Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Last 10 Pounds...

It's a beautiful Non-Raining day; take advantage of it!

Why is it that losing the last 10 pounds is so difficult? For many people, the first 20 or 30 seemed to come off steadily, but now everything has slowed down and summer is almost here. It feels like no matter how religiously you stick with your program, that needle on the scale isn't moving -- at least not downward.

We’ve talked about many different factors but we haven’t talked about is how muscle plays a big part in our ability to burn fat… remember though, if your body is toxic, your fat isn’t going anywhere.. read Justyna’s handouts about this… … muscle mass raises your resting metabolism which helps you more efficiently burn -- rather than store -- calories.  Loss of muscle has proven to be as hard on your health as gaining fat. Gaining muscle is actually more important than aerobic exercise in the long run.

Here are 10 tips to shed those last lingering pounds.

1. Stabilize blood-sugar levels. Overweight or obese people tend to have highly fluctuating blood-sugar levels, resulting particularly from weight gain around the belly; this sounds like a lot of us? Excessively irregular blood sugar levels cause a domino effect of body changes beginning with the secretion of hormones that in turn promote insulin resistance and other phenomena that cause you feel sluggish and to eat more. The more you eat the more you want to eat, and the less you want to move.

2. Spoil your appetite before you get to the high-fat, high-calorie part of the meal. Have a bowl of vegetable soup or a salad (with dressing on the side to dip your fork into) before the main course.
3. Eat a solid breakfast with adequate protein and a reasonable number of calories. People who skip breakfast tend to either eat a high-calorie snack later or they will themselves to wait until they are starving, and then pig out late in the day when they are the least active. If you skip breakfast, your metabolism rate drops and your body stores more calories as fat; Ladies are you with me?!?!
4. Get out the weights or the bands and do resistance training to build muscle mass. Muscle weighs more without looking like you've gained weight, and it burns more calories than fat does.  Even running with weight bands or pushing something is a great way to pack on more muscle..
5. Increase the intensity of your exercise. The exercise program you started with doesn't create the same metabolic challenge as your fitness improves.  You need to regularly up the intensity of your workout to continue to lose weight. Add 30 minutes to your run (or walk) every two weeks or bump up the intensity level on the cardio machine.
6. Eat fish oil. Fish oil has been shown to boost metabolism, improve fat burning and increase carbohydrate storage in muscle.  Recommended dosage is 6 to 12g of total fish oil per day or 3 to 6g of combined DHA+EPA.

7. Eat protein with each meal. Eating always sparks metabolism, but the rate we metabolize depends on the type of food we eat. If we eat fat, our metabolism increases by two to three per cent. Protein increases it by 30 per cent. Carbs by nine per cent.

8. Keep your eyes on the prize. The last 10 pounds are the hardest because you already feel so much better and fit into a smaller size.  But originally you may have wanted to look good in a bikini. Remember that.

9. Have a support group of like-minded people.. OMG, what’s this, a group?.. That’s right! Especially when you are down to the last 10 pounds, it’s just soo important.. that being said, whether we’re at the last ten or we’ve past that mark.. this group is a system that isn’t dissolving anytime soon!

10. Be realistic. Losing those last 10 pounds might mean cutting out all the extras and becoming a bit obsessed with this one part of your life. Don’t go nuts; a more balanced life is better than an obsessed one!

Enjoy your day, and remember – it’s not just about the weight, or the exercise, whatever happens in the mind will manifest itself in the body.. so take care of yourself, and lean into the amazing support group you have available to you.


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