Blog Posts by SHAPE magazine

  • 6 Healthy Habits to Steal from Your Guy

    by Holly Pevzner

    Steal these healthy habits from your guy!Steal these healthy habits from your guy!We all know that women are the healthier sex. We see the doc more often. We live longer. So why would we care what good habits guys use to stay fit? Because research shows that men have an easier time losing weight and finding happiness than women do, thanks to key lifestyle differences. Read on for six of his healthy habits that are worth adding to your health arsenal.

    Good Habit #1: Eat a Real Meal
    "Many women eat too little at breakfast and lunch," says Dawn Jackson Blatner, R.D., author of The Flexitarian Diet. "And without enough calories and the right combination of protein, carbs, and fat in a meal, your blood sugar levels fluctuate." That can leave you feeling hungry, which increases your chances of staging a mid-afternoon vending machine raid or overeating at night.

    Adopt His Healthy Habit: In the morning, swap your usual bowl of cornflakes for an egg-and-cheese sandwich (try this super-satisfying egg sandwich recipe) or oatmeal topped with nuts or fruit.

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  • 6 Nasty Chemicals that Could Cause Weight Gain

    by Mike Roussell, SHAPE Diet Doctor, phD

    These six chemicals may be causing weight gainThese six chemicals may be causing weight gainWith obesity rates continuing to climb year after year without epic changes in the amount of calories we are eating, many wonder what else could be a contributing to this growing epidemic. Sedentary lifestyle? Definitely. Environmental toxins? Possibly. Unfortunately the world we live in is chock-full of chemicals and compounds that can negatively impact our hormones. These six in particular could be helping to pad your waistline and while you may not be able to completely avoid them, there are easy ways to limit your contact.

    1. Atrazine: According to the Environmental Protection Agency, atrazine is one of the most widely used herbicides in the United States. It's commonly used on corn, sugarcane, sorghum, and in some areas on grass lawns. Atrazine disrupts normal cellular mitochondrial function and has been shown to cause insulin resistance in animals. The EPA last thoroughly examined the health effects of atrazine in 2003, deeming it safe,

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  • Why Do I Always Crave Comfort Food?

    by Mike Roussell, PhD

    Winter comfort cravings explainedWinter comfort cravings explainedWhy does it always seem that as the weather cools down, cravings for cheesy, creamy, carby foods go up? While indulging in comfort food can be healthy sometimes (that's why they call it comfort food, after all), constantly battling carb cravings can be an indication of a more serious problem. We went to the SHAPE Diet Doctor, Mike Roussell, phD, and nutrition expert to get more information. Here's what he had to say:

    Seasonal changes in food cravings are a good example of the tight link between food and our hormones and emotions. If you notice a marked changed in your levels of desire for homemade baked macaroni and cheese (my No. 1 comfort food) as the weather turns colder and darker, it could be due to seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

    This condition is characterized by increased anxiety, oversleeping, lethargy, and problems concentrating. Since comfort foods are generally high in fat and carbs, they can increase serotonin production and thus

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  • Which Yoga Class is Right for You?

    by Jessica Smith

    Nobody would ever call into question the fact that yoga is great for relaxation and can help you work toward touching your toes, but the benefits of yoga don't stop there. With so many different styles, this ancient practice can boost athleticism, relieve stress, and even lead to hotter sex! Decide which goal you want to work on and sign up for the corresponding class today.

    RELATED: The 20-Minute, No-Running Cardio Workout

    Iyengar yogaIyengar yoga1. The best yoga for beginners: Iyengar
    Newbies can try any introductory-level class, but if you are looking for a practice that is detailed and full of direction, go with iyengar. "I don't think that anyone would argue that Iyengar is the 'original gangster' of yoga," says Sara Ivanhoe, a certified Yoga Works instructor and star of the Weight Watchers Yoga Starter Kit. "His attention to detail and step-by-step instruction has been the basis of most current styles." This slow-paced class incorporates props such as straps, blocks,

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  • 6 Quick Tips for a Better Life

    by Jessica Smith

    Quick tips for a healthier, happier you!Quick tips for a healthier, happier you!Feeling blue? Put some pep in your step with these tips--you're just seconds away from a healthier, happier you!

    1. Have a (very quick) quickie! Relive the high you felt as a teen and make out with your sweetie like high schoolers to increase happiness. "There are more nerve endings in the lips, tongue, and tip of the nose than any other part of the body except for the fingertips and toes," says Lynn Anderson, Ph.D., creator of Aero*boga™. "When we kiss, the body creates an electrical charge of oxytocin-the hormone that makes us feel good-boosts our immune system, and can burn up to 10 calories all in less than two minutes!


    2. Go ahead and stare: Looking at something awe-inspiring such as the Grand Canyon for a few seconds is enough to help you feel happier and even enhance your quality of life, says a recent study from Stanford University. Students who watched a 60-second commercial featuring images including space exploration, waterfalls, and whales felt they had

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  • 5 Ways to Improve Your Running Technique

    by Jessica Smith

    Want to run a marathon? Improve your PR? Whatever your running goal, these tips will help you achieve it.

    Improve your running techniqueImprove your running technique1. Don't run heels first: Avoid striking the pavement with your heels-save that for your power walks. "When you walk, you keep one foot in contact with the ground, while running has a moment of weightlessness in the stride," says Alex Figueroa, a running coach and creator of Priority1 Wellness in Miami Beach. Running with a heel landing can contribute to back and knee pain.








    RELATED: The One-Hit-Wonder Workout




    Invest in barefoot running shoesInvest in barefoot running shoes2. Invest in barefoot running shoes: "When it comes to support, less is more," says Figueroa. Build up to wearing shoes with minimal support, like NIKE Free or Vibram Five Fingers, to help strengthen and develop the natural muscular support in your foot and ankle. But don't toss your sneakers just yet - slowly begin by running, one block at a time, with less support to gradually strengthen the muscles in your feet. Developing foot strength can help make

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  • Trend Alert: Veggies for Dessert!

    by Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD

    Tomato sorbetTomato sorbetGoodbye, chocolate-covered bacon; hello, chocolate-dipped cauliflower! While you may normally think of veggies as something to choke down before moving onto dessert, a new trend of veggie-inspired desserts may change that, according to a report in the latest issue of Food Technology magazine. Classic sweet treats such as carrot cake and sweet potato pie have long been fan favorites, but now pastry chefs are going above and beyond to include flavorful picks such as cucumbers, eggplants, beets, squash, carrots, mushrooms, and tomatoes in baked goods.

    RELATED: The Best Healthy Cupcakes We've Ever Seen!

    I was excited to read about this trend, because I've been experimenting with veggie-based treats for some time. I recently shared my recipe for secret spinach brownies with FitSugar viewers, and lately, I've been baking up a storm, folding pureed lentils or bean flours into cookies and cupcakes. In addition to being downright fun, adding veggies to the

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  • Vanessa Lachey on the Truth About Her Post-Baby Bod

    by Jené Luciani

    Vanessa Lachey on her post-baby bodyVanessa Lachey on her post-baby bodySometimes life as a new mom is all about smoke and mirrors. Just ask Vanessa Lachey. The 32-year-old Wipeout host and wife of singer Nick admits that those post-baby pics (son Camden is three months old) weren't the results of hours of working out or some miracle weight-loss diet. We chatted with Lachey-the new spokesperson for Procter & Gamble's "Have You Tried This Yet?" campaign-about those pictures that had everyone buzzing, plus how her life has changed since becoming a mom.

    RELATED: Fall's Hottest Nail Trends

    SHAPE: Everyone's talking about your fab post-baby body. How did you get back into shape so quickly?
    Vanessa Lachey (VL): One on hand, I want to say thanks for your kind words. But on the other hand, I want to encourage women out there that there is no perfect "after-baby body!" Truth be told, when those pictures came out, I wasn't wearing a bikini, so you couldn't really see my body. I just know how to dress for my body type and was

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  • 5 New Ways to Use Your Thanksgiving Leftovers

    by Phoebe Lapine

    Turn the remains of your holiday dishes into originals so good, you'll wish you had cooked more!

    Green bean and potato salad with pestoGreen bean and potato salad with pesto1. Roasted potato and green bean salad with pesto: Since next-day veggies can seem limp and boring, toss those beans and roasted potatoes with the bright, fresh flavors of pesto to liven them up.

    Serves: 4 as a side

    Ingredients:
    1 clove garlic
    1/4 cup blanched whole almonds
    1/2 cup snipped chives
    1 cup coarsely chopped basil leaves
    Juice of 1/2 a lemon
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/4 to 1/2 cup olive oil
    2 cups leftover roasted potatoes*
    4 cups leftover green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces

    Directions:
    1. Pulse garlic and almonds in a food processor. Add chives, basil, lemon juice, and salt and pulse until roughly chopped. Stream in oil 1/4 cup at a time until pesto is smooth and has the consistency of mayo. Tastes for seasoning and add more salt if necessary.
    2. Toss potatoes and beans with 3/4 cup pesto, reserving

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  • The Best and Worst Holiday Pies for Weight Loss

    by SHAPE editors

    Passing up pie on Thanksgiving? Sacrilege! Instead, learn how your favorite Thanksgiving pies stack up and easy ways to dial down the decadence.

    Pecan piePecan pie1.Pecan pie: 503 CALORIES; 27G FAT
    Though nuts are a great source of healthy fats and protein, too much of a good thing can kick this southern treat into the diet danger zone. Slash 60 calories and 9 grams of fat per piece with a tip from Betty Crocker kitchens manager Shirley Dolland: Sub rolled oats for half the pecans, and replace the three eggs most recipes call for with one egg and four whites.






    RELATED: 7 Healthy Thanksgiving Food Swaps


    Cherry pieCherry pie2. Cherry pie: 486 CALORIES; 22G FAT
    A can of cherry pie filling contains 133 grams of sugar-as much as in 10 doughnuts! To make your own (and shave off 75 grams of sugar), Anthony Stewart, the executive chef at the Pritikin longevity center + spa in Miami, says to simmer 4 cups frozen cherries with 2 tablespoons Splenda, 1 tablespoon vanilla

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