Some background: two months ago, I decided that I was sick of being overweight. No, I was not a giant pile of blubber, but I was definitely carrying more around my waistline than was necessary or healthy. And while I had ostensibly been trying to get rid of the weight for several months, the reality was that I wasn't making any progress at all. I decided to take some inspiration from Dan John and treat fat loss as a war. My goal was drop a bunch of weight through the holidays, and start the new year lean, instead of worrying about it AFTER the new year had started.
I had become familiar with Leigh Peele through listening to the FitCast, and some of her own podcast. I liked what she had to say. It seemed straightforward, sensible, and pretty realistic. And since fat loss is her gig, I figured I'd check out the Fat Loss Troubleshoot that I had heard mentioned on said podcasts several times.
My starting weight was about 187 pounds. As of Saturday morning (Dec. 29) I weighed 172 pounds. Okay, 171.5. My weight has not been that low since I was in fight training. Read more about that here.
So, here's my really short review. Leigh Peele's stuff works. Go buy it.
Here's the longer review.
After a little bit of hemming and hawing, I decided to buy the Platinum Edition of the Fat Loss Troubleshoot. That gives you access to the book itself, an audio version of the book, a training program called OPT Remix, a breakfast cookbook from Leigh's Body By Eats series, and a free one-month membership to her site.
The Book Itself
Fat Loss Troubleshoot is 154-page PDF format e-book. It is a book with a very specific focus, namely, losing fat. More specifically, the book is aimed at those people who have been struggling to lose fat but can't seem to do it. The book is broken up into 19 chapters, which cover not only diet and nutrition, but also some guidelines for training as well.
Leigh's writing style is...distinctive. She has this interesting blend of incredibly supportive, "you can do it" language that is mixed with a "you are responsible for your own fat(e)" edge. She presents her information in a very direct, to-the-point sort of fashion. As is appropriate for a book on fat loss, there's not a lot of excess fluff here. Even when she delves into the science behind her recommendations, she presents it in a very clear, easy to understand manner. I functionally have no background in science, and I was able to follow all of her explanations pretty clearly.
Leigh's focus is primarily upon fat loss through caloric deficit. In other words, eat less, move more, and hey, you get smaller. There's more too it than that, but that's the basic premise. FOR ME, I found that was a much easier system to implement into my life than trying to go vegan, paleo, octo-pesca-paleo-vegan, or whatever. Fat Loss Troubleshoot gives very comprehensive guidelines for figuring out how much food you should be eating, along with a way to sort out basic macro-nutrient needs. There's a fair amount of flexibility in Leigh's approach, which is really nice. Honestly, you could probably use this in conjunction with a paleo, vegetarian, or whatever diet. The information is pretty universal.
With this flexibility, however, comes with a bit of a price. Leigh does not take the responsibility for your fat loss away from you. Indeed, she makes it pretty clear that fat loss is UP TO YOU. I actually found that pretty empowering, but if you are looking for a book that will tell you that none of this is your fault, this is not the place to do it.
The Audio Book
Leigh takes an interesting approach to the audio version of Fat Loss Troubleshoot. Rather than just reading the book word for word, she reads it, but stops to offer commentary, expand on thoughts and ideas, or just talk about some common issues she sees with particular concepts or chapters. It's a fun listen, and you really do get some information out of it that you might not if you just read the book.
That said, if you want a formal, careful reading of the book, this is not it. Leigh makes some tangents, off hand remarks, and stumbles a few times. Personally, I enjoyed the informal nature of it, but if you want something more direct, this is not it.
I didn't use this training program, so I can't comment on it very well. It appears to be very well laid out, clearly explained, and has links to videos that you can throw on your iPod for when you go to the gym. There's some more nutrition discussion in here as well. Because I've been working on a bunch of kettlebell stuff, I didn't use it, but it does ensure that if this is the only thing you've got to work with for fat loss, you've got a program to go on.
Breakfast of Champions Cookbook
I haven't used this particular cookbook either, but I did get Leigh's other cookbooks, and have used a few of the recipes. So far, everything has been tasty.
This is unique to the platinum edition of the Fat Loss Troubleshoot, and it is absolutely worth it, even if just for a month or two. You get access to a private forum, which is a great place to get questions answered and get some moral support. I confess to not having used that nearly as much as I might have--I just don't have the time to hang out on forums, .but I did get several important questions answered through the forum, and I'm not sure I would have had the same results I did without that access.
Along with the forum, membership gives you access to a bunch of extra audio interviews, videos, articles, and other nifty stuff. Again, I have not taken full advantage of this stuff, but even the bits I got were very, very useful.
The Final Verdict
I really can't say enough good things about this package. The information works. If you apply it, you lose fat. It's really not that complicated. If you are struggling with fat loss, buy this book. Hell, buy the whole package. It's worth it.