Blog Posts by SHAPE magazine

  • Yogurt Eaters Are Healthier

    by Keri Gans, R.D.

    Just one more reason to add yogurt to your diet: Yogurt eaters are healthier!Just one more reason to add yogurt to your diet: Yogurt eaters are healthier!As if you didn't already love yogurt enough, now there's more reason to dig into this delicious, creamy food at breakfast or for a snack: People who eat yogurt consume better-balanced diets than those who forgo it, Tufts University researchers say.

    A recent study of more than 6,500 adults found that those individuals who included yogurt in their diets on a regular basis had overall healthier diets than those who didn't. Surprised? I'm not, but what I am curious about is what came first: the chicken or the egg? Did these people start eating more fruits, veggies, and whole grains, and then decide to add the yogurt, or did it happen the reverse way? Or maybe even all at once?

    I guess you can say that, in the end, it doesn't really matter. Because what does matter is that they are consuming more key nutrients, such as calcium, potassium, magnesium, and B12, in their diets than those who don't consume the creamy snack. Calcium is so key for bone health and prevention of

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  • 8 Common Exercise-Induced Skin Afflictions

    by Charlotte Andersen

    Are you at risk for Are you at risk for Don't let fear of sagging skin keep you from your workout! Experts reveal how to prevent and treat common problems brought on by exercise

    1. "Runner's face:" While some sagging of the skin on your face is just part of aging, it's true that running can have a negative impact on skin elasticity. Contrary to popular belief, the effect of gravity from the constant pavement pounding isn't to blame, but rather some experts believe that "cardio and running can cause more oxygen or free-radical damage, which can break or damage the skin's supportive fibers (collagen and elastin)," says Dr. Annet King, director of training and education at Dermalogica.

    But don't retire your running shoes just yet. According to a 2008 study published in Free Radical Biology and Medicine, only very strenuous exercise leads to signs of cell damage, while moderate exercise-defined as exercising at 40 to 60 percent of your maximum heart rate three to five days per week-has a rejuvenating

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  • The Cheater's Guide to Fasting

    by Valerie Berkowitz, M.S., R.D.

    The cheater's guide to fastingThe cheater's guide to fastingWith all the news on fasting lately, you may have considered trying a fast but worry that you cannot avoid food for 24 (or more) hours without food. According to a new study, though, you can cheat and still reap all the benefits of fasting.

    Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago put a group of obese volunteers on either a 25-percent-fat diet or a 45-percent-fat diet. All participants alternated between days of eating 125 percent of their calorie needs and fasting, although they were allowed to eat up to 25 percent of their metabolic needs during a 2-hour window on fast days.

    After eight weeks, both groups lost significant amounts of weight without losing muscle mass and reduced
    visceral fat, the deadly fat that surrounds your internal organs. The higher-fat diet also had better compliance and lost more weight. No surprise since fat adds palatability to meals. I have seen my clients consume meat, avocados, olive oil, and other high-fat

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  • 7 Veggie-Packed Pasta Sauces

    by Divya Yadava

    Ditch basic tomato or heavy Alfredo and add more vegetables to your diet with these diverse and delectable noodle toppers!

  • 11 Ways to Rev Up Your Metabolism

    by Charlotte Andersen

    Do your body a favor and follow these tips to maintain your weight-loss momentum!

  • Will Taking 5-HTP Help Me Lose Weight?

    by Mike Roussell, phD, SHAPE Diet Doctor

    What you need to know before taking this supplementWhat you need to know before taking this supplementThis supplement is said to suppress appetite, but will it help you lose weight? Probably not, but it depends. 5-hydroxy-L-tryptophan is a derivative of the amino acid tryptophan and is converted to the neurotransmitter serotonin in the brain. What does that have to do with weight loss? Serotonin is a multifaceted neurotransmitter, and one of its roles is impacting appetite. (Have you ever been in a carb-induced coma where your appetite was completely squashed? Serotonin had a hand in that.)

    Because of this connection to hunger, modulating serotonin levels and effects to elicit greater weight loss has long been a pursuit of the drug companies. One of the most famous (or infamous) prescription weight-loss drugs, Phentermine, had a modest impact on serotonin release.

    When it comes to actual research on 5-HTP and its impact on weight loss, you won't find much. In one small study, Italian researchers put a group of obese, hyperphagic (science for

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  • The 5 Sexiest Vegan and Vegetarian Celebs

    by Heidi Pashman

    These dreamy stars are known for their compassionate diets. We swoon!

    Ne-YoNe-Yo1. Ne-Yo: The newest meat- and dairy-free male celeb, Ne-Yo tweeted on December 30, "What's everybody's New Year's resolution? I'm gonna try to go Vegan. Discipline test. NOT looking forward to it. Wish me luck!!"

    We hear the singer is still going strong!

    2. Jason Mraz: The sexy singer who just won "Favorite Male Artist" at the People's Choice Awards is serious about healthy food (He lives on an avocado farm!) And he's not shy about sharing how his plant-based diet has changed his life on his blog. "I ride longer distances on my bike, can do more pull-ups than ever, and my brain seems to have a larger capacity for new projects, problem solving, songwriting, and fielding random questions... It also makes me a lot better in bed." Can't argue with that!

    3. Tobey Maguire: The oh-so-studly actor who stars in The Great Gatsby, due out this spring, became a vegetarian in 1992 and a vegan in 2009. In a

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  • 9 Hyped-Up Sexual Issues to Ignore

    Don't let these hyped-up sexual issues get you down.Don't let these hyped-up sexual issues get you down.It's easy to freak and fret when you're dealing with a sensitive subject, but some sexual issues simply don't deserve your distress. Experts say to cool it a bit with these nine common concerns.

    1. Am I Normal for Having Fantasies or Liking Porn?

    Yes, says sex therapist Sari Cooper. Some people fear that if they allow themselves this pleasure, it will overtake their lives and make them sexual addicts. "Unless the acts are violent or abusive (rape, harassment, sex with minors) or interfere with one's ability to maintain their job and/or responsibilities as a parent (as in compulsive sexual behaviors) or is illegal (prostitution, thus putting oneself and one's family at risk) most fantasies and consensual sexual behaviors are 'normal,'" she says.

    2. When the Penis Goes Limp

    Holistic life coach and author of three books on aging the best way possible Hattie Batson uses her own experiences to help clients deal with their fears. She was with a guy who was embarrassed that his penis went

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  • The No. 1 Thing NOT to Do If You're Sick

    by Joe Donatelli

    Sick? Here's what NOT to do!Sick? Here's what NOT to do!Can't shake that cough? Want to run to the doctor and ask for an antibiotic? Wait it out, says Dr. Mark Ebell. It's not antibiotics that chase away chest colds. It's time.

    Dr. Ebell conducted a simple study. The University of Georgia professor asked 500 Georgia residents how long they think a cough lasts. He then compared their answers to data that showed how long a cough actually lasts. The gap was sizable. While respondents said a cough lasts between five and nine days, published research shows an average duration of 17.8 days, ranging from 15.3 to 28.6 days.

    Somewhere between day seven and day 17.8, many people head to the doctor for antibiotics they don't need. That's why Dr. Ebell says he commissioned the study.

    "We're impatient in this country. We want things hot and now and fast," he says.

    RELATED: 13 Banned Ingredients Still Legal in the U.S.

    For chest colds, Ebell says antibiotics should be taken by those at the extremes of age-the very young and very

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  • Banned Ingredients that Are Still Legal in the U.S.

    by Cristina Goyanes

    Skip these ingredients!Skip these ingredients!You think the FDA has your back? Sure, they recently proposed two new regulations to up food safety measures, specifically how food processors and farmers can work better to keep their fresh products free of dangerous bacteria (remember that killer cantaloupe outbreak from 2011?). But while it may seem like the government is out to protect us from bad-even fatal-food-borne illnesses, which cause some 3,000 deaths a year, they don't completely have our best interest-or health-in mind.

    "For numerous suspicious and disturbing reasons, the U.S. has allowed foods that are banned in many other developed countries into our food supply," says nutritionist Mira Calton who, together with her husband Jayson Calton, Ph.D., wrote the new book Rich Food, Poor Food due out this February.

    During a six-year expedition that took them to 100 countries on seven continents, the Caltons studied more than 150 ingredients and put together a comprehensive list of the top 13

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