Teaching my body transformation clients how to prioritize their time and energy on addressing and applying change to their life is the most important thing I teach. The level of success anyone has with weight loss is directly correlated to the net improvement of their decision-making over a period of time.
The level of success anyone has with weight loss is directly correlated to the net improvement of their decision-making over a period of time.
To ensure that you have a large net improvement, your decision-making must be in the black in all the following areas: nutrition, physical exercise, time management and planning. In an effort to make the learning process easy for my clients I was inspired by Alwyn Cosgrove to create my own Fat Loss Hierarchy for Los Angeles*. Los Angeles is one of the easiest cities in the US in which to get fit because we have amazing places to train, high quality food, and knowledgeable health & fitness professionals, but you still have to know how to prioritize your time and energy because it is limited. Use the following hierarchy as your guide for prioritizing your time and energy to maximize your results.
- Proper nutrition is #1 in the Fat Loss Hierarchy. You can’t out train a bad diet. Improving food choices is the biggest hurdle to jump when your goal is fat loss. The more natural and less processed your diet the better. Year round great weather in Southern California ensures that we have access to fresh produce all year long. The 3rd Street Promenade farmer’s market on Wednesday or the Sunday farmer’s market in Hollywood are the best in the city with a great variety of organic produce and grass-fed meat without spending your whole paycheck at Whole Foods. You can even score raw dairy products for a reasonable price at both of these markets.
- Nutrition is so important that it also holds the #2 spot. Even though Angelino’s tend to get a late start to work they are hard working, busy people that burn the midnight oil. Many of you don’t have time to do your own cooking. Fortunately, food delivery services like My Fit Foods and Annie's Edibles will custom make your meals to meet your weight loss goals, satisfy your palate, and address your allergy concerns.
- Surrounding yourself with positive influences is #3 on my list. It is said that you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. Make an effort to spend more time with positive people that support your goals. Hire a trainer, find a training partner, or join a group that will hold you accountable and support you.
- Up to 3 hours/week of resistance interval training with bodyweight exercises and basic implements like barbells and kettlebells is by far the best use of exercise time for fat loss. I have Body Transformation clients that have made dramatic changes doing only calisthenics (bodyweight training) and kettlebell exercises. Research has shown experienced subjects doing a kettlebell swing burned an average of 20.2 calories a minute, making it one of the most efficient fat burning exercises ever tested. At that rate you would burn 1200 calories in an hour! The best part about calisthenics and kettlebells is that you can do them anywhere while enjoying the sunshine and beautiful views around Los Angeles
- High Intensity Anaerobic IntervalTraining (HIIT) is the next best use of training time if you have another 1-2 hours to train/week. Hillsprints are my top suggestion for HIIT training. The hills in the neighborhood north of Lincoln Blvd. in Santa Monica or the sand dunes in Manhattan Beach are two of my favorite locations. Sometimes to mix it up I do sprint interval workouts on stairs. Matt Aporta from Stronger Faster Healthier introduced me to the Culver City stairs which offer the most challenging stair workout in the city. The staircase is over 230 yards with randomly varied step heights that have an average height of 10.5" and a max height of 20". I still haven't gotten the chance to thank Matt with a kettlebell workout yet.
- Aerobic intervals and steady state aerobics round out the best kinds of training for weight loss if you have even more time to exercise. Since most people spend way too much time inside during the day, I like to recommend getting as much exercise outside as possible. Rowing, swimming and cycling are great ways to get your aerobic exercise. If you like a little variety and more intensity try a fitness scavenger hunt. If you are interested in swimming, Santa Monica College has open swim hours at their world class salt water pool facility. I get my aerobic exercise by commuting back and forth from work all week on my bike. Several of my clients that are big cyclists tell me that the roads in the Santa Monica Mountains are the best in Los Angeles for riding.
Time and energy are our most precious and limited resources. People that have the most success in any area of life are the ones that do the best job of utilizing them. Use my fat loss hierarchy as your guide to ensure that you will be a massive success.
*This hierarchy applies to fat loss in any city. With a little research I'm sure you can find places similar to the ones I describe in your town.