Blog Posts by The Editors at Sharecare

  • Is Belly Fat Killing Your Sex Life?

    Is Belly Fat Killing Your Sex Life?

    Fat is like real estate: It's all about location, location, location. You need fat in some places -- like your hips (which store good fat) and your brain (which is 60% fat). But in other locations, like your belly, fat is not a healthy addition to your real estate portfolio. And as far as your sex life is concerned, that spare tire around your middle is like a "Go Directly to Jail, Do Not Pass Go" card in Monopoly, the ultimate real estate game.

    What does that spare tire have to do with your love life? Yep, it's also about location. Deep abdominal fat, technically known as omentum fat, builds up near your liver and other vital organs. That's a dangerous location. When fat is released from the omentum, some of it goes straight to your liver, and from there it goes to your arteries, damaging blood vessels.

    Here's the sex connection: Clogged arteries and blood vessels reduce blood flow to critical organs -- including your genitals. Without free blood flow there, men can

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  • Work, Work, Work: Why You Should Stop and Do This Instead

    Work, Work, Work: Why You Should Stop and Do This Instead

    Get this: Every year, Americans throw away 415 million unused vacation days. Are you thinking what we're thinking? Have people lost their minds?

    The truth is, not taking a vacation is ghastly for your health. In fact, being overworked and overstressed has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, and death. So whatever your excuses for not taking a break -- your job can't live without you, you can't afford it, there simply aren't enough days in the year -- toss them out the window. Now!

    We're not making this stuff up. Research shows that reducing stress and taking regular vacations -- at least once or twice a year -- may be as vital to your emotional and physical well-being as exercising and eating right. There is plenty of evidence.

    People who take frequent vacations:

    • Are less likely to be depressed, tense, or tired
    • Have a lower risk of heart disease and death
    • Tend to be more satisfied with their marriages
    • Are more interested and
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  • The Only 4 Skin Care Products You Really Need

    The Only 4 Skin Care Products You Really Need

    Overtreating your skin is as stressful on your face as it is on your debit card and bathroom storage space. In fact, using too many products is one of the most common problems skin docs see, says Manhattan dermatologist Amy Wechsler, MD, author of The Mind-Beauty Connection. All those cleansers, lotions, scrubs, masks, creams, and toners together can add up to dryness, irritation, inflammation, and, ultimately, breakouts -- the opposite of what you're trying to achieve.

    Related: Is your skin older than it should be? Take the SkinAge Test.

    Here are Dr. Amy's four must-haves. They're all that most women -- and men -- need to keep skin clear and healthy.

    • One mild everyday facial cleanser, like Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser or Aveeno Ultra-Calming Foaming Cleanser. If you're prone to acne, Dr. Amy likes Clean & Clear Advantage Acne Cleanser or Clinique Acne Solutions Cleansing Foam.
    • Two good moisturizers -- one for day, with sunscreen, such as Eucerin Everyday
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  • 5 Ways to Ruin Your Appetite (So You Can Finally Lose Those 10 Pounds)

    5 Ways to Ruin Your Appetite (So You Can Finally Lose Those 10 Pounds)

    Does downsizing your diet backfire because it supersizes your appetite? If you're so hungry by mealtime that you wind up stuffing yourself silly when you hit the table, you need to take the edge off beforehand. Try eating these. All can tame your flying fork.

    Nuts: Having a smidge of healthy fat -- the kind that nuts are full of -- 20 minutes before a meal tells your brain, "Hey, I'm not really that hungry." No wonder they're called "good" fats! They stimulate the production of cholecystokinin (CCK), a hormone that not only turns off appetite alarms but also slows the emptying of your stomach. You start to feel full before you even get started. It only takes about 70 calories' worth -- that's 6 walnuts, 12 almonds, or 20 peanuts.

    Related: Is it really hunger -- or are you just thirsty? Here's how to know for sure.

    Dried plums: Yep, thanks to heaps of hunger-quelling fiber, the wrinkled, old-fashioned dried fruit formerly known as prunes has the power to help you eat

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  • Want to Lose Weight? Do NOT Do This in the Morning!

    Want to Lose Weight? Do NOT Do This in the Morning!

    Are you so over breakfast? You might be smart if breakfast for you means (yes, confess) a daily Sausage Egg McMuffin (450 calories, 27 grams of fat). A recent headline-making study blames big morning meals for weight gain. But wait! Before you decide to skip breakfast forever, there's a flip side to this story. The right breakfast will not only help you lose weight but also help you keep it off. Just do NOT make the two morning mistakes below. Go for our skinny winners instead.

    Do NOT do this: Skip breakfast. It's as bad as or worse than overdoing it. Pass up breakfast and you're twice as likely to pack on pounds. The reason's a no-brainer: You're famished by lunch and feel justified eating anything in sight. That's because not eating in the morning triggers a surge of ghrelin, the appetite-stimulating, willpower-withering hormone. More proof: Thousands of successful dieters can't be wrong. Nearly 80% of the happy losers in the National Weight Control Registry -- a data bank

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  • Diaper Diagnosis: The Scoop on 7 Odd Poop Hues

    Diaper Diagnosis: The Scoop on 7 Odd Poop Hues

    Changing your baby's diaper -- or peeking into the training potty -- is a little like opening birthday presents: The contents are usually predictable, but every once in a while, there's a big, colorful surprise inside. Here's the scoop on seven odd poop hues and what to do next:

    • Black poop is only normal during the first few days of a newborn's life. After that, tarry black lumps could signal bleeding -- or just be a sign that a toddler's been cramming down Oreos or licorice. What to do: Double-check the color by putting a small piece on white paper and looking at it in bright light. If it's actually dark green, see below. If it's true black (and food's not the cause), call your pediatrician.
    • Bright red may mean your toddler ate beets for dinner. This isn't the only veggie that can turn poop (and pee) dramatic dark red. So can tomatoes, cranberries, cherry or cranberry Jell-O, and even grape Kool-Aid.
    • Red streaks could be bleeding from tiny skin
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  • Got PMS? 8 Misery Relievers That Really Work

    Got PMS? 12 Misery Relievers That Really Work

    Docs define premenstrual syndrome (PMS) as having symptoms that interfere with normal life and relationships, beginning about 5 days before your period and lasting as long as 4 days after it begins. Some women with PMS (at least 1 in 20) define it as 4 days of hell. (Their partners and families may agree.) Others define it as Perpetual Munching Spree, Pardon My Sobbing, or Pissy Mood Syndrome. WHATever! Next time you're PMS-ing, try one of these remedies to lift your spirits, ease your aches, and deflate your ankles as well as make you feel more like yourself and less like your evil twin.

    Symptom Remedy
    Bloating and swelling Limit salty foods for as much as 2 weeks before your period starts. Take this quiz to find out how sodium savvy you are.
    Cramping Exercise. Really. Do anything aerobic (dance, bike, jog, play singles tennis) for at least 30 minutes most days of the week . . . and not just
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  • 8 Foods to Help You Lose Weight Without Feeling Hungry

    8 Foods to Help You Lose Weight Without Feeling Hungry

    Forget celery sticks and dry toast. To lose weight and keep it off, you need to eat. Luckily, these eight delicious edibles are designed to burn fat, flatten your belly, and take a big bite out of your appetite.

    1. Yogurt: This creamy treat is loaded with calcium, and studies show that calcium may fight weight gain by hindering the absorption of fat in your small intestine. Yuck, but yippee!

    2. Eggs: Skip the pancakes and start your day with boiled or poached eggs instead. Turns out huevos trump carbs when it comes to helping you feel fuller longer -- and that means fewer snack attacks later in the day.

    Video: How to Poach an Egg

    3. Nuts: Yes, we know, nuts are high in fat. But it's the good kind of fat that your body loves, so pipe down and listen up. Nuts are also full of hunger-curbing protein and fiber, making them the perfect snack or appetizer. Just keep it to a handful, not a bagful.

    Related: 8 Healthy Snacks for Better Blood Sugar

    4. Whole grains:

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  • 4 Surprising Ways to Walk Off Weight Faster

    4 Surprising Ways to Walk Off Weight Faster

    It's no secret that the faster you move, the more calories you burn. Add a few hills to the mix and you burn even more. Almost anything that makes you work harder -- wearing a weighted vest, pushing a stroller, walking 45 minutes instead of 30 -- helps you lose pounds faster than a saunter through the park. But you know that. The challenge is doing it. Betcha these four surprising steps will help:

    1. Unless the weather's impossible, walk outside. You'll feel energized -- and even happier. Outdoor light bumps up the flow of mood-lifting serotonin in your brain. If it's chilly, you'll move faster to get warm. If it's sunny, the fresh air will put a little bounce in your step.

    Related: That serotonin boost in your brain may help you eat less, too. Here's how.

    2. Go to bed earlier. Instead of staying up late texting or playing just one more game of Angry Birds, shut down the electronics, and hit the sack at a sane time. Waking up well rested helps you get out the door to

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  • Watch Out for These 3 Desire Deal-Breakers!

    Watch Out for These 3 Desire Deal-Breakers! Say Yes Tonight

    Desire is a delicate thing. Whether it's your 5th date or your 5th anniversary, it's easy to do or say something that makes that spark between you fizzle faster than uncorked champagne on a hot beach.

    In fact, there can be so many passion pitfalls on the way to love, it's sometimes a wonder the planet manages to reproduce at all. But if you avoid some of the most common desire deal-breakers, you can get that lovin' feeling back on track.

    1. Don't abuse this erotic organ. We're talking about your scent-sitive nose. If your breath is as pungent as day-old gym socks, whispering sweet nothings in your lover's ear is not going to produce the desired effect.

    Out for a romantic meal? The best bad-breath preventive is to avoid garlic all day, not just at dinner. Almost nothing can mask garlic breath. If you can't brush and floss after a meal, drink plenty of water during it to wash away the food bits that attract bacteria. Then, munch on that parsley garnish, or have an

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