This is one of the questions I get most often regarding weight loss, so I want to address it right here, right now! Quick fixes, weekend crash diets & magic pills are NOT the answer and not part of this blog posting. So, if you are looking for a magic answer, free of work and effort- you’re reading the wrong blog posting and talking to the wrong trainer.
Why is the last 5-10 pounds so hard to get off?
Your body, plus or minus 5-10 pounds, is not drastically unhealthy or in danger of health issues like someone that is obese. Your body doesn’t think that you need to lose this weight. Heck, I will admit it – I have lost the same 5 pounds more times than I really care to say, especially around holidays or vacation when I let loose. It’s not the end of the world and I don’t starve myself to get it off afterwards. The last 5-10 pounds is your body’s reserve in case of famine. Look at it like your body’s savings account.
What’s something simple I can start doing today?
Move! Yeah, it’s that simple – just move more. The more you move, the more steps you take and the more calories you burn. Take the stairs, park farther away from your destination, walk to work, go for a walking break instead of sitting in the break room at the office – I am sure we have all heard this before. Consider investing in a tool that can track your progress.
What type of diet should I go on?
None! You don’t need to go on a crazy diet to get rid of the last 5-10 pounds. But you definitely want to stay away from processed foods full of extra sodium and tons of refined sugar. In addition, you also want to stay away from alcohol if you are really serious about shedding these pounds. It’s extra calories you don’t need, the way it is metabolized in the liver messes with fat burning and fat storing hormones and, not to mention, the food choices you make after drinking alcohol aren’t always the best. Think lots of lean protein, green leafy veggies, fruit, whole grains, healthy fats and lots of water! For those of you who have been calorie restricting with success, then boom you hit a plateau and can’t get rid of this extra weight, you’re going to want to (are you ready for it?) eat more! Let your body know that everything is okay, it’s not starving, and it doesn’t need to store every morsel in fear. Let those stress hormones drop, have a couple higher calorie days (not pig out and eat everything in sight days) and you’re good to go. Whatever eating pattern you choose, make sure it’s something you can see yourself maintaining forever.
What workouts should I do? Do I need to do more cardio?
Great question! When it comes to cardio, it’s basically up to you. If you like doing sustained cardio like running, biking, elliptical-ing then do it. If you don’t like it – don’t do it! Think more INTENSE workouts, not longer duration. Think multiple muscle groups, like those found in this 11 minute total body workout, instead of just isolation movements like biceps curls. Think mixing both strength and cardio in the same workout to maximize results and minimize time. If you really like to be in the gym lifting weights, that’s great – but mix in a bit of HIIT, Tabata or treadmill intervals every now and then. Bottom line, you don’t want your body to get used to what you are doing. Mix up your workout routine and always keep your body guessing.
One thing I want to remind you of is: If you get it to come off super fast, chances are it will come back on super fast and perhaps MORE! No matter your fitness goal, think of it as a lifetime commitment with different chapters. If you don’t learn a life lesson during your training journey – you’re not doing it right! Nothing in life (family, work, relationships, etc.) happens fast with little-to-no effort, so you have to think of that when training for a particular fitness goal. Take your time, enjoy the process, learn something along the way and celebrate your progress!