Hi Hayley - I have been on a pretty extensive weight loss program for the last year. I have lost about 50lbs so far and am now working on my last 15. However I have noticed that over the last month or so I have really plateaued which is frustrating!! I am wondering if you have any advice to get my weight loss back on track. I don’t want to be supermodel skinny. I am currently a size 12 pant and a medium top. I think the last 15lbs I want to lose will get rid of the jiggly bits I have going on.

I am currently working out about 5 - 6 days a week – three of those workouts are usually the elliptical set to an interval program at around 150 – 170 strides per minute – I will do this for 30 minutes, go and do a circuit of weights/abs (Depending on the day I will do upper body/full body or lower body) and then do another 25/30 minutes on the elliptical – either on a fat burn or another interval program, I also do yoga once a week, and usually an hour long walk once a week. Most weeks I also do this evil set of stairs that go from English Bluff down to the beach and back up again (around 200m one way) – they are super steep and I try to do them 5 times I usually want to die at the end of them. As for food I try to keep it as whole as possible and I track everything I eat on dailyplate.com– On work out days I am eating about 1600 – 1700 calories a day – on days where I do not have a big workout I am around 1450. I eat lots of eggs, tuna, veggies and fruit as well as whole grains. I try to avoid pasta because quite honestly I love it too much and have no control over my portions with it.  I have a mostly vegetarian diet and do eat a little bit of soy (usually with breakfast) but try to get most of protein from eggs and egg whites or from almonds (I have 12 a day) I try to drink mostly water and on good days I usually have about 10 glasses and on bad I am looking at around 6.  I am wondering if I should be eating more calories on work out days. Or maybe try and do more in the morning? Any help you can offer would be so appreciated! Thanks D

The last 15 pounds are the hardest to lose and the most frustrating and if you continue to focus on the scale I promise it is going to be a long and very discouraging road. So, what I want you to do is get off the elliptical and use the time you are spending in the gym to work towards a tangible goal, something that may scare you a little bit, something that you might not even think you will be able to accomplish. 

When we focus on the scale, especially for the last few pounds, the amount of gains we achieve from maximal effort is very minimal and it is frustrating when the scale does not move.  Also, you may find that your body fat and clothing size will decrease but because of increases in muscle gain you may not see the scale move at all.  When you pick a tangible goal, set your mind to it and train for it, every single workout you will accomplish something that you never have before and you will stay motivated.  Perhaps it is training for your first 10km race or a long bike ride or maybe a charity hike (we have one on the west coast called Seek the Peak and it is a fantastic event for all fitness levels) but whatever it is pick something that is out of your comfort zone.  You have lost 50 pounds already and you know you can do anything so replace the elliptical for something more challenging where you see yourself moving forward and getting stronger every single day.

In regards to your nutrition, what you are eating sounds great.  One thing I would suggest is adding an omega 3/omega 6 supplement such as hemp seeds or Udo’s Oil to your diet as well as a pure protein supplement - my favourite is Vega Protein Powder.  Use the protein powder on your non workout days for a meal replacement and on the days you are working out use it as an extra meal to help you recover.

Also, pick up your strength training a notch.  I want you to focus on full body movements that will incorporate as many muscles as possible.  Try adding medicine ball tricep extensions to your lunges, shoulder press to your squats and bicep curls to your step ups.  Do 10 or 15 mountain climbers between each push up (on a set of 10) and between every strength  exercise do a core exercise.  I’ve included a few photos of my favourite exercises for you to try.

Keep up the good work and start moving forward to your new goal.  And remember, you will get out only what you put in and in order to keep improving you have to keep upping the anti so up the challenge.