Health, fitness and Food

A struggle to lose weight

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 Dear Promota,

Kindly help me understand why it has been such a struggle for me to lose weight despite a regular exercise routine. I am 40 years old, 140 pounds, exercise at least four times per week and really make an effort to watch what I eat. The following foods form a part of my regular diet: peanut butter (two tablespoons per serving), oats with Lasoy milk-free, coconut water (at least one jelly per day), green tea sweetened with honey, cashew or peanut with or without raisins and sugar-cane (one bag every time). I have regular intake of vegetables, fruits, pumpkin, sweet potato and other carbs. I always feel hungry, hence my portions are sometimes large. My “happy” weight is 135 pounds and so I really need to lose that extra five pounds. Please help!


I know it’s hard when you are doing all you can and you are not achieving weight loss. This is why, if at all possible, it is best to work along with a nutritionist/weight loss coach. In this way, he or she can work with you individually and help you to get the results you want.

It is very important to note that in whatever field of endeavour, it is impossible to keep doing the same things and expect to get a different result. One plus one will always be two. In order to achieve weight loss, you are going to have to make some changes and keep making more changes in order for your transformation to continue. This is one of the reasons why working with a coach is important.

In order to see weight loss, you will have to reduce your calorie intake. Calories are the amount of energy in the food we eat. So you will have to watch what you eat as well as the amount that you consume. The best thing to do is a food audit where you record what you eat and how much you eat for the week.

In your case, you are going to have to eliminate some foods or have smaller portions of them in order to see a difference in your weight loss since you have reached a plateau. As such, peanut butter (you are likely to be eating this with bread) will have to be replaced. Your oats can also be replaced by one to two fruits and you would need to cut your nuts and raisin consumption. In the case of sugar cane, you can have it every two to three days, instead of every day.

Unfortunately, some of the things you eat on a regular basis have a fair amount of calories. In addition, another approach is that you cut your food intake in half after assessing your food audit, which would further help you to see results.

If you want to see a reduction in your weight, you will have to tweak your exercise regimen. In my view, it is better to do more cardiovascular exercises instead of muscle- building types of exercise. Regardless of what you do, something about your exercise regimen must be different going forward. It could be an increase in the number of days for exercising, or the duration of your exercise programme.

Your exercise programme will help you to cut your calories so that the body is forced to use the reserve fat. Let’s say that you are sick for two weeks, typically what happens is that the appetite goes, you eat less food, and your body is forced to utilise some of the reserve fat. If you make the necessary changes, you will see a difference.

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