So you began your health kick and the kilos were coming off. You were been going to the gym regularly and went walking as many days each week as you could. Initially you saw a distinct shift on the scales but for then things stalled. Sound familiar? Did you need to eat less, or exercise more? Did you need one of those special detox diets? Or did you need to see a doctor in case it is hormonal? Before you give up completely, here are the top 5 reasons you may not be losing weight after a few weeks and what you may need to do in order to get things moving again.
1. Too little for too long
A number of strict diets; whether they are sold commercially or found online are extremely low in kilojoules. Remember that the average adult with require at least 6000-8000 kilojoules each day. Extreme diets may cut this number to as few as 4000, resulting in a rapid loss of fluid and fuel stores from the muscles and a subsequent drop on the scales. While this may be desirable psychologically, once this initial kick start has occurred it becomes much more challenging for the body to function on so few kilojoules, resulting in a subsequent decline in metabolic rate and hence the reduced rate of weight loss. To determine how many kilojoules you are eating, try entering the foods you are eating online at www.calorieking.com.au. If you find that your kilojoules are too low, try increasing them by 500-1000 for a week or two, which should get things moving in the right direction.
2. Too much at night
For some reason many of us find it much easier to stay on track with our diet through the first half of the day, before letting things go a little in the afternoon. A couple of cheese and crackers, a row of chocolate or a glass of wine can be all the extra kilojoules you need, at the wrong time of day to halt fat loss. Avoid overeating and mindless eating after work by ensuring both your breakfast and lunch are substantial and also factoring is a filling afternoon tea two hours before your dinner. A nut or protein snack bar, apple or vegetable sticks are all filling choices that will help keep you full throughout the afternoon. Grabbing a bowl of vegetable soup as soon as you get home may also help to take the edge off your hunger and see you through until dinner.
3. An alcohol detox?
While a single glass of wine is not so high in kilojoules that it needs to be banned completely on a weight loss diet, avoiding alcohol during the week and then overdosing on the weekends is likely to slow down your weight loss efforts. In some cases committing to a set period of time without any alcohol can create a significant kilo joule deficit that may be all that is required to take your fat loss to the next level.
4. Not enough carbs for the training
It is true that weight loss and exercise go hand in hand, but if you exercise regularly at a relatively high intensity, and you have been cutting out your carbohydrates completely, you may be basically running on empty. Remember that the exercising muscle needs fuel to be at its best and effectively burn body fat. If you are training regularly, ensuring that you are including some carbohydrate rich foods before your workout is crucial for optimal fat loss. If you are already doing this, you may also need some with your evening meal to refuel the muscles for training the next day.
5. Little but often
A sip of coffee here, a bite of cake there and a handful of nuts every so often adds up to a large number of eating occasions throughout the course of the day. Remember that the body is programmed hormonally to eat and then have a period of time with no food to allow the natural digestive process to occur. Each and every time you take a sip or bite of something that contains kilojoules it disrupts this process. One take record how many times food or drink enters your mouth. Ideally food or drinks that contain kilojoules will be eaten less than ten times each day which means many of us are eating too often. Cut back and not only notice how much more sensitive your hunger and fullness signals become but a subsequent change in the scales as well.