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The last pounds before reaching your target weight or waistline are hard. You've surely worked your butt off (literally) to get to this point. Now, only a few minor changes stand in the way of losing those last few pounds. Throughout your weight-loss journey, you’ve mastered the big stuff. You know that exercise at least 4-5 times a week is crucial for building muscle mass which helps burn more calories. You understand highly processed foods and drive-thru food contain many calories, and only add troublesome body fat to your overall body mass. You know all of this, yet you still can't seem to drop those last few pounds. So, what’s the hold up?
If you’re tired of banging your head against a wall looking for answers, then you’ve come to the right place. Unfortunately, there’s still no magic pill to make those hard to lose pounds disappear, but these tips will surely help to melt off those last few pound fast!
First and foremost, relax. Losing those last stubborn pounds on your weight-loss journey is nothing short of stressful. So take a deep breath, put yourself in a positive mind space, and allow your body to let go of the last few unwanted pounds. You’ll be surprised at how quickly the pounds drop once you allow yourself to relax.
Constantly thinking about those last few pounds revs up the stress hormone called cortisol. Your body reacts to the stress by storing extra, hard to lose, weight, primarily around the abdominal area. Not only does cortisol store unwanted body fat, it also tricks you into thinking you’re hungry when you’re not. Instead of craving nutrient dense food, you crave savory and sweet snacks and meals. Remove these extra cravings and calories from your diet by controlling the cortisol. Try taking a yoga class, learn how to meditate, or just take a big, deep breath. The weight will practically fall right off.
Keep a food journal.
Watch out for hidden calories, especially in liquids! With the last few pounds being the hardest to lose, it’s important to be mindful of what you consume on a daily basis. Mindless snacking adds up quickly, and these extra calories can unknowingly be what's derailing all of your hard work. That’s where the food journal comes in handy. By journaling all of your meals and snacks, you become more cognizant of your daily caloric intake.
Writing down additional snacks and meals will help you hold yourself accountable by becoming more aware of all the calories consumed. This extra attention will mostly likely cut down your daily caloric intake, and help the pounds disappear!
Get your hormones tested.
Maybe the thing holding you back is something you can't even see.
Sometimes those last few pounds are out of your control, and getting an expert opinion is necessary to figuring that out. If it seems like you are doing everything in your power to shave off those last few pounds but something just isn’t clicking, it might be worth it to see if there is an underlying issue. Especially for women, out of whack hormones makes losing weight more difficult. If there is an underlying issue, a simple blood test could make all the difference.
Shake up your exercise routine.
Exercise plays a big role in your weight-loss journey, and can impact the rate at which the last few pounds come off. While cardio is important, lifting weights is the real winner here. Lifting weights will build muscle. Building muscle undoubtably builds muscle mass. The more muscle you have, the more calories you are constantly and consistently burning. Extra muscle allows your metabolic rate to peak and work around the clock to burn unwanted pounds of fat.
If you are already lifting weights, great. However, it’s necessary to know the importance of switching up your routine. When you first started your weight-loss journey, any exercise at all was helping slash extra pounds. As you progress on your journey, you will start to become stronger. The stronger you get, the less effective these exercises become. Your body won’t have to work as hard, therefore fewer calories will be burned. Luckily, this is an easy mistake to avoid. To combat stagnant progress, up your weights and constantly switch up the exercise routine. Don’t let all of your hard work go to waste by making each and every gym sesh count! This small tweak to your already stable routine will quickly get rid of the stubborn, idling pounds. If you need some ideas, here are some of the best exercises for weight loss.
Weekends count too.
Sometimes weight-loss journeys can feel formidable. When the feelings of “this is taking forever” start to kick in, it’s easy to lose motivation. Losing motivation means searching for something to look forward to—like the beloved weekend cheat meals.
Body fat doesn't take the weekend off and neither should you. In order to quickly kick those remaining pounds to the curb, consistency is key. Extra calories on the weekend make your week's progress go to waste. Extra fries with dinner or a couple glasses of wine with the girls can really hinder your progress. These extra calories can even undo all of your hard work and dedication from the week prior. These last few pounds take a lot of commitment and discipline. Keep your eye of the prize, the last couple of pounds will soon be gone!
Sleep your way to success.
The benefits of rest days cannot be understated, and depriving yourself of precious Zzz's will make losing those last few pounds even more difficult. Experts suggest that 7-8 hours of sleep per night is ideal. Remember all of that muscle you’re building? The body needs to rest in order for your worn out muscles to properly heal and grow. By skipping sleep, you’re cheating yourself out of all your hard work!
Not only does a lack of sleep effect your muscle mass, it’s also sending hunger signals to your brain. On average, people who get less than 7 hours of sleep per night, eat an extra 550 calories per day. To lose the last few pounds fast, keep calm and sleep on!
Stick to whole foods.
Your best bet when shedding those final stubborn pounds is to stick with whole foods. Our bodies are programmed to digest real, whole foods. Not processed foods and bars used as meal replacements. However, when you’re on the go, finding ready-to-eat whole food meals can be challenging (and expensive)! There are a handful of foods to eat to keep slim on a busy schedule, but, as stated previously, this stress typically causes a lot of people to gravitate towards highly processed and unhealthy options. The solution? Meal prep, meal prep, meal prep! Being prepared with all of your meals will keep you on track, and make it easier to reach your goal!
Whole foods will properly nourish you, and easily move through your body. These nutrients fuel your body, helping create muscle mass and burn through the unwanted body fat at a much faster rate.
Bye bye booze.
For some people, this may be one of the hardest parts of weight-loss. It seems like such an obvious and simple step, but it requires tremendous levels of will power and motivation.
Giving up happy hour is no easy feat. That’s a time for socializing and letting loose.
Unfortunately, happy hour isn’t so happy when trying to ditch the final few. Not only do the extra calories in alcohol detour you away from you goals, but alcohol also messes up your sleep patterns and promotes unhealthy snacking. (Drunchies anyone?) Alcohol causes dehydration, and, as you'll read below, that’s a crucial step for fat loss. One big night out can set you back for multiple days once you factor in the hangover and recovery time. Just remember, this isn’t permanent! But if you want to lose those pounds quickly, say bye bye to booze for now.
It's okay to ask for help.
Don’t be afraid to ask for guidance. There are many professionals out there that want to help you reach your ultimate goal. Whether it be a personal trainer or nutritionist, they all want to see you succeed!
Trained professionals can give you the medical advice that you otherwise wouldn't be able to get. A personal trainer is able to dissect and explain to you your body composition, and come up with a plan to help you reach your final goal. They know how the body works, the best way to fuel it, and how to burn optimal fat. A nutritionist can help get to the root of any hidden obstacles in your diet, if there are any, and work from there. There is no shame in seeking out professional help, they just might be the missing piece to your weight-loss puzzle!
Drink plenty of water.
We all know this one, right? So why does it feel like such a hassle? During your weight-loss journey, water should be one of your best friends. Tired? Drink water. Hungry? Drink water. It’s easy to reach for calorie-dense snacks, meals, or beverages when we feel tired or hungry. However, most of the time, our bodies are just craving hydration. Being dehydrated halts the fat burning process. So, to help reach optimal fat burn (and flush out the lingering pounds), H2O is essential!
Don’t be fooled by juice and other sugary beverages labelled "healthy." The average box of juice contains 2 tablespoons of sugar (YIKES). Stick to water. This will help keep your daily caloric intake down, and let go of those last few pounds that you've been working so hard to lose!