The Dieter's Pyramid Of Importance

On the topic of information overload in the fitness industry – something I've talked about heavily in H2GFWYGOSTD (I need a better acronym...), I wanted to share something I came across recently that has reaffirmed some beliefs of mine.

This is what I'm calling the Dieting Pyramid of Importance (although it might already have a name that I have yet to find.)

Watch the video version of this post or keep reading below!

I read about the Dieting Pyramid of Importance (which I'll shorten to DPI), in an issue of MASS (Monthly Applications in Strength Sport) a research review done by Eric Helms, Greg Nuckols, and Michael Zourdos. If you like to geek out on the latest research on diet and training, definitely check it out, but I'll try to bring any relevant dieting info to my articles – hence today's post!

This is similar to Andy Morgan's Nutritional Hierarchy of Importance but with one main difference which I'll go over below. It was created as a compilation of data from the results of coach's with successful clients, meaning that clients seemed to have the best results if they put their attention and effort in right areas with respect to importance on this pyramid.

I'm not going to deep dive into the entire pyramid in this post, but I wanted to point out some key points.

First, the base level is adherence. That means that the most up-to-date studies on dieters showed that your ability to adhere (stick to the diet over the long term) *is the most important aspect required to reach your weight loss goal**.

Interesting how you see nothing about carbs, fat, or sugar, isn't it?

That's probably why weight loss gets called a "journey" so much. It's a journey because you won't know right away how to structure your diet so that you have the best chance of adhering to it.

That takes a lot of experimentation, trail, and error. Depending on your level of commitment and experience, your journey could be quite short, or like in my case, stubbornly long.

Remember – I've been trying to get lean and stay lean for many years and only recently found the keys, although I'm still in a process of discovery to beat binge eating setbacks that keep me from the level of leanness that I am now going for.

Okay, so if adherence is the most important, what is next?

One level up is energy balance. In most cases, that simply means CICO - calories in vs. calories out. You want your body using more energy than you're taking in by eating.

I like this pyramid because it is probably the best simplification of dieting info to date. Focus your energy on figuring out how to keep a calorie deficit in a way that you can most easily sustain it (adherence) over the long term.

It's a marathon, not a sprint.

I'll probably talk about the other levels of the pyramid in a future post, but that is all I wanted to point out today. I've also heavily borrowed from this pyramid in my upcoming course Diet Coach In-A-Box. It acts as a foundation for the entire course since it holds the key for truly reaching your weight loss goals.