Reasons You Aren’t Losing the Last 10 Pounds from 10 Reasons You Aren’t Losing the Last 10 Pounds
10 Reasons You Aren’t Losing the Last 10 Pounds
Reasons You Aren’t Losing the Last 10 Pounds
You’ve made lasting changes to your diet, you have a regular workout regimen and you’ve lost some weight—it’s great news for hard-working dieters. There comes a point, though, when the dropping numbers on the scale begin to stabilize or worse, start ticking back up.
When you hit that plateau, the steps you take next 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.We asked dietitians, nutritionists and health and fitness experts about the most common reasons why people can’t lose the last 10 pounds and what they said might surprise you.
You Haven’t Embraced Strength Training
“I always say that weight is lost in the kitchen, and toning happens in the gym. But if you're not active at all, you're not reaching your full calorie-burning potential,” said Registered Dietitian and writer Abby Langer. “Weight training will add muscle that can increase how many calories you burn at rest. And let's face it—people who are active tend to be healthier, happier, and less stressed.”
You Haven’t Been Adjusting Your Diet
“When people lose weight, they reduce their body size, which means that they are burning fewer calories at their new weight. This means that in order to keep losing, they need to keep lowering their calorie level,” said Christen Cooper, a Registered Dietitian and doctoral candidate in nutrition and education at Columbia University. “Particularly for people who have been dieting for quite a while, this often means going to a calorie level that is very low and difficult to achieve. What the diet may need is a shake-up. Sometimes adding protein and taking away carbohydrate can help. Sometimes, believe it or not, adding some fat back to the diet (while taking away something else) can help.”
You’re Getting Frustrated
After weeks or months of steadily losing weight it seems your weight loss has come to a full stop or maybe you’re even starting to gain some weight back. According to Registered Dietitian and Founder of Single Ingredient Groceries Lisa Hugh, your frustration might be taking you off track. “As you get closer to your goal it gets harder and harder, [both] mentally and physically. Sometimes people start ‘cheating’ or ‘treating’ at this phase and end up getting really off track.” In reality, though, you’re likely closer to your goal than you think.
Extra Calories Are Coming from Sneaky Sources
So you’re eating healthy and you’ve lost a good amount of weight but you can’t seem to lose the last few, what’s the deal? Hugh says sneaky sources may be to blame. “You’re eating pretty healthy but getting extra calories [from] salt, sugar, fat, and preservatives in your food. Switching to a cleaner way of eating might help.” It’s important to know what you’re eating, but also what exactly is in the food that you’re eating.
You’re Eating Too Much of the Good Stuff
Just because you’re eating healthy doesn’t mean you can throw portion control out the window. “Consuming healthy foods that are high in calories and fat [could be] hindering you from reaching your weight loss goals,” said Registered Dietitian and Licensed Nutritionist Danielle Hamo. “These foods include nuts, avocado, coconut oil, olive oil [and others]. They are healthy but if you do not watch your portions you can easily rack up hundreds of calories that will keep you from losing weight.”
You’re Stressed Out
Everyone is stressed in one way or another and that stress could be sabotaging your weight loss goals. “You probably say things along the lines of ‘I have too much on my plate,’ ‘I am maxed out’ or ‘I can’t squeeze one more thing into my day.’ This is stress. And stress doesn’t distinguish itself,” said Marie Delcioppo, a New York Times featured raw foods chef, health coach, Pilates instructor and personal trainer. “When you’re constantly stressed, you’re producing more of the hormone cortisol — inflammation’s BFF and a weight loss saboteur (especially when it comes to pounds around your mid-section).” Luckily there are plenty of methods for beating stress and exercise is at the top of the list.
You’re Not Getting the Right Amount of Sleep
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’ve Been 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.
Your Goal Weight is Unrealistic
“Many of my clients come to me for weight management, but I rarely (if ever) weigh them—because I don't really believe in weight goals or ideal weight,” said Registered Dietitian and writer Abby Langer. Some people set unrealistic and unhealthy goals.
“Being a healthy weight for you should be a combination of a happy, healthy lifestyle, plus whole, delicious foods, plus eating behavior that is healthy and smart. All of those things figure into nutrition. Food is only one factor. 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.”