Abstract for: Weight Loss Journey: Value of Having a Systems Understanding

In this article, the author used system dynamics to understand a very personal challenge to reach his target weight over a period of a year. Most people, including the author, have used quick fix solutions to achieve measurable weight loss, however, these temporary, albeit accelerated weight loss fixes, almost always result in an unintended consequence where the weight that was lost, is regained with an additional increment. This article discusses systems understanding to the weight loss challenge explains how using a simulation model assisted in evaluating different solution possibilities. A tailored plan was constructed using the simulator runs in January 2016. By following this plan, the author was able to achieve the 20 kg weight loss target in June 2016, within a 6 month window and successfully maintain it for another9 months compared to the previous quick fix solutions. This experience and article emphasizes the use of tools such as system dynamics to understand the key variables underlying the problem which led to the creation of an effective and sustainable long term solution.