Sometimes weight loss can come to a plateau even though you are doing everything right. With weight loss, metabolism naturally slows down because you are smaller and losing the last few pounds can make it tougher. Here are some tips to lose those last 10 pounds.
#1 – Track your food intake
You may have done this in the beginning for weight loss but stopped after a while. Tracking your food intake can help you see where you need to add or take away foods to get you back on track. This can be done for a day or two just to as an eye opener for where you can tighten up your diet. Remember to track portion sizes accurately and record something immediately after eating.
#2 – Diversify your produce
It may sound strange, but changing up your food choices could possibly help your body break through a plateau. Try to get every color of the rainbow through fruits and vegetables per day. Getting in a food rut is easy to do, even if it is with healthy food.
No single food has all the nutrients you need. Eat different colored fruits and vegetables to diversify your antioxidants, vitamins and minerals needed for health and weight loss. Also, to add more diversity prepare your produce in various ways: fresh, dried, grilled, sautéed, etc.
#3 – Add extra walking in throughout the day
If you feel like you have hit a plateau or can’t lose the last few pounds, add in extra movement throughout the day. Make an effort to get more steps in during the day even if you do scheduled exercise. Extra movement can increase calorie burn and could help you break out of a weight loss plateau.
If you use a pedometer, aim to take at least 10,000 steps per day (preferably not including planned exercise). Try adding a walk after dinner, work or on a lunch break with a co-worker.
#4 – Bump up your lifting
If you don’t have weight lifting as part of your exercise routine, add it if you’re trying to lose your last 10 pounds. Weight lifting is important for keeping and increasing muscle mass, which can help boost metabolism.
If you lift already, try modestly increasing your weights or number of repetitions for each exercise. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends adults do resistance exercises 2-3 times per week that target major muscle groups.
#5 – Have fun when you exercise
A 2014 study concluded that people who viewed exercise as fun were less likely to over indulge afterwards. People who viewed exercise as not fun were more likely to over indulge after exercise to reward themselves.
Changing your perspective on your exercise may help influence your calorie choices afterwards. Instead of seeing exercise as a chore or boring routine, make it into something you enjoy and feel rewarded by. This way you will probably not look for that reward in treating yourself after exercise.
#6 – Get more sleep
Not getting enough sleep can alter your food intake, hormone levels and metabolic rate. People tend to feel hungrier when they are sleep deprived, and the glucose/insulin response can be affected from sleep deprivation.
Getting more sleep at night may help you shed your last few pounds and can help keep your hormones in balance.
#7 – Drink more water
If you’re dehydrated, that can be a mixed signal to the brain to eat something. Sometimes when people are hungry, they really just need to drink some water. Also, drinking water can help you feel full.
If you started your weight loss journey with always having a water bottle but have let this area slip, get back on track with getting enough water. This simple step could help you reach your goal faster.
#8 – Cut out unnecessary stressors
Similar to lack of sleep, stress can impact the way your body handles food and hormone levels that impact metabolic rate. A 2014 study in Biological Psychiatry studied women’s response to a high fat meal after a day of varying stress levels. Researchers found women who had a greater number of stressors were associated with lower fat burn after the meal.
Cutting out extra stress in your life could help your body’s metabolic rate and may even enhance fat burn.
#9 – Find where extra calories are sneaking in
Similar to tracking your food intake, be mindful of sneaky extra food servings that are going unnoticed. This could be a few bites of crackers or chips in the afternoon, finishing the food from children’s plates when cleaning up dinner or portion sizes that are bigger than what you think they are.
These small sources of extra, mindless calories can add up throughout the day. Cutting them out again can be easy and your stomach probably won’t even notice.
#10 – It’s a challenge, but you can do it!
Losing the last 10 pounds of weight loss can be challenging, especially when you feel you are doing everything right. By making a few adjustments with your diet, exercise, sleep and stress levels you may be able to break out of a plateau and reach your weight loss goals.
References used in this article