Learn One Woman's Breakthrough to Losing the Last 15 Pounds

| Before & After

Those final 10-15 pounds seems to hang on for dear life. No matter how much you switch up your workouts or carefully watch what you're eating, they don't budge. That's how Sam felt until she had this breakthrough.

Sam was working out five to seven times a week, teaching class at her blossoming studio Cycle & Row in Michigan, and prepping to compete on Jillian Michaels's new show Sweat Inc. Still, she couldn't shed the last 15 pounds she'd been holding on to. "You know your body better than everyone else, and I knew I was bigger than I needed to be. I was thicker than I needed to be," Sam recalled.

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Sam had little success with dieting in the past and decided not to go at it alone this time. Instead, she linked up with Ricki Friedman, health coach and creator of Break the Weight, to determine what was holding her back. Since Sam was already incredibly active, her major lifestyle changes needed to happen in the kitchen. In a little over three months and without making a single change to her workout routine, she lost 15 pounds.

>> Read more: 11 Tips to Help You Finally Lose the Last 10 Pounds

A self-described "good eater," Sam dealt with quantity and portion-control issues, often finding herself feeling stuffed after mealtime. "It is especially hard when you are used to being really fit, really active, and you are burning a lot of calories, and you feel like you can eat whatever you want, just like when you were 15 or 16," Sam said. "Our metabolisms are not what they used to be when we were younger." Sam began taking a short walk during and after meals, and health coach Ricki determined the amount of calories Sam needed to eat to support her active lifestyle (around 1,600 each day). Sam also began journaling her food with MyFitnessPal to keep her choices in check. Here's what an average day of meals looks like for Sam:

Breakfast: She used to load up on a big breakfast of nonfat yogurt, oatmeal, nuts, and a banana, but later Sam realized that while all those foods are healthy, it's simply too much. Now, Sam only eats the oatmeal and a small portion of nuts, which keeps her full until lunch.

To read the swaps Sam made for lunch and dinner, click here to read the story on Popsugar.