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Do you, like millions of people of at the beginning of the New year, want to lose weight? It naturally follows then, that you have already decided how much weight you want to lose weight and you want this to happen as fast as possible.

What I help my clients see, however, is that when it comes to losing weight, it is very similar to any other goal in life, you need to focus on systems instead of goals. Say, for example, you like baking, and your goal is to become an award-winning home baker. Your system is then how many hours per day you spend on learning how to bake different things and practising till you can execute perfectly. Say for example that you are working in management at a company, your goal might be to become the CEO of the company or get a BIG promotion. Your system is then how you show up to work every day and add value to the company (and to your boss).

However, when it comes to weight loss or improving their health and fitness, most people fail time and time again because they are so focused on quick results and reaching a certain weight that they start following unhealthy and unsustainable fad diets, only to gain all the weight back on once they have stopped dieting and returned back to their previous lifestyle.

Now here's a question, if these people ignored their goals and focused only on their systems, would they still get the results they desired?
For example: if you wanted to lose 7 kg, and focused only on eating healthy meals day after day and week after week, would you lose that 7 kg? I can say for sure that yes, you would. Because this is exactly what my clients do.

In fact, one client of mine, Thilakshi, lost 12 kgs in 6 months without ever focusing on losing 12 kg in 6 months. What did we focus on instead? On making healthy choices and developing that into a habit.

Another client of mine, Ilma, lost 6 kg in 8 weeks – and she only weighed herself at the end of that 8 weeks because I asked her to. She had gone beyond caring what she weighed because she got so much satisfaction simply making the healthiest food choices every day and feeling fitter and more energetic than she ever did before. At the end of the day weight is just a number, and once you learn how to see the bigger picture, you will be able to free your mind from minor fluctuations of weight and start enjoying food and life in general so much more.

If these examples aren't enough, here are 2 more reasons why you should focus on habits instead of goals:

  1. Goals can make you unhappy and dissatisfied with yourself.

    When you are working towards a goal – like losing a certain number of kilos – you are essentially telling yourself that you're somehow not good enough yet. That you have to lose this random number of kilos in order to feel happy and be a successful person.
    Focusing on daily habits and a system will ensure that you are able to enjoy small victories as they happen and you are more likely to be motivated and keep going. This is because, unlike your weight, what you eat and do is 100% in your control.

  2. Focusing on habits means there is no going back

    One of the biggest mistakes people make when beginning a diet is trying to change everything at once. For instance, most people cut out all carbohydrates on day one of a low-carb diet. Everything's fine at first, but a few days later they feel irritable, sluggish, and have persistent cravings. They eventually can't take it anymore, breakdown, and binge eat their favorite high carb foods.

Obviously, this isn't the best way to go about changing your nutrition if your goal is sustainable weight loss. The diet becomes too hard to handle and will power is a limited resource so you revert back to your old habits of eating. You see, just like a baby learns to walk for the first time or when you learnt how to drive, things seemed very difficult at the beginning, but overtime they became effortless and second nature to you.

The great thing is the act of habit building is very effective for changing the way you eat, and will surely set you up for long-term success.
So here are the top tips to get you started on your healthy weight loss journey:

Instead of weighing yourself every day, weigh yourself once a week. Not to obsess on the weight but just to keep track.

Focus on planning and creating healthy meals for yourself and add some physical activity a few days a week. If you really are eating wholesome, nourishing meals day after day for 4 weeks and focusing on improving your health, weight loss would happen automatically.

For professional and friendly full time coaching with a Dietitian for weight loss or healthy eating, feel free to chat with Dreamweight regarding our highly affordable packages.

For more information, please go to

Author: Dreamweight
This article was written for mums in colombo by Nazreen Nakeeb, a dietitian and nutritionist who qualified in Australia and returned home to open Dreaweight. Nazreen takes immense pleasure in seeing people stop dieting and instead, establish a positive relationship with food and their body. Her primary goal is to change the way people think about food which enables them to enjoy all food in moderation and feel more confident in their ability to manage their weight and take care of their health for as long as they live.
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