Why you want to lose weight can give insight as to why you may or may not succeed in achieving your goal.

Reasons to lose weight might include:

  1. being overweight and your weight is interfering with your health – such as causing a chronic condition such as heart disease – or interfering with your lifestyle – like keeping up with your family’s activities;
  2. you’ve started to put on weight and want to get back to your usual weight; or
  3. you are female and are having trouble getting pregnant (see your doctor to find out if you have polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)).

These reasons all resonate with longer term goals and have health at the heart of the desire to lose weight.  You can measure success not just by how much weight or fat loss you achieve but also by other health measurements like blood glucose levels, blood pressure, etc, or by the prevention of a condition, or by achieving pregnancy.

On the other hand, being human, we often don’t think about our health until we are sick.  Most of us are guided by how we look or feel or how we think we look – many of my clients have told me their reasons to lose weight include:

  1. I’m getting married in a couple of months and don’t want to be a fat bride/ my daughter is getting married and I don’t want to be a fat bride’s mother;
  2. I’m going to a re-union/am having my 50th birthday party/going to someone-else’s wedding and don’t want to look fat/like I’ve failed/unattractive;
  3. My boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife thinks I’m fat;
  4. I want to be more attractive to meet more men/women;
  5. I’m going on holiday and want to look good in a bikini/boardies/budgie smugglers;
  6. I want to look like/be a model/actor;
  7. I feel bad/sad/depressed and weight loss will make me feel better; or
  8. I feel like I’ve lost control of my life and controlling my weight will make me feel better.

Some of these reasons for weight loss are valid but are quite short term and may not translate into healthy methods of achieving your goals. You may choose to crash diet or follow a celebrity diet for a short time then go back to old habits and eventually to your old weight.  This isn’t good for your long term weight, your health or your self-esteem. Weight loss isn’t easy, it’s a journey which involves making changes to ingrained habits.  This takes time, it means you will have to be understanding with yourself and it takes perseverance.

The last two reasons make me feel quite sad.  Weight loss won’t necessarily make you feel magically less bad, sad, depressed or in control.  Actually, when you are in between clothing sizes or experiencing body shape changes you can feed quite frustrated trying to find clothing to feel good in (believe me – I’ve been there!).  And why do we equate looking thin to being successful, happy and attractive anyway?  Many high profile personalities say they feel quite insecure about their image and weight, and thin people may still feel sad, depressed and out of control; so don’t assume being thin will make you feel happier than you already are.

Take the time to think a bit more deeply about your motivations…

Take the time to think a bit more deeply about your motivations to lose weight.  Whatever your motivations are for losing weight, do it for you, not for others and do it for positive reasons.

Write down your reasons for losing weight and reflect on them over your weight loss journey as it is easier to sustain change and to motivate yourself if you have deeper underlying reasons for making changes.  Reflection may continue to validate your reasons or you might find new or different ones.

Now you understand the why, we’ll go on to talk about the how next…


Do you need help to lose weight?

Book with Dale for help now  for confidential phone coaching to work towards achieving your goals.

Feel free to share Nutrition Intuition's content

Post byDale Cooke

I'm a nutritionist, dietitian and personal trainer with 29 years of experience helping people improve their health. I really like using a non-diet philosophy to achieving a healthy lifestyle. Can I help you improve your health?