Blog Posts by SHAPE magazine

  • Why Comfort Food Isn't so Comforting

    by Keri Gans, R.D., author of The Small Change Diet

    Comfort food makes a bad mood worse, according to a new study.Comfort food makes a bad mood worse, according to a new study.Having a bad day and reaching for "comfort" foods goes hand-in-hand for many women. Angry with your boyfriend, you grab a bag of chips. Your parents are annoying you, you reach for the pint of ice cream. Work stresses you out, you run to the vending machine and buy a candy bar. If this sounds familiar, you are not alone. But eating to bust a bad mood may only deepen your funk, a recent study says.

    Penn State researchers asked women who were concerned with their diet, weight, and self-image (but who did not have any history of eating disorders) to track their eating behaviors and feelings. They discovered that moods worsened when the participants ate poorly to alleviate their negative feelings.

    From counseling woman for many years in my private practice, these findings were not at all shocking to me. So many times my patients say, "I know I shouldn't have, but I was in a bad mood." They have a pepperoni pizza or a cheeseburger with

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  • Surprising Things that Put Your Heart at Risk

    by Elizabeth Goodman Artis

    Surprising factors that up your risk of heart attackSurprising factors that up your risk of heart attackAge, weight, and a family history are all known risk factors for a heart attack, but there are other, less obvious situations that can put even healthy, fit women in cardiac jeopardy. To help you become more aware of risk factors and when you should seek medical attention, we scoured research and found five surprising times your heart may be in danger.

    1. You live near a highway: We all know being stuck in traffic is enough to make your blood boil, but even hearing traffic can increase your risk of a heart attack. According to a 2012 Danish study, for every 10-decibel increase in noise from nearby traffic, heart attack risk goes up by 12 percent.

    Protect your ticker: Other than moving, researchers suggest regular stress-reducing activities (like yoga) if you're living life near the fast lane.

    RELATED: 15 Ways Puppies Can Improve Your Health

    1. You just woke up: Waking up is not the best part of the day for most of us, but it's also not the best part of the

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  • 3 Healthy, Homemade Pizza Recipes

    by Jessica Smith for

    These pies are so yummy and easy to make, your days of ordering greasy delivery are over!

    Pizza with wilted greens, ricotta, and almondsPizza with wilted greens, ricotta, and almonds1. Pizza with wilted greens, ricotta, and almonds:
    Each slice of this pizza pie is super satisfying thanks the filling fiber and protein and fiber combo of slightly bitter escarole, creamy ricotta, and toasted almonds.

    Serves: 4

    1/4 cup plus 2 teaspoons water
    2 gloves garlic, thinly sliced
    1/2 teaspoon chopped rosemary (fresh or dried)
    1 1/2 cups escarole, washed and sliced into 1/2 inch-wide ribbons
    2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
    1 12-inch thin-crust whole-wheat pizza shell
    1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
    1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
    1/4 teaspoon black pepper
    1/4 cup no-salt-added tomato paste
    3 tablespoons sliced almonds

    1. Preheat oven to 500 degrees. In a large skillet, combine 1/4 cup water, garlic, and rosemary and bring to a boil. Add escarole in large handfuls as each batch wilts. Cover and cook about 5 minutes until

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  • Anatomy of a Peep

    by SHAPE Diet Doctor Mike Roussell, phD

    What's really in a Peep?What's really in a Peep?Novelty Easter candies have been lining grocery store shelves since retailers whisked away leftover Valentine's sweets on February 15. And while you can't deny the popularity of jelly beans or Cadbury Creme Eggs, Americans' love for them pales in comparison to Peeps.

    As the brightly colored foamy marshmallow treat celebrates its 60th anniversary, I figured it's time to analyze these addicting balls of sugar.

    One serving of Peeps is five chick-shaped pieces, each containing 28 calories. This may not seem like a lot, but almost all of these calories come from sugar (one Peep has 7.2 grams of carbs, 6.8 of which are sugar), meaning they're as empty as it gets.

    RELATED: 8 Moves for Flat Abs and Lean Legs

    To put it in perspective, consider that a 2012 study showed that a high-intensity kettlebell snatch workout could burn upwards of 20 calories per minute. This means that you'd need to perform a 15-minute high-intensity kettlebell workout in order

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  • Are You Hardwired to Hate Exercise?

    by Alanna Nuñez for

    How to find a workout you love--and stick with it.How to find a workout you love--and stick with it.If you're the type of person who's ever huffed and puffed, struggling to push through a treadmill session while secretly wanting to slap that smug smile off the lanky runner effortlessly trotting next to you, you're not alone! And now it looks like there may be a physiological reason why some people dislike exercise more than others.

    Hoping to encourage more people to leave the couch and move, researchers at Iowa State University are studying the body's biological and chemical processes to better understand the attitudes people have about exercise. So far they've made a few surprising discoveries, including that our interpretation of our body's sensations while we sweat it out influences how we feel about exercise in general.

    RELATED: 7 Workouts Better than Happy Hour

    Everyone, no matter their fitness level, has a physical capacity for exertion beyond which the body becomes stressed and begins to feel bad. Researchers estimate that anywhere from 10 to 50

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  • NYC Large-Sized Soda Ban Denied. Now What?

    by Cristina Goyanes for

    Healthy lessons to learn from the NYC large-sized soda ban rejection.Healthy lessons to learn from the NYC large-sized soda ban rejection.Soda: 1. Mayor Michael Bloomberg: 0.

    The New York City mayor's newest obesity-fighting proposal to limit the sales of sugary drinks to 16 ounces or less at restaurants, theaters, and food carts was dismissed by a state supreme court judge on Monday-just one day before the health code would have taken full effect. Considering Bloomberg's success in banning trans fats and smoking in public places, this decision came as a total surprise to most, including the businesses that had already edited their menus and ordered smaller serving cups. Perhaps the most shocked was Bloomberg himself, as well as his administration.

    "Without a portion cap on sugary drinks, it will be harder to tackle an obesity epidemic that kills New Yorkers and causes misery for many thousands more who suffer from heart disease, diabetes, and other debilitating illnesses," says Thomas Farley, M.D., M.P.H., the NYC Health Commissioner. "We are confident that we will win on appeal."

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  • The Truth About Yoga

    by Justin Park for

    Do the benefits of yoga live up to the hype?Do the benefits of yoga live up to the hype?The myriad benefits attributed to yoga-weight-loss, heart disease protection, freedom from depression-are enough to get anyone on the mat, but do they hold up to modern scientific investigation? New York Times science writer and long-time yogi William J. Broad decided to find out.

    For his latest book, The Science of Yoga, Broad took a deep dive into the research to reveal which promises the ancient tradition can-and can't-deliver on. "Yoga makes you feel good-every practitioner knows that. But the science is catching up to explain why," he says.

    Here's the real deal on seven big claims yoga makes:

    Claim 1: Yoga Makes You Feel Good
    True. One of the major reasons for yoga's popularity-and perhaps why devotees are reluctant to critically assess the practice-is that yoga just makes people feel good.Recent research is able to put that feeling in more technical terms. In 2005 a pair of comprehensive reviews of the research on yoga's effects on anxiety and

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  • 5 Healthy Reasons to Make Time for Cuddling

    by Ysolt Usigan for

    Next time your guy gives you grief about cuddling, tell him it's good for your health!Next time your guy gives you grief about cuddling, tell him it's good for your health!Next time your guy gets on your case about cuddle time--he says he's too hot, needs his space, doesn't feel like relaxing--present the evidence. Research suggests that there's more to cuddling than meets the eye. Lovey-dovey'ness aside, the health benefits of cuddling will surely convince him to make time for it.

    Reason 1: It Feels Good
    Cuddling releases oxytocin, which is also known as the feel-good hormone. "It increases overall happiness," says psychologist, physical therapist, and author of bestseller A Happy You: Your Ultimate Prescription for Happiness Elizabeth Lombardo.

    "Cuddling, holding, and sexual play releases chemicals, like oxytocin, in the brain that create a sense of well-being and happiness," says Dr. Renee Horowitz, an ob-gyn who recently opened the Center for Sexual Wellness in Farmington Hills, Michigan.

    RELATED: The Top 50 Hottest Trainers in America

    Cuddling can also release endorphins, which is the chemical released after a good

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  • Yoga: A Competitive Sport?

    by Heidi Pashman for

    Should yoga be a competitive sport?Should yoga be a competitive sport?Yoga is a very individual practice, with people practicing for the benefits of building strength and flexibility, de-stressing, mental clarity, or the amazing feeling afterward, or all of the above. But now a few talented yogis are looking to add one more benefit: winning a medal for your beautifully perfected postures.

    Last weekend the USA Yoga Federation hosted the 10th Annual National Yoga Asana Championship in New York City, where more than 140 participants from 33 states were judged on their technical execution, level of difficulty, poise and composure, and grace of movement both into and out of their postures. Founded by Rajashree Choudhury (yes, she's married to Bikram), the Federation has been working for the past ten years to make yoga an Olympic sport.

    This idea is so foreign to Westerners because, like the practice, it's rooted in India. Yoga competitions have been going on there for hundreds of years, Choudhury says, and are why she started

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  • 3 Tasty and Healthy Green Recipes for St. Patrick's Day

    by Tiffany Tse for

    Key lime pieKey lime pieWhether you dress up in green or hit up your local watering hole for a pint of brilliantly colored beer, there's nothing like ringing in St. Patrick's Day with some festive cheer. This year, celebrate by cooking up some edible treats that are all SHAPE (and leprechaun)-approved! We rounded up our 3 favorite bright green dishes that serve up plenty of delicious flavor without packing in extra calories.

    1. Key lime yogurt pie:

    160 calories, 16 grams sugar, 4 grams fat, 26 grams carbohydrates, 5 grams protein

    You won't need the luck o' the Irish when you're whipping up this low-cal key lime pie. Thanks to fat-free cream cheese and light yogurt, this no-bake dessert won't max out your daily calorie intake.

    2 tbsp. cold water
    1 tbsp. fresh lime juice
    1 1/2 tsp. unflavored gelatin
    4 oz. fat-free cream cheese, softened
    3 containers (6 oz. each) Yoplait Light Thick & Creamy key lime pie yogurt
    1/2 c. frozen (thawed) reduced-fat whipped

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