Losing those last 5kgs can be a huge challenge. For most people trying to lose weight, by this stage, they’re usually eating pretty healthily and exercising regularly, using both HIIT and resistance training. So, what do you do if you seem to ‘plateau’ and can’t shift that last little bit? You can’t just keep cutting calories or exercising more and more. It’s at this stage that the ‘eat less, move more’ philosophy can actually do more harm to your metabolism than good. Instead, it’s time to shift the focus onto balancing your hormones. Your hormones run just about everything in your body. So, by doing this, you’ll help to make sure your body is in the optimal state to let go of any fat that it’s holding onto. To help you reach your weight loss goals, follow these 5 natural tips to lose the last 5kgs.

1. Focus on Optimal Gut Health
Having a well-balanced gut is a vital step to making sure your overall health stays on track. However, bad bacteria in your gut can also contribute to your body holding onto those last 5kgs. This is because your digestive system is responsible for removing estrogen from your body without which you’re more likely to experience symptoms such as bloating, mood swings and cravings. Include plenty of probiotic foods such as Greek yoghurt, raw sauerkraut, kefir and vegetables that are high in fibre such as broccoli, kale and cabbage. This will help to keep things moving in your gut while encouraging the growth of good bacteria.

2. Say No to Refined Sugar
In addition to the fact that sugar is full of nutritionally ‘empty’ calories, it also causes your body to produce too much estrogen. Estrogen increases the number of alpha-adrenergic receptors in your body which naturally act to prevent the release of fat from storage. As such, say no to foods that contain refined sugars such as lollies, desserts, most processed drinks including fruit juice and even a lot of ‘healthy’ cereals and yoghurts. Replace them with non-processed alternatives such as natural, unsweetened Greek yoghurt with berries or water flavoured with lemon juice. Doing this will also help to improve your gut health (as bad bacteria feeds on sugar) which will also help you to lose the last 5kgs.

3. Include Vitamin C
Although it’s not well-known, vitamin C is an essential nutrient that helps your body to produce progesterone that helps to balance estrogen in your body. Try to include at least a couple of vitamin C rich foods into your diet every day. This could include things such as citrus fruits, strawberries, leafy greens or capsicums. Getting this vitamin naturally is usually far more efficient than taking a supplement.

4. Relax
Trying to lose the last 5kgs can be a stressful time. However, instead of worrying about making sure your diet and exercise plan is 100% on point, chill out! Stress causes your body to produce the hormones cortisol, adrenaline and norepinephrine which do all sorts of horrible things to your body including encouraging it to hold onto fat stores. Make sure you do some sort of relaxing activity every day. This could be as simple as doing some deep breathing, journaling, taking 10 minutes to meditate or doing yoga or going for a nice walk. Also, be sure to get enough sleep. It’s a big help in reducing your stress levels too.

5. Supplement
While I usually advocate that it’s best to get your nutrition from your food, it can be hard to make sure your body is getting a good balance of nutrients, especially when it comes to losing the last 5kgs of body fat. As such, consider taking a multi-vitamin or adding a specific supplement to your diet if you’re particularly low on something. Omega-3, vitamin D and probiotics are often great suggestions for anyone looking to lose weight. However, it’s best that you talk to a qualified professional who can assess what would be best for you personally.