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Losing weight vs. gaining health: Should we be thinking about this differently?

Many people put a lot of time and energy into losing weight. While dropping some extra weight might be good for us physically, our obsession with weight loss is not good for our mental health which can in turn impact negatively on our physical health. Talk about a vicious cycle! Perhaps we should do ourselves a favour and shift our focus to gaining health rather than losing weight.

Argument #1: The number on the scale shouldn’t really matter. I know that’s so easy to say and much harder to actually believe, but why do you need to be a certain weight? And please don’t say because it was your university or pre-baby weight! You can weigh the same amount and have a totally different body shape and composition, so reaching a certain number on the scale shouldn’t be your only goal.
Argument #2: There are so many overlooked aspects of your health that are more important than your weight that could be hindering your weight loss efforts. Try shifting your focus off your weight and on to other aspects of your health and see what happens. This could be assessing your…

SLEEP! Many people continue to underestimate how important a good night’s sleep is for weight loss. Are you losing sleep over your weight? Perhaps try improving your sleep hygiene and see if you have more energy to exercise. Or you may find you have less brain fog to make better eating decisions during the day.

Or perhaps try tackling your…

STRESS!! We all know this is a biggie for our health, but many people seem resigned to being stressed all the time. Step away from the scale and stop making things harder for yourself! Focus on what you can control – making positive health choices – and you can start to reduce the amount of stress in your life.

I could continue, but hopefully you have started to realise that your weight focus is probably making you miserable and is actually hindering your weight loss efforts.

Bottom line: A mindset shift (HEALTH > weight) is going to be much more beneficial when considering the bigger picture of your overall health and happiness.


For one week, make choices that will benefit your health, rather than your weight and see what happens. You may find it empowering and freeing and (pardon the pun) like a weight has been lifted off your shoulders. Check in with some subjective health measures – your moods, energy levels, mental clarity, etc. You may find that once you shift your focus to gaining health, the weight loss will follow naturally.

*If you decide to try this experiment, please let me know how it went!

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