How 4 Women Lost the Last 10 Pounds of Their Weight Loss Goals

Sometimes a tiny tweak is all you need to reach your weight-loss goal.

It isn't a big deal if you are 10 pounds away from your personal weight loss goal. But you may be determined to lose those 10 pounds to feel stronger, more confident, and more energized. 

"If losing a little weight achieves that for you, that's great," Holly Wyatt, MD, head of the metabolism and obesity clinic at the Anschutz Health and Wellness Center at the University of Colorado, told Health.

The following four women have been where you are. They were eager to lose the last 10 pounds toward their goal and found subtle tweaks that helped them achieve their personal weight loss goal. 

Here are four tips to feel stronger, more confident, and more energized, plus weight-loss methods that you may want to avoid.

Add Walking Into Your Routine

When Sarah Grant hit a plateau before reaching her goal weight, the working mom of two zeroed in on the long periods she spent parked at her desk.

"Even though I was working out outside of the office and eating healthy, it didn't make up for the hours a day I spent sedentary," said Grant, 41, the chief financial officer for a South Florida restaurant group.

Grant made a simple vow to walk more, all day, every day. 

"It's an easy, free activity that you can do anywhere," Grant pointed out. In addition to her morning weight training session, Grant added a walk during her lunch hour and an after-dinner stroll with her children.

"There is a point at which eating less isn't the best option," said Grant. "This gave me the ability to avoid having to continually slash calories to lose weight." 

She's on to something: The more energy you have moving through your system, your metabolism functions better.

"Adding mini movement blocks to your day sporadically will help you burn more energy than you're consuming," noted Dr. Wyatt. 

You can try walking to a coffee joint about a 15-minute walk away from your home or office (30-minute walk total—there and back) or take a walking break wherever you can fit into your schedule.

Don't Restrict Any Foods

Long days of meal sampling at events and restaurants made it difficult for food blogger Dara Pollak to lose the last 10 pounds toward her goal. 

"I could be tasting four to five different decadent dishes at a single restaurant," explained Pollak, 33, The Skinny Pig blog creator. To balance the "bad" meals, she would skip breakfast. "I went to events starving and would end up overeating, and then feeling food guilt."

Pollak has changed her mindset so that she doesn't consider any foods restricted and instead taste-tests just a few bites of everything. 

"I eat slowly and mindfully and savor a few bites I take of, say, the french fries I'm sampling," said Pollak. 

Pollack added that she eats a hearty breakfast of overnight oats daily. 

"It curbs my hunger, and even though I might still crave the yummy foods in front of me, I can eat them with more control and joy," noted Pollack.

Chris Mohr, PhD, RDN, an exercise physiologist, nutritionist, and co-owner of Mohr Results, told Health that sometimes telling yourself you can't have a particular treat sets you up to binge later on.

"Then all you can think about is that forbidden fruit," said Mohr.

So, next time your friend suggests splitting dessert, go for it. When you permit yourself to indulge in moderation, you may realize you crave only a bite or two or none at all.

Use the Plate Method for Portion Sizes

Allison Constantino, 69, noticed her weight creep up when she got lax about the sizes of her meals and snacks—even when they were healthy. 

"I can run circles around many people my age. But I can't deny the fact that I'm older, and I don't burn calories the way I used to," said Constantino.

"I will look at a label for a healthy bag of nuts, and I will see that 10 pieces is a serving and put them in a bowl or baggy," continued Constantino. "Without measuring it out, I can easily do damage and gain weight, even those it's a healthy snack."

Misjudging portions is a familiar weight-loss speed bump, explained Mohr. But you don't necessarily need to measure out everything you eat. Instead, Mohr recommended eating pre-portioned dishes from time to time to reorient yourself with accurate meal portions.

The Department of Agriculture recommends using the MyPlate method to easily monitor portion sizes without measuring everything you eat. 

The method varies for each person depending on age, sex, height, weight, and level of physical activity. But generally, for most adults, you'll want half of your plate to be fruits and vegetables, focusing on whole fruits and mixed vegetables. 

A quarter of your dish will be devoted to whole grains, while the remaining quarter will be protein.

Work on Strengthening Exercises

When Anna Laura Sommer began graduate school, she found it tough to maintain a healthy lifestyle. 

"I was never overweight, per se, but I knew I didn't feel my best," noted Sommer, a fitness and health coach in Philadelphia.

Sommer started lifting weights as a stress relief and noted, "I called it my beast-mode time and took it all out on the weights." But in about a month, she realized she was losing weight and replacing it with muscle. 

"I was seeing so much more change in my body from shorter strength sessions compared with long cardio workouts," said Sommer.

But in fact, there's science behind Sommer's results. 

"In general, the more lean muscle mass you carry, the faster your resting metabolism is—and you don't build muscle by only focusing on cardio," Michelle Lovitt, an exercise physiologist based in Los Angeles, told Health

Still, according to the National Library of Medicine, building muscle will only slightly boost your metabolism.

So, head for those dumbbells at the gym, or add body-weight exercises to your routine.

Unhealthy Ways To Lose 10 Pounds

About 12% of women and 8% of men report engaging in extreme weight control behaviors, such as taking diet pills, laxatives, diuretics, or purging. People who engage in unhealthy dietary practices may notice the following adverse reactions:

  • Regain weight over time
  • Show signs of depression
  • Develop eating disorders

Those consequences negatively impact your overall health and well-being. So, here are a few unhealthy ways to lose weight that can negatively affect your health.

Restricting the Amount and Type of Food You Eat

Many people who participate in weight loss strategies find different ways to modify their diet. To alter your diet, you don't need to cut back on the amount or type of food you eat. 

Doing so can deprive your body of the nutrients it needs to function, which can lead to problems like:

  • Excessive weight loss
  • Dizziness
  • Muscle weakness
  • Sleep problems
  • Stomach cramps

It is essential to eat a healthy, well-balanced diet—one that involves protein, carbohydrates, fruits, vegetables, and dairy. That kind of diet will give your body all the essential nutrients it needs.

Detoxing or Cleansing

Many people resort to detoxification programs that include diets, regimens, and therapies that claim to help them lose weight. Those programs may involve fasting, drinking only specific juices, using dietary supplements, using herbs, and cleansing the colon with laxatives.

However, detoxing can be harmful. Several companies have sold detox or cleansing products containing illegal and potentially dangerous ingredients. Here are some other issues with detoxing:

  • Some of the juices are not pasteurized, which may lead to illness.
  • This type of diet only provides some of the nutrients you need.
  • Colon cleansing can have serious side effects.
  • If you take a laxative, you are at risk for diarrhea which can lead to dehydration and electrolyte imbalances.

Dietary supplements are minimally regulated by the FDA and may or may not be suitable for you. The effects of supplements vary from person to person and depend on many variables, including type, dosage, frequency of use, and interactions with current medications. Please speak with your healthcare provider or pharmacist before starting any supplements.

A Quick Review

If you are determined to hit your weight loss goal, there are some tweaks you can make to help you hit that goal. 

To lose weight healthily, focus on eating a well-balanced diet and strengthening your muscles. Keep in mind: Weight loss goals vary for each person. 

Adding walking into your routine, avoiding restricting foods, using the plate method for portion sizes, and working on strengthening exercises are small changes that may make all the difference. And those tweaks can help you feel healthier, stronger, and more confident, which are the most important goals.

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  6. National Eating Disorders Association. Avoidant restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID).

  7. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. "Detoxes" and "cleanses": What you need to know.

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