Blog Posts by SHAPE magazine

  • New Hormone Helps Burn Fat, Beat Obesity

    Most of us would prefer to have less fat and more muscle. But there's one type of fat that researchers have been studying for it's fat-burning potential: brown fat. In fact, because brown fat is full of blood vessels and mitochondria, it's very good at converting calories into energy - thereby helping to prevent obesity. Fat that burns fat? Oh, the interesting irony!

    RELATED: Interesting Facts About Fat

    In order to curb the growing obesity epidemic, researchers have been trying to learn more about brown fat. According to ScienceDaily, scientists used to believe that brown fat disappeared after infancy, but recent advances in imaging technology led to its rediscovery in adult humans. And now there's more information they've garnered: a hormone that activates brown fat in mice. Called orexin, the hormone is produced in the brain and an deficiency of orexin has been associated with obesity.

    Published in the journal Cell Metabolism, researchers studied mice that were geneticallyRead More »from New Hormone Helps Burn Fat, Beat Obesity
  • Learn While You Sleep

    We all feel better after a good night's rest. But when we're learning something new - whether it's at work or at school - sleep is even more important than we ever realized. According to researchers at Michigan State University, sleep may actually be a time when some of us learn. Going beyond just processing different information, the researchers believe sleeping may be a new unconscious form of memory.

    RELATED: The Best Foods for Deep Sleep

    Published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, scientists speculate that this type of learning may be totally different than the traditional memory systems that have been studied. After looking at 250 people, researchers found that people varied greatly in their "sleep memory" ability, with some having memories that improved dramatically while others didn't - even when people slept the exact same amount.

    RELATED: 5 Simple Tips for Better Sleep Tonight

    Researchers go so far as to tell ScienceDaily that this

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  • The Best Foods to Eat On Your Wedding Day

    You've been planning your wedding for months, poring over every detail, and the big day's finally arrived! If you're looking to feel your best (and what bride isn't?), make sure not to skip any meals--you'll need your energy! Read on for the best five foods to eat on your wedding day to keep you feeling energized and full.

    1. Best food for all-day energy: Oatmeal
    An important part of feeling your best on your wedding day is to eat the right food so you're not on an emotional roller coaster, says Keren Gilbert, RD, founder of Decision Nutrition.

    The goal is to fuel your body with food that lets blood-sugar levels rise slowly, stay even for a long period of time, and go down slowly. A great way to do this is to kick off your big day with a bowl of oatmeal. "It contains soluble fiber to slow the absorption of glucose from food in your stomach, which keeps your blood-sugar levels steady.

    2. Best food for your sex drive: Oysters
    For a hotter wedding night, consider snacking on

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  • Why Women May Live Longer Than Men

    It's well known that women live, on average, five to 10 years longer than men. But why? While scientists have long believed differences in lifestyle was one reason why, new research has found that something else may be working in women's favor: the X chromosome.

    RELATED: Women Drinking More Often

    Published in BioEssays, the research hones in on microRNA, which are tiny strains of ribonucleic acid that tell our genes what to do or not do. After mapping out all of the microRNA in both humans and mice, researchers learned that these tiny stains play a large role in the immune system's ability to ward off infections and cancer.

    Because much of this microRNA is found on the X chromosome - and because women have two X chromosomes while men have one X and one Y chromosome - researchers say women may simply be genetically programmed to be healthier. Talk about girl power!

    RELATED: Birth Control to Be Free Under Insurance

    While much more research is needed, it's pretty exciting and Read More »from Why Women May Live Longer Than Men
  • 3 Delicious Wedding Cocktails

    What's a wedding without drinks? If you're planning your wedding and are looking to put a special touch on all the details, why not try these three healthy cocktails? Designed by celebrity wedding planner Andrea Correale, each of these delicious cocktails is guaranteed to keep people talking for years to come!

    1. Fruit salad cosmo:
    1 oz Vodka
    1 ½ oz banana liqueur
    2 oz cranberry juice
    1 oz apple juice

    Shake well with ice and pour into a martini glass; garnish with an apple slice.

    2. Pomegranate cocktail: Pomegranates aren't just a superfood; they taste delicious, too! Put them in a cocktail and you can get your drink on (responsibly, of course!) while you soak up some cancer-fighting antioxidants.
    1 ½ ounces vodka
    1 oz honey
    ½ oz. fresh lime juice
    ½ oz pomegranate juice

    Directions: Shake all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Strain and pour into a chilled martini glass.

    3. Vodka ginger lemonade: This lemonade is for

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  • What Are the Best Supplements for Women?

    By SHAPE Diet Doctor, Mike Roussell, PhD.

    Getting enough minerals and vitamins is important, but but we wondered: Is it more important to take vitamins and supplements, or is it better to focus on eating nutrient-dense foods? Which vitamins and supplements are most important for women? SHAPE's diet doctor, Mike Roussell gives us the low-down on vitamins and minerals:

    You should always focus on eating nutrient-dense foods; however there is a place for smart supplementation of vitamins and minerals in your diet. Whole foods should be the cornerstone of your healthy diet, as this is the most effective way to get the vitamins and minerals your body needs. Nature has perfectly packaged many foods to contain vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that are complimentary to one another. Some vitamins come in several different forms, and it is usually only through eating whole foods that you'll take in every version. For example, there are eight different forms of vitamin E, but synthetic

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  • What if You Got Paid to Make Healthy Choices?

    Whether it's working out, homework, eating healthy, or housework, everyone has something they have a hard time motivating themselves to do, especially when the latest episode of Hoarders is sitting in your Hulu queue. (Although that right there might be motivation enough to clean out that closet you've been meaning to get to since last winter.) There are many different ways to get inspired, but what if someone offered you cold, hard cash to knock things off your to-do list? A new website,, is doing just that.

    Here's how it works: You check-in every time you accomplish a daily feat-usually something that people don't naturally want to do like "!running," "!eatyourgreens," or "!talkingtoakid" -and then you get points for each feat you accomplish. You can set up your list on the site and then go there or use your smartphone to mark it as completed. Feats are worth anywhere from one point (!hugsomeone) to 50 points (!climbamountain). To earn more points, you can sign

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  • 5 weight-loss tips that work for this real woman

    We always enjoy receiving feedback from our readers, and we especially love hearing about the healthy ways they've lost weight or gotten in shape. If you're looking for some weight-loss inspiration right now, check out SHAPE reader Caroline Hannigan's story and see if some of her weight-loss tips (she lost 44 pounds!) work for you!

    1. Make a split decision: "Workouts go by faster when I break them into six 5-minute intervals: 2 minutes at 4 mph on the treadmill, 1 minute at 8, and 2 minutes at 4.5."

    2. Take tapas to work: "Lunch doesn't have to be soup or a salad. One of my favorite midday meals is lowfat cottage cheese, baby carrots, and an apple with almond butter."

    RELATED: Our Most Inspiring Before and After Stories

    3. Put it in writing: "I make a to-do list- including sets, reps, and weights-before going to the gym, and I stay there until I've checked everything off. It keeps me focused and helps me track my progress."

    4. Find your happy medium: "When I tried to cut out sweets and

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  • Is Alcohol Good for Your Health?

    By Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD

    A new study finds that women who consume one alcoholic drink a day at mid-life may be healthier when older when compared to those who don't drink at all. The researchers looked at alcohol intake during middle age in more than 120,000 women. After controlling for other factors like smoking, weight and family history of heart disease, they found that regular, moderate drinking during middle age is tied to "successful aging," which they define as having no major diseases, like heart disease or diabetes , and no major brain or physical impairments at age 70 and beyond. In this study, women who drank one-third to one drink a day had about a 20 percent greater chance of successful aging compared to non-drinkers. In fact, those who drank five to seven days a week had an almost 50 percent greater chance of successful aging in comparison to teetotalers.

    So does this mean you should start enjoying a cocktail with dinner each night? Not necessarily, since even

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  • 5 Men's Exercises That Women Should Do

    These exercises aren't just for the boys anymore! We consulted some of our favorite guys to find out what weight-lifting moves they love. Try these five moves to tighten and tone your entire body!

    1. Romanian Deadlift: This along with the chest press is often considered the ultimate "guy move" but not only do deadlifts work your hamstrings and low back like nothing else can, they have an added benefit for girls in that they help strengthen your pelvic floor. Take it from a girl who's had 5 kids: you want to do this. Stand with feet hip width apart in front of a loaded bar (don't be afraid to put heavy weights on that thing!). Grip the bar and keeping it close to your body, stand up. Good form is super important with this move so you don't get injured. Check out this video to see the whole range of motion or ask a personal trainer for help. Dude tip: Keep your chest and head up!

    2. Bar Abs: Lying on your back, lift an Olympic bar (45 lbs) straight over your shoulders. Raise both legs up

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