You’re focused on losing those additional pounds, so you’ve been exercising and watching what you eat. But that stubborn scale still won’t move. Whether you’re struggling with the first five pounds or the last five, possibly you’re not doing everything you could. Here’s some shocking research on how to get things moving in the correct direction:

Boost your calcium intake. Most ladies don’t get half of the 1,000 to 1,200 mg they require every day. While that’s bad for bones, studies show it’s also not good for weight loss.

“When you have low calcium intake, the body tries to adjust by conserving fat instead of breaking it down,” says Robert P. Heaney,John A, M.D. Creighton university educator at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska. By boosting your calcium intake you’ll help your body break down more fat. Try including skim milk, low fat yogurt and other calcium-rich dairy products to your diet, and additionally dark-green leafy vegetables and calcium-fortified foods.

Fiber up. Women require 25 grams of fiber a day, but majority of us get just half that. Studies show that when you eat a high-fiber diet you naturally eat less calories because fiber helps you feel full more. Great sources of fiber include vegetables, fruits and beans. Whole grains are another great source of fiber. And, because whole grains take longer to digest, they help maintain insulin levels and blood sugar, protecting the body against diabetes and heart disease.

Work out longer. If you exercise daily but still can’t seem to shed weight, it may be because you’re not working out sufficiently long. “Each of us has an intensity threshold, called the objective heart rate zone, that we should meet or exceed to reap the cardiovascular rewards of exercise,” says Ph.D., Barry Franklin, representative for the American university of Sports Medicine. For weight loss, activity should ideally be sustained in your target heart rate zone for longer than the base recommended 20 to 30 minutes a day, he says. Aim for an hour of exercise most days and try to stay in your zone for the majority of that time. To approximate your maximal target heart rate zone, subtract your age from 220. Stay within 70 to 85 percent of this number during exercise.

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