In the world of weight loss, it seems that the more weight you have to lose, the easier it is to shed those pounds of fat. People who are nearing their ideal weight, meanwhile, have a harder and harder time freeing themselves of those last few pounds. Why is it that those last ten pounds are so frustratingly immobile? Here is a brief look at why losing those last ten pounds might be so difficult.

Diet fatigue

Many who have been chipping away at their fitness goals for some time are prone to experiencing what experts call “diet fatigue.” Diet fatigue describes the feeling you get when those repetitive behaviors required to lose weight—weighing out portions, keeping a food journal, exercising daily, etc.—simply become dull and boring. People with diet fatigue simply become less careful and less diligent about their everyday behavior, causing them to see less success than they did in previous weeks.

Slowing metabolism

When you lose weight, your body requires fewer calories in order to carry out basic everyday functions. In other words, your metabolic rate slows down. This means that as you lose weight, it’s a good idea to reevaluate your caloric needs.

Metabolic adaptation

There is also metabolic adaptation to consider. When you diet by restricting calories, your body learns to function on that reduced number of calories per day. Then when calories are restricted enough, your body learns to function on whatever calories it gets each day, without losing weight. This is your body’s built in survival mechanism that protects you from starvation. It can also happen when you increase your daily physical activity without making any adjustments in caloric intake, causing your body to receive fewer calories than it truly needs. Because of metabolic adaptation, it’s important when on any nutrition plan to incorporate a “metabolic adaptation phase,” where you actually increase calorie intake for a couple of weeks to keep your body’s survival mode from kicking in.

Too much repetition

The answer could also be that you’re simply stagnating after following the same nutrition plan and exercise regimen after an extended period of time. It’s important to continue to mix things up as you progress toward your fitness goals so that your body doesn’t adjust to your routine. You need to surprise your body in order to continue to see results.

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