March 4, 2017


A common feeling shared amongst women is that we try our best to go by the book, doing what we’re told in order to lose weight.

However, the scales just don’t seem to be shifting. Sound familiar? We have asked Nardia Norman, Personal Trainer to give us the lowdown on other factors that we didn’t really think about, or know were relevant when trying to lose weight.

Desk job, sedentary lifestyle

It is not uncommon to be stuck behind a desk for a living. Although you may not have a choice, the lack of mobility will make it considerably harder for you to lose weight. If you’re spending long hours behind a desk, it is really important to monitor what you’re eating. Try and find opportunities throughout the day to get up and move around. This incidental activity will help your metabolism and your health.

Overeating and lack of exercise

This may seem like an obvious one, but a combination of the two is still the most common cause of weight gain. We tend to pile on the pounds if we take in more food (calories/energy) than we burn off through metabolism and activity. Sounds simple, right? However, many of us are still confused as to what too much food actually is, struggling with the issue of large portion sizes, too many side dishes, a lot of extra sugar and salt-laden sauces.

A rule of thumb when having meat, is you only need a piece that is approximately the area and width of the palm of your hand, and the same goes for wholegrain carbohydrate sources. One serving of vegetables is equivalent to ½ cup of most vegetables, or 1 full cup of raw leafy greens. One serving of fruit can be considered one medium piece of fruit (e.g. baseball sized apple) or ½ cup chopped fruit.

The time machine

The unfortunate truth is that – regardless of who we are – with age, our metabolism starts to slow and our energy decreases, making it easier to gain and harder to lose weight. If the scales are starting to creep up on you, don’t fret, it is very normal – more common when over the age of 30, as the amount of body fat is increasing whilst the amount of muscle is decreasing.

Make a few minor adjustments to your fitness and nutrition regime by adding strength training to increase depleting muscle mass and increasing the amount of vegetables and whole foods into your diet.

Not eating the snacks your body requires

Maybe you aren’t seeing any progress, and you feel like you’re doing everything right, but have you considered that you might not actually be eating enough? Missing meals and eating too little can send your body into starvation mode, causing your metabolism to slow down in order to conserve energy, as it doesn’t know when the next round of calories is coming.

So ladies, stop skimping on the snacks, listen, and feed your body when it needs fuel. Thinking you’re doing the right thing by eating less could, in fact, be hindering the stubborn shred!

Not getting enough Z’s

The need for sleep is often ignored. However, many of us fail to realise that a decent night’s rest can actually boost your mood, improve performance and impact the body’s capacity to lose unwanted kilos. The average adult needs roughly eight hours of optimal sleep time per night; the type of sleep that is deep and uninterrupted where you wake up feeling refreshed and supercharged for the day.

Within this time, our bodies are experiencing a significant transformation where certain hormones that regulate appetite and fat storage are being released and controlled.

Do you have any other suggestions? Share with us below. 

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  • Yes, unfortunately I fall into two of these categories – desk job and eating too little! Having a full time desk job led me to be less mobile and dampened my hunger causing me to eat less during the day. Unfortunately, the less I ate, the less I wanted to eat and the more lethargic I became. It’s been pretty tough to break this cycle, but through positive thought and determination, I feel I’m slowly turning this phase around.


  • I am turning 50 this year and try to think the reason I’m finding it hard to lose weight is my age. There are so many over 50s losing weight tho


  • I will add stopping breastfeeding doesn’t help with weight gain… got used to eating more and now I don’t need to eat that much!


  • Unfortunately I have a desk job (3 days a week) and a chocolate stash at work which is not helping. Luckily I don’t drive and have 4 primary aged children that requires me to run around and walk everywhere. Because I don’t drive it makes me walk everywhere which I love to do and I also make my children do with me. We only catch public transport if we need to (of course my husband drives so he is our transport for long distances) So instead of catching the bus to the shops my children and I walk and make it into an adventure discussing things we see on the way etc. Unlike most kids their age they can walk very long distances. SO not only are we exercising we are bonding at the same time. Now to get rid of that chocolate stash at work…………………..


  • Some people have a lower metabolism than others. You need a balance of protein and carboydrates. What a lot people don’t realise is that there is 2 types of carbohydrates. Starchy foods such as potatoes and some types of rice are bad carbohydrates. A good dietician can give you a diet suited to your needs. Your Dr. may also have lists of good foods and others to avoid. Make sure if you see a Nutritionist instead of a dietican that they have a Provider Number if you wish to claim on Medicare or Private Health Cover. Dieticians study for much longer and have to be accredited with the Dieticans Association to practise. Nutritionists often charge more than Dieticians. I went to a Nutritionist who charged $75.00 for one visit, gave me a diet which included food which I had already advised him that I am allergic to. I asked for a receipt and he said he would post me one. On a further 3 requests by email I still didn’t receive one. On making enquiries I found out he didn’t have a provider number. He is also connected to a large Gym Club group. He won’t get any more recommendations from my GP after me mentioning it. I did lose weight on his very extreme diet but my cholestoral level doubled in 6 weeks. I was also advised by Registered Nurses who worked in dietary needs section in hospitals (not known to each other). at long term use causes liver and kidney damage.


  • Great tips !
    Don’t forget water intake, very important !
    Think in general we eat too little vegetables, many of us will not eat the 5 veggie servings a day. When hungry snack on salads and veggies !


  • Absolutely agree with these.


  • yep sounds about right, I am all of these things


  • I drink lots of fresh water through the day and keep the fruit bowl stocked with favourite fruit. I still eat treat foods and enjoy treats but eat them in moderation and eat a designated amount.

    • I also keep a container of veggie sticks available throughout the day to have with dip.


  • thanks for the insightful article – trying to loose the spare tyre around my waist – was really productive for a couple of weeks (started walking 5ks each night in about 40-45 minutes) – then hubby went away for the week so couldn’t get out to go, then a few other set backs and then my period and now I am back at the very start of my weight loss goal.

    Starting monday – back into my 5k walks – I have fun doing them and I feel motivated after the first one, I just don’t need any road blocks to enable me to miss them!


  • It’s not easy to lose weight especially being a woman who has bad metabolism and going through menopause and due to bad health alot of medications add weight.I went to have a look at the local gym and it was a put off as everyone there was fit and not overweight.Alot of women struggle to lose the baby weight and also to find the time to exercise….my exercise consists mainly of housework and don’t get me started on lack of sleep lol I need a decent nights sleep desperately


  • A healthy diet and exercise is so important.


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