The other week I was having coffee with a great friend of mine and very casually she said, “you should write a blog post about how to lose the last 10 pounds!”
I think this may have been a hint, hint, wink, wink sort of suggestion perhaps for herself, however, little did she know this exact blog idea has been rolling around in my head for well over a year. So why haven’t I written it?
Because the last 10 pounds are the hardest to lose!
Dietitians already get a bad rap for being a “Debbie Downer”, taker away of all fun food to be replaced by cardboard. At least that’s what my patients expect me to be like when I walk in their hospital room. Thankfully after a few bad food jokes and puns, they realize I’m one of them and the cardboard cafe is avoided.
But what is it about those last 10 pounds that make them so sticky?
Well clinically, depending on what method you’ve used, such as a 1200 calorie diet or lower if your basal energy expenditure (BEE) is higher and for most people it is, you may have just hit a “starvation plateau”. Feel free to read more about BEE and 1200 calorie diets in my earlier post here. Essentially your body is saying “Look I’m starving here and I’ve got needs. The perpetual snack of rice cakes and peanut butter is not cutting it anymore. I refuse to lose weight until you feed me! Got it!”
This is also why sometimes I might have to prescribe Chocolate Cake. That’s a fun blog post to read too, here’s the link for that one.
The same holds true for exercise. You might have hit a new exercise routine hard, maybe averaging a solid hour at the gym (not the water cooler) but the weight loss halted. Do you now have to add another hour? Most likely not. You might have to mix it up though, add more calories (um, see chocolate cake above) and take fancy measurements again to see if you’re starting to build more muscle mass.
And if exercise and diet have been ruled out as culprits, you may want to look at medications that might be playing with your metabolism, or test for thyroid issues (however if you were able to lose a fair amount of weight initially and then stopped, that’s doubtful) and then for post menopausal women….there’s hormones to address. Oh and don’t forget about your family gene pool. If you come from a long line of “wide hips good for breeding” (oh the things I have heard in my practice) and you’re trying to emulate the Scandinavian model on your tennis league, that’s not going to happen.
HOWEVER, I think the biggest reason the last 10 pounds is hardest to lose is that you probably don’t need to lose them.
Women especially, are notorious for coming up with out of the blue, random scale numbers that they think will make them happy. They associate this scale number from years ago, when they were younger, thinner, more carefree. Before hectic lives happened. Before kids with crazy schedules, spouses and their crazy needs or before their own profession coupled with endless boring meetings in hard chairs got in the way.
Chances are the number desired coincides with a FEELING they THINK they will feel once its reached.
Not realizing that they could have that feeling NOW. And honestly, what’s preventing that extra 10 pounds is secretly they probably are HAPPY with where they’re at, they just don’t realize it.
If you want to lose an extra 10 pounds but you still enjoy a beer and burger with your neighbors on the weekend, or a glass or 2 of wine with your girlfriends, or jumping on the tour of ice cream shops in your local town you probably don’t want to lose a few extra pounds.
You just think you do… or that you should.
In my Misfit Method program, I joke around that you can lose weight and still have cake. And you can, but that doesn’t mean there’s not sacrifices other places. This is also why we start with vision work related to your health, what you want to achieve with a healthier you and NOT the scale. Because honestly, if you set a weight loss goal, but killing it with a higher energy level to chase the kids around, feel stunning in a dress (new or old), can walk all 18 holes without panting, or got rid of a few medications… that’s SUCCESS even if there is “10 more pounds to lose.”
So the next time you hear yourself saying “just 10 more pounds”, first ask yourself “Why?” And then applaud and honor all the weight that’s been shed prior. You’ve done a great job!!
And then of course if you read this blog and sarcastically chuckled to yourself “if only it was 10 pounds”, let’s chat. My signature Misfit Method 6 week program is geared toward those wanting to lose 20 pounds or more. Check the details out here.
Don’t forget to share this post with your friends and follow me on Facebook too. You never know what fun recipes or quirky tips I’ll be sharing.
Misfit Hugs, Kim