Losing Those Last 10 Pounds, Tips to Hit Your Goal (cont.)

The best way to see if you are being realistic may be to talk to a dietitian or fitness expert, suggests Molly Kimball, LDN, RD, a sports and lifestyle nutritionist at the Ochsner Clinic Foundation's Elmwood Fitness Center in New Orleans.

If you have questions about your goal, visit the WebMD Weight Loss Clinic Ask the Dietitian or Exercise and Fitness message boards.

Tips for the Last 10

Kimball offers some more suggestions to help you get to your goal.

  • Eat every three to four hours throughout the day. If you've been sticking to three meals a day, try revving your metabolism by eating more often. This can be a light meal or a small snack such as 15 nuts, an ounce of cheese, or a slice of whole grain bread with peanut butter.
  • Cut the carbs in the evening. Lots of people fill up on carbs at night. But you don't need excess carbs then -- carbs give you quick energy, and most people are winding down in the evenings. Try limiting your high-carb choices at dinner and afterward, including breads, rice, potatoes, corn, peas, crackers, pretzels, and other snacks. Instead, dine on salads with a little dressing, lean proteins, and non-starchy vegetables. If you want a nighttime snack, try a spoonful of peanut butter, a few nuts, or a few slices of turkey rolled up with a thin slice of cheese.
  • Limit carbs before cardio. If your goal with cardiovascular exercise is performance -- to run as fast as you can, spin quicker than the rest of the class -- you'll want to eat carbs beforehand to fuel your performance. But if your goal is to burn fat, try protein instead. Carbs trigger an insulin release, which may inhibit the body's ability to burn body fat as a fuel source during exercise, Kimball says. So instead of fruit or bagel, grab a hard-boiled egg, a slice or two of turkey, cottage cheese with sunflower seeds, or a protein drink.
  • Try interval training. Incorporate short intervals of higher-intensity training into your cardio workouts. For example, if you're now walking or jogging 45 minutes, add a 60-90 second burst of higher-speed walking or running every 5 minutes. If you work out on a machine, try increasing the incline or resistance during the intervals. Interval training will help you to burn more calories in the same amount of time.

Originally published Feb. 11, 2004
Medically updated Jan. 3, 2005.

SOURCES: Werner W.K. Hoeger, EdD, FACSM, professor of kinesiology and director, Human Performance Laboratory, Boise State University. Judy Giusti, MS, RD, LD, CDE, diabetes nutrition educator, Joslin Diabetes Clinic, Harvard University Medical School, Boston. Molly Kimball, LDN, RD, sports and lifestyle nutritionist, Ochsner Clinic Foundation's Elmwood Fitness Center, New Orleans.

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Last Editorial Review: 4/28/2005 2:41:20 PM