The last two kilos: Should you be trying to lose them? (and how to do so)

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A common question at this time of year is, "how do I lose those last two kilos?" - How do we get rid of that last little bit of weight, the last little bit of 'stubborn' fat?

When first embarking upon a weight loss programme, the kilos tend to drop more quickly and easily, before levelling off (and maybe even plateau-ing over time). One reason that this is the case is that it takes a larger amount of calories to maintain a larger/heavier body than it does to maintain a smaller/lighter one. So, as your weight drops, so do your required calories. Therefore in order to keep losing weight at the same rate, you need to keep reducing your calorie intake or increasing your energy expenditure to keep you in a deficit.

However, by the time you are down to those last two kilo's, you are likely to be a pretty healthy weight and body fat percentage. So my first question back would be: 'why do you need to lose another two kg?' First of all, scale weight is largely meaningless, so the 'happy' 58kg you were when you were 20 is now meant to be the 60kg you are currently in your 40s. Secondly, if you feel like you are fighting your body to lose those last two kilos, then you are probably right - so maybe stop fighting it! 

It is better for your body to be at a weight and body fat percentage where it functions fully and properly. This is a point where your hormones are balanced, your body strong and your mood stable. It's a weight (or weight range) where you fall asleep easily, you have enough energy  day to day, and your mind is free to think about things other than macros, calories or reps at the gym.

So ask yourself why you picked that particular 'goal' weight in the first place? Was it because it's the weight you were before you had kids, is it the weight your favorite fitness inspiration is, or is it the weight you feel social media is encouraging you to strive for? 

Those few kilos you are desperately trying to drop might be better to keep? Maybe you need to drop those last few kg and maybe you are better off staying exactly where you are now. The goal is to be eating and training in  a way that you can comfortably maintain. You want to be exercising and eating in a way that compliments your life, not hinders it.

So, if you have to stick to a very strict eating and exercise regime in order to get and keep those kilos off, you need to think if it will be worth the trade-off in the long run.  If it takes away from your memories, your time with friends and family it might not be the right goal to have. 

 

Finally, I know that the pressure to be 'bikini ready' is inevitably all over social media at the moment - but please ask yourself why you feel the need to lose any weight before your holiday? Why do you need to lose any weight to be confident and happy on the beach, in a bikini? The answer is, as much as you may not believe it, you don't. No-one else is going to judge you so harshly as you judge yourself, and no-one else will judge you based off of those last two kilos, or whether you are 15 or 20% body fat.

Now as I said, the chances are that if you are down to the last two kilos you are a healthy, strong individual; but, if you still feel the need to lose them, here are a few tips:

 

1) Accept and appreciate how far you’ve come.

That you are at the point where it is down to the last 1-2 kg shows an amazing achievement already! It shows that you have been consistently committed to looking after yourself and your health - so accept the next step may take a little more time.

 

2) Stay on track over the weekends.

The weekends are  usually a time when we have a few drinks, indulge a little more - but when it comes to the stubborn last two kilos, you need to not use the weekend as an excuse to eat and drink whatever you want while skipping exercise. Once again you need to think at this point, 'are stricter weekends worth the last few kilos or not'?

3) Eat more meals at home. 

When we eat out, we have no control over portion size or how food is prepared and cooked. So if you want to get over that last little hump, try to eat more home-made meals so you know exactly what (and how much of it) is ending up in your food. 

4) Keep a food diary.

Keeping a food diary not only helps you to see what you are eating, and if it's more than you realised, but I find that keeping a food diary helps to keep you more accountable for what you are eating - and makes you question whether you really want to eat it or not.

5) Step up your exercise.

If you aren’t already doing a huge amount of exercise, then adding in another 10 minutes to your session or an extra session to your week could be what makes a difference in whether you are creating a calorie deficit or not. If you are generally inactive throughout the day, this added exercise could be as simple as increasing your daily steps by 2,000-4,000 more per ay! N.B: If you are exercising more, you may feel hungrier - but try to not eat more or you could just then maintain the same energy balance ).

Hopefully you have found this blog helpful and it has made you see how to get rid of the last two kilos, but once again make sure this is something you really want and need to do in the first place!