Blog Posts by SHAPE magazine

  • 5 Reasons Your Workout Isn't Working

    by Jessica Smith for

    Surprising reasons your workout isn't workingSurprising reasons your workout isn't workingHave you been working out consistently for months (maybe even years) and yet the scale is creeping up? Here are five ways your workout could be keeping you from losing weight, and what our experts' recommend to start shedding pounds again:

    1. Your workout routine is making you eat too much: Is your workout causing you to use the "I burned it, I earned it," excuse when it comes to your diet? "Studies show that people tend to eat more calories when they take up exercise," says Michele Olson, Ph.D., professor of exercise science at Auburn University Montgomery, and creator of the Perfect Legs, Glutes & Abs DVD.

    Think your 45-minute morning run was enough to burn off that slice of chocolate cake on the dessert menu? Consider this: the average, 140-pound woman burns about 476 calories (at a 10-minute mile pace) running for 45 minutes. The average restaurant dessert clocks in around 1,200 calories (or more), so even if you only eat half of a slice, you'd still

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  • Why Are 2-Year-Olds Having Weight-Loss Surgery?

    by Cristina Goyanes for

    Why are babies having weight-loss surgery?Why are babies having weight-loss surgery?Weight-loss surgery has become so common that it's no longer news--unless it's a two-year-old having the procedure.

    A Saudi Arabian family opted to send their 79-pound toddler-weighing as much as the average 11-year-old boy-under the knife to have as much as 85 percent of his stomach permanently removed.

    According to a CNN article, the morbidly obese boy's family attempted to control his eating habits two separate times. When both diets failed, doctors approved the operation. Though the child wasn't at risk of death, he did potentially face future pain, injuries, bowed legs, heart disease, diabetes, and serious complications from his sleep apnea.

    Alarmed doesn't even begin to describe the world's reaction to this news of the youngest person to ever undergo weight-loss surgery. But American parents can take some solace that this scenario would likely never play out in the U.S. While about 17 percent of kids and teens age 2 to 19 are obese, there's a

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  • Read This Before You Date a Younger Guy

    by Jené Luciani for

    Should you date a younger man?Should you date a younger man?You meet a guy and there's an instant connection-you're both into Orange Is the New Black, his dry sense of humor kills you, and dang those eyes! And then you learn that the same year you graduated college, he was wrapping up his freshman year-of high school.

    Dating someone younger-whether you're two or three years his senior or are talking cougar territory-certainly can work (look at Eva Longoria and her 4-years younger beau), but being an "older woman" in a relationship does tend to come with certain perks and downfalls. If you want to make things work, be sure you can handle the following.

    1. Pro: the sex: You can't argue with biology. Men reach their sexual prime in their twenties due to a spike in testosterone, while women typically reach theirs in their 30s and 40s. Add the fact that younger guys have more stamina, and you just may have a match made in orgasm heaven.

    RELATED: 8 Things He Wishes You Knew About Sex

    "A younger man has more energy and

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  • This is Your Body on Birth Control

    by Charlotte Andersen for

    The most common side effects of birth controlThe most common side effects of birth controlBirth control has one great upside: no pregnancies! (Yes, it's not a 100-percent guarantee, but it's pretty darn reliable.) But in order to reap that benefit, you may also have to deal with extra pounds, depression, or other unpleasant side effects. While at times these are just mild irritations, for some women they can become so debilitating that they quit using their BC.

    No use resorting to the pullout method, though. There are reasons certain women tend to react differently to each type of contraception-and there's one out there that's best for you. Learn what's up with your body and your alternatives, then talk to your doctor to determine your smartest bet.

    1. Depression or anxiety:
    Even if you were the most even-keeled girl out there before you started taking BC, the onslaught of synthetic hormones found in most birth control methods can wreak havoc with your moods, says Elizabeth Reynoso, M.D., an ob-gyn with Drs. Goodman and Partridge in

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  • The Best Carbs for Weight Loss

    by Vanessa Voltolina for

    Yes, carbs can help you skinny down--if you pick the right ones!Yes, carbs can help you skinny down--if you pick the right ones!Carbs are public enemy No. 1 for many women on a diet. As much as we love pasta, bread, and every sweet you can think of, too many of us have been brainwashed into thinking carbs will make us fat.

    Newsflash: They won't.

    You need carbs for energy, and of course deprivation will only end in you diving face-first into a gallon of moose tracks-and that certainly won't help you lose weight. What will is eating the right carbs, says Lyssie Lakatos, R.D., one half of the Nutrition Twins with her sister Tammy Lakatos Shames, R.D. She recommends consuming nutrient-dense carbs with at least two to three grams of fiber per 100 calories since your body breaks down fiber more slowly, keeping you feeling full for longer.

    RELATED: 10 Snacking Mistakes that Cause Weight Gain

    No need to read every nutrition panel, though. Incorporate these nine tasty foods into your meals, and you'll flatten your stomach and stay fueled all day.

    1. Barley: 1/2 cup cooked pearl

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  • How Much Should You Exercise While You're Pregnant?

    by Charlotte Andersen for

    How much exercise during pregnancy is too much?How much exercise during pregnancy is too much?Post a selfie during a workout, and you'll usually get supporting "atta-girl!" type responses. But when Lea-Ann Ellison displayed a photo of herself doing a single-arm kettlebell squat, she was called "irresponsible" and stirred up an Internet firestorm-because the 35-year-old mother is due in two weeks with her second child. But is Ellison's dedication to the intense workout really endangering her baby, or is she doing what's best for it by staying fit and healthy?

    "Doing CrossFit while pregnant is completely safe," says Katelyn Block, a certified CrossFit trainer in Rochester, NY, who works with women in all stages of life. Jennifer Daif Parker, M.D., of Del Ray OBGYN associates agrees-as long as, like Ellison (who posted on the CrossFit Facebook page that she's been doing CrossFit for two and a half years), you were fit before you got pregnant. "If you were doing it prior to getting pregnant it's great to continue, but I wouldn't recommend

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  • Are Burger King's New Satisfries Healthy?

    by Mike Roussell, ph.D., SHAPE Diet Doctor

    What's the deal with BK's new satisfries?What's the deal with BK's new satisfries?Q: OK, what's the deal with BK's new Satisfries? Are these a healthier option than regular fries?

    A: Satisfries, a new French fry from BK, are made with a batter that absorbs less of the frying oil so the finished product is slightly lower in fat. They are a better choice, but if your dietary choices are hinging on which fry at your favorite fast food restaurant is the better option, there are other more pressing issues to be corrected in your diet.

    To start, "Satisfries" as a name is a little misleading, as you won't necessarily be more satisfied, especially since they are a lower-fat product and fat is a big driver in satiety. Satisfries contain 40 percent less fat than McDonald's French fries and 21 percent fewer calories than the comparable fries on the Burger King menu.

    But it isn't like you are going to be standing in line at McDonald's and decide that you should go across the street to Burger King to save five grams of fat. More

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  • 6 Things Your Pee is Trying to Tell You

    What is your pee trying to tell you?What is your pee trying to tell you?You know that you've had your share of water/beer/coffee by the frequency in which you need to use the bathroom, but what else can pee tell you about your health and habits? A lot, it turns out. We asked R. Mark Ellerkmann, M.D., director for the Center of Urogynecology at the Weinberg Center for Women's Health and Medicine in Baltimore, MD, for some of the specific health and lifestyle issues your urine's odor, color, and frequency can indicate.

    1. You're Pregnant.

    The reason you have to pee on a stick after your first missed period is that shortly after conception (when a fertilized egg implants into the lining of the uterus), the fetus begins to secrete the hormone human chorionic gonadotropin, or hCG, which is what is detected by home pregnancy tests, Dr. Ellerkmann says. Some women also notice a strong, pungent odor early on, even before they're aware they're pregnant.

    Once you've got a baby on board, running to the bathroom constantly is just one of the pesky parts of

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  • Do Carbs Cause Alzheimer's?

    by Charlotte Andersen for

    Is grain bad for your brain?Is grain bad for your brain?Imagine a piece of whole-grain toast slathered in butter- which part of that do you consider to be healthy? For many years the answer has been the whole-grain bread, but Grain Brain, a new book published this past Tuesday by neurologist David Perlmutter, M.D., argues that we'd all be better off chucking the bread and just eating a stick of butter for breakfast.

    Perlmutter says that contrary to popular belief, while we definitely require protein and fat, "the human requirement for dietary carbohydrate is none, none whatsoever." Not only do we not need them, he says that they're killing us, calling carbs "the brain's silent killers."

    The book is based on his years of extensive research and private practice as a neurologist in Florida. After years of frustration trying to help patients with all types of cognitive impairments, he finally came to the conclusion that modern medicine tends to focus on treating symptoms, not the underlying disease process.

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  • The Fat-Blasting 20-Minute Tabata Workout

    by Jessica Matthews for

    Here's why you need to try Tabata trainingHere's why you need to try Tabata trainingWith the notion of boosting fitness in just four short minutes, it's no surprise that Tabata training is all the buzz. What originally began as a high-intensity interval training protocol performed on a cycling ergometer by Japanese Olympic speed skaters has now morphed into workouts that combine everything from plyometrics to traditional resistance training exercises using the same format: eight cycles of 20 seconds of work followed by 10 seconds of rest. To investigate the benefits of this intense type of training, the American Council on Exercise® (ACE) enlisted the research team at the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse to examine the true calorie-burning potential of a total-body Tabata session.

    In the study, 16 moderately fit to very fit men and women completed two 20-minute Tabata workouts. Each workout consisted of a five-minute warm-up followed by four rounds of Tabata (eight cycles of 20 seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest) with one minute

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