The last ten pounds!

The last ten pounds!

Jan 7, 2013

Getting rid of the last ten pounds is usually more of a struggle than the first ten, twenty or even thirty pounds. Strange isn’t it? This is because over time the body adjusts to a certain amount of exercise and food intake and hits a plateau. Also, the last ten pounds is more reluctant to leave because the body considers this small amount of extra body weight healthy. However, in the society that we live in, everyone wants that healthy ten gone so we can show off our abs and feel confident in a swimsuit. I am just like you and of course wanted the healthy ten to leave and never come back! And good news, it is completely possible! But I must warn you, losing that last ten pounds will take hard work and dedication. You must be motivated and willing to put in the work. Follow these tips and you will find yourself at your goal weight in a reasonable amount of time. ‘In no time,’ would have sounded so much better I know but I don’t want to give you the impression that it should happen in a week’s time and you then become aggravated and give up. Depending on your body (because everyone’s body responds to diet and exercise at different rates) it may take a month or two. Personally, my body responds slowly. Doing everything right it took me months to kick the stubborn 5! And I am a fitness nut! So take it in stride and just know that if you are doing everything right that eventually it will happen. When it does you will be so proud and happy with your slim and sexy body.

  • Plan every meal

Eliminate mindless snacking by planning out every meal and making every meal a love affair. Make yourself a healthy plate, sit down somewhere comfortable and enjoy every mouthful. However, if you don’t have time to sit and are forced to eat on the go then prepare healthy meals and snacks ahead of time that you can grab on your way out the door. This way you will be less inclined to resort to fast food or buying a bag of chips from a vending machine.

  • Write it down

Keeping a log of what you have eaten is a great way of keeping yourself accountable. A few potato chips here and a handful of M&M’s there can really add up. However, knowing that you must write it all down later can make resisting those little temptations a bit easier. A food diary can also make people realize they are eating way more than they think or need.

  • Consume more protein (while staying within calorie range)

Protein is helpful in losing weight for three main reasons. It helps the body build lean muscle, helps us to feel more full after eating, and the body burns calories in the digestion of it alone! How great is that? The recommended daily amount of protein for getting lean is 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight. This for most people is extremely difficult to achieve. I struggle with it very much myself. Just do the best you can and try to balance each meal with all three macronutrients (carbs, protein and fat).

  • Be strict and consistent

Often people stop getting results because they lose some of the conviction they had when they first began their diet and exercise regimen. This is very understandable, after a long period of shunning bagels and ice cream it is only natural to allow yourself a few extra indulgences. A couple of extra treats once in a while is fine when you’re in maintenance mode but unfortunately to lose the last ten pounds that initial discipline has to reassert itself in your mindset and take control.

  • Crank up your workouts

When trying to blast away the last bit of stubborn fat crank up the intensity of your workouts but not the time. Shorter, but more intense bouts of exercise, whether is be cardio or weight training, will help control the amount of cortisol that is released during a workout. Cortisol is a hormone  that is released in response to stress and can have an adverse effects on your fat loss and muscle gaining goals. Try doing some HIIT for cardio, like sprints, or full body cardio moves like burpees or jumps lunges. If you work hard enough, you won’t be able to do more than 30-45minutes. This will spike your metabolism for the next 24 hours, perfect for blasting away unwanted body-fat. HIIT also puts the body in an anabolic state which promotes the muscle growth. Keep weight training sessions to about the same length of time 30-45 intense minutes.

  • Change it up!
Challenging your body in different ways can help you break you out of plateaus and see faster results. If you always do your cardio on a treadmill then once or twice a week do the elliptical machine or take a spin class. If you always lift weights the same way, for example doing 3 sets of 12 reps then try circuit training, supersets or try higher reps with lower weight or vice versa.
  • Wear a heart rate monitor

A heart rate monitor tells you how hard your heart is working during physical exercise. If you really want to change the way you workout and get the most out of each session get a heart rate monitor. You may be surprised and realize that you aren’t working as hard as you think you are.

  • Add daily leisure activity that is separate but in addition to your daily workout

When you’re seated your metabolism is slower than when you are standing. If you spend the majority of your day seated then getting up and walking around for a half an hour or so can make a difference in your daily metabolic rate. Try making a daily leisurely walk part of your routine. You don’t have to even break a sweat! Just get up and move, even if its a stroll around the mall.  It’s the perfect excuse to ‘window’ shop! 😉

  • Have 1 treat day

1 treat day every other week week can actually help speed up your metabolism and keep the body from hitting a plateau. Don’t go too crazy though or you can undo a weeks worth of dieting and exercising. Check out more on how a treat day can help weight loss in my article titled Live a Little.

 

I hope these tips help you to reach your goal and please feel free to leave any comments or questions. Thank you and good luck!

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