Lose Those Last Five Pounds
You've been true to your diet and exercise program and have lost weight but have hit a roadblock and can't seem to lose those last five pounds. Why has this happened and what can you do? First of all don't get discouraged. There are reasons why people hit a diet plateau and ways to get off of it and begin losing those last few pounds.
Redefine Your Weight Loss Goals
The first question you have to ask yourself is, "Am I trying to lose too much weight?" What may have been the perfect weight for you in high school may not be the best weight for you now. Make sure your target weight doesn't put you in the underweight category. Your goal is to have a healthy, lean body not a thin, underweight body. Discuss your weight loss goals with your doctor to make sure you are striving for a healthy body.
Restart a Sluggish Metabolism
If you've been dieting for some time but have not added some form of muscle toning exercise to your regimen then you are probably losing lean muscle instead of fat. When you deprive your body of calories, your body goes into starvation mode and holds on to fat cells. You lose muscle weight instead of fat. If you add muscle toning exercise along with your diet you will not only build lean muscle but also boost your metabolism because the more muscle you have the higher the rate you burn calories.
Another way to rev up your metabolism is to increase your intake of amino acid leucine which is found in protein. Increase your protein intake to 10 grams (about three servings) per day. This will not only preserve your muscle tissue as you lose fat but also helps you burn fat faster because you'll maintain more lean muscle.
Eat More Fat
Eating more fat sounds like bad advice when you are on a diet but the truth is it may actually help you lose weight. As you lose weight your levels of the hormone leptin drops also. Leptin is the hormone that makes you feel full and as it drops you begin to feel hungry more often. Adding more fat to your diet will decrease your appetite because it takes fat longer to digest and it makes you feel full longer. This doesn't mean you should break out the chocolate chip cookies. Try eating 20 percent of your calories from unsaturated fats from foods like olive oil or nuts. You will fill up faster and should end up eating fewer calories in the long run.
If you've been dieting but not exercising then you may only need to add exercise three to five days a week to drop those last few pounds. Even adding a 20 minute walk three times a week can be enough to burn the extra calories to drop those last five pounds. If you have been exercising diligently you may find you need to add a few extra minutes to your routine. Re-evaluate how much you are exercising and the type of exercise you are doing to see if you can fine-tune it to burn more calories with only a few added minutes. Exercise along with some form of weight training helps you to rev up your metabolism and burn more calories during exercise and while relaxing.
Losing those last few pounds can be difficult but it is not impossible. Make sure you are still following your diet and try one or more of these suggestions and you may find you'll lose those stubborn pounds in a few short weeks.
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