Getty ImagesBy Jessica Girdwain
It's a familiar story: You pledge to honor a daily elliptical routine and count every last calorie. But soon, you're eating cupcakes at the office and grabbing happy hour mojitos, thinking, Oops, diet over.
There is a better way: Swap the all-or-nothing approach for one or two healthy switch-ups in your daily routine. "Doing this can lead to more weight loss than you ever imagined," says Marissa Lippert, R.D., author of The Cheater's Diet.
In fact, we talked to readers who knocked off 10, 25, even 60 pounds with some easy tweaks. Borrow their slim-down secrets to transform your body the real-world way.
Swap your go-to order
"I used to eat out at restaurants up to nine times a week! By cutting back to just once a week and ordering a grilled chicken salad instead of a large bowl of pasta, I've lost 20 pounds in one month." -Kerri Butler, Joplin, MO
Health.com: 25 ways to cut 500 calories a day
Skip the salty aisle
"I reached my goal weight after I stopped
Blog Posts by Health.com
Getty ImagesBy Jessica GirdwainRead More »from Little ways to lose big pounds
CorbisBy Leslie BarrieRead More »from Sweet benefits of basil
From busting stress to clearing your skin, this herb has some serious mind-body benefits.
Clear up that breakout with basil! The herb's oil helps combat the bacteria that causes pimples, according to a study in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science.
Try this blemish-fighting fix from aesthetician Rena Revivo, chief executive officer of Spa de Soleil: Boil a handful of fresh basil leaves in 1 cup of water for 10 minutes; let the liquid cool. Dip a cotton ball into the liquid, pat it on your breakout zones, wait 10 minutes, then splash with water; repeat once or twice a day.
Note: If you're pregnant or breast-feeding, discuss basil usage with your doc.
Health.com: How to treat (and avoid!) summer skin problems
Feeling frazzled this summer? This herb can mellow you out. "Holy basil has antianxiety effects," explains botanist James Duke, PhD, author of The Green Pharmacy. It contains phytochemicals that studies suggest may lower
Getty ImagesBy Sarah JioRead More »from Defy your age inside and out
You have no interest in being 21 again. (Neither do we.) But, oh, wouldn't it be nice to feel 21 again: The energy! The metabolism! The sense of I-can-accomplish-anything-I-set-my-mind-to!
"It's totally possible to rediscover that zest and optimism you felt when you were younger," says Caroline Adams Miller, author of Creating Your Best Life. "In fact, recapturing those qualities is essential to leading a healthier, happier life in the long run."
Take these simple measures to turn back your internal clock and make the date on your driver's license feel like a big fat lie.
Turn in earlier
Getting your zzz's is the simplest way to feel younger right now. "The only time your body can truly restore itself is when you're asleep," explains Henry Lodge, M.D., co-author of Younger Next Year for Women. "It helps build a more vibrant body and brain."
Chances are, you're not getting as much as you need. Make up for your sleep debt by turning in early enough to get eight hours
Tooga/Getty ImagesBeing fit is an essential part to staying healthy, but is it enough to avoid diabetes and heart disease?
YES: In fact, it's a worthy goal.
Steven Blair, PED, professor of exercise science, epidemiology and biostatistics at the University of South Carolina
- It's better than being thin and unfit. Overweight people who exercise just 150 minutes a week have half the risk of mortality of normal-weight people who don't exercise at all, according to research I conducted. That's not true once you move from overweight (meaning a body mass index, or BMI, of 25 to 29.9) to obese (a BMI of 30 or more). But being fit and a little fat seems to be fine.
- Weight alone doesn't raise disease risk-lack of fitness does. In one study, half of overweight adults and one-third of obese people who were active had normal blood pressure, cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood sugar, putting them at normal risk for heart disease and diabetes, which are both supposedly caused by weight.
123rfFor people who experience from migraines, certain foods, strong perfumes, flickering lights, and weather changes and other environmental factors can set off an attack. But not everyone has the same triggers, and not every time-and that makes the migraine trigger a frustrating prey to hunt down.
Health.com: The 5 types of headaches
There is, however, general agreement about the most common triggers. Here's how to spot them and reduce your headache frequency.
Here's a partial list of major food triggers, according to the National Headache Foundation:
- Ripened cheeses (such as cheddar, Emmentaler, Stilton, Brie, and Camembert)
- Marinated, pickled, or fermented food
- Foods that contain nitrites or nitrates (bacon, hot dogs) or MSG (soy sauce, meat tenderizers, seasoned salt)
- Sour cream
- Nuts, peanut butter
- Sourdough bread
- Broad beans, lima beans, fava beans, snow peas
- Figs, raisins, papayas, avocados, red plums
This month, Julianne Moore shows her funny side in Crazy, Stupid, Love. And, as she tells Health, not taking it all too seriously helps her handle career, kids, even body oh-nos. By Jancee DunnRead More »from Julianne Moore keeps it light
At a photo studio in downtown New York City, Julianne Moore is heard before she is seen-her ringing laugh fills the room. Then the four-time Oscar-nominated star strides over with her hand out as the crew convulses with laughter at a joke she just cracked. It's no surprise that Julianne is known as one of the most well-liked actors on any set. Brainy, forthright, warm, she's part glam actress, part empathetic girlfriend, and part hip Seven Sisters professor.
After changing into a striped T-shirt and slim cargo pants, she sits on the couch, kicks off her clogs and gathers her famously lush red hair into a topknot. All the while, she's peppering me with questions (not normally the habit of someone famous-trust me). At 50, she has the lustrous skin and lithe body of someone decades younger-thanks
- Health.com | Healthy Living – Thu, Jun 23, 2011 5:15 PM EDT
Getty ImagesBy Kimberly HollandRead More »from 4 dangerous health warning signs you should never ignore
Chances are you or a loved one will experience one of the following symptoms. Warning signs like shortness of breath or unexplained throat pain may seem minor but could be deadly. Call 911 for numbers 1 and 2; see a doc immediately for 3 and 4.
1. Fainting or shortness of breath These may signal a clot in your lungs known as a pulmonary embolism (PE), a condition that leads to about 60,000 deaths per year. Keep in mind: Weight gain may increase your PE risks.
2. Unexplained throat pain It could be a heart attack. Women often report jaw and throat discomfort, nausea, sweating, and unexplained fatigue before an attack, whereas classic symptoms like chest and arm pain are more common in men. Every year heart disease kills 16,000 American women younger than 55 and puts 40,000 in the hospital, according to the American Heart Association.
Health.com: 9 surprising heart attack risks
3. Unusual vaginal bleeding Beyond normal menstrual flow or the spotting that comes with
By Alicia PotterRead More »from Secrets of women who never get sick
They survive cold season without a sniffle. They fly in germ-packed airplanes unscathed. And they somehow avoid stomach bugs that decimate the office.
Wish you could be one of these women who never get sick? Try one or-even better-all of these secrets, and you may join this club.
Get a massage
Most studies show that massage can reduce anxiety, blood pressure, and heart rate-and lowering these is likely to cause your stress level to drop, one key to building immunity. "Decreasing stress increases your immune cells," says Tiffany Field, PhD, director of the Touch Research Institute of the University of Miami School of Medicine.
Make massage work for you: Any type of rubdown is fine, as long as you ask for moderate pressure, Field says. The therapist's touch should be vigorous enough to move or indent skin but not so hard that it causes pain. How often do you need one? There's no science on that, but experts say once a month (or more) is worthwhile. Check with your
IstockphotoBy Tula KarrasRead More »from Beat the top summer health hazards
Even though you haven't had summers off since you were in school, the sunshine and warm breeze can still set off that can't-stay-indoors-another-second feeling. But before you race outside, make sure you're ready for everything the season can throw at you. That means more than just slathering on sunscreen: the last thing you want is to have to sit out with a sprained ankle, a case of food poisoning, or raging poison ivy. Follow our warm-weather guide and you won't miss a single opportunity for outdoor action.
Follow the 10 percent rule
Yes, you want to be in shape for bikini season, but getting too gung ho about exercising all at once can lead to overuse injuries. Instead, ramp up slowly: increase your activity level by 10 percent every week. "And don't be a weekend warrior," says Nancy Yen Shipley, MD, an orthopedic surgeon in Richmond, Virginia, and spokeswoman for the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. It's better to do 20 minutes of outdoor activity each
- Health.com | Work + Money – Mon, Jun 20, 2011 7:55 PM EDT
IstockphotoBy Carey RossiRead More »from One week to a slimmer you: Focus on the little things
When it comes to losing weight, the little things add up-trying just one new thing every day can quickly make a big difference. With that in mind, we've taken science's best weight-loss strategies and created a week's worth of slimming to-do's.
Sunday: Shoot it, and shed pounds.
Studies show that recording meals may help you lose up to 5% of your weight, says Robert A. Carels, PhD, an associate professor in the psychology department at Bowling Green State University. Start today: Snap before and after photos of each meal with your camera phone. Keeping a visual food diary is a more accurate way to see what and how much you're eating, United Kingdom researchers say. Afterward, download the pics so you'll have a record.
Health.com: Best superfoods for weight loss
Monday: Pop a vitamin to kill hunger.
Taking a daily multivitamin may make you less hungry, two studies in the British Journal of Nutrition suggest; people who take one tend to weigh less and have lower BMIs.