Ah, yes, those early days of weight loss; you chose the lemon water over root beer, mastered the Burpee without burping and waved buh-bye to unwanted fat by the pound. You realized one day that you can fit both of your legs and your brother-in-law’s Doberman into one leg of your old pair of jeans. Man, that was one heck of a selfie you posted! But then, your ability to shed pounds as quickly as a Husky sheds hair slowed to a crawl with just your last 10 pounds to lose, leaving you feeling like the other kind of husky.
It’s pretty common. That last 10 pounds to lose can hang around like a previously unnoticed party guest who failed to leave with the final group. You’re wiping tortilla chip crumbs off the foyer table when you catch a glimpse of the last remaining guest in the mirror. Before you sic the dogs on that clueless clinger there are some things you can do.
First, get away from the mirror and face the facts. An effective weight loss mantra is “know your numbers,” meaning your biometric stats. However, those numbers can change. When you get down to the task of losing your last 10 pounds, figure out whether or not you actually have 10 pounds to lose. Re-check your body fat : lean muscle mass ratio. You might find you’re healthy and the guest doesn’t need to go. Hello, Soulmate!
If the Hanger-On is Dead-Weight, Try These 3 Tips to Kick the Last 10 Pounds Out the Door:
1) Should I Stay or Should I Go Now?
That’s what those pounds really want to know. Does your nutrition plan still meet your body’s new needs? Are you eating an appropriate amount of calories to fuel your new lifestyle? Eating too many calories or too few can wreak havoc on your metabolism and force your body to hold onto unwanted fat stores.
2) Time to make a weighty decision.
Studies show lifting weights or strength training at a challenging intensity 2-3 times a week can help develop more lean muscle mass. Your ability to burn calories at rest is directly related to the percentage of lean muscle tissue you have. So, throw some logs on that metabolic furnace! Make your post-party room too hot for that sweaty guest to comfortably stay. Strength train and send that glommer searching for a cooler couch.
3) OMG. They still haven’t left!
If stoking the metabolic furnace with strength training didn’t do the trick, it’s time to release intensity on that now unwelcome guest. You’ve don’t necessarily have to spend more time each week exercising. In the case of cardiovascular exercise, consider kicking things up a notch. Instead of always focusing on steady state endurance based workouts, toss in shorter bouts of high-intensity drills. Or, if you like steady state exercise, push yourself to increase speed and exertion.
Remember: your body, your party! You get to say who stays and who goes.