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Real Life Nutrition Questions Answered

Real Life Fitness Questions Answered

Emma Brown
Nutritionist

Janet Aylott
Nutritionist

Kelly Marshall
Fitness Consultant

Q.

Have you any general advice for weight loss?

Have you any pointers on how to lose weight. I think I am adhering to the calorie count and I am doing some exercise. I started restricting my calories 6 weeks ago and lost 4 lbs before I joined Nutracheck. But I've struggled since. How do I break this plateau? HELP PLEASE.

A.

Our expert says...

Hi there,

Thanks for your question.

I'm sorry you're feeling a bit despondent. I can certainly try and give you some pointers!

As I'm sure you know, weight loss is very individual - and what works for one may not work exactly the same for another. But essentially, it boils down to science - so as long as you're following certain 'rules' so to speak - you should be losing weight. So here are the things to consider:

Calories in versus calories out

Weight loss comes down to calories in versus calories out. As long as you're consuming less calories each day than your body is using then you should be losing weight - as your body will need to use your energy stores (fat and carbs) to make up the deficit. So this is why sticking to your own personal calorie target is really important. We have set this at a level that's appropriate for you to lose weight at the rate you have selected.

To calculate your personal calorie allowance we take into account your personal details and use recognised formulas to estimate how many calories your body needs to stay the same weight you are now. We then deduct the necessary calories for you to lose weight at the rate you have selected. To lose 1lb per week, you need deduct 500 calories per day off your maintenance allowance and to lose 2lbs per week you need to deduct 1000 calories per day.

Various factors affect how many calories you need each day such as age, weight, height and activity levels. The lowest calorie allowance we set members is 1400, so sometimes we won't be able to create enough of a calorie deficit by reducing your calories alone, for say a 2lb per week weight loss. So in this case, some of your exercise target will be required each day to reach the necessary deficit.

You can check your targets on the website by going to 'My Profile' > 'My Targets'.

In the App, go to 'More' > 'View/Edit Profile'. You will need to briefly change your goal to maintain weight and save this, in order to see what we have calculated your maintenance calories as - but you can then set it back to weight loss.

Activity levels

It's important to consider which activity levels you have set. For example, if you set that you are moderately active we will have given you extra calories each day to compensate for this. So in this case, you should only record activity in your diary that is above and beyond your normal routine - so not already accounted for in your calorie allowance. This is important if you need some of your exercise calories to create the required deficit for weight loss at the rate you have selected - as you'll need to ensure the exercise you are recording should actually be classed as additional calories burned. Hope that makes sense!

Food choices

Although weight loss does essentially come down to calories - eating a good balance of foods will help to keep all your bodily functions working as they should. So aiming to eat a variety of foods from all the different food groups is important. This means plenty of fruits and vegetables - as these foods contain important nutrients that help to keep our metabolism ticking over as it should. High fibre wholegrain carbs, to aid digestion; lean protein to keep you feeling fuller for longer and less likely to snack; and low fat calcium rich dairy foods or calcium rich dairy free alternatives.

Exercise

Exercise is a great way to boost weight loss, and if you're experiencing a slowdown in your weight loss it can be a great way to kick start things. Aim to try and increase the level you're doing, or the intensity - or just aim to try something new. This will challenge your body and use different muscle groups, which is great for encouraging change and adaptation. Exercise, and in particular, resistance exercise, helps to build lean muscle mass. This type of tissue is metabolically active, meaning it burns calories even at rest - whereas fat doesn't. So building more muscle through exercise will essentially speed up your metabolism!

Plateaus

It's common for most people to experiencing slight plateaus in their weight loss. These can happen at varying times throughout your weight loss journey - and you will often find that weight loss is a series of stops and starts as opposed to a straight downward line. But sticking to your targets, eating a good balance of foods and exercising regularly, will help you to reach your goal eventually.

I've included a couple of links to some Resource articles we have on weight loss plateaus, which you may find useful too!

https://www.nutracheck.co.uk/Library/WeightLoss/explaining-the-dreaded-diet-plateau_1.html

https://www.nutracheck.co.uk/Library/WeightLoss/diet-plateau_1.html

I hope this helps!

Best wishes

Emma

Nutracheck Nutritionist

Disclaimer
You are advised to seek medical advice before making any changes to your diet or lifestyle with an aim of weight loss. This website and the content provided should not be used by persons under 18, by pregnant or nursing women, or individuals with any type of health condition, except under the direct supervision of a qualified medical professional. The information contained in these articles, and elsewhere on this website, is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only, and is not intended to replace, and does not constitute legal, professional, medical or healthcare advice or diagnosis and may not be used for such purposes. Continue...

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