Alexa Miller/Fitness MagazineBy Maura Kelly
Turns out that for years, we've been going about our resolutions all wrong. That's because we didn't really understand what willpower is. It's not a magical force we summon up only when we're trying to diet or kick our butts into workout mode. Instead, willpower is something we call on throughout the day, every day, to help us decide between the black pants and the blue ones, for instance, or to try to tune out our cubicle mate's phone conversation so we can get our work done. "Any act that requires self-control requires willpower," explains Roy F. Baumeister, PhD, a professor of psychology at Florida State University and a coauthor of Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength.
Unfortunately we have only a certain amount of willpower in any 24-hour period, and it tends to be strongest at the beginning of the day. "Willpower depends on your body's energy supply, which generally peaks in the morning," Baumeister says. The more we use it, the weaker it gets.
Blog Posts by FITNESS Magazine
- FITNESS Magazine | Healthy Living – Fri, Jan 11, 2013 11:11 AM EST
Alexa Miller/Fitness MagazineBy Maura KellyRead More »from Reach Any Goal: 6 Ways to Strengthen Your Willpower
- FITNESS Magazine | Healthy Living – Thu, Jan 10, 2013 12:29 PM EST
Courtesy of iStockphotoBy Chrisanne GriseRead More »from 5 Shocking Ways Your Cell Phone is Hurting Your Health
Sure, your iPhone is a lifesaver when it comes to multitasking, but did you know that it could also be causing significant physical and emotional health problems for you? Check out this list and see if you identify with any of these problems -- and then find out how to remedy the situation.
Related: The 7 Worst Health Habits-Ever
The problem: Becoming addicted to your phone has become such a real condition that experts have given it a name: "Nomophobia" (no-mobile-phone-phobia). It's not limited to the hardcore Wall Street types with their "crackberries" though; it's more widespread than we realized. A recent survey found that 84 percent of the world's population said they could not go one day without their phones, and current research shows that nearly two-thirds of teens and young adults check their phones every 15 minutes or less. The anxiety and stress over missing out on a text or Facebook update can take such a toll on peoples' health that
Denise Crew/Fitness MagazineBy Alexa Joy ShermanRead More »from The 10 Commandments of Dieting, Debunked
Bless me, reader, for I have sinned. It's been many years since my first diet, and with each attempt I've either lost weight and gained it back or slipped up and given up. It's gotten me thinking: I follow conventional weight-loss wisdom, but should I? Maybe I don't need to devoutly keep a food journal or eat every three hours. To find out, I put 10 of the top diet commandments to the test and enlisted the divine intervention of three dieting gurus. The experience was, well, enlightening.
Related: 8 Diet Rules Meant to Be Broken
Thou shalt eat only when hungry.
During the day this is easy; I'm so busy, I remember to eat only when my stomach growls. But temptations pop up in the evening, and I start to confuse what I want with what I need. Case(s) in point: After my 5-year-old was done with his Happy Meal, I couldn't resist finishing his fries and burger, not because I was famished but because -- hello! -- they were fries and a burger. Another night I wasn't
Peter Ardito/Fitness MagazineBy Rachel Meltzer Warren, RDRead More »from The Slimming Superfoods Diet Plan
Lose weight while still eating delicious and filling foods. These ingredients and recipes are easy to prepare and have the nutrients you need to stay energized for your workout.
Related: The Top 10 Superfoods for Women
Eggs: People who ate eggs and toast for breakfast shed more pounds than those who had bagels and cream cheese, according to a Louisiana State University study. Besides delivering six grams of protein for just 72 calories, eggs have also been shown to lower levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin.
Almonds: A daily serving of nuts can actually help prevent weight gain, research at Harvard showed. Almonds have fewer calories -- just 129 per one-ounce handful -- than any other kind.
Pears: Pears are one of the best sources of soluble fiber, which reduces belly fat. And a study in the journal Nutrition found that women who ate three a day lost 39 percent more weight than those who consumed an equal number of calories' worth of oatmeal cookies.
Brian Bowen Smith/Fitness MagazineBy Kelly Mickle
Alison Sweeney loves a challenge. Take last fall's Nautica Malibu Triathlon, which involved a half-mile swim in the Pacific. "I'm afraid of sharks, but my fear flew out the window as soon as I jumped into the ocean," Alison says. "The current kept pushing me to shore, but I didn't let myself panic, I just kept swimming until I made it to the final buoy" -- without spotting a single shark.
Whether it's racing in open water or dropping from a size 12 to a 4, the 36-year-old host of The Biggest Loser and star of Days of Our Lives isn't one to wimp out. "Pushing yourself to do the hard stuff makes you feel accomplished and inspires you to want more," Alison says.
Luckily, she has plenty to keep her busy. Besides filming Loser, competing in her first triathlon, and training for the upcoming Walt Disney World Half Marathon, Alison has just finished writing a novel and is already working on a second -- and she's about to start directing episodes of Days. Not toRead More »from Alison Sweeney's Goal-Getting Tips
Kate Sears/Fitness MagazineBy Samantha SheltonRead More »from The 8 Best Greek Yogurts to Buy Right Now
If the healthy foods in your fridge formed a team, yogurt would be the MVP. It's packed with protein, calcium, and probiotics -- "good" bacteria that can help with digestion and boost immunity -- and it tastes like a treat. But not all yogurts are created equal. Some contain as much sugar as a candy bar, while others have more than a third of the saturated fat you're supposed to have in a day. The good news: We worked with our team of nutritionists and taste testers to come up with eight great options you can dig into without a lick of guilt. All have less than 20 grams of sugar (keep in mind that a 6-ounce serving of plain yogurt has about 13 grams of naturally occurring sugar from milk), no more than 150 calories, and less than 5 grams of fat. Go on -- give 'em a swirl.
What makes a winner
Companies submitted 85 new yogurts to FITNESS. Our experts -- Anar Allidina, RD, a dietitian in private practice in Toronto; Keri Gans, RD, the author of The Small Change
Cheyenne Ellis/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: Rev Up the Burn: The Drenched Method Workout
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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
Alexa Miller/Fitness MagazineBy Dorothy Foltz-GrayRead More »from 7 Ways to Burn Off Holiday Treats
Pecan pie. Eggnog. Aunt Norma's famous sweet potatoes. Candy canes. Holiday "sugar plums" can undo us. Still, what's merriment without a bit of sweet indulgence? Splurge a little-then follow our easy tips for burning off those extra calories.*
* Note: The calories burned are estimates based on a 150-pound woman. What you burn depends on your height, weight, and how vigorously you work out.
Related: 10 Strategies to Lose Fat and Keep It Off
1. A Slice of Pecan Pie (500 calories)
"Oh the pie! Pecan, pumpkin, apple, pecan, chocolate, pecan. Did I say that already?" asks Krista Maurer, a writer, photographer, and designer in Bountiful, Utah. "I could eat an entire pecan pie by myself."
Burn It Off This Way: Shoveling Snow
Pie-loving Maurer, who has recently lost 35 pounds, undoes her pecan pie calories by shoveling her driveway for at least an hour. "It's a hefty workout, especially when we get a wet snow," she says.
"Eighty minutes of show shoveling will burn
Sara Forrest/Fitness MagazineBy Jan SheehanRead More »from 5 Ways to Party-Proof Your Diet
The holidays are a scary time for dieters, but you can stick to your diet though Thanksgiving and Christmas. Here's how to regain control after common seasonal slip-ups -- so you might even lose weight this year.
Related: 100 Days of Guilt-Free Holidays
You drank too much eggnog at the office party.
Undo the damage. You can blame your wicked hangover and pounding headache on dehydration and the toxins your body had to release to metabolize all that booze. "Alcohol also increases the secretion of acid in the stomach and irritates the stomach lining," says Robert Swift, MD, PhD, associate director of the Brown University Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies in Providence. Relieve your misery by eating a piece of toast with honey. Greasy foods, like fried eggs and sausages, will only overtax your irritated digestive system and make it pump out more acid, Dr. Swift says. Honey is an excellent source of fructose, a sugar that research shows may help your body get rid
Darren Keith/Fitness MagazineBy Amy Paturel
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.
Related: The 10 Healthiest Foods on the Planet
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 of Internal Medicine found that adults who ate moderate amounts of chocolate regularly were actually thinner than those who didn't, even though they consumed more calories and exercised the same amount.
Look for chocolate that contains at leastRead More »from The Latest 6 Fat-Fighting Superfoods