Blog Posts by SHAPE magazine

  • 8 "Bad" Foods You Should Never Stop Eating

    by Mary Squillace for

    These foods are surprisingly high in nutrientsThese foods are surprisingly high in nutrientsAlmost every diet has a blacklist-those foods you must not let pass your lips if you want to melt off pounds fast or cure tummy troubles. Yet many of these "bad" foods are ones we've been told for years contain key nutrients that help us prevent disease and actually lose weight.

    All of these mixed messages can leave a woman confused-and hungry. Learn the facts about eight foods shunned by certain diets and why they may do your body a world of good-and never feel guilty about enjoying them again.

    1. Whole grains
    Forbidden by: gluten-free (with some exceptions) and paleo diets

    Whole grains contain compounds called phytates, which can bind to minerals such as zinc, iron, and manganese, preventing our bodies from absorbing these nutrients, according to Cassie Bjork, a Minnesota-based registered dietitian. "Phytates make whole grains less nutrient-dense than a nutrition facts panel would let you believe," she says. "In my opinion whole grains aren't

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  • Erin Brockovich Takes on Essure Birth Control

    by Charlotte Andersen for

    Is Essure safe for women?Is Essure safe for women?Erin Brockovich, the consumer rights advocate made famous when portrayed by Julia Roberts in the movie named after her, is on a new cause, and this time it's one a little closer to her heart-well, a little lower actually: birth control.

    Brockovich is taking on drug manufacturer Bayer after hearing complaints of unremitting pain, bleeding, rashes, and even loss of organs from hundreds of women about Essure, a permanent form of birth control performed by placing metal coils in the fallopian tubes, which cause scarring, thereby closing the tubes and rendering the woman infertile.

    Since the FDA first approved the device in 2002, more than 700,000 women have had the coils implanted. Of those, the FDA says they've received formal complaints from slightly more than 800 women, and clinical studies showed that about 3 percent of women experienced complications with the Essure.

    Brockovich says these numbers indicate a much larger problem than either the

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  • Why You Should Be Doing Prehab

    by Jessica Matthews for

    Why you should use a foam rollerWhy you should use a foam rollerPrehab may seem like something that's only important for athletes who make a living off of their physical talents and abilities, but if you want to prevent injuries (and the subsequent rehabilitation) and move more efficiently so you feel your best, you should prehab too.

    While the exact protocols may take different forms from one individual to the next, the ultimate goal of prehab remains the same: to improve the body's overall function. At the center of prehab is a focus on enhancing core function, which will help to mitigate muscle imbalances and poor posture. Muscle imbalances can alter normal functions in the body, changing both the way joints are loaded and the mechanics of our movements. This can trigger a domino effect of compensations throughout the entire body since the body is one kinetic chain.

    And this doesn't only happen to the pros. "Sixty-five percent of injuries are caused by these imbalances and overuse, which are more apt to come

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  • The Smartest Happy Hour Plan

    by Mike Roussell, Ph.D., SHAPE Diet Doctor, for

    How to drink and still shrinkHow to drink and still shrinkWhen is comes to controlling your buzz, some factors are out of your control, but there are other things that are in your control that can help you minimize how tipsy you feel. Let's look at both.

    Out of Your Control: Genetics
    How quickly you feel your drinks is predominantly dependent on your genetics. Your genetics will determine the levels and function of your alcohol dehydrogenase enzymes and other enzymes responsible for the breakdown of alcohol. Unfortunately you can't get around any of these genetic predispositions, so it is important to recognize them and act accordingly.

    People of Asian descent commonly experience flushing of their cheeks when drinking due to mutations in these alcohol-metabolizing enzymes. Research also shows that people of Native American descent metabolize alcohol very slowly and therefore feel a buzz sooner.

    RELATED: The Best Low-Cal Cocktails for Fall

    Aside from ethnic differences, women

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  • 8 Secret Tips to Go from Casual to Couple

    by Locke Hughes for

    Get him to commit--no awkward talks involved. Get him to commit--no awkward talks involved. You've been seeing this guy at least once a week for a few months now. You're both sushi aficionados, his big brown eyes make you melt, and he even laughs out loud at The Mindy Project. It's great-except that you have no idea where things stand. He has yet to introduce you as his girlfriend or bring up being exclusive, and you're craving that "couple" title and the security that comes with it. Talk about blurred lines.

    "Every person and relationship is different, and there's no magic phrase or action that can 'get' someone to commit," says Terri Trespicio, a lifestyle and relationship expert based in New York City. However you can use these tips to subtly up the chances that he'll want to turn casual dating into something more.

    1. Make sure you want it:
    You think you desire something serious with this particular guy-but before you do anything else, be sure. Step back and ask yourself the following questions, Trespicio suggests: Do I have fun with

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  • How Social Media Might Be Ruining Your Appetite

    by Keri Gans for

    How this cheesecake could be ruining your appetiteHow this cheesecake could be ruining your appetiteNot hungry after spending time on Instagram or Pinterest? According to a new study from Brigham Young University's Marriot School of Management, you could be suffering from sensory boredom. In other words, you become tired of eating a food long before you even taste it.

    The study recruited 232 participants; half looked at 60 pictures of sweet foods such as cake, truffles, and chocolate, and the other half perused images of salty foods such as chips, pretzels, and French fries. Both groups rated how appetizing each food appeared before being given peanuts to eat and rating their enjoyment of the nuts.

    RELATED: 20 Sweet and Salty Snacks Under 200 Calories

    Those who had looked at pictures of salty foods reported enjoying their snack less and were more satiated than the sweet group, even though neither group looked at a picture of peanuts.

    But don't go un-following everyone who posts pictures of food. I think food photos can have more positive impact than

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  • How Stress-Relief Techniques Can Reverse Aging

    by Cristina Goyanes for

    How to relieve stress and reverse agingHow to relieve stress and reverse agingScience doesn't need to tell you that you're more stressed than your parents. You can feel it and, worse yet, you can see it in the mirror too. But new science has found that you can actually turn back the clock and reverse the powerful early onset aging effects of stress on your body and health.

    The secret? Eat right, exercise, meditate, sleep more, and surround yourself with loved ones. Yes, you've heard this before, but now a study published in the October issue of The Lancet Oncology confirms that beyond helping you look and feel younger, these habits may add at least 10 years to your life in a matter of months.

    "This study is the first of it's kind that scientifically proves you can reverse aging at a cellular level through lifestyle changes," says lead researcher Dean Ornish, M.D., author of The Spectrum. Ornish and his team looked at the telomeres-the caps at the end of chromosomes (picture the plastic ends of shoelaces) that keeps DNA strands

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  • 7 Small Health Moves that Pack Serious Benefits

    by Elizabeth Goodman Artis for

    These small health moves add up to big changes.These small health moves add up to big changes.You know you "should" meditate, bypass the elevator for the stairs, and order a salad instead of a sandwich-they're the "healthy" things to do, after all. But when you can't relax, ran that morning, and are craving bread, it's easy to think one tiny choice doesn't mean anything. However, recent research shows that some seemingly insignificant acts may have significant payoff when it comes to your physical and mental wellness, waistline, and work performance. Make these seven picks and never again worry that you did the wrong thing.

    1. Your go-to lunch is a salad.

    Studies show: A significantly reduced risk of dying from chronic disease

    If your noon order default is a bunch of leafy greens buried under other fresh veggies-and you rarely get ham and cheese on rye-you are drastically decreasing your chances of meeting your fate from non-communicable chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. In fact, a recent study from the

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  • OKCupid Lets You Weed Out Overweight and Unattractive People--For a Price

    by Cristina Goyanes for

    OKCupid's new, controversial policy: What you need to knowOKCupid's new, controversial policy: What you need to knowWhen looking for love online, the options are endless. That's why dating sites like OKCupid let you set up search criteria, such as age and location, to whittle down your best matches. But now the popular free site with more than 3 million users has come up with a new way to single out sweethearts: For a fee, you can filter out certain body types.

    The new service is part of the "A-List" premium package that initially launched in 2009 and originally only let people browse-and stalk-anonymously. Now for $4.95 to $9.95 a month, for a year and six-month memberships respectively, members can make people who don't measure up to their standards invisible.

    When users create a profile, they have to select one of 10 body type choices, including "skinny," "fit," "little extra," "full-figured," and "overweight." Since this is self-chosen, users can theoretically check "fit" and upload photos of themselves shirtless with a beer belly (it's unclear if the

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  • 11 Things Your Mouth Can Tell You About Your Health

    By Locke Hughes for

    What can your mouth tell you about your health?What can your mouth tell you about your health?As long as your smile is pearly white and your breath is kissable (go ahead and check), you probably don't give too much thought to your oral hygiene. Which is a shame because even if you brush and floss daily, you could be overlooking some clear signs of the state of your overall health.

    "Research has shown that there is an association between oral problems and serious health conditions in the rest of your body," says Sally Cram, D.D.S., a periodontist based in Washington, D.C. So next time you pick up your toothbrush, stop and check your kisser for these clues that something may be amiss so you can remedy the issue.

    1. Sharp tooth pain: A slight discomfort in your mouth is likely a piece of popcorn or nut lodged between teeth-something you can easily self-treat. But a sudden, sharp pain in your teeth when you bite down or chew is reason to see your dentist immediately, as it could indicate dental decay or a cavity, says Steven Goldberg, D.D.S., a Boca

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