How To Lose Those Last 5 Pounds: Understanding The Weight-loss Funnel
Like it or not, eating well and exercising are not enough to lose weight. Some of you may be thrilled to hear this, while for others, this could be a huge let down. But understanding the other factors that contribute to weight gain and overall health is key to knowing how to then lose it sustainably.
To understand how it works and how to finally lose those last 5 - 10 pounds, read on.
Losing weight essentially works like a funnel. The more weight you have to lose, the easier it will be to lose it— at first. And by easier, I mean simpler. It’s pretty common knowledge by now (though still not widely practiced) that diet is THE biggest factor when it comes to weight loss. You need to cut out processed foods, sugar, fried foods, and likely gluten and dairy and look to replace them with whole, plant-based foods. If you don’t already eat this way, and have 30+ pounds to lose, making this change will have a huge impact. If you do already eat a healthy diet, it’s time to look at exercise.
Again, if you have some serious poundage to lose and you are pretty sedentary, adding in more simple acts of movement (taking the stairs, parking at the far end of the parking lot, heck even just making multiple trips to the bathroom) throughout your day are going to yield results. The absolute bare minimum anyone should aim for in terms of daily exercise is getting in 10k steps. This is simply 90 minutes of walking for most people, so break that down into 3 x 30 minutes, 6 x 15 minutes, whatever helps you to do it. Once you start moving more throughout the day, your sedentary days are going to drive you crazy and you’ll realize how much you crave walking! Maybe that’s just me, but I’ve heard this story told before by friends and clients alike who have all hopped on the #wellnesswalk trend. It’s oddly addicting.
Once you have that down, you can start to look at incorporating more intense workouts, but that doesn’t mean pounding the pavement for an hour a day or doing HIIT workouts till you can’t breath. You need to 1) find a form of exercise you actually look forward to, because consistency is THE number one factor in determining the efficacy of a workout routine, 2) not overwhelm yourself and try to commit to more than you can handle, only to “fall off the wagon” and get lost in the all-or-nothing mindset, and 3) give yourself breaks. Even low impact workouts can cause low levels of inflammation (after all, building muscle requires tearing them down), so rest. is. crucial.
Diet and exercise is the 20% of effort that is going to get you 80% of results. So now, if you have all that in check, and you still have 5-10 pounds to lose, I can tell you pretty confidently that further restrictive dieting and more exercise is not going to help you lose that weight. If you cut out all carbs and start running 5 miles a day, will you lose weight? Certainly. But is this a healthy tactic? Certainly not. And you will gain it back the moment you stop. But don’t get discouraged— this simply means there are other factors contributing to your retained weight that you haven’t yet tackled. We need to now look at the remaining 80% of effort— the small pebbles that build up overtime— that’s going to bring you that last 20% of results.
Honestly, you should feel relieved. It means that you are doing the diet thing right. It means you are putting in the effort. And the results of those efforts are manifesting, in the simple fact that you only have 5-10 pounds left to lose. And to get rid of those, you have to look deeper than surface level, and look at your hormones, your toxicities, deficiencies, and inflammation levels. All of these things are effected by a number of contributing factors, from your sleep patterns, food sensitivities, bacteria/parasites, stress levels, history of medications, relationships (yep, your mom or boyfriend could be the culprit behind your muffin top, just sayin’) and even environmental factors. The best way, in terms of accuracy and efficiency, of determining these deadweight drivers is to get functional medicine lab tests done. I suggest visiting the Equilibrium Nutrition website, where there is a whole slew of labs you can either ask your local FM to order for you, or you can order these take-home tests yourself (result evaluations and recommendations included).
I myself just ordered several lab tests, as I have an insane curiosity about my own body and want to know every little thing going on in there, good or bad, and I can’t wait to have this level of clarity! I’m also SO excited to be able to say that by spring 2019, I will be able to order these very labs for my own clients, along with provide them specific protocols to regain their body’s equilibrium. Wee! :)
So, if you find yourself struggling with those last few pesky pounds, don’t get frustrated— get happy! Be ecstatic to know that its NOT YOUR FAULT and that you can rid of them! A healthy, balanced body cannot be overweight. It’s simple fact. All you have to do is find those remaining imbalances, and well, balance them out.
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