Here’s a common problem: You’ve been successfully dropping the pounds and it looks like you are on your way to reaching your weight loss goal.
All of a sudden, the pounds are not coming off as easily, and it’s been weeks or even months since you’ve lost any more weight. It seems as if there is nothing more you can do to reach your weight goal.
People often experience this because our bodies like to settle and stay at a certain weight.
When you successfully lose weight, your body will adjust and make it your new “set” weight. This means you have to work even harder to keep losing.
When you find you can’t lose any more weight, don’t get discouraged. It just means your body has settled and it’s time for a change.
Here are some lifestyle changes you can make to start losing weight again.
Lifestyle Hacks to Lose More Weight
1. Include Metabolism-Boosting Food and Drinks Throughout The Day
If you are not losing weight, it could be due to a slow metabolism. To improve it, increase these metabolism-boosting foods and beverages in your diet:
- Green, Black, Oolong, and White Tea
- Bell, Jalapeño, Cayenne, Chili, and Other Peppers (and spicy dishes flavored with these peppers)
- Lean protein (eggs, chicken, turkey, fish, pork loin, low-fat dairy, tofu, protein powder, beans, nuts, seeds, and legumes)
2. Recalculate Your Calorie Goal
I don’t usually recommend calorie counting for weight loss – at first. It can become overwhelming, and if you have a past history of obsessing over food or your body, you should skip this step.
However, if you are someone who can count calories without it affecting your mental health, it could be what you need to start losing weight again. After all, eating fewer calories than your body needs is the basic scientific formula to weight loss.
The lower you weight, the fewer calories you need. This means if you’ve recently lost weight, your body now needs fewer calories than your body did before weight loss.
So, the amount of food you were eating initially to lose weight is more than you need now and/or the amount of exercise that worked before is not going to burn enough calories now.
To lose weight again, you need to recalculate your calorie goal at your new weight. Calorie goals are calculated based on your height, weight, age, gender, and activity level. You can calculate your calorie goal by using an app or by seeing a registered dietitian, like me!
Once you have your new calorie goal, reduce your calories by eating smaller portions or choosing lower calorie foods and drinks.
You can also meet your new calorie goal by burning more calories through exercise (lifestyle hack #7).
Remember that you should not be eating less than 1200 calories per day; your body needs this much to run properly. And in fact, eating too little can slow your metabolism, making it harder to lose weight.
3. Track Your Habits
Similar to lifestyle hack #2, tracking your habits may not be a good idea for everyone, but it could be just what you need to get back on track with weight loss.
If you’re not losing weight, it may be because you are falling short on your eating and exercise habits without realizing it. Tracking your habits will keep you motivated and mindful of your goals, and help you notice trends in your habits you wouldn’t otherwise see.
Think about it. When you first start losing weight, you are focused on your goal. You pay close attention to everything you are eating and drinking, trying to make the best possible choices. You are also working hard to keep up a tight exercise routine.
But as you start to find success and get used to a healthy lifestyle, you may start to treat yourself every once in a while, or skip a work out here or there. Since you aren’t paying as close attention, you may not notice that you are treating yourself and skipping workouts far more often than you think you are.
Tracking will help you see how often you are really treating yourself. It will help you be more consistent and keep a tighter control on how many calories you are consuming and burning.
Here are some great free apps to track your health habits:
You also get free access to a food, mood, and lifestyle tracker when you sign up for healthy coaching with me. I’ll see your logs and provide feedback during our sessions!
4. Weight Lift Often
Sometimes weight loss stalls because the weight lost was partly muscle mass.
Muscle mass boosts your metabolism and helps your body burn calories. If you have lost muscle mass, your body is not able to as efficiently burn calories, which could slow your weight loss.
To boost your metabolism and burn more calories, start a weightlifting routine. You can also build muscle by using resistance bands or lifting your own body weight.
If you already do muscle building exercises, increase your intensity. Challenge yourself by lifting heavier weights, doing more reps, or working out for longer.
Here are a few links to get you started with muscle building:
5. Mix Up Your Routine
Sometimes you just need to mix it up! Mix up your diet and exercise routine to benefit both your mind and body.
First to benefit your mind – sometimes routines get boring and make it difficult to maintain your progress. You can easily slip up when you are tired of the same exercises or the same food every day. Adding something new to your routine keeps things interesting and fun as you work toward your goals.
By mixing up your routine, you could also provide the change your body needs to start losing weight again. The new activity you try could work a new part of your body or be a different intensity than you have been doing.
The new meals you try could be lower in calories or provide different nutrition. Maybe trying 5 small meals instead of 3 large meals is what you need to boost your metabolism.
Here’s some ideas to mix up your eating routine:
- Buy a new cookbook or look for new recipes online
- Try cuisine from different cultures or countries
- Try foods you have never had before
- Experiment with different seasonings and flavors
- Change the time of day you eat (example: eat dinner at 5pm instead of 8pm)
- Try vegetarian or vegan meals
- Change the frequency of eating (example: 3 large meals vs. 5 small meals, snacking vs. no snacking, etc.)
- Try healthier cooking methods
Here’s some ideas to mix up your exercise routine:
- Sign up for a new exercise class
- Join a new sports club
- Increase the intensity or time spent exercising
- If you walk, run or bike, try a different route (finding a new route with hills will increase the intensity)
- Try a new type of workout
- Search for new workout videos on YouTube
- Work out with a friend or a group
- Add more cardio or more muscle building
6. Get Enough Sleep
Getting enough sleep is important for a healthy lifestyle and can help you lose more weight. People who sleep less weigh more. This is because a lack of sleep affects both your behavior and your metabolism.
Tired people skip exercises and don’t want to cook. They order takeout and get lattes more often.
Someone with a lack of sleep will also experience more cravings for high calorie foods because their body is signaling it needs more energy.
Lastly, a sleep deprived body will work to conserve energy, meaning it will hold on to the fat you are trying to get rid of.
To help boost more weight loss, make sure you are getting at least 7 hours per night of sleep.
If you have trouble getting a good night’s sleep, try some of these better sleep strategies:
- Set a bedtime and stick to it
- Avoid screens at least 1 hour before bed
- Avoid caffeine and heavy meals at least 2 hours before bed
- Try a nighttime routine that relaxes you (meditation, aromatherapy, bubble bath, reading, calming music, exercise, etc.)
- Make your room as dark as possible
- Buy a new pillow or mattress
- Use a sound machine
- Participate in a sleep study
7. Increase Your Activity
As I mentioned in lifestyle hack #2, Recalculate Your Calorie Goal, if you are now at a lower weight, you need less calories than you did before.
The amount of exercise that worked for you before is not enough to lose additional weight. You need to increase your activity to burn more calories.
One way to increase your activity is by increasing the time length or the intensity of your exercise routine.
You can also increase your activity just by making different lifestyle choices in your daily life, like taking the stairs instead of the elevator. I’ve listed more ideas for that in How to Burn Calories Without Going to The Gym.
Some people spend years (even a lifetime) trying to lose those last 5 pounds to reach the “ideal weight” they’ve made for themselves.
Don’t be that person.
If you are at a healthy weight where you feel good and have energy, don’t stress out over those last 5 pounds. You may feel you don’t fit societies beauty standards, but your life’s purpose is not to continually strive for the “perfect” weight, and forget to love who you are now.
Love your body and remember the main goal is to keep it healthy. If you are eating well and exercising, then you are achieving this goal!
If this post helped you in your weight loss journey, remember to pin it or share it with friends on your favorite social media platform!