Whether you are trying to lose 30 or more pounds or just trying to tone up those last 10 pounds may be the most difficult. Here are some strategies to help you reach your goal and drop those last few pounds. Choose strategies that become your lifestyle. The “flash benefits” may be good in the short term, but cannot be sustained sensibly for proper health, fitness, nutrition and wellness.
– No “Liquid Diets”/Don’t Stop Eating – Limiting your calories can decrease your metabolism and your body’s ability to burn calories. Increasing liquids can literally flush your system of vital nutrients needed for good health.
– Decrease sodium or salt intake. Use sea salt. It has less sodium than table salt.RELATED: RECOMMENDED PLANS FOR YOU
– Decrease fats – watch the oils or heavy creams in salad dressing. While olive oil and peanut oils are good sources of fat and can be used in place of butter you may want to choose a lighter oil such as canola. Better yet, consider the natural oils already in the food you use. You may not have to use additional oils.
– Decrease your sugar intake. Although fruit is a great source for many vitamins and some fiber the high fructose sugar content can add the extra weight.
– Minimize fruit juice or food containing fruit such as yogurt or dressings, etc. These types of foods and beverage often have a higher sugar content because of syrups or jellies added to taste like fruit.
– Minimize, limit or abstain from alcohol. Wines and mixed drinks may taste refreshing but are high in sugar content. Especially mixed drinks if soda-pop or simple syrup is used in the mix. Beer may have less sugars but watch the amount of carbohydrates.
– Stay away from processed foods which most likely contain some if not all increased amounts of those pitfalls mentioned above.
– Get enough sleep. Sleep is recovery for the body, mind, and soul. Recovery allows the body to decrease stress, decrease blood pressure which helps maintain proper cortisol levels that can contribute to weight gain. Sleep repairs the body decreasing inflammation. Sleep increases efficient metabolism, improves the immune system, and allows for overall healing and rejuvenation.
– Jump-Start Your Exercise Routine – How many times have you heard, “I’m on the treadmill for 40 minutes and used to lose weight but now it’s harder.” Your body has adapted to the demands of your exercise program and workouts. Now that you’re stronger and are more conditioned it may take more to get the same results from when you first started. That is why if you have lost a significant amount of weight the first 10 even 20 pounds seemed easier than these last 10 pounds.
Here’s how to Jump-Start your workout routine:
– Increase the Intensity of your exercise routine. Increase either the “intensity’ of your workouts with interval training or circuits and higher pace to increase your heart rate. Increase the “duration” of your exercise. If you’ve been exercising for 30 minutes you may need to increase to 45 or 60 minutes.
– Strengthening Exercises: be sure you are doing strengthening exercises. A combination of cardio and strength exercises has been shown to produce the greatest weight loss versus cardio alone or strength alone. Strengthening exercises help to increase your metabolism to the point that, when done consistently, your body will continue to metabolize fat even while you sleep. How great is that?!
– Full Body Exercises: perform Mountain Climbers, Burpbees, and Bridging. Performing exercises that take the body through a full range of motion not only increases your heart rate but increases activation of the lymphatic system which moves out those extra “love handles” or “saddle bags”.
– Keep drinking water. Stay hydrated.
– Medications can be a limiting factor. – Some medication can cause weight gain or limit the body’s cardiac output in order to burn calories. Allergy medicines, antidepressants, beta blockers, and medications used to treat seizures or diabetes are a few that can have weight gain side effects.
Please, DO NOT stop taking your medication just to lose weight. Talk with your physician. He/she may be able to prescribe an appropriate dosage or a different medication to minimize the side effects and help you achieve your weight goal. Remember, health is NOT just about your weight. It’s about YOU as a whole person.
– Finally, be sure your goal is realistic. I often run into this with clients that focus on a specific number on the scale or they want to look a certain way. They like how they look with more tone muscles but don’t like the number on the scale. Muscle weighs more than fat. Others want to look like a 6’2 supermodel but they are 5’4. It’s about how you feel and about what’s best for you. Make your goal a healthy and better YOU!