Blog Posts by SHAPE magazine

  • Which Healthy Foods Are Best for Flat Abs?

    What are the best foods for firmer abs?What are the best foods for firmer abs?By SHAPE Diet Doctor, Mike Roussell, PhD.

    We've heard the saying "abs are made in the kitchen," but what does that mean? When it feels like you're working out and not seeing the result you want, could it have something to do with your diet? We went to SHAPE diet doctor Mike Roussell to figure if there are certain foods that can help you on your route to firm, toned abs. Here's what he had to say:

    The problem is simple: It's very easy to eat a lot of calories, but it's very hard to burn a lot of calories. The popular slogan "abs are made in the kitchen" refers to the fact that what you eat has a far greater impact on weight loss than any form of exercise you do. But despite the popularity of this saying, many people still attempt to uncover their abs with endless crunches and laps around the track.

    RELATED: Should I Count Calories or Carbs?

    If you're eager to reveal your abs to the world but can't seem to shed that last bit of belly fat, your best strategy is to pay closer attention

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  • 5 Fun Ways to Celebrate 11-11-11!

    Celebrate 11-11-11!Celebrate 11-11-11!Today is a bit of a numerical holiday. While some believe that the meaning of 11-11-11 is divine in nature, others believe it may signal the end of the world - and others say it's just another day. No matter what you think the meaning of 11-11-11 is (if anything at all), here are five fun ways to celebrate!

    1. Do some yoga. Many spiritual types believe that repetition of the number 11 means balance of emotion, thought and spirit. So today would pretty much be the best time ever to try yoga or some other form of mind-body exercise . Get your zen on!

    2. Blog or leave a comment. Many are declaring 11-11-11 as a day to celebrate binary code (all of those ones!). Whether or not you understand binary code, do something fun on the computer today that supports your health like blogging about your healthy lifestyle or leaving a comment below on how you're celebrating 11-11-11!

    3. Work your core. The number one looks like a pillar. So we think today is the perfect day to work your

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  • How to Wear This Season's Hottest Jeans

    From worn-in and comfy to crisp and lean, we've got you covered on this season's hottest jeans!

  • 5 Reasons Why It's Easier to Lose Weight Fast Than to Lose Weight for Good

    Why it's easier to lose weight fast than for goodWhy it's easier to lose weight fast than for goodWe've seen it happen with everybody from celebs like Kirstie Alley and Janet Jackson, to former Biggest Loser contestants-heck, even one of the most powerful women in the world, Oprah Winfrey, can't seem to maintain weight loss. Losing the weight is only half the battle; keeping it off for good is another story.

    According to a new study published in the August 2011 issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, weight loss and weight maintenance require two completely different approaches. Once you've reached your target weight, you can't immediately return to your old habits or you'll see those pounds creep back on (and in most cases, a few extra too). Several recent studies note that only about 5 to 10 percent of people who successfully lose weight are able to maintain their trimmed-down figure. And more new research shows that the hormones that help regulate appetite can be altered up to a year after losing weight on a lower calorie diet. That means even though you dropped

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  • Fall's Best Gym Bags

    You won't want to hide these stylish totes in your locker!

  • My Salad Has How Many Calories!?

    My salad has how many calories!?My salad has how many calories!?The salad pictured here looks healthy, right? But this "light lunch" has potentially more than 1,000 calories in it! Read on and pile your plate high without widening your waistline with these slimming swaps.

    1. Swap croutons for crackers:
    Red light: whole-wheat croutons (80 calories for 8). Whole-wheat equals healthy, right? Not when it's been brushed with butter before being toasted. Green light: Crumble two saltines over your salad for 25-calorie crunch. Other on-the-lighter-side toppings with satisfying snap: water chestnuts and jicama.

    2. Change up your chicken:
    Red light: Crispy chicken (380 calories for 4.5 oz). "Crispy" is code for "fried." Also, beware the term "panko-crusted"; it's just a fancy way of saying the chicken has been breaded. Green light: With all the hunger-sating protein but about 250 fewer calories, a grilled chicken breast is a much better bet.

    10 Sandwiches Under 300 Calories

    3. Choose cheese wisely: Red light: bleu cheese (100 calories per oz).

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  • Am I Normal? Your Top Sex Questions Answered!

    Am I normal? Your most personal sex-related questions, answered!Am I normal? Your most personal sex-related questions, answered!Chatting about orgasms, lagging libidos, or STDs can be intimidating. So we stepped in and did the asking. Our experts insights may reassure you, surprise you, and even inspire you to turn up the heat on your sessions in the sack.

    1. I'm 30, and I've never had sex.
    You're definitely in a small minority: According to the National Survey of Family Growth, only one in 53 women ages 30 to 34 is still a virgin. "But there's nothing wrong with waiting, especially if you're abstaining for religious reasons or until you find the right person," says Tammy Nelson, author of Getting the Sex You Want. If you would like to be sexually active and aren't, however, that's a different story. "As women get older, many begin to panic and feel out of step with their peers if they haven't done the deed yet," says Nelson. "If you feel anxious about your situation, consider seeing a therapist to find out what might be holding you back. It could be fear of intimacy, low self-esteem, or an issue from your

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  • Celebrate Veterans Day with This Boot Camp-Inspired Workout

    Whip yourself into shape with this boot camp-inspired workout.Whip yourself into shape with this boot camp-inspired workout.Boot camp-style workouts are all the rage lately, and why not? They work! We went to Alex Fell and Ruben Belliard, two former Marines, and instructors at Warrior Fitness Boot Camp, an indoor boot camp in N.Y. to get their favorite moves.

    Although boot camp-style workouts tend to focus on the basics, "all of these moves are part of the 'Marine Daily 16'," Belliard says. "I was a Marine for eight years, and I can tell you, we did these moves on a regular basis, and I'm sure they still do."

    So, in honor of Veterans Day, grab a group of friends and try working out like real Marines (yelling optional)!

    What you'll need: You need a space either indoor or outdoors to perform these moves, and a bar on which to perform pull-ups or chin-ups.

    How it works: Star with four sets of 10 to 12 reps for each move. If you're a beginner, Belliard and Fell recommend performing these moves every other day, as well as alternating these with a "cardio day" to prevent boredom. As you feel

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  • The Best Free Apps to Help You Get Fit and Healthy

    Your smartphone is a perfect tool for getting and staying in shape. Think about it: It's always with you, it lets you listen to music during your workout, and it provides you with many powerful (free!) apps at your fingertips. A fitness app can lead you through workouts without paying the high price of a personal trainer, and using a calorie-counter app is as simple as sending a text. Together, they're a quick and easy way to start getting in shape. Check out five of the highest-rated apps to help get fit and lose weight , according to research from

    1. Endomondo Sports Tracker:

    Available for: Android, iPhone, BlackBerry

    Designed for runners, bikers, and anyone with a workout that gets them out and about, this sophisticated app uses GPS to track your routes and make the daily jog fun again. The app records your run, giving you a Google Maps view, lap times, and browsable workout history. Get motivated by pep talks from your friends and notifications every time you

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  • 5 Healthy and Patriotic Meals to Celebrate Veterans Day

    Celebrate Veterans Day 2011 with these healthy and patriotic recipesCelebrate Veterans Day 2011 with these healthy and patriotic recipesNapoleon Bonaparte reportedly once said, "An army travels on its stomach." We're not sure if that's true, but we can definitely appreciate the sentiment behind it, and today it seems particularly important. In honor of Veterans Day 2011, we've listed five healthy, delicious and patriotic recipes you can make to help celebrate the military members in your life.

    1. Slow-cooked pork with beans and greens. During the American civil war, hardtack and salt pork were popular culinary options, because they were non-perishable and kept for a long time. At this point, the military hasn't served hardtack or salt pork in a long time, but this healthy slow-cooked recipe is a delicious way to pay tribute to the men and women serving in uniform.

    2. Pumpkin spice bread. Bread has been another long-time staple of the military. This recipe for pumpkin-spice bread uses canned pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling, so you save calories while still getting a filling, delicious bread that's perfect

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