What makes those last few pounds so hard to lose?

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  • Supertact
    Supertact Posts: 466 Member
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    The reason it is so hard to lose the last few pounds is because your body sees that as an emergency energy storage so it is very reluctant to get rid of that. You have to convince your body it doesnt need that storage. In order to do that you are going to have to add 100 calories or so and see how your body responds. I know it sounds crazy but it almost always works and I can say for certain it worked for me and my team. If you dont gain or lose after 2 weeks up your calories another 100 and see how it responds again.

    I know you will disagree but he is correct

    Sometimes eating less is not the answer
    Agree

    Where do you people come from??

    In no world will eating less then 1200 calories prevent weight loss.. it may not be healthy but it will not prevent it.

    A calorie deficit is a calorie deficit.
  • psuLemon
    psuLemon Posts: 38,397 MFP Moderator
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    My last 10 lbs was as easy as the first 100...

    All it took was a calorie deficit. Once you know how many calories your body needs to run on a daily basis it's simple.

    You need to be 100% accurate on every thing at that point though.
    how do you know what that is?
    It's rather simple to understand what your average TDEE or maintenance calories is. You just take your average intake over 4-8 weeks, add in your deficit from weight loss to equal TDEE. For example, I eat 2500 calories a day, I lose 1 lb a week (500 calorie deficit), so I maintain at 3000 calories. Some days it's more, some it's less.. but that is a mathematical average.
  • psuLemon
    psuLemon Posts: 38,397 MFP Moderator
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    wow just so much wrong in these posts of advice...

    Changing exercise, eating less etc is all just wrong...eating less sure will help you lose weight but at what cost...2lbs a week for 10lbs I don't think so.

    To the OP when I was at my last 10lbs and it seemed to be stubborn (well last 5) and it was I took a good hard look at my logging...

    I hadn't been as diligent with staying in goal and not being diligent with weighing "everything" like sugar in my coffee etc...I was getting lack...mind you I did well 80% of the time but that didn't cut it.

    So I buckled down, logged everything by weight for solids, measured my liquids and stayed in goal...and after 2 weeks the weight literally fell off and I changed nothing but my logging...that 20% really made a difference..no change in workouts, no change in calorie goal....none of that bro science.

    before I knew it I was 3lbs below goal weight and eating at maitenance.

    Pretty much all of this. The problem areas in almost all MFP plateau threads are:

    1. Not using a food scale
    2. Not consistently logging
    3. Over-estimation of calories burned
    4. Not giving things enough time.
  • leggup
    leggup Posts: 2,942 Member
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    It's hard to create a calorie deficit when you're already relatively light. Your body needs less calories to function, so it's very easy to blow your deficit with just one or two high calorie days. You have to be really diligent with your consumption for those last few pounds. I gave up on them and am more focused on lifting heavy and lowering body fat%.
    This. You have to be more diligent with your intake, or else assume that your intake is a little high/you're eating at your maintenance level and just lower your daily intake by 100 calories for a little while. See what it does. That, or try to burn an extra 100 calories a day without changing how you're eating. Give it a few weeks and see what happens. Good luck!
  • missdibs1
    missdibs1 Posts: 1,092 Member
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    The reason it is so hard to lose the last few pounds is because your body sees that as an emergency energy storage so it is very reluctant to get rid of that. You have to convince your body it doesnt need that storage. In order to do that you are going to have to add 100 calories or so and see how your body responds. I know it sounds crazy but it almost always works and I can say for certain it worked for me and my team. If you dont gain or lose after 2 weeks up your calories another 100 and see how it responds again.

    I know you will disagree but he is correct

    Sometimes eating less is not the answer
    Agree

    Where do you people come from??

    In no world will eating less then 1200 calories prevent weight loss.. it may not be healthy but it will not prevent it.

    A calorie deficit is a calorie deficit.

    I see you interpreted my answer not as it was intended.

    I find this happens mostly because my focus is on lowering BF% and not "losing weight" Go ahead eat 900 calories a day and dont drink water you will Lose weight I apologize for my confusion.
  • I_Will_End_You
    I_Will_End_You Posts: 4,397 Member
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    Adding calories will not help the OP lose weight if she is stalling, it sounds like she's eating at maintenance. She has to either cut calories, or add activity.

    OP....do not listen to the "add more calories" nonsense. Eating less than you burn = weight loss. Eating the same as you burn = maintenance. Eating more than you burn = weight gain. You're maintaining now, so eating more would equal weight gain.
  • PeteWhoLikesToRunAlot
    PeteWhoLikesToRunAlot Posts: 596 Member
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    With each pound you lose, the remaining pounds you want to lose become a higher percentage of your total weight. Losing 10 lbs when you're 100 overweight is much easier than losing 10 lbs when you're only 15 overweight. As you get closer to your goal weight, you need to be more diligent, eating smarter calories (which is my biggest issue) or adding more activity.
  • WalkingAlong
    WalkingAlong Posts: 4,926 Member
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    I find it's usually just a matter of patience and careful logging (or continue lax logging but aim lower). E.g., if you think you're racking up 500/day deficits but you've lost 1-2 lbs. in a month, you're probably only achieving half the deficit you think you are, which isn't too bad considering it's only a few hundred calories and you've got estimates of input and burn both able to contain errors. So continue losing 1-2 lbs/month aiming for 500/day deficit, or tighten up your logging, or aim for 800/day deficit knowing you're probably missing half of it and may achieve 400/day and lose at least a little faster-- 3 lbs./month. But when you do that latter you can't freak out over the number because it'll probably be low looking.
  • cwolfman13
    cwolfman13 Posts: 41,874 Member
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    It's hard to create a calorie deficit when you're already relatively light. Your body needs less calories to function, so it's very easy to blow your deficit with just one or two high calorie days. You have to be really diligent with your consumption for those last few pounds. I gave up on them and am more focused on lifting heavy and lowering body fat%.

    Pretty much this...I would also add that in many cases, people don't actually have that weight to lose...it's just that they set some arbitrary number for themselves without really understanding that number or understanding whether that particular number is/was reasonable as a goal. Often, at this point it's a matter of body composition more than it is needing to lose more Lbs.
  • Iwishyouwell
    Iwishyouwell Posts: 1,888 Member
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    When you get within a "normal" weight for your body you're cutting it super close if your deficit is low. Tipping over in calories in just a cookie here or an extra helping of mac & cheese there can blow your deficit clear out the water.

    I think the key to the "last 10 pounds" for a lot of people is to attack them with the same ferocity you did the previous pounds. I actually disagree with the common advice that you should set your loss down to .5 pound a week when you're that close to goal. For those who are super, duper diligent everyday, on point about every morsel that enters their system, and who have nailed down their TDEE with near perfect precision that will work. But if a person is lacking even marginally in one of those categories it can be the rail thin difference between molasses losing and just maintaining.

    I'm more of the school of hit those last pounds as hard, if not harder, than you did previous poundage, hit goal, and do a slow ease into maintenance. I personally would hate to cut it so close on the last 10 lbs that I end up like scores of other people who've been "trying" to lose the last 10 pounds for years or even decades.
  • Notthatapple
    Notthatapple Posts: 7 Member
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    I think I'll buckle down on my logging for a couple of weeks and see what happens. I feel satisfied with that amount of food I eat. It could be possible that I'm eating more then I think. I use a scale for most things. Also, I know I can use more weight training. I'm in a bootcamp right now but I think I should add a couple of lifting days to that. Who doesn't need more muscle! I'd be happy to see more muscle even if the scale wasn't moving. Thanks for all the input!
  • missdibs1
    missdibs1 Posts: 1,092 Member
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    Hmmmmm I do not ever remember recommending OP eat at a surplus....but whatever

    I do not know enough really to formulate a sound opinion Was mainy speculation

    I do not know OP training regimen/Height/weight/intake/goals/health history/etc etc

    All of these factors matter and change over time

    I have found that (for a few days) if I have plateaued adding a few calories in, then dropping to a greater deficit has helped.
  • rileyleigh
    rileyleigh Posts: 106 Member
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    I'm not saying there is any science behind this, nor do i claim this works for everybody, but this is what i do:

    I've found that if i go a couple of days eating more calories then i have been, maybe even gain a pound or do, and then turn around and jump right back down to the deficit i was using before, it helps me to get out of my stalls. I am then able to continue losing.

    Then again i have weird weight loss patterns. I usually lose nothing during the week, and then friday night i will stuff myself on a pizza, and see 2 pound weight losses saturday morning.
  • missdibs1
    missdibs1 Posts: 1,092 Member
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    I think intake and weight loss is a very individual process (and yes a deficit is necessary) .
  • spinneyhex
    spinneyhex Posts: 54 Member
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    I think the last half stone /7lb is difficult because you are nearly at your goal, it could be a psychological thing as in " what happens next?" Or you start to get cocky because you've lost a lot of weight, everybody is complementing you so you think " well this ice cream/chocolate bar won't hurt" I know that's what is happening to me at the moment. Be brutally honest with yourself and log everything.