The Last 10

Posted: January 25, 2013 by Justin M. Strawn in Encouragement
Tags: , , , , ,

Regardless of what your fitness level is right now, if you are actively trying to shed pounds, you will eventually get to a point where you need to lose 10 to 15 pounds to reach your goal. If you are still a long way from that point, you may have heard how difficult it is to get those last few pounds. If you just got there or you are like I currently am and only trying to lose 10 or 15 pounds, then you may already know how elusive those few pounds can be. But why is that? There are a couple of reasons it can be so hard.

Small changes make a big difference… at first

When I first started losing weight, I was a robust 260. I decided to exercise six days a week by doing 45 minutes on a stationary bike every day before I went to work. I also did three days of moderate weight lifting. By exercising as much as I was, consuming anything less than 3,640 calories would allow me to lose weight. That’s a lot of calories to still be able to lose weight. I made some small changes at that point.

  • I tried to cut down on my portion size slightly.
  • I replaced the sugar in my coffee and tea with Splenda.
  • I made sure that all calories I took in came through food, not drinks.

Those three small changes brought my caloric intake down to anywhere between 1,500 and 2,000. That amount of calories factored in with how much I was exercising meant I was losing 2-4 pounds a week. I lost 15 pounds the first month I tried. When you have a lot of weight to lose, being disciplined will cause the pounds to fly off with a small amount of changes.

You have to change throughout the process

Those changes lasted for a long time. I continued to see weight drop for about 8 months. The amount I lost, though, continually got smaller. Of the original 80 pounds I lost, 60 were during those 8 months. The last 20 were by far the hardest.

I really didn’t do anything different after those initial changes to lose weight until I got to the point that I needed to lose another 20 pounds to reach my goal. By that time, my weight had dropped enough that I was going to have to reduce calories in other places or I was no longer going to see any weight loss. That’s what makes it hard. I had spent the previous 8 months making minor changes, now I had to really make examine what and how I ate if I wanted to get where I wanted. Thankfully, I did.

I found ways to cut calories and eating back. There were times that I recognized that I was only eating because I wanted to, not because I was really hungry. I also had to choose to eat chicken when I might want a burger. I also had to remember to practice some self-control when having something that wasn’t healthy.

The risk of plateauing

These last few pounds are when people see plateau. This is also where people become frustrated. For a while, I was steadily losing weight every week and month. That didn’t always happen at this point in my adventures with weight loss. There were times when I didn’t lose any, or worse, went up.

Plateauing will cause people to become so frustrated that the give up the whole process and just stop trying. Some get so frustrated that they go back to their old habits and start gaining it back.

If you have found that you just can’t seem to get rid of those last few pounds, or if that’s all you want to lose to begin with, really take a hard look at what you are currently doing. If you aren’t tracking what you eat, you might want to start. If you are, check and see if you are being as diligent as you need to be. Make sure you are pushing yourself when you exercise. You can get there, just don’t give up. I hope you have a great day ladies and gentlemen and may all of your fitness dreams come true!

Justin

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