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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.

Will a low carb diet get me off a weight plateau?

I have hit a plateau and someone suggested a lower carb diet might get things moving again. Is this a good or bad idea?
Any tips as I have heard awful things about Atkins etc. I don't eat red meat and I really want to stay healthy. I do not want to lower my intake of fruit and veg - I will just consume lower carb ones. I only eat rice, pasta and noodles very rarely as I am not a huge fan. Is there anything I else I should eat less of?
Thank you

A.

Our expert says...

Hi there.

I don't know how long you have been losing weight, but it is really common to hit a plateau after a certain amount of time and sometimes you do need to change things to kick start the weight loss again. This is because your body has slowed down your metabolism in order to conserve energy, because you are eating fewer calories.

Personally, I am not a big fan of the Atkins diet as I do not believe removing a food group, like carbohydrates, from your diet is good for your body. But it sounds like you are eating a healthy balanced diet and want to keep it that way anyway.

You certainly shouldn't eat less fruit and veg, as you need these for their valuable and health-protecting vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. Not to mention the fibre that fills you up! Eating lower carb fruit and veg shouldn't really make a difference to your weight loss, as long as you are accounting for everything in your food diary and staying within your daily target.

My advice is to continue to eat small quantities of rice, pasta and noodles, but make sure they are the brown, wholewheat variety. White, processed carbohydrates have lost a lot of their nutrients during processing and had most of their fibre removed, which causes them to increase your blood sugar levels quickly, causing blood sugar swings. Some people find that not eating any carbohydrates after 6pm helps get the weight loss moving again and this is certainly worth a try.

Another tip is to try doing a different exercise regime, if you have been doing the same thing for a while, or increase the intensity. Alternatively, you could eat slightly below your recommended calories for a week or two (although don't go below 1200 calories a day), but I wouldn't recommend this long term.

I hope there is something helpful in this answer. Good luck and keep going!

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