Why is it that the last few kilos of a weight control diet program are the hardest to shake? It seems that you can get into a pattern of weight loss and lose steadily till you are within a whisker of your goal weight, then...nothing. Or worse, you start to put weight back on.
The 3 main reasons for this frustrating situation are simple, finite and fixable.
1. You may have relaxed your exercise program as you have gotten closer ever closer to your goal, either putting less time and effort into each session or cutting out one or more sessions in your weekly program.
2. You may be eating a bit more freely than before as you see the end of "deprivation" in your sights, having treats a bit more often than you should or indulging in larger portions than your body needs.
3. You may have reached the weight where you no longer have a calorie deficit, so despite no change in diet or exercise you are no longer able to lose fat.
Whatever your situation, the solution is simple and readily achievable. It requires organisation and self discipline, but is well worth the effort if you really want to be fit and healthy for the rest of your life.
1. Keep a food and exercise diary. Not just for the duration of your weight loss diet, but as a lifelong habit. Weigh yourself daily on a scale that measures accurately to 100gms and gives out a fat reading as well as a weight reading.
Recognise and respond to your weight and fat trends and be prepared to deal with them as they occur, not when you have gained 2, 5 or 10kg.
Only if you are fully aware of the calories you are taking in and those you are expending and your resultant weight gains or losses, can you make informed decisions about your diet and exercise program.
2. Realise that keeping excess weight off means that you have to change your diet and fitness routine for life, not just for the short or medium term.
People who do not commit to limiting saturated fats and simple carbs do not keep weight off. All the time and effort of losing weight is lost if you return to the habits that made you overweight in the first place.
If you have lost your excess weight using a very low calorie diet with little or no exercise, (otherwise bluntly but accurately known as starving yourself) your quest for a trim and healthy you is doomed from the outset.
You have to eat at least 1500-1800 calories a day accompanied by a decent multivitamin in order to get the nutrients you need to have a fit and healthy slimmed down body. You need to exercise to feel good, build up your immunity and resistance and to gain muscle tone and great looking skin.
If you have reached a plateau due to a lack of calorie deficit, you can increase your fat burning metabolism by drinking more water, exercising a bit more intensively and making sure you eat a decent breakfast and lunch every day, with healthy morning and afternoon snacks, while cutting down your food intake at night.
Fat inhibiting supplements like protein bars and shakes are well worth considering as between meal snacks to stave off food cravings and to supply your body with essential nutrients.
If you can manage it, cutting back carbs at night may give your body the jolt it needs to get back on track for steady fat loss.
Many people find a low carb diet difficult, but to give your fat loss a kick and shove it off the plateau, you can probably live without potatoes, rice, bread and pasta for your evening meal for at least a few weeks.
Weight loss plateaus are common. They are not the end of the world and not an excuse to give up. They are a sign that you need to change something or several somethings that you are currently doing in order to get what you want.
Be assured that you can go below your weight loss plateau.