Posted by: vlooi | 2004/03/11

What could be the cause?

Hi DietDoc,

I have lost a substantial amount of weight the past six months (15kg) mainly due to the fact that I have joined a gym (exercise daily) and decided to change my eating habits (low fat high fibre). I drink up to 2l of water a day besides the normal cup of tea or juice during the day. It seems though my body was very happy with the way I carried on up to about three weeks ago.

I don't lose weight anymore and don't gain any. I am at an absolute standstill (70kg). I even increased my cardio workouts, but then find myself very hungry at night time and nibbling on all sorts of things (rice cakes, fruit,carrots etc.) I have also noted that my body starts to retain more water (not in my legs though)

I am pretty despondent at this stage as I would like to reach my goal weight of 65kg (1.68m).

I did not change anything in my diet nor in my exercise program. Have cereal in the morning (high fibre), plenty of fruit during the day. Main meal at lunch time which consists mainly of raw veggies and a small portion of fish chicken or occasionally red meat. Evenings, I'll have something lite, slice of bread with tomatoe or so.

Is this just a phase my body is going through?

Any suggestions?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageDietDoc

Dear Vlooi
Firstly let me congratulate you on losing 15 kg - that is a wonderful achievement. I also admire your sensible approach to losing weight. Now that you have reached the normal weight range with a BMI of 24,8, your weight loss will slow down. I agree that it would be good to try and reduce to 65 kg which would give you a BMI of 23 (the normal range for BMI values is 18-25). I think what you need to do is to be patient and continue with your low-fat, high-fibre diet and the exercise. Give your body a chance to adjust to the massive weight loss. I also think you may need to add a few additional foods to your diet (e.g. some fat-free milk, yoghurt and cottage cheese to prevent calcium deficiency) and to eat a balanced low-fat meal at night. Click on 'Diet' and 'Weight loss' and 'Slimming Diet' and compare this diet with what you are eating and make the necessary changes. It is ironic that the human body often switches off its weight loss mechanisms in the face of perceived 'starvation', so it is often better to eat slightly more of the permitted low-fat foods than to use too minimalistic a diet.
Good luck

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