Chris Gallo/FITNESS MagazineBy Kati Mora, MS, RD
Ready to sweat? Not so fast! Here, the best foods to eat before and after a workout so can fuel up the right way. Munch on these for your best sweat session yet.
Related: The Truth About Common Nutrition Myths
Before: Whole Wheat Toast with Sliced Banana and Cinnamon
When it comes to gearing up for workout, carbs are your gym BFF. The key is to have a mixed bag of complex and simple ones so that the release of energy during your workout is slow and steady throughout your routine. Whole-wheat toast with fruit gives you both types of carbs with the bonus of being super easy to digest. Complex carbs will keep your motor humming, while the fruit adds an extra kick of energy. For those training for a race, bananas are perfect in raising potassium levels, which drop when you sweat a lot. For an added bonus, add a dash of cinnamon. The spice has been linked to stabilizing blood sugar and improving brain function.
After: Grilled Chicken and Mixed Vegetables
Blog Posts by FITNESS Magazine
Chris Gallo/FITNESS MagazineBy Kati Mora, MS, RDRead More »from What to Eat Before and After a Workout
Bill Diodate/FITNESS MagazineBy Nicole Yorio JurickRead More »from Secrets from Weight-Loss Spas
You don't need to shell out thousands of dollars to stay at a swanky resort to slim down. We got the pros to spill their best insider strategies so you can lose five, 10, or even 20 pounds -- at home.
Related: 10 Ways to Make Weight Loss Easier at Home
The One Number to Read on the Nutrition Label
No, not calories -- it's fiber. Fiber helps absorb fat and cholesterol as it travels down your digestive tract, reducing the amount of fat the body absorbs, says Linda Illingworth, RD, the director of nutrition for Cal-a-Vie Health Spa in Vista, California. Here's a sample day's diet to help you get the recommended 30 grams of fiber daily.
Breakfast: 1 cup Greek yogurt with 1/4 cup granola and 1/4 cup raspberries
Snack: 3 cups air-popped popcorn
Lunch: Salad with grilled chicken, 2 cups romaine, 1/2 cup chickpeas, and 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes
Snack: Large apple and 10 almonds
Dinner: Baked fish with 1/2 cup cooked quinoa and 1/2 cup broccoli
Daily fiber total: 30
Bonnie Holland/FITNESS MagazineBy Meghan RabbittRead More »from Outsmart Your Appetite
You work out regularly, and you watch what you eat -- so why do you have to lie down to button your skinny jeans?
Things around you, from the candles on your dining-room table to those super-cute dessert plates, are setting you up to overindulge. "But if you understand the external forces that make you buy and eat more, you can avoid the pitfalls," says Brian Wansink, PhD, a FITNESS advisory board member and the author of Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think. Here's how to spot -- and sidestep -- 15 diet traps.
Related: How to Banish Belly Bloat
Diet Trap: Eating Slowly
Mom's been telling you for years to stop shoveling in your food, and you know that this bad habit makes you consume more calories. But eating too slowly can also backfire. Research shows that the longer a meal lasts, the likelier we are to reach for a third glass of wine or dinner roll. "Just sitting at the table means a greater chance of nibbling on something, even if you're not hungry,"
Karen Pearson/FITNESS MagazineBy the editors of FITNESS MagazineRead More »from 8 Ways to Think Yourself Slim
Attitude means the difference between diet success and failure. Our 8-step plan will keep you on track.
Related: The 10 Fiercest Fire-You-Up Fitness Commercials
1. Define Your Motivation
Weight loss is a three-part process: Exercising and cutting calories are vital, but your mental outlook can mean the difference between success and failure.
"Self-defeating thoughts are often the most overlooked factors when a dieter gets off track," says Jeffrey Wilbert, PhD, author of Fattitudes: Beat Self-Defeat and Win Your War with Weight (St. Martin's Press, 2000). "You feel disappointed when a quick fix turns out to be anything but, or weak if you succumb to an intense craving for ice cream." Without the resolve to overcome such thoughts, sticking with any major lifestyle change can be difficult, if not impossible.
The key is to adopt the right attitude before you start your plan. "If you're really serious about slimming down, you need to think long-term.
Laura Doss/FITNESS MagazineBy Hallie Levine SklarRead More »from Love Your Summer Workout: 10 Motivation Tricks
The only problem with hot weather is that, well, it's so darn hot outside. Put the cool factor back into your workout routine with these tricks from top fitness pros:
Related: 10 Exercises to Turn the Outdoors Into a Gym
1. Adjust your body temperature
Hop into a cold shower before your workout. A German study this year found that a pre-exercise cooldown improves performance in the heat -- probably because it lowers your heart rate as well as core and skin temperatures. Too chicken to try it? Even just cooling your neck or head with an ice pack may make a difference.
2. Check the map
Does your usual running route leave you broiling in the sun? Find a shady new one through the Road Runners Club of America (rrca.org), which features running routes around the country via Google maps. You can also log on to weather.com, which offers a local parks forecast, a fitness comfort index, and an hourly forecast to help you figure out the best time of day to exercise.
Amy Postle/FITNESS MagazineBy Alyssa ShafferRead More »from The New Fitness Rules
Think you know the drill on shaping up and slimming down? Think again. Find out how the latest science is rewriting the rule book on everything, including maximizing your fat burning and acing your running form, so you can finally reach your goal.
Related: 7 Rookie Workout Mistakes to Avoid
Should You Eat Before a Workout?
Old school: Exercising on an empty stomach will burn more fat.
New rule: Have a 150-calorie jump-start meal an hour or two before your workout.
Ever force yourself through a workout, even though you were starving, simply because you thought you would tap into those fat stores faster? Next time, eat up. The latest research in the International Journal of Sports Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism found that exercisers who ate breakfast before treadmilling for 36 minutes had a significantly higher fat-burning rate for as long as 24 hours compared with those who ate post-workout, even though both groups consumed the same number of calories during the
James Worrell/FITNESS MagazineBy Kate RopeRead More »from Supersize Your Self-Control
"No mimosa for me. I have to go running after brunch."
"Dessert? I'm too full from dinner."
"Sorry, can't make happy hour; I'm off to Spinning class."
We all know a friend who seems immune to the siren song of cocktails, cupcakes, and canapes. Wouldn't you like to know her secret? Shh...She's found a new muscle to flex: her willpower. That's right.
Researchers have found that you can chisel your self-control just as you do your quads or biceps. "With practice your self-control muscle becomes less flabby, so you have the strength you need to stick with a weight-loss or exercise program," says Nathan DeWall, PhD, assistant professor of social psychology at the University of Kentucky in Lexington. We asked leaders in the field of self-regulation (that's scientist-speak for self-control) to share simple exercises that will bolster your resolve. Soon you'll be the one trading daiquiris for Diet Cokes and rising with the sun to do your morning run.
Related: No More
Sarah Kehoe/FITNESS MagazineBy Holly C. Corbett and Anna RoufosRead More »from Little Habits, Huge Health Payoffs
You have tons of health goals -- but not enough time to make them a reality. Now we'll help you reach every one without devoting your life to getting there. Here, super-speedy ways to improve you health in only minutes a day.
Related: The 7 Worst Health Habits Ever
In 1 Minute You Can...Find Your Focus
Instead of thinking I need to work out, fine-tune your objective to something like I'm going to do my 30-minute DVD workout on Monday before work. "Being detailed forces you to think through the steps necessary to accomplish the goal and makes it harder to find excuses," says Jackie Keller, trainer and author of Body After Baby.
In 2 Minutes You Can...Build a Better Brain
Right-handed? Use your left hand to brush your teeth or vice versa. "This improves brain signaling, which helps prevent age-related memory loss," says Frederic Vagnini, MD, coauthor of Count Down Your Age.
In 3 Minutes You Can...Set a Healthier Table
Use short, fat glasses for
Denise Crew/FITNESS MagazineBy Melissa RothRead More »from Rev it Up: Reboot Your Metabolism
I am lying on what looks like a cross between a jumbo Xerox machine and a tanning bed at the University of California, Los Angeles, Risk Factor Obesity Program as the big mechanical arm of a DEXA (dual energy X-ray absorptiometry) scanner moves over my head and then down to my feet. I came here to get the latest high-tech body-composition tests and to learn how fast my metabolism is.
Two minutes later a virtual relief map of the muscle, fat, and bone in my body starts to fill in on a computer screen.
"I never would've guessed," says Zhaoping Li, MD, PhD, the UCLA professor of clinical medicine analyzing my results, when she reads me the verdict: 40 percent body fat. As in obese. Except I'm a size 8. Here in Los Angeles, that alone can make you a plus size, but at five feet four inches and 148 pounds, I'm really just three or four pounds overweight.
To think that I had actually been looking forward to this visit. Me, the lucky girl who never dieted, never gained the
Bonnie Holland/FITNESS MagazineBy Kimberly GoadRead More »from 6 Steps to Make a Healthy Change
Trying something new in your job, your workout, or your relationship can reenergize your life. Here's how to take the risks that can be truly transformative.
Related: 9 Steps to Reach Any Goal
3 Steps to Get Started
Kalyn Johnson was a successful 34-year-old attorney at a major New York City law firm. It was the career path she'd always dreamed of, and yet she could count on one finger the number of days she'd been happy on the job. After listening to Kalyn talk about how unfulfilled she was, a friend made a radical suggestion: Strangers were always complimenting Kalyn's style. Why didn't she quit the law firm and launch a business as a wardrobe consultant? The idea of making a career switch intrigued Kalyn, but it also terrified her. "I saw it as a choice between practicing law while maintaining an upscale lifestyle or scraping by as an entrepreneur," she says. "I didn't know if I could do it."
That's the thing about change: We're all for it when it doesn't involve