I received a call from a client:

“Terra,” she exclaimed, “I’ve been doing really well on my workouts and nutrition, but I think if you can help me tweak my diet I can lose these last 5 pesky pounds.”

Sound familiar? It seems that everyone has that pesky spot that loves to hold onto a little extra fat.

You know where it is: maybe behind the arms covering those shapely triceps, around the mid-section creating a slight muffin top to your skinny jeans, or ‘the soft pudge’ lightly padding your lower abdominals. Perhaps your fat migrates south, way south, and resides on your rump or around your thighs. Where ever it is for you, rest assured, we all have ‘that spot’. Those last 5 pounds have become a marketing focal point for magazines promising things like “you can lose 5 pounds, with just five exercises while consuming five super foods, all within five weeks!”

My client’s request to lose just five more pounds is one that I hear all too often. And so I asked her, ‘what are you willing to give up to lose 5lbs?’

Let me explain, she informed me she was working out every day, sometimes twice a day and spending hours at a time at the gym. Although she was not weighing, measuring, or logging her food, she was following a clean diet. She has established a healthy routine and her body settled into what we in the industry call a set weight point. The “set weight point” is the weight at which your body will be comfortable and not feel it’s in a state of starvation. In order to push her body past this set point, she would have to follow a structured workout routine designed to shed additional fat while maintaining valuable lean muscle in addition to weighing and measure her food in order to make sure each meal had a macronutrient ratio that supported such an effort.

Such effort would take away from her amazing career and excellent social life—both of which she enjoys. Furthermore, in order to keep those pesky 5 pounds at bay, she would need to maintain this level of effort otherwise her body will return to its comfortable set point.

Remember that life is a balance. We all have the same 24 hours in a day, but what we don’t have are the same set of priorities, needs, responsibilities, and resources. The only way to give more time to one area of your life is to take time from another, thus maintaining a balance. Keep in mind, however, I am not talking about the recommended hour a day to designate toward physical activity or the time spent preparing a healthy meal for you, friends or family. Rather, this is the time spent doing a second gym session or getting up early in order to spend more time in the gym and preparing meals. As a result, you will spend less time studying, working on that promotion, playing with your kids, and miss out on movie night with friends because you’re so exhausted from 2-a-day workouts and controlling your food intake.

Finally, I ask you, what are you willing to give up in order to lose those 5 pounds? Whatever your answer, remember—balance.

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