‘I started fast­ing but my body wouldn’t co–op­er­ate’

Good Health (Australia) - - Be Informed - Michelle Matangi, 36

If you want to make Michelle Matangi gri­mace, men­tion the ‘P’ word. “I know all about weight­loss plateaus,” says Michelle. In 2008, she lost a whop­ping 42kg – in one year! It wasn’t the first time she’d dropped so much weight so quickly – when she was 23, Michelle lost 30kg in one year on the Atkins diet.

“That first time I went down to my low­est ever weight, of 54kg. Now I re­alise that’s far too low for my height (168cm), but at the time I thought it was fan­tas­tic, even though I was eat­ing no carbs and couldn’t sleep or con­cen­trate.”

When she be­gan eat­ing carbs again her weight shot up to 107kg.

“So in 2008, I started a pa­le­ostyle diet and lost 42kg in a year.” Down to 65kg, Michelle still had dreams of get­ting back to her low­est weight of 54kg. “But I just couldn’t go any lower, no mat­ter what I did. I started fast­ing and weight train­ing but my body wouldn’t co-op­er­ate.”

In fact, Michelle’s weight ac­tu­ally be­gan to creep up to 75kg, where it’s been for the last few years.

“Hit­ting a plateau made me feel like a fail­ure, par­tic­u­larly be­cause I was so pub­lic about my weight loss on my blog. But I’ve since worked with a di­eti­tian who has made me un­der­stand the rea­son I hit plateaus is be­cause I’m not giv­ing my body enough food so it goes into star­va­tion mode and holds onto the weight. I’ve had to re­alise that my body is most com­fort­able around the 70kg mark, and that’s what I’m work­ing to­wards now.”

For Michelle, the only way to power through a plateau is to have a sen­si­ble ap­proach to diet and ex­er­cise. “That’s what I’m do­ing now, eat­ing three healthy, whole­food meals a day and go­ing to the gym three times a week.”

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