Photo by M.E. Wood via FlickrThe rising fat acceptance movement says being overweight isn't necessarily bad for you-and some doctors agree. Other experts contend that's a dangerous, even irresponsible, point of view. Here, we look at both sides of the debate.
TODAY'S WOMAN Tyra Banks has a new mission: Hold a contest for an unlikely group of aspiring models--namely, those whose curves can fill out a size 14--for a plus-size competition. "Plus-size is really the average American woman," Banks has said. "And that woman is healthy." That woman is also, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 20 pounds overweight.
In fact, a growing collective of doctors and activists have begun to argue that lifestyle and genetics are what determine a woman's health. Even our new (zaftig) surgeon general, Regina Benjamin, M.D., recently said, "Being healthy is not about a dress size."
That's hopeful news for the 33 percent of Americans who are overweight (this doesn't include the 34 percent who are obese).
Blog Posts by The Editors of WOMEN'S HEALTH
Photo by M.E. Wood via FlickrThe rising fat acceptance movement says being overweight isn't necessarily bad for you-and some doctors agree. Other experts contend that's a dangerous, even irresponsible, point of view. Here, we look at both sides of the debate.Read More »from Can you be healthy at any size?
Photo courtesy of The U.S. Army via FlickrThe women serving in Iraq and Afghanistan are the first generation of female soldiers to endure the horrors of war at close range--and they bear the physical and psychological scars of that experience. Yet when they come home, many are treated as though they had been tucked safely behind a desk. Women's Health talks to three such women about their postbattle suffering... and their fight to feel safe and happy again.Read More »from Invisible Soldiers
"I'm sorry, but I'm going to have to take that pen."
LaTisha Bowen reaches across the restaurant table and swipes the ballpoint from my hand. The pen I had been clicking unconsciously and, apparently, incessantly. She sets it down on the table next to my tape recorder and flashes a shy smile, the first I've seen from her all evening. "It's just that I...well...sometimes little noises like that set me off. You can understand?"
I think I can. I have been around dozens of veterans from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars who suffer from varying degrees of post-traumatic stress.
Your heart is one impressive, overachieving organ: In the minute it takes you to read these paragraphs, it will have pushed a whopping 1.5 gallons of blood through 60,000 miles of blood vessels-that's more than twice the circumference of Earth. Yet despite your ticker's superpowers (and the fact that it keeps you, well, alive), most women don't do enough to safeguard their heart health.Read More »from 7 Ways to live longer
That's right, we're talking to you. Heart disease is the number one killer of all women, says health advocate and former U.S. surgeon general Richard Carmona, M.D.
"It can and does affect young people," he stresses. In other words, it's not just a problem for geezers. The following are simple lifestyle tweaks that can help you live a long, healthy life.
HAVE MORE SEX Getting busy at least twice a week can reduce your risk for heart disease by lowering blood pressure and reducing stress, says ob-gyn Andrew Scheinfeld, M.D., a clinical instructor at New York University Langone Medical Center. You'll
You're going to love this: One way to get a slimmer figure is by simply standing still. It's a strength-training style called isometrics, and it's a great way to sculpt and tone your body.Read More »from 60-Second calorie burners
Here's how it works: Instead of lifting and lowering your body or a weight, you hold yourself in a fixed spot, says Ashley Ntansah, training manager at Club H Fitness in Hoboken, New Jersey, who designed this workout. "It not only creates definition but also strengthens the smaller muscles, which have to work harder to keep you stabilized."
Here's what to expect: You will do this total-body workout three days a week. Starting with the first exercise, hold the position for 60 seconds, rest for 30 seconds, and then repeat the exercise three to five more times.
Abs Secrets, or What You Need to Know About Your Core
PLANK WITH GLUTE SQUEEZE
Lie facedown on the floor, prop yourself up on your forearms, and flex your toes. Your body should form a straight line from head to heels. Contract your abs and
Your secret weapon for breaking the double-digit weight-loss barrier? Strength training. Adding resistance builds muscle and helps you burn more calories during (and after!) your workout, says Tom Holland, author of Beat the Gym. In fact, researchers found that women who did strength training increased their resting metabolic rate (the calories your body needs to get through the day) for as long as 16 hours post-exercise.Read More »from The speediest way to drop 10 pounds
What to Expect: For the best results, you will follow this metabolism-revving, total-body routine two or three times a week: Do 10 reps of each move, going from one exercise to the next with no rest; then take a one-minute break. Do three circuits total.
Round-the-Clock Ways to Boost Metabolism
Dumbbell Squat to Overhead Press
Hold weights at your shoulders, elbows bent, feet hip-width apart. Bend your knees and lower until your thighs are nearly parallel to the floor. As you stand, press the weights overhead until your arms are straight. Return to start. That's one
Snickers? Butterfinger? Kit Kit bars? Do you know the healthiest chocolate candy?
It's true, you can cheat on your diet during Halloween -- in moderation, of course -- and not feel bad about it. In fact, according to some experts, indulging a bit during festive times can keep you from feeling deprived and ultimately help you lose weight more easily. Give into your cravings without suffering any evil consequences with this handy guide to healthier treats.
Best Nutty Candy Bar
Eat This! 100 Grand
190 calories 8 g fat (5 g saturated) 22 g sugars
This is the safest candy bar we've come across. Make it your first choice.
Not That! Snickers
280 calories 14 g fat (5 g saturated) 28 g sugars
The only thing Snickers satisfies are the requisites for a sugar crash.
Best Crunchy Candy Bar
Eat This! Take 5
210 calories 11 g fat (5 g saturated) 18 g sugars
Take 5Read More »from Healthier Halloween Candy
Put one song on repeat and eventually you tune it out, even if it's your fave. Your body does the same thing with your go-to moves: If you work out the same way all the time, your muscles adapt and stop progressing, and you risk overuse injuries.Read More »from Amp up your workout results: 4 easy do-now tweaks
So we asked Rachel Cosgrove, author of The Female Body Breakthrough, to tweak the not-so-complicated strength moves we all love so that they target different muscle groups. Alternate between the traditional move and the variation every two weeks and watch your fitness level skyrocket.
Abs Diet Recipes to Jumpstart Your Results
1. BENCH PRESS
The Traditional: Grab a pair of dumbbells and lie faceup on a weight bench with your feet flat on the floor. Position your hands wider than shoulder-width apart, elbows flared out. Straighten your arms and lift the weights over your chest. Lower the dumbbells until they nearly touch your chest, then press back up. That's one rep. Do three sets of 10 to 12.
The Tweak (at left) : Position
With all the weighing, measuring, and calorie totaling, dropping a few pounds can seem as mind-bending as high school calculus. But it doesn't have to be. "Of course calories count," says Dawn Jackson Blatner, R.D., a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association, "but there are plenty of ways to cut them without a math Ph.D." In fact, some simple lifestyle changes are often more effective for weight-loss success than obsessive number crunching. Follow these four strategies and the only figure you'll be thinking about is the smokin' one in the mirror.Read More »from Easier Ways To Lose Weight
Instead of Counting Calories. . .
Try Joining a Club. Here's why: Keeping a running total is a little like guessing how many jelly beans are in a Mason jar. According to a 2006 study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, Americans--even those who are at a healthy weight--consistently lowball the number of calories in large fast-food meals by up to 38 percent.
For portion control without the decimal points, sign up for a
Before 175 lbsRead More »from "I never thought I'd be skinny."
(Scroll down to see photo)
After 132 lbs
THE CHANGE In January 2008, a blood test revealed Mechelle was prediabetic. Determined to dodge the disease, she began eating more veggies, cutting out sugary drinks, and not snacking after dinner. She dropped 15 pounds from her 5'8" frame by July, but it wasn't until her friend Jennie lost 30 pounds through diet and exercise that she kicked her weight loss into high gear. "When Jennie lost that much, I realized I could do it too," she says. On July 31, 2008, at 157 pounds, she wrote a pledge to push the scale below 150. "I hung it next to the bathroom mirror so I'd see it every day."
When Mechelle Wingle married her college sweetheart in 1994, she weighed 140 pounds. But over the next 11 years, she had four children, and as a stay-at-home mom in Layton, Utah, she was never able to lose the baby weight. In 2006, after the birth of her last child, Mechelle peaked at 175 pounds.
"I'd eat 10 chocolate-chip cookies after dinner and