Blog Posts by The Editors of WOMEN'S HEALTH

  • The Easy Way to Eat Less Candy

    New research uncovers two new tricks to curb snackingNew research uncovers two new tricks to curb snackingCan't resist the candy bowl? There may be a way to control your sweet tooth without depriving yourself entirely: New research suggests that people eat less candy when it's individually wrapped or served with tongs, according to a new series of studies appearing in the December issue of Appetite.

    In the studies, researchers asked participants to taste-test wrapped and unwrapped chocolates and dried fruit. In some scenarios, they were served with tongs, while in others, they were served without them. Interestingly, people ate nearly 30 percent less when they had to unwrap the food or use tongs to serve themselves (the two different strategies didn't differ significantly, say study authors).

    PLUS: The Easy Way to Cut Cravings

    Researchers suspect that making food just a little more difficult to eat--by wrapping it up or using a utensil to serve it--might help you eat less (the more time you spend serving or unwrapping the food, the more time you have to consider whether you really want

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  • 10 NFL Training Secrets You Should Steal

    This football season, add a few NFL training secrets to your workoutThis football season, add a few NFL training secrets to your workoutWe're not talking about carbo-loading like a linebacker, but there are definitely some health and fitness tips you can rip out of the NFL playbook. On any given game day, there are an average of 27 medical professionals on the field, according to the National Football League Physician's Society. So we talked to a few of them to get their best tips for staying fit like a professional athlete.

    BEWARE: The 13 Biggest Fitness Myths

    Pro Fitness Tip #1 Stay Balanced

    One way pro athletes work to prevent sports injuries: correcting muscle imbalances, says Robin West, M.D., orthopaedist for the Pittsburgh Steelers. She always tells her players to focus on the front and back in every exercise. So work out your core and your lower back, then target biceps and triceps.

    Pro Fitness Tip #2 Take a Time-Out Before the Big Event
    Training for something major like a 5K or a triathlon? Hold off on strength training for 48 hours prior to it, says West. Even NFL players take a similar break before

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  • The Surprising Way the Gym Makes You Gain Weight

    You've been working out for months--so why is the number on the scale going in the wrong direction? Many people actually gain weight despite going to the gym, according to a recent survey by Forza Supplements.

    The U.K.-based company polled 1,000 people on their diet and exercise habits and found that 26 percent of the people surveyed actually packed on pounds after they started going to the gym--although, to be fair, some people included in this group only went to the gym once a week, while others went daily.

    RELATED: 5 Ways to Get Your Butt to the Gym

    While the irregularity of exercise may be a factor in why many of the gym-goers struggled to maintain their weight (let alone drop a few pounds), Forza reps say there's likely another factor at work, as well: People who work out tend to overindulge in foods before and after their sweat sessions, according to the company's press release. "People think working out harder can make up for eating unhealthy foods," says J.J. Virgin,

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  • 12 Myths About Happiness, Debunked!

    It doesn't come from success, it can be bought, and other shocking truths about achieving blissIt doesn't come from success, it can be bought, and other shocking truths about achieving blissA few things--like chocolate, chick flicks, and clean sheets--are almost guaranteed to boost your mood. But when it comes to achieving true happiness, there are a ton of misconceptions. Shawn Achor, author of the upcoming book Before Happiness: The 5 Hidden Keys to Achieving Success, Spreading Happiness, and Sustaining Positive Change, clears up some of the most common myths about finding bliss.

    PLUS: 4 Ways to Be Happier

    Myth #1: It's genetic

    It's true that some people may be predisposed to being happier, but like most things, your genes tell only half the story. "You can teach yourself optimism and happiness just like you teach yourself a new language," says Achor. "You'll be just your genes unless you make positive habits in your life."

    Myth #2: Career success makes you happier

    Getting that corner office doesn't guarantee bliss, says Achor. "You can raise your success your entire life, and your happiness will be the same." His research did find, though, that if you work on improving your

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  • 10 Biggest Hair Care Mistakes

    Learn how to stop abusing your tresses and get the gorgeous hair you wantLearn how to stop abusing your tresses and get the gorgeous hair you wantIf you want shiny, gorgeous hair--and, really, who doesn't?--then you should pay close attention to how you treat your strands. How you wash, dry, and style can seriously affect the health and appearance of your locks. Are you making these hair care mistakes?

    PLUS: What Your Hair Color Says About Your Health

    1. Not Brushing Before Washing
    A damage double-whammy: Hair is weakest when it's wet, and wet hair is more prone to tangling. To prevent shower-induced snarls, give your hair a brush before hopping in. If you like to comb in the shower, apply conditioner, untangle strands with your fingers, then use a wide-toothed comb before rinsing.

    2. Brushing the Ends Only
    You've heard that brushing too much causes breakage, but your scalp's natural oils are one of the best conditioners out there. Massage your scalp with a wooden-bristle brush like Widu to stimulate circulation and hair growth and brush from roots to ends to add luster naturally.

    PLUS: What Your Haircut Says About Your

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  • 10 Myths About Pregnancy, Debunked

    Could everything you know about pregnancy be wrong? Get your facts straight Could everything you know about pregnancy be wrong? Get your facts straight Think you've got the whole birds-and-bees thing figured out? Turns out, much of what we know about baby-making is based on old wives' tales instead of scientific research, according to the just-released book, Expecting Better: Why the Conventional Pregnancy Wisdom Is Wrong--and What You Really Need to Know. Prepare to have your mind blown.

    Myth: Pregnancy Lasts Nine Months
    Truth: In reality, the length of your pregnancy can vary by as much as five weeks, according to a 2013 study published in the journal Human Reproduction. When you deliver ultimately depends on your age, your weight, how much you weighed at birth, and a slew of other factors.

    Myth: Sex while you're pregnant can hurt the baby.
    Truth: In almost all cases, sex shouldn't affect your little one, says Shari Brasner, M.D. assistant clinical professor of obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive science at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City and a member of the Women's Health expert advisory board. There are some

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  • 3 Ways to Instantly Look Slimmer

    Go look in a mirror: See any problems? Fix them (and look 10 pounds lighter!) simply by using these posture-improving moves from physical therapist Bill Hartman.

    The Problem: Droopy Boobs

    A weak upper back angles your chest downward.

    The Fix: Face Pull
    Attach a rope handle to a high pulley and grasp it with both hands. Step back until you feel tension in the cable. Pull toward your face, elbows wide. Slowly return to start. Do two or three sets of 12 to 15 reps.

    PLUS: Got Back Pain? Fix Your Posture

    The Problem: Belly Pooch

    Weak lower abs and a pelvis that tilts forward push your stomach outward.

    The Fix: Kneeling Hip-Flexor Stretch

    Kneel on your right knee, your left foot in front of you. Gently push your hips forward as far as you can. (You should feel it in your right hip.) Hold for 30 seconds, then switch sides. Repeat three times.

    TRY THIS: 10 Self-Checks Every Woman Should Do

    The Problem: Thick Midsection

    Rounded shoulders compress your ribs and abdomen, making your

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  • 10 Ways to Drink More Water

    Get guzzling with these tips for staying hydrated Get guzzling with these tips for staying hydrated Time to drink up--and we don't mean heading to the nearest happy hour. First Lady Michelle Obama recently announced her latest stay-healthy initiative with a Partnership for a Healthier America: Drink just one more glass of water a day. Sounds easy enough right? But if you're struggling to take in enough H20, use these tips to meet your daily quota.

    PLUS: 5 Reasons You Should Drink More Water

    Add Your Own Flavor

    We get it, water can be pretty boring. But instead of using the flavoring agents you see in stores, opt for something more natural--like watermelon chunks and mint or orange slices. To amp up the taste even more, let it sit for a few hours in your fridge.

    Order Something Spicy

    Adding crushed red pepper to your plate will have your reaching for the water pitcher multiple times through dinner. Plus, studies show that hot peppers give your metabolism a boost.

    PLUS: 10 Things That Slow Your Metabolism

    Use Your Phone

    Yep, there's an app for that. In fact, there are several.

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  • Should You Double Up on Protein to Lose Weight?

    A new study suggests you need more protein than you think to maximize fat loss. A new study suggests you need more protein than you think to maximize fat loss. Most weight-loss plans have one thing in common: eating less. But new research suggests that eating more could boost fat loss--more protein, that is. Dieters who double their protein intake lose more fat and maintain more muscle mass than dieters who eat the recommended daily amount, according to a new study published in The FASEB Journal.

    In the study, 32 men and 7 women followed a 31-day weight-loss diet that contained either the recommended daily amount (RDA) of protein, twice the RDA, or three times the RDA. At the end of the study, everyone had lost about the same amount of weight (an average of 2.7 to 3.5 pounds). However, the people who doubled up on protein lost the most fat; it amounted to about 70 percent of their total weight loss. For those who ate three times the RDA, 63.6 percent of their weight loss was due to fat loss. And the people who ate the recommended amount of protein fared the worst: Only 41.8 percent of their weight loss was from fat.

    RELATED: The 3 Biggest

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  • The Truth About Your BMI

    The best way to check if your weight is healthy is to calculate your body-mass index (BMI), right? Not necessarily, according to a perspective recently published in the journal Science: It argues that BMI isn't an accurate measure of metabolic health.

    In the perspective, two researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania write that BMI doesn't tell the whole story. "The fact is that BMI basically reflects your weight and height," says co-author Rexford Ahima, M.D., Ph.D., a professor of medicine and the director of the Obesity Unit in the Institute for Diabetes, Obesity, and Metabolism at the University of Pennsylvania. A few of the many things it does not reflect: your family history, muscle mass, and where your excess fat is located.

    While this isn't exactly breaking news--researchers have known that BMI gives only a very limited indication of overall health for a while now--it's a good reminder not to get too caught up in any one number,

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