Q: My question is, what is the best way to break a weight loss plateau? I cut out sugar first and then all kinds of processed food and I did lose weight steadily (about 6kgs) which is great because I’m getting very creative with veg now! But now I have plateau completely and I’m still a fair bit overweight. I’ve been tweaking various things in my diet and nothing has worked, so to try and break through I have reverted to a low carb diet that works well for me (Not banting). I’m not keen on low carb diets because I don’t believe it is truly sustainable and because I don’t like that there are fruits and veg pack with nutrients that have to be left out. From an exercise point of you I do a brisk 40min 2-3 times a week and I have now increased it to 5 times a week. ANy advice?
A: OOOH, this is a common problemo. Don’t worry! Here are a few things that could be going wrong and how to ‘fix’ them. (PS well done on quitting sugar. Best decision you’ll ever make! )
1) Your ‘seesaw’ is balanced (input vs output) so what you get in in a day equals what you give out in a day. You need to tip it! I don’t like cutting food when an individual is eating ‘clean’ so I always recommend boosting output! You walk 5 days a week. This may not be enough stimulus for your body, or it may not be the right stimulus for your bod. Maybe you have been walking for so long that you are ‘walking’ fit so your body doesn’t have to work as hard. If you want to stick with walking, change route, change incline (add some nasty hills), increase pace, walk and lunge! yes, you will look like a whacko but what glorious buns you will have! IF you can taper down on walking for a while and take up something new, you will give your body the kick it needs. Some high intensity spinning, yoga class, mixed martial arts (esp boxing, that is always a killer) or if you don’t feel like joining a facility swap out 3 nights of walking for skipping. Oh yes! Try skip for as long as you would walk…evil yes, effective? Double yes!
2) You may be taking in too little food so your metabolism has slowed down to match the small amounts you take in. I don’t have enough info on what your daily menu looks like, but this is often the case when people try to lose weight. They end up cutting out so much that their metabolism adjusts to the decreased fuel. Its like lighting a bonfire, if you add wood to the fire it burns stronger, if you take out a log at a time, it dies down. Metabolism is the same! 5 small, balanced meals a day! All the food groups! Especially protein! plant or meat based.
3) Check if you don’t have a food allergy. Sometimes you are eating something that is causing your body to ‘block’. Take note of how your body responds to the different foods. Are you experiencing tiredness, bloating, gas etc after that specific food? The usual villains here are wheat and dairy.
4) Are you drinking enough water? EVERYONE always answers yes when I ask them that, but are you really? Your body needs 1Litre a day just to keep vital organs and functions going. Now add sweating and movement to the equation and boom! You need alot more than 1Litre. Too little water causes many bad reactions but one of them is water retention, leading to more kgs on the scale! Try get in between 2-2.5litres of clear water a day, in sips! Not giant glass fulls, you will just flush your minerals out and strain your kidneys!!
5) ARe you constipated? Yes, yes, everyone turns purple when I ask them this. It is such an NB indicator of how happy the body is! If you are blocked up (and this can go back to drinking too little water as well) then the toxins can’t move out of your system and your body cannot function as intended! Probiotic supplementation is essential these days! With pesticides on foods and chemicals everywhere, the gut is very sensitive and it can kill off good bacteria! Not to mention the effect medication has! Acidophilus (SOLGAR) is a brilliant one! Get that gut working and you will see the extra kilos move.
6) You need to pack on some lean muscle. Although walking is great cardiovascular work, the really good calorie burning is in muscle mass! If you add lean muscle mass it is far more metabolically active than fat, so even when you are sitting still, you are burning calories. Cardio burns calories for roughly an hour after a session, whereas muscle mass burns far longer! IT needs more fuel! Try a home based weight training regime. You won’t regret it!
7) My most favourite! Are you looking at kg’s or centimetres lost? So many people just watch the scale and although they are working their buns off (literally), the scale doesn’t move! The reason for this is lean muscle mass (as mentioned above), it weighs 3x more than fat! so you may feel heavier but you are leaner! HAve a look at cms and kg’s rather! I never trust kgs as an accurate guage of results. It can change 2x a day depending on what socks I have on!
8) You don’t drink green tea! 1-2 cups per day! Great diuretic, metabolism booster and general all round excellence. High anti oxidant boost as well.
IF you have changed all of the above and still aren’t seeing any changes then stick it out a tiny bit longer, your body might just need a smidge more time! If its been over 3 months of all the above adaptations implemented and still no joy then inbox me and we can have a closer look at more intricate reasons for plateau! Hope this helped Have a happy and healthy day! Go zoosh it up