The start of your diet couldn’t have gone better — you made smart swaps at meals and revved up your old exercise routine. But now that you have had some success and your weight-loss goal is in sight, the last few pounds just won’t budge, no matter what you do.
Here’s the problem: Thanks to a process called adaptive thermogenesis, your body has now learned to function efficiently on fewer calories, meaning that your metabolism has slowed.
But if you’re ready to get that scale moving down again, there are little things you can do that will help. Ink these ideas into your master plan.
Step #1: Cut More Calories for Weight Loss
As hard as cutting calories can be, you may need to trim more from your daily total to get back to weight loss. The changes you have to make to get those extra 10 pounds off are usually fairly small. With this in mind, aim to cut an additional 250 calories from your diet if your doctor says it’s safe. Just be sure to cut calories from treats, such as regular sodas and refined sugars, and not the nutrient-rich foods your body needs.
Step #2: Eat More Protein
With the often-relentless talk about filling up on fiber, it’s easy to forget about protein. Like fiber, protein helps you stay fuller longer, and when you’re not starving between meals, it’s easier to stick to your weight-loss plan. Healthy protein choices include low-fat or nonfat yogurt (especially Greek varieties), low-fat cheese, eggs, beans, fish, and lean meats that are grilled, steamed, baked, broiled, or poached.
Step #4: Increase Your Exercise Intensity
If you don’t have time to work out longer, work out harder instead. While running or walking, up your speed, or try working out on a steeper incline. Take the hills you’ve been avoiding when you’re biking. Another simple way to increase your intensity is to tory interval training by either alternating strength training with cardio exercises, or adding sprints to your typical cardio workout.
Step #5: Lift Weight to Lose Weight
Forget what else you’ve heard: Strength or resistance training is the only true way to increase your metabolism because muscle burns more calories than fat, even at rest. Strength training exercise can increase your metabolic rate — the rate at which you burn calories — by about 15 percent. If you add muscle to your body, even if you change nothing else about your diet plan, you will start to lose weight again.
Sept #6: Drink More Water
It seems too simple to be true, but drinking more water can make a real difference Here’s the logic behind the advice: Often, when you think you’re hungry, you’re really just thirty. Water fills your stomach and squelches hunger, and drinking up will also help you feel satisfied.
Step #7: Journal Your Calories
After you’ve been dieting for a while, you might not be as vigilant about counting every calorie as you were at the start because extra calories can sneak back in and derail your weight loss. If you’ve abandoned your diet journal or diary, get it out of the drawer. If you haven’t been using one, start now (or go high-tech and create one online or download a mobile app if you prefer). Record every bite you eat, and you will be on your way to shedding the last 10 pounds.