Blog Posts by SHAPE magazine

  • 8 Dinner Foods to Eat for Breakfast

    by Elizabeth Goodman Artis for SHAPE.com

    Hummus for breakfast? Why not?Hummus for breakfast? Why not?If you've ever had breakfast for dinner--pancakes, waffles, even scrambled eggs--you know what fun it can be to swap a meal. Why not try it the other way around?

    "Many cultures eat what Americans view as dinner foods for their first meal of the day," explains Mary Hartley, R.D., an online nutritionist from New York City. And since breakfast is still the most important meal you can eat health-wise, adding new foods to your repertoire not only varies the nutrition, it keeps you from getting bored. Plus, eating a heartier "dinner" meal helps fill you up so you eat less throughout the day. Here are eight foods-and serving ideas-to make over your morning meal.

    1. Soup: Miso soup specifically, though any broth-based soup is a good choice, especially if it's packed with veggies and lean protein (stay away from the bisques or cream-based soups). Miso soup, popular in Japan, is fermented, and according to Hartley, fermented foods can help populate the

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  • Does Coffee Help or Hinder Your Workout?

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

    Should you drink coffee before your morning workout?Should you drink coffee before your morning workout? Is it best to drink coffee before or after a morning workout? We went to SHAPE Diet Doctor Mike Roussell, ph.D., to find out.

    Caffeine has powerful nootropic effects, meaning it manipulates neurotransmitters to alter how the brain functions. While we all think of caffeine as a stimulant, it doesn't directly stimulate as much as it prevents or blocks the action of neurotransmitters that promote sedation and relaxation.

    Your pre-workout caffeine-packed cup of coffee isn't just going to give you the mental edge, though-it will also help you burn more fat. The exact mechanism in which caffeine works to enhance fat-burning has yet to be conclusively nailed down (as it probably works via several different mechanisms), but it primarily seems to work by increasing the breakdown and release of fat.

    Now let's get to the nitty-gritty.

    What kind of coffee should I drink?
    An easy way to adjust how much caffeine you consume is to change the type of

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  • Do You Know Where Your Coffee Beans Come From?

    by Heidi Pashman for SHAPE.com

    Do you know where your fave Starbucks drink comes from?Do you know where your fave Starbucks drink comes from?On a recent trip to Costa Rica with Contiki Travel, I took a tour of a coffee plantation. As an avid coffee enthusiast (okay, bordering on addict), I was confronted with a very humbling question, "Do you know where your coffee beans come from?"

    Costa Ricans typically drink coffee at home without sugar or cream (forget pumpkin spice lattés). Instead, it's enjoyed "like a good glass of wine," said my tour guide at Don Juan Coffee Plantation- straight black so you can swirl the aroma and smell and taste all of the different flavors. And like a good glass of wine, the flavor of the coffee directly relates to where it's grown and produced. "If you don't know where it's from, you don't know why you do or don't like it," the tour guide said.

    But figuring out where your coffee is from can be hard. You can scour the website of your local coffee shop and see if you can figure it out that way. Stumptown Coffee Roasters is the model child for transparency, offering

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  • Everything You Need to Know About Coconut Oil

    by Matthew Kadey, R.D.

    Is coconut oil really that good for you?Is coconut oil really that good for you?Once castigated for its generous saturated fat content, coconut oil has been given a second life as a (gasp!) healthy fat. And while drinking it by the tablespoon still isn't a great idea, you definitely should consider adding the oil to your diet.

    Yes, coconut oil is almost 90 percent saturated fat, but not all sat fats are created equal. "The saturated fat in coconut oil is mostly lauric acid, a medium-chain saturated fatty acid that appears to have a more neutral effect on heart health when compared to longer-chain saturated fats found in meats and dairy products," says Wendy Bazilian, R.D., author of The SuperFoodsRx Diet.

    This makes sense considering citizens of nations that consume prodigious amounts of coconut products, such as Sri Lanka, have lower rates of heart disease than Americans. Some research even suggests that coconut oil can paradoxically improve cholesterol numbers by revving up enzymes in the body that break down fats.

    Bazilian adds that

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  • Do You Need a Digital Detox?

    by Alanna Nuñez for SHAPE.com

    Can you be addicted to the Internet?Can you be addicted to the Internet?Can you go more than a few hours without checking your Facebook? Does the idea of being away from your laptop or iPad make you break out into a sweat? Do you spend so much time on the Internet that you're ignoring your friends, family, and work? If you said yes, yes, and yes, you may be addicted to the Internet.

    Internet addiction is a hotly debated topic within the medical community. According to the American Psychiatric Association, it's not an official psychiatric disorder, so it's not in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). However, the country's first inpatient treatment program for Internet addiction opened this week at Bradford Regional Medical Center in Pennsylvania. Designed to house up to four patients at one time, the program aims to provide a 72-hour digital detox and lasts 10 days total. Because Internet addiction is not considered a mental illness, the treatments won't be covered by insurance.

    "We're really

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  • 10 Snacking Mistakes that Cause Weight Gain

    by Lindsey Emery for SHAPE.com

    Your between-meal bites could be sabotaging your weight loss.Your between-meal bites could be sabotaging your weight loss.Like any smart woman trying to make the number on the scale go down or stay steady, you snack during the day to keep your energy tank full, boost metabolism, and make sure you don't stand a chance of overeating. But to reap those benefits, you need to be strategic about what you eat, when you eat it, and how much you eat, otherwise you'll end up packing on pounds. Follow these easy snacking tips, and your munching will never meddle with your weight.


    1. Focus on Your Health: Since most Americans are not eating enough fruits and vegetables every day, or getting in the daily-recommended amount of omega 3s, "consider snacking a prime opportunity to work on fulfilling these nutritional needs," says Elizabeth Somer, R.D., author of Eat Your Way to Sexy. Skip candy, cheese puffs, and other foods without benefits, and instead try to include two food groups at every meal: one fruit or vegetable and a source of omega-3 fatty acids, such as walnuts, flaxseeds, or

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  • New Study Fires Up Old Mammogram Debate

    by Alanna Nuñez for SHAPE.com

    Are younger women benefiting from mammograms?Are younger women benefiting from mammograms?The breast cancer screening debate that started in 2009 when the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommended that women should start receiving regular mammograms at age 50 instead of 40 has started up again thanks to a new Harvard University study that suggests testing younger women may saves lives.

    Researchers followed 600 women who had been diagnosed between 1990 and 1999 and tracked them until 2007. They found that half of the women who died were under age 50, and 71 percent of them never received a mammogram until their diagnosis.

    "The biological nature of breast cancer in young women is more aggressive, while breast cancer in older women tends to be more indolent," lead author Blake Cady, professor emeritus of surgery at Harvard Medical School, told Science Recorder. "This suggests that less frequent screening in older women, but more frequent screening in younger women, may be more biologically based, practical, and cost

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  • USDA to Allow China to Process Chickens, Ship Back to U.S

    by Charlotte Andersen for SHAPE.com

    Newly implemented rules will change the way we process chicken in the U.S.Newly implemented rules will change the way we process chicken in the U.S."Chinese chicken" will soon have a whole new meaning, as the U.S. Department of Agriculture recently gave the green-light to four chicken processing plants in China, allowing chicken raised and slaughtered in the U.S. to be exported to China for processing, and then shipped back to the U.S. and sold on grocery shelves here.

    The actual arrangement will take some time to set in, however. "All this means is that we've deemed China's poultry processing equivalent to the process in the United States," says Arianne Perkins, USDA public affairs specialist. Individual companies will still have to be certified, something Perkins says has not happened yet.

    RELATED: 9 Common Foods that Contain Toxic Ingredients


    While the logistics are hard to imagine-if we can't safely leave chicken out for the length of a family picnic, how can it be shipped halfway around the world and back with no ill effects?-the USDA is doing its best to reassure both chicken farmers and

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  • Should You Double Up Your Protein to Lose Weight?

    by Keri Gans, R.D.N., for SHAPE.com

    Should you eat more protein to lose weight and gain muscle?Should you eat more protein to lose weight and gain muscle?Typically when women think of weight loss, they think of restricting calories or food groups, such as carbs. And many may think that adding more protein to their diet will pack on muscle, which may lead to weight gain. But in addition to be satiating, increasing your protein intake may help you lose weight while maintaining fat-burning muscle, according to new research.

    In the study, 39 adults were all fed a calorie-restricted diet but with varying levels of protein: the recommended daily amount (RDA), twice the RDA, or three times the RDA. They also exercised daily. After 31 days, the group consuming twice the RDA of protein saw the greatest reduction in fat mass while maintaining muscle.

    RELATED: 7 Foods a Nutritionist Would Never Eat

    But just how much protein are we really talking about? Following this study's guidelines, the average needs for a 5'5" woman trying to lose weight would be 90 grams (g) per day. And this adds up rather quickly

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  • 5 Things You Didn't Know About Body Fat

    by Elizabeth Goodman Artis for SHAPE.com

    Surprising facts about fatSurprising facts about fatFat is the ultimate three-letter word, especially the kind that you spend so much time watching your diet and hitting the gym to keep at bay (or at least to keep off your butt). But beyond making you look less-than-svelte, fat can have significant physical and emotional implications.

    We talked to Shawn Talbott, Ph.D., a nutritional biochemist and author of The Secret of Vigor: How to Overcome Burnout, Restore Biochemical Balance, and Reclaim Your Natural Energy, to find out a few essential facts that might surprise you.


    1. It comes in different colors:
    More specifically, there are different types of fat that have different hues and functions, according to Talbott: white, brown, and beige. The white fat is what most people think of as fat-pale and useless. Useless in that it has a low metabolic rate so it doesn't help you burn any calories the way muscle does, and it's the predominant type of fat in the human body, encompassing more than 90

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