Blog Posts by FITNESS Magazine

  • 8 Ways to Think Yourself Slim

    Karen Pearson/FITNESS MagazineBy the editors of FITNESS Magazine

    Attitude means the difference between diet success and failure. Our 8-step plan will keep you on track.

    Related: The 10 Fiercest Fire-You-Up Fitness Commercials

    1. Define Your Motivation
    Weight loss is a three-part process: Exercising and cutting calories are vital, but your mental outlook can mean the difference between success and failure.

    "Self-defeating thoughts are often the most overlooked factors when a dieter gets off track," says Jeffrey Wilbert, PhD, author of Fattitudes: Beat Self-Defeat and Win Your War with Weight (St. Martin's Press, 2000). "You feel disappointed when a quick fix turns out to be anything but, or weak if you succumb to an intense craving for ice cream." Without the resolve to overcome such thoughts, sticking with any major lifestyle change can be difficult, if not impossible.

    The key is to adopt the right attitude before you start your plan. "If you're really serious about slimming down, you need to think long-term.

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  • Love Your Summer Workout: 10 Motivation Tricks

    Laura Doss/FITNESS MagazineBy Hallie Levine Sklar

    The only problem with hot weather is that, well, it's so darn hot outside. Put the cool factor back into your workout routine with these tricks from top fitness pros:

    Related: 10 Exercises to Turn the Outdoors Into a Gym

    1. Adjust your body temperature

    Hop into a cold shower before your workout. A German study this year found that a pre-exercise cooldown improves performance in the heat -- probably because it lowers your heart rate as well as core and skin temperatures. Too chicken to try it? Even just cooling your neck or head with an ice pack may make a difference.

    2. Check the map
    Does your usual running route leave you broiling in the sun? Find a shady new one through the Road Runners Club of America (rrca.org), which features running routes around the country via Google maps. You can also log on to weather.com, which offers a local parks forecast, a fitness comfort index, and an hourly forecast to help you figure out the best time of day to exercise.

    3.

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  • Supersize Your Self-Control

    James Worrell/FITNESS MagazineJames Worrell/FITNESS MagazineBy Kate Rope

    "No mimosa for me. I have to go running after brunch."

    "Dessert? I'm too full from dinner."

    "Sorry, can't make happy hour; I'm off to Spinning class."

    We all know a friend who seems immune to the siren song of cocktails, cupcakes, and canapes. Wouldn't you like to know her secret? Shh...She's found a new muscle to flex: her willpower. That's right.

    Researchers have found that you can chisel your self-control just as you do your quads or biceps. "With practice your self-control muscle becomes less flabby, so you have the strength you need to stick with a weight-loss or exercise program," says Nathan DeWall, PhD, assistant professor of social psychology at the University of Kentucky in Lexington. We asked leaders in the field of self-regulation (that's scientist-speak for self-control) to share simple exercises that will bolster your resolve. Soon you'll be the one trading daiquiris for Diet Cokes and rising with the sun to do your morning run.

    Related: No More

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  • Little Habits, Huge Health Payoffs

    Sarah Kehoe/FITNESS MagazineBy Holly C. Corbett and Anna Roufos

    You have tons of health goals -- but not enough time to make them a reality. Now we'll help you reach every one without devoting your life to getting there. Here, super-speedy ways to improve you health in only minutes a day.

    Related: The 7 Worst Health Habits Ever

    In 1 Minute You Can...Find Your Focus

    Instead of thinking I need to work out, fine-tune your objective to something like I'm going to do my 30-minute DVD workout on Monday before work. "Being detailed forces you to think through the steps necessary to accomplish the goal and makes it harder to find excuses," says Jackie Keller, trainer and author of Body After Baby.

    In 2 Minutes You Can...Build a Better Brain
    Right-handed? Use your left hand to brush your teeth or vice versa. "This improves brain signaling, which helps prevent age-related memory loss," says Frederic Vagnini, MD, coauthor of Count Down Your Age.

    In 3 Minutes You Can...Set a Healthier Table
    Use short, fat glasses for

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  • Rev it Up: Reboot Your Metabolism

    Denise Crew/FITNESS MagazineDenise Crew/FITNESS MagazineBy Melissa Roth

    I am lying on what looks like a cross between a jumbo Xerox machine and a tanning bed at the University of California, Los Angeles, Risk Factor Obesity Program as the big mechanical arm of a DEXA (dual energy X-ray absorptiometry) scanner moves over my head and then down to my feet. I came here to get the latest high-tech body-composition tests and to learn how fast my metabolism is.

    Two minutes later a virtual relief map of the muscle, fat, and bone in my body starts to fill in on a computer screen.
    "I never would've guessed," says Zhaoping Li, MD, PhD, the UCLA professor of clinical medicine analyzing my results, when she reads me the verdict: 40 percent body fat. As in obese. Except I'm a size 8. Here in Los Angeles, that alone can make you a plus size, but at five feet four inches and 148 pounds, I'm really just three or four pounds overweight.

    To think that I had actually been looking forward to this visit. Me, the lucky girl who never dieted, never gained the

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  • The World's Healthiest Diets

    Peter Ardito/FITNESS MagazinePeter Ardito/FITNESS MagazineBy Ayren Jackson-Cannady

    As a college student living in the international dorm, I should have been studying my Parisian roomie's eating habits instead of just coveting her style. In nations with low obesity rates, women know how to eat right and enjoy every bite. "The diets they follow often place an emphasis on whole grains and legumes and use meat sparingly," says Daphne Miller, MD, the author of The Jungle Effect: The Healthiest Diets from Around the World. They're a far cry from the typical U.S. diet, a processed, produce-deficient carb-fest. Although I can no longer use the excuse that I'm a broke college student, I still live on lattes, burgers, and apple cobbler. So I embarked on a 30-day culinary experiment, borrowing secrets from some of the world's healthiest places to slim my 170-pound frame.

    Related: 10 Strategies to Lose Fat and Keep It Off for Good


    Week One: France

    Despite baguettes and Brie, French women have the lowest average body mass index in Europe. "It's true

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  • Ditch the Sunblock Excuses

    Amy Postle/FITNESS MagazineAmy Postle/FITNESS MagazineBy Eleanor Langston

    Stay pretty and protected all summer long with these new head-to-toe defenders and dermatologists' secrets for preventing sun damage, burning, and skin cancer. Now go out and play!

    Related: Find Out Your Skin Cancer Risk

    Skip-It Excuse: "Sunblock Is Too Greasy to Wear Under Makeup"

    Sunny Solution
    It's risky to rely solely on the SPF in your base: Derms say that to get the full SPF value listed on the packaging, it would require seven times the amount of foundation and 14 times the powder you normally wear. "Women don't put enough on, and the makeup's pigments may dilute the sunscreen," says Joshua Fox, MD, a dermatologist in New York City. Pair makeup with a broad-spectrum sunscreen that's tailored to your complexion concern. Have dry skin? Olay Regenerist UV Defense Regenerating Lotion SPF 50 ($30, drugstores) contains moisturizing peptides. Want to prevent lines? Shiseido Urban Environment UV Protection Cream SPF 35 ($30, sephora.com) is packed with

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  • Hidden Benefits of 8 Healthy Habits

    Jay Sullivan/Fitness MagazineBy Jeannette Moninger

    Take a shortcut to a better you with habits that provide a double dose of wellness. We know you do a zillion things at once, so we ID'd eight moves that provide a good-for-you one-two punch. That means in the time that it takes to do one thing -- like hit your favorite yoga class or grill up an omega-3-rich salmon fillet for dinner -- you'll reap twice the benefits. Give yourself a pat on the back for those you already practice and incorporate the others into your routine. Come on, we know you can't resist a two-for-one deal!

    Related: The 7 Worst Health Habits Ever


    Healthy habit: Regular dentist visits
    Hidden perk: A fitter ticker

    It's no secret that taking care of your pearly whites is good for your heart. Bacteria from gum disease may enter your bloodstream and trigger an immune response that causes arteries to swell, constrict, and collect plaque, all of which increase your chance of having heart problems. But it's not only your habits at home that count. A study

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  • Build a Better Smoothie

    Lisa Shin/FITNESS MagazineBy Juno DeMelo

    You don't need to hire a personal chef (as if!) or resign yourself to starvation to get bikini-ready. All you need is a blender. "Blending is one of the quickest, easiest ways to prep healthy foods, especially fresh fruits and veggies," says FITNESS advisory board member Harley Pasternak, trainer, nutrition expert, and author of the new book The Body Reset Diet. Get his favorite smoothie recipes plus details on how they can kick-start your metabolism and keep it fired up for good.

    Related: 8 Healthy and Refreshing Smoothies to Try

    The Slim-Down Formula

    Here are the four things you need to create your own tasty, healthy combos.

    A liquid base
    Pasternak favors milk -- 1 percent or nonfat -- because it's rich in vitamin D and calcium, which can help your body break down fat. But nondairy milks, like soy and almond, are fine too, he says, as is flavored water.

    Lean protein

    Getting protein at every meal helps you maintain lean muscle mass, which means you burn more

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  • Truth or Bare: What I Learned About Myself from Trying Naked Yoga

    Gabrielle Revere/Fitness MagazineBy Alice Oglethorpe

    I like to make decisions based on what my 80-year-old self would want me to do. Stay out dancing in Florence until the sun comes up? Absolutely! Volunteer to model white jeans on the Today show? Of course! But recently I forced myself to see just how deep that conviction went.

    Related: QUIZ: Which Yoga Style Is Right for You?

    It all started with an assignment from my editor at FITNESS: Get out and try the naked yoga trend, in which regular people strip down to nothing and do yoga as a way of becoming more accepting of their bodies. Or...something like that.

    "Why me?" I asked.

    "Because you're the last person who would normally do it," my editor replied. (She's right. I don't even like to change in front of other women in the gym locker room.) Surprisingly, I didn't instantly shoot down the idea, and that had nothing to do with the possible paycheck. At 32, getting naked in a room full of strangers wasn't high on my bucket list, but this was a chance to see how

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