Strategy and Tactics – How it applies to weight loss.

One of my personal hobbies is my affinity for the game of Chess. It is a game that qualifies under the “Easy to learn, Hard to master” mantra. It is a game that has been played for hundreds of years by royalty and commoners alike. In fact, the game in it’s original state is over one thousand years old, dating back to the 5th century.

What about the game is so appealing then? If it is so old, hasn’t every possible variation of the game been played out? Not really. There are billions and billions of possibilities out there and the maximum number of games  can’t even be calculated specifically. What keeps so many people interested in Chess is the infinite number of strategies and tactics available to the players. Before I continue this discussion, let me define the two because contrary to the belief of many… they are different.

  • Strategy – Your global goal or your overall plan. It isn’t specific moves or advances, it is simply what you wish to accomplish.
  • Tactics – Your individual moves or actions that work together to accomplish your envisioned strategy.

Taking those two definitions, let’s apply them to chess real quick. Your overall strategy may be to control the center of the board and use that as a springboard of your assault, but your tactics would be how to do that with the individual pieces. For instance, utilizing your knights to attack the center of the board from the flanks and occupying those positions with a pawn line would be the tactics used to achieve your strategical goal.

Okay, I know… this is not a Chess blog. So how does this apply to weight loss? The two actually translate quite well, and it is how I have been so successful so far. And although others may not realize it, it is how they have become successful as well!

In my case, my overall strategy has been to count calories. By reducing my caloric intake and exercising to burn even more calories, my body is forcing itself to use my caloric surplus to supply my body the energy it needs thus resulting in weight loss.

To achieve this, I implement various tactics that supplements my strategy. Running 3 times a week to give me a great cardio workout for 20-30 minutes is a tactical maneuver to burn calories. I also plan and prepare my meals ahead of time resulting in my knowledge of every calorie I eat (I would say drink as well, but I have had nothing but water to drink for over a month now!). Using these tactics allows me to successfully implement my overall strategy- reduce calories and force my body to burn fat to give it the energy it needs to sustain itself. And it has been working!

Like Chess, weight loss is NOT a new idea or something that is unexplored. Both activities have been explored to great depths and the blueprints have been laid out for you. People have done the trial and error to find out what works and what doesn’t. In Chess, these are called Opening, Defenses, Mating Patterns, etc. I.e, the Ruy Lopez which was developed in the 1500’s by a Spanish Priest is one of the most popular openings that is used. There have been books written about it, and the many variables that could occur 5, 10, and even 15 moves in; and that is one of many openings that people choose to use. Counting calories is one of many methods that people use to lose. There are books about it, and many people use it to lose weight. It is not the only way to lose weight, but it is a popular way that many people use to succeed- such as the Ruy Lopez opening in chess.

When I first started playing Chess, I was terrible. But by learning a few classic openings and developing tactics by using proven successful strategies- I was my game increase. And by following proven weight loss system, such as counting calories, I could see my progress improving as well. In both cases, I was trying it on my own and not sure why I wasn’t succeeding. Once I discovered that there were developed blue prints that laid the ground work for you, all you had to do was adopt it yourself and then use it to begin to build your own path to success. Which is what I have been doing- both in weight loss and in Chess!

I am not advocating you to do what I do. I am simply informing you that the answers are out there for you to build your own plan for success. You simply need to develop your strategy and tactics to accomplish whatever goal you have to succeed!

As a side note: I have began playing at both live and turn based games. I don’t claim to be any good, because I really am not! But if you want to play some casual fun game of Chess sometime (live or turn based with a 1-3 day move limit), just send me a message on and tell me you saw my blog! My user name there is Shipweight. Hope to see some of you Chess enthusiasts there!

One response to “Strategy and Tactics – How it applies to weight loss.

  1. I love chess, one of my favorite hobbies to next to reading. Do you play on ICC? My membership is up in February, but since I’m a glutton for punishment I’m sure I’ll renew again for another year though everytime I get to the end I’m like, I’m giving this up because I’m not where I want to be and my studying is not helping. I can’t seem to break 1400 to save my life, though I get so close.

    But like your comparison to losing weight, I do keep trying (in both) though BOTH are highly frustrating to me at many times! But in 2011, I feel I have a great path for weight loss…I don’t know about my chess….LOL

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s