MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — For those who try and lose unneeded weight, the first few pounds do come off the easiest. Then we hit the dreaded plateau. In fact, there may be several plateaus. So, why is it so hard to lose the last 10 pounds?
Dr. Stacy Ingraham is an expert in exercise physiology at the University of Minnesota’s School of Kinesiology.
“The minute you stop growing physically, your metabolism starts slowing down,” said Ingraham. “And most of us don’t change our eating habits at that point.”
Ingraham agrees that the last 10 pounds are the hardest to lose. She also says we cannot spot reduce fat from specific areas, like the stomach.
Ingraham says once our bodies become conditioned to our workout routine, we have to push it. That’s the key to shedding those final pounds.
“To be more metabolically active, you need more muscle mass. And how are we going to do that? Well, you’ll need to be more physically active,” said Ingraham. “So, lifting weights every day, or two to three times a week minimally. And then doing some type of aerobic activity, but within the type of aerobic activity, you need to get to a level of higher intensity activity.”
Ingraham says if you want to feel good about losing weight, stop looking at the scale so much, because you may be gaining healthy muscle after all.
Most importantly, she says pay attention to the quality of life benefits you see in a smaller waist, which includes an easier time climbing stairs and fewer aches in your joints.