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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.

Why aren't these last few pounds shifting?

Hi, I would just like to ask what am I doing wrong? I am 5ft 2in and weigh 9st 7lbs. It has taken me a long time to get to this weight and I have managed to stay at it give or take 2 or 3lbs on and off. Im happy with this but would love to get to 9st, which I dont think is low for me seen as I am only 5ft 2. I am sticking to 1400 calories a day and doing 5 days of aerobic exercise but its not shifting! Any ideas please?

A.

Our expert says...

Hi,

Firstly, well done on your commitment and weight loss so far, remember that our bodies genetically don’t like having a deficit as it doesn’t make sense for survival, so it can be a stubborn process sometimes with getting the body to give up our fat stores! Try the following things to help shunt the body into shifting those pounds:

- In terms of exercise – do things differently from what you are currently doing. It is all about calorie burning so specifics are not as important as the impact of keeping the body guessing and overloaded by change. So if you only do aerobic exercise using cardiovascular machines in the gym, change it! Do classes, or circuits, or swimming or ideally a combination of weight training and aerobic exercise.

- If you follow a specific routine in your workouts then change it, change things around, put different things in, if you are a member of a gym then make use of the fitness professionals who are employed and are experts in maximising results from exercise.

- You should look to change your exercise routine as often as possible and ideally try to do at least one new/different exercise every time you workout! If you have a specific/set program you like doing then how quickly it will need adapting and/or progressing will depend on how often you are doing it! 

- With you exercising 5 times a week, you could have two or three different programs that you alternated over the course of the week and then looked to get a program updated alternatively, so you only ever followed one program for 4 weeks at the most. This would ensure that although your body adapts to the training it would not reach the point where it becomes so efficient that the adaptations to training are reduced.

- The sets and reps of exercise try changing one/both of these variables!

- The format of your training sessions try changing the way you structure your training, i.e. try super-setting where you do an exercises for opposing muscle groups (i.e. back and chest) back to back with no rest; this increases the demand on the cardiovascular system and raises your metabolic rate through an increase in the intensity of your session. The higher the intensity the more calories burned!

- Variety is the spice of life is a clique but it IS true and relates to exercise and nutrition equally. Look to increase your super food content within your weekly nutrition plan to maximise the health and energy benefits. The daily mail recently listed their top 10 super foods as: apples, baked beans, broccoli, olive oil, wholegrain seeded bread, salmon, tea, yogurt, bananas and Brazil nuts. See what you can incorporate for a change. The change doesn’t relate to your 1,400 just the supply of energy food sources.

- In terms of nutrition specifically, it is possible for minor inaccuracies in calculating calories from certain meals, the estimated weights or amounts of foods and actual calories from meals out where we don’t know the full ingredient list, so it is always worth checking and re-checking out food diary entries. Taking this into consideration and based on your current plateau, try just reducing your calorie intake by an extra 50-100 calories a day (so aim for a target of 1300-1350 calories) as well and see how you feel after a week or two with this adjusted intake. 

 See how you get on with the above suggestions, hope this helps,

Kelly

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