How to lose those pesky last 10 pounds
Maybe your scale is broken. It just doesn’t make sense. Week after week the pounds vanished, you’re feeling great and even enjoying your new lifestyle, but weight-wise you’ve hit a plateau. It actually makes more sense than you might think. Imagine carrying around a 30-pound dumbbell in a backpack throughout your day. Everything you do is going to burn more calories with that extra weight. Of course, now that you’ve gotten yourself on a solid weight loss plan, you’re not lugging around all that extra fat, which means you’re not exerting yourself as much as you used to. Now it’s time to take the next step.
The good news
Some trainers call it “adding fuel to the fire.” They compare the body’s metabolism to a campfire, and to keep it burning efficiently it’s important to maintain a steady, but mindful, supply of wood over the flames. The philosophy behind this is easy to grasp. When the body senses a lack of nourishment it goes into a conservative mode meaning your metabolism drops in an effort to distribute your calories over a longer period of time. Our ancestors without this trait were less likely to survive famine. That means starving yourself can have the opposite of your desired results. So, stoke your body’s metabolism by snacking on the right proteins, fats, and carbohydrates throughout the day– just make sure it’s all in the proper proportions.
The tough news
Now that you’re significantly lighter, cardiovascular exercise doesn’t burn as many calories as it used to. That means it’s time to increase the intensity of your workout which will actually make you feel even better, not only after your workout, but throughout the day.
One way of increasing that workout fire is through interval training. You can apply this to whichever type of exercise you’re engaged in by alternating between 2 minutes at a pace that makes you slightly out of breath, and 4 minutes of more vigorous exertion (about the point where it’s difficult to talk and still keep your breath). Interval training has proven to burn 20% more calories than maintaining a constant pace, and will even continue to burn fat after your workout.
Burning extra calories outside of the gym is important as well. Try to stand up as much as possible and take the stairs, climb up the escalator instead of using it as a chance to rest, and carry your groceries to the car yourself. Keep your eyes open for ways to burn calories throughout the day.
Keep it in perspective
Weight loss is really about losing fat. Your body mass index (BMI) might be a better gauge of where you stand with your goals. Since lifting weights is a great way of burning fat and building muscle, you might be gaining good weight in the process. So have your BMI measured, and see where that puts you with your goals. If there’s still room for improvement, increasing the amount of weight you’re lifting can help you shed those final ten pounds.
Have more fun
The best way of making a real lifestyle change is to realize the benefits beyond weight loss. Find a way of exercising you enjoy and actually look forward to. Mountain biking, kayaking, or listening to a good audiobook or podcast while on the treadmill are good options. Exercise is a great way of boosting productivity. Even mice perform better mentally after 20 minutes of exercise. It can recharge you after completing a frustrating task, or help you process your thoughts about a difficult decision.
Even when it’s fun, sometimes it can be tough to get motivated to exercise. In those cases, just think about how great you’ll feel in only 20-30 minutes if you squeeze in some exercise, and compare that to how easily you can waste that same amount of time browsing through social media amassing un-burned calories.
Customize for Your Body
Of course, everyone’s body is going to respond differently to diet and exercise. It can be frustrating to apply what seems to be working for your friend to yourself and not see any results. To help find a plan that’s best for you, contact us at Ideal Protein today!