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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    I am exercising and eating well but not losing weight, why?

    I am 29yo, 184cm and 105kg. After being super fit and 85kg when I was younger, I stopped exercising and eating well for 10yrs while having some personal issues. Now I've sorted myself out and exercising at least 5 times per week for 1hr each, resistance 2 times and cardio 3 times.

    I am eating 1500 calories and make sure I have a lot of green veggies. I have been doing this for 2 months but have only lost 1kg and minor changes in my measurements.

    What should I do to help get the weight moving?
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    Courtney Thornton is an accredited practising dietitian currently working in Sydney. She is a member of the Dietitians Association of Australia and specialises in the … View Profile

    A few common reasons weight loss can plateau might be:

    -  A restricted calorie meal plan for too long. Sometimes the body becomes use to the amount of energy consumed from food which can make our metabolism sluggish and create a slow progress in weight loss. Try increasing your calories by 100 - 200 calories for a week or 2 and see if this helps jolt your metabolism. 

    - Too many snacks at night. Oversnacking and mindless eating is common for night owls. Try to avoid the munchies by including a protein rish snack in the afternoon e.g a small handful of nuts or tub of low fat yoghurt 

    - Try adding some variety to your exercise. For instance if you usually go the gym, try breaking up this routine with a run outside or walk involving steep hills. 

    - Ensure you are having enough carbohydrates for training. Often cutting carbs out will result in short term weight loss but is not a sustainable long term plan. Carbohydrates are the primary energy source for working muscles. Include lots of low GI wholegrain breads and cereals 

    - Watch the alcohol! Alcohol contributes almost as much energy per gram as fat. It's easy to drink a lot more calories without noticing. 

    - Also beware of small snacks too often. A taste of icecream here, a potato chip of two there and the odd chocolate can quickly add up!

    Remember consistency is key. Increasing your exercise can often build muscle (weighing heavier on the scales) but if you stick with it the weight will follow. 

    Hope this helps :)

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    My research interests include immunology and the mechanisms of amyloid formation. The latter has implications for people who are dealing with Alzheimer's Disease, Parkinson's Disease … View Profile

    I think that Courtney made a very good point:

    "Increasing your exercise can often build muscle (weighing heavier on the scales)"

    Muscle tissue is denser (weighs more per unit volume) than fatty tissue. So, because you are exercising regularly your muscle tissue:fatty tissue ratio is likely to increase.

    That means that you may not be losing weight (possibly gaining weight), but in a healthy way.

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