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A Healthier You: Tips to a Slimmer, Trimmer 2014

Written on January 3, 2014 at 9:43 am , by

Time to pump up your slim-down. Don’t sweat it, though. These easy peasy strategies will have you slipping into your skinny jeans ASAP. (Photo courtesy of Laura Doss)

Written by Alena Hall, editorial intern

Now that the calorie-loaded holiday spreads are off the table and we are getting back into our weekly routines, those New Year resolutions can make their official debut! Of all the goals we set that relate to health and wellness, weight loss constantly tops the list. So let’s really get it right in 2014 with some sound nutritional advice, a fresh perspective and boost of motivation. We spoke with Jacqueline Marcus, R.D., a nutrition consultant to The Dukan Diet, about her top tips to make weight loss attainable, maintainable and worth every minute of the hard work you put into it!

Think lean and clean for your fitness routine. This catchphrase guides Marcus in helping her clients work towards their goals. “As you’re thinking about an exercise plan for life, you want to feed your body with the cleanest types of foods and beverages that are low in fat and high in protein,” she says. Lean protein helps support the muscles as the body breaks down its fat cells and low-starch vegetables high in vitamins and minerals support the work of these lean proteins. Soon you’ll convert your bod into a lean, mean, fat-burning machine!

Create a combo deal. Most people who achieve their fitness goals use a combination of methods to get there. A healthy diet tailored to your lifestyle, a customized workout plan and a behavioral component, like a food journal or online diet community, create a triple threat against fat. “The most successful people use at least three methods,” says Marcus.

Don’t forget about fiber. It’s essential for creating the feeling of fullness and maintaining healthy digestive system. Plus, Marcus says it can decrease your total daily calorie consumption by about 5 percent.  She swears by oat bran because it keeps her from ever getting that “OMG, I can’t get enough food in me” feeling. Try sprinkling 1 1/2 tablespoons of oat bran on top of  a cup of Greek yogurt with fresh berries to kick start your day.

Go easy on the sodium. While a little bit of the salty stuff is important for helping balance water in the body, we tend to overdo it and end up experiencing bloat, lethargy and sometimes blood pressure problems. Marcus suggests minimizing your intake by avoiding the saltshaker after your meal is cooked, and staying away from as many processed foods as possible. “Use real foods to keep it in check. Proteins and vegetables contain sodium, so it’s not like you’re going sodium-free,” she says.

One  step at a time. If you’re looking to inspire an entire diet and lifestyle overhaul, focus on one change at a time so the habit really sticks. “It’s better to focus on the different stages of a well-constructed diet program and do those well without doing too many other things and feeling overwhelmed,” she says. When you start seeing the results form one habit, you’ll be motivated to push yourself to that next step. Eight of our readers took this advice to heart and made major changes in their lives – you can too!

Stop counting. Some diets require people to count calories and nutrients like carbs, but Marcus sees this process as a potential distraction. Instead, focus on healthy options, eat to a feeling of satisfaction or fullness and learn how to use good-for-you foods in a way that put you in charge of your new lifestyle.

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Find Your Stride for 2014 with a Fun New Year’s Run!

Written on December 26, 2013 at 9:53 am , by

Jump on the resolution bandwagon by ringing  2014 in stride. (Photo courtesy of NYRR)

Written by Alena Hall, editorial intern

If you’re anything like us, you’ve already started searching for the best way to welcome in the New Year. A friend’s bash, your favorite bar or simply watching the famous ball drop from your television screen are so 2013. Why not get a jump-start on your fit resolutions instead and run your first race of the year the second it starts? From midnight party runs to New Year’s Day 5Ks, the nation is covered with fun running parties that will definitely get your 2014 started off on the right foot. And trust us, you haven’t seen a real New Year’s celebration until you’ve participated in one of these parties!

  • Ditch Times Square this year and join in New York Road Runners’ Midnight Run. Music, dancing, a costume parade/contest, fireworks and a 4-mile run at the stroke of midnight through Central Park makes for for the hottest soiree of the year!
  • Philadelphia’s New Year’s Eve Midnight 5K Run and Party is the perfect excuse to bust out your best—or tackiest—evening wear and run your heart out! Each participant will receive admission to McFadden’s New Year’s Eve Celebration (read: open bar and food) for before and after the race, not to mention a snazzy sweatshirt.
  • Take on the first sunrise of 2014 with the Brazen New Year’s Day Half Marathon, 10K and 5K race series in Castro Valley, California. Nothing will make you feel more energized and motivated about the year ahead than the beautiful trail views along Lake Chabot!
  • Not a morning person? Try Chicago’s 29th Annual New Year’s Day 5K Run/Walk! Starting at 11 a.m. in Lincoln Park, this race gives a scenic tour of the city and ends with—you guessed it—a party at O’Briens Restaurant in Old Town.
  • If you don’t feel like you’re up for a 5K just yet, join the New Yearathon in Cook Park, Oregon, and warm up to your 2014 fit goals with family and friends. The race includes 1-mile and 5K run options, so everyone can get a great workout regardless of their fitness level. Bonus: hot drinks await you at the finish line!
  • Tackle that healthy New Year’s resolution head on with Life Time Fitness and the American Heart Association’s Commitment Day 5K Fun Run/Walk held in 35 cities across the country on New Year’s Day. You’re bound to find a location near you that can help you start 2014 with a runner’s high instead of a hangover!

Not near any of these running parties? Find a fitness event near you.

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Set Your 2013 Goals with a Little Lululemon Help

Written on January 7, 2013 at 1:26 pm , by

By now you’ve had the statistics drilled into your head–a third of people who make resolutions will break them by the end of January. Make it a point to not fall into that group this year with the help of Lululemon. Throughout the month they’ll be promoting the campaign #readysetgoal, to help others experience the power of goal setting for themselves. Below, some tips to get started on your to-do list from Chloe Gow-Jarrett, program manager of self-development at Lululemon.

  • Set goals in present tense. State them in terms such as I am, I have, I create, I own.
  • Be specific with your goals. You’re placing an order to the universe, so make sure to ask for exactly what you want.
  • Put a deadline on your goals, this will help spur you into action.
  • Don’t be afraid to set goals that are audacious. Failing 50 percent of your goals means you are really challenging yourself.

For more goal-setting help, tune in to Lululemon’s live goal coaching event at livestream.com/lululemon on January 23 at 6pm PST for tips and strategies to reach your mile markers this year. If you’re still not totally into the whole buzz around goals and the New Year, check out this video below of Steph Corker, manager of recruitment, who nailed one very big personal goal last year. And make sure to follow @FitnessMagazine on Twitter, especially any tweets with the hashtag #goalgetter for ideas every day on new goals you can accomplish.