MYTH: The Last 10 Pounds Are Impossible to Lose
The last few pounds are always the hardest to lose – but that doesn't mean it's impossible to do! Use the following tips to clean up your diet and drop those final few pounds.
The Truth: The body struggles to hold on to that last bit of fat for survival purposes, so while it is tough to lose the last five to 10 pounds, it’s definitely doable.
You know what I like to call those last 10 or 15 pounds that won't come off no matter what you do? Vanity pounds. The term describes our desire to lose weight that, as far as our bodies are concerned, actually feels healthy. Personally, I have gained and lost the same five vanity pounds more times than I care to admit. Losing your first 50 pounds might have been tough, but believe me, dropping those final few stubborn pounds is a whole different challenge. Here are a few rules to follow:
Completely cut out processed foods. The best way to lose weight, even those last 10 pounds, is by eating CLEAN. This means absolutely NO processed foods! While you may have been watching what you were eating before, now is the time to truly crack down. Processed food is anything that has been altered from its natural state, such as fruit that has been canned to make it last longer or refined grains. Try to restrict yourself to eat only fresh organic fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and dairy, as well as whole grains. Check the labels on all of the food you buy. If you see ingredients that are questionable — don’t buy it! If you can’t pronounce something on the ingredient list — leave it on the shelf.
Cut your sodium intake and drink more water. Just because you’re not reaching for the salt shaker at every meal doesn’t mean you’re watching your sodium intake! Salt is in nearly every food — some of the worst culprits are breads, cold cuts/cured meats, sandwiches, pizza, poultry and soup. To commit to dropping your vanity pounds, you should keep a close eye on your sodium intake and cut it down to 1,000 mg per day. Once you start looking at food labels, you may realize this is harder than you thought, but it’s possible — trust me. Also, up your water intake. Eighty ounces is equal to 10 cups of water and I would like that to be your goal each day. It won’t be hard to hit if you’re working out!
Abstain from alcohol. Booze can sabotage your weight-loss efforts. It releases estrogen into your bloodstream, promotes fat storage, and decreases muscle growth. It makes you hungry and loosens your inhibitions — so you’re more likely to give into temptations, like unhealthy food. Plus, alcoholic beverages contain more calories than most people think. If you’re serious about losing this weight, it’s best to avoid alcohol until you’re in maintenance mode.
Train at 85 percent of your maximum heart rate for 1 hour, 5 times a week. You have to exercise to lose weight, and to lose those last 10 pounds you’ll need to push yourself. Up the intensity of your workouts and make sure you’re fitting them in at least five times a week.
Make sure not to create a calorie deficit of over 500 calories a day. When you are already healthy, but want to remove those last few pounds of fat, your body isn’t too keen. Creating a large calorie deficit will make your body think it’s in survival mode – as in energy supplies are in shortage and energy output is being maxed. This will signal your system to release hormones that slow metabolism and store fat. By burning no more than around 500 calories a day you can slowly burn off those vanity pounds without triggering your body's survival mechanism.