Blog Posts by FITNESS Magazine

  • Diet Stalled? 13 Ways to Kick-Start Weight-Loss

    Stockbyte/VeerStockbyte/VeerBy Sandra Gordon

    Ever felt that everyone you know seems to be losing weight, but when you try their dieting tricks, you don't have the same success? You may not be doing anything wrong. It could be that those strategies just aren't a good match for you. Achieving your goals is all about finding the specific lifestyle fixes that work for you -- not for your neighbor. Try these 13 tactics. You have nothing but weight to lose!

    Related: Find Your Happy Weight: BMI Calculator

    1. Start with Sneakers
    Everyone knows it takes a combination of diet and exercise to lose body fat, but researchers now believe that it's best to tackle exercise first. "Once you invest time in a daily workout, you'll be motivated to make the more difficult dietary changes," says John Foreyt, PhD, director of the Nutrition Research Clinic at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.

    2. Make Ambitious Exercise Goals
    Instead of saying "I will exercise three days a week," plan to exercise every day, even if you know you

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  • The Best Breakfast Bars for Your Busiest Mornings

    Claire Benoist/Fitness MagazineClaire Benoist/Fitness MagazineBy Juno DeMelo

    When you're on the go, an energy bar is one of the handiest and healthiest snacks around. But it can be tough to tell the good ones from the candy bars in disguise. No worries -- we did the work for you, enlisting a team of nutritionists to find options with minimal added sugar, 200 or fewer calories, and at least three grams of both fiber and protein per full-size bar­. And then we taste-tested every one! Keep these winners in your purse, gym bag, or desk drawer for a satisfying bite wherever you are.

    Related: How to Become a Morning Person

    Luna Bar Chocolate-Dipped Coconut

    This 70-percent-organic bar "taste like a Samoa," the classic chocolate-drizzled Girl Scout cookie, testers told us. No need to pair it with a glass of milk, though: It contains 35 percent of the 1,000 milligrams of calcium you need in a day, plus vitamin D. (190 calories)

    Clif Crunch Chocolate Peanut Butter Granola Bar

    The generous portion -- you get two bars in a serving -- and extra-crunchy

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  • 9 Steps to Reach Any Goal

    Amy Postle/Fitness MagazineAmy Postle/Fitness Magazine

    By Joanne Chen

    I'm pretty good at maintaining my health goals, if I do say so myself. Eat nutritiously? Yep, most of the time. Exercise? I've got my regular routine. But my other goals? Not so much. There's that book idea I've been kicking around, the website I want to launch, the new fitness classes I've been meaning to master. But every night, by the time the baby is in bed, something more pressing always pops up.

    A lot of people are just like me, it turns out, and get trapped in a state of inertia. Some are perfectly content with where they are and see no need to reach higher, and that's okay, experts say, as long as they are truly happy. But most of us are stuck in place because we're afraid to take a risk and fall short. "The major cause of fear of failure is low self-confidence, when we're convinced we just don't have what it takes to be successful," says Heidi Grant Halvorson, PhD, the author of Succeed: How We Can Reach Our Goals and a social psychologist in

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  • What's Going on Down There? Answers to Your Period Questions

    Laura Doss/Fitness MagazineLaura Doss/Fitness MagazineBy Brittany Vickers

    What do you really know about your period? Turns out it may not be all that much. Here, Dr. Lauren Streicher, Clinical Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Northwestern University's medical school, debunks the most common myths and questions about that time of the month. Because who can really remember all the way back to that uncomfortable PE class?

    Q. I have very heavy periods. Could the blood loss from my period actually cause fainting?
    A. Fainting is rare, but those who have especially heavy flows should talk to their gynecologist to make sure they are not anemic, a blood disorder where you don't have enough hemoglobin to carry oxygen from your lungs through your body. During a normal period, you should be able to wear a tampon for three to four hours comfortably and not experience any blood clots. If you think your flow is too heavy and often feel fatigued, talk to you doc to rule out anemia.

    Related: What to Eat for an Easier Period

    Q. Can your tampon

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  • Summer Gear Guide: The Best Tennis Gear

    By Jenna Autuori

    Serve up your best game with our favorite tennis gear, including tennis outfits, shoes, and racquets.

  • 5 Skin Secrets to Ditch the Sunblock Excuses

    Denise Crew/Fitness MagazineDenise Crew/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 a Free Skin Cancer Check Near You

    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, is packed with

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  • Eat Your Way to a Six Pack: 10 Flat-Belly Foods

    Denise Crew/Fitness MagazineDenise Crew/Fitness MagazineThe sad truth: You can crunch yourself into a coma and still have ab flab. If you really want a sleek, sexy midriff, you've got to tweak your diet. All of the best waist-whittling foods contain fiber to banish bloat, antioxidants to boost your abs routine's effectiveness, and protein to help maintain a healthy metabolism. Here, the top 10 choices for flatter abs.

    1. Almonds
    These delicious and versatile nuts contain filling protein and fiber, not to mention vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant. They're also a good source of magnesium, a mineral your body must have in order to produce energy, build and maintain muscle tissue, and regulate blood sugar. "A stable blood-sugar level helps prevent cravings that can lead to overeating and weight gain," says David Katz, MD, a professor at the Yale University School of Medicine. But what makes almonds most interesting is their ability to block calories. Research indicates that the composition of their cell walls may help reduce the absorption of

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  • 5 Rules to Run By: Smart Eating Habits for Runner

    Laura Doss/Fitness MagazineLaura Doss/Fitness MagazineBy Emily Dorn

    If you're just kicking off a new running program, follow these five nutritional guidelines. They'll help you get the most out of your workout -- and your body.

    Related: The FITNESS 2012 Sneaker Guide for All Running Types

    1. Go for Lean and Green
    Introducing a running regimen makes it more crucial to feed your body the heart-healthy foods routinely touted by nutritionists. Melinda Manore, the chair of the department of nutrition at Oregon State University, recommends centering your diet around whole grains, fish, lean meats, fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy. These foods will meet your basic nutritional needs and will help your body recover after exercise.

    2. Timing Is Everything
    When it comes to fueling up for a workout, the when is just as important as the what. If you hit the pavement in the morning, you might not have time to down a big breakfast and digest it, but Manore suggests that you still need something light before exercising -- such as a piece of toast

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  • Try it Now: The Happy Diet

    Denise Crew/Fitness MagazineDenise Crew/Fitness MagazineBy Sharlene K. Johnson

    You Are What You Eat

    According to the experts, the familiar saying is true. "There's an incredibly strong correlation between the food you consume and how you feel," says FITNESS advisory board member Ashley Koff, RD, a nutritionist in Los Angeles. "When you balance healthy carbs, protein, and fats, you get exactly what your body needs for long-lasting energy and a good mood." At FITNESS, we call this The Happy Diet.

    Here are a few get-happy rules to eat by:

    Nothing is off-limits.
    Eating plans that cut out entire food groups leave you feeling hungry, sluggish, and grumpy. "When your body isn't getting the nutrients or pleasure it needs from food, you're more likely to overeat," says Leslie Bonci, RD, director of sports nutrition at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and a FITNESS advisory board member. "Feeling satisfied isn't just about portion size -- it's also about taste and variety."

    You can eat carbs and fat.

    Really! You need a healthy mix of

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  • Mom, Thanks for the Gift of Fitness

    By Mindy Berry

    Mindy and her family.Mindy and her family.She's our mentor, our teacher -- and for many of us, our exercise role model, too! In these very special thank-you notes, writer Mindy Berry and four other daughters describe how their moms got them moving.

    Make Time to Work Out
    Mindy's mother, Jackie, has always exercised. "I tell Mindy never to feel guilty about taking time for it," says Jackie, who walks on the treadmill every morning and took up yoga last year at age 61. "When I was a young mom of three girls, I didn't have much spare time. I also worked part-time as a high-school French teacher. But most days I played tennis for an hour after school. It was my 'me time' -- I chose it over watching TV or reading -- and the sense of well-being it gave me made me a better mom." Mindy, a freelance writer, has taken that lesson to heart. "Now that I'm an adult, I realize the reason I love my morning jog and trying a new yoga or Pilates class is because I had my mom as a role model," Mindy says. "She gave me a passion

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