Q. Hi Fitz. I am absolutely stuck right now and I need help. I have been working out regularly and eating very healthy, but can’t seem to lose the last five pounds. Any suggestions? Tracy

A. Hello Miss Tracy!. The last five pounds always seem to be the hardest, don’t they? My personal training clients always have the same question mark over their heads when they near their goals. When they first arrive looking to lose forty pounds … the first eight just fly off! Sometimes, they lose that much weight in a week. This happens for two reasons. First, they’re usually changing from ghastly eating habits and zero exercise to eating nutritiously with frequent exercise. The dramatic shift from one side of the fitness spectrum to the other results in major changes  quickly. The second reason is larger people burn more calories just existing; lugging around an extra 40 pounds each day requires a lot of effort! All of that “lugging effort” burns a bunch of calories. As a smaller person, your body requires less energy to simply move around.

You on the other hand, seem to already have great habits. You eat well and exercise. Becoming really lean though, requires great effort. If you want to look like an athlete, you have to behave like an athlete. To lose the last five pounds you’ll need to crank up the intensity of your training. Run faster and farther. Lift more. Choose a more challenging class to take. You’ll also need to put your eating habits under the microscope and make some cuts. Is there a fancy morning coffee drink? A cookie after lunch? Can you switch your grilled chicken sandwich to a grilled chicken salad? Burn more calories than you consume and the weight will come off. Focus Tracy, you can do this. Now get to work!