Focus on Health

Beating the Last 10 Pounds

Losing last 10 Pounds-boxing woman

Have you shed pounds steadily—but now find the scale refusing to budge? As we lose weight, our bodies can actually make it harder for us to drop the last pesky pounds. But fear not! These strategies will help you reach your goal:

Rate your plate. Make sure that at least half your plate is filled with colorful veggies at each meal. This will reduce your total calorie intake by about 30 percent per meal. If you were used to eating larger portions of meat and starches, more veggies instead will help you fill up more quickly due to produce’s high fiber.


Water yourself. Staying hydrated helps reduce overeating at mealtime, so try drinking an 8-ounce glass of water first. This added hydration will help you feel full and may reduce your overall calorie intake.


Slow down. Savor each bite and aim to eat three-quarters of each meal. That will reduce your calories by about 25 percent per meal.


Track your intake. You may be eating more than you think. Log your food and beverages in a food journal. By jotting down details, you may identify meals or snacks that are higher in calories than you expected. Figure out options that will help you control your calorie intake. Every little bit counts.


Limit salt. Look at your food labels, and try to stick to no more than 2,500 milligrams of salt a day. The average adult consumes between 4 and 5 grams per day. Too much salt can lead to water retention—and a higher weigh-in. Grab fewer processed foods and go for lower-sodium options.


Get moving. If you do the same workouts every day, change the time or intensity of your routine. Variety will help increase your metabolic rate, allowing your body to burn calories more efficiently.


If you are really struggling to lose the last 10 pounds—or get out of a rut—look closely at your food choices and/or activity level. Small adjustments can make a huge difference. Whatever changes you make, stay focused on your goal and soon your hard work will pay off!


Dena McDowell, MS, RD, is a Registered Dietitian who works in the fields of cancer care and community education. Look for her videos about food and nutrition in the Members Area of www.tops.org.