A big weight-loss journey requires consistency, determination, and commitment. However, many of our readers have noted that those last 10 pounds are some of the hardest to take off. If you’re dealing with a similar predicament, these expert tips offer the advice you need to hit your weight-loss goal—and keep those pounds off for good.
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1. Go High Protein, Not Just Low Calorie
If you’re having a hard time shedding weight, you might be focusing too much on counting calories and not enough on protein. Esther Blum, R.D., author of Cavewomen Don’t Get Fat, says high-protein foods take more work to “digest, metabolize, and use, which means you burn more calories processing them.” Esther says that eating adequate protein also ensures that you keep your precious muscle tissue—something that is often lost with a low-calorie diet.
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2. Lift (Heavier) Weights
All of the fitness and health experts we reached out to shared one common thread: lift weights, and don’t be afraid of heavy ones! Former Canyon Ranch director and group fitness expert Aimee Nicotera says that lifting heavier weights than you’re used to might be the “nudge your body needs to change.” She also promises that you won’t bulk up from this shift. Blum explains that lifting heavy weights raises our body’s hormone levels, which gives your body the “natural ability to burn fat for a full 24 hours after your workout.” If that’s not enough proof to head to the weight room, I don’t know what is!
3. Manage Your Stress
According to trainer and lifestyle coach Julie Barrett, R.D., achieving and maintaining a healthy body weight really boils down to one thing: stress management. Julie says that when our bodies are under stress, “our adrenal glands pump out excessive amounts of the stress hormone cortisol, causing an imbalance in our bodies’ natural hormonal rhythms.” This imbalance reduces your ability to burn fat, hindering your body from reaching that goal weight. Barrett says that “not all stress is bad” (and we can’t completely eliminate stress from our lives), but there are some stressors we have control over such as “poorly controlled blood sugar, excessive caffeine consumption, over training, and poor digestion.” If you start working through stressors, you’ll start seeing results.
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4. Hire a Trainer
If your gym routine is feeling ineffective and you’re not sure how to make the proper changes, group fitness expert Aimee Nicotera says that hiring a personal trainer can make a huge difference. She recognizes that this isn’t an easy financial decision for most people, but a good trainer will “meet your individual needs, hold you accountable, and challenge you.” Even a handful of sessions with a professional can totally revamp your workout routine and help you reach your goals.
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5. Up Your (Healthy) Fat Intake
Just the word “fat” makes some people steer clear, but adding more healthy fats to your diet can help your body shed weight. Barrett says to eat more fat from organic plant sources like “coconut oil and nuts” and to choose “grass-fed, organic, pasture-raised animal sources.” Many sources of healthy fats, like avocados, olive oil, salmon, and walnuts, offer the added bonus of being high in omega-3 fatty acids, which can help fight inflammation.