Losing the last 10 pounds can often feel like the hardest part of the fat loss journey.
This is particularly true if you’ve already lost a lot of weight and your goal weight is so close you can smell it. Even if that’s not the case and you’ve just had a little bit of ‘comfort creep’, figuring out how to lose 10 pounds can still feel like a giant obstacle.
But it doesn’t have to be. You just need to know the lay of the land.
There a few key areas that you need to address if you’re serious about dropping that extra padding.
We’re going to break down here: exercise, diet, drinking, sleep and stress. Each of these elements has a role to play, and you need to orchestrate it so they all get along and drive each other forward.
If you’re not training hard on the regular, this could be your problem. Throwing down a tough workout 4 to 5 times a week is vital if you’re struggling to lose that weight. Even if you don’t have a gym membership, this is not hard – check out Only Bodyweight’s huge variety of workout options, tailored to your goal and your level.
You’ve gotta be strict with what you’re eating. Cut all the processed stuff, anything with added sugar and salt, the ‘crappucinos’ and all junk food in all forms. Stick with lean meats, eggs, nuts, heaps of veggies, a little fruit, and a few starchy helpers for post-workout meals, like sweet potato or pumpkin. Drink at least 2 glasses of water with every meal and 1 between each meal as well.
Alcohol wreaks havoc with fat loss. Alcohol provides energy that is more easily burnt by your body than any other kind. Every time you drink, your body uses the alcohol for its energy needs, instead of using your stored fat or whatever energy is circulating in your bloodstream from your most recent meal. Essentially, this means that every time you drink alcohol, you press pause on your body’s ability to burn the fat you’re trying to get rid of. Limit drinking to once a week at most if you’re serious about this – stick to one or two glasses of red wine or a vodka soda.
Your body really needs sleep. If you’re regularly getting less than 6 hours a night, that is most likely contributing to why your body is holding onto those 10 pounds. When you’re sleeping, your body is very busy repairing muscle fibres that took a beating during your workout, restabilising your hormones, unwinding your mental tangles and using up the nutrients that came in during the day. If you skip out on sleep, you are short-circuiting these restorative processes, which really stresses your body. Which leads me to my next point.
Your body can only deal with so much stress before it starts acting up. Weight gain or retention is one of the first signs that you are under too much stress, followed by hair loss, restless sleep and problem skin. Unfortunately, your body can’t tell where stress is coming from – whether it’s from a screaming boss 5 days a week or the threat of imminent starvation thanks to a famine, the physiological response is the same: SAVE ALL THE ENERGY SO YOU DON’T DIE. For this reason, getting rid of stress is very, very important for fat loss. Go to bed early, go for nice long walks somewhere soothing, take time for yourself to do things that make you feel great. Not only will it speed up your fat loss, but you’ll feel better and probably live longer too.