Blog Posts by SHAPE magazine

  • The Science of Shapewear

    The science behind spanxThe science behind spanxIt's the biggest hoax in fashion history. Some might even call shapewear controversial-from its potential health implications to dates being misled by "toned" bodies that are really squeezed into figure-flattering undergarments. Even still, we're thankful for them, we wear them, and many of us are proud of our use of them. Now all we want to know is, how does this fashion technology work? We turned to experts to uncover some of our probing shapewear questions…

    How does shapewear attempt to make us skinny?

    Shapewear brand Va Bien's co-founder and fit expert Marianne Gimble says, "it makes us skinny by sewing or knitting together elastic or rigid fabrics that are cut into such a pattern that when worn, the finished garment nips and tucks the body."

    ResultWear shapewear designer Kiana Anvaripour tells us other minimizer benefits: "Properly fitted undergarments improve your posture, your confidence, and the way you walk, which gives you an all-over sleeker physique."

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  • 5 Hyped-Up Sexual Issues You Can Ignore

    Don't worry about these hyped-up sexual issuesDon't worry about these hyped-up sexual issuesWe already answered some of your burning questions about whether or not you're normal when it comes to sex (you are!), but it's easy to freak and fret when you're dealing with a sensitive subject, like sex. However, some sexual issues simply don't deserve your distress. Experts say to cool it a bit with these common concerns:

    1. Am I normal for liking porn or having fantasies? Yes, says sex therapist Sari Cooper. Some people fear that if they allow themselves this pleasure, it will overtake their lives and make them sexual addicts. "Unless the acts are violent or abusive (rape, harassment, sex with minors) or interfere with one's ability to maintain their job and/or responsibilities as a parent (as in compulsive sexual behaviors) or is illegal (prostitution, thus putting oneself and one's family at risk) most fantasies and consensual sexual behaviors are 'normal,'" she says.

    RELATED: What Would a Marriage Counselor Say to these Celebrity Couples?


    2. The penis goes limp: Holistic life

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  • Adult ADHD or Overachiever? Women and the Epidemic of Adderall Abuse

    Adult ADHD or overachiever?Adult ADHD or overachiever?"Every generation has an amphetamine crisis," Brad Lamm, board-registered interventionist and author of How To Help The One You Love begins. "And it is driven by women." With this declaration Lamm goes on to describe an epidemic of abuse of prescription ADHD medications such as Ritalin and Adderall that affects everyone from high school students to famous celebrities to soccer moms. Thanks to societal pressure on women to be perfectly thin, smart, and organized and to easy access to these drugs from doctors , a huge black market has risen to meet the demand.

    Lamm, who not only runs a prominent lifestyle intervention agency but was also personally addicted to Adderall, explains that for many women it all starts with the desire to be thin. "Adderall for many women is a wonder drug, at least temporarily, for losing weight." In addition to weight loss, the drug is fabled to give you laser focus and the ability to quickly accomplish your entire to-do list. For these reasons, abuse is

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  • Quick and Healthy Brown Bag Lunches

    Healthy ElvisHealthy ElvisRemember when you were in elementary school and your mom packed your lunch in a paper bag? Turns out she had the right idea. Opt out of eating a pricey, calorie-laden lunch at a fast food restaurant and take 10 minutes the night before to pack a balanced meal you'll look forward to and feel good about eating. Here are some of our favorites:

    1. The Healthy Elvis (left): Fried peanut butter, banana, and bacon sandwiches, dubbed The Elvis after the famous singer's penchant for the tasty concoctions, get a healthy remake in this easy recipe . Ditch the bacon and replace the PB with a more nutritious option like natural sunflower seed spread or unsalted almond butter. Just be sure to choose one without hydrogenated oils, added sugars, or salts.

    Ingredients:
    2 slices whole grain bread
    2 tbsp. nut butter
    1 banana, sliced
    1 tbsp. agave nectar

    Directions:
    Toast bread, then spread nut butter on both slices. Layer sliced bananas in between the bread and drizzle

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  • The Best Holiday Cocktails

    Candy Cane Fizz-TiniCandy Cane Fizz-TiniThe holiday season usually introduces an influx of new fatty cocktails at your local watering hole. If the drink's got a name like Creamy Peppermint-Chocolate Potion, chances are it's a calorie bomb. Always check with the bartender about ingredients and nutritional information first or try a few of these lighter yet still tasty and festive drinks instead:

    1. Candy Cane Fizz-Tini: Play mixologist at the next holiday party with this delicious drink (bonus: it even comes with a fun name!). The fizz-tini blends peppermint schnapps, vanilla vodka, and a totally unique candy cane seltzer for a grown-up minty brew.

    Ingredients:
    1 oz. Dekuyper Peppermint Schnapps
    1 oz. Three Olives Vanilla Vodka
    3 oz. Polar Candy Cane Seltzer
    Crushed candy cane for garnish

    Directions:
    Wet rim of martini glass with peppermint schnapps and dip into crushed candy cane. Combine schnapps and vodka in cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake well, strain into martini glass.

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  • What's the Deal with Our Unhealthy Food Fascination?

    By Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD

    Mac and CheeseMac and CheeseLast year, Twitter started a tradition of publishing a "Year in Review," a look at the hottest tweets, topics, retweets, and stories of the year, including a category on food.

    And of the top seven "hot food topics" this year, none were healthy. In the number one spot was McDonald's McLobster, a menu item not currently available nationwide. The second: fried Kool-Aid, enough said. Coming in third: Starbuck's Trenta, the chain's new mega-sized 31-ounce option. The fourth and fifth spots both belong to beer (Devassa and Guinness); at number six, three simple letters: BBQ; and rounding out the bunch: good old mac and cheese. So why is it that unhealthy food gets so much buzz? Why aren't the hot topics things like exotic fruits, ancient grains and ethnic spices? Here's my take on why we're so taken with unhealthy fare:

    RELATED: Artery-Cleansing Foods You Should Be Eating

    It represents reckless abandon
    In my private practice work, some of my clients are

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  • The Top Weight-Loss Trends of 2011

    The Paleo DietThe Paleo DietA healthy diet and regular exercise may be the standard advice when it comes to losing weight and keeping it off, but there are a lot of different ways to approach both. With new research on exercise and weight loss coming out every day, it pays to stay on top of the headlines. But don't worry: You don't need to go digging through Google news archives. We've rounded up the top 10 exercise and weight-loss trends from 2011 from the best to the worst to the weird. How many have you tried?

    1. The Paleo Diet: Neanderthals never looked so modern as variations on primitive diets and exercise plans have gained mainstream acceptance. The Paleo Diet, a diet heavy on meat and vegetables and devoid of grains, in conjunction with a focus on lifting heavy stuff and sprinting away from predators is the newest old trend.

    AcupunctureAcupuncture2. Alternative Therapies: Hypnosis, acupuncture, meditation, and herbal remedies used to be seen as placebos at best and voodoo at worst, especially when it came to the high-stakes

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  • The Secret to Wearing High Heels Without Pain

    wear high heels without the painwear high heels without the painThat pain that you feel at the end of a long night-no, it's not a hangover and it's not exhaustion. We're talking about something worse-the pain that's caused by a seemingly evil and malicious pair of high heels. But, believe it or not, not all high heels are created equal. In some cases, they can actually be healthier for your feet than flats. "Excess pronation is a condition that affects 75 percent of the population and has been related to many conditions, such as heel pain (otherwise known as plantar fasciitis), knee pain, and even lower-back pain," says podiatrist Phillip Vasyli.

    RELATED: 15 Sneakers to Die For
    SHAPE magSHAPE mag
    In this case, doctors actually recommend wearing shoes with a slight heel, as opposed to our trusty flats. "The popular trend of ballet flats has caused us to see an increase in many of the aforementioned conditions due to a lack of overall support and flimsy shoe construction," Vasyli says.

    Generally, there are a few things to look for when you're shopping for stilettos.

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  • How to Build the Perfect Home Gym

    Build your perfect home gymBuild your perfect home gymBy Jessica Smith

    Do you dream of having your own home gym but don't think you have room-in your home or your bank account ? Think again! Here, your step-by-step guide to building the perfect home gym for any space on any budget.

    Step 1: Find a space in your home that you can dedicate to your workouts.
    First, you need to decide where you want to set up your home gym. The spare bedroom, office, or even a back porch or patio, are all great spaces for exercise. And if you don't have a spare room, a small area in your home (like the living room) that can double as your workout space will do.

    Step 2: Give it good fitness feng shui.
    To help boost your energy level during your workouts , make your space as light and airy as possible. An ideal fitness space has lots of natural light coming in from windows or doors, says fitness expert Ellen Barrett, star of the Ellen Barrett Live: Grace & Gusto DVD. And while adding in windows may be impossible, you can add in more light

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  • 10 Fun New Ways to Enjoy Green Tea

    Ice your cupcakes with Matcha green teaIce your cupcakes with Matcha green teaGreen tea is really pretty awesome. Not only is it an antioxidant-filled superpower, but you can pretty much put it in anything, thereby adding a blast of free-radical fighting goodness and caffeine to any of your daily snacks or meals. Here are some of our favorite ways to enjoy green tea:

    1. Ice your cupcakes: Two tablespoons of matcha powder in your favorite light buttercream frosting add vivid color to your cupcakes and impart a sweet, flowery taste to the decadent desserts.

    2. In oatmeal: Spice up your everyday oatmeal with a blast of antioxidants. Steep a green tea bag in boiling water, then mix your favorite instant oats in it and prepare as you normally would.

    3. Zest your eggs: Dr. Seuss got it right with Green Eggs and Ham. Mix a teaspoon of matcha with coarse sea salt and generously sprinkle the nutritious seasoning over poached or scrambled eggs.

    RELATED: Holiday Cookie Recipes Under 90 Calories


    4. Get creative with cookies: Mix a heaping spoonful of green tea powder into

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