The Hierarchy of Weight Loss

October 23, 2020
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Looking for rapid weight loss? Well, understanding weight loss should be difficult, but with so much confusion and misinformation out there, far too many people fail. Our approach cuts through the mud and gives you the straight goods. Understanding the best way to lose weight will give you the power you need to take control of your waistline and your future.

As we near the end of another year we approach the beginning of a new one and what will inevitably be a wave of new weight-loss journeys. Unfortunately, most of these journeys fail within the first month. The problem is that most weight-loss seekers don’t understand where their efforts are best placed, and they’ve been fed lies and misinformation from the diet industry. If you want to lose weight you should understand that for true, rapid weight loss you must commit to a process of multiple lifestyle changes. The following hierarchy is one I have found to be the most successful with both my athletes and general population clientele.

Calorie deficits and rapid weight loss

Calorie Deficit

Weight loss occurs when you eat less calories than you burn. Weight gain occurs when you eat more calories than you burn. Period. These are laws of the universe.

“But I tracked my calories for a month and didn’t lose weight!”

Well, you may have overestimated how many calories you burn per day. Or you may have underestimated how many calories you actually ate. Then again, you may have even tracked wrong. Hard to say for sure. What we do know tho, is that you were working with the wrong data.

Macronutrients and rapid weight loss


If you have fitness friends or a social media account you’ve seen the term “macros”. Macros, short for macronutrients, are the three major nutrients that make up the calorie content of food: Protein, Carbohydrates, and Fat. Each macronutrient has a specific calorie content per gram.

Protein: 4 calories

Carbohydrates: 4 calories

Fat: 9 calories

Although weight loss is ultimately determined by calories, it’s important to realize that weight loss doesn’t always equate to an improved body composition or health. Depending on your goal you should be focusing on specific macronutrient ratios and not only calories.

Calorie info on macronutrients for rapid weight loss


Protein is a major macronutrient in meat, dairy, eggs, and fish. Protein is also found in high quantities in many cereals and whole grains as well as nuts, seeds, legumes, and can even found in some fruit. It’s no irony that the Greek word “protein” means “primary” or “in the lead” as it’s such an important macronutrient. Protein is used in our body to build and repair skeletal muscle tissue. You also need it to make enzymes and hormones.

There are many benefits to a high-protein diet. For example, high-protein diets have been shown to increase lean body mass, be highly satiating, and improve fat loss. Additionally, protein supplementation has been shown to promote muscle hypertrophy and enhance gains in muscle strength in both untrained and trained individuals. Evidence also suggests that protein supplementation may accelerate gains in both aerobic and anaerobic power [1]. Protein is also shown to help keep you from feeling hungry. It does this by reducing levels of ghrelin, a hormone that stimulates appetite [2]. Protein can improve fat loss due to its high thermic effect. In other words, it requires more than 2x more energy to metabolize than carbohydrates or fat. This means your body will burn a lot more calories in the digestion of protein than it will carbohydrates or fat. Therefore, a high-protein diet is a must for those looking for rapid weight loss. If you’re looking to supplement your diet with protein, look to DIESEL. It’s everything a protein should be.

Best Strawberry protein powder


Carbohydrates are sugars, fruits, vegetables, fibers, and legumes. Carbohydrates are the body’s primary fuel source for immediate energy and can even be stored for energy to be used later [3]. Carbohydrates also help preserve muscle and are important or optimal brain function. When consumed, carbohydrates are broken down by the body into sugars. One of these sugars, glucose is broken down and converted to glycogen, a polysaccharide that’s stored in the liver and muscles for energy [4]. Glucose is also delivered to our brain cells where it can impact memory, emotions, and learning.


Like proteins, fats can be found in a large variety of foods including meats, dairy, nuts, seeds, and even fruits. Like carbohydrates, fats are an important energy source for the body. Fats also help balance hormones, manage inflammation, and are important for brain function. Fat is the main source of energy for long duration exercise. The process of using fat as energy can take upwards of 6 hours and, therefore, isn’t as efficient for immediate energy as carbohydrates.

Hormones are composed of both fat and cholesterol. For this reason, dietary fat is critical for hormone balance. There are also several fat-soluble vitamins like A, D, E and K that need fat for absorption. Without proper absorption, the body may suffer from nutrient deficiency and, therefore, create further hormone imbalances.

Omega-3, a fat found primarily in fish oils is known to lower bodily inflammation as well as to lower blood triglycerides, protecting against heart disease and lowering blood pressure.

“If rapid weight loss is your primary goal, protein can play a critical role in the process”

As you can see, each macronutrient has a specific purpose. Depending on your type of training and goals, you may need to focus on certain macronutrients over others. If weight loss is your primary goal, protein can play a critical role in the process due to its satiating and calorie burning properties. As discussed, carbohydrates are the most efficient form of immediate energy while fat is best for long-duration exercise. Macronutrients are also important for hormone health and if your diet is severely low in fat for instance, you could suffer from nutrient deficiency and hormone imbalance.

Simply put, managing calories is crucial for weight loss while focusing on macronutrients is the key to improving the way you look and feel during the process of weight management. The ideal situation is one where both macronutrients and total calories are taken into consideration. For optimal aesthetics, health, and performance you should know the number of calories needed for your weight and adjust your macronutrient ratios to manage how you get there.

Sleep helps with rapid weight loss


If you’re like most of my clients, you feel like you either can’t sleep more than you currently do or feel that the amount you are currently sleeping is enough. Maybe you don’t understand what sleep can do for your health and performance. If you’re not sleeping enough or are curious as to what you can do to improve the way you look, the answer is always, “sleep more”.

“Lowered testosterone can result in a decrease in energy and strength levels as well as libido.”

Studies suggest that when you miss even a little sleep your cortisol is increased the following day (5). While it’s perfectly natural for the body to increase cortisol during moments such as exercise, regularly elevated levels of cortisol will lead to lowered testosterone levels. Lowered testosterone can result in a decrease in energy and strength levels as well as libido. That means, less time spent in the bed at night could mean less time having fun in it.

Most of us need carbs to look and feel the way we want. The problem is, a study suggests that a night of poor sleep can cause greater insulin resistance than the results of 6 months following a high fat diet (6). Insulin resistance is devastating for both body composition and performance. Not only can insulin resistance cause you to store more visceral fat, but it may make it hard for you to efficiently utilize the carbohydrates necessary for your goals.

Exercise and rapid weight loss

Cardio & Weights

You may be surprised to see that I’ve put workouts at the end of the hierarchy. In fact, if you ask most people the question, “Why do you workout?” their answer will be, “To lose weight.” I mean, it makes perfect sense. Weight loss occurs in a calorie deficit so surely working out more is a great way to create a calorie deficit and therefore achieve rapid weight loss, right? The research says otherwise.

One study (7) took a sample of 43 sedentary, overweight and adolescent young men and split them into three categories: aerobic training, resistance training, and the control group. All three groups were placed on a caloric maintenance diet. At the end of the 3-month study minimal weight change was recorded among the three different categories.

Another study (8) showed an average of only 6.6 lbs. lost in men who participated in a 30-week cardio routine without dieting and an average loss of only 3 lbs. in women who participated in a 12-week cardio program without dieting.

“The fact is, exercise burns far less calories than people realize…”

The fact is, exercise burns far less calories than people realize due to factors such as workout intensity and a subsequent increase in appetite leading to an increased caloric intake.

If you hike 10 miles into the forest, you have to hike 10 miles back out. Likewise, if you’ve been gaining weight for some time now, you’ll need to be committed to the process of losing it.

Summing It Up

Real, rapid weight loss requires a lifestyle change and it’s important to know where your efforts are best spent in the process. In utilizing the above hierarchy I’ve been able to lead hundreds of successful weight loss journeys in both athletes and the general population. Read it twice and begin implementing the changes now to set yourself for a successful new year.

MMA Nutritionist

Author: Tyler Minton

Tyler “Melee” Minton is one of the most recognized Nutrition Coaches in the UFC. Having worked with hundreds of professional mixed martial artists including many world champions, Tyler’s coaching services are sought after by professional athletes and the general population alike. Applying his education and experience, Tyler promotes a no-nonsense, science-based approach to nutrition and it’s why he’s part of the PERFECT Sports Advisory Board.