Blog Posts by The Editors of WOMEN'S HEALTH

  • 4 Ways to Prevent a Late-Night Binge

    Find out when you're probably jonesing for junk food the most--and how to curb the urge Find out when you're probably jonesing for junk food the most--and how to curb the urge When you're tempted to dive face-first into a bag of chips could be tied to your body's circadian rhythm: Cravings for sweet, salty, and starchy foods peak in the evening, when hunger levels are also at their highest, according to a new study in the journal Obesity.

    Researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston kept 12 healthy people in a controlled lab environment to track how circadian rhythms impact food behaviors. What they found? Regardless of what time the subjects woke up or when they'd had their last meal, their desire for sweet, salty, and starchy foods peaked around 8 p.m., as did their feelings of hunger. The takeaway? Our body's internal clock has a pre-scheduled effect on our appetite, and it wants us to eat more in the evening.

    RELATED: 5 Fatty Foods That Make You Skinny

    While it's not clear why this happens, the researchers have a theory. "From an evolutionary perspective, it sort of makes sense," says senior study author Steven Shea, PhD, director of the

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  • Diet Vs. Exercise: Which Matters Most?

    In a perfect world, everyone would work out enough and eat right all the time. But that's not always possible, so we turned to the experts to find out what really matters most--dieting or exercise--for losing weight, fighting disease, and boosting overall well-being. Here, we crown the champ in each category.

    RELATED: See the 11 Hottest Celebrity Butts

    TO LOSE WEIGHT
    The winner: Diet
    The reason: As research makes clear, trimming calories from your diet is the most direct route to a smaller dress size. "It's much easier to cut 500 calories than to spend an hour in the gym burning 500 calories every day," says Timothy Church, M.D., Ph.D., director of preventive medicine research at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center at Louisiana State University. However, both diet and exercise are essential for keeping that weight off.

    TO BOOST ENERGY

    The winner: Exercise
    The reason: Exercise causes the brain to pour out invigorating neurotransmitters like dopamine and norepinephrine, says

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  • 6 Moves for Great Dancer Legs

    Pro dancer Akua Noni Parker shares the go-to exercises that keep her lower half stage-readyPro dancer Akua Noni Parker shares the go-to exercises that keep her lower half stage-readyWant to get a major case of leg envy? Just check out a dancer-they always have amazingly sexy stems. But believe it or not, they don't come from dancing alone. "Dancing is great exercise, but it's primarily cardio," says Akua Noni Parker, a professional dancer and member of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Company. Parker, who has been dancing since the age of three, has performed on stages around the world. Now, you can catch her (and her awesome legs) in action at New York City's Lincoln Center from June 12-16, where she'll be performing in the acclaimed show Revelations, among others.

    These six moves, which Parker does daily, will get your legs in show-off shape, too-even if you have two left feet. "These exercises hit major leg muscles like your quads, hamstrings, and calves-but also target your core and glutes and help with hip stabilization," says Karen Joseph, a personal trainer and owner of Fountain of Fitness in Valrico, Florida. Pick a few of your faves and add them to

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  • Top Strength Training Mistakes Women Make

    Women are hitting the weight room in record numbers, and a new study found that weight-training injuries among women have jumped a whopping 63 percent. Here are the most common slipups and how to fix them, so you leave the gym strutting--not limping.

    RELATED: Top Foods That Boost Workout Results

    Skipping Your Warm-up
    You wouldn't launch into an all-out sprint the second you stepped onto a treadmill, so you shouldn't jump right into deadlifts the instant you hit the weight room. "Working cold, stiff muscles can lead to sprains and tears," says Morey Kolber, Ph.D., a professor of physical therapy at Nova Southeastern University in Florida. "Warming up increases circulation and improves range of motion, which preps your muscles and joints for action."

    The fix:
    "While opinions about static stretching may differ, a dynamic warm-up can decrease your risk for injury," says exercise physiologist Marco Borges, author of Power Moves. After five to 10 minutes of walking or jogging, do 10 to

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  • How to Take an Amazing Selfie

    6 ways to nail your next #nofilter snapshot

    By Casey Gueren, Women's Health


    6 Tips to Nailing Your Next Selfie6 Tips to Nailing Your Next Selfie

    Ah, Instagram: it can turn a sushi roll into a masterpiece and a silly, arm-length shot into a Facebook-worthy photo. But instead of making photo-sharing easier, the app might be turning us all into perfectionists. According to a new study from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, the pictures we upload through the app are often carefully planned and edited.

    It takes more than the perfect filter to make a great selfie, so we culled the best tips for nailing this snapshot-and cutting your editing time way down! Use these tricks to take your selfies from simple to #stunning.


    4 Reasons You Should Take More Selfies


    Perfect the #nofilter beauty look
    There's a reason that the X-Pro II filter never fails to make you look like a goddess. It gives your photo a candelit effect that glosses over imperfections while amplifying other features-like your bone structure, lips, and eyes, says San

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  • 9 Fitness Rules You Should Break

    Break the rules! We dare you.Break the rules! We dare you.Unlike wine, cheese, and Clive Owen, workout strategies don't get better with age. That's because each year, fitness researchers release thousands of studies that challenge conventional thinking--or at least shed light on ways to tweak it.

    We've ID'd nine stale fitness approaches and sifted through the latest research to come up with surprising updates that will help you get lean and land you a scorching body ASAP.

    PLUS: 10 Exercise Machines to Avoid

    1. Position your hands shoulder-width apart

    You often see this in instructions for upper-body moves like bench presses and lat pulldowns. Why? Because it gives you a stable starting point. But that doesn't mean you need to stay there set after set.

    "Spreading your hands a few inches farther out stresses more of the inner portion of your biceps; bringing your hands in a few inches builds more of the outer part," says New York City personal trainer Steve Lischin, M.S. Switch up your position after every set for balanced strength and

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  • 8 Clever Ways to Hide a Baby Bump

    How to dress your changing body before you're ready to spill the beans

    By Vera Sizensky, Women's Health

    How To Dress In Your First TrimesterHow To Dress In Your First Trimester

    Dressing for Two

    If your tummy's popping before you're ready to share the baby news, use these styling tips from Women's Health senior fashion editor Thea Palad to keep your pregnancy secret a little longer. Bonus: They'll be just as cute on you post-pregnancy as they are now.

    These pregnant celebrities are growing and glowing as their due dates creep closer. Here's a peek at 10 of our favorite famous bumps




    Mirror Your Bump

    Rock This Trend: Mirrored prints

    "Reflecting a print along your vertical axis is instantly slimming and can help hide any weight gain," says Palad.


    Color Block Your Bump

    Rock This Trend: Color blocks

    "Make sure the darker colors are strategically placed over your tummy and any other parts you want to shrink visually," says Palad. Disappearing panels and ombre designs also have the same effect, so the darker portion will help

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  • The New Sunscreen Guidelines You Need to Know

    Sunscreens following the FDA's stricter labeling regulations are hitting shelves, so the EWG has endorsed a new crop of productsSunscreens following the FDA's stricter labeling regulations are hitting shelves, so the EWG has endorsed a new crop of productsHave you made your first drugstore run of the season to stock up on sunscreen? If not, you're in for a surprise: All products claiming to shield your skin from the sun--lotions, sprays, makeup, even lip balms--must now follow new labeling rules mandated by the FDA. Banned are fuzzy buzzwords such as "sunblock" and "sweatproof" in favor of more accurate, research-backed terms that give consumers a clear sense of how well the product protects against UV-induced skin damage and skin cancer.

    RELATED: 7 Ways to Protect Yourself From Cancer

    On the heels of the new rules comes an annual report from the Environmental Working Group that lists the top sunscreens of 2013. Released last week by the advocacy organization, the report recommends more than 100 products out of thousands currently available on store shelves. To get the EWG's seal of approval, sunscreens had to offer solid sun protection not exceeding SPF values above "50+" (which the FDA warns can give a false sense of security

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  • 8 Ways to Burn Calories Outside the Gym

    Just because it's fun doesn't mean it doesn't work up a sweat!Just because it's fun doesn't mean it doesn't work up a sweat!Tossing a Frisbee. Hitting the dance floor. Crushing your friend in Wii tennis. They're all great ways to pass the time and let off some steam, but it turns out that some of your favorite hobbies might qualify as actual exercise too.

    Even light physical activities--things you view as more fun and leisurely than "fitness"-can reduce stress, punch up your metabolism, and add years to your life. They can also help speed up recovery from traditional workouts and ease sore muscles.

    Now, don't go canceling your trainer just yet: Eighteen holes of mini golf or tug-of-war with your pooch doesn't necessarily match the muscle-building, fat-blasting potential of a 20-minute strength workout. But there may be ways to turn these fun exercises into a genuine sweat session.

    RELATED: 15 Ways to Boost Your Metabolism

    Bowling
    FUN.
    Let's be real: Your activity consists of walking 10 feet with a (maybe) 10-pound ball, and then sitting back down.

    Game Changer: You could use the ball as a free

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  • Shop Your Shape: The Perfect Bathing Suit for Your Body

    Whether you're looking for something sporty or feminine, these styles offer the right cut and coverage for your body.

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