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Lose weight by knowing the scientific reason why those final pounds are hardest to lose

Reducing calorie intake

We can consume more foods with a higher energy density, like pizza, chocolate, and chips, than the same amount of food with a lower energy density, such as apples.

We're prone to overeat high-calorie foods because they're less filling per calorie and more pleasurable to eat. With repetition, you may find yourself choosing the lower calorie option and keeping your weight in check.

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Lose weight by knowing the scientific reason why those final pounds are hardest to lose

Lose weight by knowing the scientific reason why those final pounds are hardest to lose

https://www.inverse.com/science/lose-weight-by-knowing-the-scientific-reason-why-those-final-pounds-a-hardest-to-lose

inverse.com

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Key Ideas

The last five pounds are the hardest

When you are getting close to your weight loss goal, you will often hit a plateau and won't be able to lose the last few pounds.

The reason why this is the case reveals a lot about the dynamic relationship between body weight and appetite.

When weight loss slows down

When dieting to lose weight, there are two primary reasons why weight loss slows down over time:

  • Calorie expenditure decreases with weight loss because fewer calories are needed to maintain and move a lighter body.
  • Weight loss increases the appetite. The hormone leptin tells our brain how much fat is stored in our body. When we lose body fat, leptin decreases and increases our appetite.

Changes in calorie expenditure and the effect of body fat stores on appetite will stabilize body weight in the long run. However, it is hardly noticeable in the short term.

Prevent overeating

We get hungry when our stomach tells our brain that it's nearly empty. But signals from our stomach can leave us vulnerable to overeating.

Fullness is determined partly by the fat, carbohydrate, and protein content of the meal, and partly by the overall amount. If a meal contains more fiber, it's more filling. That is why it is hard to overeat on foods such as fruits and vegetables.

Reducing calorie intake

We can consume more foods with a higher energy density, like pizza, chocolate, and chips, than the same amount of food with a lower energy density, such as apples.

We're prone to overeat high-calorie foods because they're less filling per calorie and more pleasurable to eat. With repetition, you may find yourself choosing the lower calorie option and keeping your weight in check.

Eating less can be difficult

It is hard to resist our desire to eat higher energy-dense foods, making dieting lapses inevitable. Motivation to maintain the diet may dwindle and can add to the perception that the last five pounds are harder to lose.

Our weight will settle around a point that is a balance between the desire for certain foods, our ability to keep our eating in check, and the energy we expend in physical activity.

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