By Virginia Sole-Smith
It's crunch time, and the snack machine is whispering your name. Pushing the wrong buttons could be a diet disaster -- so check out our top 10 nutritional nightmares, and the 10 smartest snacks.
These 10 snacks top our "just-don't-do-it" list. Most are packed with sugar, fat, and calories. Check out what you should avoid -- and then choose from our smart snack options instead.
The Worst Pick
1. Drake's Apple Fruit Pie
440 calories, 27g fat, 7g sat fat, 8g trans fat
The Bottom Line: Nutritional nightmare
2. Austin Cheese Crackers with Cheddar Cheese
210 calories, 10g fat, 2g sat fat, 4g trans fat
The Bottom Line: A trans fat fest
Related: Test Your IQ: Which Has More Calories?
Other Guilty Pleasures
3. Pop-Tarts Frosted Strawberry
420 calories, 10g fat, 2.5g sat fat, 40g sugar
The Bottom Line: For sharing only
250 calories, 13g fat, 2.5g sat fat, 2g fiber
The Bottom Line: "Nacho" best option
Blog Posts by FITNESS Magazine
By Virginia Sole-SmithRead More »from 10 Healthy (and Terrible!) Vending Machine Snacks
- FITNESS Magazine | Healthy Living – Wed, Oct 26, 2011 5:15 PM EDT
By Chee GatesRead More »from 10 Weight-Loss Tidbits to Learn from "The Biggest Loser"
I claim the title "The Biggest Loser." Not because I dissolved hundreds of pounds, like the competitors on the eponymous, cult-followed NBC phenom. Not because I have the chutzpah (or the psychosis) to squeeze my grown rump and all its dimpled lumpage into spandex and a sports bra on a nationally televised network -- and be weighed like a beef portion (heck naw!). It's because I gorged on the first three seasons -- that's more than 40 hours of pixel play -- in less than a week.
Thousands of pounds have been lost -- over two tons in the third season alone (in addition to the 14 ranch dwellers, 36 rivals competed at home for a $50,000 purse). Seeing real people who are feeling real burnout and losing real flab is an inspiring formula. "We identify with these 'nonactors' because we see ourselves in them," says reality-show expert and clinical psychologist Geoffry White, PhD. While this program is one part gawkfest, the other half, I believe, is truly educational. These are
By Stacy Colino
A spoonful of sugar may help your health -- and even your workout. Here, surprising truths you haven't heard about sugar and your sweetener-of-choice.
Related: Candy (De)Coded: What You Need to Know About Your Favorite Sweets
1. It Doesn't Make You Fat
It only seems like those Girl Scout Cookies go straight to your thighs. Sugar doesn't automatically change into fat in your body, says Tara Gidus, RD, a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association (ADA). In fact, too many calories cause weight gain -- whether they come from cookies or carrots. But when was the last time you OD'd on carrots? Sugary foods tend to be high-calorie and easy to overeat. They cause a spike in blood sugar, followed by a sudden drop that can leave you feeling depleted and hungry.
The Sweet Truth: Limit added sugars to less than 10 percent of your daily calories. If you eat 1,800 calories, that's 180 calories from sugar -- or 11 1/4 teaspoons.
Related: 12 Low-Calorie Desserts to DigRead More »from 7 Shocking Facts About Sugar
By Caroline HwangRead More »from The Great Junk-Food Debate: Men vs. Women
FITNESS surveyed 1,000 people about their munching habits. Read on to find out what brings men and women closer -- to snacks.
Eighty-nine percent of all adults say they nibble at least once a day; nearly a third do it two or three times a day.
But who snacks most?
Men do. Sixty percent of them claim king snack status; a majority of women (54 percent) agree.
The #1 trigger for a snack attack?
Boredom, say slightly more women (63 percent) than men (58 percent). In second and third place for both sexes: tiredness and being mentally fried.
Twice as many men as women say they snack four or more times a day.
Get off the couch!
For nearly three-quarters of men and almost two-thirds of women, it's the primo place for between-meal eating. Maybe the coffee table should be renamed.
You say you eat a single serving...
The majority of snackers (71 percent of women and 60 percent of men) report sticking to one serving. A third of men and almost a
- FITNESS Magazine | Healthy Living – Mon, Oct 24, 2011 8:09 PM EDT
By the editors of FITNESS MagazineRead More »from Urban Running Tips: How to Get the Most Out of Your Run
City running could be classified as a sport of its own. No matter what time of day, weather, or season you're bound to run into another fellow trotter during your route. Here, we got essential tips from Jennifer Solomon, MD, a physiatrist at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City to stay safe while getting the most out of your urban workout.
Related: 6 Symptoms Exercisers Should Pay Attention To
Tip #1: Run on grass or dirt trails in the city's parks whenever possible. These surfaces put the least strain on your joints. But stay clear of uneven terrain. Rocks, holes, tree roots, and other obstacles increase the risk of falls and ankle sprains.
Related: Sneak Preview: Top Walking Shoes This Fall
Tip #2: Don't stop. To keep your heart rate up, try not to pause at red lights. Instead, turn the corner and head back down the block.
Related: Get Inspired: "Why I Run"
Tip #3: Jog against traffic so you can see the cars headed toward you. Make sure
By Carol Mithers
There's an incredible amount of stress out there these days. In a recent survey, 80 percent of Americans reported that they are beyond frazzled. Stress not only wreaks havoc on us emotionally, it also has a powerful effect on our bodies and our brains, literally aging us before our time, according to groundbreaking research. The happy news: The damage appears to be reversible -- and the most effective weapon is exercise.
Related: 7 Stress-Busting Snacks
Your Body on Stress
Why are we so frenzied today? One answer is that "there's more pressure to compete, and all the technology that brings work home means we never get any respite," says Michael G. Wetter, PsyD, a Pleasanton, California-based clinical psychologist and diplomat of the American Psychotherapy Association.
The constant grind exacts a physical toll. "Stress has been linked to heart disease and high blood pressure, and it's a risk factor for type 2 diabetes," says Wetter. Our bodies are biologicallyRead More »from Why You Stress -- and How to Stop
By Melissa WalkerMaking your own healthy meals is one of the easiest ways to ditch pounds. But if grilling, roasting, and sauteing often turn into a kitchen nightmare, use these no-fail tricks to go from flop chef to top chef.
Related: 6 Fall Recipes to Whip Up
How to Bake the Perfect Chicken Breast
"Baked chicken breast is always either raw or dry when I cut into it."
A common mistake is to cook it for a set period of time (say, 30 minutes), regardless of size or thickness. For a moist, perfectly cooked breast, Natalia Hancock, RD, culinary nutritionist at Rouge Tomate restaurant in New York City, recommends purchasing bone-in chicken breasts with skin. "Baking chicken with the skin on locks in moisture and helps prevent the flesh from shrinking and drying. The bone adds flavor and promotes even cooking," she says. Hancock suggests seasoning a breast with salt, black pepper, and your favorite spice (try poultry seasoning or a Cajun spice blend), then cooking it in a 9-by-9-inch Read More »from 5 Foolproof Healthy Cooking Tips
By Rachel SturtzRead More »from Get Footloose: Tips for Barefoot Running
Kick off those shoes for some of your miles. Barefoot runners tend to strike with the ball of the foot first, which reduces the force of impact on their bodies, a recent study found. Try it with easy technique tweaks from Daniel Lieberman, PhD, professor of human evolutionary biology at Harvard.
Related: Run a Half-Marathon in 8 Weeks
Tip #1: Learn the Ropes
Start slowly, keeping your feet under your hips. Aim to touch down on the outside of the ball of your foot first, then gently lower your heel to the ground, says lead author Daniel Lieberman, PhD, professor of human evolutionary biology at Harvard.
Related: Running 101: A Beginner's Guide
Tip #2: Jog by the Seashore
You'll burn up to 60 percent more calories by running on the sand instead of the street. It's more challenging than going barefoot on a firm surface, Lieberman says. "You have to engage more muscles to stabilize your feet, so watch your form."
Related: Find Out How Many Calories You're Burning
By the editors of FITNESS; drills created by Dave KuehlsRead More »from Rev Up Your Run: 5 Training Drills to Try
Pushing the pace is not just for stopwatch nuts looking for faster times on race day. Speedier strides burn more calories per minute and boost your cardiovascular capacity, making everything you do -- from errands to exercise -- feel easier, says Dave Kuehls, author of How to Run a Personal Record. Follow his drills to stop huffing and start hauling.
Related: Run a Half-Marathon in 8 Weeks
Drill #1: Do speed work on a track -- the distances are measured out for you.
How to do it: Run ladders: Try a 200-meter sprint, 400-meter fast, 600-meter moderate, 800-meter slow. Reverse order back to start.
Why do it: Upping your tempo strengthens your legs and increases your lung capacity.
Related: The 7 Best Foods for Runners
Drill #2: Run at goal race pace for an entire workout.
How to do it: Check your watch every 1/4 mile to make sure you're being consistent.
Why do it: Practice helps your body memorize a desired speed.
By Jenna Bergen
Your afternoon pick-me-up doesn't come just from the corner coffee shop anymore. The latest energy boosters are concocted in high-tech labs and promise to give you a whole new kind of lift. But do they really work? Here, experts dish on which ingredients in your energy drink do what they actually claim.
Related: More Facts on Energy Shots, Sports Drinks, and Power Packs
Claim: Improves alertness and physical performance; reduces fatigue
The science: "Caffeine is a component of guarana, which is why it can provide similar benefits," says Kevin Clauson of Nova Southeastern University College of Pharmacy in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. But since the amount of caffeine varies from 2 to 8 percent, it's hard to determine exactly how big a boost you'll get.
Ingredient: B vitamins
Claim: Boost energy and metabolism
The science: "B vitamins help convert food intoRead More »from Do the Ingredients in Energy Drinks Really Work?