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That Last Stubborn 5 Lbs

February 1st, 2010 4 Comments

— By Kelley Davidson

One of my clients once said to me that trying to get that last pesky 5 lbs. off is like trying to sit on a ball underneath the water in the swimming pool—you have to constantly adjust to keep the ball underneath you and the minute you get too comfortable it slips right out from underneath you!  It seems like so much of the information about weight loss that’s been written is for people that need to lose drastic amounts of weight- but what about those of us that are just trying to sit on that pesky 5-pound ball.  No matter where we are on our fitness journey, making our health a priority can be challenging with our busy lifestyles making it all too easy to give up on our routine or just get stuck in a rut!  Here are some tricks to keep in interesting:

Keep it fresh:

Keep your body guessing– changing your workout regularly will not only shock your body (in a good way) but help to avoid metal fatigue and boredom to keep you interested in your workouts.   If you’re a “gym person,” learn new variations to old exercises or add a cardio interval between sets.

Check out new workouts– If you’re a class person, do some research on the internet.  Fitness is like fashion- there is always a new trend on the horizon and you may discover a new workout that fit you perfectly.

Sign-up for a novel sporting event:  Trying something totally new is a great way to spark a new passion and to give that metabolism a little push.  If you’re a runner, sign up for a bike ride.  Cyclists, how about a 5-K? Make sure you check out how to train for the event you’ve chosen and find some friends you can convince to train with you!

Speaking of those last 5-lbs:

Here’s an easy secret to burn some quick fat:  early morning cardio on an empty stomach..  Listen up though, because I have some very specific instructions.  The cardio must be LOW end (i.e. heart rates about 120 beats/minute).. this means a medium/quick walk (no, not a run).  Wake-up, roll out of bed, put your shoes on and hit the road- when your body is depleted in carbohydrate (as it is first thing in the morning), working at a low intensity will get that stored fat to mobilize to fuel your walk.  Working at a high intensity on an empty stomach will only cause you to burn muscle mass and slow that metabolism, so if you go to an AM boot camp or spin class, food is a must!

That doesn’t mean you should replace all your higher-intensity cardio all together, just add a few AM walks to your routine and see the results for yourself!

Try for 30minutes – 1hour, 4 days a week. Make sure to eat a healthy breakfast immediately upon completion to get that metabolism running.

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  • alina

    wow. i’m not sure i’d go to kelley as a trainer. it’s not clear that eating on an empty stomach slows your metabolism; also a higher intensity workout has a higher EPOC, so you make better use of your time going to a spin class than going for a walk…

    • Kelley Davidson

      thanks for posting alina, a little debate is always a good thing! I’m not sure what you meant about eating on an empty stomach slows your metabolism– what i meant about eating before going to higher intensity classes first thing in the morning is that when your body burns “substrate” (protein, carbs, or fat), it will always use the most efficient fuel- when working at high intensities, carbohydrate is what it needs. When there is not a sufficient amount of carb in your system (first thing in the a.m.), your body will have to turn to the second most efficient fuel to burn, which is muscle. Anytime you burn off muscle, you effectively slow your metabolism. Note, I did not say to replace your higher intensity cardio, nor did I say to replace your afternoon spin class with a walk.. I agree that working at higher intensities will have a much higher EPOC and burn more calories overall. The thing is, I would prefer to mobilize body fat that just burn calories. If you don’t believe me, not a problem- try to walk for 30min- one hour in the am on most days for two weeks and tell me what happens to your body :)

  • Jessica

    Walking first thing in the AM did the trick. I’m noticeably more toned. I’m also pregnant, so walking while keeping my heart rate around 120 is one of the few activities I can still do that makes a difference. Thanks for the advice!