Blog Posts by SHAPE magazine

  • How to Eat to Beat PMS

    by SHAPE magazine editors

    Eat for PMS reliefEat for PMS reliefThat time of the month can make you feel not only bloated and cranky but craving-prone-especially for sweet or salty snacks like cookies and chips. Before you give in, consider that "simple sugars cause an energy crash, while fats are hard to digest and can make you even more uncomfortable," says Amy Jamieson-Petonic, R.d.N., a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and dietetics in Cleveland.

    Instead, she suggests stocking up on these PMS busters, each of which helps manage common premenstrual symptoms.

    1. Turkey. The tryptophan in this protein-rich poultry helps regulate levels of serotonin, a hormone that influences mood. Turkey also contains vitamin B6, which assists in the production of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that eases anger, depression, and breast tenderness.

    RELATED: The 12 Best Power Foods for Women

    2. Whole-grain bread.
    Fight fatigue with the complex carbs and B vitamins found in whole-grain bread-and fill your sandwich with a

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  • Want Serious Strength? Grab a Barbell

    by Jay Cardiello for

    Grab a barbell for better strengthGrab a barbell for better strengthSome women believe that barbells are meant for just men. They are not. But before you head to the gym tomorrow and attempt to use one, you should know exactly how and why.

    Both dumbbells and barbells are equally effective in building strength and lean muscle mass. To figure out what exercises are best to complete with each, it's important to understand the mechanics of both.


    1. Mimic real life situations. Your body typically moves through three plans of motion throughout your day: sagittal, frontal, and transverse. From carrying a child to picking up groceries, we bend, twist, turn, and stand daily. Training with dumbbells effectively allows the body to mimic these natural movements and strengthens you for real-life situations. Exercises such as step-ups, single-leg deadlifts, squats, and shoulder presses will help you in everyday life as you walk up stairs, pick a child up out of a crib, or place luggage in an overhead plane

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  • 8 Scary-Sounding Ingredients that Are Perfectly Safe

    by Marygrace Taylor for

    Don't let the mad-scientist names fool you--these ingredients are perfectly safe!Don't let the mad-scientist names fool you--these ingredients are perfectly safe!The simplest rule of thumb when shopping for healthy food is to not buy anything containing ingredients you can't pronounce or that your grandmother wouldn't recognize. Easy. That is, until you realize there are plenty of good-for-you packaged items-such as Greek yogurt, oatmeal, and bottled green tea-boasting a few mystifying words that would definitely leave Grandma scratching her head.

    No reason to stop buying those healthy foods-many ingredients that sound like a chemistry project are completely natural and not harmful, says Amie Valpone, a holistic health coach, culinary nutritionist, and founder of The Healthy Apple. If you see these eight common ingredients on a label, it's perfectly fine to eat or drink up.

    RELATED: 9 Ingredients Nutritionists Won't Touch

    1. Cellulose: File under weird but true: Cellulose is a carbohydrate that comes from plants-most often, wood pulp. "Composed of simply carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen, it helps give all

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  • 8 Reasons to Lift Heavier Weights

    by Charlotte Andersen for

    8 reasons to lift heavier weights8 reasons to lift heavier weightsExperts agree: Heavy lifting is in! You can't swing a kettlebell these days without hitting some workout guru, exercise program, or book advising women to not only lift weights but lift heavier weights. But why? And should you try it if you're already happy with your current workout routine? Here are eight reasons why you need to make this change.

    1. You'll Torch Body Fat.
    You may have been told that cardio is the ultimate fat burner, but that effect stops the minute you hop off the treadmill. Build more muscle and you'll keep your body burning fat all day long. According to one study, adding just two sessions per week of heavy lifting can reduce your body fat by three percent without cutting calories.

    RELATED: Total-Body Sculpting: The Resistance Band Workout

    Another study from the University of Alabama in Birmingham showed that dieters who lifted heavy weights lost the same amount of weight as dieters who did just card, but all the

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  • The Top 30 Beauty Secrets from the People Who Know Best

    by Ysolt Usigan for

    The best beauty tips in the industryThe best beauty tips in the industryWe got top beauty editors, makeup artists, bloggers, and more to spill their favorite tips and tricks. Get ready to put your best face forward!

    1. Layer your liner: "If you're not a professional makeup artist, it can be difficult to line those eyes, but then again liquid liner tends to stay on longer and smudge-free. So what I do is, I line my eyes first with a pencil liner because it's easier to make that straight line with it. Then I go back on the line with the liquid liner. It's kind of like coloring! The result? Your eye liner will stay on, smudge-free, and well-lined."

    2. Blot with these: "If your skin is on the shiny side, stop by your local Starbucks, grab a handful of those brown napkins, and shove them in your purse. They work better than any blotting papers I've used and they're free. And, don't feel guilty about pilfering from the coffee conglomerate. If they're charging four bucks for some java and steamed milk, they owe you a shine-free

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  • Can This Wristband Help You Lose Weight?

    by Keri Gans, R.D.N., for

    Could this be the key to weight loss?Could this be the key to weight loss?Move over Up by Jawbone, Nike+ FuelBand, and Fitbit Flex-there is a new health tracker on the block.

    Revealed on October 28 by Airo Health, the Airo wristband is now available for pre-order and will ship in the fall of 2014. Like others, it will monitor nutrition, stress, exercise, and sleep, but Airo claims to be the first device to give users "a well-rounded view of their health."

    For the nutrition component, that means shining light into your bloodstream to measure your caloric intake and how much protein, fat, and carbs you consumed at a meal, and then using that information to provide nutritional recommendations. Wow, talk about high tech. Good-bye to food journaling? Maybe not so fast.

    You see, as much as I care about calories, carbs, fat, and protein, I care more about the actual food consumed. As far as I can tell, Airo doesn't have the ability to decipher high-fiber carbs from high-sugar carbs (say, 15 grams from raspberries

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  • New Study Confirms "Magical Thinking" Won't Prevent Pregnancy

    by Alanna Nuñez for

    Here's why Here's why The Year of Magical Thinking. It's a great book (you should read it!). It's not such a great way to think about your sex life. But according to the results of a recently published Guttmacher Institute study, 42 percent of women think that they can't or won't get pregnant when they have sex.

    Titled "The Year of Magical Thinking...Leads to Unintended Pregnancy," the study focuses on womens' perceptions of pregnancy risks. In 49 in-depth interviews with women aged 20 to 24, researchers found that 32 believed themselves to be at low risk for pregnancy, either because they believed that they were infertile, their partners were infertile, or that because they were on the pill, they wouldn't get pregnant.

    RELATED: 16 Things That Can Sink Your (or His!) Sex Drive

    The most common reason cited by the women interviewed was that they believed themselves to be "immune" to pregnancy. One woman reported, "I'd always had good luck...Nothing bad ever happened to

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  • The Best Way to Add Muscle

    by Jay Cardiello for

    Want to gain weight? These tips help you do so in a healthy way.Want to gain weight? These tips help you do so in a healthy way.Not all women are looking to lose weight-some actually want to add a few pounds. But not just any pounds, they typically mean they want to gain lean muscle. And just as with weight loss, weight gain comes down to caloric intake versus caloric output. There are other factors that can help, however, so that you put on muscle in the healthiest and most efficient way.

    When you're in the gym working out, you are breaking down your muscles (i.e. putting stress on them); out of the gym they recover and grow via diet, sleep, and hydration. Here's your two-part plan to maximize muscle growth.

    Inside the Gym

    1. Do strength exercises that are compound muscle movements.
    In other words, do moves that utilize multiple muscles and multiple joints at the same time. These recruit and break down more muscle fibers so that in recovery phase, more are building and growing than if you were to do just isolated muscle moves. Exercises include squats, lunges,

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  • CrossFit Burns 12 Calories Per Minute, Study Finds

    by Jessica Matthews for

    How many calories per minute does CrossFit burn!?How many calories per minute does CrossFit burn!?With nearly 10 million CrossFitters worldwide-60 percent of whom are women-many people can attest firsthand to the benefits of this high-intensity style workout program, yet little scientific research has looked at how effective it is. So the American Council on Exercise® (ACE) enlisted the research team at the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse to examine two workouts of the day (WODs) to see just how these short yet challenging sessions really stack up.

    Sixteen men and women completed two different WODs-Donkey Kong and Fran-each preceded by a warm-up and followed by a cool-down. Donkey Kong consists of three rounds of burpees, kettlebell swings, and box jumps, with stair-climbing between exercises. Repetitions decrease each round, starting with 21 reps the first round, 15 the second, and nine the third. Fran-one of the most popular WODs in the CrossFit community-consists of just two exercises, thrusters and assisted pull-ups, and is performed in the

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  • 5 Reasons Running May Not Help You Lose Weight

    by Adam Bornstein for

    The surprising reasons running may be holding you back from weight lossThe surprising reasons running may be holding you back from weight loss"My body just can't lose weight."That's the first thing I heard when I picked up the phone. Sounding frustrated and hopeless on the other end of the line, my client Sarah continued.

    "If you knew how hard I've been working, you'd understand. You'd know I wasn't making excuses."

    Sarah first contacted me after a friend of hers had successfully lost weight through my online coaching program, just six months after having a baby. I asked her to keep an open mind and walk me through everything she'd been doing in terms of diet and exercise. The problem was immediately clear: Sarah was putting effort into her weight loss, but the type of effort-specifically her over-reliance on running-wasn't the best way to lose fat and get the results she wanted.

    RELATED: 6 Moves for a Buff Upper Body

    Once Sarah understood why her approach to cardio was holding her back, we adjusted her plan and the pounds starting coming off again (seven pounds in one month, to be exact.)

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