You’ve cleaned up your diet, sweated off countless calories, and watched pounds melt away. But now the scale has come to a screeching halt. What gives?
It’s an unfortunate law of weight loss: The last 10 pounds are harder to shed than the first 30. That’s because the slimmer you become, the fewer calories you burn just going about your day, explains Madelyn Fernstrom, PhD, founding director of the Weight Management Center at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and author of The Runner’s Diet. For every pound you lose, your metabolism slows by up to 20 calories a day. But we do have some good news: Easy tweaks to the good habits you’ve already established can push you past your plateau and help you reach your final weight loss goal.
1. Healthy habit: Doing cardio 4 or 5 times a week
Speed results: Do interval training 3 times a week
2. Healthy habit: Walking as often as possible
Speed results: Stand an extra hour a day
3. Healthy habit: Wearing a pedometer
Speed results: Set a step goal
4. Healthy habit: Lifting weights
Speed results: Torch 30% more calories with weights
5. Healthy habit: Cutting out unhealthy fats
Speed results: Reduce your meat consumption Eating less meat is a proven way to lighten up on the scale. Research shows that vegetarians weigh an average 20% less than nonvegetarians. George Washington School of Medicine researchers found that women who followed a vegan diet for 14 weeks lost 2½ times as much weight as those who limited fat intake.
6. Healthy habit: Boxing up half your entrée
Speed results: Munch a pre-meal apple
7. Healthy habit: Watching portion size
Speed results: Be extravigilant on weekends