Topic: Weight Loss
How to Lose Those Last 5 pounds!
Anyone who has ever attempted weight loss knows that it is no easy task. Especially those darn last 5 pounds! I hear this most from post-partum women wanting to lose the “baby” weight. The truth is, there are reasons that the last few are so hard to lose, but if you create a plan and stick to it, your goal is within reach. First, you need to understand that it takes a special commitment and resolve to get your body to give up the last bit of weight you wish to lose. Most likely your body created a set point where it is comfortable staying. Unfortunately, the biggest factor to overcome, is that the less there is of you, the fewer calories you need per day to maintain your weight. SO, if you have lost a significant amount of weight, you now need to consume significantly fewer calories per day to maintain that weight loss. That is a big hurdle to jump. Most people go on a “diet” with the intention of following it, and then “going off” of it when they have lost weight. The reason that over 90% of people regain weight is that they have difficulty adapting to new eating habits at that lower weight. If you revert to your prior eating habits, the weight will return, usually more than you lost in the first place.
So here is how to lose that last bit of weight and keep it off:
1) Exercise is not negotiable. Anyone who has ever kept weight off long term will tell you that they exercise regularly, or the weight will creep back on. Critical to this is weight training. I was always a cardio fan. I figured that the time I spent exercising may as well give me the highest caloric burn per minute, and that equated to running and other cardio activities. What’s the problem with that? Well, unless you build some muscle at the same time, you will not increase your resting metabolic rate and still have a tough time losing and maintaining weight. You can treadmill yourself to China, but not see any muscle definition and risk losing lean body mass with your caloric restriction unless you weight train in conjunction with your cardio workouts. Also, you must switch up your routine or your body will adapt and become more efficient, thus burning fewer calories for that activity. As always, make sure you are medically cleared to exercise.
2) What you eat, when you eat, and how much you eat must be carefully planned. Those last few pounds are tough for a reason. Your body will fight to give up that fat. Each calorie you eat must be HIGH QUALITY. What does that mean? Whole grains, lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, low and non-fat dairy, and nuts/seeds/beans. There is no room for junk, or highly processed foods. You need to take in at least 25 grams fiber per day, and if you are restricting calories as well, that means there is no room for low fiber processed food. The fewer ingredients the better! Try to avoid specially formulated “diet” foods. Chances are, they are full of chemicals, not nutrition.
3) Know your plate. To control portion sizes, ½ of your plate should contain vegetables and fruits, ¼ lean protein, and ¼ whole grains. Fill up on the low calorie produce to gain high nutrient density for few calories, plus the benefit of extra fiber. Watch the sodium content as too much will cause most people to retain water and hinder weight loss.
Ultimately, a “diet” will not help you lose weight and keep it off. Permanent change in the way you view and consume food is the only way to achieve long term success. Good luck!!
**In reading this blog, please remember that Think Healthy…not Skinny still applies. This is not diet advice per se, but reinforcement that whole, nutritious, foods in the right portions are important for the health of everyone. If this helps you achieve a weight that supports your health and well being, that’s even better.
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We just printed out the ingredients to this soup. My husband is so excited for us to try it. Thanks looks delicious.
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