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Final Ten Pounds

By Dr. Victor Gong, Medical Director of 75th St. & 126th St. Medical, Ocean Pines Medical & Doctors Weight Control & Wellness centers, Ocean City, MD.

When it comes to SLIMMING DOWN, all weighs not the same. The more pounds you lose, the slower they come off. But you can break through those plateau. Here are 10 new and effective ways to drop those stubborn last 10 pounds.

Ask Yourself, Do You Really Need To Lose Them?

If the answer is no, you're better off accepting your weight as it is. If the answer is yes, ask yourself if you can reasonable eat less, exercise more, or both. Identify and steer clear of high-risk eating situations, resist falling apart over small mistakes, and develop a relationship with food in which you control it rather than the other way around.

Figure Out What You Are Really Hungry For

The last 10 pounds are like the first 10: When you find yourself wanting to eat, you need to ask yourself “How do I really feel right now?” You may find that you are feeling something other than hunger and need something other than food.

Don't Let the Bathroom Scale Weigh You Down

Make long-term lifestyle changes, including healthy eating and exercise habits, your goals, and consider yourself successful because you're working to establish them. To take the focus off short-term results, weigh yourself only once a month.

Take Baby Steps

Small changes add up. Cutting just 5 grams of fat or 45 calories a day (the equivalent of l teaspoon of oil), and adding 10 minutes to your regular exercise time three days a week (to burn 50 more calories), can result in losing l pound a month. If you lose much faster than that, it won't be sustained.

Do Something that You Are Bad At

All exercise works, but nothing works forever because your body adapts and plateaus. To lose the last 10 pounds, you need to do something you're not used to and aren't so good at. It'll be harder, may boost your metabolism, and your workouts will be more fun and go faster, too. Interval training-alternating short bursts of hard exercise with equal periods of rest-works best.

Make a Diary Your Best Friend

Monitor your stress and depression levels, the number one predictors of relapse to unhealthy exercise and eating habits. Also log your eating and exercise patterns in a diary, looking for barriers to weight loss, such as skipping exercise or eating more in restaurants.

Staying Hydrated

It's easy to confuse hunger and thirst, and eat when you're actually thirsty. Also, even slight dehydrating can reduce exercise performance up to 20 percent and lessen your energy expenditure.

Get More Sleep

Being sleep-deprived may lead to weight gain and difficulty losing-weight. People who don't sleep enough are more stressed moodier and seek stimulation, all of which can lead to excessive eating.

Burn Calories Like a Man

No matter where they come from, calories are all that count in losing weight. To lose the last 10 pounds, you must do at least 40 minutes of cardiovascular exercise three to five times weekly. But especially as you get older, aerobics alone aren't enough. Building muscle by weight training will let you burn calories faster, like men do.

Treat Yourself Like a Winner

Set specific mini goals (“I'll walk 15 minutes Monday, Wednesday, Friday during my lunch hour”), and reward yourself as you reach each one. Rewards can be as simple as l5 minutes of quite time or as fancy as a pedicure.

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