Here are five changes that’ll make you lose those last five pounds of stubborn fat.
The first change relates to your eating habits — even if you think you’ve tried everything. Have you tried the following?
“Make half of your plate non-starchy vegetables for lunch and dinner,” says Amanda A. Kostro Miller, RD, LDN, whose specialties are nutrition counseling, weight loss and medical nutrition therapy.
“These are low in calories and high in fiber and nutrition. Non-starchy vegetables are any vegetables with the exception of potatoes, corn and peas.”
The next four weight loss plateau busters relate to exercise. YES — to lose that last stubborn five pounds, you really should implement at least two of the recommendations below.
Work Out Harder
Can you put more “ummph!” into the workout? Do your limbs get flaccid even though your face doesn’t seem to register much strain?
If your arms, for example, suddenly give out, when the preceding repetition was done without much struggle, this is a clue you’re giving up too soon.
When you’re sincerely fighting for a strength training set, the boundary between muscle success and muscle failure is fuzzy. It’s not a sharp demarcation.
You don’t go from being able to knock out reps to suddenly you can’t push the weight.
There’s a transition in which the reps become increasingly more labored until finally, the trainee can barely do the lift.
Make sure you’re not quitting when there’s still two or three good repetitions left.
Embrace the feeling of approaching muscle failure and burn. This will help knock off the last stubborn five pounds.
When I was a personal trainer, my clients who pushed the hardest lost the most body fat.
Are you doing HIIT?
What kind of cardio exercise do you do on non-weight days? Are you doing high intensity interval training?
HIIT is a powerful weapon against body fat. Replacing two steady state or long-duration paced cardio sessions a week with HIIT will swipe off stubborn fat easily.
Are you faithfully doing big compound lifts?
Make sure you’re doing the deadlift, squat, bench press and a major pulling movement like a seated row.
If you also want to firm up your arms, this can be accomplished with the deadlift, bench press and a pulling/flexion movement such as a seated row or bent-over dumbbell row.
Add intensity to smaller lifts.
For instance, if you like to do planks, rather than extending the duration, increase the resistance. Do weighted planks (a plate on your middle back).
Make sure that the resistance you use for shoulder work is too heavy to do more than 12 repetitions.
If you’re doing walking lunges, carry big dumbbells but not heavy enough to disrupt form. Increase the weight of leg extensions and leg curls.
Employ supersets. Do two exercises back to back. Get exhausted. Don’t engage in conversation while performing an exercise.
Make the exercise too hard for you to want to chat – and hard enough to force you to concentrate on breathing.
Implement these five basic strategies and you will lose those five stubborn pounds of fat.
Amanda Kostro Miller has worked with U.S. veterans, people with eating disorders and those with various acute and chronic diseases. She serves on the board for Family Living Today.
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.