5 Reasons You Can’t Lose The Last 10 Pounds

You have cleaned up your diet, sweated off countless calories and watched pounds melt away. But now the scale has come to a screeching halt.  It’s an unfortunate law of weight loss: The last 10 pounds are harder to shed than the first 30. That’s because the slimmer you become, the fewer calories you burn just going about your day. For every pound you lose, your metabolism slows by up to 20 calories a day. But I do have some good news: Easy tweaks to the good habits you’ve already established can push you past your plateau and help you reach your final weight loss goal.

See your Registered Dietitian before making any alterations, and tell her about the weight-loss problems you are having. When you first begin a weight-loss regimen, you may lose weight very quickly, and this will most likely come from water. Once you have stuck to your diet and exercise plan for a few weeks, you will begin losing weight from fat. Your metabolism will even out to reflect these changes, and consequently, your weight-loss may slow or even stall. Weight-loss plateaus are common, and you will have to eliminate more calories to push past them.

Amp up interval training

Cardio melts calories, but to keep seeing results, ramp up your intensity, too. Interval training can trigger a boost in metabolism so you burn more fat during low- and moderate-intensity activity, and even at rest. You can apply this principle to any workout, whether you’re power walking, jogging, or using an elliptical machine: Alternate between a moderate effort that makes you slightly breathless and a vigorous pace that makes speaking more than a couple of words difficult. In a 30-minute interval workout, you’ll burn 20% more calories than if you maintained a steady pace—and you’ll keep burning more fat afterward. 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.

Lift Weights and Burn 30% more calories

Get a more time-efficient workout and burn a third more calories by doing strength and cardio in one shot. Cardio blasts calories immediately, while strength-training increases metabolism over time, so combining the two gives you the ultimate bang for your buck.

You’re eating until you’re full

Hunger is something that we’re taught to avoid. A bit of hunger in between meals may, however, just get you to your goal faster. Aim to eat every 3-4 hours (no more, no less) and allow yourself to get a little hungry from time to time before giving in. Be careful, boredom is often mistaken for hunger. Secondly, you don’t have to finish everything on your plate. Eat until you are 80 percent full. Slow things down at the dinner table. A good exercise in mindful eating is to take 10 almonds and time yourself so you eat one almond a minute (without any other distractions such as TVs or laptops). This will help your mind and body adjust to slower eating habits.

Drop twice as much weight by keeping a food diary

Dieters who wrote down what they ate lose twice as much weight as those who don’t keep a record, research shows. New to keeping a food journal? Here are four “do’s” of keeping track:

  • Do be honest. Record everything. If you don’t want to write it down, you probably shouldn’t eat it.
  • Do be accurate. Measure portions you’re unsure of and read labels.
  • Do be complete. Include condiments and toppings, as well as how your food was prepared.
  • Do be consistent. Keep your journal close at hand

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 —cold cuts/cured meats, sandwiches, pizza, poultry and soup. To commit to dropping your 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!

“5 Reasons You Can’t Lose The Last 10 Pounds”, Written for Vertex Fitness Personal Training Studio by Ashvini Mashru, RD

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