Follow these three easy steps to break through that annoying weight-loss plateau.

Description: Shed those last 5kg now

Have you hit a bump in the weight-loss road? Johannesburg-based dietitian Niki Urquhart helps you shock your body back into results mode…

1.    Get to grips with why you’re stuck:

Description: the BLTs (bites, licks and tastes)

You’ve strayed Keep a food journal including the BLTs (bites, licks and tastes).

You’ve reached a healthy weight. Your goal weight may be unrealistic, so re-evaluate to see if it’s attainable. You may also be altering your body composition by increasing muscle and decreasing fat. Take your measurements and be critical of how you feel in your clothes.

You’re doing less exercise, or too much of the same. “If you do the same exercises your body adapts,” says personal trainer Ronald Abvajee from mypt.co.za

“So if you’ve been running for cardio, go dancing or kick-boxing. If you use weights for strength training, then try use your body weight and do functional and high-intensity interval training. Also try a “fitness potjie” – combine cardio and strength workouts into one powerhouse routine”

2.    Cut out the C.R.A.P:

Description: cutting out alcohol

C = Cool drinks, cordials and fruit juices are loaded with kJ.Swap these for water.

R = Refined carbs and sugars are low in fibre and don’t keep you satisfied, which can play havoc with moods and energy levels. They cause sugar carvings, excess insulin release and increased fat storage.

A = Alcohol is energy dense and nutrient poor. Skip the daily glass of wine and you can save up to 5 000kJ per week.

P = Processed food, takeaways and ready meals tend to be high in kJ. Unhealthy fats, sugars and salt in these foods can also thwart weight-loss efforts.

3.    Re-f.r.e.s.h your food choices:

Description: Fruit and veg shoud provide the majority of your carb needs

F = Fruit and veg shoud provide the majority of your carb needs. Go for lower sugar fruits (such as berries) over higher sugar options (like bananas). Pile up half your plate with low-carb veg, like lettuce, tomato, cucumber, onion, mushrooms, asparagus, broccoli and cauliflower.

R = Restricting starches may help weight loss by decreasing insulin production and promoting fat burning. Have no more than 2-3 servings per day of high-fibre whole-grains, like low-GI bread.

E = Extra-lean protein and dairy, like chicken breasts or fat-free yoghurt, help you to feel full and decrease your blood sugar response.

S = Sweat. Make sure you do at least 200 minutes a week, with no more than two consecutive days without exercise.

H = Healthy fats help to satisfy hunger pangs. Eat 2-3 tablespoons of healthy fats per day, like 12 nuts or 10 small olives.

Know more – Niki Urquhart practices at the Centre for Integrative Health and the Active Sport and Rehabilitation Clinic in Johannesburg.

Niki Urquhart is a Joburg-based registered dietitian from Food LogIQ

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