Why are the last few kilos the hardest to lose? Plateaus are part of your weight loss process and they occur for a very simple reason. Once your body has lost weight, your body works better, but it perceives weight loss as a negative energy state and will do everything it can to slow this loss. Your body slows its metabolism as you reduce food intake to conserve energy so it's important to understand whether you are eating enough of the right foods that are high in protein, good fats and slow release carbohydrates. Also start looking at your portion sizes - there may be a bit of wiggle room to cut the size of your meal by 10% to help shift a little more and as fitness improves, you have to go harder with exercise for additional weight loss. Try changing the type of training you do. I like to suggest to clients that they do body weight, resistance training with weights, pilates/yoga, HIIT and Boxing to mix it up. This keeps your body guessing and burns calories!
Despite what the numbers say on the scale, you may be gaining muscle and losing fat so measuring and weighing yourself is a good indicator as to whether you have actually plateaued or are simply changing your body composition.
Make conscious choices every day to eat well and stay healthy. Busy lifestyles often put health and fitness at the bottom of the list of priorities, but it's the small daily food choices and incidental steps that help weight management. Until you start viewing health and fitness as a way of life as opposed to a short term commitment, you're likely to find yourself back to where you started. Your motivation has to come from within and ultimately become the thing that drives you to do the things your body needs for it to be at its best every day.
It's not about the occasional burger or chocolate that ruins your diet, it's choosing more vegetables and home cooked meals with nutritionally balanced breakfasts and lunches every day so you can enjoy the treats too! Adding incidental steps will help with weight loss too. If you buy a takeaway burger, walk there and pick it up! Do walking meetings at work and go for a walk at lunchtime. Park at the end of the car park to go to the shops and get in a few steps to fill your water glass.
Always eat a substantial breakfast such as baked beans on wholegrain bread, muesli with yoghurt, nuts and berries or eggs on avocado toast and see how much more you feel satisfied throughout the morning.
Filling your plate with vegetables or salad at lunch and dinner or snacking on carrot, cucumber and celery sticks helps tremendously with weight loss.
If healthy food isn't in your house, try shopping online or schedule a weekly shop or drop by your local fruit and veg shop on the way home from work or at lunchtime to get you out walking. If you have canned tuna or salmon and legumes with eggs, cheese, tomatoes, brown rice and frozen vegetables, you always have a healthy meal in less than 10 minutes!
Walk 10,000 steps a day and always carry a healthy snack like nuts or a protein bar or fruit so you're never starving and always carry a bottle of water, so your dehydration is not confused with hunger.
Regularly remind yourself why you started exercising and what the benefits are to keeping healthy and fit - Some of my clients tell me It's for their mental health or to be a role model for their children or so they can physically have the energy to do all the things they need their body to do and Its about feeling better about the way they look and feel. Refer back to your reason if you're going off track. Hope this helps!
Lifestylist Health & Fitness