Blog Posts by Self Magazine

  • How to Stop Mindless Snacking

    Karen Asp, SELF magazine

    So how can you get yourself to hold back from cleaning out the entire bowl of peanut M&M's? You actually have the willpower in you-and these tiny moves can help you channel it.

    The binge trigger: You're on edge.
    Stress depletes your stores of glucose, which your brain needs to fuel smart decision making, says Ken Cheng, Ph.D., professor of biological sciences at Macquarie University. Meaning when you're wigging, you have less mental mojo to walk away from the goodies.

    Stay strong. Close your eyes and breathe deeply to chill out that moment. To reduce tension long-term, do Downward Dogs: Yoga cuts levels of the stress hormone cortisol, so you'll feel more Zen.

    Related: 20 Superfoods for Weight Loss

    The binge trigger: You're totally exhausted.
    Skimping on sleep taxes the brain region that helps you strategize about what you're going to eat-making it harder to manage what ends up in your mouth. In fact, when people snoozed for only four hours a night, they wolfed

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  • The Worst Cancer Risk Factors

    CN Digital StudioCN Digital StudioMarisa Cohen, SELF magazine

    Fake sugar, plastic, bacon: We asked top cancer experts to rank the risks. Turns out we're all probably worrying about the wrong things.

    9.5: Smoking
    Tobacco is responsible for 80 percent of lung cancer deaths in American women and increases your risk for cervical, pancreatic, kidney and oral cancers. Quit now-after 10 years, your risk of dying from lung cancer is cut in half.

    8.9: Your Age
    Seventy-seven percent of cancers are diagnosed in people older than 55. The effects of aging on your cells combined with bad behavior and outside factors take their toll. You can't freeze time, but you can adopt healthy habits today.

    8.9: The Sun's Rays
    About 65 percent of incidents of the deadliest form of skin cancer-melanoma-are directly caused by UV radiation from the sun. When enjoying the beams, please, sunscreen.

    Related: Yoga Moves for Flat Abs

    7.8 Genetics
    Yes, genes are powerful, but only 5 to 10 percent of cancers are genetic. And even if you do have a

    Read More »from The Worst Cancer Risk Factors
  • 5 Ways to Overcome Your Fears

    Want to expand your horizons, be a braver person and enjoy life to the fullest? The secret isn't fearlessness but admitting what scares you. Then use that knowledge to push yourself further than you ever thought possible. Go on. Take a leap. When you're in a panic, pick one of these tricks to tamp it down.

    Tell Yourself a Story
    If something frightens you, try talking about it unemotionally, as if you were describing an ordinary photo: "The plane is taking off. The girl's seat belt is fastened. She's holding a book." In a study from Columbia University, when people were asked to view frightening images, then talk about the pictures as detached observers (as if they were narrating a story), activity in the amygdala-a brain region where you register fear-quieted, while areas linked to self-control sparked up.

    Related: Foods That Fight Belly Bloat

    Breathe From Your Belly
    It's called diaphragmatic breathing. It's easy, and it works: Inhale slowly from your lower belly to a count of four,

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  • 10 Smart Swaps to Avoid Saturated Fat

    Beth Janes, SELF magazine

    The average woman eats 29 percent more saturated fat per day than is healthy, experts say. Cut back with these tweaks.

    More from SELF:

    6 Moves for a Great Butt

    5 Simple Steps to Cellulite-Free Skin

    3 CrossFit Total-Body Workouts

    6 Secrets to Firing Up Your Metabolism

    Read More »from 10 Smart Swaps to Avoid Saturated Fat
  • How to Validate Cancer Charities

    Marjorie Korn, SELF magazine

    You're the best for donating, but is your charity of choice a dud? Our Q&A tells you.

    What should I look for before I write a check?
    Luckily, the watchdogs (the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance, Charity Navigator and Charity Watch) have done lots of the work for you so check their sites first. Then consider playing detective-many nonprofits annually file an IRS form 990 or 990 EZ, providing financial and leadership details. Look to see what impact the charity is having and whether it really has enough funds to accomplish its mission, says Liz Livingston Howard, a nonprofit at Northwestern University. A charity should typically spend, at minimum, 75 percent of its money on programs rather than on fund-raiding and overhead. If you can't find a form, ask the org about its financials directly.

    A friend invited me to a gala-for $500. (Yikes!) Where does the money go?
    A-listers in gowns and tuxes garner good press, but galas can

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  • 4 Healthy Fats (and One to Avoid)

    Beth Janes, SELF Magazine

    We owe fat an apology. It's been vilified for so long, and now it turns out that the stuff may fire up our flab-burning furnace, silence our cravings and power us to a strong, lean body. Still, we don't want you going all Paula Deen on us, so you've got to know some key facts. Read on to discover the "bad boy" nutrient's healthy side.

    Monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs)
    The Lowdown: Nuts, avocados and canola and olive oils are rich in MUFAs, often the most common fat type in our diet, says William Lassek, M.D., coauthor of Why Women Need Fat.

    Friend: MUFAs help control hunger and blood sugar, says Wendy Bazilian, R.D., coauthor of The SuperFoodsRx Diet. Plus, they may turn on genes that trigger fat burn.

    Daily Goal
    *: Up to 30 percent of your daily calories, or about 60 grams, can come from fat, and MUFAs should make up the lion's share of that. Go for 30 g to 50 g per day.

    Related: 20 Superfoods for Weight Loss

    Omega-3 polyunsaturated fats
    The Lowdown: Of the

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  • 10 Fall 2012 Shows Worth Your Time

    SELF magazine

    In a sea of how'd they convince anyone that was a good idea pilots, there are ten newbies that you should not miss, that everyone will be buzzing about because they are so transportingly fun. One comedy, The Mindy Project, that's the funniest, sharpest thing I've seen since Happy Endings surprised me a couple years ago, with flawed yet sympathetic people saying things people actually think (and don't always actually say, but that's the entertaining part.) Dramas that bring fears to frightening life like Revolution, The Last Resort, and, in it's own way, 666 Park Avenue. There's a juicy sexy soap, Nashville, and a few crime shows that surpass the genre's norm. The most fun? Arrow on the CW, a deliciously dark take on super-heroism that should be a must-watch for any Avengers or Dark Knight lovers. Update those Tivo Season Passes now!

    More from SELF:
    6 Moves for a Great Butt
    5 Simple Steps to Cellulite-Free Skin
    3 CrossFit Total-Body Workouts
    6 Secrets to

    Read More »from 10 Fall 2012 Shows Worth Your Time
  • 6 Lettuce-Free Salad Ideas

    Sarah-Jane Bedwell, SELF magazine

    Lettuce may be the first thing that comes to your mind when someone mentions the word "salad," but lettuce-based salads can get boring after a while. Good news: there are lots of salad options that don't contain so much as a leaf of lettuce. Below are a few of my favorite lettuce-free salads:

    Related: Yoga Moves for Flat Abs

    Cucumber salad:
    Simply slice cucumbers, tomatoes and onions and garnish with your favorite chopped fresh herbs and dressing (see below for a simple formula for making your own dressing).

    Kale salad: Kale is a superfood, packed with all types of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. It also makes a super salad when used in place of lettuce. Chop kale coarsely and combine with a sweeter veggie (like steamed or grilled sweet corn kernels or roasted butternut squash) to help cut the slightly bitter flavor of kale. A squeeze of fresh lemon juice will also help brighten the flavor.

    Related: 20 Superfoods for Weight Loss

    Bean salad:

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  • The Truth About Carbs

    Patti Wolter, SELF magazine

    What's a carb? Besides being insanely delicious, we mean. Basically, carbs are a category of molecules in grains, produce, dairy and sweets that occur in three key forms.

    These are the easiest to break down into glucose, a major fuel source. They exist naturally in food (fructose in fruit; lactose in dairy); it's added sugar you should worry about. Sweeteners such as table sugar, agave nectar and honey contribute calories without other good-for-you stuff, like fiber in fruit or protein in milk.

    Related: Yoga Moves for Flat Abs

    This complex carb
    functions in almost the opposite way from sugars: You can't digest it, and certain fibers move slowly through the digestive tract, helping you feel full, shuttling out some fat and slowing glucose absorption. Aim for 25 grams a day, says SELF contributing expert Janis Jibrin, R.D.

    Related: 20 Superfoods for Weight Loss

    Also complex carbs, but not all starch is created equal. Take the starch in

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  • The Things We Do for Love

    SELFSELFLiza Monroy, SELF magazine

    How far would you go to bond with a man? For one woman, there were no limits-until she lost her identity.
    I wish I could say I started exercising for myself, but as with many things, I did it for a guy. He was a helicopter pilot, and he had once been an expert in the Brazilian martial art of capoeira. I lived down the street from a capoeira academy, so I vaguely knew what it was (a mysterious mix of dance, fighting and acrobatics). But despite years of overhearing call-and-response singing pouring from the studio's windows, I'd never been curious about what went on in there. Until I met the pilot.

    That's how I acted with men. If a guy was interested in something, I got interested, too. My high school boyfriend was into the Pixies and existentialist literature, and I still own every Pixies album and every book by Jean-Paul Sartre, all of them dusty from disuse. In college, I dated an outdoorsy guy and found myself wilderness camping, freezing my butt

    Read More »from The Things We Do for Love


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