If I had a dollar for every time someone asked me this question, I’d be very rich!! The last 2-5kg is always the hardest to shift. The best way I can explain this is that if you weigh ~150kg, exercises such as walking are going to burn a lot of energy (due to the sheer weight that you have to carry, whilst you are walking). So your body works harder to do this simple exercise. In addition to this, when you start exercising and eating correctly – your body has a big wakeup call and hence the weight shifts more quickly. As your body adjusts to its new way of life, exercising regularly and eating regular healthy meals – it is common to experience a plateau in the weight reduction.

So what can you do to lose those pesty last couple of kgs?

  • Mix things up nutritionally! Sounds interesting, but it’s about changing what your body has been comfortable with over the last couple of months. If you always have toast for breakfast, sandwich for lunch and meat and three veg for dinner – change it up! Try having a fruit salad or bircher muesli for breakfast, a bowl of soup or salad for lunch and a tuna/chicken salad for dinner.
  • Incidental exercise. Any trips to the shops or to pick up the kids, try walking. Even if it’s just one extra walk a week, this helps. Incidental exercise can make a big difference to our overall energy expenditure. Taking the stairs whenever possible is another simply and easy way to increase your energy expenditure.
  • Mix things up physically!! If you run twice a week and walk the other days, try adding in some different exercise options. Your body becomes very efficient at doing the activities that it always does. This is one of the reasons we try and keep our sessions varied, to help ensure the body always has to adapt to new skills and exercises.
  • Commit to someone else. Sounds like an easy thing to do, but this really does make a difference for many people. Either tell a friend or partner that you are going to exercise every day this week, and that way they can check-up with you at the end of the week. Otherwise, why not organise with some other Mums to go for a walk – instead of a coffee, and talk while you walk.
  • Have a goal. Set a serious goal with yourself, and set your mind to achieve it. Make you goal a SMART one (Specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, timely) so that it is something you can realistically work towards. Pick an upcoming wedding or dinner that you want to feel great for. A big caution don’t let everything go after the event/dinner, you will need to keep exercising and eating well to ensure that the great changes are achieved!!

If you feel like you just can’t make these changes by yourself, have a chat with us. As a dietitian, I am more than happy to sit down and go over your current diet and make any suggestions to help. And all out PTs, are more than happy to help you out with ideas on how to incorporate exercise into your busy schedule.

Written by Sally Muir, dietitian and personal trainer.

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