John Herr/FITNESS MagazineBy Andrea Bartz
I was headed to the DMV to renew my driver's license, and I had to walk past a food court to get there. Even though I had just eaten lunch, the smell of pizza and Chinese food was making my stomach rumble, and I could practically feel my pupils turning into tiny cheeseburgers, cartoon-style. Ninety minutes' worth of paperwork later, I was slathering extra frosting on a Cinnabon. "We're continually being offered calorie-dense food in big portions, and we don't have to work hard or spend much money to get it," says Barbara Rolls, PhD, the author of The Ultimate Volumetrics Diet. "If you wanted to fatten someone up, you couldn't design a much better environment than the one we live in." And a lot of Americans are succumbing: 33 percent of adults are overweight and 36 percent are obese. But there's good news: You can beat the odds and ditch extra pounds. Here, the 10 hurdles standing between you and your goal weight -- and how to tackle every one.
Related: 12 Sneaky Ways
Blog Posts by FITNESS Magazine
John Herr/FITNESS MagazineBy Andrea BartzRead More »from Fat-Proof Your Life
Mickey Burton/FITNESS MagazineBy Paige GreenfieldRead More »from Hormones Gone Haywire?
They're your body's secret weapon: Hormones keep your heart thumping, your digestive system churning, and your brain sharp. "Whenever you feel off, your hormones could be the cause," says Scott Isaacs, MD, an endocrinologist at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta. They can get out of kilter when you're stressed, tired, or eating poorly and create all kinds of havoc. Here, five signs that your hormones have gone rogue -- and how to get them back on track.
Related: 7 Life Shortcuts That Hurt Your Health
You're Tired All the Time
"If you're logging eight hours in the sack and still waking up groggy, low progesterone levels could be stealing your sleep," says Sara Gottfried, MD, the author of The Hormone Cure. Progesterone naturally plummets with menopause, but it can begin dropping as early as your thirties, when your ovaries start releasing fewer eggs. Because the hormone regulates your internal thermostat, a low level of it may cause your body
- FITNESS Magazine | Healthy Living – Mon, Aug 26, 2013 11:55 AM EDT
Ture Lillegraven/FITNESS MagazineBy Melissa RothRead More »from The Cost of Fitness: When to Splurge and Save on Your Fitness Routine
Some women spend big bucks for a hot bod or a cool workout. Others swing it on the cheap. FITNESS investigates who's splurging, who's scrimping, and how you can trim the price of keeping trim.
The Class Act
Meghan Springmeyer, 28
Advertising sales executive
New York City
Monthly Fitness Bill
CrossFit membership: $220
Race fees: $50-$100
Go-to routine: Group classes
Springmeyer pays up to $40 a pop at fitness boutiques such as SoulCycle (indoor cycling), SLT (a Pilates-and-cardio hybrid), Physique 57 (barre), and Exhale Mind Body Spa (Core Fusion sculpting). "It's expensive, but because the studios are intimate, it's almost as if you're getting a personal-training session," she says.
Money-saving move: Sweat working
Instead of taking clients out to eat, Springmeyer often brings them to her favorite exercise classes. "It has helped me create some great professional relationships," she says, "without
Blaine Moats/FITNESS MagazineBy Elizabeth BrownfieldRead More »from Oil Change: Healthy Cooking Substitutes for Olive
You would never dream of limiting yourself to a single spice or type of cuisine (well, maybe Italian, but only if gelato were part of the deal). So why are you reaching for extra-virgin olive oil every time you cook? These six alternatives have the same 120 calories and 14 grams of fat per tablespoon as the "gold" standard does. But unlike EVOO, some can stand up to the high heat of stir-frying, while a mere drizzle of others can transform a dish. And because each delivers a special set of nutritional benefits, switching things up won't just make your meals tastier, it can give you a health boost too.
Related: What You Need to Know About Going Gluten-Free
Mildly nutty peanut oil is a great choice for healthy frying. Because it can be heated to a higher temperature than many other oils, foods cook faster in it and have less time to absorb the extra calories and fat. It's also a surprising source of resveratrol, an antioxidant that is found in grapes and
Sam Kaplan/FITNESS MagazineBy Paige GreenfieldRead More »from Find Your Stress Sweet Spot
Feeling stressed? Consider yourself blessed. Stress is essential to a happy, healthy life. Really! Recent research has shown that there's an "anxiety sweet spot," in which short bursts of stress are actually good for us. "The adrenaline our bodies produce when we feel threatened makes our brain function better, sharpening our focus, improving our mental and physical performance, and making us feel ready for anything," says Bruce McEwen, PhD, a neuroendocrinologist at Rockefeller University. Bonus: Your immune system also gets a boost, which can make you healthier too. So stop fretting and read on to learn how to stay perfectly on point.
Related: What Your Gut Says About Your Health
Turn All Stress into Good Stress
Most of us consider stress a negative, but it actually covers a spectrum from good to bad and is vital to our survival, McEwen says. "The sweet spot is achieved when the kind of anxiety and arousal you experience while giving a speech or taking a test
- FITNESS Magazine | Healthy Living – Tue, Aug 20, 2013 2:10 PM EDT
Jeff Olson/FITNESS MagazineBy Wendy GimanRead More »from Run Strong! Hill Workouts to Run Stronger and Faster
Tackling hills can pump up your pace, even when you're cruising down them. Uphill and downhill training helped runners shave their race times by 2 percent (for example, more than two minutes off a 1:50 half-marathon) thanks to increased leg strength, according to a study from Auckland University of Technology in New Zealand. You too can go turbo with these hill-mastering tips from Darren De Reuck, the head of running for Boulder Coaching in Colorado.
Related: The FITNESS Half-Marathon Training Guide
You don't need to aim for supersteep to reap benefits, Darren De Reuck says. Look for a hill with a long, steady incline (a slight three- to five-degree slope), or jump on a treadmill to replicate his runs below.
In the Park
0 to 5:00 Warm-up (Do jumping jacks, high knees, butt kicks, then an easy run.)
5:00 to 9:00 Strides (Pick up the pace for 30 seconds, then slow to an easy run/walk for 30 seconds. Do 4 sets total.)
9:00 to 11:00 Steady run uphill
Ture Lillegraven/FITNESS MagazineBy Jenna Autuori-Dedic and Lauren CardarelliRead More »from FITNESS 2013 Gear Guide: The Best Sports Bras
The jiggle is up. We tested more than 75 styles to find these top sports bras that banish the bounce -- wherever your workout takes you.
Related: Your Sports Bra Fitting Guide
Pounding the Pavement
When you hit the ground running, it's with a force two and a half times your body weight. No wonder a third of marathoners in a study from St. Mary's University College in London complained of breast pain during training. Finding the right sports bra squelches that ache in 85 percent of women with the complaint.
• A/B cup: Compression-style The North Face Stow-N-Go II racerback with front pocket ($40, thenorthface.com)
• A/B cup: Asics Soriada pullover bra with peekaboo cutout in back ($46, asics.com)
• C/D cup: Lululemon Athletica All-Sport compression bra with crisscross back ($52, lululemon.com)
• C/D cup: Breast-encapsulating Adidas Supernova Racer bra with removable padding ($40, adidas.com)
• DD+ cup: Saucony Curve Crusader bra with
Darren Keith/FITNESS MagazineBy Amy PaturelRead More »from 6 Foods that Speed Up Your Metabolism
The best news we've heard all year: Chocolate boosts your metabolism. When we combed through the research, the sweet treat wasn't the only surprise standout. While calories are the key to diet success (or failure), certain ingredients can help speed up your slim-down.
"Foods stimulate the body to produce hormones," says Jonny Bowden, PhD, the author of The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth. "Some of those hormones coax your metabolism into fat-burning mode, and others make it sluggish and more apt to store fat." These six superfoods will rev up your fat-burning engine.
A particularly sweet study found that daily consumption of roughly one and a half ounces of dark chocolate -- about the amount in a Hershey's bar -- reduced the stress hormone cortisol. (Stress has been linked to a sluggish metabolism.) Researchers suspect that certain compounds in chocolate, like caffeine and theobromine, may be responsible. Another reason to indulge: A study in the Archives
Alexa Miller/FITNESS MagazineBy Jenna Autuori-DedicRead More »from Burn More Calories in Less Time
Minis are in! "Shorter, harder workouts may actually be better for revving your metabolism than longer sessions," says trainer Jessica Smith, a co-author of The Thin in 10 Weight-Loss Plan. "You'll continue to burn calories at a higher rate long after you're done exercising." Here's how to maximize the minutes you think you don't have.
Related: Boost Energy, Blast Fat Fast!
How to Do It
Split it up. Instead of a 40-minute slog, think of your daily cardio as four 10-minute sessions or two 20-minute workouts. "You net the benefits no matter when you get it done," Smith says.
Move before you make excuses. "Bang out a routine right after you wake up," Smith says. Set your alarm 20 minutes earlier than usual; not only will you not notice the missed sleep, but you'll also get an energy buzz from the exercise.
Push yourself. When your workout is short -- 20 minutes or less -- "going all out is much more doable, and that's what will really make your cardio count,"
Karen Pearson/FITNESS MagazineBy Nicci MiccoRead More »from How to Conquer Your Most Common Fears
People tell me that I come across as a confident person. It's true that I have no trouble speaking up at meetings, mingling at parties, even asking for a raise. But those close to me know that the mere idea of navigating a car through Manhattan (or any large city) makes my heart race and my palms sweat. And that I don't go into the ocean past my ankles because, well, sharks are there, waiting. To eat me.
Some people are less prone to panic than I am -- because of their genes or experience or, more likely, a combination of the two -- but everyone experiences fear. This universal emotion registers in a part of the brain called the amygdala, which detects danger and dispatches a "code red" message that results in a cascade of physical symptoms: a racing heart, dizziness, shortness of breath, a dry mouth. You're ready to run. Or fight. Or maybe you freeze.
All three responses served our ancestors, who needed to evade and escape predators. Problem is, our scary situations