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  • The Simple Thing You Can Do in the Morning to Lose Weight (No Exercise Included!)

    The sunshine never felt so good.You know your day would be way more efficient if you could just drag yourself out of bed before work and fit in your workout.

    But executing this healthy plan is way easier said than done. If you're looking for more motivation to get up and get moving, a new study from Northwestern Medicine might give you that extra push.

    The April 2014 study of 54 participants (men and women with an average age of 30) found that people who got the majority of their daily light exposure in the morning had a significantly lower BMI than those who didn't get much exposure until later in the day.

    MORE: How to East for All-Day Energy

    This connection was independent of each person's physical activity level, caloric intake, sleep timing, age or season. Researchers point to sunlight's role in regulating our circadian rhythm as the explanation for its effect on BMI.

    "Light is the most potent agent to synchronize your internal body clock that regulates circadian rhythms, which in turn also regulate

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  • Eat THIS to Your Boost Energy All Day Long

    If you're consistently tired and sluggish, your eating habits may be to blame.There are days when keeping up with emails, dishes, laundry and my boisterous 2-year-old daughter leave me completely drained. Like every day. I've tried going to bed earlier, managing my time better and even grabbing an afternoon nap when my kid takes hers, but nothing has upped my energy. So I asked Elisa Zied, R.D., author of "Younger Next Week: Your Ultimate Rx to Reverse the Clock, Boost Energy and Look and Feel Younger in 7 Days," to help me put together an eating plan to maximize my energy throughout the busy day.

    MORE: 6 Foods That'll Flatten Your Belly

    Zied gave me a general rule to follow: Focus on eating more protein-rich foods during the day when I need the most energy and to fill me up, and carbohydrate-rich foods by night to provide a steady stream of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that plays a role in mood, appetite and sleep. By eating more balanced meals and snacks throughout the day, I could keep my energy levels steady-as opposed to the old spike-and-crash

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  • Can Your State of Mind Trigger Your Allergies?

    As if stress isn't bad enough...Stress can lead to more than sleeplessness and emotional cookie binges. Add sneezing and itchy eyes to the list, researchers say.

    In an April 2014 study, allergist Amber Patterson, M.D., and her team at Ohio State University studied the stress and allergy symptoms of 179 male and female allergy sufferers between the ages of 35 and 60. For a total of 28 days, the participants kept a daily online diary to record allergy flares, stressful events, perceived emotional stress and mood. They also provided four saliva samples each day, which the researchers analyzed to determine cortisol levels, a physiological measure of stress. The results revealed a clear correlation: Those participants who reported more stress also reported more allergy flare-ups.

    MORE: Is It Really Bad to Hit Snooze?

    Stress is a known trigger for eczema, another autoimmune condition, and can bring on a nasty bout of the itchy-scratchies. The findings paint a similar picture.

    Interestingly, it wasn't that

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  • The One Thing Standing Between You and a Bikini Body

    You won't reach your goals without this key to success.It's spring and suddenly fashion magazines are filled with pages about how to get a bikini bod in time for summer. The headlines make it seem so simple: 3 Minutes to Better Abs! 5 Superfoods for Weight Loss! If were that easy, you wouldn't have to buy the magazines in the first place because you would already be there.

    MORE: And the Best Diet for Your Health Is...

    It's not easy. It might take a lot of work to get your body to look the way you want it to. And more than that, it takes a lot of work just to get yourself to commit to the work it takes. Sometimes our goals feel completely out of reach.

    I like to look my best, but I also believe that women of all weights are beautiful and our cultural obsession with being skinny is both dangerous and unrealistic. Now, I know very little about juicing and even less about the best workout for your behind, but as YouBeauty's Motivation expert, I do know this: If you want to love yourself in a bathing suit, you can. And if you believe

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  • The Real Reason You Eat Too Much Cereal

    Scientists reveal a simple difference that could change breakfast forever.How much is a bowl of cereal? Seems like kind of a silly question. Because a bowl of cereal is the amount of cereal that fits in a bowl. Except that it's not.

    First of all, how big is your bowl? That makes a difference. A deep soup bowl is going to hold a lot more than a shallow fruit or salad bowl. In fact, since most breakfast cereals have a serving size of ½ cup to 1 cup, a "bowl" of cereal should fit in a teacup (before milk). And then you have to factor in the size of the cereal bits themselves, which is why a team of researchers at Penn State crushed up wheat flakes with a rolling pin for a March 2014 study in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

    MORE: The Real Reason You Don't Have a Bikini Body

    Picture a single Grape-Nut, one Lucky Charm and a solitary Bran Flake. Now imagine a handful of each. You'll be able to palm a lot more Grape-Nuts, nestled in close and tight, than flakes, which will layer unevenly, with air betwixt and between. The Penn State

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  • What Advice Would You Give Your 20-Something-Year-Old Self?

    What advice do you wish you had?Your 20s are those amazing years when you are just starting to get your act together, and still have plenty of time to make up for wayward decisions. Here, YouBeauty editors and our team of experts wax poetic about what we wish we knew back then. What would you tell your younger self if you had the life knowledge you do now? Share with us in the comments below!

    MORE: 6 Foods That'll Flatten Your Belly

    Ni'Kita Wilson, 39
    "The only limitations are the ones that you place on yourself. To hell with what others think about you or what you can accomplish."

    Shelby Freedman Harris, Psy.D., 35
    "Exercise isn't a four letter word. You'll not only look better, but you'll also be mentally, physically and spiritually stronger by making time to exercise on a regular basis."

    Julie Giusti, 33
    "Buy Apple."

    Jim Perko, 58
    "Spend more time with Mom and Dad because it's your greatest gift of happiness to them!"

    Art Markman, Ph.D., 48
    "You don't have to win your

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  • Science Confirms the Absolute Best Diet for Health

    Common sense rules.In a sweeping article in the January 2014 Annual Review of Public Health, Dave Katz, M.D., from the Prevention Research Center at the Yale University School of Public Health, reviewed the health benefits and research supporting six of the most popular diet trends: low carb, low fat, low glycemic, Mediterranean, Paleo and vegan. He compared his findings with the outcomes associated with a regular old "mixed, balanced" diet, what we might once have referred to as eating square meals-a combination of plant and animal foods that conforms to standardized dietary guidelines like the recommended daily intakes set by the Institute of Medicine.

    MORE: 6 Foods That'll Flatten Your Belly

    The results might shock you. Or bore you. Either way, the choice is clear. The winner, say Katz and his co-author, is a diet comprising "preferentially minimally processed foods direct from nature and food made up of such ingredients, ... mostly plants, and ... in which animal foods are themselves the

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  • Is Hitting Snooze Really that Bad?

    But it just feels so good.We Asked: YouBeauty Sleep Expert Shelby Harris, Psy.D.

    The Answer: Sometimes when you wake up in the morning and the alarm gives out a warning, your body just says "no." If you really feel you need another nine minutes under the covers before you can take on the day, hitting the snooze button isn't such a big deal. If you're doing it at least three times a week there's probably a bigger issue at hand.

    MORE: 6 Foods That'll Shrink Your Belly

    For some people, hitting snooze is as much a part of the morning routine as brushing your teeth. That's a pretty good sign that you're not getting the quantity or quality of sleep you need. Slapping that button and slamming your face back into the pillow gets you a little more shut-eye, sure, but it's often very shallow, restless sleep that isn't really restorative. If the length of your nap between beeps is too long, you could slip into a deeper stage of sleep and then have to reawaken in the middle of it, which will make you feel more

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  • 5 Ways to Cut Back on Sugar Without Giving Up Dessert

    To really make a difference, start looking in these unlikely places.When the World Health Organization recommended that people reduce their daily sugar intake to under 6 teaspoons, or 25 grams, they ramped up pressure to do something that a lot of you were probably trying to do already. We recommend that you eliminate any added sugars and syrups-and certainly keep your intake to at most 4 grams of added sugar per hour.

    MORE: Is It Bad to Hit Snooze?

    If you're capping your cookie quotient, or replacing sugary sodas with unsweetened teas and water with lemon, great work, we applaud you! Moves like these are important, but we know it can be hard to break a sweets habit, or resist the temptation to indulge in your favorite dessert. Fortunately, there are other ways to cut down on sugar that won't feel like a punishment. And if you already think you're doing all you can, these tips will bolster your fight against these sweet beauty-busters.

    MORE: 6 Foods That'll Flatten Your Belly

    1. Go easy on the sauce. Bottled sauces and condiments may seem

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  • A 2-Second Trick That'll Help You Lose Weight

    You might get some judging glares, but it'll be worth it.

    As if you didn't already have enough weird habits. Researchers at the University de Bourgogne in Dijon, France (whose name alone gives us hunger pangs), have proven that when we spritz a pear scent, or grab and huff the closest piece of fruit before choosing what to eat, we're more likely to make a healthy food choice.

    MORE: The Sad Truth About the Tequila Diet

    One-hundred fifteen participants were either secretly exposed to a pear odor (no word on if the researchers actually just brought them to The Body Shop) or none at all. They were then asked to choose a starter, a main course and a dessert for lunch. The pear-scent sniffers chose to consume the healthy dessert of fruit compote more frequently than the non-sniffers, who went for the high-calorie brownie instead.

    We love this study because it's something easy and actionable we can try ourselves. Try stowing an apple, pear or your favorite fruity scent at your desk for a quick sniff before your 4 p.m. munchie-fest.

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