over and hit me with her weight loss problem. She wanted to lose a little fat and change her shape (she described herself as a pear). She was frustrated that she only ever lost weight from her upper body, meaning she still looked like a pear – just a smaller version.










She told me her plan was to run loads and eat less and asked what I thought.
Truth is, I had no idea what she should do. So I asked if she’d tried the whole running and starving routine before. And she had.

So I asked: “How’d that work for you?”
As the penny dropped she realised that if she just did more of the same, it probably wouldn’t have a different effect. I mean if she tried running loads and eating less before and it didn’t make her body shape any different, why would it work now?
Some other examples of people doing the same things over and expecting different results:

  • Counting calories or trying to follow a restrictive diet for more than a couple of weeks
  • Joining  a gym without working with a trainer (= no real plan or comitment to going)
  • Trying to ‘eat heathily’ without any specific focus or anyone to help you stay on track
  • Spending ££’s on exercise equipment (that now serves as a pretty good clothes hanger)

Did it work before?

Usually we stick to what we know. We get an idea about what we think we need to do lose fat from all kinds of sources. Our friends, family and the media are all dying to tell us how to do it (apparently all you need to do is swap your meals for this ‘special’ breakfast cereal and you’ll drop a dress size).

I used to ask clients to rate their diet on a scale of 1-10, but soon realised how irrelevant that question was. You see, it doesn’t matter how good you or me THINKS your diet is. All that matters is the proof.
So what I’m saying is; let your body tell you if what you eat is getting you to your goal.

“When it comes to changing your body, ‘should’ counts for nothing”

If your body looks and feels the way you want, fine, you’re eating the perfect diet for your goal. Want things to be a little different? Well, that’s fine too. You already know what DOESN’T work

Try something a little different

So a better question;
“Is what I’m eating now helping me lose fat?”

If not, your body’s telling you that your current diet’s no good for fat loss. In which case you might need to change your thinking from:

“No matter what I do I can’t lose weight”

To something like:

“What I’m doing isn’t working for weight loss – what should I try next”

That way you might be a little more open to idea that to get the body you want you need to do things a little differently.


Want your body to stay as it is? No problem. Just keep doing exactly what you’re doing now. If you’re body doesn’t look the way you want (and isn’t gradually getting there) try something different.
It’s called ‘outcome based decision making’ and basically means deciding what to do based on the results you get. Not what you think should work, but what does.

The Food and Exercise Diary

Before we consider changing something with clients we want to know what they’re already doing (so we know what doesn’t work for that person). I want to give you the tools so you can do the same.

Print a copy of the food and exercise diary and record what you’re doing now. You don’t need to change anything. Just print it off, do what you normally do and record it. After a few days you’ll be able to see exactly what ISN’T working for you.

Food and Exercise Diary PDF (opens a new window in your browser)
Next step is to pick something you think you could do better and get to work on it (Note: If you need some direction on what nutritional changes might help you lose weight check out 5 Nutrition keys for fat loss).

If you make progress – keep going.
No progress – Make a change.