Skipping Breakfast, Dehydration and 13 Other Reasons You Aren’t Losing the Last 10 Pounds
Losing weight can be tough and losing the last few pounds is usually the hardest part. For many trying to lose weight, there comes a point when the dropping numbers on the scale begin to stabilize or worse, start ticking back up.
It’s discouraging, even for those who have come so far, but the next steps often define whether or not you’ll continue losing weight. As so many health professionals say, the last few pounds are always the hardest to lose, but with the right knowledge and follow-through you can get that much closer to your goal.
Whether you need to change up your workout plan or you need to readjust your diet, there are a slew of factors that could be holding you back from hitting your weight loss goal. Perhaps most important of all, though, is that you need to choose a healthy and realistic goal.
Registered Dietitian and writer Abby Langer said she rarely ever weighs her clients because she doesn’t believe in an ideal weight. Instead, your ideal weight should come through a healthy and happy lifestyle. “By getting you off the scale and away from the numbers, you can better focus on establishing good habits. The healthy weight for you will likely follow.”
Once you identify a healthy and attainable goal, it’s time to continue your progress. We asked dietitians, nutritionists and fitness experts about the most common reasons people aren’t losing the last 10 pounds—their advice could be the key to hitting your goal weight.
Your Sleep Schedule Is Off
Getting too little—or in some cases, too much sleep can be a major barrier to weight loss. “Sleep-deprived individuals tend to eat more for several reasons: it affects your appetite hormones so you eat more, being up longer exposes you to more time to eat, and sleep deprivation makes you too exhausted to work out,” said Jo Lichten, PhD, nutritionist, registered dietitian and author of REBOOT—how to power up your energy, focus, and productivity. “One study found that people ate 83 calories more for each half hour of sleep they missed. If you need an alarm to wake you, you're not getting enough sleep.”
You’re Skipping Breakfast
Breakfast is called the most important meal of the day for good reason, eating a nutritious morning meal is key to weight loss success. “Eat breakfast daily,” said Lichten. “Breakfast eaters tend to eat less [and] binge less during the rest of the day. Make it a filling, high protein breakfast, such as an egg omelet with a slice of whole grain toast and an orange or Greek yogurt with fruit and a sprinkle of granola.” A healthy breakfast also brings the added benefit of kick-starting your metabolism.