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Weight Loss


You hit the gym a few times a week and eat healthy(ish) but your skinny jeans never seem to get above your thighs. What’s the deal? It may be as simple as increasing your water intake, or something more complex like a hormonal imbalance due to too much stress. Here, we investigate some of the most common causes of scale stagnation.


1. You’re Not Drinking Enough H2O
You all know the drill. Drinking around 2 litres of water a day is crucial for overall health, but truth be told, not many people actually see this health ‘must’ through. If you know you need to up your water game but are having trouble getting motivated, heed this sage advice: Your body needs water to break down fat stores, but as it’s not a vital process, your body will focus on other, more important things if hydration levels aren’t there to support it. Help your body work its fat-fighting magic by keeping as hydrated as possible and watch the weight fall away.


2. You’re Too Stressed To Shed Weight
When stress spikes so too does your cortisol levels and this isn’t good news for your waistline. The ‘stress hormone’ has the ability to hold onto weight, while also causing higher insulin levels and blood sugar drops that can lead to sugar cravings. The result: a chocolate binge. One of the most effective ways to balance cortisol is by incorporating a mindfulness practice such as meditation into your day to help reduce stress, build mental strength (to mentally kick cravings’ butt) and move you into a more productive headspace. If you’re new to the practice try the app Insight Timer; it has an abundance of guided meditations to help ease you into it.


3. You’re Going OTT On The Protein
With all these high-protein diets getting media attention it’s easy to see why they look so appealing. All those toned thighs and tight abs can turn anyone into a hardcore carnivore. But while protein is an essential part of healthy eating and a great way to build muscle, it can also be stored as fat if overdone. Try to incorporate vegetable protein into your diet as well as animal sources, and balance it out with lots of low GI fruits and vegetables for optimum health. At the end of the day it’s all about calories in versus calories out, so if your day starts with a protein shake, ends with a steak and consists of a protein bar and high-protein lunch in between, chances are you’re probably overdoing it.


4. You Need To Eat More Fat
It sounds counterintuitive but with increasing research supporting healthy fats as a weight-loss winner it’s something that just can’t be ignored. Turns out eating fat is actually good for you. Hooray! But before you rush out for a burger, let’s get some clarification. For years the recommendation was to opt for low-fat foods over regular varieties, but recent research has shown that those options leave you more hungry and less satisfied, not to mention the increased sugar content in low-fat foods having a negative impact on your waistline. Instead, a diet rich in healthy fats such as avocado, oily fish like salmon, and nuts actually assist weight loss because your body needs fat to function effectively. Without fat, you get tired and hungry and have crazy cravings, all factors that have an impact on food choices. Our advice: ditch your low fat cheese and yoghurt and enjoy naturally fatty foods like avocado, nuts and salmon instead. Your thighs will thank you.


 Words by Yasmin Trollope