99 Questions You Should Answer About Fat Loss

I love questions. I love questions that get to the heart of problems. I love questions that guide you to the solutions of problems. I love questions that can be uncomfortable and questions that may spark an emotion.

With fat loss, there are countless questions to ask and, as a coach, I love asking them. It will never be as simple as “eat less, move more.” Rather, why is it so difficult to eat less and move more?

I wrote this week’s article inspired by a post I put on Instagram last week which was only ten questions. I realized that I had far more than ten questions to ask and, to be fair, I could do another post like this one as a companion and come up with another 99 questions to ask.

But this post is for you, the person trying to lose fat and for coaches who want to dig in deeper with their clients. Keep it, share it, but most importantly, WORK through it.

It may make you uncomfortable. It may stir things up in you that you haven’t considered or thought about in ages. These questions are presented without judgement and I encourage you to answer them without judging yourself.

If I had any wish, it would be that these questions point you on a path to success.

  1. Why is fat loss important for you?
  2. When you answer #1, why is THAT important?
  3. Do you have a history of an eating disorder?
  4. If the answer to #3 is YES, have you worked with a therapist to heal and repair that?
  5. When do you recall starting your first diet?
  6. What do you remember about that experience?
  7. What is your earliest memory of how you view your body?
  8. Who influenced that opinion?
  9. Do you still have the same opinion now?
  10. How do you accept and acknowledge compliments about your appearance?
  11. What makes you feel good about your appearance?
  12. Would you value yourself more if you weighed less?
  13. How would fat loss impact your health?
  14. Would your workplace performance improve if you lost fat?
  15. Do you turn down invitations to social events because of your current weight/body shape?
  16. If the answer to #15 is YES, what scenarios do you turn down?
  17. Would succeeding at fat loss make it easier for you to play with your children, grandchildren, or pets?
  18. Is fat loss something that you desire for yourself or has someone else asked you to focus on fat loss? If so, who?
  19. Who are the people you are closest to that influence how you eat? Consider your spouse, or the person you are romantically involved with, parents, siblings, children, friends, and co-workers.
  20. Who buys the groceries for your home?
  21. What foods can you successfully moderate the intake of and what foods do you feel you are unable to currently moderate?
  22. Does the person who buys the groceries know about the foods listed in #21?
  23. If the answer to #22 is YES, how often are the foods that you are currently unable to moderate purchased for the home?
  24. Do you frequently or seldom use food as a reward?
  25. Do you have a list of coping mechanisms that you can utilize when you are stressed out?
  26. If the answer to #25 is YES, how often do you use that list?
  27. In looking at the list of people in #19, who do you believe sabotages your fat loss efforts?
  28. Does that person/those people know that you feel that way?
  29. If the answer to #28 is YES, has the behavior improved? If the answer to #28 is NO, how do you plan to inform them of your feelings?
  30. Who is the most supportive person/group of your fat loss goals?
  31. How do they successfully support you?
  32. Do you feel that you struggle more with diet adherence during the week or during the weekends?
  33. How can you improve the days referenced in #32?
  34. How many diets have you tried in your life that you can recall?
  35. Which diets were most successful?
  36. What do you believe made them successful?
  37. Would any of those diets be successful for you now?
  38. If the answer to #37 is YES, which ones and why? If the answer is NO, why would that be?
  39. Do you have a consistent, restful, sleep schedule?
  40. If the answer to #39 is NO, what contributes to that?
  41. Do you feel that your life is currently more stressful than normal?
  42. What’s contributing to your current stress level?
  43. How do you effectively manage stress in your life?
  44. Are you currently taking any medications?
  45. If the answer to #44 is YES, have you spoken with your doctor to see if those medications have a tendency to cause weight gain, weight loss or are they considered weight neutral?
  46. How many days per week do you engage in cardiovascular activity? Also, how many minutes on average do you dedicate to that activity?
  47. How many days per week do you engage in strength/resistance training? Also, how many minutes on average do you dedicate to that activity?
  48. Do you believe that you burn a considerable amount of calories with your workouts referenced in #46 and #47?
  49. If the answer is YES to number #48, how many calories do you believe that to be and how do you measure it?
  50. Do you believe that your relationship with food is influenced by trauma in your life (either as a child or as an adult)?
  51. If the answer to #50 is YES, have you/are you working with a therapist to develop coping skills for the trauma in your past?
  52. Do you have an ideal weight you’d like to be at?
  53. Why is that number important?
  54. When was the last time you were at that weight?
  55. If it’s not realistic that you could reach that weight again based on current life demands, what is a weight that would be acceptable to you?
  56. If you were going to start losing fat today, what’s the first change you would make?
  57. Is the answer to #56 an easy change to make?
  58. What do you believe would be one of the hardest changes you’d have to make to be successful at fat loss?
  59. Based on the answer to #58, what makes that so difficult?
  60. Do you engage in any body-checking?
  61. How do you compare your body against others? In other words, do you compare against individuals of the same age, same gender, same social class?
  62. Do you have any diagnosed problems with your thyroid?
  63. Do you have lipadema?
  64. Do you have PCOS or PCOS with insulin resistance?
  65. Do you currently have Type I or Type II diabetes?
  66. Have you successfully counted calories or tracked macronutrients?
  67. If the answer to #66 is YES, do you enjoy the data aspect of tracking food?
  68. How often are you comfortable weighing yourself?
  69. Do you actively practice body appreciation?
  70. If the answer to #69 is YES, what do you appreciate about your body and what it’s capable of?
  71. What conversations about fat loss, dieting or body image do you have in the home with your family?
  72. What dieting method (vegan, intermittent fasting, ketogenic, etc) do you feel most closely aligned with?
  73. Based on the answer of #72, is that a fairly easy diet to adhere to in your life?
  74. Also, based on the answer of #72, does anyone in your family follow that diet? If the answer is YES, who is that and did they influence you in starting that diet method or do they follow it in efforts to support you?
  75. Do you have any food allergies? If so, what are they?
  76. Do you have any food intolerances? If so, what are they?
  77. Based on the answer to #76, can you have small doses of those foods or none at all?
  78. If you are in the menopause transition, have you noticed any sensitivities to foods that didn’t exist prior to the transition? If so, what are they?
  79. Do you feel that you snack a lot, very little or never?
  80. If you snack a lot, how can you improve that?
  81. Do you drink alcohol? If so, how much and how often?
  82. How much do fluids (aside from water) contribute to your daily intake? Consider any juices, carbonated beverages, energy drinks, alcohol and protein shakes.
  83. Do you take any supplements? If so, which ones?
  84. In looking at your daily food intake, would you say that your meals are mostly balanced or are some meals significantly larger than others? If the latter, can you describe how they differ?
  85. Do you engage in any sneak eating behaviors? If the answer is YES, how many calories do you believe that contributes to your day?
  86. Do you frequently, seldom or never reward yourself with food based on what you believe you burn during exercise?
  87. What do you believe is a reasonable amount of weight/fat to lose per week?
  88. If you were unable/unwilling to count calories, how would you approach fat loss for yourself?
  89. Do you keep a record or journal of how you feel when you eat certain foods?
  90. Do you periodically purge your social media accounts and unfollow people or pages who don’t make you feel good about yourself?
  91. Are there certain topics related to food that you find you’re drawn to such as: organic, clean eating, toxins, genetically modified, or “fat burning”? If the answer is YES, which topics interest you and why?
  92. What is the average amount of time you can successfully follow a diet plan before you start thinking it isn’t working?
  93. Who do you follow for advice on nutrition? What are their qualifications?
  94. What are the most satisfying foods for you to eat which reduce your feelings of hunger?
  95. Do you enjoy cooking your own meals?
  96. When was the last time you used measuring cups, measuring spoons and/or a food scale for intake accuracy?
  97. How do you practice gratitude for your health?
  98. What do you love most about yourself?
  99. What’s the worst that could happen if you never lost another pound?

(Photo courtesy of AllGo)