After losing 1-2 pounds a week with diet and exercise, you may be just a few pounds away from your target weight. However, losing those last few pounds is often the most difficult part of the weight loss process.
20 tips for losing those last few pounds
- Avoid or limit processed foods
- Reduce sugar intake as much as possible
- Limit sodium intake
- Consume a high-protein and high-fiber diet
- Do not starve yourself
- Eat smaller portions every 3-4 hours
- Drink plenty of water to curb hunger pangs
- Stop eating when you feel full
- Do not give in to midnight cravings
- Allow cheat meals every once in a while but don’t overdo it
- Avoid carbonated drinks
- Limit or avoid alcoholic beverages
- Limit tea and coffee intake
- Avoid oily or fried foods
- Maintain consistency in your exercise routine
- Schedule physical activity for 30 minutes to 1 hour at least 5 days a week
- Combine cardio and strength training in your workout routine
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator
- Get enough sleep
- Avoid stress
Why are the last few pounds so difficult to lose?
When you reach a weight loss plateau, it feels like you have hit a wall and your weight just stops changing. There are a few reasons why this happens:
- Metabolism: The number of calories you burn at rest and while exercising depends on your metabolic rate. As you reach your target weight, your metabolic rate, making it more difficult to burn calories even when you are following the same diet and exercise patterns. This is when you need to stay motivated to work even harder to lose those last few pounds.
- Hormones: Your body retains fat to use for energy. When you restrict calories for a long time, your body uses hormones to send signals to your body that can make you crave salt, sugar, and fat. In this case, it is a case of mind over matter, and you will have to resist the urge to give in to your cravings.
- Fatigue: Towards the end of your weight loss journey, you may start to get tired of restricting calories, working out, and drinking tons of water. If your diet or exercise plan is overly strict, you may start to find it harder to follow and find yourself cheating more often than usual.
- Motivation: You may have started your weight loss journey with tons of enthusiasm, but it can be easy to lose motivation as time passes. Hitting a weight loss plateau can also cause you to lose motivation. Remember that weight loss is a marathon, not a sprint, and that you need to keep putting in the effort in order to lose those stubborn last few pounds and reach your goal.
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Casey J. Take Off Those Last 10 Pounds. WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/diet/obesity/features/take-off-those-last-10-pounds
Muth N D. Losing the Last 10 Pounds: Why is it So Hard? American Council on Exercise. https://www.acefitness.org/resources/everyone/blog/1253/losing-the-last-10-pounds-why-is-it-so-hard/#:
Mayo Clinic. Getting past a weight-loss plateau. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/weight-loss/in-depth/weight-loss-plateau/art-20044615
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