Archives for August 2010

The Last Ten Pounds

Hello, everyone! The idea for this week’s article comes from a loyal reader named Michelle. She asked me to write an article on losing the last ten pounds. The question is, why is it so hard to lose that last little bit? Of course, it doesn’t have to be 10 pounds. It could be 15 pounds or five, but what the question is really about, is sticking points. It’s about when the weight stops coming off and what you can do to start it going again. I’ll go into a few reasons why you might hit a sticking point and let you know how to get through it, or hopefully avoid it altogether.

1. Adjust your diet. Depending on where you were when you started your weight loss you might not have readjusted your diet. What I mean is this: Say you started your diet eating at a daily 500 calorie deficit. A month later you’ve maybe lost five or six pounds. At this lighter weight you’ll need fewer calories each day to maintain your weight and if you haven’t readjusted, you may be eating at a maintenance level for your current weight instead of at a deficit. A good strategy is to readjust your diet about every four weeks.

2. Don’t be afraid of a break. If you’ve been on a restrictive diet for a while, you might need a break. After a long period of low calorie eating, your metabolism might be driven down to a point where you’re not burning off calories at the rate you might be used to. Take a week or two and eat at your new maintenance level or even a touch higher. Restart your metabolism and start again.

3. Exercise. Make sure that you are sparing as much lean body mass as you can during your diet. Lean body keeps your metabolism high and is what you want to see when you shed the fat. What this requires is resistance training. Combining full body resistance workouts with interval/circuit style training will maintain or possibly even increase lean body mass and boost your metabolism to make sure that you are burning off the fat you want to get rid of. Long drawn out cardio sessions do not have this effect.

4. Keep a food journal. I know that just cutting back a little may have gotten you to this point, but to lose that last little bit, you may need to be a little more precise. Keeping an accurate food journal will help you know exactly where and how to adjust your diet. Remember, this process gets harder as it goes and if you really want to lose that last ten pounds, small adjustments of just a few hundred calories can be very important.

These are a just a few common mistakes that people make on their way to their goals. Hopefully they’ve given you some insight on how to continue on your way. If you have any questions or want some more individualized advice, please email or call me and let me know how I can help. We still have some summer left, so get out there and have a great time!

Mitchell Rothbardt, CPT
Discover Your Strength!

The Secret

There is a secret. I’ll tell you if you promise to keep it quiet. It’s not a pill. There is no such thing as that and, frankly, I’m glad. If there was, that would mean that there is an end. A finish. An absolute. Take this and be everything you want. Take this and be perfect, whatever that is. I’m happy there’s not. This is a journey that we need to take. That’s what makes it worthwhile. It’s not just meeting a goal, it’s what we discover about ourselves getting there. What we’ve sacrificed and put ourselves through that makes the final goal mean something to us. It’s what we’ve learned through the process that ensures that we can do it, or something like it, again if we need or choose to. This is what gives us the confidence to achieve other things in our lives. This is what learning and enjoying the process does. So, when people say they wish they could take a pill to lose their belly or lift more weight, know that the real goal isn’t about the belly or the weight. The real goal is to find out more about ourselves and only honest, hard work will allow us to do that. So, yes, there is a secret. The secret is that it’s not supposed to be easy.

Mitch Rothbardt, CPT
Discover Your Strength!