Blog Posts by Healthy SELF, SELF Magazine

  • Biggest Loser's Get-Slim Lesson of the Week: Get Competitive to Drop Pounds

    "Working out with Jillian feels like you're going to die." - Ada

    The competition really heats up this week! Remember when Bob and Jillian told the contestants to be selfish a few episodes ago? Well, that lesson certainly stuck: everyone was looking out for his or her own interests, and the game play began.

    Related: Find out how to get toned in just 20 minutes

    The cutthroat mentality was inspired by two twists. First, five wanna-be contestants who didn't make it onto the ranch initially were given another shot. They were told to lose weight at home for five weeks, and the person with the greatest percentage of weight loss would earn a spot in the competition. Welcome new contestant Anna, who lost 39 pounds on her own! The other contestants immediately saw her as a threat.

    Even bigger news: All of the contestants would be divided into two teams--the blue team (trained by Bob), and the black team (trained by Jillian)--and pitted against each other, and newbie Anna had to decide who was

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  • Pig Out When Pregnant? The New Rules for Eating for Two

    By Jenny Everett, SELF magazine

    Christina Applegate recently admitted to occasionally stuffing her face during her pregnancy (cupcakes and fried cheese!). "I crave food! I don't care what it is!" she said on "Lopez Tonight" back in August.

    Related: 20 Superfoods for Weight Loss

    According to new research, you might not want to follow her lead. One study found that pregnant women who gain too much weight while pregnant have bigger babies that are more likely to be overweight later in life.

    And a separate study published in the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology found that women who gain more weight than is recommended are at a 50 percent increased risk of developing gestational diabetes. So much for using those nine months as an excuse to pig out!

    Registered dietician Mary Hartley, director of nutrition for Calorie Count, suggests following these rules:

    1. Factor in your pre-preggers weight
    You should gain the right amount of weight for your body type, according to Hartley. Use this

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  • Elizabeth Banks Talks Trash: How She's Limiting Her Daily Waste

    By Elizabeth Banks, SELF magazine

    "
    SELF recently reported on my recent trip to the Galapagos Islands. The focus of that visit with National Geographic oceanographer and TED prize winner Sylvia Earle (author of The World Is Blue) was ocean conservation.

    Related: Try the best fruits and vegetables for fall

    Among the slew of overwhelming problems with the ocean is that of human waste. Just how much garbage is in the ocean? Two million plastic beverage containers are thrown out every five minutes and Greenpeace estimates that 10% of them end up in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch alone. This Patch is TWICE the size of Texas and growing!

    Watch this video to learn more.

    So in honor of my new film, The Next Three Days, I am spending the next three days toting around my garbage. I want to know just how much one regular American person generates and hopefully become more aware of ways to reduce my own waste.

    I make three rules:
    1. Paper and glass are better alternatives to anything plastic

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  • Why Do Celebrity Breakups Make Us Sad?

    By Jenny Everett, SELF magazine

    In recent weeks and months, some of our favorite celebrity couples have announced that they're dunzo.

    Courteney Cox and David Arquette separated (Wait! They were supposed to give Jennifer Aniston hope that love can last!); Christina Aguilera filed for divorce from Jordan Bratman (Five-year itch already?); and Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins split (But they were so perfectly matched, politically!).

    Related: 20 Superfoods for Weight Loss

    We can't help but feel a twinge of sadness about these breakups, even though these people are perfect strangers to us. Is this normal, or totally crazy? Turns out, it's not unhealthy to feel a bit down and disappointed, especially if the couple reminds you in a weird way of you and your significant other.

    "We've all been encouraged to project our fantasy lives onto celebrities, so when a couple we identify with breaks up, it's slightly as if it's happening to us," says Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D. (a.k.a. Dr. Romance),

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  • 4 Reasons Skipping the Dentist Is Bad for You

    By Jenny Everett, SELF magazine

    While we don't love going to the dentist, we try to make ourselves do it twice a year. But for some reason, we're more likely to blow off a tooth sprucing than any of our other health-related appointments. It just feels more "optional" than, say, a trip to the gyn.

    Related: Check out the food lover's guide to great skin

    And we're not alone in this: According to the Centers for Disease Control, 71.4 percent of women over age 18 had their teeth cleaned in 2008. That means more than a quarter of all women are skipping the dentist!

    To find out exactly what health benefits we're missing out on when we skip a cleaning -- and for some motivation to set up an appointment -- we spoke to Sally J. Cram, consumer adviser for the American Dental Association and a periodontist in Washington, DC. "I have seen a significant number of patients who want to stretch cleanings to once a year rather than twice a year and put off X-rays due to the expense," says Cram. "A

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  • Improve Your Health Right this Second: Jillian Michaels Tweets her #1 Secret

    By Ashley Mateo, SELF magazine

    We're huge fans of Michaels:, so when the Biggest Loser trainer and Losing It with Jillian host speaks up, we listen. She Tweets about her workouts, her diet regimen and spends a lot of her time directly answering her followers specific questions. On Wednesday, she called attention to an article in the New York Times about rebranding fruits and vegetables.

    Jillian Michaels: Do we really have to "rebrand" fruits and veggies to get people to eat them? Aren't great health and skinny jeans enough? Thoughts on this? What solutions do you have? http://fb.me/IEeMHIYH

    Related: Find out how to get toned in just 20 minutes

    Eating your fruits and veggies is a no-brainer, but too many people skip them for unhealthy food on the go. Here are some "super" ways to get your necessary 2-3 servings of vegetables and 2-4 servings of fruit a day:

    Blueberries
    All berries are good for you, but blueberries are among the best of the bunch. They have the highest antioxidant

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  • Healthy Fat: How Much Is Too Much?

    By Jenny Everett, SELF magazine

    We used to assume that fat was fat. Now, most of us know that while some fats are terribly bad for us, others are actually quite healthy!

    That's great news, but here's our question: If most of our fat is coming from healthy fats (monounsaturated, polyunsaturated and omega-3 fatty acids), how much is too much? Is it possible to overdo it?

    Related: 20 Superfoods for Weight Loss

    According to registered dietician Willow Jarosh, a contributing editor at SELF and co-founder of C&J Nutrition, most women need about 30 percent of their total daily calories to come from fat -- no matter what type of fat it may be. For a woman eating 1,800 calories a day, that's around 540 calories from fat or 60 grams of fat each day.

    Related: 15 Healthy Recipes From Our Favorite Fall Cookbooks

    Here's what 60 grams of healthy fat might look like:

    * 1 tbsp peanut/almond butter = 8 or 9 grams
    * 1 tbsp olive oil = 13.5 grams
    * 1 ounce almonds (around 23 almonds) = 14 grams
    *

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  • Jillian Michaels on Bite-Sized Abuse: A Get-Slim Lesson for Your Week

    "If you need abuse to have an emotional breakthrough, I'll give you abuse." - Jillian

    Related: 20 Superfoods for Weight Loss

    This was an emotional week at the Biggest Loser Ranch with plenty of tears and touching moments. The stakes were the highest they've been this season because two people were being sent home instead of the usual one.

    The unlucky ladies: Sophia, who had the lowest percentage of weight loss and was automatically booted, and Burgandy, who was voted off by her fellow contestants.

    The episode opened with a tough temptation challenge that required eating a lot of scrumptious-looking cupcakes in order to find a coupon for a 1-pound advantage at weigh-in, but many contestants chose to sit it out. As Lisa smartly put it: "My strategy is to stay the hell away from cupcakes. Cupcakes got me here!" Good thinking, Lisa!

    Related: 20 Ways to Burn 200 Calories Quickly

    The biggest breakthrough moment involved sweet and smiley contestant Ada. Despite losing 10 pounds this

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  • Workouts That Take the Least Time (and Have the Biggest Benefits!)

    By Jenny Everett, SELF magazine

    You can spend hours at the gym doing the wrong thing and get minimal results, or you can spend very little time at the gym and get amazing results. Pretty sure we know which one we'd rather do!

    Related: The Ultimate Lose-8-Pounds Plan


    So, we asked exercise brainiac Wayne Westcott, Ph.D., fitness research director at Quincy College in Quincy Mass., how we can get an effective workout in the least amount of time. We can't wait to try his three suggested routines -- none of which takes more than 20 minutes.

    Instead of:
    Aimlessly roaming from machine to machine

    Do this
    :
    Work complementary muscle groups, sans rest
    For a quickie 15-minute strength workout, do 8 to 10 reps of shoulder presses, then 8 to 10 reps of lat pull-downs. Continue alternating until you've done three sets of each.

    Repeat the alternating pattern with bench presses and rows, leg curls and leg extensions and tricep pushdowns and tricep curls. According to Westcott, this strategy is

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  • More Important Than a Healthy Diet: Proper Breathing

    By Jenny Everett, SELF magazine

    The first thing we do in life: Breathe. The last thing we'll do: Breathe. So, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense that during the moments in between -- when we're walking the dog, jamming on a work deadline or sacked out watching "Mad Men" -- we pay such little attention to this reflexive action.

    "The main thing to remember is that your breath is the common denominator in everything you do," says Al Lee, co-author of Perfect Breathing: Transform Your Life One Breath at a Time. "It has the ability to heal our mind, body and emotions and impact physical and athletic performance. We tend to think of food as what gives us energy, but food only provides about 10 percent of that energy. The other 90 percent comes from breath."

    Related: SELF's Yoga Guide

    Here's how to make your breaths count:
    "Most of us, as adults, have adopted the habit of short, shallow breathing," says Lee. "We suck in our stomach and are hunched over our computer or steering wheel.

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