If you’re struggling to burn off those final 10 pounds, there are a few good reasons according to health experts as to why it’s so difficult to lose them, but the good news is there are a few things you can do to get the scale to move downward again.
Metabolism Effect on Those Final 10 Pounds
Health experts state that the metabolism naturally slows down as people get older. In addition, people who have already lost weight, may find their body needs fewer calories to sustain itself.
According to founding director, Madelyn Fernstrom, PhD, of the Weight Management Center at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center in Karen Asp’s Prevention magazine’s article “Lose the Last Ten Pounds,” for every pound people lose, their “metabolism slows by up to 20 calories a day.” So, the more weight people lose, the fewer calories their bodies burn all throughout the day and night, which means they’re going to need to eat fewer calories to continue losing weight.
“Why Can’t I Lose These Last Few Pounds?”
If you’ve lost 50 pounds, your metabolism now burns about 1,000 fewer calories a day than it did before you lost that weight. Even if you’ve only lost 25 pounds, that equates to your body using 500 fewer calories a day.
These numbers are quite significant when you add them up because there are 3,500 calories in a pound. To lose one pound in a week, you will basically have to burn 3,500 fewer calories than your body took in during the last seven days.
An obvious way to lose the last 10 pounds would be to reduce the number of calories you eat each day, but if your daily caloric intake is already too low to bare restricting any further, then another option is to try and increase your metabolism and burn extra calories by exercising more.
Strength Training Can Help You Lose the Final 10 Pounds
Starting a strength training program will increase your muscle mass, which will increase your metabolism because “Muscle burns up to seven times as many calories at rest as fat does, so the more muscle you have, the higher your metabolism,” according to Selene Yeager in Prevention magazine’s article “Get a Metabolism That Soars.”
The type of strength training program a person needs depends on his or her current physical condition. It’s best to to get help from a trainer before starting a strength training routine. Most people can find an expert to help them at a gym or local YMCA.
Challenge Your Muscles and Lose 10 Pounds
Strength training is a very effective tool for improving body composition, improving health and increasing metabolism, and it is effective for losing weight as people get older. Some consider strength training the best way to lose weight after 40.
The main objective for strength training is you want to keep challenging your muscles. “When muscles get used to one activity,” according to Michele Stanten in Prevention‘s article “Fight Back Fast!” “they get really good at it.” So, it’s important to “increase the amount of weight you’re lifting each week.” Stanten writes that weights need to be heavy enough so that after 15 repetitions you couldn’t possibly do another one no matter how hard you try.
Interval Training and Metabolism
Interval training will also help increase your metabolism and burn off the last few pounds. Research reveals that people who want to lose those last few pounds don’t have to push themselves to reap the benefits. Natalie Gingerich in the Prevention article “Jump-Start Your Metabolism, ” states that Canadian scientists found that “exercisers who performed less-intense intervals still increased key metabolism -revving enzymes by as much as 29% in just 6 workouts over 2 weeks.” What’s nice is the exercise sessions only take 20 minutes, and it’s only necessary to push hard for eight minutes of it.
To start interval training, just tweak your existing cardio exercise routine. If you’re walking or jogging for regular exercise, start increasing and decreasing the intensity every two minutes or every three minutes. Make sure to do interval training for at least 20 minutes every other day to see the best results and to see the numbers go down on your scale.
If you want to push yourself a little further, your aerobic goal should be to keep your muscles burning at maximum capacity. Stanten states you should change up the types of aerobic activity each week, increase the duration of your workouts to burn even more calories, and aim for an hour a day of aerobic activity.
Keep Metabolism Revved by Eating Enough
You may need to cut a few calories to lose the final pounds, but keep in mind that not eating enough calories can slow down your metabolism. Not eating enough food can also cause your body to “break down precious, calorie-burning muscle tissue for energy,” says Dan Benardot, Phd, RD and associate professor of nutrition at Georgia State University (qtd. in Yeager). Eating smaller meals more often throughout the day will help keep your metabolism revved up.
Be sure to start your day with breakfast, which can help increase your metabolism. Studies show that those who don’t eat breakfast are 41/2 times more likely to be obese. It’s important to eat enough fiber too. Research also reveals that fiber can help burn fat by as much as 30 percent.
In addition, try to drink your water cold. German researchers found that drinking 6 cups of cold water every day can raise the metabolism by 50 calories (Yeager). That’s quite a few calories, especially if your body is burning less fuel from recently losing weight.
Don’t Obsess about the Scale
Don’t allow yourself to fixate and obsess about the number on the scale. By starting a strength-training program, doing interval training and eating the best diet foods to lose weight you should see the last 10 pounds disappear from your body and your scale.
Asp, Karen. “Lose the Last Ten Pounds.” Prevention.
Gingerich, Natalie. “Jump-Start Your Metabolism.” Prevention. August 2010, Vol. 62 Issue 8, p81-82.
Stanten, Michele. “Fight Back Fast!” Prevention. January 1998, Vol. 50 Issue 1, p112.
Yeager, Selene. “Get a Metabolism That Soars!” Prevention. February 5, 2008.