Why Those Last 5 Pounds Won't Come Off

Tuesday, September 26, 2006 - 2:34pm

By Michele Silence, MA

You eat right. Exercise daily. Don’t smoke, drink or use drugs. You try to get enough rest. Somehow though, you can’t seem to shake those last 5 pounds. The ones that always haunt you, no matter how much you’ve achieved or how far you’ve come. What’s going on? Why are the last few pounds the hardest to get rid of?

Evaluate your weight loss strategy

1.   Do you really have 5 pounds to lose?

Many times women in particular pick a weight they think they should weigh and try hard to get to that number. Often that number is not realistic. Think about whether you really need to lose 5 more pounds and why. Is that what you weighed in high school? Is that the number you want to see when you step on the scale? Why do you think you need to weigh 5 pounds less – have you been at that weight before and felt better or is it just some figure etched in your head that you want to see?

2.   How are you measuring your weight loss and goal?

If you’re stepping on the scale as your form of measurement you may never see that number appear. Especially if you are making progress and exercising regularly. When muscle grows, fat burns. The more muscle you develop, the more fat you burn. The only thing is that the muscle weighs more than fat; it takes up less space too. That means those extra 5 pounds could just be 5 pounds of muscle.

3.   Are you sticking to the calories-in/calories-out math?

Do the math. It works the same way every time:

  • Fewer calories in + more calories burned = weight loss
  • Extra calories in + less calories burned = weight gain
  • Equal calories in balanced with the same calories burned = weight stabilization

When you burn more calories than you take in, you’ll lose weight. When you burn less, you’ll gain it. To do the math, identify where you’re at right now and then add just a little more activity or restrict your calorie intake just a little. It’s a scientific formula and it works.

With only 5 pounds to lose - don’t worry, be happy

If you’re struggling with a mere 5 pounds consider yourself fortunate. The majority of people are dealing with much larger amounts. Although the last 5 pounds may seem horrible to you, remember you do have the power to get rid of them if they are actually real and you do know how to lose them.

If the fat isn’t real or simply not important enough to really work at getting rid of it, be happy. It’s better to be just a few pounds overweight than underweight in terms of overall health anyway. Perhaps it’s your mind that’s playing games with you. If you’re fully clothed and you aren’t disturbed when you see your reflection in a window while walking down a sidewalk, don’t worry about it.