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  • Study: Stop Excessive Pregnancy Weight Gain

    ShutterstockIf you have kids, you remember that pregnancy self-talk that, as we enter the drive-thru, says, "I'm already going to gain a ton of weight. What's another few pounds?"

    But research has demonstrated that even a few extra pounds above the recommended weight gain amount increases a woman's chances of retaining excess weight after pregnancy and becoming obese in the long-term. In one large study, 14.2 percent of previously normal-weight women became overweight by one year postpartum. And among normal-weight woman, 40 percent of them put on excess pounds during their pregnancies.

    MORE: Why Are People Obsessed With Pregnant Celebrities?

    Given that this added weight increases the risk of long-term obesity in both the mother and the infant, preventing the excessive weight gain in the first place is central.

    A new study highlights an exercise and nutrition program that succeeded in preventing a significant number of women from gaining excessive weight during their pregnancies

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  • The Tattoo Allure: More Women Are Inking Up Than Men

    ThinkstockOh how times have changed since The Who famously paid homage to body art as the equivalent of testosterone: "Welcome to my life, tattoo. I'm a man now, thanks to you." Tattooing is no longer seen as the exclusive domain of men and women are flocking to tattoo artists in record numbers. A study earlier this year by Oxygen Media revealed that 59 percent of people with tattoos are female, with the most popular images being hearts and angels.

    QUIZ: Do You Love the Skin You're In?

    The choice of an image is a totally individualized expression of personality, creativity and aesthetics. A particular picture may make a women feel pretty or sexy or powerful or artsy, and that feeling can boost her self-esteem and give her more control over how she presents herself to others.

    As with other forms of self-expression, why a woman gets a tattoo and what form it takes depends on the woman.

    I worked with a young woman for many years as she struggled and triumphed through a serious eating

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  • Seven Easy Steps Away to 10,000 Steps a Day

    ThinkstockThinkstockWalking 10,000 steps a day, which is the equivalent to roughly five miles, is important to a healthy lifestyle according to The American Heart Association. Exercise is great to prevent and treat heart disease and risk factors for heart disease. Weight-bearing exercise is great for preventing osteoporosis and osteopenia. (And with walking, you're the weight!) It can even improve your mood: Depression and other mood disorders can be lessened with exercise.

    But with the kids back in school, there are lunches to pack and afterschool activities to carpool to, and it can feel like there's no time. Something's got to give. And that something is often your workout.

    MORE: Find Your Flow Through Walking

    It may be hard to imagine, but between everything you have to get done in a day, there's still time to squeeze in 10,000 health-supporting steps. Here are seven ways to get it done:

    Get a pedometer. You can try to count your steps, but I bet you lose track before you hit 100. Put on a

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  • Is Salt Beauty's Next Big Ingredient?

    Salt of the earth [Thinkstock]Salt of the earth [Thinkstock]You're probably well-versed in the perils of having too much salt in your diet. But what about in your beauty products? That depends on the issue you're trying to address.

    Salt on Your Skin: Pros and Cons
    Sea salt can leach moisture out of your skin. But it's a wonderful exfoliant. "In its raw, crystal form, salt stimulates skin renewal and boosts radiance," says Idit Gandelman, Global Head of Training at Ahava (a skincare company based on Dead Sea minerals). A handful of coarsely ground sea salt, mixed with skin-nourishing grapeseed oil can slough off dead skin cells, while the oil replenishes moisture.

    MORE: Sea Salt's Secret Beauty Uses

    If you're looking for salty skincare that's also going to moisturize, search labels for products containing Dead Sea salts. "The Dead Sea has a much lower concentration of sodium chloride than normal sea water, and its salts contain a mix of other important minerals, including magnesium, potassium, calcium chloride and bromides," says

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  • Why Women Choose Not to Have Kids

    ThinkstockThinkstockHere are some reasons from real women about why they are childless by choice.

    Sharon, a 30 year-old writer for an art auction house, left her ex-husband because he wanted kids and she didn't. She has no regrets.

    She offers many of the usual reasons people give for not wanting children-career, finances, bad genes, crazy parenting they don't want to repeat and the overpopulated planet-but the simple truth is that it wasn't a priority. "And if you're not totally sold on it, it makes no sense," she says.

    Now listen to Samantha, 26, a graduate student: "I just don't like children very much," she says. "The idea of having such a demand on my time, attention and resources is frankly horrifying to me."

    Motherhood is becoming a choice. People used to think that once a young woman was married, she got pregnant. If not, "other people would assume you were self-centered, or say, 'I'm so sorry,''' says San Jose psychotherapist Margaret Cochran. Now clear-eyed young women like

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  • Protein Shake Making You Fat? Slim Down

    ThinkstockThinkstockDo you always know what's really in that protein shake you order? It may taste great, but if you don't know what's in it and choose wisely, that scrumptious beverage could undo your efforts to be healthier or to lose weight.

    First of all, make sure what you're drinking actually is a protein shake, advises celebrity dietician Ashley Koff, R.D. That means one with healthy and adequate sources of this important nutrient. "Make sure you're not compromising on quality, so look at what the source of protein is," suggests Koff.

    MORE: Are You Getting Too Much Protein?

    Your best bet is to stick with whole food sources of protein whenever possible versus highly-processed forms. Organic soybeans, whole pea, sprouted quinoa, hemp, sprouted brown rice and egg whites are all excellent, healthy protein sources for your shake.

    When it comes to the amount of protein you should get, more is not always better. Ideally, you want six to 15 grams of protein in your shake. Some will have as

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  • Which Foot Type Are You?

    Courtesy of Wellness BiomechanicsCourtesy of Wellness BiomechanicsYou pick out the right moisturizer for your skin type, conditioner for your hair type and clothes for your body type, but can you put your finger on your foot type?

    From blisters to bunions, cramps to arthritis, chances are you've had some kind of foot pain in the past. (Let's face it, your feet are probably killing you right now.) In a 10,000-steps-a-day-in-Louboutins world there are plenty of things to get your dogs barking. But you don't have to take it lying down-or standing up, as it were.

    MORE: The Japanese Cure For Gross Feet

    New York City podiatrist and founder of Wellness Biomechanics Dennis Shavelson devised a "foot typing" system that identifies structural attributes that can make you more susceptible to different types of foot discomfort, so you can be prepared before they hit.

    "Where before you had to have pain or a bunion before you'd go to the doctor, foot typing opens up an amazing avenue for correction and prevention," says Dr. Shavelson.


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  • Beauty ABCs: The Best New Beauty Products You’ve Never Heard Of

    ThinkstockThinkstockA is for Argan Oil: Argan oil is hot, hot, hot right now, and with good reason. Women in Morocco have been harvesting this nut for centuries for use in traditional beauty recipes, and now modern science has proven why it's such a stellar ingredient.

    Naturally high in vitamin E, antioxidants and essential fatty acids, argan oil works on all skin types (yes, even oily!) to hydrate, soften fine lines and prevent damage. "The blend of omega-6 fatty acids and gamma tocopherol that make up argan oil can help reduce inflammation and assist in skin regeneration," says Ni'Kita Wilson, a cosmetic chemist and YouBeauty columnist.

    MORE: Argan Oil's Beauty Benefits + Product Suggestions

    For those who balk at the idea of using an oil on your face, fear not: "It has a texture and feel that is light, less greasy but still moisturizing," says Wilson. It even contains antibacterial plant sterols that help curb acne. "One study showed that argan oil can help regulate sebum production when used

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  • What Does Popping a Pimple Really Do?

    ThinkstockIn health class you learned you shouldn't pop pimples, but were you paying attention to why not? And, do you still do it anyway? We talked to Jeanine B. Downie, M.D., YouBeauty Dermatology Expert, and director of her own practice, image Dermatology, in Montclair, N.J.

    The Answer: Acne comes in many shapes and sizes. There are black heads, white heads, tender red bumps and large red nodules. Whatever form a zit takes, you might be tempted to squeeze it into oblivion. Resist!

    Popping a pimple doesn't actually make it go away. In fact, it usually exacerbates the problem and can leave you with scars. Or worse, you could end up with a skin infection-and scars.

    MORE: The YouDocs Break Down Common Skin Problems

    The causes of acne are varied and complex. Family history, hormones and stress can all play a part. Basically, pimples form when sebum, your skin's natural oil, gets trapped under the surface. It can mix with dead skin cells and form a plug called a comedone, or it might

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  • Dazzling Colors for Your Body Shape

    Courtesy of The Outnet (left) / Shopbop (right)Rock a spark of color that can also flatter your body shape this summer.

    Best Brights to Create Curves

    Dare to bare seriously sexy curves in all-over lemon. Bright shades draw attention to wherever they're placed, so a straight and slender Ruler figures can fully embrace a light-reflecting shade wherever your body needs a little boost. Remember, bright colors amplify, lending a straight shape more contour.

    Susana Monaco one-shoulder ruched dress ($96), the Outnet

    Best Brights for a Big Bust

    Got a curvaceous bust? Downplay a larger chest by drawing all eyes away from the area. A pair of candy pink jeans diverts attention away from your bustline and showcases great legs. With colored denim, keep the rest of your look simple. Pair them with a black, white or other neutral, muted shade on your top half.

    J.Crew Toothpick cropped mid-rise skinny jeans ($125), Net-A-Porter

    Best Brights for Curvy Hips and Thighs

    Hourglass and Triangle shapes can downplay a

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