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Lose The Last 3 Kg

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Can you reach your goal weight when you’ve plateaued? Yes! Helen Foster Reveals How.

You’ve done really well so far with your weight loss, but the last 3 kg simply won’t budge. Don’t give up – here are 12 ideas that can help melt those kilos away.

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Reassess Your KJ Needs

If you’ve lost more than 5kg already then there’s a very important fact to consider – you use less energy to function.

“If you have dropped from, say, 90kg to 68kg, you’ll be burning around 25 per cent fewer kilojoules each day,” says Dr Leon Massage, weight-loss spokesperson for the Australian Medical Association. And, that means you’ll also need to reduce the kilojoules you’re taking in if you want to keep losing weight at the same rate.

How much you should reduce depends on your current weight, age, height and level of activity – a calculation using all of these gives a figure known as your basal metabolic rate (BMR). Once you know this you can readjust your kilojoule intake (or increase your exercise) to create the energy deficit you need to start shedding those last few kilos. You’ll find BMR calculators online. There’s a good one in the Nutrition Calculators section at eatforhealth.gov.au.

Start Moving More

Your body doesn’t like it when you lose weight, and it puts a lot of defence mechanisms in place to try and stop it. One mechanism is that you subconsciously move less as your weight falls, you might start to fidget less or feel more inclined to get the bus rather than walk.

Counteract it. From now, make an active choice to move whenever you can – take the stairs, walk up escalators, swing a leg as you sit and, if you can, commute actively.Women who swapped driving to work for 30 minutes’walking or cycling weighed an average of 7kg less after two years.

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Do An Exercise You’re Hopeless At

This is Victoria-based trainer Vicki Lanini’s top tip to her clients whose weight has stuck. “Your body adapts to the exercise you do and your workout becomes less effective, but challenge your body and this can kick-start weight loss again,” she says. Plus, doing an exercise you normally avoid, or are a bit hopeless at, will challenge muscles you rarely – if ever – use. “And that’s where results come from,” says Lanini.

Think FITTL

This is Victoria-based trainer Vicki Lanini’s top tip to her clients whose weight has stuck. “Your body adapts to the exercise you do and your workout becomes less effective, but challenge your body and this can kick-start weight loss again,” she says. Plus, doing an exercise you normally avoid, or are a bit hopeless at, will challenge muscles you rarely – if ever – use. “And that’s where results come from,” says Lanini.

Stop Fighting Against Your Natural Shape

“Everyone holds fat in some areas more than others – these patterns are linked to your hormonal environment and shedding these is no longer as simple as just kilojoules in, kilojoules out,” says Cavill.

Bone structure and muscle mass also play a role in your shape. If you have a wide pelvis for example, you’re always going to have curvy hips. In this case you might not actually need to lose those extra 3kg, so your body won’t let it happen. Instead of trying to shed more weight, speak to a personal trainer as to how to reshape other areas of your body to balance your body better.

Ask A Tricky Question

“Everyone holds fat in some areas more than others – these patterns are linked to your hormonal environment and shedding these is no longer as simple as just kilojoules in, kilojoules out,” says Cavill. Bone structure and muscle mass also play a role in your shape. If you have a wide pelvis for example, you’re always going to have curvy hips. In this case you might not actually need to lose those extra 3kg, so your body won’t let it happen. Instead of trying to shed more weight, speak to a personal trainer as to how to reshape other areas of your body to balance your body better.

Get Strict Again

“As you get closer to your final goal, complacency often slips into weight loss, and foods or drinks you’ve been avoiding slip back in,” says Dr Massage. Pretend it’s week one again and stick exactly to whatever plan you’re following.

Stop

Sometimes the best way to get your body to lose the last bit of weight is to take a break from trying. “The body responds to change and shock, so it can help to alternate between weeks where you don’t try and lose any weight and weeks when you’re very focused on doing so,”says Cavill.

Just remember one vital point about any kind of dieting – if you go back to your old eating habits, you will go back to your old weight. Even if you’re not actively trying to lose weight you’ll need to eat healthily to maintain the losses you’ve already made.

Turn Off The TV For A Month

Not only does it decrease the chance of sneaky kilojoules creeping in as you watch your favourite series, when people do this they actually get more active and expend more energy – in one study people burned an extra 500kJ a day over the three weeks they weren’t watching the box.

Reduce Inflammation

Inflammation is a protective reaction triggered by your immune system in response to what it thinks is an attack.

Normally, once the threat disappears inflammation switches off, but modern life ensures many of us are nowin a state of chronic inflammation.“And becausewe usually hold more fluid whenwe are inflamed this can add a kilo or more to the scales, skewing your trueweight-loss results,”says naturopath Tania Flack. Reducing stress, eating fewer processed grains, sugars or fried foods all help reduce inflammation, but also add the spice turmeric to your diet – it’s a powerful anti-inflammatory.

Try A Kilojoule Curfew

Sometimes it’s not just what you’re eating that’s causing you to retain weight, but when you’re eating it. The latest idea in weight loss is leaving at least a 12-hour gap between the last thing you eat in the evening and the first thing you eat the next day. “This rests the gut, drops inflammatory markers in trials, improves insulin sensitivity and promotes weight loss,” says Flack.

Science confirms the idea – mice only allowed food for 12 hours a day were thinner than mice allowed to eat all day, even though the two groups ate the same number of kilojoules.

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