Blog Posts by SHAPE magazine

  • Your Biggest Grocery Shopping Mistake

    by Keri Gans, R.D., for

    Are you making this mistake at the grocery store?Are you making this mistake at the grocery store?Something I have been telling my patients for years is finally backed up by research: Do not go food-shopping hungry!

    Researchers from Cornell University had 68 adults fast for five hours and then gave some of them crackers before setting everyone loose to grocery shop. Those who didn't have a snack bought about 19 percent more food, including more higher-calorie foods. The study also found that healthier food choices were made between the hours of 1 and 4 p.m. and 4 and 7 p.m.

    Clearly this means it's best to grab a snack before shopping. But there are more things you can do to pre-empt the purchasing of high-calories foods and make healthier choices when you stroll down the aisle.

    RELATED: The Top 20 Artery-Cleansing Foods

    1. Make a list. This seems like a relatively easy thing to do; however, I cannot tell you how many of my patients don't do it. Start by looking to see what you already have and don't have in the house, and then plan your meals and snacks

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  • Fitness Secrets from a Figure Competitor

    by Jessica Matthews for

    Fitness secrets from a female figure competitorFitness secrets from a female figure competitorWith the weather warming up, who doesn't want to sport a sculpted physique and look and feel great in a swimsuit? I chatted with ACE-certified personal trainer and National Physique Committee (NPC) competitor Riana Rohmann to learn the fitness tips and tricks that she follows to get in competition-ready shape.

    Jessica Matthews (JM): What exercises and training techniques are a must in your workout routine?
    Riana Rohmann (RR): Lunges and shoulder presses are the two exercises that have made the biggest difference in my physique. Lunges are one of the best exercises for targeting that stubborn glutes and hamstrings tie-in. It is by far my weakest area, but since adding various weighted lunges to my routine, I have seen my booty lift and my hamstrings develop. Shoulder presses and Arnold presses using dumbbells or barbells are also really effective for shoulder strength. The key is to lift hard and heavy, and no matter how many repetitions you do, try to

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  • Are Doctors Nicer to Thin Patients?

    by Alanna Nuñez for

    Is your doctor judging your weight?Is your doctor judging your weight?Doctors are supposed to do no harm and therefore, you could assume, treat all patients with equal concern. But your white coat may be nicer to you if you're thin, a new study to be published in Obesity suggests.

    Researchers at Johns Hopkins University obtained permission to record discussions between 39 primary care physicians and more than 200 patients who had high blood pressure. Of the 200 patients, 28 were of normal weight (having a BMI of under 25), 60 were overweight (BMI of 25 to 30), and 120 were obese (having a BMI of 30 or greater).

    There was no distinguishable difference in the overall type of care each patient received, but when researchers analyzed the transcripts of each visit, they noticed there one big discrepancy: Doctors were noticeably nicer to patients who were of normal weight or thin.

    "It's not like the physicians were being overtly negative or harsh," the lead author, Kimberly A. Gudzune, M.D., M.P.H., an assistant professor of

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  • The No. 1 Reason to Check Your No. 2

    by Valerie Berkowitz, R.D., for

    We know it's kind of gross, but it's important!We know it's kind of gross, but it's important!The idea of looking inside the porcelain throne after using it may gross you out, but your waste is hardly a waste when it comes to identifying potential health concerns. How often you go No. 2 and the shape, color, and even odor of your bowel movements (BM) can be warning signs that something's amiss.

    The next time you hit the bathroom, sneak a peek to see how things are coming out so you can get some sense of what may be going on inside your body, good and bad.

    1. Shape
    What's normal: A sausage or snake shape, either with cracks in the surface (type 3) or smooth and soft (type 4)

    According to the Bristol Stool Form Scale, there are seven types of stool.
    Type 1 (hard lumps resembling nuts) and type 2 (sausage-shaped and lumpy) may mean that you are not drinking enough water and are constipated. Constipation is uncomfortable at the least, but if waste is not being eliminated, it can lead to pain, lack of appetite, straining that results in

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  • Whey or No Whey: What's the Deal with Dairy?

    by Mike Roussell, phD, SHAPE Diet Doctor

    Woman drinking milkWoman drinking milkMilk, despite being a dietary staple for a very long time, does have its controversial side: On the one hand, you hear that milk and dairy are good sources of calcium, so you should consume them; on the other, you're told that drinking milk is unnatural and that humans are the only mammals to drink milk from other mammals, plus it has hormones.

    To the unnatural point, we are also the only species to build and drive cars, so the line of thinking that compares our behaviors to other mammals isn't that compelling. As for hormones, there isn't adequate, credible research to support that there are hormones in milk causing problems for people. Now let's take a closer look at what we do know about how healthy milk and dairy are.

    High in calcium and vitamin D: Milk is a convenient and concentrated source of both these nutrients, which are essential dietary components for bone health.

    Whey and casein: These are the two proteins found in dairy

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  • 5 Hilarious Running Shirts We Love

    by Charlotte Andersen for

    Great swag is one of the best parts of running races! Don't you wish one of these Ts would end up in your bag?

    1Are you crazy for half-marathons?Are you crazy for half-marathons?. Half Crazy: Are you crazy for half-marathons? Or just half crazy? You'll have plenty of time to figure it out during your next 13.1-mile jaunt.

    RELATED: 10 Strange Marathon Tips that Really Work!

    We all know at least one person for whom this is true!We all know at least one person for whom this is true!2. Lazy but Talented: Most race T-shirts are a testament to all the hard work you put into your training, but this Nike number takes the opposite tack! At least they're honest? We all know at least one runner for whom this is a true statement.

    Revenge of the turkey trot!Revenge of the turkey trot!3. Revenge of the Turkey: Normal people just run their 5K and then eat their turkey on Thanksgiving. But members of the Erie Runner's Club flee the Revenge of the Turkey with popular Star Wars characters immortalized as tasty birds.

    Watch out for the zombies!Watch out for the zombies!4. Zombies Hate Fast Food! Running away from the evil undead may be the best reason yet to take up running. And with the rise of "Zombie runs" all over the country, you even

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  • 8 Foods to Eat Before a First Date

    by Diana Kelly for

    Nosh on one of these foods before a big date, and you'll be energized, confident, and anxiety-free!Nosh on one of these foods before a big date, and you'll be energized, confident, and anxiety-free!You want to look as fabulous as possible for every date, even if it's with your husband and especially on a first date. And all that time you focus on putting together the right outfit, doing your hair and makeup, and calling your friends for a second (or third…or fourth) opinion could leave you with little time to think about what you're eating.

    Instead of reaching for anything-or worse, nothing-snack on foods that will help you shine tonight by flattening your stomach, boosting your energy, and eliminating every bit of anxiety. Go get him, girl.

    RELATED: The Better-Sex Diet

    1. Dark chocolate: While regular consumption of dark chocolate can reduce levels of cortisol (a stress hormone) and catecholamines (amino acids that trigger the "fight-or-flight" reaction), having a treat also immediately slashes anxiety, according to a study in the journal Nutrients. Chocolate may increase serotonin, the feel-happy neurotransmitter in the brain, says Kristin

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  • 3 Healthy Boozy Recipes

    by Alanna Nuñez for

    Forget happy hour and use your poison of choice to create a meal that will leave you feeling energized, not hungover!

    Red wine oxtail raguRed wine oxtail ragu1. Red wine oxtail ragu with parpardalle

    Serves: 6

    3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    2 pounds oxtail, chopped
    Sea salt
    1 yellow onion, finely chopped
    3 carrots, finely diced
    3 celery stalks, finely diced
    3 bay leaves
    5 thyme sprigs
    6 garlic cloves, minced
    1 can (28 ounces) organic diced tomatoes
    1 cup dry red wine (such as Las Rocas Garnacha)
    1 package (16 ounces) pappardelle noodles
    Fresh basil (optional)

    1. Add olive oil to a large stockpot over medium heat. Season oxtail with sea salt and place in the pot. Cook about 15 minutes until browned. Remove and set aside.
    2. Add onion to the pot, reduce heat to low, and cook for 8 to 10 minutes. Add carrots, celery, bay leaves, thyme, and garlic. Cook for another 15 minutes until vegetables are soft and fragrant. Add tomatoes and red wine and raise

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  • Would Adding Exercise Times to Menus Make You Order Healthier?

    by Ashley Ross for

    Will this help you make better choices?Will this help you make better choices?Seeing that a quarter-pound double cheeseburger clocks in at 520 calories may make you stop and think before you order it, but seeing that it would take you about 2 hours to briskly walk off your lunch may make you switch to a lighter option, according to new research.

    In a Texas Christian University study, 300 men and women looked at one of three menus. Each had the same items, but one group saw a basic menu, the second received a menu with calorie labels, and the last looked a menu with labels for how many minutes of brisk walking it would take to burn off each item.
    While there was no difference in the number of calories ordered or consumed between the first two groups, those who saw the sweat times ordered 139 fewer calories and consumed 97 fewer calories, CNN reported.

    RELATED: 12 Salads Worse Than a Big Mac

    "This study suggests there are benefits to displaying exercise minutes to a group of young men and women," lead study author Meena Shah, Ph.D.

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  • California Declares BPA a Reproductive Hazard

    by Alanna Nuñez for

    Will California require BPA-containing products to have warning labels?Will California require BPA-containing products to have warning labels?The state of California recently admitted what many consumers and health and nutrition experts have been speculating for years: Canned food chemical bisphenol A (BPA) is toxic and may cause health problems. After officially adding the chemical to its Prop 65 list-a list of substances that are known carcinogens or endocrine-disruptors-the state will now require warning labels to be posted on products that contain high levels of BPA sold in California.

    "This decision is a step in the right direction," says SHAPE Diet Doctor Mike Roussell, Ph.D., author of The Six Pillars of Nutrition. "I think this is good validation that these endocrine-disrupting chemicals have real effects on our bodies. I hope this will be the first of several similar decisions."

    What is bisphenol A?
    BPA is what's known as an "everywhere chemical" because it shows up in seemingly innocent items you use every day, such as canned foods, plastic water bottles, pacifiers, and teethers. BPA

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