If you’ve been working to lose weight, then you know how frustrating it is when you simply can’t lose the last 5 pounds. At the beginning of your journey, you probably were able to lose the first 20 pounds or so by making lifestyle changes like avoiding sugary drinks and too much carbs, and working out in a gym such as Gold’s Gym 3-4x a week.
But the reality is that the closer you get to your target weight, the more difficult it becomes to get to the finish line. The tips and techniques you used no longer seem to work. Your body has a set weight range that it function in, and as you slim down, your body becomes less inclined to lose weight any further.
Moreover, your basal metabolic rate decreases once you lose weight. That means the new you will need less calories than the old you. Old activities that used to burn a ton of calories suddenly burn much less. For example, if you used to find it difficult to walk 3 miles before, but now find it too easy, you end up burning less calories.
I know that these things you’re reading now seem disheartening. But here’s the thing – you’ve already achieved so much and you just need to take that final step to close the gap. And to help you, we’re going to share some expert-approved tips so you can successfully achieve your target weight in a healthy way.
1. Lift weight
I’m guessing you got to where you are now by doing countless hours of cardio. But losing weight can also be achieved by weightlifting. Strength training builds muscle, and the more muscle your body has, the faster your metabolism becomes.
Even at rest muscle burns more calories than fat. Studies show a pound of muscle tissue burns 7-10 calories per day, while fat burns 2-3 calories per pound per day.
Do strength training 3x a week for at least 20 minutes. Focus on squats, push-ups, deadlifts, lunges, pull ups and other compound exercises as these moves use several muscle groups at the same time.
2. Keep a food journal
Seemingly harmless snacks here and there can add up over time. Eating a handful of almonds may not seem like much but if you keep eating these throughout the day, it may lead to excess calories which will then be stored in the body as fat. An ounce of almonds is 160 calories. If you consume 3 servings a day, that’s almost 500 calories. Multiply that by 30 days and you’re eating close to 15,000 calories extra per month.
3. Do less HIITs
When you first started, you probably learned that the quickest way to shed pounds is by doing high intensity interval training (HIIT). This is true. However doing it excessively also causes side effects like trouble sleeping, fatigue, and lack of motivation. It also elevates cortisol levels (stress hormone) which encourages your body to keep fat stores as well as increases blood sugar levels. Try swapping one HIIT session with a 45-minute brisk walking or slow jog.
4. Get enough sleep
Your body needs to rest and recover. More than that, you need sleep so that hormone levels remain normal. Lack of sleep can increase ghrelin levels (hunger hormone) and lower leptin levels (satiety hormone). You could end up eating more when you sleep less.
Learn more about how sleep affects your weight loss goals here: