Friday, September 26, 2014

Losing the Last 10 Pounds

Like many of you out there, I'm looking to lose a little of the extra weight I've been carrying as of late. 

And while it may seem like common sense, this article had an interesting assortment of weight loss tips that I thought I would add my own two cents to. 

Let's do it!


8 Tips to Help You Lose the Last 10 Pounds

(1) Eat More Fiber

OK, first off - eating more fiber does not mean you go out and buy those stupid Fiber One processed food garbage bars.  Or adding Metamucil to your morning orange juice.  Or switching from white to whole wheat bread (although I DO endorse that idea).  Eating more fiber means following my mantra... FRUITS AND VEGGIES, FRUITS AND VEGGIES!!!

If you remember what I talked about the time I went vegan for three days straight, when you shift your focus to a vegetable heavy diet (at least 1 serving at every meal - not counting fruit, which you should also add), you end up feeling really full.  All the time.  And for very few calories.

Sometimes just conquering that hunger hurdle is all you need to help you lose weight.  After all, when you're not hungry, you're less likely to snack or over indulge on other things.

(2) Cut Out Liquid Calories

Many people out there don't realize the calories they consume in a day, just by drinking.  Plus, they also don't realize that those calories do essentially nothing to help them feel full or stay full, not to mention the lack of nutritional benefit. 

For example, a relatively healthy person can almost double their daily caloric intake just by enjoying some "standard" daily beverages:

     - instant oatmeal (120 calories), banana (90 calories) = 210 calories
     - Caribou large vanilla northern lite latte with non-fat whip = 215 calories

     - assorted salad with vinaigrette dressing and chicken = 350 calories
     - 20 ounces of regular cola = 250 calories

     - beef and vegetable stir fry with rice = 500 calories
     - two 16 ounce, non-lite beers = 280 calories

Daily calories, food - 210 + 350 + 500 = 1060 (58% of daily intake)
Daily calories, drinks - 215 + 250 + 280 = 745 (42% of daily intake)

In the above example, just under half of the day's calories come from a skim latte, a bottle of cola and two regular beers.  Aside from the skim milk in the latte, these calories do nothing to help fill the stomach (as they are processed quickly by the body and then "dumped"), and the nutritional benefit of those beverages is almost nil.

Imagine if you swapped all those calories out for food... even if you weren't being healthy, 745 calories could get you a pretty awesome mid day snack AND an after dinner dessert.

(3) Hydrate


When I first started taking hot yoga, I remember reading a poster about hydrating that I found pretty interesting.  Although I cannot recall all the facts on it now, there was one fact on there about how many people initially mistake thirst for hunger that sticks in my brain even to today.

I'll keep my comments on this simple, and just post a fun fact:

"Clinical studies have shown that 37% of people mistake hunger for thirst because the thirst mechanism is so weak. By doing so, the body is led to think that it needs food when what it’s really asking for is water. Moreover, the fact that the symptoms of dehydration (i.e. feeling weak, dizzy and cranky) mimic those of hunger contribute to people’s confusion between the two signals."

(4) Increase Cardio

This one is pretty obvious.  The more you work out, the more you burn.

However, it's not all about spending more time.  Think about other ways to maximize your burn.  Can you push harder?  Go faster?  Lift heavier?  Don't get too comfortable in your workout routine.  Push yourself to the edge of your comfort zone, just past that border of what you know you can do into the area of what you're not sure you can do.  Adding just one more set or going just a little harder can make all the difference.

(5) Avoid Alcohol

This is how I really kicked my weight loss into high gear back when I was heavy.  As shown in point two above, liquid calories can really add up.

(6) Track Everything

I personally recommend this app for that, but anything to make you more aware of what you're eating (and how much of it) can really help you find your trouble areas in your diet.

Not to mention, as I discussed awhile ago, even finding one or two areas in your diet where you can eliminate a few excess calories can really add up to some substantial weight changes over the course of a week.

(7) Get Strong

Did you know that the more muscle you carry, the more calories you burn ... even just sitting around on your ass?!  If you aim to complete 2-3 strength based workouts each week, the long term benefit of carrying around all that muscle will start to add up.

(8) Revist Your Diet

AKA - the trouble spot that I'm working on right now.  Yep, saving the best for last.

Every once in awhile, it's good to do a check in to see where you're at.  While you may not always want to track all your calories (like suggested in point six above), there's no harm in picking a day at random to spot check your habits.  It may open your eyes to some bad habits that are starting to sneak back in like too large of portions, an extra serving when you don't really need it, or even excess snacking (my personal vice).  Catching those minor errors and correcting them before they become full fledged habits is MUCH easier than waiting until you've put 20 pounds back on and can't figure out how it happened.


  1. Great tips! I especially agree with cutting out liquid calories (alcoholic or not), and tracking everything. I'm a Weight Watchers member and there is an extremely strong correlation between the scale dropping on weeks that I track my food intake, versus the scale rising on weeks that I don't track my food. I think it's more just about being CONSCIOUS of what you're eating than anything else, you know? And I also wholeheartedly agree with strength training. There was a point where I was doing cardio until I was blue in the face, literally, but the scale didn't budge. When I started lifting weights, it helped me to finally break through the weight-loss plateau!

    1. Exactly! Being conscious of what you eat is key... it's all that mindless eating that catches up to you.

      PS - I'm having a very Napoleon Dynamite moment:

      I see you're doing Weight Watchers. Is it because you think you're fat? Because you're not. You could eat chocolate cake if you wanted to. ;-)