Politically Incorrect Fat Loss – How to Finally Lose Fat


Being kind and sugar-coating things doesn’t always get the point across when talking strength training, nutrition, and definitely fat loss.

So today, I’m going to be politically incorrect, because the other way isn’t getting through to some people.

It’s time for tough love.

You’ve been warned.

“I’m just not losing fat that I think I should. I’m really determined to get rid of this flab on my stomach,” she said while grabbing and pinching her waist.

“I’ve been going to the gym four times per week for over a month now. Shouldn’t I have noticed something?” she continued as I popped the top off my last PumpkinHead Ale from Shipyard Brewery.

She asked, “Nia, what am I doing wrong?” as I took my first sip.

I almost forgot how delicious that seasonal beer was. Glad I found it hidden in the fridge. My mind quickly wandered back to the previous summer when I was in Portland, Maine and visited Shipyard. They were in the process of bottling up the PumpkinHead seasonal ale when I stopped by for a tour and taste test.

“Are you even listening?” she said sharply.

I took another sip and finally indulged her. “I know you bought Beautiful Badass last month. Did you read it?”

“Yep! I read it immediately.”


“And, what?” she asked.

It was time for another sip of my PumpkinHead.

“Have you applied the information? Have you followed one of the workout programs?”

“Well, I love the simple, no nonsense information and the programs look great, but I just don’t know what to do.”

I was beginning to get a little annoyed because this isn’t the first time we’ve had this conversation. In fact, this was probably the third time we’ve discussed this very thing. ”Correction. It’s not that you don’t KNOW what to do. The problem is that you’re not DOING what you already know.

You read the articles I sent you months ago, like the 10 Commandments for Simple Fat Loss, but you didn’t do it. Likewise, you’ve just read Beautiful Badass and you’re not doing anything you read in there either. That, my friend, is why you’re not losing fat. It ain’t that dang hard.” The beer had definitely kicked in because my southern drawl developed some extra twang and any semblance of grammar skills disappeared. My typical alcohol-induced side effects.

For the first time, she didn’t have a response.

I was a little crass, which isn’t my typical style. I’m patient and understanding with people who come to me the first time — people who generally are confused from a surplus of conflicting information. Individuals who truly don’t know where to begin. But, not my friend. She did know. Hence my blatant annoyance.

“Look. It’s really simple. Granted, it may not be easy, but you can lose the excess fat you’ve accumulated,” I continued.

We went on to further discuss, for the last time, how she should approach strength training and nutrition to achieve her fat loss goals.

That leads up to . . .

The Politically Incorrect Fat Loss Bottom Line

Stop messing around in the gym, and get serious – lift a challenging load, get out of your comfort zone, be consistent, and improve your performance. That’s the theme behind the Beautiful Badass Workouts and the Sample Maximum Results in Minimum Time Program. You go to the gym, work hard on a few exercises that provide the most band for your buck, use a challenging load, and then you leave.

Focus on big, compound exercises and make sure you improve your performance — nothing new here. Squat, deadlift, do single leg exercises, move your bodyweight via push-ups, inverted rows, chin-ups, single leg squats, and perform other presses and pulls using free weights.

If you’ve got quite a bit of extra body fat you need to lose (meaning you have no, or very little, muscle definition) or you haven’t strength trained consistently for at least a year, then you need to read this: Stop doing isolation exercises like biceps curls and triceps kickbacks.

If you have a lot of body fat to lose, tons of isolation exercises with light weight aren’t going to do a thing. It’s the equivalent of using a tiny chisel to break down a brick wall.

Isolation exercises = chisel to break down a brick wall

What you NEED is a friggin’ sledge hammer.

Big compound exercises with a challenging weight = sledge hammer

Lift heavy things three to four times per week following the above guidelines and you’re on the fast track to success. Ignore this important step and suffer the consequences.

Move more, preferably in a fun, enjoyable way — you don’t have to spend hours on a cardio machine, but make it a point to move more. Walk your dog every morning and evening, go for a hike over the weekend, or start participating in fun, recreational activities. The options are limitless, you just have to pick one and DO it.

Eat REAL food — most people aren’t going to like this, and that’s fine. But, I’ve seen it work time and time again so I’m going to keep saying it. Focus first on eating real food. Listen to your body and eat when you’re hungry and stop when you’re satisfied. This is the Sane and Simple Nutrition approach.

Be consistent. Be relentless – nothing in life is perfect. You may have all the determination in the world to reach your fat loss goals. But, guess what? Life will inevitably throw you a curve ball when you least expect it. You’ll have less time. You’ll have to make some sacrifices. Things won’t always go as planned.

Accept it now, because it will happen.

It’s what you do when it happens that will determine your success, or lack thereof.

Even if you have to spend less time working out, don’t give up. You can always do two or three workouts each week that only take 30 minutes to perform. It may not be ideal, but you can do it . . .

I truly want YOU and every other person who wants to improve his/her health and build a better physique to achieve those goals via simple, no nonsense workouts and nutrition information. Ya know, like from the articles on this very website. And leads us into . . .

Your Call to Action

1) If you’re on a fat loss journey and not getting the results you’re after, start implementing the tips above. Take ACTION!

2) If you have a friend or family member who is making these mistakes and not getting the fat loss results they want, please send them this article. Let’s help as many people as possible discover the simple, no nonsense way to lose fat and build a better body. Even if that means delivering it with a little tough love.

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  • “I freaking LOVE this info! I'm determined to be a Beautiful Badass!” -Tina V
  • http://www.facebook.com/gabriella.lehoczki Gabriella Lehoczki

    love this :) my favourite part is the frigging sledge hammer :D

    • Nia Shanks

      Thanks, lady!

  • Penny

    Love the chissle analogy. Will use it liberally. thank you!

  • chrysta

    Love it! I always feel like Im not sure what to say after Ive had the same conversation with the same person for the last 3 months or so….hhmmm…So I guess its time to be a bit more blunt=)

    • Vicki

      Some people need to be hit with a Sledge Hammer before hey get it! Be blunt sometimes being soft and nurturing not wanting to hurt feelings etc …. Just doesn’t work. The definition of insanity is going the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result!

  • Sarah Kay Hoffman

    I love this so much, Nia! I work with women who have IBS and IBD. Coincidentally, I wrote a similar post today called, “Hustlin’ a Healthy Lifestyle.” There is simply no “magic” to it.

  • Rebecka

    Great post!

  • http://www.facebook.com/khartdavis Kellie Hart Davis

    This is great. I always notice when I do a new client intake that many ladies tell me what they want to eat vs what they are actually eating. My response is, “If you are eating this way, why did you hire me?”

    • Vicki

      I’m with you! Every time I ask a new client to write a food diary, assuming they manage to do it. I look at it, look at them, and smile to myself….. Why? Cos if they eat only what was in the diary they wouldn’t need me!!! I have on more than one occasion not taken on a new client because it would be a waste of their money and my time! The only up side is it shows me that people do know what to eat they just choose not too.

  • http://www.grassfedmomma.blogspot.com grassfedmomma

    YES The holy trinity : bench, squats, deads. Thanks Nia!

  • Deborah

    Great reminder!! It is simple… but not easy, as you point out.

    • Nia Shanks

      Exactly. Simple does not always mean easy.

  • Gina McNeal

    Reminds me of a Craig Ballantyne quote that I often post at the gym where I work: “Fat loss is simple once you realize how hard it is.” Bottom line: if you expect your body to change, you gotta put in the hard work . Duh.

    • Nia Shanks

      ACTION is where it’s at, for sure!

  • Vicki

    It’s not hard yet we struggle everyday with friends and family to get it! They all want a quick fix, I remind them they didn’t get fat over night so why the hell do they think they can lose it in a week or a month! Love the sledge hammer, so very true!

    • Nia Shanks

      Thanks for sharing!

  • estaki

    Good advice. I’m so disappointed I can’t lift heavy for my lower body for a good 4-6 weeks – I sprained ligaments in my lower spine so dead lifts are definitely out :( training body weight for lower body at the moment but I will get back there!

    • Nia Shanks

      No worries, lady. I haven’t squatted or deadlifted in months now, but I’m still training hard with what I CAN do.

      Don’t get discouraged by what you can’t do right now, but take this as an opportunity to tackle new challenges.

  • Hjara

    I wish more people would be blunt. I went to the gym this afternoon and I didn’t do my best. I came home and felt like I’d cheated myself. But then I finished my workout at home. And I know I won’t go to bed without doing more: bodyweight squats, lunges, push-ups. Because I hate the feeling of cheating myself as much as I hate being overweight. Being overweight feels like I’m cheating myself. Because, you know, I am.

    The only person who can be tough with me is me. And if I’m not tough with me then nothing is ever going to change.

    • Nia Shanks

      Keep working hard and you WILL get the results you want. And be proud of what you’ve already done. Celebrate those victories.

    • Vicki

      Good on you, as Nia says it will work just stick at it! Change is never easy if it was the world won’t be in he mess it is today! Take each day one step at a time. You will get stronger and look fantastic!

  • Jayna’

    lol. Love this. I have to print this out and show it to a client of mine. People think that “simple” is the stuff that “fit” people tell them to do because “we don’t get it”. Uhhh I used to be 70 pounds heavier and a lumpy woman. Now I’m not! Love love love this!!!