27 October 2016Last updated

Features | People

Ask the expert: have I hit a weight loss plateau?

Yes, it seems like you have hit a plateau, but don’t worry, there are ways to overcome it

8 Aug 2016 | 03:48 pm

I’ve been following an 800-calorie diet for the past two months and have lost 5kg. But over the past three weeks, I’ve found that I’m not losing any more weight. I need to lose another 5kg. Have I reached a plateau?

Yes, it seems like you have hit a plateau, but don’t worry, there are ways to overcome it. Here a few important pointers about how to break a plateau.

Number one is the concern I have about you meeting all your nutritional requirements if you have been consistently consuming 800 calories. It is not advisable to follow such low-calorie diets for a prolonged period of time. They give you short-term results but in the long run, the poor nutritional content will have a negative effect on your hair, skin and metabolism.

Secondly, please get a body fat analysis done, which will show you how much of the weight loss is fat and how much is muscle and water. It is important that you preserve your muscle and don’t compromise on that in order to lose weight on the scale.

To counter the plateau, you should start taking a day off from the diet, one day every week, and spike your calorie intake on that day. Sometimes, indulging on food to the point of sickness once a week is the key to getting the most out of low-calorie diets. It causes a lot of hormonal changes, which initiate fat loss and improve the conversion of the T4 thyroid hormone to the active T3. Plus, the psychological benefits always outweigh the metabolic benefits of such binges. Enjoy loading up on calories once a week, and you’ll break your weight loss plateau.

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Rashi Chowdhary

is a nutritionist, an inch-loss expert and a certified diabetic educator. She can be contacted on 050 181 5030.