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Real Life Diet Questions Answered

Janet Aylott

Posted 18 Jan 13

Haven't lost for a few weeks - what can I do to kickstart?

I've just weighed in and still haven't lost. I am the same weight as I was on the 15th December. I put two pound on over Christmas and lost one. Could you please offer advice to give me a kickstart again? I have altered my activity to alter my calories which I think is now 1484 cals. I have two jobs, one of which is a cleaner for 3 hours a day and then reception which involves a lot of sitting but does involve taking customers to where they need to go for 5 hours a day. I don't really know what to set my activity to - inactive or light or moderate. I try to do more exercise other than counting on my pedometer but to be honest I start work at 6.30am and if I am covering I work right through to 5.30pm so it is not as though I am sitting on my bum in front of tv. I am as honest as I can be with logging food in the diary so I don't know where I am going wrong. Could you please offer any advice. I have my first foreign holiday in May so another stone off is my goal. Have a good day! Thanks,

Our expert says...

Thanks for your email, and sorry to hear that you've not been losing weight as quickly as you'd hoped.

Looking at your activity I would stick with your levels as inactive. Although you do have one active job, the level of intensity of exercise probably isn't high enough to warrant the extra calories that setting it at 'moderate' would give you. Coupled with the fact that you're not losing weight either, it's best to stick with inactive for now. Of course, if you do start to do any additional activity, then you should change this.

In terms of your diet, it's great that you're sticking within your calorie allowance on most days.
Looking at the types of foods you're choosing, there may be some changes you could make which might help to kickstart your weight loss a little bit. Although it's great you're having some fruit and veg, I notice that you're not tending to hit the 5 a day target. Having plenty of fruit and veg isn't just important to reduce calories, they also contain essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants which can play a role in helping the body to digest and absorb food. It can also affect the way the food in metabolised too. Aim to have at least 5 different types of fruit and veg every day.

The other thing I noticed is that you're not having much in the way of wholemeal or wholegrain foods. So for example, you tend to have white bread, rolls etc, or a cooked breakfast, rather than choosing wholemeal rolls, or a wholegrain breakfast cereal. The main reasons for choosing wholegrain options is to increase your fibre intake - this will help to keep your digestive system healthy. The other important thing you get from wholegrains is B vitamins. These are really important to help burn off calories, and release the energy you get from your food. If you're not getting enough of these types of foods, it can affect the way your food is metabolised, and ultimately affect how quickly you burn off calories.

The best way to kickstart weight loss is to be more active. It's really difficult when you're working long hours I know, but it's about trying to fit in more activity into your already busy day. So for example, when you're taking customers where they need to go, take the stairs and not the lift; or when you're doing your cleaning, be really vigorous as you do it. All these little changes might seem silly, but added together they can really make a difference.

Stick with what you're doing, and maybe try and make a couple of little changes to your food choices, and your activity levels and see how you get on. If after a couple of weeks you're not seeing any benefits, please do come back to me and we'll see what else we can suggest.

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