How to Lose the Last 10 Pounds
First of all, if you've got just 10 more pounds to go to reach your weight-loss goal, good for you! You're nearly there! But to successfully turn the corner, you'll need to make a few tweaks to your lifestyle. Don't worry, there's nothing tricky here. Follow these rules, and you'll drop those final pounds in no time.
Create no more than an 800- to 1,000-calorie deficit a day. Here's the thing: People with 10 pounds or fewer to lose are likely already at a healthy weight, from a biological perspective. So your body may resist losing the remaining weight, especially if you're overdoing it by eating too few calories or working out like crazy. That's why you need to be mindful about not creating too much of a calorie deficit, based on your active metabolic rate. The max should be a deficit of 800 calories; otherwise, your body thinks you're starving and holds on to that extra fat. So if you burn 2,400 calories a day, don't eat fewer than 1,600 calories. Period.
Get your rear in gear with circuit training. To kick up your fat-burning, you'll need to step away from that fitness routine you've been doing monotonously. The one method that will torch calories as quickly as possible is circuit training. It's a combo of strength and cardio exercises done back to back, with little or no rest in between moves. The exercises themselves don't have to be complicated. Take this one, for example:
Warm-up (cardio or dynamic stretches), 5 minutes
Push-Up’s, 30 seconds
Squats with a dumbbell shoulder press, 30 seconds
Bench triceps dips, 30 seconds
Jumping jacks, 30 seconds
Rest, optional, 30 seconds
Circuits should be done no more than four days a week, in training "splits" that focus on specific muscle groups. A sample Day 1 could consist of chest, triceps, quadriceps, lower abs and obliques; while Day 2 targets the back, shoulders, hamstrings, glutes and upper abs; and so on.
Don't skimp on sleep. Here's an easy one, right? OK, maybe not. But, hey, if I can fit in seven to eight hours a night with my crazy-busy schedule, certainly you can. Fact is, sleep is crucial for weight loss. It dramatically impacts your hormone balance. When you sleep, your body releases human growth hormone (HGH), a fat-burner that helps you maintain lean muscle mass, as well as leptin, which keeps your appetite in check. On the other hand, when you're sleep deprived, your body releases cortisol, a stress hormone that stores fat, and ghrelin, which stimulates your appetite.
You can see how lack of sleep can lead to lots of late-night snacking -- which can keep you from losing those last few pounds. The bottom line is when you're faced with either working out but getting only five or so hours of sleep, or skipping the workout to get eight hours of sleep, the right choice is sleep.