Your clients have left the gym floor drenched every day since last week. They have denied themselves the tiniest of tasty morsels to get them over the hump, and what has all of it it amounted to? Ten lousy pounds left taunting them. Those last ten pounds are sticking to them like glue and short of a hunger-strike, you don’t know what your next move should be to help them shed those extra pounds. Well, we have the solution that adds up to blasting those ten pounds and keeping them away…
1. Get your client on the ball! If you are not already using a stability ball during client workouts – trade in the machines for one. This is a small change that can make a big difference for their body and their weight. According to a study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research [2006; 20(4):745-50], stability ball training can almost double activity in the abdominals and external obliques. More muscle activity means more calories burned during the exercise session and who doesn’t want more bang for their buck?
2. Pick up the pace. Changing your client’s routine can be as easy as adding in some intervals and picking up your client’s pace a bit. Interval training can help your client work harder without fear of overtraining. In addition, fifteen minutes of interval training can burn more calories than fifteen minutes of regular cardio and improve cardiovascular health by challenging the heart to peak and recover. Not to mention, interval training has been linked to increased caloric burn after the exercise session is completed – so clients are burning more calories at rest. Those ten pounds have met their match!
3. Fidget more. Yes – the pencil tapping and knee bopping can be distracting during a meeting, but in the end, research shows that those who tend to fidget more burn more calories. A few extra calories burned a day can lead to larger weight loss gains over the long run – so advise your client to try swinging your feet or drumming their pen while they work. If they want those ten pounds to budge, they need a little extra burn to pry them away!
4. Quit fussing over the scale. The old wives’ tale – “a watched pot never boils” applies to the weight scale as well. Incessantly stepping on the scale each day can create disappointment or even dampen a client’s exercise motivation, especially if they do not see results. Take a break from the weight scale and instead, suggest they use a food scale to help them through. Measuring their exact quantities of food may help you determine their cause of the ten pound stand-off. Remember that weight loss occurs when a person eats less than they move. Make sure your client measures their food each day and head back to the weight scale once a week (or every two weeks) to see their progress.
5. Take a stand. Did you know that by standing during a ten minute phone call can burn up to 20 extra calories? Standing during a few more phone calls during their workday can add up to a big calorie burn each day – helping your client increase their calorie deficit. This is one way to lose weight that doesn’t even seem like hard work!
6. Make it count. Your client’s body has a calorie budget and it’s their job to stay within it. They may be measuring the calories that go in, but how do you know how many calories they burn every day? Using a helpful device like a calorie counter can help you determine your client’s calorie expenditure allowing you to monitor their activity to make sure they are staying within or just under their daily budget. The program will let you and your client know and then you both can work out a plan to help them get out and get moving!
7. A little goes a long way. If they haven’t already done so, your client may benefit from breaking up their meals into smaller meals spread approximately 2-3 hours apart. Food is fuel and your body’s metabolism burns calories helping you digest that food. While what goes in matters (they want to keep their calories within the appropriate range for weight loss) keeping the fires of their metabolism stoked can help in burning a few extra calories along the way (or at least help them stay satiated).
8. Add an additional ingredient. Whatever weight loss solution your client is trying – adding an extra variable can help to get them over their ten-pound hump. If they are an avid cardio enthusiast, try adding in 10-15 minutes of resistance training into their program. If they love to lift but can’t stand those cardio machines, advise them to take to the road and walk or run for a few minutes a day. The perfect weight loss combination balances nutrition, cardio and resistance training – if one of those variables is missing from their current routine – advise them to add it in and watch what a little extra oomph can do for their waistline!
9. Take a time out. Exercise fanatics may not want to hear this, but yes – there comes a time when the body must take a vacation from a routine. I can hear the gasps! It is okay to take a break and allow the body time to recover and rejuvenate. Often, people who want to lose weight can overdo it, over-train and exhaust their bodies. Stepping away from an exercise routine can help your clients focus their exercise strategy and work harder when they begin their routine again. This doesn’t mean they get to stop watching their calories though! Work with your clients to adjust their calorie intake to match their activity levels, but allow them to give their body the break it deserves and when they head back into their routine, they will be ready to attack exercise with the voracity they began with! This break can mean big changes in the end!
10. Forgo the workout and follow your folly. Sometimes the best exercise is the exercise you don’t know you are doing. If clients are having fun being active and not focusing on burning calories, they might find that they burn more calories overall and their weight will adjust accordingly. Plan a day each week with clients to make fun a part of their routine. Advise them to go out dancing, or walk around a museum – shop for a few hours or play with their kids in the yard. The more they enjoy being active, the more likely they will stick with it and those ten pounds won’t stick with them!