5 Habits That Are Keeping You From Losing Those Last 10 Pounds
Make these small changes and you’ll finally hit your goal weight
- Your only exercise is cardio.
The time you devote to running or the elliptical machine is time well spent. But if your exercise routine doesn’t include a resistance (or strength-training) component, you’ll eventually struggle to lose weight. Muscle keeps your metabolism running at a high rate. But as you lose weight, you may be losing muscle in addition to fat. This can supercharge the metabolism-slowing effect of cutting calories. Start lifting weights or incorporating bodyweight resistance training into your weekly workouts. Aim for three to four times a week if you want to work on building muscle.
- Most of your meals are liquids.
Smoothies tend to slip through your digestive system without putting up much of a fight, which means your body doesn’t have to burn many calories to break them down and absorb them. Fiber-rich foods, on the other hand, require more energy to digest and absorb. They’re also high in nutrients. If you really need a quick meal on the go, these 20 healthy, protein-packed smoothies are filled with nutrients. Whole fruits, dark leafy greens, and non-starchy vegetables are all foods that can help increase your post-meal calorie burn.
- You’re not eating any fat.
Yes, dietary fat is calorie dense. But healthy fats—the kind in nuts, avocado, olive oil, and whole-fat Greek yogurt—can help shift your body away from fat-storage mode and into fat-shedding mode.
- You’re not pushing yourself when you work out.
High-intensity interval training, or HIIT, involves short bursts of intense exercise—think hard running or sprinting, instead of jogging—followed by shorter periods of rest. There’s a lot of research now that shows individuals who do HIIT training can really boost calorie-burn after a workout. If the number on your scale won’t budge, it may be time to trade your leisurely morning two-miler for a more-intense aerobic workout. So if you run hard for one minute, take a 30-second break.
- You’ve stopped counting calories.
The whole concept of counting calories has taken a big hit in recent years as more and more research has shown that not all calories are created equal. Paying attention to your calorie intake and portion sizes is still important. Why? Most people underestimate how much they eat and overestimate how much they burn through exercise. Especially when it comes to snacking, you may be eating a lot more than you realize—which in turn may be stalling your weight-loss progress. Start paying closer attention to exactly how much you’re eating.