"Fat Loss Happens on Monday" (Book Review)
Fat Loss Happens on Monday is a brand-new book by Josh Hillis and Dan John. You have probably heard of Dan John before, but Josh may be a new name. Many have come to associate him with long-term fat loss and sensible planning. In other words, think of Josh Hillis as the fat-loss version of Dan John’s sensible, simple training plans.
That is exactly what sets this book apart from most diet books: it’s sensible. It’s far too sensible to be on the Internet. Somehow, and particularly when it comes to diet, we’ve made things far too complicated.
"Starting the week with the most important job ensures it’s easier to follow the fat-loss system all the way through the week."
The name of the book comes from prioritizing food so the most important actions for fat loss happen first in the week. You might think the book must contain a kick-ass HIIT style workout on every Monday, but the truth is the most important thing you can do for fat loss is buy the right food and prepare it for later in the week. Starting the week with the most important job ensures it’s easier to follow the fat-loss system all the way through the week.
About the Book
The basic premise of the book is that longevity is the ultimate goal and the only way to make an eating plan sustainable long term is for it to be non-restrictive. That’s not to say it advises eating your weight in pizza each week, but unlike most diet plans, it doesn’t seek to eliminate. Elimination diets are often bound to fail for the simple reason people have only a certain amount of will power to exert over a given time frame. Once it used up, they will return to the forbidden fruit (or chocolate, or dairy, or whatever it was that originally eliminated).
"What I like most about Josh’s approach is that it’s not judgmental or the typical “quit everything you’ve ever done cold-turkey right now” type diet plan."
The early stages of the book go back and forth between Josh and Dan. Dan uses his unique story-telling style to get the point across. The great part about stories is we remember them. And when it comes to fat loss and the training that goes with it, there are so many conflicting ideas. A story that makes everything seem so simple can be a fantastic aid.
What I like most about Josh’s approach is that it’s not judgemental or the typical “quit everything you’ve ever done cold-turkey right now” type diet plan. Just like we use constant progress in the gym, Josh uses this approach for diet and fat loss.
Habit Formation Tips
Josh outlines eleven habits that range from planning, shopping, and cooking, to eating slowly and being attentive to the quality of your food. Josh doesn’t try to get you to go from eating poorly to eating like a fitness model overnight. Instead, he looks for small progress each week.
"Many people spend their whole lives having a poor relationship with food and ultimately with themselves...Josh takes that away from people by letting them in on a pro tip – you’re going to slip up."
For example, if you ate seven meals outside of your plan (and not “bad” meals, as he makes sure not to assign morality to food), the goal for this week is to eat six. If you skipped breakfast every day, the goal this week is to focus on one day and make sure to eat breakfast on that day. Next week, you’d aim to eat well on the first two days of the week. With these small steps, you eat the elephant one bite at a time. Before you know it, you’re eating clean and looking good.
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For people who are dieting, the idea that food is neither good nor bad is quite powerful. Many people spend their whole lives having a poor relationship with food, and ultimately with themselves because of it. Josh takes that problem away by letting his readers in on a pro tip – you’re going to slip up. Everyone does at some point. The people who are successful in their fat loss journey are those who slip up a bit less each time until they become their goal.
The workouts are comprehensive and well explained. If you’re an experienced strength trainer you may not find anything new here, but this book is about weight loss, not cutting-edge training plans. The workout section of the book is substantial, with clear pictures and plenty of instruction, but the meat of the book is in the first half, where the background and rationale for the diet process are explained. Don’t take that to mean the workouts aren’t good, though. Any time you see a twenty-minute EDT (escalating training density) scheduled in a workout, you know it’s going to be tough.
"Each exercise comes with a neat set of progressions that are well thought out and easy to implement. The steps between stages are easy to adapt to."
The workouts follow three basic formats and run in cycles. The three format categories are metabolic, endurance, and strength. There are three cycles of metabolic, endurance, and strength workouts, then a stronger cycle for each format, and finally volume phases thrown in. That’s a solid six months of training.
Each exercise comes with a set of progressions that are well thought out and easy to implement. The steps between stages are easy to adapt to. For instance, the pull up progressions range from three-second hangs to full pull ups, with nine steps in between and pictures for people who don’t know what each one is.
If you’re looking for a Christmas present for a fitness buff or looking for fat loss yourself, buy this for Christmas. I wouldn’t bother with the eBook, though. The hard copy is so nice, and having a paper version makes it easier to flip back and forth.
If you were wondering if you’d like this book or not I’d ask you one question – did you like Dan John's book Intervention? If you did, buy Fat Loss Happens on Monday, because this is the diet version of that book. The strategies are simple to implement and will actually deliver real-world success.
"Fat Loss Happens on Monday" is available for $24.95 at Amazon.com.
All Breaking Muscle reviews express the opinions of the writer and are not paid for by the vendor. Though we do receive free products to test, we do not receive money for these reviews.