Losing the Last Few Pounds
By Johnny Kuettner, ISSA Elite Trainer Trainer
In the quest of losing fat, those last few pounds are usually hardest. Just as in many cases, finishing the last mile or writing that last sentence. Obstacles get in the way of obtaining the ultimate goal. In order to lose the last few pounds of body fat, sacrifice, dedication, and modification will help you in reaching this goal. In making these changes it is not suggested to spend additional hours working out or starving yourself. After awhile your body becomes accustomed to a certain routine and becomes programmed to this. In order to de-program, you must make a few adjustments to kick-start your routine. Losing those last pounds of fat can be as simple as changing a few variables in your current regimen. Making simple modifications to your diet, cardiovascular, and/or weight training can accomplish this.
One area where there could be room for adjustment is your diet. Making simple changes can help in eliminating those last few pounds. If you follow a healthy diet, it can be a matter of just adding an additional healthy meal or two and decreasing your regular portions if you are not consuming at least five balanced meals a day. A key component will be substituting examples as follows:
- Switch form 1% to skim milk or from whole to 2% or 1%.
- Use light or fat free dressings instead of full fat.
- Look at food labels you eat each day and try to find lighter versions in order to cut calories.
- Draining the fat on your cooked meats.
- Adding more fiber (fruits, vegetables, & whole grains) which will fill you up and help you consume fewer calories.
By changing to lighter or fat-free, diet or sugar-free, you are making a big step in eliminating calories from your diet. This will drastically reduce fat and sugar consumption, kick starting your body into shedding those last few pounds. Also, adding healthy snacks such as fruit will not only fill you up but also prevents you from eating more calories during your next meal.
If you find that you are adhering to the aforementioned diet then you would most likely have to change another variable while continuing with our healthy eating habits. An excellent way to burn more calories would be making changes in your cardiovascular routine. Here are a few ways:
Picking up the intensity by walking a little faster on the treadmill or raising the incline, which will burn more calories. Also if you are walking include some jogging or add some sprints.
- Changing the duration of workout. Adding 10 minutes of jumping rope, kickboxing, and/or running is a sure-fire way of burning additional calories.
- Include circuit training in your routine. This is combining strength training and cardiovascular exercise right after the other with no rest. An example would be doing a set of tricep pushdowns followed by (30-60 sec.) of jumping rope, repeating three times, then next round would follow a set of shoulder presses going right into step-ups.
By making slight adjustments, by adding another activity and/or increasing the intensity will burn those calories in reaching your goal. Last but not least the most overlooked factor or “Trump Card” is pumping iron. In the beginning you might not notice a significant decrease in weight loss but might notice changes in appearance. Muscle weighs more than fat, the more muscle you have the more fat and calories you will burn.
Just as in diet your weight training program can reach a plateau. Changing variables here as well will prevent stagnant results and get you closer towards your goal. Here are a few ways in adding variety.
- Change the exercises. For example if you continue to do bicep curls with a bar, switch to dumbbells, cables, change the grip, and/or add a twisting motion. Also, if you are constantly doing chest presses or flyes on a flat bench, try varying the angles of the bench by switching to an incline or decline.
- Change the weights/reps. If you continually working at 15 reps, increase the weight and drop the rep range down to 10-12. If you are working on strength and completing 6-8 reps, decrease the weight and increase the rep range to 8-12.
Weight training added to cardiovascular program and a sound diet will go a long way in helping to shed those last few pounds and promote continued overall good health.
In sum, those who are looking to shed the last couple of pounds of body fat are eager and determined. Most have a regimen that they consistently adhere to. However, complacency does not always finish the job and by changing the variables and stepping it up to a new level will definitely shake things up. Quick fixes such as; extremely low-calorie diets, fad diets, or fasting are not the answer and will only lead to additional problems down the road. Patience and consistency will be the virtue towards your success, leading to a healthier lifestyle and more permanent solution. What I have suggested is a matter of tweaking. The information I have provided is not new or cutting edge, they are proven methods that work.