The key to losing 10 pounds of fat is to lose 10 pounds of fat only, and here are five proven steps to succeed.

Getting rid of that “last” 10 pounds can mean the difference between a puffy body and a beach body.

As a former personal trainer, I’ve come up with the best approaches as far as exercise.

Strength train to metabolic failure, not mechanical failure.

This approach is supported by a report in the March 2010 Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness. The ideal “rep max” range for lifting weights is eight to 12.

This means the resistance is too heavy to complete a 13th repetition. However, at least eight should be possible.

Even though someone may be able to lift heavier weight on a five to seven rep max scheme, heavier weight doesn’t necessarily translate to the most fat burned or the most acceleration of resting metabolism.

On the other hand, in most cases, if the time under tension is for too long (light weights so that repetitions exceed 12), the fat burning process isn’t optimized because the body will be too busy trying to build endurance to accommodate light weights and high reps.

For optimal fat loss results, the best scheme is definitely the 8-12 RM, though this need not apply to every single set.

Post-exercise elevated fat-burning with higher rep ranges is actually possible, depending on other factors such as a) type of exercise, b) duration of rest in between exercises, c) effort level, and d) how these higher rep exercises fit into the rest of the program.

For example, four 20-rep max sets of squat-to-overhead-presses with kettlebells (one minute rest in between) will blast fat off the thighs more than any one-hour session of paced cardio on the elliptical machine or treadmill, or a full hour of inner and outer thigh machine sets.

Focus the strength training program on compound movements for losing 10 pounds of stubborn fat.

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How many times does the following scenario occur: A woman wants to blast off 10 pounds in time for a friend’s wedding, so she spends huge amounts of time grinding out tons of isolation exercises: sit-ups, crunches, planks, pulley triceps extensions, dumbbell curls, dumbbell side lifts, etc.

She may toss in some rows and squats, maybe a few half-baked leg press sets, but these compound moves make up only a small portion of her attack.

When compound lifts (which work more than one muscle group) are applied with an 8-12 RM, fat-burning will INCREASE; it will last for hours after the workout.

This sizzling response does not occur with isolation exercises like dumbbell kickbacks, reverse flyes, crunches and side bends.

You will lose 10 pounds of fat much faster by doing only the bench press, lat pull-down, squat, deadlift, leg press and shoulder press, than spending triple the time doing any combination of isolation exercises.

Do high intensity interval training to melt off 10 pounds of pure fat.

A June 2007 Journal of Applied Physiology reports on the superiority of interval training over moderately intense steady state aerobics.

High intensity interval training can be done with many permutations.

Studies often focus on the 30 second “sprint” or all-out effort, while other studies focus more on a sub-all-out effort.

Time in between intervals can also vary from one study to the next. But the results are the same: HIIT is just plain superior to a pace based movement.

A person will burn more fat running as fast as possible from one end of a parking lot to the other and then walking in between for several minutes to recover, and repeating this cycle seven more times, than from jogging continuously around the perimeter of the parking lot for triple the length of time!

Get in some burst training to drop 10 pounds.

Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise (1996) reports on a study that eight, one minute bursts of one’s hardest effort, dispersed throughout the day between morning and evening, will accelerate fat-burning.

So soon after you awaken, get in 60 seconds of any of the following: squat jumps, pushups, mountain climbers, jump rope, rapid stool stepping or a sprint on whatever piece of cardio equipment you may have in your house.

Shutterstock/Mihai Blanaru

Remember, your effort must be all-out for maximal results to expedite a weight loss of 10 pounds of pure fat. Effort level must be intense but enough to sustain for around one minute.

Protein Power

“Incorporate enough proteins in your diet, along with healthy fats from avocado, flax seeds, walnuts, etc.,” says Prajakta Apte, RDN, owner and founder of Right Nutrition Works who helps people create a healthier lifestyle.

“Make sure you have a correct balance of animal based proteins and plant based proteins in your diet such as lean meat, fish, nuts and legumes,” continues Apte.

“Proteins in your diet, along with healthy fats, will help you feel more satiated after eating and will lower your cravings to eat simple carbohydrates and sugar rich foods/drinks.”

Prajakta Apte Prajakta Apte is the author of the eBook “Overcoming Nutrition Roadblocks.” Her personalized approach to nutrition therapies helps treat root causes of conditions such as type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, GI disorders, hypertension and many more. 
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.  

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Top image: Shutterstock/Sinelev