You’ve come a long way. You’ve cleaned up your diet. You exercise on a regular basis. You’ve been feeling great about yourself. You may even be wearing all new clothes because the old ones are just too big. Frustratingly, though, you can’t seem to lose the last 10 pounds. It’s as though you’ve used the scale so much over the weeks or months (or even years) that it’s broken.
Is there a reason your progress has ground to a halt? Is your body ever going to let you lose the last 10 pounds? Of course! You just need to overcome that aggravating unspoken weight loss rule that says that the last few pounds are more challenging to lose than all the rest of the weight you’ve lost, combined.
Fortunately, there are a few adjustments that you can make to your current strategy to make sure you can lose the last 10 pounds and get yourself ready to begin a maintenance plan (after you’ve done some thorough celebrating from having reached your goal, of course).
Use the following once you’re ready to power through to your goal.
• Improve your cardio – If you’re already doing a cardio workout 4 to 5 times per week, as is typically recommended, get more out of your sessions by using high intensity interval training for 2 or 3 of them. HIIT lets you blast through calories and stored body fats without having to exercise any longer. Moreover, there is research to support this practice. One recent study showed that women following an HIIT program burned 66 percent more fat during their workouts than a longer workout at a lower or moderate level of intensity.
• Walk whenever you can – If it’s within walking distance, walk there. Moreover, change your opinion of what’s within “walking distance.” Stop driving your car to get to the corner store when you just need to pick up something you can easily carry home. Park a little bit farther away in the parking lot at work or at the mall. Every time you can fit in a few more steps, go for it. Walking is one of the best ways to burn through calories without even really noticing that you’re exercising.
• Get up – If you have a job that forces you to sit at a desk all day long, do your health and your weight loss a favor by getting up. Recent studies have shown that long periods of sitting can actually shorten your life, so if those last few pounds aren’t enough motivation, hopefully your longevity will be. Even just walking on the spot for a couple of minutes every half hour can do the trick.