The Last 10 Pounds: Bye Bye For Good


You’ve cleaned up your nutrition, turned down everything from chocolate cake to mac n’ cheese, eaten salad after salad (without dressing even!), taken more steps on the treadmill than you’d care to add up, sweat through class after class, lifted weight after weight and shed pound after pound. You’re feeling great about how far you’ve come but you’ve got ten pounds to go before you hit your goal and it refuses to budge. What’s the deal? More importantly, what do you do to get rid of it?

The reason the last 10 pounds seems so obstinate is the simple fact that the less you weigh, the less calories you burn getting through your daily activities. First off, you need to understand that everything we do burns calories. The “simple” task of being alive burns calories. Your heart is a muscle, therefore the fact that it is working to pump blood throughout your body means you are burning calories. Likewise, breathing burns calories also. Additionally, every time we use our muscles to work, it burns calories. That being said, obviously the more strenuous the activity, the more calories are burned. For example, you’ll burn more calories lifting a 20 pound dumbbell than you will lifting a 5 pound dumbbell. Similarly, a person who weighs 300 pounds and has much more body mass than that of a person who weighs 180 pounds will burn more calories doing the exact same thing as the lighter individual. It’s like built in dumbbells 24 hours a day, 7 days a week; constant resistance. That fact, in addition to the law of gravity in action, means that the heavier a person is, the harder everything is to do and the more exertion is required. Make sense?

The truth is, the harder you work, the more fit you become and the more success you have in achieving your goals the harder you have to work to continue to succeed. When you started out, whether that was 20, 40 or 150 pounds ago, you had your own version of built in dumbbells, so you burned more calories doing everything from sleeping to working out. For every pound you lose, your metabolism slows by as much as 20 calories per day. When you do the math, it adds up in a big way. If you’ve lost 30 pounds, you’re burning up to 600 calories less a day than when you began. That’s a big deal!! Once you understand that by ditching the built in dumbbells (which didn’t look all that hot in your jeans anyway, so no worries it was a good call) you’re burning less calories per day there’s only one thing to do! You’ve gotta crank your workouts up a notch, or two, to continue challenging your body the way you did in the beginning. 🙂

So how do you crank it up? Interval training! According to Jason Talanian, PhD and researcher at the University of Guelph in Ontario, “Interval training can trigger a boost in metabolism so you burn more fat during low- and moderate-intensity activity, and even at rest”. I don’t know about you, but that works for me! Personally, I’m a fan of H.I.I.T simply because cardio is not my favorite way to spend time in the gym and H.I.I.T. let’s me get it over with faster. 🙂 If you’re not sure what H.I.I.T. is or how to go about incorporating it into your routine,you can read my previous post about it by clicking here. Remember too that there is more than one way to increase intensity. Most people, especially in reference to cardio, only think about going faster. Another way to make it harder is by increasing your incline, you might not think that it would make a difference, let alone a big one, but trust me it does!!

Another tip that can help you oust the last few pounds is to wear a pedometer. You’d be surprised how many steps you take in a day, and unfortunately, probably not in a good way. Most people are shocked to find that they get in half (or fewer) of the number of steps that they thought they did each day. The recommended goal is 10,000 steps per day. If you find that you are significantly below that, gradually increase your steps by 2,000 per day until you reach 10,000. But don’t stop there! Nobody said that that you couldn’t get in more than 10,000 steps a day! My highest step count for one day is well over 25,000! Granted, my job keeps me hopping all day, but I’m active when I’m not at the gym too (it’s true what they say about a Mother’s job never being done, lol)!

I’ve said it before, I’m saying it again: LIFT WEIGHTS!! Did you know that you can burn 30% more calories by lifting weights? If that’s not enough to convince you, how about this; you can burn a third more calories by doing your weight lifting and cardio in one session. It’s true! What in the world are you waiting for? You get the immediate benefit of cardio of burning up calories on the spot and the benefits of an increased metabolism from weight lifting (which is going to help you torch more calories overall each and every day)! It’s even better than a BOGO offer in my opinion, and that’s saying something!  😉 To find out about even more benefits of strength training, click here.

What you eat in your time outside the gym is even more important than what you do when you’re inside the gym.  A great way to help you keep track of that is a food log. There are several different websites that offer this free tool to help you stay accountable, if only to yourself, about what you’re eating. You can burn anywhere from 400-1200+ calories in your time spent in the gym, but you can easily undo that with one trip through the drive through window, one trip to the doughnut shop or even one specialty coffee drink. Make sure you’re keeping a food log, it is critical to your success and to rid yourself of those last few pain in the ass pounds. 🙂  For more tips on how to keep a food log, click here.

Water, water, water, water, water!! Do you drink enough? Most people don’t (yes, I’m getting up on my soap box at the moment, prepare to be preached to). Every single metabolic process in our body uses water, every single one. Let’s compare it to a swimming pool. Would a swimming pool be it’s most efficient if it is only half full of water? Would you get the most rewarding and fulfilling swimming experience possible in a pool that was only half full? Would you jump, head first, into our half filled swimming pool? No, that would be stupid! Well, you can’t expect your body to operate to it’s full capacity if you’ve only got it half full (or in most cases, less than half full) either! A gallon a day people, you need to be drinking a gallon a day. I strongly suggest that you keep track of how much water you’re drinking each day on your food log as well. Water is critical, read more about why by clicking here.

Above all else, don’t allow yourself to become so discouraged that you give up. An alarming 95% of people who are successful in their weight loss attempts end up getting discouraged at some point and giving up. When they do, not only do they gain back the weight they’ve lost, but they gain an additional 10-20 pounds as well. So what’s with the extra 10-20 pounds? That’s your body’s way of trying to make sure you don’t die should you encounter another situation (your body assumes it was a famine) that causes weight loss. See, from your body’s viewpoint, if it happens again, next time you’ve got an extra 10-20 pounds to help keep you from starvation and ultimately, death. It’s a bitter-sweet thing if ya ask me. 😉 For more tips on keeping the weight off, click here and if you’re searching for a little motivation, click here.

As with all things in life, you’re only capable of completing this goal if you believe that you can. So, believe in yourself, train hard, lift weights, eat clean and keep track of everything that goes into your body as fuel, drink (and track) your water and get your steps in each day. Don’t forget to give yourself due credit for how far you’ve already come too! There is something to be said for appreciating the distance already traveled other than focusing solely on the distance that remains.



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