Losing those last few pounds is the hardest. What’s crucial is never to cut your caloric intake below what you will need to maintain your ideal weight. Doing so, and then going back up to your anticipated maintenance level, is specifically what causes yo-yo dieting problems. You’ll lose some muscle as you drop the weight and then regain the weight – usually all fat – when you eat more again. This lowers you metabolism and increases your disease risk.
Instead, gradually get to that maintenance level and just stay there. Your weight loss will slow down as you approach your ideal weight, and that’s good. If you plateau for more than 3 weeks try staggering your intake every other day – more on one day, less on the next, but averaging out the same. Ideally make the higher-intake days the same as your more intense workouts.
As a note, I’m not saying you have to calorie-count. Just apply this concept to whatever method you use to decide the right amount to eat.
Bottom line – never get stricter with your diet than you plan to maintain in the long-term or it will backfire. A sustainable lifestyle is always the goal.
Fitness and Holistic Coach, New York City