Blog Posts by SHAPE magazine

  • Could THIS Be the Secret to Achieving Your Goals?

    by Krissy Brady for

    Could a cyclical mindset be the key to reaching all your goals?Could a cyclical mindset be the key to reaching all your goals?Feeling bloated the morning after a night of margaritas and nachos with the girls, you decide, "This is it. Today is the day I'm going to start eating better."

    Except that you told yourself this exact same thing last Thursday after skipping lunch and then eating way too much spaghetti after work. And the week before when you had ice cream for dinner.

    The problem isn't your willpower-it's your mindset, according to a recent study published in Psychological Science.

    Researchers asked 145 adults to focus on saving money using either the linear, future-looking approach most of us tend to favor, or by applying a cyclical strategy and breaking their overall goal into smaller, concrete, repetitive actions such as "I'll put $10 into savings each day." After two weeks, those who adopted a cyclical mindset saved 80 percent more than the linear group and a group that received no instruction.

    RELATED: 50 Must-Know Fitness Tips to Score Your Dream Body

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  • How to Overcome Life's Toughest Situations

    by Locke Hughes for

    How to overcome any tough situationHow to overcome any tough situation

    "Get over it." The trite advice seems easy, but it's a struggle to put situations such as a brutal breakup, a backstabbing friend, or the loss of a loved one in the past. "When something has caused you real emotional pain, it can be extremely hard to move on," says Rachel Sussman, a relationship expert and author of The Breakup Bible. "These events can trigger larger psychological issues, which can take a long time to reconcile."

    Tough as it can be to work through things, it's worth it, for both your mental and physical health. "Holding on to negative emotions leads to chronic stress and depression, which studies have linked to weight gain, an increased risk of heart disease, and other serious health problems," says Cynthia Ackrill, M.D., a physician specializing in neuroscience and stress management.

    RELATED: 28 Powerful Women Share Their Best Advice

    So take a deep breath and get ready to let go of your emotional baggage. While overcoming a Read More »from How to Overcome Life's Toughest Situations
  • What the Heck is Palm Oil?

    by Mike Roussell, ph.D., SHAPE Diet Doctor

    What is palm oil, and is it good for you?What is palm oil, and is it good for you?Q: I see palm oil, palm kernel oil, and fractionated palm kernel oil on ingredients lists. What are the differences, and are they all bad for me?

    A: They aren't all necessarily bad for you, but the vague naming differences does make it very confusing, and they do have different noteworthy characteristics.

    When trans fats were removed from the market due to their aggressive negative health consequences, an inexpensive fat that had similar stability and melting properties was in high demand. Palm oil fit the bill, as it consists primarily of saturated fats, and it has become the fat of choice to replace trans fats.
    You'll most often see three different variations of palm oil:

    Palm oil: This is the fat that is squeezed out of the fruit from oil palm trees, hence you'll also see it called "palm fruit oil." It is rich in vitamin E. If you find that your palm oil has a red coloring, this is good, as the coloring comes from the

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  • Is Winter Making You Look Older?

    by Ashley Ross for

    Easy-to-follow beauty tip to help you look and feel your best this winter.Easy-to-follow beauty tip to help you look and feel your best this winter.Cold weather outside plus dry heat inside is a recipe for disaster when it comes to keeping your skin soft and touchable. But there's no need to run to the dermatologist: You can remedy all your itchy, flaky, red, and rough spots and return to your smooth, gorgeous self with a few at-home tricks and the right products.

    1. Flaky scalp:
    "I recommend using a 3-in-1 cleanse-treat-condition formula product that contains hyaluronic acid, which will hydrate, repair, and protect your hair follicles and scalp," says Julien Farel, celebrity stylist to Kate Moss, Brooke Shields, and Gwyneth Paltrow. Try Restore twice a week in place of shampoo and conditioner, or DIY with olive oil, he adds: Apply 1/2 cup warm olive oil to damp hair, leave in for one hour, and then rinse out with shampoo and conditioner.

    RELATED: 15 Pieces of Cute & Cozy Workout Gear We Love

    2. Dry, dull hair:
    Reach for dry shampoo to liven up oily looking strands, and only use heat to style

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  • The Best Fat-Burning Workout for a Packed Gym

    by Jessica Smith for

    The best fat-burning workout for a packed gymThe best fat-burning workout for a packed gymIt's January, and you're ready to ramp up your results this year…but the gym is so packed that you can't even get to your favorite equipment. No worries-we've got your back. When it comes to getting in amazing shape in the shortest amount of time, you can't beat metabolic resistance training (MRT), a type of workout that maximizes caloric expenditure while also increasing your metabolic rate. The basic principles of MRT involve working in a circuit with little to no rest in between moves.

    Studies have shown that MRT can help boost your calorie burn both during and up to 38 hours after your workout is over! Do this simple, small-space friendly routine at the gym or at home up to four non-consecutive days per week for best results.

    RELATED: 60 Seconds to a Slimmer Body

    How it works: Perform each set of moves in a circuit (back to back with little to no rest in between). Rest 60 to 90 seconds in between in each circuit, repeating the circuit 3 times total.

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  • 5 Cute & Cozy Winter Workout Accessories We Want Now

    by Locke Hughes for

    Don't let the cold stop you from reaching your resolutions this year. These comfy clothes and accessorie will keep you warm and energized all winter long.

    the Cory Vines Essential long sleeved t-shirtthe Cory Vines Essential long sleeved t-shirt1. Cory Vines Essential long sleeve T: This workout tee is so cozy you could wear it to bed-there goes your excuse not to hit the gym in the a.m.! Made of a supremely soft blend of nylon, polyester, and spandex, this fitted top is also ideal for yoga class or pounding the pavement. ($35;

    RELATED: Beauty Secrets from the People Who Know Best

    Karma Alex legwarmersKarma Alex legwarmers2. Karma Alex leg warmers: Slouchy legwarmers aren't just for '80s aerobics anymore. These knee-length socks, made of moisture-wicking jersey fabric, are great for layering for outdoors workouts, while the stirrup at the heel keeps them in place during the most strenuous Barre or Pilates class. ($27;

    Spiritual Gangster yoga pantsSpiritual Gangster yoga pants3. Spiritual Gangster grateful yoga pants: If your goal is to practice

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  • The Science Behind Your Sweet Tooth

    by Gina Roberts-Grey for

    Why do you have a sweet tooth?Why do you have a sweet tooth? Some differences are a matter of taste-literally. At brunch you order a vegetable omelet with turkey bacon while your best friend asks for blueberry pancakes and yogurt. You likely don't give your meals a second thought, but you don't realize just how many things impact whether you have a sweet or salty tooth and tend to favor crunchy or smooth foods.

    Our gustatory receptor cells-that's science lingo for taste buds-perceive four basic tastes: sweet, salty, sour, and bitter. You have about 10,000 buds, and not all are located on your tongue: Some are found on the roof of your mouth and others in your throat, which explains why medicine is so unpleasant going down the hatch.

    "Each taste bud has a receptor and is connected to sensory neurons that relay information about a particular basic taste to the brain," says Joseph Pinzone, M.D., an endocrinologist and professor at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. And while everyone's taste buds

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  • Does Hot Water with Lemon Really Help You Detox?

    by Mike Roussell, ph.D., and SHAPE Diet Doctor for

    Do hot water and lemon really help you detox?Do hot water and lemon really help you detox?You've no doubt heard countless people and experts suggest that you begin your day with a big glass of lemon water. But why? How beneficial is it for you really?

    Like most health and fitness lore, the magic properties of drinking a juiced lemon in warm water each morning is rooted in a seed of truth, but the impact of the ritual is greatly overstated. Let's look at the three main purported benefits and any evidence to support those claims.

    1. Lemon improves digestion. Actually in some cases the fruit could exacerbate issues with your stomach: Citric acid in lemons can cause or contribute to stomach pains and cramps. So where does the idea that drinking lemon juice improves digestion come from? There is a study from about three decades ago that shows citric acid can improve absorption of aluminum hydroxide (the active ingredient in most antacids). I have read online that the acidic nature of lemon juice is supposed to

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  • What Really Makes Us Happy?

    by Jené Luciani for

    How to really, truly be happy in 2014How to really, truly be happy in 2014 We know money can't buy happiness (or can it?) and as Americans, we all have the right to pursue it. But what are some things we don't know about this emotional state we all strive for?

    We tracked down several recent studies to reveal six things you don't know about happiness, so that you can aim to make 2014 your best year ever.

    1. Money can buy happiness--sort of: Making more money will boost more than just your income. According to a 2010 study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a person's level of happiness and emotional well-being increased along with their paycheck-but capped out at about $75,000 a year. People who made more than that didn't get any happier after they hit that 75k mark.

    RELATED: 13 Fitness Secrets You've Never Heard

    2. Meditate to save the blues: Several studies have linked regular meditation to actual physical changes in the brain that are similar to what anti-depressant drugs (or

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  • The Best Tool for a Deeper Self-Massage

    by Jay Cardiello for

    Get the right tools to recover from your workout faster.Get the right tools to recover from your workout faster.Life would be wonderful if we all had a personal massage therapist at our disposal to help rub out the soreness, stress, and tension that we experience on a daily basis. Unfortunately this is not realistic for most of us, and while we all love foam rolling, sometimes a foam roller is just too big for those harder-to-reach places.

    However there is an effective way that one can experience complete relief from tired and aching muscles. Best thing about this, you may even find the answer on the floor of your kid's room. Plus it's easily portable-it can be stashed in your desk at work or thrown in your carry-on.

    What magical tool am I talking about? A rubber lacrosse ball. This highly durable SMR (self-myofascial release) tool has become more popular over the past few years as an easy way to activate trigger points in muscles and relax very stressed areas.

    Below are five different ways you can use a lacrosse ball for more effective myofascial

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