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. Track Your Habits
An essential hack to weight loss is tracking everything you do in an app or journal. So make tracking a part of your daily life. If you’re not losing weight, it may be because you are falling short on your eating and exercise habits without realizing 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:
2. Recalculate Your Calorie Goal
Eating fewer calories than your body needs is the key scientific formula to weight loss. The number of calories you need is partly determined based on your weight.
The lower the weight, the fewer calories you need. This means your body at the weight you are at now, needs fewer calories than your body before weight loss.
So, the amount of food you were eating initially to lose weight is more than you need now and the amount of exercise that worked before is not burning 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.
Once you have your new calorie goal, reduce your calories by eating smaller portions or choosing lower calorie foods and drinks.
Remember that you should not be eating less than 1200 calories per day; your body needs this much to run properly. You can also meet your new calorie goal by burning more through exercise (lifestyle hack #6).
3. 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:
4. 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
5. 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
6. Increase Your Activity
As I mentioned in lifestyle hack #2, Recalculate Your Calorie Goal, now that you are at a lower weight, you need less calories.
The amount of exercise that worked for you before is not enough now 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 in your daily life by making different lifestyle choices. I’ve written more about how to increase your activity in your daily life in the blog post 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 their “ideal weight”.
Don’t be that person.
Your body will settle at the weight that is best for it. This weight will be where you feel best at and have the most energy. It might not fit societies standards, but your life’s purpose is not to continually strive for the “perfect” weight.
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! And if you’ve successfully lost any amount of weight to lead a healthier life, congrats!!
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!