If you’ve ever tried to reach a weight loss goal, you know what it’s like; You make months of sacrifices, wake up at the crack of dawn for a jog, and starve yourself to the edge of sanity until you finally see the finish line:
Ten more pounds.
But check the scale two months later and you’re fifteen pounds away…then twenty. So what happened?
Well, here’s the thing: It’s basically gospel in the fitness community that the last ten pounds or so are the hardest to get rid of. And if you’re not careful, that can easily boomerang on you and discourage you enough to push you even farther away from where you want to be.
So here’s how you’re going to break through that weight loss plateau:
1) Don’t Lose Your Focus
A huge part of the reason losing the last ten or so pounds is hard is that with the goal so close in sight, it’s easy to lose your focus. You feel pretty good about the way you’re starting to look and the idea of strict dieting doesn’t really sound as important as when you started.
To lose the last ten pounds, you have to start by remembering why you started in the first and recommit to your fitness goals.
2) Use The 30/30 Cardio Plan
If you’re the kind of guy who hates cardio, the bad news is that it’s pretty important to weight loss. The good news is that if you can handle about thirty minutes at a time, the 30/3o plan is an easy and effective way to lose weight.
Basically, all you have to do is run for thirty minutes in the morning and thirty at night. The advantage is that you’re able to work in an hour of cardio without having to actually run for an hour, which is hard and tedious.
Breaking it up into two half-hour chunks is an excellent way to break through your weight loss plateau.
3) Readjust Your Diet
If you’ve managed to get within ten pounds of your goal, you probably know how important diet is. But sticking to the same eating routine may be holding you back.
As you lose weight the number of calories you burn at rest decreases, meaning that you either have to burn more calories or eat less just to lose the same amount of weight.
You can also try switching from three meals a day to five smaller meals. This can help jump start your metabolism.
If you’ve planned your diet out to account for the number of calories you used to burn at a heavier weight, now is the time to readjust.
4) Use Technology
We’re living in a time when technology is changing everything. That includes the way we lose weight. There are a huge number of apps you can download right onto your phone that will help you track what you eat and how many calories you burn.
Myfitnesspal is a pretty useful app that has a huge base of meals so you can log your calories easily and it keeps track of how many calories you need to burn that day to lose weight. There’s also Runkeeper, which can help you easily keep track of your cardio exercise.
Combine the two for some high-tech weight loss.
5) Try Lifting Heavier
Lifting weights isn’t just for bulking up, and an intense weight lifting session can burn as many calories as a jog. Plus if you slip up on your diet, some of the extra calories will go towards building muscle instead of just adding fat.
If you’re already lifting weights, consider adding some more weight to up the intensity.
If you find yourself stuck trying to lose the last ten pounds, adding some intense weight lifting can really help burst through that final barrier.
6) Keep A Closer Eye On Your Weight
One of the best ways to lose weight is to keep a close eye on what you weigh. Following your progress closely can help you keep yourself accountable and let you know what is and isn’t working for you.
If you’ve been doing weekly weigh-ins, now might be the time to start weighing yourself more frequently. The added accountability and sense of progress will help you shed the last few pounds.
7) Watch Your Stress Levels
Stress is a killer in just about every way. In addition to hurting your heart, sleep, and mental well-being, stress can make losing weight much harder. And while it’s tough to just “reduce” the amount of stress in your life, you can focus on finding better ways to cope with it.
Yoga, meditation, or even counselling can help you deal with stress in a more productive way. And avoiding stress and the resulting stress-eating will make it much easier to avoid putting weight back on.
8)Try Interval Training
High-Intensity Interval Training is an exercise program that relies on short bursts of explosive movement. When people usually think of cardio exercise, they think of jogging at a moderate pace for an extended period of time. HIIT training is different in that it alternates a few minutes of sprinting with a few minutes of low-intensity walking.
A basic program would look something like this:
- 1 minute of walking.
- 5 minutes of running.
- 1 minute of walking.
- 2 minutes of sprints.
- 1 minute of walking.
You would then repeat that until you run for a total of thirty minutes. The idea is that you get faster results because you burn the same number of calories in less time. If you’re
If you’re burned out on traditional cardio exercise, HIIT might just be the boost you need to lose the last few pounds.
9)Limit Carbs Before Exercise
You’ve probably heard of low-carb diets as a good way to lose weight. The idea behind low-carb plans like the Atkins Diet is that carbs are stored in the body for quick energy. The thinking goes that starving your body of those carbs forces it to turn to fat cells for the quick energy it needs for exercise.
By limiting the number of carbs you eat before exercise you can increase the amount of fat you burn.
10) Mentally Prepare For Long Term Weight Loss
So many people who try to lose weight find that they get trapped in “Yo-Yo dieting.” You lose a few pounds only to find yourself putting them back on so you have to lose them again.
A key part of how to lose the last ten pounds is to prepare for the fact that losing weight and keeping it off is a life-long commitment. Adjusting to the idea that you will have to watch what you eat and exercise every day is tough.
The trick is to develop healthy routines into habits. A solid habit of healthy eating is easier to maintain in the long run and will help you reach your goals and stay there.
Remember no matter what you chose to do that taking charge of your health is a process that will last a lifetime. But breaking through that last barrier to your ultimate goal is an amazing feeling. If you can stick with it, the results will be worth the effort.