Blog Posts by SHAPE magazine

  • Why Your Stomach Won't Always Be Flat

    by Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD

    Why your stomach won't always be flatWhy your stomach won't always be flatAs nearly every news outlet covered Lea Michelle's supposed baby bump on Monday, I found myself repeatedly shouting "Come on!" "Really?" and "Ugh!" to my computer and TV screens. One report noted her "hint of something other than rock-hard, six-pack abs," and I nearly lost it because the truth is, no matter how fit you are, it's just not normal to have a perfectly flat stomach all the time.

    After you eat or drink, food and liquids naturally expand your stomach and intestines, so at least a little "bump" is inevitable every single day, even if your weight and body fat are completely stable.

    Some of the healthiest foods, including beans, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and onions produce gas as they're being digested, which will expand your GI tract like air filling a balloon. And just eating a bulkier meal, even if it's super healthy like a large salad, means your midsection will inflate more than if you ate a compact energy bar with

    Read More »from Why Your Stomach Won't Always Be Flat
  • Are You Eating This Surprising Source of Protein?

    by Jennipher Walters

    Seaweed is a great source of protein.Seaweed is a great source of protein.Chicken, fish, and beef tend to be the go-to sources for protein, and even if you add tofu to the mix, things can get boring. But now there's another option: According to a recent study, seaweed-yep, your sushi wrapper-provides a good dose of the muscle-building nutrient.

    While the amount of protein differs among varieties of seaweed, it ranges from about 2 to 9 grams per cup. And besides being high in protein, seaweed is also loaded with minerals, vitamins, and hormone-like substances that are good for the body. In fact, the variety dulse contains renin-inhibitory peptides similar to those found in ACE inhibitors, a class of medicines that helps relax the blood vessels used to treat high blood pressure, migraines, and other conditions, says Mary Hartley, R.D., nutrition expert for

    She recommends eating seaweed in salads, soups, or stir-fries.

    RELATED: 10 Healthy Recipes Using Greek Yogurt

    "Dehydrated dulse is like a jerky that

    Read More »from Are You Eating This Surprising Source of Protein?
  • Give Your Fat Cells a Rest!

    by Jennipher Walters

    Your fat cells need sleep, too. Your fat cells need sleep, too. A lack of sleep can make you more likely to reach for chocolate, ice cream, and other high-calorie foods, and now researchers have more understanding why: Your fat cells don't function as well when they haven't gotten enough zzzs.

    Much like your brain needs sleep for cognitive function and memory consolidation, your fat cells need similar type rest, says Matthew Brady, Ph.D., associate professor of medicine at the Kovler Diabetes Center at the University of Chicago.

    "Just as you can have groggy thinking with too little sleep, you fat cells also get metabolically groggy," he says. "They don't respond as well to insulin and don't function as well as with a full-night sleep."

    RELATED: Lose the Pooch! The Best Exercises for Lower Abs

    And when it comes to maintaining a healthy weight, insulin is king in both the short- and long-term.

    Brady says that short-term, insulin-promoted glucose metabolism drives the production of the hormone leptin

    Read More »from Give Your Fat Cells a Rest!
  • The Worst Pumpkin Foods for Fall

    by Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD for

    Pumpkin-flavored treats to avoidPumpkin-flavored treats to avoidWhen I saw the New York magazine headline "Pumpkin Is the New Bacon," I have to admit, I rolled my eyes and thought, "Really?" But after reading the article, I get it. Pumpkin is popping up in dishes across the country.

    One research firm noted a 38 percent jump in "pumpkin presence" on menus since 2010, and another discovered a whopping 400 percent increase in pumpkin drinks in the past five years. Sometimes it shows up in unexpected ways, like pumpkin tacos. But too often, it's folded into decadent dishes such as pumpkin fritters.

    On its own, roasted pumpkin, and even unsweetened pumpkin puree, are nutritional all-stars, loaded with immune-boosting vitamin A and filling fiber. And it's relatively low in calories-one cup mashed clocks in at less than 50.

    RELATED: 10 Delicious Ways to Cook Pumpkin

    But when it's wrapped in layers of butter, refined carbs, and sugar, or simply a flavoring rather than the real deal, the benefits

    Read More »from The Worst Pumpkin Foods for Fall
  • Yoga Poses for a Great Butt

    by Heidi Kristoffer

    If you do a Google search for "yoga butt," a number of things come up. The first result is the definition from Urban Dictionary: "The ultimate external sign of a strong and powerful body. Only after years of practice can a man or woman achieve a yoga butt. It is perfectly proportioned, very tight, high, and sculpted. A yoga butt means you also have yoga arms, yoga abs, yoga legs, etc. It is very sexy and it immediately turns eyes and makes people jealous or inspired." Who wouldn't want that?

    I confess: After my first yoga class , I had a total girl crush on my instructor. I wanted a butt just like hers and was determined to take her class as much as possible in order to make this happen.

    The best way to attain a yoga butt? Through yoga, of course! Here are some poses that will help sculpt that perfect derrière. Do each of these once a day, and you will be well on your way.

    RELATED: The Total-Body Toning Resistance Band Workout

    Warrior OneWarrior OneWarrior One:

    Read More »from Yoga Poses for a Great Butt
  • The Sad Truth About Bullying

    by Alanna Nuñez

    How can we stop bullying?How can we stop bullying?In what seems to be a horrible and growing trend, Canadian teenager Amanda Todd killed herself after being bullied online for more than a year.

    Unfortunately, Todd is just the latest in a growing list of bullied teenagers that includes 18-year-old Rutgers freshman Tyler Clementi, who killed himself after being bullied and humiliated for his sexual orientation; 15-year-old Irish exchange student Phoebe Prince, who hanged herself after repeatedly being called a "slut;" and 13-year-old Hope Witsell, who committed suicide after topless photos she took of herself for a crush started circulating around her school.

    And there's a growing body of evidence that shows bullying doesn't always end when middle or high school does. Adult and workplace bullying may not be as well known as cyberbullying, child, or teenage bullying, but it's a problem that's estimated to afflict 37 percent of adult Americans.

    RELATED: Find out how one author is trying to make a difference

    Read More »from The Sad Truth About Bullying
  • 5 Foods that Power Up Your Workout

    by Jessica Girdwain

    Get stronger, leaner, and sexier, and recover in less time with these delicious picks!

    What should you eat before you work out?What should you eat before you work out?1. Coffee: Runners love a cup of pre-race joe for the pep it puts in their step. "Research shows that the caffeine in coffee can enhance physical endurance and stamina, making a long run or ride feel easier," says Molly Kimball, R.D., sports dietitian with Ochsner's Elmwood Fitness Center in New Orleans. Try it iced or hot a half hour before a gym sesh, but if it upsets your stomach, push it back to an hour. Not crazy for coffee? Iced or hot green tea works too. Feel free to add milk, but skip the sugar, which can negate the caffeine kick.

    2. Ginger: Sore muscles often feel rewarding after a hard workout, but intense aches just plain hurt. The fix? Ginger. Consuming half a teaspoon of the raw root or ground herb lessened next-day muscle soreness by 25 percent in one study, likely because ginger contains pungent pain-relieving chemicals such as gingerol, shogaol, and zingerone.

    Read More »from 5 Foods that Power Up Your Workout
  • 1 Easy Trick to Keep Your Breasts Looking Younger

    by Jené Luciani for

    Keep the girls young with these easy tips.Keep the girls young with these easy tips.Breastfeeding, fluctuating weight, hormonal changes, and simply aging are all purported to take a toll on the appearance of our breasts over time. In fact, I explore this in depth in The Bra Book. While I'll say it until the sun goes down that the proper-fitting bra will take years off of your appearance (the perkier the girls stand, the younger you will look), until now, there's been no evidence that any lotion or potion could make the skin on and around our breasts and décolletage look more youthful.

    But, according to a new study published in the Aesthetic Surgery Journal, things like breast feeding and moisturizing may stall the signs of aging on breasts, while smoking, sun exposure, alcohol, having a higher BMI, having a larger cup size overall, and multiple pregnancies can age your boobs.

    RELATED: What does your bra say about you? Find the "proper support" for your personality here.

    The researchers followed 161 pairs of identical twins

    Read More »from 1 Easy Trick to Keep Your Breasts Looking Younger
  • Is This the Next Greek Yogurt?

    by Alanna Nuñez

    Is this the next Greek yogurt?Is this the next Greek yogurt?Unless you haven't been in the dairy section of a grocery store in a long time, you know that Greek yogurt is all the rage. With 20 grams of protein per serving and a creaminess that makes it seem more indulgent than it really is, Greek yogurt is a weight-loss staple.

    But now there's another yogurt from Europe trying to steal our hearts (and mouths and stomachs) away: Swiss yogurt.

    While the Greek style is made from milk that has had some of the water removed or from straining the whey from plain yogurt to make it thicker and creamier than traditional yogurt, Swiss yogurt (also called stirred yogurt) is made from cultured milk that is incubated and cooled in a large vat, then stirred to give it a thinner, creamier consistency than its Mediterranean counterpart.

    RELATED: 10 Healthy Recipes Using Greek Yogurt

    Because tangy Greek yogurt stands up to heat better than many other yogurts, it's great for cooking. It also makes a good substitution for sour

    Read More »from Is This the Next Greek Yogurt?
  • WTF Does His Text Mean?

    by Alanna Nuñez

    WTF?WTF?We've all gotten one of those text messages from a guy we like once in a while: "Hey, back in town tonight, wanna hang?" Or, "Still up tonight? Let's go out." Like, WTF, man? What does that even mean?

    Well, the next time you find yourself puzzling over your smartphone for 15 minutes, trying to decipher a text from him, take it to the Internet! A new website,, harnesses the power of crowdsourcing by allowing people (it appears to be mostly women) to post cryptic text messages they've received from guys and have visitors vote and comment on them. Visitors can also render a judgment, such as "He's into you," or "The verdict is still out."

    If you find yourself the recipient of a particularly confusing message, you can get help from one of the "bros," or a panel of men available at HeTexted. You can take your query to the "Nice Guy," the "Dude Whisperer," or the resident "Douchebag" (his words, not ours!).

    RELATED: 40 Free Date Ideas You'll

    Read More »from WTF Does His Text Mean?


(854 Stories)