by Joe Dowdell, CSCS for SHAPE.com
Which is more important: getting more sleep or putting in a morning workout?To change your body composition in the least amount of time, cleaning up your diet and getting seven to eight hours of quality sleep are both essential. Sleep is extremely important for body composition and helps the body and brain restore and rejuvenate in many ways. Plus, sleep (or the lack thereof) affects important hormonal activity tied to appetite and therefore has a direct impact on your ability to lose weight (i.e. body fat).
A 2004 study published online at the Public Library of Science found that people who slept less than seven hours a night ate significantly more and weighed more than those who slept longer. What's more, the more sleep-deprived the person was, the more they ate and the greater their weight gain. These results can be directly attributed to two key appetite-regulating hormones: leptin and ghrelin. Leptin (a hormone secreted by our fat cells) and ghrelin (a hormone secreted in our stomachs) work like a checks and balances
Blog Posts by SHAPE magazine
by Joe Dowdell, CSCS for SHAPE.comRead More »from Should You Skip Sleep to Fit in a Workout?
- SHAPE magazine | Healthy Living – Tue, Apr 9, 2013 11:26 AM EDT
by Heidi Pashman for SHAPE.comRead More »from Morning-After Pill to Be Made Available OTC to All Ages
Plan B now available OTC to anyone, regardless of ageIt's been a big week in the world of reproductive rights: Last Friday, Judge Edward R. Korman of the Federal District Court has ordered the FDA to make the morning-after pill available over the counter for anyone of any age.
The ruling is a response to an ongoing and more-than-decade-old lawsuit between the FDA and Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR). The FDA approved Plan B for prescription use in 1999, and in 2001 the CRR submitted a Citizen Petition that Plan B be made available over the counter for all ages. But it wasn't until 2009 that it was made available over the counter for those 17 years old and older and via prescription for anyone younger.
Last Friday's ruling counteracts a 2011 decision by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius from the Obama Administration to keep the age restriction in place despite the FDA commissioner's approval to make Plan B available over the counter.
Nancy Northup, president and CEO of CRR, was
by Keri Gans, R.D., for SHAPE.comRead More »from Say "I Do" to a Happy Marriage, Not Weight Gain
Recently become a Mrs.? Here's how to avoid the newlywed weight gain.It is not unusual in my practice to have a patient complain about gaining weight after his or her wedding and honeymoon. I also see it happen sometimes when a happy couple decides to move in together long before the big day. So I was not surprised when a recent study from Methodist University in Dallas revealed that young newlyweds who are happy in their marriage tend to put on pounds.
If you recently became a Mrs., here is what I constantly remind my patients: Just because you are no longer in pursuit for a boyfriend or fitting into your wedding gown doesn't mean you now have carte blanche to eat whatever you want.
My patients also usually blame their weight gain on their other half's eating behaviors or activity level. I kindly tell them that it is simply an excuse. I have been with my husband for 20 years, married for 13 of them, and have never gained an ounce; meanwhile he has gained, lost, and regained many, many pounds.
by Alanna Nuñez for SHAPE.comRead More »from 9 Ingredients Nutritionists Won't Touch
If you see any of these ingredients on the food you're holding, skip it and put it back on the shelf!1. Potassium benzoate: When you crave something sweet, bubbly, and perhaps caffeinated but don't want the calories, it can be tempting to crack open a diet soda-but resist that urge. "Sodium and potassium benzoate are added to some diet soft drinks and fruit drinks," Leslie Bonci, R.D., says. "They can form benzene, which is a carcinogen when combined with vitamin C, the ascorbic acid in juice or soda."
In addition, research shows that there may be a link between diet cola consumption and weight gain, as well as cancer and diabetes, so if you're a diet soda junkie, try to cut back. Our five tips will help you kick the habit.
If you don't drink soda, you're not safe, though: Potassium benzoate often shows up in seemingly innocuous foods such as apple cider, low-fat salad dressings, syrups, jams, olives, and pickles, so read labels.
2. Corn: Don't panic-you can enjoy your corn on the cob if it's non-GMO; we're talking about modified
- SHAPE magazine | Healthy Living – Thu, Apr 4, 2013 10:10 AM EDT
by Heidi Pashman for SHAPE.comRead More »from Airline Charges by Weight, Accused of Discrimination
Airline implements first-ever fat taxInstead of the dreaded weigh-in at your doctor's appointment or Weight Watcher's meeting, you now could have a new place to hate the scale: The airport. Samoa Air has become the first airline in the world to introduce a "pay as you weigh" price plan for its passengers.
In an era where huge baggage fees and and two-seat purchase policies for some overweight passengers are the norm, this could seem like a good solution. "People have always traveled on the basis of of their seat, but as any airplane operator knows, airplanes don't run on seats, they run on weight," Chris Langton, CEO of Samoa Air, told ABC Radio in an interview.
Samoa Air is a smaller airline serving the South Pacific region with planes that hold fewer passengers than major international airlines. "Particularly the smaller the aircraft that you're in, the less variance you can accept in terms of the differences of weights between passengers," Langston added in the interview.
by Cristina Goyanes for SHAPE.comRead More »from Healthy Ways to Spend Your Tax Refund
How are you spending your tax refund?The only silver lining to spending headache-inducing hours of filling out tax papers is a nice refund. If you're expecting a check in the mail this season (congrats to you!), reward yourself with a a small portion of that rebate in a good-for-you way. Farnoosh Torabi, a personal finance expert and the host of "Financially Fit" on Yahoo! Finance, recommends five easy ways to put your money where your health is.
1. Invest in memories, not accessories. Supposedly you can't buy happiness, but damn, this season's hot new bag would sure put a smile on your face. Before you say "charge it," consider this: "Studies show that buying yourself experiences-like a vacation, yoga retreat, massage, or cooking classes-leads to increased happiness levels more so than buying material things such as a sweater or car," Torabi says. If you buy a new set of wheels, your glee will fade if your neighbor buys a nicer car, but a trip to the Bahamas is more subjective and
by Jennifer D'Angelo Friedman for SHAPE.comRead More »from 8 Healthy Food Hacks
Genius healthy food swapsYou've long been using Greek yogurt in place of sour cream, mayo, and cream; upgraded from white pasta to whole-wheat noodles; and maybe even ditched wraps for lettuce leaves. All smart moves-and, luckily for our taste buds, the simple shortcuts don't stop there. The possibilities for good-for-you foods are almost endless, so stock up on avocados, black beans, coffee, and even dark chocolate, and start making all your favorite recipes healthier.
1. Shake up a coconut water cocktail: While alcohol isn't low-calorie, the sugary mixers you add to make drinks can really do you in. Try coconut water instead, which has a measly 6 calories per ounce. "It provides key electrolytes such as potassium, magnesium, and calcium," says Patricia Bannan, R.D., author of Eat Right When Time is Tight. "These may help keep you hydrated and therefore avoid a hangover if you overdo it." Be sure to choose all-natural coconut water, never from concentrate, for the
by Jessica Smith for SHAPE.comRead More »from 8 Well-Meaning Workout Strategies that Backfire
Workout strategies that backfire1. Working out at the crack of dawn:
Strategy: Setting your alarm for 5:00 a.m. to fit in a gym session before work.
How it can backfire: A morning workout can be a good idea if it's your only option, but if you're skimping on sleep in order to sweat, you may be stalling your progress. Not getting enough sleep can stall weight loss and lead to everything from fatigue to type 2 diabetes in the long run. Not to mention, you may not have the same amount of energy in the wee hours of the morning.
Solution: If your jam-packed day just won't allow you to hit the hay earlier, you may need to let go of the 'all or nothing' mentality when it comes to your workouts. If you like starting your day off with some exercise, wake up just 15 minutes earlier and do a short 10-minute workout in the morning, and then fit in two more 10-minute bouts of exercise at other intervals in your day. Studies show this strategy can be even more effective than one continuous sweat
by Keri Gans, R.D., for SHAPE.comRead More »from Are McDonald's New McWrap Sandwiches Healthy?
Do McDonald's new McWrap sandwiches have a place in a healthy diet?On April 1, McDonald's is launching a huge advertising campaign to promote its new line of sandwiches called the Premium McWrap. Rumor has it that they are hoping the McWrap will attract the millennial customers who are presently going to Subway for a "healthy" sandwich.
The McWrap will come in three varieties: Chicken and Bacon, Chicken and Ranch, and Chicken and Sweet Chili, and each can be ordered grilled or crispy (read: fried). Depending on your selection, you're looking at: 360 to 600 calories , 9 to 30g fat (2.5 to 8g saturated fat) , 23 to 30g protein, 2 to 3g fiber, 1,030 to 1,420mg sodium.
RELATED: 9 Common Foods with Toxic Ingredients
With these numbers, you may be wondering if Mickey D's should even be promoting this as a healthy choice. I actually think that the McWrap can be a healthier choice for many usual fast-food partakers as well as some who might not typically go that route. It really comes down to which one you choose or how
by Cristina GoyanesRead More »from Why Would Lindsey Vonn Date Tiger Woods!?
Why would anyone want to date Tiger Woods?You'd think that 27 mistresses equals 27 glaring red flags-much like the ones alpine ski racer Lindsey Vonn expertly dodges on the giant slalom-to stay far, far away from Tiger Woods. Instead 28-year-old Vonn has chosen to ignore the embarrassing and highly disturbing facts, including the one about how she sorta resembles the 37-year-old's blond ex-wife, Elin Nordegren.
Not to say that there's no such thing as second chances or total redemption, but between this news and singer Rihanna getting back together with rapper Chris Brown, who infamously assaulted her in 2009, we can't help but wonder: What is up with powerful women getting seduced by scummy men?
RELATED: 16 Things That Can Sink Your (and His) Sex Drive
"The reason women tend to get stuck with charming narcissists, like the Tiger Woods and Chris Browns of the world, is because they catch them on a series of really good days," says Ramani Durvasula, Ph.D., an L.A.-based licensed clinical psychologist and