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Nutritional Systems: Habits for Weight Loss

I recently read an excellent article from habit guru James Clear.  The article discussed how systems, not necessarily goals lead to the results we want in life.  He gave many excellent examples related to exercise.  The article made me think about how nutritional systems can influence weight loss.

Imagine you start with a worthy and challenging goal of losing 15 pounds. Setting this specific goal helps you create a plan to reach the goal.  I call this process goal-tending.

To reach your goal you must develop plans, implemented over the desired timeline. Your ACTIONS become the desired behavior.  One meal may not affect the ultimate goal.  But two or three weeks of consistent focused dietary effort may achieve the desired result.  The SYSTEM of dietary habits leads to the result.

Occasional backslides or shortcomings do not dash your efforts, the system prevails if applied.  

Don’t stress about the occasional lapse…work the system.



The goal provides a target, goal-tending creates a plan, living the habit or working the system required of the plan is actually the desired behavior.  The Goal takes care of itself.

Nutritional Habits For Weight Loss

Applying the principle of goal-tending but more importantly Habit development to nutrition will help you stay on track with improving health, losing weight, improving performance, or maintaining vitality.  I introduced the idea of Family Nutrition as a habit worthy of development earlier this month.

The following nutritional habits routinely lead to successful weight loss?

  • Never drink soda, fruit juice, or sweetened beverages
  • Habitually avoiding or severely limiting alcohol consumption
  • Avoiding pies, cakes, pastries, pasta, rice, and bread
  • Developing the habit of consuming 30 gms of protein within 30 minutes of waking (Like two eggs)
  • Consider intermittent fasting
  • Prepare healthy fat/protein snacks (i.e. Jerky, cheese, nuts) to eat when hungry
  • Try to home cook 70% of meals

These habits lead to behaviors that induce healthy weight loss.

Though more exercise can play a huge role, nutrition/fueling the body properly always comes first.

The habits illustrated above boost ENERGY which usually triggers a natural tendency to increase physical activity.

Bottom line?

Don’t get hung up stressing over how many reps you did at the gym.  Don’t blow up over an dietary lapse!

Focus on the process, the habits necessary to ultimately achieve.  If you do the work, working the correct system, purposefully developing successful habits, the results take care of themselves.

Habits achieve results.  Goals help us build the road map.  Ultimately the work must be done.


Comments on this entry are closed.

  • David Francis January 14, 2014, 11:17 pm

    I love this concept. Achieving a goal is truly the culmination of creating a process, living according to the principles of the process, and building new habits.

    One thing that I have learned lately is that the joy is really in the journey. I am learning to appreciate and even cherish the pain and sacrifice of becoming a new person in order to achieve the goals that I have set. I am happy during my daily walk of life, taking small steps toward big goals.

    • William Curtis MD January 15, 2014, 10:39 am

      Well said David. You make a great observation about daily happiness. So many times we have the mindset that “I’ll be happy when…Or when I have enough money…or when I meet the right person….”

      Everyday matters. Working a positive system matters. Developing the right habits to accomplish big goals matters. But most importantly, getting up and putting forth the consistent effort makes all the difference.

  • paul smith January 24, 2014, 2:47 am

    Nice post!!! For the weight loss program and healthy living it is very necessary to adopt right kind of diet in our daily routine. According to the fitness experts our diet should include some fruits and fresh vegetables with more fibers and apart from this you should also concentrate on your daily exercise routine because this plays a main role in the weight loss program.

  • Susie March 23, 2014, 4:47 pm

    Well, Dr. Curtis, I’ve been working the above weight loss program with Dr. John. I started with the same weight that I have right now. Now I know that you will say that I have been cheating but that is not true, I have honesty worked this program. I guess the only thing that I haven’t done is eating a couple of eggs after a walk or time on the bouncer. Other than that, I have been faithful. So besides walking more or exercising more (I have 2 bad knees) which has been difficult to do these past months because of the weather, what do I do?

    • William Curtis MD March 24, 2014, 1:50 pm

      Susie, this last post is more specific than intended on the Tribe. I know you are one of our patients at Future Focus Family Medicine so I suggest you push this very specific, treatment based question through your patient portal or the office. A Virtual Visit is also an option at the office though preferably a face to face visit…

      BTW, there’s lots of reasons people can struggle with weight loss…

      I look forward to talking with you in person or in clinic.

  • Shannon April 22, 2014, 3:27 pm

    What kind of success are y’all seeing with the Bios Life Slim product in conjunction with your suggested nutritional and lifestyle changes?

    • William Curtis April 24, 2014, 5:06 pm


      Slim is essentially a fiber / vitamin supplement. It tends to induce weight loss and definetly lowers cholesterol and improves blood sugar control.

      It’s safe and effective and is taken before meals. It doesn’t replace proper nutrition / lifestyle choices but I often use it as a “tool” when people are having extreme appetite or morbid obesity issues.

      Hope that helps!