If you’re reading this, you’ve probably undergone a successful weight loss effort, but need a little help trying to figure out how to get rid of those last few pounds. Or maybe you’re just trying to educate and prepare yourself for when the time comes. The truth is, great progress can be made at the beginning of a new fitness program, but the drastic body transformations start to slow down as there is less body fat to lose.
Figuring out how to lose those last 10 pounds can be just as difficult as losing the previous 50. If you need some ideas for losing that last little bit of body fat, implementing one or more of the following tips can help you reach your goal.
Increase Activity Levels
I don’t like to increase workout frequency any more than what’s necessary, but extending your cardio sessions or adding in some interval training can help push you over the top. In addition, just getting out and being more active can burn just enough extra calories to get your progress moving forward again.
Lower Your Carbohydrates
Nearly every competitive figure athlete/bodybuilder implements some sort of carbohydrate restriction over the course of their fat loss. Try dropping your carbohydrate intake down a bit.
Don’t go too low though. You want to make sure you still have enough energy for your strength training. Drop it by 25-50 grams/day and see how that goes.
Remove Dirty Cheats
Cheat meals are a great thing. They can be implemented as part of a healthy lifestyle and still be beneficial. Sometimes though, they can inhibit progress if not used correctly.
Getting rid of the dirty cheat meals in favor of a healthy carb-up could be just what you need. At the very least, make sure you’re keeping your portions under control. Try to find creative whole food alternatives that are still delicious enough to satisfy your psychological cravings, and will still provide you with the physiological benefits of a cheat meal.
Cycle Your Calories
Most people that undergo weight loss input their numbers in a calorie calculator, determine how much weight they want to lose every week, and then set their daily calories at that amount. There’s no need to keep your calories consistently the same day in and day out.
Weight loss is not a day to day event. It is a cumulative effect over the course of time. Look at your calorie intake over the course of a week. Try changing your daily calorie intake so that you have low, medium, and high calorie days – with your total calories still creating a deficit over the course of a week.
Implement Nutrient Timing
Did you know that when you eat certain macronutrients can have an impact on your body composition? By eating certain macronutrients at certain times, you can manipulate your natural hormones and create a nutrient partitioning effect that better compliments your fat loss efforts.
One of the most effective methods of nutrient timing is moving your carbohydrate intake to around your workouts. Try having carbs only in your pre and/or post-workout meals, and have protein/fat/veggie meals the rest of the day. Doing so will keep your insulin levels low – providing a good metabolic environment for fatty acid mobilization, while at the same time still giving you the glucose necessary to fuel high-intensity exercise.
Improve the Quality of Your Diet
While how much you eat has the biggest effect on your weight loss, the quality of your diet has a big impact on whether that weight loss is fat or muscle. And when trying to lose that final 10 pounds, it’s even more important to ensure you’re getting in all the required nutrients to support fat loss.
Before you take any more food out of your diet, try adding in extra nutrient dense veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, asparagus, or any other greens. The added fiber and nutrients can provide metabolic advantages that help you inch out the final pounds.