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How to Lose the Last 10 Pounds

woman doing pushupsIf 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.

See what your cheat meal guidelines should look like.

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.

Read more about how to implement calorie cycling.

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.

  • Alicia

    Thanks Tony for all you help!

  • michael

    Tony i work out regulary and am finding it hard now to lose the last stone , i was 20 stone 2 years ago and now iam 17stone, i need to get down to 16 but iam struggling, i have changed my diet and i have starting running 2 days a week 5-6 miles a time, any advise would be helpfull.

    by the way iam very fussy eater and do not eat fruit or most yogarts.

    • Coach Calorie

      Have you considered adding in some form of strength training? If you aren’t already incorporating some form of it, you could make big progress by doing so. Other than that, I would need to see your daily diet to see if any improvements could be made.

  • mjones332

    Great list! I am fighting those last (~15) pounds myself currently, for me it seems to be all about the carbs and workout workloads. I can workout regularly with very few carbs and recover ok without much issue, but if I have a hard workout or back to back intense workouts (weights in the AM, Jujitsu/Judo at night) I do need more carbs in my diet but I haven’t found the proper balance. I usually end up going overboard with the carbs and stalling myself out on fat loss and it then takes a few days to reset and get back to fat burning. I have tried restricting carbs during intense workouts which does make me burn more fat, but I get tired and don’t recover as fast so my workouts can get thrown off course which can then make me gain weight also as I continue to eat like normal. So there is a balance there I haven’t found yet.

    Anyway a few more small tricks, eat your proteins, fats, and dense (low GI/GL, high fiber) carbs first then eat the more simple carbs. This will help to negate insulin spikes (compared to eating the simple carbs first) which can throw your sense of satiety and also knock your blood sugar out of control, which can cause you to eat more then you need.

    If your carb sensitive like me, you may try supplements like cinnamon and chromium, there are others if you search the web but these are the two I am using.

    Try to relax and don’t obsess over the last pounds to lose, it will come off just give it time. If you obsess you will end up stressing yourself out about it which is counteractive to the fat loss (stress makes you want to store more fat). Focus on how far you have already came and how much better you look and feel now, rather then what you perceive as difficult in your current plan. Stop thinking about how fast or slow the process is going, if it were easy and fast to do everyone would be slim and trim, give it the time necessary to come to completion while making adjustments here and there to ensure your doing what you can to help the process along.

  • Nancy

    Great info! Just what I needed! The carb info is so valuable! Thanks!

  • LORI BIBEAU

    Hi, I have a personal and to me embarrassing question to ask so, here it goes. I have lost 30lbs and still trying to tone my abdominal muscles. I have weak lower abdominal muscles so when i try to strengthen my lower abdomen i tend to *GET OFF* / CLIMAX or whatever you wanna call it. What or is there any other ways i can work on that area without this happening.??? And is this even normal?

    • Coach Calorie

      Hi Lori, I unfortunately don’t have an answer to that question. Hopefully someone can help you out.

  • Hannah

    Hi i am 6 ft tall and I was around 20stone four months ago and am now 16.5 stone. I am really struggling to loose the last stone as I want to get down to 15 ish.
    I exercise 4 times every week at the gym and walk my dog every day for half n hour or more. I suspect it’s my food that’s the problem but I’m struggling to cut my calories down to less than 1500 as I get cravings. Any advice?

    • Coach Calorie

      Hi Hannah, your calories are way too low. 1500 calories for someone 231 pounds is not enough nutrition. There’s a reason the cravings kick in when you go lower. Why not bump up your calories for a while and see what happens?

      • Hannah

        How high should I go up by? I’m worried I’ll gain if I go too high.

  • Becca

    Hi there,

    I am 5’5, and have gone from 14st 8 to 9 stone 9.5 in the past year and a half. I am exercising 5 days per week, mixing weight training with HIIT, and eating around 1000 to 1500 calories per day. All the food I eat is clean, I drink alot of water and my only carbs are oats/wheat with my eggs in the morning. I watch my sugar intake, including fruits, and I count everything I put into my mouth. I just can’t seem to lose the last stone… it’s so frustrating and really getting me down now. I would love if anyone could shed some light on what I might be doing wrong.

  • http://www.coachcalorie.com/ Coach Calorie

    Hi Becca, well, are you eating 1000 or 1500 calories? There’s a big difference, and with your activity levels, I wouldn’t doubt it if you need 1500 calories consistently with an occasional higher day.

    • Becca

      Thanks for getting back to me! It has been more towards 1000, but The past 4 days I’ve had 1200 because people keep saying I need to eat more. I just don’t understand the maths/science behind it at all – surely if I up my calorie intake I will see even less progress?

  • Elsy

    Can I break my fasting by drinking a bulletproof coffee before my workout in the morning, and continuing after my workout for two to three hours of not eating?

  • http://www.coachcalorie.com/ Coach Calorie

    Are you doing intermittent fasting? I just want to be clear that that is not what this plan is. Nothing wrong with IF, however. If that’s what you’re doing, I’d still try to make your eating window coincide with your workout schedule so you’re eating afterwards.

  • A

    finally a freaking ‘model’ (the picture at the top) who has a freaking stomach. LIKE ME :((((