Monday, January 7, 2008

How to Lose Those Last Ten Pounds

Lose Weight
How to Lose Those Last Ten Pounds
By Craig Elliott Elliott

You have done it! You've lost fifteen pounds over the last six months and you know you are on your way to where you want to be. However (and it's a big “however”!), you can't seem to rid yourself of the last stubborn ten that seems intent on sticking to your thighs and rear end. Your weight loss goal was twenty five pounds, and you know other people have done it-so how do you do it? What is the best way to lose those last, stubborn ten pounds?

You have sacrificed many a chocolate chip cookie and watched beads of sweat turn into pools on the floor in your spinning class week after week. So why won't those last ten pounds move? There could be a number of reasons.

The body reaches a set point, or a given weight beyond which it's not so willing to budge. Sometimes, we have to trick it into moving along anyway. If you are already in a committed exercise program and you have changed your chicken from KFC to baked at home in the oven, here are some tips to go one step further:

1.Watch the processed foods. Just because something is labeled low-calorie or low-fat doesn't mean it's good for you to eat. Marketers for the food industry have the extremely lucrative and misleading ability to make even the most junky of junk food seem healthy. Foods that are found in the chips and crackers and cookies aisles are not going to be good for you, no matter how many times you read that each serving only has 100 calories! What's the harm, you ask? Well, it's not necessarily harmful, but with the last ten pounds every little step counts. When you consume processed foods, you are consuming a lot of extra ingredients that are made in a lab and a lot less whole food in its natural state. Some of these ingredients are merely binding in nature, and some can rob you of vitamins. Either way, the closer you stay to “real” food the better. When you consume real, whole foods in their natural state (think fruits, vegetables, fresh meats, and simple dairy) you get the benefit of food energy that you do not get from processed foods. Not only can this push you through your day and energize you, you can actually eat more of these ‘clean' foods for fewer calories. With greater healthy food consumption you will feel fuller and will not want to eat as much. After a while, your cravings for the processed foods will lessen.

2.Watch the white! Hand in hand with processed foods go ‘white' foods. Literally, you should try to cut down on any white-colored foods that don't come from nature if you want to shed the last ten pounds. Sugar is white and horrible for your body. Sodium (or salt) is white and can make you hold water weight, feel bloated, and increase blood pressure in high doses. Many people are surprised to find how much sodium is in certain foods when they start actually reading the labels to notice these amounts. Soups, for example, contain a very high level of sodium. In fact, the low fat or low calorie soups tend to contain more salt than the creamy ones! Try making your own fresh soups instead of buying the canned variety. White flour - the likes of which cookies, cakes, and pies are made of - is completely robbed of the nutrients it used to contain before it was turned into such a refined grain. Try to eat wheat breads instead of white breads. Even white rice has higher sugars in it than brown rice; it's higher on the glycemic index, which measures sugar conversion of food. Of course, white foods found in nature are perfectly fine in moderation. Milk, potatoes, and other natural white foods will not significantly add to your waistline so long as you're not eating a pound of potatoes or drinking a gallon of milk!

3.Fifteen minutes a day … Sounds simple, right? No matter what it is, you can do something for fifteen minutes a day, right? It is simple! Try adding just fifteen extra minutes each day to your exercise routine. If you work out five days a week, that's an extra hour and fifteen minutes a week and it adds up! By doing fifteen extra minutes of cardio you can actually end up burning an extra 100 calories per exercise session. By adding an extra 15 minutes of weight training, you can tear down and rebuild that much more muscle each time, which lean muscle mass will enable you to burn more calories throughout the day when you're doing nothing at all! It's a great investment - 15 simple minutes. If this seems like too much at first, start with an extra five minutes and build up to fifteen over the next few weeks.

By taking on these three simple changes, you will be able to stoke your metabolism just enough to push you into that ten pound deficit. It may be gradual, like the first fifteen you lost, but it will be long-lasting.

About the author:Megan Hazel is a freelance writer who writes about health and fitness topics, similar to what consumers read in Self Magazine Article Source:

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