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  • 5 Reasons Most Diets Fail Within 7 Days

    Most weight-loss plans fizzle within a week. |
    Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD, is Health's contributing nutrition editor and privately counsels clients in New York, Los Angeles, and long distance.
    Her latest New York Times best seller is S.A.S.S! Yourself Slim: Conquer Cravings, Drop Pounds and Lose Inches.

    The number-one thing most diets have in common is the lack of stick-with-it-ness. Many of us equate the word diet with short-term deprivation, something you go "on" and ultimately go "off." In a recent survey, a UK food company found that of those who diet regularly, two out of five quit within the first seven days, one out of five last a month, and the same number-just 20%-make it to the three-month mark. I've seen this pattern often. Before working with me, most of my clients have dieted repeatedly, and while each attempt "worked" for weight loss, it wasn't doable long-term. The solution: pinpoint the pitfalls, and implement savvy strategies to fine-tune your approaches. The five real-life tweaks below can keep you from throwing

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  • 4 Ways to Stop Stress This Second

    Stop stress now! |

    In panic mode? These four tips will work right away.

    1. Write down your fears
    Make a list of what's worrying you at the moment, then put it away. This simple act stops the obsessive cycle of anxiety so you can move on.

    2. Amp up your activity
    Vigorous exercise diminishes stress, and with it, worry. Get your heart rate up for 20 to 30 minutes. Even walking briskly around your neighborhood after work counts.

    3. Be your own best friend
    When your mind starts to spiral out of control, say to yourself, "It's all right-I'm a worrier. That's what I do. But everything always works out." Some accepting self-talk can help lower the number and intensity of your fret sessions.

    4. Fire up your iPod
    Listening to music can distract you from stress, research shows. The same goes for any activity that engages your senses, like reading, cooking or watching a movie.

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  • 10 Nervous Habits that Hurt Your Health

    Chewing gum can lead to a painful jaw condition. |
    Nervous habits are often more annoying to the people around you than to yourself, but some types of fidgeting and fussing can do real harm. Here, experts reveal the reasons why nail-biting, hair-twirling, and other seemingly harmless habits can be hazardous to your health.

    You bite your nails

    It's one thing if you nervously bite your nails only during scary movies, but when it becomes a regular habit, it can damage both your nails and the skin around them, says Michael Shapiro, MD, a New York City-based dermatologist. Germs from the mouth get transferred to the skin, and vice versa. "Bacteria under the nails may also be transferred to mouth, causing infections of the gums and throat," Dr. Shapiro says. Painting your nails may discourage you from chewing. No dice? Try tape to break the habit.

    You twirl and pull your hair

    Twisting and twirling a piece of hair around your finger can lead to damage to the root over time, says Ariel Ostad, MD, a dermatologist based in New York City. "This

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  • 18 Fashion and Makeup Mistakes That Age You

    Haven't updated your look since college? That might make you look older, not younger. |

    Your choice of clothing and cosmetics can highlight your sense of style, compliment your best features, and keep you looking fresh and full of life. But sometimes these decisions can backfire: an ill-fitting dress that stretches and sags in all the wrong places, or a shade of makeup that accentuates fine lines and wrinkles. Women don't always update their fashion and beauty routines as they get older, says Los Angeles-based celebrity makeup artist Jan Ping, but they should; otherwise, the same products and pieces that once worked so well for them could suddenly give away their real age-or worse, make them look even older than they really are. Here are 18 common beauty blunders, and anti-aging advice from the pros on how to fix them.

    Dressing Too Trendy
    Unless you're on an unlimited budget, steer clear of fashions that seem very in-the-moment, advises New York City-based celebrity wardrobe stylist Alana Kelen; you won't be able to wear them for very long before they (and you) look

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  • 5 Ridiculously Easy Ways to Eat Less Sugar

    You're probably consuming more sugar than you realize. |

    We're swimming in sugar: Americans take in more than 22 teaspoons of "added sugar" each day. That's the kind put into food, either by manufacturers, such as cookies and candy, or by you, like stirring sugar into your coffee. This sticky habit snowballs into the equivalent of more than 14 four-pound sacks of sugar per person each year. And all that sweet stuff is affecting our health.

    According to a new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, the added sugar the average American consumes can increase their risk of death from heart disease by almost 20%-regardless of other health problems. And for the 10% of Americans who get a quarter of their calories from added sugar, the risk more than doubles.

    Fortunately, a few diet tweaks can help you quickly reduce your sugar intake, knock down your disease risk, and protect your ticker. Bonus: you'll probably drop some pounds in the process. Put these five simple

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  • 15 Surprising Ways to Use Greek Yogurt

    Greek yogurt can be used as a substitute for higher-fat ingredients like vegetable oil and sour cream. |

    Just about everyone loves Greek yogurt. It's rich and creamy with a great tangy flavor, plus it's low in calories, high in protein, and a good source of calcium. What's not to like?

    Greek yogurt is also incredibly versatile when it comes to snacking, cooking, and baking. Don't believe me? Here are 15 ways to use Greek yogurt that you probably haven't tried!

    Top a bowl of oatmeal with a big scoop for added creaminess and protein to help you feel full all morning.

    Stir maple syrup and cinnamon in vanilla-flavored Greek yogurt for a dessert-like topping on fresh berries.

    Try it in your post-workout shake instead of protein powder to help refuel tired muscles.

    Swap it for the mayo in chicken, tuna, and egg salads to cut down on calories and saturated fat.

    Combine with Dijon mustard, minced garlic, lemon juice, salt, and pepper for a healthy salad dressing.

    Mix it with steamed vegetables, fresh herbs, and squeeze

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  • Heart Attack Symptoms Women Shouldn't Ignore

    Chest pain isn't the only symptom of heart attack in women. |
    An estimated 38,000 women under age 50 have heart attacks each year in the U.S. But heart trouble can easily be confused with other ailments, like indigestion. Check out our symptom decoder so you don't miss any warning signs.

    Tingling down one or both arms or legs
    While this often means you've got a pinched nerve or arthritis in your neck, "it's important to rule out heart problems first," says Nieca Goldberg, MD, medical director of the Joan H. Tisch Center for Women's Health at NYU Langone Medical Center. See your doctor if you notice any tingling in your extremities. 15 Weird Things Linked to Heart Attack

    You could have more than just a bug if your upset stomach comes along with other heart-related symptoms, such as shortness of breath, a cold sweat or pain in your chest or back.

    Shortness of breath/racing heart
    It can be really difficult to differentiate between a panic attack and a heart attack, since they share these symptoms. A few tells: Panic

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  • 5 Signs You’re Taking Your Diet Too Far

    Obsessed with losing weight? Be sure you don't take it too far. |
    Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD, is Health's contributing nutrition editor, and privately counsels clients in New York, Los Angeles, and long distance. Her latest New York Times best seller is
    S.A.S.S! Yourself Slim: Conquer Cravings, Drop Pounds and Lose Inches.

    When I first started out in private practice, clients came to me because something was wrong. Most of them struggled with their weight, or were newly diagnosed with a condition like high cholesterol or elevated blood pressure. Today, healthy, fit clients schedule appointments with me simply to pick my brain. Many describe themselves as health enthusiasts who want to learn all they can about optimal nutrition, the hottest superfoods, and latest trends. I love that nutrition is now considered exciting-even sexy.

    But I sometimes see healthy eating and weight loss taken to extremes, which can actually worsen physical and emotional wellbeing and negatively impact quality of life. (Case in point: a recent study highlighted how obese

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  • 10 Myths About Vegetarian Diets, Busted

    The truth about vegetarian diets. |

    When it comes to vegetarian eating, myths abound. And if you haven't at least thought about slimming your steak habit in the last year, you are probably falling prey to them. Here, we uncover the truth about the top 10 veggie-eating myths.

    Myth: You can't get enough protein from plants

    Meat doesn't have a monopoly on protein. In fact, almost all foods (except alcohol and sugar) contain some. A half-cup of beans even has about the same amount of protein as one ounce of meat. To get all of your essential amino acids, focus on eating a variety of protein-packed plants, including lentils, beans, nuts, seeds, and milk (almond works if you're cutting out dairy), recommends Eric C. Sharer, MPH, RD, from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics' Vegetarian Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group. Bonus: Vegetarian diets tend to have higher levels of fiber, magnesium, potassium, folate, carotenoids, flavonoids, and vitamins C and E than omnivorous ones. 14 Best Vegan and

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  • 3 Unhealthy Things We’ve All Done—And How to Bounce Back

    Overeating: We've all done it! |

    You know the drill: eat right, get enough sleep, and exercise regularly. And usually you do just that. But even the most disciplined person falls off the health wagon from time to time. Sometimes a demanding project, a special occasion, or an extended vacation can make it easy-and even necessary-to make exceptions.

    But just because you slipped up doesn't mean you're doomed to give up your healthy routine altogether. Check out these tips on how to recover from three unhealthy (but all-too-common) moves. 25 Surprising Ways to Lose Weight

    You majorly overindulged
    Waking up with a food hangover after, say, an indulgent dinner party might make it tempting to try a juice cleanse to "detox," but there really is no such thing, says Michele Olson, PhD, professor of exercise science at Auburn University at Montgomery. "Your liver and kidneys take care of that," she says. "But you should try to get right back on track."


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