In this discussion of the Alliance Warrior Code, I introduce one may favorite philosophies, Kaizen.Kaizen is a Japanese word or philosophy which means continuous improvement or progress.  The term was originally used to describe the philosophy which many Japanese businesses used to rebuild after World War II.  The idea is to focus on getting a little better everyday.  Small incremental change accumulated over time will render an extraordinary transformation.

In this age of quick fixes, the value of this philosophy is often overlooked.  This philosophy can be incorporated into many areas of our lives but one where it can be helpful in particular is with fat loss.

When asked what is a good goal for fat loss, my reply is typically about one to two pounds per week.  Yet more often than not ,when a person starts a new nutrition plan and they only lose one pound the first week, they become discouraged and often begin to stray from the plan shortly thereafter.  If they were to stay on this path they would lose 4 pounds in the first month.  This may not be that impressive but at three months this would lead to 12 pounds, at six months 26 pounds, and in a year, this same one pound loss per week, would lead to a 52 pound fat loss.

Sometimes, we see people unhappy with the one pound loss decide to use more drastic approaches to fat loss and as result lose weight much faster.  This faster approach can also be effective and while some are able to maintain and keep the weight off, many end up putting a lot of the weight back on.

Precision Nutrition is a company which has been  a resource I have used for years for nutritional information.  It is the basis from which we derived the habits we teach as third phase of our four phase approach to nutrition.  Precision Nutrition teaches a program called Lean Eating from which many have gotten remarkable results.  The Lean Eating program utilizes the Kaizen philosophy.  The program is twelve months long and the gist of the program is that you change one habit every couple of weeks.  This leads to monumental change over the course of a year.

What is interesting is that in the first two weeks of the program all you do is to eat slow and until 80% full. When I purchased the program several years ago I remember thinking, “Is this all there is?”  Yet by changing one small thing at a time, building a new habit and gaining confidence as you do, you create momentum and belief.  I have made this same recommendation on many occasions through emails about nutrition, nutrition workshops, and individual consultations. I am curious to know how many people I have made this recommendation to have continued to do so on a consistent basis.

Of course, as I mentioned earlier, nutrition is only one place you can you can apply the Kaizen principle.  In your physical training it might be setting a new PR (personal record) by one rep, one pound, or five seconds. This may not seem like much but again the small incremental changes add up.  In jiujitsu these changes are sometimes harder to quantify.  Moving to the next belt level or doing well in competition or the easiest ways to see improvement. Some progress faster than others but I have  never seen anyone who consistently shows up to train  with a focused mindset who does not improve. What are some areas where you can apply this principle?  Remember it is not always about making rapid change but sometimes more about making small changes consistently.  I believe this is the most effective way to have long lasting results.

To your success on the Warrior Path,