#369 (8/11/2009) TRICKS FOR LOSING WEIGHT!

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If I had been around when Rubens was painting, I would have been revered as a fabulous model. Kate Moss? Well, she would have been the paintbrush.

Dawn French

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10 Tricks for Losing Those Last 10 Pounds

By Whitney Provost

At the start of a new fitness program, you clean up your diet and hit the workouts, and the weight seems to fall off. But when you get down to the last 5, 10, or 15 pounds you want to lose, the scale may suddenly refuse to budge. You might be tempted to drastically reduce calories or increase the amount of time you spend working out. Don't do it. Instead, here are some simple tricks to help you lose those last 10 pounds.

Shedding the Pounds

Cutting calories too low will cause your body to think it's starving, and it will hold on to the fat you're trying so hard to lose. Working out longer will cut into your personal time and probably won't help you drop those last few pounds anyway. Instead, try making these tweaks to your program.

  1. Clean up your diet. Once you find a diet that works for you, stick to it. Researchers at Tufts University followed 160 people on four different weight loss plans and found that the type of diet participants were on didn't matter as much as the participants' willingness to stick to their diets. If you've been dieting for a while, you might have become a little lax with your food choices and portions, so tighten them up again. To lose those last pesky pounds, stick to unprocessed foods (the kind that don't come in a box) and choose lean protein, vegetables, fruit, and whole grains. Keeping a food journal will help you track everything you eat and get your calories under control.
  2. Cut out some carbs. A simple, short-term trick to losing weight is to cut back on carbs until you're at your goal. Eat lean protein and vegetables at every meal and limit carbs to before and after your workouts, and you'll probably see the scale shift rather quickly. Easy, low-carb meal ideas include egg-white omelettes with vegetables, Whey Protein Powder shakes made with water, salads with lean protein (chicken, tuna, or turkey), and grilled or broiled lean beef, poultry, or fish with vegetables.
  3. Man PunchingBump up the intensity of your workouts. No matter what workout program you're doing, you will lose weight faster if you kick up the intensity. Jump higher, squat lower, and increase the weight you're lifting to burn more calories, rev your metabolism, and stoke the fat-burning fire. Whether you're working out to Slim in 6®, ChaLEAN Extreme®, P90X®, or any other Beachbody® fitness program, you'll bust through a plateau by putting out more effort when you exercise.
  4. Change your exercise routine. If you've already increased the intensity of your workout program and still find that your weight loss has slowed, it might be time to try something different. When you perform the same exercises over and over, your body becomes more efficient at them. As a result, you use less energy and burn fewer calories. By starting a new fitness routine, you'll shock your muscles, reignite your metabolism, and get the scale moving again. Check out Beachbody.com to find the workout that'll take your weight loss to the next level.
  5. Stand up. Researchers at the Mayo Clinic found that lean people spend two more hours per day on their feet than overweight people. Participants in the study who stood, paced, and fidgeted burned as many as 350 extra calories a day and were much leaner than those who didn't move as much. Get up from your desk at work, talk on the phone while standing, and stay on your feet in waiting rooms—the simplest effort will yield an extra calorie burn that may help you shed those remaining pounds.
  6. Bowl of SoupEat a little less. When your body gets smaller, it requires fewer calories to function properly. A 165-pound woman who works out three to five times a week may require 2,300 calories per day to maintain her weight, but the same woman at 125 pounds may only need 2,000 calories for maintenance. Trying to lose additional pounds in your lighter body means cutting back a little more. You do not need to make radical changes, however; if you're already increasing the intensity of your workouts and eating a clean, whole-foods diet, you could probably see the scale move with a modest 100-calorie reduction per day.
  7. Zigzag your calories. Cycling your calories, also known as zigzagging, is the process of eating more on certain days and less on others. If you always eat 1,800 calories, try eating 1,500 calories one day and 2,000 the next. As long as you create a weekly deficit, you should see the pounds drop. Much like shocking your muscles into working harder by introducing new exercises, it's possible to shock your metabolism by zigzagging your calories.
  8. Drink more water. You may not realize how important water is for weight loss—it's not just a tool to help you eat less. Being properly hydrated will balance your energy levels, which allows you to exercise with intensity. (Have you ever been so thirsty during a workout that you couldn't perform as well as usual?) Drinking enough water may also increase your metabolism and promote muscle building—a well-hydrated body can more efficiently repair and build muscles. On the other hand, being dehydrated encourages muscle breakdown. So drink up, especially since you are exercising regularly.
  9. Man RelaxingRelax. Believe it or not, you may be trying too hard to lose weight. If your workouts are very intense and your diet is too strict, you could overtrain and burn out. Your mind and body will just not respond in the same way when they're tired. Muscles need rest to repair and grow, and sometimes your brain needs a break from constant calorie counting and worrying about the last few pounds. Instead of becoming frustrated and diving into a box of cookies, try to relax and reduce the intensity for a little while. You may be surprised to find the scale moving again when you give your mind and body a rest.
  10. Reevaluate your goal weight. First, congratulate yourself on getting to this point. Losing weight is not easy, and you've already accomplished a great deal—so enjoy your success. The next step is to ask yourself if the "magic" number on the scale is really the best weight for you. Perhaps you've lost fat and gained a lot of muscle; your new hard body might be healthier and happier with a few more pounds on it. Many people want to weigh the same as they did in high school or college. What if you're much more fit and muscular now than you were in those days? You may realize that the number on the scale today is perfect for you.

Related Articles
"The 5 Best Fats to Get Lean"
"Interval Training: The Best Way to See Quick Results"
"7 Tips for Portion Control"

Got something to say? Chat with the writers and other readers this coming Monday, August 17th, at 8:00 PM ET, 5:00 PM PT, in the Beachbody Chatroom!

If you'd like to ask a question or comment on this newsletter article, click here to add a comment in the newsletter review section or you can email us at mailbag@beachbody.com.

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What Motivates Me

By Debbie Siebers, creator of Slim in 6

Every morning when I wake up, the first thing I do is repeat everything I am grateful for. That really sets the tone for the day to be a really positive one.

Debbie Siebers' Affirmations

I feel so strongly about writing and reciting at least five positive affirmations during the day to reprogram my mind and manifest what I want in my life instead of what I don't want. It is so easy to slip into negative thinking. As soon as a negative thought pops up, I try my best to flip that switch and immediately counter it with a positive and uplifting thought.

Since I've been doing this, I've noticed that I am much calmer, and I don't overreact to things like I used to. I try to either find a solution or find something positive or a lesson I need to be learning. For me, it's about living in the moment and making each one count.

Woman Running on a Beach

Also, I ask myself, what is the alternative? To feel miserable, to have anxiety, to worry about everything, and to be unhealthy and not feel great about myself? Who needs that, right? When I exercise, I feel in control. It makes me feel empowered, strong, and productive for the rest of the day. After I finish, I have a bounce in my step, I am energized, and I smile a lot more! Not to mention, my jeans fit better!

When stuff happens that gets me down, I like to reboot by either watching my DVD of The Secret or reading a few chapters from one of my favorite books, A New Earth, or a few inspiring messages from Marianne Williamson. I recommend everyone follow her through Twitter®. She has pearls of wisdom that I continually try to apply in my life.

I get excited about life by participating and getting involved. Whether it's music, dancing, volunteer work, traveling, writing, reading, calling an old friend, or learning about something new, the possibilities and opportunities are endless, and the sky is the limit.

You just need to open up your mind, expand your imagination and awareness, and JUMP INTO LIFE!

When I really need to get out of myself, I commune with nature. Nothing will snap me into the present moment faster than that, except walking my adorable puppy Barney!

I say LIVE LIFE NOW. Be the best person you can be right now! Follow your passions, and be kind to yourself.

And exercise because:

  • You love and respect yourself and want to be fit and healthy.
  • You want to feel confident, be in control of your life, and be a happier person.
  • Everyone around you will benefit.
  • You will work out stress, and you will sleep better.
  • It is as necessary as breathing!

Be conscious and commit to making this day your very best day!

. . . And all that starts by PUSHING PLAY!

Related Articles
"The Magic Number for Health and Beauty"
"Wellness: 5 Stretches to Do at Your Desk"
"Can a Chuckle a Day Keep the Doctor Away?"

Debbie SiebersGot something to say? Chat with the writers and other readers this coming Monday, August 17th, at 8:00 PM ET, 5:00 PM PT, in the Beachbody Chatroom!

If you'd like to ask a question or comment on this newsletter article, click here to add a comment in the newsletter review section or you can email us at mailbag@beachbody.com.

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Test Your Muscle IQ!

By Monica Gomez

Man Flexing BicepsMuscle Confusion™, Muscle Burns Fat®, "the more lean muscle you have, the more fat you burn," lean muscle, ripped muscle, etc.—muscle is a word you come across often here at Beachbody. We know that the lean and ripped varieties are highly coveted. But what do you know about this body tissue consisting of long cells that contract when stimulated and produce motion?

True or False?
  1. False: The second largest muscle in the human body is the gluteus maximus. Actually, it's the largest muscle in the human body. The gluteus maximus is also the largest of the three gluteal muscles: gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, and gluteus minimus. The gluteus maximus acts to extend the thigh. The gluteus medius acts to abduct and medially rotate the thigh. And the gluteus minimus acts to abduct the thigh. Basically, they're essential for standing, running, and walking—you know, small stuff. It's safe to say that they're pretty important, so don't forget to do those lunges and squats!
  2. False: Your heart muscle is likely to shrink if it's weak and can't squeeze as hard. Your heart may enlarge, or dilate, to compensate for being unable to pump out the normal amount of blood. And it could enlarge to the point that it fails to function normally. Each day, the average heart beats (expands and contracts) 100,000 times and pumps about 2,000 gallons of blood. According to the Mayo Clinic, heart disease is the number one killer of men and women—worldwide! In the U.S., heart disease is responsible for nearly 40 percent of all deaths; that's more than all forms of cancer combined. To stay heart healthy, the American Heart Association recommends getting 30 minutes of exercise on most days of the week—even simple exercise like a brisk walk or gardening can contribute to heart health.
  3. True: Disuse atrophy can be reversed. Unless it's extremely severe, disuse atrophy can be reversed. There are two types of muscle atrophy: disuse atrophy and neurogenic atrophy (neurogenic atrophy is the most severe type of muscle atrophy, occurring when there is an injury to or a disease of a nerve; ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease and polio are examples of diseases affecting the nerves that control muscles). Disuse atrophy results from lack of exercise (hmmm . . . Push Play, anyone?)—it can be reversed with vigorous exercise or better nutrition. Those vulnerable to this type of muscle atrophy include people with sedentary jobs, medical conditions that restrict movement, or decreased activity levels.
  4. True: Strabismus is an eye muscle condition in which one or both eyes may turn in, out, up, or down. More commonly known as cross-eye or walleye, eyes may turn in (esotropia), out (exotropia), up (hypertropia), or down (hypotropia). Strabismus is caused by a weak eye muscle or a weak signal from the nerve that controls the eye muscle. Other causes of strabismus include bleeding in the brain, brain tumors, nervous system disorders, diabetes, high blood pressure, myasthenia gravis, thyroid disease, and severe vision loss.
  5. False: Chewing is performed by the coordinated function of 15 muscles. You use eight muscles, four on each side of your head, to enjoy those delicious and healthy (right?!) meals. The four muscles are the masseter, lateral pterygoid, medial pterygoid, and temporalis. Based on its weight, the masseter muscle is the strongest muscle in the human body. Together with the temporalis and a few other smaller muscles, most people can generate at least 150 pounds of force between their teeth. Ouch! Sorry, bruxism sufferers—the masseter is an accomplice in your teeth grinding.

If you'd like to ask a question or comment on this newsletter article, click here to add a comment in the newsletter review section or you can email us at mailbag@beachbody.com.

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