Blog Posts by FITNESS Magazine

  • 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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  • Eat Great, Lose Weight: Top Ingredients Celeb Chefs Use

    Patrick Flanigan/FITNESS MagazineBy Sharon Liao

    Just because they can whip up a mean lobster mac and cheese doesn't mean top chefs drown everything in butter. We got the skinny on the surprising ingredients they use to make good-for-you food taste anything but.

    Related: 6 Foods That Boost Your Metabolism

    Silken Tofu

    "Although it's low-fat, silken tofu has a rich texture. I blend it with Dijon mustard, lemon juice, capers, shallots, and Worcestershire sauce for a creamy salad dressing. Bonus: One cup of tofu contains 11 grams of protein and almost 20 percent of the calcium you need daily."-- Cheryl Forberg, RD, the nutritionist for The Biggest Loser and author of Flavor First

    Bulgur
    "This whole grain has a hearty bite and six grams of protein per cup, so it works well as a vegetarian replacement for ground beef in chili, stew, and lasagna. And preparing it is so easy: Just add hot water, cover, and let sit for 20 to 30 minutes."-- Mollie Katzen, the author of The New Moosewood Cookbook and The Heart of

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  • 6 Ways to Snack Smarter

    Justin Fantl/FITNESS MagazineJustin Fantl/FITNESS MagazineBy Marygrace Taylor

    Are little bites throughout the day good or bad for your waistline? Nutrition gurus just can't make up their minds. On the one hand, even healthy snacks could be a major contributor to rising levels of obesity (we eat twice as many a day as we did 30 years ago). But on the other, nutritious nibbles are one of the top ways to stave off hunger and help you make better food choices all day. Who knew that baby carrots could be so darn controversial? To cut through the confusion, we ID six strategies of smart snackers so you can have your midday munchies and eat them, too.

    Related: 8 Fall Snacks from Fit Bloggers We Love

    They Plan Snacks
    Although you wouldn't sit down to an extra lunch or dinner, an extra snack seems harmless. Beware: A day's worth of noshes can add up to a meal's worth of calories. If you have an apple with two tablespoons of nut butter midmorning, scarf down a handful of pretzels after lunch, grab a cup of low-fat yogurt to power through a

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  • Fighting Shape: Why Competing Against Fit Chicks Kept Me Motivated

    Peter Ardito/FITNESS MagazinePeter Ardito/FITNESS MagazineBy Sarah Z. Wexler

    Last year I realized that just carrying my groceries and chasing my dog around the park were leaving me winded. What happened to being able to crank out 20 push-ups or run two miles without much effort? I didn't need to do an Ironman, but I at least wanted to be as fit as I was in high school. Back then competition was built in to my exercise routine because I ran track and played lacrosse. The head-to-head nature of racing another girl to the finish line or fighting for a loose ball pushed me to sprint faster than I ever would have solo, shouting in my head, Suck it, Judith Bergerstrom! the whole time. Though I was no Tonya Harding, I did want to win, and I was happy to have a place where I could ditch the drama of being a teenage girl and just compete.

    Related: 9 Steps to Reach Any Goal

    But with the playing field a dozen years behind me and endless rows of cardio machines ahead of me, I felt the weight of not just the extra 15 pounds I was carrying but also

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  • What Really Works (and Doesn't) to Get Rid of Cellulite

    Patrick Flanigan/FITNESS MagazinePatrick Flanigan/FITNESS MagazineBy Stephanie Dolgoff

    Supermodels get it. Heck, even Jillian Michaels has it! But you don't have to suffer with the orange-peel effect on your butt and thighs. We got top derms to spill the secrets on what really works -- and what doesn't -- to get rid of cellulite.

    Related: 15-Minute Cellulite-Blasting Workout

    What Cellulite Is, Exactly

    I can't tell you how many times I've cast my envious gaze on those women in yoga class who can put their ankles behind their necks or contort into a full wheel while I struggle to reach my toes. Today, though, as I twist in front of the mirror, trying to look at my own butt, I'm grateful for my inflexibility. It's as if my body is protecting me from the dimpled, puckered truth.

    I am talking about cellulite, which some 80 to 90 percent of women -- even Olympic beach volleyball players and supermodel yogis -- have. While those oh-so-attractive lines and divots in your fatty bits are in no way harmful to your health, the dermatologists and

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  • 5 Great Gadgets to Improve Your Sleep

    Courtesy of FitBitCourtesy of FitBitBy Christie Griffin

    You've heard it plenty of times: There are a lot of devices out there that can hinder your sleep health. (We're looking at you, laptops and TV screens.) But what about the good-for-you gadgets geared toward improving your sleep? We sifted through a pile of thingy-ma-bobbers that promise to send you to dreamland, tested them out, and picked our top five favorites. Prepare to rest easy -- finally.

    Related: The 10 Best and Worst Foods to Eat for Sleep

    Fitbit One
    What it is and how it works: The itty-bitty, activity-tracking device that people have raved about steps up its 24-7 abilities in the latest version, "One." Not only does it track your steps and calories burned, but it now features more advanced sleep graphs, a redesigned wrist band, and a silent alarm that gently buzzes your wrist when it's time to wake up.

    Expert opinion: "It is well documented that exercise at the right time of day can promote better quality sleep," says Lee A. Surkin, MD, a

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  • The 10 Best and Worst Foods to Eat for Sleep

    Karen Pearson/FITNESS MagazineBy Melissa Romero

    Ah, sleep. It's something we relentlessly crave, but we never seem to get enough of it. Aside from the daily stressors in life, there's one big thing that can keep you from snoozing -- your diet. Here, the best and worst foods to eat for sleep.

    Related: 10 Foods That Boost Your Libido (and 3 That Kill It)

    Best: Cereal and Milk
    Your go-to breakfast staple can also moonlight as the perfect pre-bedtime snack. Eating a combination of carbohydrates and protein enables our bodies to produce the "happy hormone" serotonin, which in turn produces melatonin, a neurotransmitter that has a calming effect, explains Danielle Omar, a DC-based registered dietitian. Just stay away from sugary cereals to avoid getting a sugar high right before bed. Other safe nighttime snack bets include cheese and crackers, cottage cheese and fruit, or oatmeal with milk for a similar soothing effect.

    Worst: Protein

    While protein is a vital part of our daily diets, too much of it means less sleep at

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  • Outrun Danger: Why Fit Women Get Blood Clots

    Ryan Taylor/FITNESS MagazineRyan Taylor/FITNESS MagazineBy Hollace Schmidt

    Jenny Fletcher should have been at the top of her game. In the fall of 2012 the triathlete and former model had scored her first victory in a half-Ironman, just three years after turning pro. But seven months later, in April 2013, she found herself struggling to cross the finish line at an all-woman half-marathon in New York City. "After the race I was nauseous and had to sit down," Jenny, 37, says. "I ended up back in my hotel room, sleeping all day."

    Things got worse when she went home to Los Angeles: Jenny awoke on the night of her return with a stabbing pain in her rib cage. Out cycling a few days later, her breathing was so labored that she lagged behind her training partners. And after a tough pool workout, she curled up on her couch with a massive headache, in tears, barely able to move. What's wrong with me? she wondered. Still, she convinced herself that she was just tired or stressed out. "I got off my couch and did a hard bike ride," Jenny recalls.

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  • Run App-y: The Best Running Apps for Your Phone

    James Michelfelder/FITNESS MagazineSo your routine has hit a slump. Download these freebies to undo it.

    Related: 15 Ways to Make Your Cardio Routine Stick

    Best for: Racing your buddy
    Turn your usual loop into a virtual race by using the Yog app (free; iTunes) to set a start time and distance with a friend or to hook up with other "yoggers." An onscreen avatar shows how far along your pal is, and a recording announces, "Congrats, you're in the lead!" when you dust her.

    Best for: Firing you up
    The Songza app (free; iTunes, Google Play, and Amazon) has tons of tunes to suit you. And now FITNESS has teamed up with Songza to create thumping playlists for any cardio. Get the skinny at fitnessmagazine.com/songzarun.

    Related: Get Slim Without the Gym: Cardio Blasters

    Best for: Keeping you honest
    If you didn't post it, it never happened, right? The Cody Digital Exercise Journal (free; iTunes) is like Facebook for fitness diehards: Upload pics from your run and mileage totals as you brag to, er, link with

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  • The 7 Worst Health Habits Ever

    Michael David Adams/FITNESS MagazineMichael David Adams/FITNESS MagazineBy Lauren Tumas Schumacher

    It may surprise you that one of the worst health crimes you're committing is as small as forgetting to take your contacts out at night. Here, tips to bounce back fast from long days in high heels, fast food, and more.

    Related: The 7 Big Health Perks of Sweating

    Falling Asleep with Your Makeup On
    What's the big deal?
    If you're lucky, sleeping in a face full of makeup will only leave behind a pimple or two. But make it an all-the-time thing and you're asking for clogged pores and a breeding ground for bacteria to run wild on. The worst culprit? Foundation, according to Elissa Lunder, MD, FITNESS advisory board member and owner of Dermatology Partners, Inc. in Massachusetts. In some cases, Dr. Lunder has even seen people develop milia -- small, hard bumps that form on the skin. And while she says sleeping in eye makeup won't cause your lashes to fall out or give you pinkeye (whew!), dozing in mascara can cause eye swelling. But don't stop the suds at your face!

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