Blog Posts by Liz Vaccariello, Editor-in-Chief, PREVENTION

  • 7 Signs you think too much about food

    Whether you refuse to let a single speck of trans fat cross your lips or never met an entire pint of ice cream you didn't like, it's the rare individual whose attitude toward food, weight loss, and body image is 100% normal (define normal anyway).

    In fact, on average women think about their bodies eight times a day, found one recent survey, and about 80% of women are dissatisfied with their appearance. It's no wonder many women report signs of disordered eating-like excessively counting calories or working out just to burn off food-even if they never develop a full-blown disorder such as anorexia or bulimia. Problem is, there's often a fine line between eating healthfully to slim down and becoming fixated with food. Here are some red flags that could indicate a food/weight obsession.

    Curb cravings with these hour-by-hour tips for healthier eating.

    1. You eat in reaction to bad (or good) news.

    You're having a stressful day, so you treat yourself to Cheetos at

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  • 8 Secrets of naturally slim women

    Getty ImagesGetty ImagesYou know that friend? The one who never has to struggle to hike up her jeans and yet seems to have a totally normal relationship with food? She's what I call naturally slim-she has a handle on her appetite, her emotions and a whole bunch of other things integral to achieving-and staying at-a healthy weight. Here are a few of her secrets:

    1. She Chooses Satisfied Over Stuffed

    On a fullness scale of 1 to 10, skinny women stop eating at a level of 6 or 7, says Jill Fleming, RD, author of Thin People Don't Clean Their Plates. The rest of us may keep going to an 8 or 10. Why? It may be because you mistakenly equate the sensation of fullness with satisfaction and feel deprived if you stop short, says Fleming. Or you may just be used to finishing what's in front of you, regardless of whether you really need it.

    Copy her: To eat like skinny women, about halfway through your next meal, put your fork down and, using the 1 to 10 scale, rate your level of fullness. Do it again when you

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  • A girl's guide to grilling

    Intimidated by the grill? I was: Visions of burnt burgers or, worse, a burnt-down house danced through my head. Then I read these awesome grilling tips for women from Elizabeth Karmel, founder of and, author of Soaked, Slathered, and Seasoned: A Complete Guide to Flavoring Food for the Grill, and executive chef at New York's Hill Country barbecue restaurant. Use these seven tips for everything from lighting the grill to figuring out when the burgers are good and ready:

    Love BBQ but afraid you'll overdo it? Check out these 10 perfectly-portioned grill meals.

    1. Charcoal versus Gas

    There are two kinds of grills: charcoal and gas. If you're looking to buy a grill, here's how to decide which type you want:

    Charcoal. If you like the hands-on experience of building a fire and can wait 30 minutes for the coals to be ready, charcoal is for you.

    * Requires building, starting, and maintaining the fire

    * Requires disposing of

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  • Did you pig out at the cookout? 6 Food fixes that beat bloat fast!

    Lately I'm all about what to eat (as opposed to what not to eat) to look and feel great, and I'm also all about enjoying myself on vacation. So this July 4th weekend, go ahead and have that burger, beer, macaroni salad and whatever else is on the menu at your mid-summer fete, and then make the necessary diet adjustments AFTER the party. Here, 6 simple swaps that will help you lose a little water weight and keep calories in check:

    1) Season Food Without Salt

    Smart Swap: Add zing to your meals with salt-free seasoning blends such as the Original and Italian medley Mrs. Dash instead of salt, salt-based seasonings, and highly processed foods. The reason? You may be attracted to your saltshaker, but water is, too. When you take in higher than usual amounts sodium, you'll temporarily retain more fluid, contributing to that sluggish feeling, a puffy appearance, and extra water weight. Yuck.

    Get your sexy summer body and your confidence back!

    2) Thirsty? Stick to plain H20

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  • 5 Neat and easy ways to burn calories all day, every day!

    You know that friend, the one who is always tapping her leg, getting up to straighten the bookshelf, the one who generally just can't sit still? She's likely burning an extra 200 to 300 calories a day on top of any workouts she does or the amount of calories she burns just being alive. This process is neatly called NEAT, which stands for "NonExercise Activity Thermogenesis" (say that 5 times fast!), and it's essential for successful weight loss. Basically, it's the extra stuff you do, physically, all day long that adds up. Make a point to add more "neat" into your day and you can zap another 500 calories! Here are a few ideas:

    Do crunches in bed: You could burn about 20 calories in under 5 minutes just by drawing your knees to your chest 25 to 50 times, plus it strengthens your abs and gets your blood pumping.

    Check out these 10 ways to boost your calorie burn

    Dance around while getting dressed: Turn up the radio or listen to upbeat music on your iPod (if you can)

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  • 3 Reasons you overeat—and how to stop!

    Last week I walked by my office printer, a popular landing spot for extra food, and grabbed what I thought was a cookie. It was more of a cookie/energy bar hybrid, and while it wasn't awful, it wasn't great either, and definitely not worth the calories. But I ate it anyway. Why? It was in my hand. Like pretty much everyone I, too, on occasion, eat things I don't really want because I feel obligated, because it's free, because it's sitting on a plate next to the printer. This is a mistake-and is easy to correct. Here's how skewed logic like this can add unnecessary calories to your diet:

    The Logic: It's free, therefore I should eat it

    The Solution: I don't care if it's free or if someone is paying you to eat it, free calories count! In fact, walking around a grocery store nibbling on free samples could easily add up to 500 calories, according to experts, which is practically a whole meal!

    What are your bad eating habits?

    The Logic: I don't want to be rude

    The Solution:

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  • Binge-proof your diet: 6 Foods that keep you full and satisfied

    The big, fat (pun intended) irony about trying to drop pounds is that cutting calories has a pesky habit of making you eat more, and more of the wrong types of foods. Think about the last time you nibbled a plain green salad for lunch. How did you feel by 6 pm? Ready to eat an entire anything and then have seconds? Hunger is a real, physical need you can't overcome with willpower alone. So eat already-and stock up on these foods, which will keep you satiated for hours:

    Fill up with fiber!

    Eggs: They're a great source of hunger-quelling protein (about 6 g per egg), plus a recent study found that women following a low-fat diet who ate 2 eggs for breakfast at least 5 days a week lost 65% more weight and averaged an 83% greater reduction in waist circumference. Not a fan? Low-fat yogurt is a great source of (breakfast-happy) protein.

    Almonds: These tasty nuts contain the healthy monounsaturated fatty acids, good-for-you fats that keep your appetite sated for hours. Studies back

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  • 3 Essential steps to weight loss

    Got a yellow sticky note? Grab it (and a pen) and write down these three words:

    • Commitment
    • Consistency, and
    • Convenience.
    Then stick it in a place you see every day, multiple times a day (bathroom mirror, computer, the fridge, next to your dinner plate). I love their simplicity-and because when it comes to losing weight and getting into shape, there's no aspect of it they don't cover. Here's how to use these words of weight loss wisdom to stay motivated, stay enthusiastic, and stay strong even when you feel hungry, tired, or just plain sick of your cardio playlist:

    Cut calories-without missing a single one!

    Commitment: Half of the battle with weight loss is mental-it's you against your mind. That is why it's so important to spend time really thinking about your motives and goals, and where you see yourself in a year. Research shows that keeping goals small-losing just 10% of your body weight, for example-means you're much more likely to meet them.

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  • Week 2: More easy ways to transform your body!

    Welcome to week two! If you've been following our Two-Week Body Makeover, you're likely feeling a little sore-and a lot stronger and fitter. Plus, you're reveling in that oh-so-motivating sense of accomplishment that comes when you commit to something and stick with it. If you're just joining us, read through last week's blogs for loads of diet and exercise tips, then stick around for 7 more days of ideas that will keep you motivated to stay the course.

    Get your FREE 14-day diet and exercise plan here!

    Day 8: Make healthy comfort food

    Meal idea: Whip up a Turkey Meatball Pocket for a satisfying dinner. Form 1" meatballs out of ground turkey, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, and black pepper and bake for 10 to 15 minutes at 375˚F. Place the meatballs in an open pita pocket, and drizzle the meatballs with marinara sauce. Serve with a side salad of mixed greens and cucumber tossed in olive oil and vinegar.

    20 recipes for guilt-free comfort food-Macaroni and Cheese included!

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  • Burn fat faster in one workout

    Intervals are a cardio workout's best friend. If you want a technical definition, they're periodic bursts of intensity followed by a recovery period. Here's my definition: they're periodic bursts of intensity that make a boring workout go by so much faster-and get my heart rate up fast so I know I'm getting serious benefits. There are lots of different ways to fold intervals into your routine: speed bursts where you go as fast as you can for one minute than recover for 30 seconds, or a full 5 minutes up a steep hill on a bike or treadmill. However you choose to do them, here are a few more reasons to turn up the volume on your workout.

    You'll kick in that awesome afterburn effect: Just like strength training, doing intervals is a great way to keep up the fat-burning well after your workout. Depending on the length and intensity of your cardio, your body may burn an additional 65 to 150 calories-that may not seem like a lot, but if you did that five days a week, on top of your

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