wellness coach

How to lose weight & the importance of mindset

It's so easy to get stuck thinking about your weight; how to lose it, how to keep it off, and even for some; how to gain it.  Whether you're a man, woman or teenager, we've all compared ourselves to billboards and fit-stagrammers. Our image-focused society focuses on appearance so much, it can seem inescapable. 


What actually works to help you lose weight?

Comparing yourself to others and shaming yourself every time you stray from your diet or workout regime is a bad habit, and leads to overeating, bad self-esteem, binging, trying crazy unrealistic diets and ensures a lifetime of fluctuating weight. But for some reason, we all do it.

Instead of focusing purely on weight loss though, it's been found that focusing on a positive outcome like better health is way more effective for long-term weightless. Now's the time to stop making yourself feel bad about your weight, and start focusing on the end goal: Living a happier, healthier life. 

Focus on healthy habits for long term weight loss

When you focus too much on any outcome, you get exhausted along the way. If you focus on day-to-day goals though, you'll find you reach the same outcome without all the worry. Let's be honest though, it's easy to say you want to lose weight, but harder to stick to your strategies. So instead of putting excessive pressure on yourself like banning yourself from eating cheese and saying you'll run 15 kms every day, make your day-to-day goals more achievable. 

Instead of these negative goals:

- I'll fit into my skinny jeans in 4 weeks

- I won't eat carbs for 2 months

Try these positive, achievable, measurable goals

- I'll try to eat 5 veggies everyday

- I'll get moving for 30 minutes 5 days a week, even if it's just a walk down the street and back.

- I'll find new healthy recipes and plan 3 meals each week (leaving less time to eat fast food)

- I'll eat vegetarian meals 5 out of 7 days

- I'll have 5 alcohol-free nights a week


The goals above are weight-loss strategies disguised as wellness strategies! By aiming to enhance your health, you approach weight loss in a positive way rather than from a negative, self-punishing angle.

Goal setting & Technology

One of the best things about technology is it's ability to change our behaviour with cool apps and programs and this works for weight loss and wellness too. My favourite for goals setting is WOOP: Where you set a wish, outcome, obstacle and a plan. 

Eg. Wish: To be lighter and healthier

Outcome: I'll feel more confident in my own skin & with my partner

Obstacle: I don't have enough time to shop and cook healthy food

Plan: (when I encounter my obstacle, I'll....)

eg. When I don't have enough time to cook and shop for healthy food I'll...

-Order a weeks' worth of veggies and groceries online, and prepare 3 quick, healthy meals to freeze for the week.


The Woop app is an evidence-based way to stick to your goals, and find actionable ways to make them happen. There are plenty of other fitness and goal-setting apps, but I think Woop seems more authentic. It works with you and your mindset rather than using financial motivation, like apps such as Pact. It's amazing how goals pop into your head when you're using the app - things you didn't even know were important to you. 

Goal setting doesn't have to be a mission

The term goal setting sounds like boring terminology used in stuffy conference rooms and tedious hour-long meetings; but it doesn't have to be. Change the word 'goal' to 'ways for me to be healthier,' and the focus and accountability comes back to you. 


Weight loss for health not looks

Another important weight loss mindset change: Remember being in a healthy weight range is better for your body, it's not about looking a certain way. Carrying extra weight around your tummy is directly linked to heart problems, while generally carrying extra weight is hard on your joints and can accelerate osteoarthritis and joint degeneration.

Check out another post about the importance of mindset in wellness here.

What do you think are important aspects of weight loss?

What a Tibetan Monk taught me about Wellness

I’m no expert on Buddhism, but something about the inherent philosophies of the Eastern religion resonates with my holistic view on health and wellness. I’ve been to a handful of Dharma chats by Buddhist monks in Asia, and am always captivated by their jovial spirits and useful lessons.

Recently I attended a talk by The Fifth Amnyi Trulchung Rinpoche, a visiting Buddhist monk from Tibet, passionate to help make people live happier lives. While I believe wellness has its roots in a range of philosophies and schools including medicine, naturopathy, meditation, neurology and sports science, I’m confident this clever man’s lessons can apply to everyone in their business and personal lives.


1. Spend most of your time on goals that are important to you

The visiting monk told us a story from Buddhist text about a man who was trying to rub down a steel pipe to make a needle. He was so obsessed with it, he wouldn’t stop and realise how frivolous it was - he would never get it down to the size of a needle in his lifetime. This man's main life goal was to improve his meditation, but he spent almost all his time trying to make this needle. I was told this applies to everyone: If you have a goal - something you want to improve - spend all your time on that. Don’t let trivial, meaningless things get in the way of your goal because it’s so easy to get distracted. And I'll bet the man in the story didn't have the distraction of social media like we do now!

This applies to wellness: If you want to lose weight and be fitter, devote your time to working out, even if it's just a walk around the block. Instead of checking your social media and spending two hours a day watching reality TV, you can devote this time to your goal so you achieve it faster. It's hard but worth it!

2. Don’t just focus on results, engage in the journey

It's like the old "it's about the journey not the destination" saying. Amnyi Trulchung Rinpoche told us too many people focus on the results of something, instead of the practice itself. He said if they immediately transfer their energy from the outcome to the practice, the practice immediately gets better. In the end then too, the outcome is better! While he was talking about getting better at meditation, this philosophy works for any skill and any business. 

This applies to wellness: If you want to eat better, instead of spending ten minutes lamenting your weight on the scales and berating yourself over the brownie you ate at lunch - redirect that energy to sourcing local produce and healthy recipes. Take time and pride in creating healthy, nutritious-filled dishes and you’ll find you’ll eat better overall. Plus! It’s much better to spend your energy on something positive rather than negative - your self esteem will thank you for it.

wellness program

3. Wake up with happy thoughts

Everyday, Amnyi Trulchung Rinpoche wakes up and says to himself he hopes every sentient being lives happily and healthily and without suffering. He told us he knows this doesn’t mean every living thing in the world will have the best day ever! But he said waking up with a positive mindset and wishing others and yourself well is a really useful way to start the day - and it lingers throughout the day.

This applies to wellness: If you’ve ever been to yoga, you know some instructors will finish the lesson with a similar statement, before the requisite “Namaste.”Rather than waiting until yoga, try and think a positive thought first thing every morning. It can help you start the day in a positive mindset, and better prepares you to combat stress throughout that day.

4. Don't disregard people because they live differently to you

During the session, this charming monk told us about a monk who was famous in Tibet in the 1950's. He was dismissed by Tibetan society and officials for being a disloyal monk because he drank and smoked occasionally, and even had girlfriends. Unfortunately though, he was also incredibly clever, and was one of the few prominent men in the country who spoke English. At a time when a seat at the UN could have determined Tibet's future, the one man who spoke English and would have been the ideal choice was shunned by his country. The monk told us the seat at the UN remained empty, and we all know what happened next. 

This applies to wellness: Different therapies, techniques and philosophies appeal to different people, and just because you may not agree that Bikram yoga is worthwhile, someone else will think it's great! And plenty do. Wellness is about promoting mind and body wellbeing, so rather than dismiss other schools of thought, see what you can learn from them.

As a Physio I have a medical background and used to be cynical about some alternative therapies, but I can't tell you how many patients have seen incredible results from them that no other therapy or pill could provide. One woman was cured of chronic anxiety after a number of sessions of Bowen therapy. You never know what you could learn, so keep your heart open to hearing about different people's wellness goals.


I’m no expert, but I know wellness is multi-faceted. If we can all integrate mindfulness to make clearer, better decisions about how we spend our time, who we spend it with, and what our goals are - we’re one step closer to living well! 

What have you learned from someone that has helped you come closer to your wellness goals?