Blog Posts by SHAPE magazine

  • Why We Love Jesse Pinkman (and Other Bad Guys)

    by Cristina Goyanes for

    Do you fall for bad boys?Do you fall for bad boys?NOTE: Breaking Bad spoilers ahead

    Sure, Jesse Pinkman is a high school dropout and former junkie who works in the drug business and has killed a man, but he has also captured the visceral adoration of every woman in America with a beating heart and a cable TV subscription.

    Attraction to the "bad boy" is hardly a new phenomenon, but this character, played by two-time Emmy-winning Aaron Paul on AMC's addictive drama Breaking Bad, has a singular ability to make the average female viewer feel like she has been in a tumultuous relationship with a meth cook since 2008. (It has been a rough few years but I'm getting through it!)

    In honor of the much-anticipated premiere of the series' final eight episodes on August 11, we decided to take a deeper look at what it is about Jesse that makes us love him against our better judgment. Ladies, if you tend to choose the wrong guy, take note. This analysis by clinical psychologist and SHAPE advisory board member Belisa

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  • Why a 9-Month Pregnancy is a Myth

    by Charlotte Hilton Andersen for

    Why everything we thought about pregnancy is wrongWhy everything we thought about pregnancy is wrongFree diapers, coupons, unsolicited advice from strangers on the bus-when you first become pregnant, you get a lot of things! But one of the most important things you get is your due date, which is key for everything from measuring fetal health to tracking on baby sites which piece of fruit your fetus resembles.

    Plus, "When are you due?" is always the first question people ask when they spot your bump. But new research from the U.S. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences says that assigning women a due date may do more harm than good because normal pregnancies can vary by up to five weeks.

    RELATED: 6 Things Your Pee Is Trying to Tell You

    The study, published in the journal Human Reproduction, followed 125 women with normal, uncomplicated pregnancies and discovered that there was much wider range of "normal" than previously thought. "We were a bit surprised by this finding," Anne Marie Jukic, Ph.D., lead author of the study, said in a

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  • 7 Fast-Food Breakfasts Healthier Than the Taco Waffle

    by Keri Gans, R.D.N., for

    Should you try the Taco Bell Waffle Taco?Should you try the Taco Bell Waffle Taco?Taco Bell recently announced plans to expand its test of waffle tacos in preparation for the launch of a national breakfast menu next year. The handheld item-a fried waffle wrapped around scrambled eggs and sausage, served with a side of syrup-will be offered at 100 additional locations in California, Nebraska, and Tennessee.

    RELATED: Nutrition Experts' Favorite 5-Minute Meals

    But at 460 calories and 30 grams (g) of fat, this is not the healthiest on-the-go option. And when you think of some of the other sandwich options, including the glazed donut breakfast sandwich at Dunkin Donuts (a fried egg and bacon sandwiched between glazed donuts) and Wendy's sausage biscuit that clocks in at 570 calories and 1,390 milligrams (mg) sodium, you may think you're better off having nothing than grabbing a to-go meal if you're busy.

    However, there are seven fast food breakfast sandwiches that I whole-heartedly approve of, although they represent only three

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  • The Dos and Dont's of Smart Networking

    by Nicole Williams for

    7 tips to help you network like a boss7 tips to help you network like a bossSocial media has made it easier than ever before to network with people who could help you gain valuable advice, insight, and connections. But just because it's easy to access people doesn't mean you should-at least not without a nod to some good old-fashioned etiquette rules from the pre-2.0 era.

    I am fortunate to meet a lot of interesting people and to be part of a lot of industry events, panels, and the like. I also genuinely like to connect with people. But lately I feel like the boundaries of "professional" contact are getting a bit blurry. I'm not suggesting we go back to an era of formal notes asking for appointments delivered by butlers on silver platters. But I do think a little more manners would go a long way.

    RELATED: 11 Sticky Work Situations, Solved!

    Mostly, I think good-versus-bad networking etiquette is a question of respect. I don't mean genuflecting or addressing someone formally (although "oh holy brand queen" or "empress of

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  • 7 Surprising Ways Junk Food Can Make You Miserable

    by Elizabeth Goodman Artis for

    You already knew junk food was bad for you, but here are a few reasons it's even worse than you thought...You already knew junk food was bad for you, but here are a few reasons it's even worse than you thought...Sugar, bad fats, processed carbohydrates. These dietary devils are what make up the bulk of all junk food-and bulk isn't the only thing they cause.

    According to Jim White, R.D, owner of Jim White Fitness and Nutrition Studios in Virginia Beach, VA, foods like processed "white" carbs, packaged cookies, potato chips, sugary sodas, and high-fat burgers and fries not only pack on pounds, they can cause physical symptoms and conditions that make you look and feel like, well, crap.

    These seven potential side effects of a diet high in junk food just might inspire you to make a beeline for the nearest Whole Foods.

    1. Botox before your time: What's bad for your waist is also bad for your face. Sugars, trans fats (used to extend the shelf life of some packaged foods), and starches can cause insulin to surge and trigger an inflammatory response, the end product of which is called glycation. This speeds the aging process (gives you wrinkles) by deactivating the

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  • What the New Gluten-Free Standards Means for You

    by Keri Gans, R.D.N., for

    Should you go gluten-free?Should you go gluten-free?The recent news about the Food and Drug Administration's new standard for labeling gluten-free foods had me a little shocked. Who knew that the FDA had not regulated all the products claiming to be "gluten free" on our grocery shelves already-certainly not me.

    I was thrilled to hear that after a six-year delay, all products labeled "gluten free", as well as "no gluten," ''free of gluten," and "without gluten," will have to contain less than 20 parts per million of gluten. Interestingly, these products don't have to be 100% free of wheat, rye, barley and their derivatives, but according to the medical community this amount is recognized as safe for those individuals who suffer from celiac disease.

    So what is gluten anyway? Gluten is a protein that occurs naturally in wheat, rye, and barley. And for those who suffer from celiac disease, an inherited autoimmune condition, their bodies produce antibodies that attack and damage the lining of the small

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  • Will Eating Late at Night Make You Fat?

    by Keri Gans, R.D.N., for

    Can your late-night snacking habit pack on the pounds?Can your late-night snacking habit pack on the pounds?Last week, I co-hosted a twitter chat for There were so many great questions, but one particularly stood out because more than one participant asked it: "How bad is it to eat after 6 p.m. (or 8 p.m.) for weight loss?"

    I love this question. Truthfully, my patients ask it all the time. And my answer is almost always the same: "Eating late at night doesn't cause you to gain weight, but eating too much late at night will."

    Let's review: If your body needs 1,800 calories to maintain a healthy body weight and you ate only 900 calories by the time it was 9 p.m., you could in reality eat another 900 before bedtime. The problem is the longer it gets until dinnertime, the hungrier you get, and for most people the chances they will overeat increases. So what ends up happening is excess calories are consumed. I sometime explain this as the "domino effect." You've waited so long to eat that by the time you do, you can't stop.

    RELATED: 11 Nutrition

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  • Is Your Bagged Salad Safe?

    by Keri Gans, R.D.N., for

    Should you toss your bagged greens?Should you toss your bagged greens?You may have heard that a recent outbreak of stomach illness, including diarrhea, has been linked to a parasite from bagged salad mix. And after the big spinach outbreak in 2006 many of us thought those days were behind us. This time, the parasite cyclospora has caused around 400 people across the country to get sick, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    The brand of this salad has not yet been identified since the CDC and FDA are not sure exactly where the bug originated. There are many different lettuces used in the mix and anyone of them could have been the culprit. Also they are not sure at what point of the process the contamination occurred, whether it be the water irrigation for the lettuce or the prewashing prior to bagging. What they do know is that they think the outbreak is coming to an end. Reports started in mid-June and the bagged salad is a perishable product; therefore, it's probably no longer on

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  • Do You Smell? 10 Sneaky Sources of Body Odor

    by Charlotte Andersen for

    Do you smell?Do you smell?You already know that you're a little ripe after an intense workout or that eating garlic before a big meeting (or date!) isn't the best idea. But did you realize that these lesser-known factors might be affecting your breath, B.O., and more? Here's how to get to the root of the problem and ditch the stench for good.

    1. Your super stressful job:
    It's a familiar feeling: Your mind seizes on that dicey conversation you had with your boss about looming layoffs and all of a sudden your heart is pounding, your breathing increases, and you're wiping damp hands on your dress pants. Anxiety triggers a release of cortisol, the "stress hormone" that helps prepare you to deal with a dangerous situation. Unfortunately, cortisol also makes you sweat. While sweat alone isn't stinky, when you add it to the bacteria that lives on your skin, you start to smell as bad as you feel.

    2. Blood sugar swings:
    Calling all Steel Magnolias fans! The fruity smell of ketones

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  • Should You Eat Before a Morning Workout?

    by SHAPE Diet Doctor Mike Roussell, Ph.D, for

    Should you eat before a morning workout?Should you eat before a morning workout?It's a constant question in the fitness world: Should you eat before a workout? If you're anything like us, when you work out, especially in the morning, you end up starving afterward. But does eating before a workout mean you'll consume more calories than necessary?

    We went to SHAPE diet doctor and nutrition expert Mike Roussell, ph.D, author of 6 Pillars of Nutrition to get his opinion on eating before a morning workout. Here's what he had to say.

    Not only will you not eat that much more, you should always fuel yourself before you exercise in the a.m. The key with working out first thing in the morning is that you want to energize your training session so you can perform at your best. Feeling sluggish and dragging through your fitness routine is no way to work out.

    RELATED: 11 Ways to Rev Up Your Metabolism

    Despite what you may have heard, training fasted doesn't lead to greater fat loss and instead allows for excessive

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