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Single sided linear induction motor (SLIM) has good direct drive ability though its efficiency is poor compared with the rotary counterpart. The motor model including iron loss under synchronous coordination is established and the variable loss function is derived in the paper. In the proposed equivalent circuit model of SLIM, to consider the influence of primary leakage inductance on loss calculation, the iron loss resistance is paralleled with primary magnetizing branch instead of mutual magnetizing branch. The efficiency optimized control (EOC) algorithm based upon the motor loss model is presented. The operation efficiency of motor is improved by using the EOC scheme and the pulsation of magnetization and thrust is not significant. The loss model is validated via calculation comparison, and the experimental results show that the control scheme presented in the paper can improve the motor efficiency when the SLIM is working under light load condition, and the EOC scheme does not deteriorate the dynamic behavior of motor operation.