Blog Posts by SHAPE magazine

  • This is Your Belly on Cocktails, Cookies, and More

    By Elizabeth Goodman Artis

    Cocktails, cupcakes, salty potato chips, a big juicy cheeseburger. These things all taste pretty darn good as they pass through your lips, but what happens after they move on down the road? "No matter what you swallow, the mechanisms are the same: past the food pipe, through the esophagus, and into your stomach," says Ira Breite, M.D., a clinical assistant professor in the division of gastroenterology at NYU Langone Medical Center. "But there are differences in how specific nutrients like proteins, carbs, and fats are absorbed," he says.

    Here's what happens when some of your favorite guilty pleasures hit your belly, and how to take a healthier approach:

    This is your belly on...cocktails. This is your belly on...cocktails. 1. Alcohol: Unlike just about everything else that you swallow, alcohol is actually absorbed directly by the stomach (the stomach essentially serves as a waiting room for everything you eat; nothing is processed and absorbed until after it reaches the small intestine ). Once that glass of vino-

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  • Your Guide to Wedding Dress Invite Codes

    By Jené Luciani

    Photo courtesy of Style Me Pretty

    What does What does Can anyone besides the bride wear white to a wedding? What does "festive" really mean? Is black tie always formal? As a style expert, these are questions I get asked on a regular basis and a topic I recently covered on an episode of The Nate Berkus Show (airing in May). With peak wedding season on the horizon, we thought it would be a good time to give you a prep course in event-wear etiquette.

    Here are eight common wedding invite dress codes and what they all mean, exactly.

    1. Festive: This seems to be an invite trend of late but an enigma to most people. To me, "festive" means anything goes. Think cocktail party, bold colors, and funkier styles that you wouldn't try for a more formal event. Just have fun with it! For guys, try a fun tie!

    "This is the time to break out the ties with the fun patterns or something that goes with the theme," says celebrity event planner Samantha Goldberg. "For example, if

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  • Workout Mistakes Most Women Make

    You're paying for it, so you deserve to get the most out of your gym membership, but if you're making any of these common workout mistakes, you're not getting the most bang for your buck. Follow these expert tips and you're sure to see a difference in your workout.

    You're not using the heavy weightsYou're not using the heavy weights1. You're not using the heavy weights: It can be intimidating to venture out onto the weight room floor, especially when it's full of bodybuilding types throwing weights around. But you aren't doing yourself any favors by staying in the corner with those little pink dumbbells!

    "You have two types of muscle fibers: slow and fast. If you don't use heavier weights, you neglect an entire set of muscle fibers, namely the fast fibers, which are important for moving quickly, lifting weighty objects (your heavy purse, grocery bag, suitcase), and for spine and hip stability," says Michele Olson, Ph.D., professor of exercise science at Auburn University Montgomery and creator of the Perfect Legs, Glutes & Abs DVD.

    And if

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  • Proof that Healthy Living Really Does Pay Off

    Healthy habits may matter more than genetics. Healthy habits may matter more than genetics. By Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD

    You know you should be eating healthfully and exercising, but when you're young you may feel disconnected from the long-term rewards. Now, a new study from the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine finds that living a healthy lifestyle in your 20s leads to a HUGE health payoff in your 40s and demonstrates that your lifestyle is far more powerful than your genetics.

    In the study the researchers analyzed data from over 3,000 people between the ages of 18 and 30 and followed them in time. The scientists tracked how well the participants adhered to five lifestyle factors:

    RELATED: What to Order (and What to Skip) at Your Favorite Chain Restaurants

    1. Maintaining a lean body mass index (BMI)
    2. No excess alcohol intake
    3. No smoking
    4. Eating a healthy diet, and

    5. Engaging in regular physical activity

    At the beginning of the study, when the participants' average age was 24, nearly 44 percent

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  • Expert-Recommended Breakfast Ideas

    A good breakfast can help you lose weight , boost brainpower, increase energy, and set a healthy tone for the rest of your day-so make it count each morning! "A great breakfast provides a number of food groups, especially those that most Americans fall short on if they don't include them in the first meal of the day," says Christen Cupples Cooper, MS, a registered dietitian . In addition to helping you maintain a healthy weight and stay focused all day, studies also show that regularly eating a healthy breakfast can help prevent diabetes, heart disease, and some types of cancer, Cooper says.

    To help you make the most out of your morning meal, we asked nutrition experts for their top low-calorie breakfast ideas that are easy to make (or that you can grab on the go) and are sure to keep you satisfied till lunch.

    FrittataFrittata1. Leftover frittata: While eggs are a great protein-rich breakfast, they aren't always convenient to make on a busy morning. Mary Hartley, MPH, a registered dietitian in New

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  • "Fitspiration" We Love

    Sometimes a picture really is worth a thousand words! For the days we need some inspiration, we decided to share our favorite images that get us moving, lifting, and laughing in hopes that they'll inspire you too!

    My Butt is Big from NikeWomen. My Butt is Big from NikeWomen. 1. My Butt is Big from Nike Women: Muscular thighs, big butt, wide shoulders: Whatever body part of yours you've been taught to hate, Nike wants to change your mind.

    RELATED: The Scary Truth About "Thinspo"

    You are more important than the scale. You are more important than the scale.

    2. You're more than just a number:
    Sometimes you just need a little reminder that getting healthy is way more important than getting skinny.

    Hunger Games!Hunger Games!

    3. Cause you never know when you'll find yourself in the Hunger Games:
    OK so your life will probably never lead you to a gladiator death-match on TV, but being strong will help you with whatever does come along.

    Christie BrinkleyChristie Brinkley

    4. Christie Brinkley:
    If Christie Brinkley is still dancing (and looking this smoking!) at 57, then we want to be able to as well!

    RELATED: Could You Be an Emotional Eater?

    Strong is the new beautifulStrong is the new beautiful

    5. Strong is beautiful:
    Need we say more?


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  • Work Out like a Pro Baseball Player

    Derek JeterDerek JeterJust because you can't hit one out of the park like Derek Jeter or throw a fastball like Joba Chamberlain doesn't mean you can't take a lesson from the boys of baseball and train like a pro athlete. We spoke exclusively with professional baseball strength and conditioning coach Dana Cavalea, who recently opened a New York training facility called ML Strength, to find out how "regular" people can apply the same techniques used by today's top athletes to their own workouts.

    "The methodology [I use with players] is based on seven elements: evaluate, educate, prevent, train, compete, fuel , and recover," Cavalea says. "We've taken these seven elements and applied them to the general population to give athletes the feeling of competitive achievement with regard to performance enhancement, body awareness, and injury prevention."

    RELATED: 5 Ways to Burn More Fat in Zumba Class

    Here is the coach's conditioning "cheat sheet" so you can get the most out of your workouts, both on

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  • A Day in Kristin Chenoweth's Healthy Diet

    Kristin ChenowethKristin ChenowethThe gorgeous Kristin Chenoweth may play a Botox -injecting Bible blogger on her new series GCB on ABC, but when it comes to her health and fitness regime…she's a saint!

    Read on to get the scoop on what the petite, spunky, sexy star eats every day (well, almost) to keep her figure so fit and fab!

    1. Oatmeal: The Tony Award-winning actress and singer likes to keep things simple when it comes to her daily dose of healthy oats."Oatmeal tastes so good on its own, you don't even need to add sugar," Chenoweth says. "Starbucks oatmeal is perfect for me because I'm always on the go.

    RELATED: 9 Celebrities Who Got Fit Fighting

    2. Hot tea: Whether it's green, mint, black, or chai, the GCB star loves all things hot tea .

    "As much as you can eat healthy, it's also important to remember to drink healthy too," she says. "Tea is very healing."

    3. Almonds: Chenoweth is nuts about almonds!

    "Little packages of almonds are so great for on the go… I just

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  • Delicious Ways to Cook with Eggplant

    If the soft, tender flesh and glossy purple skin of eggplants don't appeal to you, then the veggie's rich health benefits will! Thanks to nasunin, an antioxidant in eggplant peels that helps protect brain cells, and a host of other vitamins and minerals, this wholesome veggie is an ideal brain food. And since it's also low in calories and carbs, eggplant makes the perfect base for a variety of delicious entrees, side dishes, and snacks.

    We asked healthy food bloggers for their most mouthwatering eggplant recipes , so you can start working this nutrient-dense vegetable into your diet right now!

    RELATED: 20 New and Surprising Ways to Enjoy Green Tea

    Baked eggplant friesBaked eggplant fries1. Baked eggplant fries with lemon dipping sauce:

    Without dip: 141 calories, 4.7 grams sugar, 1.3 grams fat, 28.3 grams carbohydrates, 5.9 grams protein

    Crunchy eggplant strips coated in whole-wheat breadcrumbs taste just like fries, except without all the empty calories! Tossed in a mix of spices like paprika, cumin,

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  • 20 Tricks to Get Tight, Toned Abs Faster

    Follow these easy fitness tips to make your abs workout more effective, so that you have more time to show them off!

    By Jennipher Walters for SHAPE magazine.


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