If you are looking to change your body then there are four distinct skills that you need to have, if you get them right this will make this whole process effortless and easy.  The problem though is that people only ever focus on the first skill which comes at an expense of the others. The four skills you need for getting great results are – 

Skill 1 – The Ability To Lose Fat –

This is where everyone focuses their efforts, what plan of action should I follow? What exercises to do? What foods to eat? and so forth. The details are not so important. What you really need is a plan of action that you can stick to that produces fat loss. Surprisingly most people already know a formula that works and have stuck to it before. So they have this skill to some degree. 

The problems around this phase is the ability to stick to it. There are different reasons people struggle to do that. It could be that your plan is poor, for example it has too little taste, uses exercise you do not enjoy or doesn’t allow for your lifestyle.

For many people they struggle with patience as part of their fat loss and thus expect faster results than the body is willing to give and therefore try to increase difficulty from a known plan that is working to a harder one, this brings an inevitable failure as a result. 

Other times the inconsistency is from a the lack of development of the skills outlined below and therefore a reliance on the linear dieting model. I have discussed numerous times before the failures of linear dieting, defined as losing fat for long periods of time without a break e.g. 6, 8, 10 weeks in a row. It has really bad long term maintenance rates partly because of the physiological effects of it and partly because it does not develop the other skills outlined below.

Skill 2 – Finish Losing Fat & Return To Break Even –

If you have been through a period of losing weight at some point you need to stop that and return to normal eating. This transition can be a big problem for many people as at the end of a lower food intake period comes a strong desire to overeat. This often means people end up back at square one after a period of poor eating following any progress made. It is a skill to learn how to finish a fat loss period and return to a normal break even period. If done correctly you will re-feed and restore your body’s strength slowly and surely after a fat loss period and therefore easily maintain your new lower fat levels. 

Skill 3 – Motivate Yourself From Break Even to Fat Loss Again – 

As most people are a fair few weeks of fat loss away from their ultimate goal they unable to get there in one linear dieting block. This means they will need to use a few fat loss periods to get to their ultimate goal. Therefore, after a maintenance period you will need to motivate yourself into action again. This is about learning the behaviour skills to motivate you from break even back into the fat loss habits.  

Skill 4 – Get Yourself Back To Break Even From A Period Of Overeating –

The final element many people need is if they happen to be in a period of overeating or fat gain. The key here is to snap out of it and into a break even phase. All too often people in this state try to get back into a fat loss phase immediately which is too difficult a jump. The ability to return to break even is adequate enough and then in due course you could return to a fat loss phase if applicable.

Skills Vs Knowledge

The reason the above are labelled skills is that it refers to the ability to do it under the circumstances they are needed. Knowledge is meaningless in this context as it is not whether you can write a book on the topic but it is about can you get yourself to actually do it?

Anyone can develop these skills but it isn’t about reading a book on it or learning facts. It is about repetition, practice and doing the actual behaviours. The result is a continued development in the four areas and the eventual growth of you as a person in health and fitness. This of course brings significantly improved results.

For this to happen though you cannot just drop back into the tried and failed formula that most people adopt every January. The best way is through a coach like myself or a targeted programme designed to develop these traits which are distinctly absent from most health and fitness plans.

Photo – Me learning different skills from throwing and dancing to rugby and sprinting. Behavioural skills can be thought of in the same way as physical skills of these photos


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