Blog Posts by FITNESS Magazine

  • Party-Proof Your Diet

    Sara Forrest/FITNESS MagazineSara Forrest/FITNESS Magazine

    By Jan Sheehan

    The holidays are a scary time for dieters, but you can stick to your diet though Thanksgiving and Christmas. Here's how to regain control after common seasonal slip-ups -- so you might even lose weight this year.

    Related: Have a Guilt-Free Holiday

    You drank too much eggnog at the office party.
    Undo the damage. You can blame your wicked hangover and pounding headache on dehydration and the toxins your body had to release to metabolize all that booze. "Alcohol also increases the secretion of acid in the stomach and irritates the stomach lining," says Robert Swift, MD, PhD, associate director of the Brown University Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies in Providence. Relieve your misery by eating a piece of toast with honey. Greasy foods, like fried eggs and sausages, will only overtax your irritated digestive system and make it pump out more acid, Dr. Swift says. Honey is an excellent source of fructose, a sugar that research shows may help your body get

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  • How to Undo Self-Sabotage

    Ericka McConnell/FITNESS MagazineEricka McConnell/FITNESS Magazine

    By Nora Zelevansky

    Somewhere between the olive bar and the cheese counter at Whole Foods recently, I ran into an acquaintance whom I've always admired. Following a friendly greeting, she raved, "I loved that article you wrote about struggling to get into shape for your wedding! It was hilarious."

    I waved off the compliment with my hand. "Oh, that? That was just kind of silly." I inflated my cheeks until they were round. "Apparently, it didn't stick."

    She tried again. "But you always look great."

    My brain told me to accept the compliment gracefully and move on, but I couldn't control myself. I smiled, leaning in conspiratorially. "That's what a lot of makeup, a professional photographer, and a little airbrushing can do for you. If they can make someone like Larry King look alive, they can do anything, right?"

    She laughed awkwardly. There was a brief but tangible silence. The exchange culminated in a promise of lunch plans that felt unlikely at best.

    As I continued on

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  • 12 Sneaky Ways to Slim Down Your Diet

    Sam Kaplan/FITNESS MagazineSam Kaplan/FITNESS MagazineBy Sharon Liao

    Maybe it was a Top Chef marathon or the realization that you could probably buy a new wardrobe with the money you were shelling out on kung pao chicken. Whatever the reason, you traded your takeout menus for cookbooks. But even though you're spending more time in the kitchen (whipping up healthy meals, no less), your pants aren't getting any looser. What gives? Chances are, you're making a few all-too-common mistakes. Before you throw in the dish towel, read on for the super simple fixes that can help you look Padma-esque in time for summer.

    Related: 6 Ways to Snack Smarter

    Fat trap 1: Overcooking pasta
    Take that pot off the stove a little early and your bucatini will have a satisfying bite and keep you full for hours. "Hot water breaks down the bonds between starch molecules," says Johanna Burani, RD, the author of Good Carbs, Bad Carbs. The longer you boil your pasta, the quicker your body converts those carbs into fuel. This sets off a rapid rise in blood sugar that

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  • Running in the Family: How I Turned Running into Family Time

    Karen Pearson/FITNESS MagazineKaren Pearson/FITNESS MagazineBy Alyssa Shaffer

    I never once used the double jogging stroller that I received at my baby shower for jogging. I took it out plenty of times to walk or hike or just to get some fresh air in the park with my twins. But run with it? Not a chance.

    It wasn't that I didn't run. In fact, as soon as I got the OK from my doctor, I couldn't lace up my sneakers fast enough. After a difficult pregnancy, the final two months of which I spent mostly lying in bed, and the nonstop blur of caring for newborn twins, I had decided that running was my chance for some peace and quiet. My husband and former running partner, Scott, now held down the fort so I could head to the park and escape.

    Related: Why Fit Women Get Blood Clots

    Scott and I had started running together when we graduated from college and had tackled many road races, marathons, and triathlons by the time the twins came along. As they grew, we got used to going solo as the other babysat.

    Fast-forward to when the twins turned

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  • Take the Crazy Out of Busy: How to Live a Balanced Life

    Peter Yang/FITNESS MagazinePeter Yang/FITNESS Magazine

    By Dimity McDowell

    If you typically eat a rushed lunch over your keyboard because you're too swamped to take a break, or you check e-mail on your phone when you're talking to a loved one, you're doing yourself more harm than good. While you may think you're an expert multitasker, being pulled in too many directions can take a toll on your health. Busyness is a top excuse for skipping workouts. And when you're constantly frazzled with so much to do, your sleep, sex life, and mood suffer. But if you streamline and prioritize your schedule, it's possible to work and work out, get everything done and carve out downtime. Start now.

    Related: The Top 10 Timesaving Productivity Apps

    Reevaluate your busyness.
    Be honest: Are you truly busy, or does constantly being on the go help you define yourself? "You have a sense of purpose when you're busy," says Elizabeth Lombardo, PhD, a clinical psychologist in Chicago and the author of A Happy You. "Having a lot on your plate makes you

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  • Beat Your Blahs: 5 Natural Mood Boosters to Fix a Funk

    Alexa Miller/FITNESS MagazineAlexa Miller/FITNESS MagazineBy Lisa Haney

    Do the dark days of fall and winter make you want to hibernate indoors and pig out on comfort foods until spring? You may have seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a type of depression that occurs at the same time every year, usually in winter. Other symptomsinclude fatigue, lack of interest, inability to concentrate, and irritability. "Some people describe it as only 'living' during the sunny months and the rest of the time they feel shut down, idle, waiting for spring, enduring life in general," says Norman Rosenthal, MD, a psychiatrist who first described SAD and author of Winter Blues. The disorder is four times more common in women than in men, and people in their twenties and forties appear most susceptible, he notes. Luckily, there are easy lifestyle solutions that can give you a lift. Try one of these the next time you start feeling blue.

    Related: Take the Crazy Out of Busy: How to Live a Balanced Life

    Light Up Your Life
    Get outside every day, even if it's

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  • The Complete Crash Course on Clean Eating

    Peter Ardito/FITNESS MagazinePeter Ardito/FITNESS MagazineBy Jocelyn Voo

    Maybe a new raw cafe has sprung up in your neighborhood, or you read about Katy Perry and Gwyneth Paltrow being fans. Either way, eating "clean" is gaining traction -- but what does it actually mean, and how is it good for the body?

    Clean eating is a deceptively simple concept. Rather than revolving around the idea of ingesting more or less of specific things (for instance, fewer calories or more protein), the idea is more about being mindful of the food's pathway between its origin and your plate. At its simplest, clean eating is about eating whole foods, or "real" foods -- those that are un- or minimally processed, refined, and handled, making them as close to their natural form as possible. However, modern food production has become so sophisticated that simply eating whole foods can be a challenging proposition these days.

    Related: 6 Clean Eating Recipes

    What Counts as Processed Foods?
    First, let's start with the definition of processed food.

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  • Living Large: How I Learned to Love My Body

    Peter Ardito/FITNESS MagazinePeter Ardito/FITNESS MagazineBy Joshilyn Jackson

    "Dig in! Dig, dig, dig!" our boot camp instructor Amy yelled. As the springtime sun rose over Atlanta, 30 women dug their toes into the near-vertical hillside. I was one of the first to reach the crest as Amy hollered for us to drop and pound out 20 push-ups.

    I was in the best shape of my life. Built tall, busty and broad shouldered, with curvy hips and a nipped-in waist, I felt like an Amazon warrior.

    Related: The Naked Truth: Women's Body Confidence Secrets

    But as summer approached I began to have trouble keeping up. Around the same time, my lifelong insomnia suddenly subsided. I was delighted to find myself sleeping a full eight hours -- until those eight hours became 10 and a nap in the afternoon. With all that downtime plus some serious carbo comfort eating, I began to gain weight. By Thanksgiving, I couldn't keep up at all, and I quit the class just as the holiday feasting began.

    I had been to see my doctor several times, but because of a mix-up

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  • Double Agents: 6 Healthy Cooking Tools

    Brian Klutch/FITNESS MagazineBy Allison Young

    A syrup-soaked breakfast treat isn't the only thing you can make with a waffle iron. We found surprisingly healthy ways to use six cooking tools that are gathering dust in your kitchen. One order of guilt-free hash browns, coming right up!

    Related: 8 Fall Snack Recipes from Fit Bloggers

    Waffle Iron

    No one-trick pony, this gadget isn't just for brunch calorie bombs.

    Slim down hash browns. Submerge grated russet potatoes in ice water. Squeeze out excess moisture, form a patty, and place it on a waffle iron sprayed with olive oil. Cook 10 minutes on high. Voila -- crispy-on-the-outside potatoes with almost no fat and less than half the calories of those found in the supermarket freezer.

    Cook a goof-proof omelet. Haven't mastered the flip? Simply heat the iron to high, pour in an egg mixture to fill the tray, lower the lid and watch it puff up in four to six minutes. "Omelets pack protein for staying power for hours," says chef Cheryl Forberg, RD, the

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  • How to Reboot Your Metabolism

    Karen Pearson/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

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