Beginners 5K Training Plan: From The Couch To 5K In Just 8 Weeks
If you’re determined to start running but are struggling, then this is the perfect plan for you!
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Hack your body’s chemistry to shed pounds!
1. Curb Cravings All Day Long
Commonly dubbed the “satiety” or “feel-full hormone,” leptin decreases your appetite. After it’s released from your body’s fat cells, the hormone acts on your brain’s hypothalamus, where it combats its nemesis ghrelin, the “hunger hormone,” says Alissa Rumsey, R.D., spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
In overweight and obese women, chronically high levels of the satiety hormone can lead to leptin resistance (the more fat you have, the more leptin your body will produce). But most women actually have low levels of the hormone, making you super hungry.
Your move: sleep. Sleep deprivation significantly slashes leptin levels. That explains why people with sleep disorders, such as insomnia and sleep apnea, commonly battle with their weight, says Brian Quebbemann, M.D., a bariatric surgeon with the Chapman Medical Center in California. For optimum levels, research from Brigham Young University suggests that women get between 6.5 hours and 8.5 hours of sleep per night, and crash at the same time every day. So start working on that sleep schedule!
2. Build Fat-Burning Muscle
Women generally think of testosterone as a manly hormone, and ladiesdo have far less T than our hairy counterparts. But teeny levels of that hormone mean tiny weight-loss results.
Testosterone is actually one of your body’s primary muscle-building hormones. And the more muscle your have, the more calories you burn while doing literally nothing, says Quebbemann. What’s more, low levels of testosterone promote insulin resistance, encouraging your body to store calories as fat, says Pat Gilles, C.S.C.S., a Wisconsin-based trainer.
Your move: Pick up something heavy. Lifting heavy weights is the best way to promote the release of muscle-building, fat-burning testosterone, says Gilles. (By heavy, we mean enough resistance that you can only do three-to-four sets of six-to-10 reps with proper form). What’s more, performing compound lifts like squats, dead lifts, and assisted pull ups uses more muscle fibers and spurs optimum testosterone levels, he says.
3. Give Your Meals True Staying Power
Every time you eat, your intestines release cholecystokinin, glucagon-like peptide 1, and peptide YY (otherwise known as CCK, GLP-1, and PYY, stick with us). These hormones slow down the movement of food through your GI tract. The result of slow-moving food is that you literally stay full long after your meal, which prevents overeating, says Rumsey.
Your move: Eat protein, fat, and complex carbs at each meal.To increase your meal’s staying power, first focus on consuming at least 20 to 25 grams of protein at every meal. After all, research from the University of Cambridge shows that high-protein meals, breakfasts specifically, lead to the greatest increases in some of these satiating hormones. Then, make sure to add in vegetable fats and fiber from complex carbs, both of which will improve levels of the gastric-delaying hormones, she says. Think: a veggie and avocado omelet with a piece of whole-wheat toast.
4. Set Your Metabolism Straight
Your thyroid, a bat-shaped gland in your neck, produces various thyroid hormones including T3 and T4, which control how many calories you burn just sitting on your butt.
Generally, autoimmune diseases are the cause of big problems in your thyroid hormone levels. So if you suddenly gain weight, notice your hair thinning, or experience extreme fatigue, reach out to your doc, ASAP, says Steven Lamm, M.D., clinical professor of medicine at the New York University School of Medicine and author of Fighting Fat. However, even healthy women can experience thyroid hormone dips that cause your metabolism to stall.
Your move: Eat more seafood. Since iodine deficiency can cause your thyroid to malfunction, try to eat more iodine-rich seafood, such as cod, tuna, and shrimp. Seaweed is also one of the best sources of iodine around, according to the National Institutes of Health. Just check your package’s label, as iodine content can vary widely between brands.
It’s time to get those hormones turned- now!
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1. Drink more water. Adequate hydration is necessary in any weight loss program. It helps flush toxins that have been stored in fat. Thirst may actually be perceived as hunger, so when you feel hungry between meals, drink some water.
2. Eat more protein. Protein helps keep you feel fuller longer than carbohydrates do. Also, having adequate protein is a signal to your body to burn fat as its primary energy source.
3. Avoid insulin spikes. Insulin at normal levels is absolutely necessary, but at elevated levels, insulin promotes fat gain, inflammation and indirectly causes hunger. In order to control your insulin levels and appetite, you need to control your carbohydrate intake. Start your day with a minimal amount of carbohydrates (five grams or less) coupled with adequate protein, allowing your body to burn fat for fuel.
4. Exercise. Data suggests exercise is a natural appetite suppressant. Plus, who wants to ruin all that hard work in the gym with fattening foods that lack nutritional benefits?
5. Don’t skip meals. Skipping meals slows your metabolism and leaves you feeling unsatisfied and more likely to overindulge later.
6. Eat in regular intervals: This goes hand-in hand with the tip above. The best meal and snack pattern to help you control your appetite is one that has three meals each day with 1-3 snacks spread out throughout the day. The trick with this pattern is to not allow too long of a time interval to go by which will leave you feeling famished. A plan like this is easy on your metabolism and doesn’t send you into starvation mode, which throws your metabolism into absolute whack.
7. Eat slower. Slow down your eating. It takes your stomach approximately 20 minutes to register to your brain that it’s full, so slow down your eating pace. Also, while you’re eating and enjoying your food, think about how full you’re beginning to feel and focus on that satisfied feeling rather than mindlessly noshing away!
8. Fiber up. Foods that contain natural fiber also have a filling quality that helps you feel full and satisfied with less food. Examples include whole-grain bread products and cereals, oatmeal, fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans, peas and lentils.
9. Eat more healthy unsaturated fats. Healthy unsaturated fats are good for the body as they contribute to lowering your cholesterol and your risk of heart disease. They also are slow for the body to digest, keeping you fuller longer. Create a snack with nuts, nut butters or avocados to keep you full, like Skinny Blueberry and Almond Trail Mix or Skinny Avocado Tuna Salad.
10. Eat water-rich foods. Another way to feel full, stay hydrated, and get plenty of water in your diet is through water-rich foods. These include: celery, cucumbers, tomatoes, melons (cantaloupe, honeydew, watermelon), peaches and oranges.
11. Eat almonds. Eating 1.5 ounces of almonds daily curbs hunger without increasing calorie intake or body weight. When eaten as a snack, almonds were proven to significantly reduce desire to eat without increasing calorie intake or body weight due to spontaneous energy compensation.
12. Meditate. Research also backs up the use of meditation for both weight loss and appetite control as meditation can train the mind to be self-aware and not automatically react to habitual patterns like emotional eating. Instead, training the brain to stay in tune to the body’s real hunger sensations allows for weight management.
13. Drink green tea. Unlike unhealthy things that may suppress your appetite — such as diet soda — green tea will not make you hungry later. It works in a natural way and also has the added benefit of boosting your metabolism.
14. Eat eggs for breakfast. Research has shown that eating eggs makes you feel fuller, which cuts back on short-term snacking throughout the rest of the morning.
15. Get more mint. That tingly feeling can be a pick-me-up, but it’s also a strong taste that discourages you from eating (and it can interfere with the smell-craving association), which is why many people advise brushing your teeth after you eat to stop post-meal snacking.
16. Talk. Unless you’re impolite, you’re less likely to talk with your mouth full, so engaging in conversation can pull us away from eating until we stuff ourselves. Try this at a party or social engagement where you’re tempted by unhealthy foods.
17. Eat your fruits and vegetables. You hear this enough, but it’s important to note that fruits and vegetables are fibrous and healthy and can be a low-calorie way to address hunger for an hour or so.
18. Orgasm. An orgasm can be a brain reboot and gives pleasure through something other than food, which can suppress your appetite short-term. So, if you needed an excuse… there you have it.
19. Take natural collagen supplements. High protein supplements of collagen provide a feeling of fullness in the stomach. This feeling lasts for several hours after consumption.
20. Eat chia seeds. In the stomach, chia forms a gel which coats the stomach and provides a feeling of fullness that lasts for several hours.
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Do you hate working out? Do you find it dull, repetitive or just another chore to tick off your to-do list? Staying fit is difficult enough, but it’s even more taxing if you don’t enjoy exercise! Check out these five workouts you should try to help keep you motivated. Some are even compound, full-body exercises — and you’ll be having so much fun, you won’t even feel like you’re working out!
1. Boxing: Boxing may sound intimidating, but you can find some boxing classes that don’t involve boxing another person — just the punching bag. And who doesn’t love punching the crap out of inanimate objects? It will give you the rare opportunity to release the many stresses of your daily life, plus you’ll be getting in some intense full-body exercise! Win-win! Check out our Know Before You Go: Kickboxing 101 workout below.
You don’t need to be a pro to try kickboxing! Before you take your first class, check out these simple techniques to help you grasp the basics of kickboxing, prevent injury and get in a better workout.
2. Team sports: Team sports are great motivators. Plus, they offer social interaction, like meeting new people and strengthening the bonds with your friends or family. Most cities offer intramural leagues for sports like soccer, basketball and softball. Round up some friends for a little competitive fun!
3. Canoeing or kayaking: Canoeing and kayaking are great low-impact upper-body and core workouts, but you’ll be so distracted by the sights, sounds and smells of the outdoors that you’ll hardly realize you’re working out. It serves as outdoor exercise, arm exercise, core exercise and therefore compound exercise all rolled into one! You can even take the kids for a fun day trip.
4. Yoga: Yoga focuses on both physical and mental strength, so you’ll be able to hone in on your spiritual life as well as your physical life. There are so many different types of yoga that you are bound to find something that suits your fitness level. Check out yoga for beginners here.
5. Walking: Who can say no to good old fashioned walking? If you find walking boring, maybe amp up your speed a little bit or bring your favorite tunes along with you. Taking the dog for a walk will also ensure that there’s never a dull moment. Walk to the grocery store or to work if you live close enough! Find a scenic route to walk along to feast your eyes while getting in that fitness. Sports like golf incorporate walking as well, but equipment can get a little pricey if you don’t already have it.
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Here’s some simple but great tips to help you reach your 10 pounds in 30 days goal without changing too much of your current diet or fitness plan! Check out this weight loss plan below.
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1. Find your “why”. Set your goal and determine your commitment level. If you don’t know why you’re committing to a plan, or if you’re not doing it for yourself, you’re more likely to fail.
2. Hydrate. Drink at least 64 ounces of water a day and eliminate all other sugary drinks. Some of our tricks for getting more water include drinking flavored seltzer or putting lemons in a fruit infusion pitcher. Need help drinking that much H2O per day? Check out these 8 easy ways to drink more water and watch the video below to learn how to use a water infuser:
3. Eat well-timed meals. Eating every 3-4 hours a day is crucial for maintaining your metabolism at its peak. Start your morning with a balanced breakfast to wake up your metabolism and then time your meals from there.
4. Eliminate certain foods — don’t restrict calories. It’s better to focus on the kind of foods to eliminate rather than how much to cut. Begin by cutting back on anything that’s processed. If it’s a food you don’t recognize or it’s made with more than five ingredients, you shouldn’t eat it.
5. Limit your fruit intake. Watch out for fruits! They are nutrient-dense but the sugar is something you should focus on cutting back during these 30 days. Think of berries when consuming fruits and limit fruit to two servings a day.
6. Create a well-balanced plate. When planning your meals, you want to make sure you always have a protein option, a healthy fat and plenty of non-starchy vegetables. Avoid fat-free items as they aren’t providing you with the nourishment your body needs!
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