Plateaued? Here’s How To Shed Those Last Few Kilos

Because we can't eat egg whites for breakfast anymore.

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The first week of any beginner’s fitness journey is tough. High-fiving sweaty strangers is unfamiliar. You miss the friendly staff at Gelato Messina. You’re not a size six within six days and you threaten to give up…a lot. But there comes a point when something changes. You start to see results and suddenly it all becomes a lot easier. That is until you hit the wall. You plateau. No matter how much you exercise or how little you consume, you can’t seem to shake those last, unwelcome kilograms.

For many people, losing that last bit can seem next to impossible. And according to nutritionist and personal trainer, Nik Toth, it can be—that is, if you fail to address the underlying causes of weight retention.

“The problem is that most weight loss programs don’t address the underlying cause of excess weight,” says Toth. “Some of the culprits include poor digestive function, lack of essential nutrients, toxic overload and hormonal chaos. Not to mention one of the biggest contributors of all is emotional eating or excessive sugar intake.”

So if you’re eating kale by the kilo and conquering kilometres like a marathoner but struggling to see results, read on to find out the underlying factors that might be holding you back.

4 Reasons Why You’re Holding On To Excess Weight

1. You’re suffering from toxic overload

A photo posted by Tara Milk Tea (@taramilktea) on

According to Toth, we’re simply “clogged up” (cue cringe). We consume far too many refined carbohydrates and processed foods, even if we don’t mean to. This results in a toxic overload where our bodies have to work in overdrive to eliminate unwanted substances thereby inhibiting weight loss.

“I used to spend countless hours at the gym and spent a fortune on weight loss supplements that didn’t seem to work. I reached for low-fat products wrongly thinking they were good for me and ate weight loss bars and other foods that were heavily processed, all of which contributed to a toxic overload,” says Toth. “What I failed to acknowledge was that my food choices were negatively affecting my body and the way I was feeling.”

But it’s not only the chemicals in food she says we should be concerned about. Our overexposure to toxins in the environment can also play a role. “Eating and drinking from plastic containers—not to mention the cleaning products you use and the cosmetics that you put on your hair and skin—can negatively affect hormone levels.” In turn, Toth says this can cause weight loss to stagnate.

Try these chemical-free water bottles, cleaning products and cosmetics.

2. You’re dieting too much

While overeating won’t do your waistline any wonders, undereating won’t either. Obsessive dieting is one of the key reasons that many people struggle to lose those final few kilos—and keep them off.

“[Fad diets] disrupt your metabolism as many require you to eat a structured amount of food on a strict schedule that may not be suitable for your body’s needs. Also, they are often too restrictive…[which can] lead to nutritional deficiencies and they’re rarely sustainable so when you stop following them, you may find that you actually put on more weight,” says Toth.

3. You’re not sleeping enough

Ever been told that you can sleep yourself slim? Well, apparently it’s true. Quality shut-eye is essential for sustained weight loss as it is during this time that our body restores itself.

“Sleeping chemically rebalances your brain and your hunger hormones, allowing them to carry the message to burn fat as opposed to storing it. A restful night of sleep facilitates lean muscle growth, improves energy levels, decreases stress levels and reduces cravings.”

4. You’re eating too much sugar

A photo posted by Tara Milk Tea (@taramilktea) on

If you’ve really tried everything and still can’t seem to shake that unwanted cushioning, sugar may be to blame.

“When it is not used for immediate energy, sugar gets stored in the body as fat. From there it contributes to obesity, abnormal lipid profiles and chronic illnesses such as diabetes,” says Toth. “It is [also] highly addictive so over time it wears out your insulin stores, damages your arteries and raises cholesterol levels.”

“While there are different types of sugar in food, fructose has the biggest impact on our waistline and health because our bodies can’t metabolise it well. When we eat fructose it goes straight to our liver, which immediately stores it as body fat. It may also increase our triglycerides and bad cholesterol.”

But before you go swapping your sugar for the artificial version, think again. Toth says that the chemical compounds found in artificial sweeteners can stimulate your appetite and actually promote the storage of fat.

Instead, try increasing your consumption of vegetables (especially leafy greens), alkalising nutrients and fermented, probiotic foods that change the pH balance of your gut. This will shift the balance of your gut flora from bad to good and your cravings will disappear in no time.

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Growing up on the Northern Beaches of Sydney with a love of the outdoors, Georgia has always led an active lifestyle. She has a passion for health, fitness and fashion, and loves to travel and try new things. Along with her position at Sporteluxe, Georgia works as a fit model for global fashion brands including Bassike and Christopher Esber, combining her interest in fashion with her dedication to healthy living. She graduated from the University of NSW with a Bachelor of Media (PR and Advertising) and initially pursued the public relations field but was always drawn to journalism due to her love of reading and writing. For Georgia, life is about balance. She leads an active and fulfilled lifestyle and nourishes her mind and body but won't shy away from a burger and wine!