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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Why has my weight loss slowed down?

    Related Topic
    I've been doing it for 23 weeks I weighed in at 161kg have lost 20kg so far. I can only do exercise for short times had knee op and shoulder op use walking machine and bike. I don't want this to stop as I have a lot of Heath issues. please help
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  • 1


    Laura Jean


    Laura is an accredited practising dietitian who is passionate about helping people develop a healthy relationship with food. Laura currently runs an online program, Eat … View Profile

    Congratulations on the changes you've made so far. I'm sure you are getting a lot of benefits outside the significant weight change that you've achieved.
    When we make a lot of changes initially we can lose weight quite quickly - but remember a long term sustainable rate of weight loss is 0.5-1kg per month. You've exceeded this by a lot in your initial phase, this is normal, but it does mean that it will slow down. Also normal, but can feel like it's not when you compare the more average rate of weight loss with the initial fast phase of loss.
    When we make changes to lose weight our body automatically starts to change behind the scenes to slow or stop the weight loss. This doesn't mean it's impossible to lose weight but it's just good to know how the body reacts - the body sees weight loss as a threat to survival - even if losing weight is the very thing to help our health issues!
    My advice would be to continue with the changes you are making, ensuring you are including a balanced food intake and not being too restrictive (all the evidence shows that restrictive eating ALWAYS leads to weight gain backlash eventually). I'd encourage you to think about how your appetite, hunger and satisfaction cues are changing and adjust your intake to them accordingly.
    While you can only exercise for a short time as your fitness increases you should be able to increase the intensity of your exercise (of course consult your physio/doctor/EP around this).
    While it's tempting to want to lose weight quickly the key is keeping the weight off. Focus on making sure the changes you've made are sustainable for your lifestyle and that you can maintain them regardless of change in weight. You might also find it useful to focus on the other benefits you are getting from the changes you've made - this is not about disregarding weight loss but just helping to put it into perspective and also giving you some other motivators when you hit those inevitable plateau periods.
    Keep up the great changes that you've made and keep focussing on all the benefits to your body, mind and health.
    Kind regards,
    Laura Jean
    Accredited Practising Dietitian

  • 3


    Arlene is a registered practising dietitian, with a private practice in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney, and has built a strong business over the last … View Profile

    You have done remarkably well. You have obviously made the correct changes to your lifestyle. Your body cannot continue to lose weight at such a rapid speed. You have lost 21kg in 23 weeks – that is remarkable. It is normal for the body to average losing 2 – 2 ½ kg per month. You must remember that what you are doing is a lifestyle not a diet. Stop focusing on your weight and think of how much fitter and healthier you are feeling.

    Ensure that your portion sizes do not creep up, so occasionally measure you food or weigh it. Maintain your exercise regime. Interval training is recommended where you do intense exercise training on the bike or treadmill for a few minutes, and then more moderate walking or cycling. You should be doing about an hour of aerobic exercise per day. Resistance exercise is also recommended – depending what you can to with your knee and shoulder.

    Snacking and picking are common mistakes which can creep into your intake. You do not realise you are eating. Everything you eat goes on a plate and you are sitting down to eat it. Chew you food well and eat slowly! Be patient. Remember ‘Rome was not built in a day!’

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