4 tips to lose the last 10 pounds

February 19, 2013 By: consultant 9 Comments

P1010360Why is it so hard to lose the last 10 pounds?” Weight loss is tricky in that multiple factors play into how much weight is lost, how quickly it comes off and for how long the weight loss is maintained. To successfully lose a sizable amount of weight, a person needs to be committed to significant long-term lifestyle changes. With a lot of effort you can achieve a new steady-state, but it requires a great deal of persistence and effective nutrition and physical activity strategies.

A few tips:

  1. Change up your endurance routine. The goal is to burn more calories. You can do this without increasing the amount of time spent on cardio by upping your intensity. Otherwise, you’re going to have to increase the amount of time committed to cardio whether that’s adding 15 or 20 minutes to your current routine or increasing the number of days per week.
  2. Strength train at least twice per week. When you lose a lot of weight, about a quarter of weight loss comes from muscle if you don’t include a strength-training component to your workout routine. This helps explain why those last few pounds are so hard to lose. Your metabolism has slowed down; therefore, you’re burning fewer calories at rest. The metabolic rate is directly linked to the amount of muscle you have. For every pound of lean muscle mass, you burn about six calories per day. While that doesn’t sound like much, if you lost 20 pounds of fat and kept all of your muscle mass, the five pounds of muscle mass you kept (versus what you might lose without a resistance training program) would help you lose about three extra pounds. Maintain muscle mass while continuing to lose weight by committing to your resistance training routine.
  3. Eat a little less. To have successfully lost weight in the first place you have to have made some significant dietary changes. If you want to continue to lose weight, you’ll need to make further cuts. Assess your approximate daily caloric intake and then come up with strategies to cut an additional 250 calories per day (provided that will still keep you at a healthy calorie level and not at risk for nutrient deficiencies). If you eat 250 calories less per day and do not make any changes to your exercise regimen, you’ll lose those last 10 pounds over the course of the next five months.
  4. If you exercise more, it will come off faster. Anyone can finish a 5K or a 10K but not everyone can finish a marathon. It takes a high level of commitment and ongoing diligence to successfully train for and compete in such a long race.

Weight loss application: Somewhere around 40% of women and 30% of men are trying to lose weight at any given time. Some are successful initially but most are unable to lose and keep off the weight.

Losing weight is tough. Keeping it off requires a constant effort. To achieve and maintain your weight loss goals you’ve got to be in it for the long haul. Slowly and steadily progress to your goal with each of the small decisions you make every day take the stairs instead of the elevator, go for the fresh apple instead of the apple pie. After all, being the first one done isn’t the goal, it’s just about having the strength, endurance, and mental toughness to successfully cross that finish line. And if you’re looking to lose your last 10 or first 10 Shane Diet & Fitness Resorts is here to help.  With help from our expert Nutritionist, Fitness instructors and Behavior Change coaches, we give you all the tools you need to be successful in losing weight and keeping it off for good.


Weight Loss and Fitness Tips: Make Cardio Fun!

May 11, 2011 By: afeldman 8 Comments

If you are still working on your New Year’s fitness goals, then congratulations, you are in a minority. Many people give up weight loss resolutions by February and most go back to old habits by March. In previous articles, I have made recommendations for changing up the fitness routine and increasing exercise intensity. Now it’s time to think about the mental aspect of exercise.

If exercise is just boring and monotonous, then you are expending mental energy doing it. If you are not enjoying your exercise session, it is obviously harder to remain dedicated. A good rule of thumb for cardiovascular exercise is to incorporate enjoyable activities for at least one of your weekly sessions. It will help you avoid mental burn out and also give you a reason to look forward to getting up and moving around for an hour. Making cardio fun can mean trying different activities or even doing the same activities, but with a friend. Below are some ways to make your cardio-vascular sessions more enjoyable and more sustainable.

Sign up for a team – If you are in school, this is easy. There are usually intramural teams for just about every sport. If you don’t have friends that are interested, sign up as a free agent and be assigned to a team. For those who are not in a college atmosphere, community recreation centers also have leagues for basketball, soccer, football, volleyball and sometimes swimming. Don’t be intimidated to join because of being unfamiliar to a sport. Recreational facilities do a good job of running multiple leagues separated by athletic experience. Usually, there will be 1-2 days a week for games and however many practice sessions with the team. This is a great way to get the heart rate up and move the body without a structured exercise session.

Dance Class

Consider joining a dance class for a fun, effective weight loss workout.

Learn to dance – The popularity of dance classes has really risen in the past decade. With classes like Zumba and Cardio Hip-hop, exercise is very nicely incorporated into dancing. You can burn between 400-700 calories in an hour of dance exercise. If the fast paced classes aren’t for you, ballroom dancing is an alternative option. Many community centers and dance studios offer classes like ballroom dancing and ballet for all ages and backgrounds.

Learn to defend yourself – Another fun and popular form of cardio exercise that is found in many gyms is cardio kickboxing. Kickboxing allows you to burn a large amount of calories in a short period of time. You could even take it one step further and sign up for martial arts classes or karate. Many people have found martial arts to be a good release of negative energy as well as a great way to get fit.

Go out for scenic hikes – Grab a friend and hit the trails. If you are lucky enough to live near areas of nature or parks, take advantage of it. Block out an afternoon to go hiking in the hills. If you want to increase the challenge, pack a bag with some extra weight and throw it on your back.

Join a running club – Many groups will meet up during the week for outside runs. From those attempting their first 5k to seasoned marathon runners, most running clubs divide off based on experience level. You can inquire about running groups in your area on various meet-up websites, at the community recreation center or even the local running shoe store. When I say running shoe store, I mean a store that specializes in selling running shoes and gear, not a sporting goods store. If you can’t find a group in your town, then start your own with friends.

Get out the skates - Of course, it takes balance and coordination to successfully roller-skate, but once you develop those skills, skating can be a lot of fun. Skating can be done outside or at a skating rink. The skills from roller skating also carry over into ice skating. If you are teaching yourself how to skate or rollerblade, start off in an empty parking lot or on a slow side street. Slowly work up to skating in areas with hills and curvy pathways.

Commit to a goal – Make it a 5k, a swim for diabetes or a biking trip. If you have a specific goal to work towards, the light at the end of the tunnel is enough to keep you moving. The best thing to do is to sign up without thinking twice about it. After you are signed up for something, it is time to make a training plan. Find something at least 2-3 months away that is realistic to complete and sign up!

The bottom line is that not everyone enjoys going to a gym and spending a half hour on the same treadmill 6 days a week. If you are one of the few that looks forward to walking into the gym, then keep doing what you are doing. If you struggle to make it into the gym, try to find at least one activity that is enjoyable. Your chances of reaching your goals will be much better. Consider an adult weight loss program or fitness retreat, such as Shane Diet Resorts, which offers the vacation atmosphere combined with a healthy lifestyle. It’s a fun, effective way to lose weight!

Weight Loss Tips: 9 Strategies for Dealing with Nighttime Cravings

May 4, 2011 By: afeldman 6 Comments

When starting a healthy eating plan to lose weight, the morning is the easiest time to stay dedicated.  As the day progresses, various factors start to weigh in and ditching the diet becomes more likely.  Food cravings and binge eating occur most commonly between the time after work and before bed.  All it takes is one midnight feeding of junk food to ruin your progress from your morning workout.  Here are some of my favorite strategies to deal with these cravings and prevent them from getting the best of you.

Nighttime Hunger

Try out our tips to control your midnight snack cravings.

1. Occupy yourself – There is a reason that most weight loss diets fail at night.  That is when the majority of Americans get off of work and head home.  Once at home, there is not much to do outside of the television.  The commercial breaks are timed perfectly for you to grab food from the kitchen to munch on.  Hunger is not always the primary cause of eating in these situations.  Nighttime feedings can come from our boredom, which kicks in leaving food as a good distraction.  To fix this, find a hobby to engage in at home or don’t head home right after work to an empty house.  Hanging out with friends, going out for a walk, studying in the school library or playing with the dogs are good ways to take your mind off of the kitchen.

2. Store food out of sight – If food is constantly visible, it will also be on your mind.  If you’re not hungry and food is sitting there waiting for you, it becomes hard to resist picking it up.  Put all food away in cabinets so you do not have to constantly be reminded that it is there.  As they say, out of sight and out of mind.

3. Replace junk foods with low calorie foods - As a competitive bodybuilder, being on a strict diet is something that I have to do during various times of the year.  One of my strategies for dealing with times of hunger is replacing bad foods with low calorie foods.  Spinach is the perfect example.  If you have to eat something, at least make it healthy.  A whole bag of potato chips can have up to 1500 calories!  A whole bag of spinach usually doesn’t have more than 100.  Other low calorie foods to keep in mind include low calorie Jell-o or puffed rice.

4. Brush your teeth – People usually laugh when I mention this one.  Think about this: Have you ever tried to eat right after brushing your teeth?  The food doesn’t taste very good, does it?  If you feel cravings coming on, brush your teeth early.  Keep a toothbrush in the kitchen if you have to.

5. Hang up Posters – This can be a copy of your latest workout, a picture of a trainer/workout partner, a magazine cover or even an old picture of you.  The trick is to hang them up in all the places you would go to get food at night.  When seeing motivational cues, you are less likely to go crazy in the kitchen.

6. Calculate the Activity – Make it a rule to calculate the activity involved with nighttime food.  Figure a mile for every 70 calories or 7-10 minutes of hard exercise.  If you’re thinking of going through a couple cookies, it could take you 100 minutes to burn them off!  Calculations like this can take away some of the appeal of those feedings and remember, if you eat one cookie late at night, you’re more than likely to eat 2 followed by 3 and 4.

7. Ice and water – Trick your stomach by giving it something that is calorie free: water and ice.  I am notorious for sucking on ice.  It is a habit I picked up when I used to lifeguard.   By filling up on water or sucking on ice, you can trick your stomach into thinking it is full.

8. Re-evaluate the Meal Schedule – If you find yourself constantly hungry at night, look at the times that you are eating.  If your last meal or snack is 6 hours before bedtime, then some changes should be made.  The standard recommendation of 3 small meals and 2-3 small snacks in a day works perfectly. They just need to be spread out correctly for your personal healthy lifestyle.  It is good to eat every 3-4 hours (9:00am, 12:00pm, 3:00pm, 6:00pm and 9:00pm is one example).  By keeping blood sugar levels at a consistent level, cravings can be minimized.  This is done by spacing out meals and snacks equally.

9. Find a Support Group - There are support groups that meet for all kinds of addictions including overeating, under eating, alcoholism, etc.  If food cravings or binge eating has become a serious issue for you, a support group could help you greatly.  Look for ones that meet in your community; they are not hard to find. Or, consider joining a fitness retreat for adults, like Shane Diet Resorts, where we follow a philosophy of healthy eating and exercise for weight loss. We will help you to control your cravings and realize that you do not need to overeat to feel full!

Do you have any unique strategies for dealing with food cravings or a plan that you use to keep food portions at a reasonable size?  We would love to hear them!

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