Nothing’s easy when it comes to weight loss, but dropping those last 10 pounds can be extra difficult.
Why is that? “As you lose weight, and especially if you’ve lost a significant amount, your metabolism slows down,” says Dana Hunnes, Ph.D., R.D., an adjunct assistant professor and senior dietician at UCLA’s Fielding School of Public Health.
As you probably know, “metabolism” is expert shorthand for the energy—or calories—your body burns during the day. The more your metabolism slows, the harder it will be for you to keep shedding weight.
Why does your metabolism downshift? Dieting deprives your body of energy it’s accustomed to getting, says Bahram Arjmandi, Ph.D., a professor of nutrition at Florida State University. Sensing that your calorie intake has dropped, your body may slip into a kind of energy conservation mode, he says. That explains why those first 10 pounds fell off in jiff, but the last 10 have proved stickier.
You can counteract the roadblocks your body and metabolism throw up between you and your target weight by changing these habits.