• Follow this simple method to turn a creamy soup into a diet-friendly meal.Follow this simple method to turn a creamy soup into a diet-friendly meal.

    A steaming bowl of creamy soup can be a satisfying meal on a chilly day. But if you're wary of adding high-fat cream to an otherwise resolution-worthy dinner, there are ways to get the same velvety texture without mixing in any dairy.

    The general method is so simple, you don't really need a recipe:

    1. Sauté aromatic vegetables (onions, garlic, shallots, leeks) in olive or canola oil until softened.

    Related: Eek! These Foods Are Secretly Loaded With Salt

    2. Add chicken or vegetable broth and lots of chopped vegetables (choose one or a combination: carrots, winter squash, broccoli, cauliflower, fennel, parsnips, potatoes, beets).

    3. Simmer until tender.

    4. Puree the soup in your blender (in batches) or with a hand blender. If you prefer some chunks but still want a soup with lots of body, puree only half the soup, and leave the other in chunks.

    Related: Lose Major Weight With This Meal Plan

    5. Reheat, if necessary, then top with chopped fresh herbs, croutons.

    Read More »from How to Make Creamy Soup (Without Adding Cream)
  • by Marissa Stephenson

    Tom Rafalovich Tom Rafalovich So, you guys, Spinning does cause bulk -- but in terms of your calorie burn. Your confidence. Your love of Capital Cities "Safe and Sound" remixes.

    But what it really, truly, despite-the-copious-hoopla-from-this-week does NOT do is bulk your thighs.

    We were tempted to end our post with that, but we want you to know why your Flywheel class won't give you Hulk legs. So we asked exercise physiologist Michele Olson, Ph.D., professor of exercise science at Auburn University Montgomery (and our very own Dr. Abs) to lay it out:

    See more: 5 Simple Steps to Cellulite-Free Skin

    "You have two types of muscle fibers; one type are endurance fibers. When you do aerobic exercise, like Spinning, you use these fibers," Olson says. OK, easy so far. "These fibers can become more fatigue-resistant from doing activities like Spinning and running [aka, it feels easier to do the same workout], but they do not bulk. You have to lift heavy weights doing multiple sets to

    Read More »from SELF Exclusive! the Truth on Whether Spinning Bulks Up Your Legs or Not
  • by Marjorie Korn

    Courtesy photoCourtesy photoWe know a lot of you come to SELF to help achieve your better body goals, and while we are always telling you about the newest exercise routines and latest nutrition news, it always hinges on a basic principle: success only comes from healthy diet and exercise. And while it'd be awesome if there was a get-slim-quick product that was healthy and worked, we've already learned there's not. And the folks at the Federal Trade Commission, whose responsibility it is to protect consumers from bogus claims, is putting the kibosh on the latest slew of weight-loss products.

    The FTC called out three companies -- Sensa, L'Occitane, and HCG Diet Direct -- for deceiving consumers into thinking weight loss could be as simple as sprinkling powder on your food, rubbing on a cream or having drops of a synthetic hormone that comes from pregnant women's urine. (Yeah, it's gross, and there's no proof it's either safe or effective.) Furthermore, the FTC is forcing Sensa to pony up a whoppingRead More »from FTC Charges Three Weight-Loss Products with Making False Claims, Companies Required to Pay $27 Million

  • by Krissy Brady for SHAPE.com

    Could a cyclical mindset be the key to reaching all your goals?Could a cyclical mindset be the key to reaching all your goals?Feeling bloated the morning after a night of margaritas and nachos with the girls, you decide, "This is it. Today is the day I'm going to start eating better."

    Except that you told yourself this exact same thing last Thursday after skipping lunch and then eating way too much spaghetti after work. And the week before when you had ice cream for dinner.

    The problem isn't your willpower-it's your mindset, according to a recent study published in Psychological Science.

    Researchers asked 145 adults to focus on saving money using either the linear, future-looking approach most of us tend to favor, or by applying a cyclical strategy and breaking their overall goal into smaller, concrete, repetitive actions such as "I'll put $10 into savings each day." After two weeks, those who adopted a cyclical mindset saved 80 percent more than the linear group and a group that received no instruction.

    RELATED: 50 Must-Know Fitness Tips to Score Your Dream Body

    Read More »from Could THIS Be the Secret to Achieving Your Goals?
  • Running may be great for weight loss and overall fitness, but it might be good for more than just your physique. Find out how running actually boosts your brain, too.

    1. Running helps your brain grow.

    Don't worry--we're not talking bursting-through-your-skull growth. Running stimulates the creation of new nerve cells and blood vessels within the brain, an organ that tends to shrink as a person ages. Also, studies have shown that running may help increase the volume of the midbrain (which controls vision and hearing) and the hippocampus (which is linked to memory and learning). Find out just how long you need to run to power your noggin in, How Much Exercise is Best For Mental Health?

    2. Running helps your brain age better.
    In addition to preventing or reversing age-related shrinkage, running affects brain chemicals in a way that sets runners up to have healthier-than-average brains later in life. A study last year measured neural markers and cognitive function in middle-aged

    Read More »from 5 Ways Running Makes You Smarter
  • GERARD FRITZ/REX USA.By Vanessa Golembewski, Refinery29

    We've all got a friend (or two) who is just plain funny. In every social circle, this is the one who is always quick to make a joke - that lands, and generally has you in stitches. Hey, maybe that person is even you? But, according to a new study, super-funny people have personality types linked to psychosis. So, while funny, they're also kind of crazy. And, if that's the case, performance - like standup and improv - may be a form of self-medication.

    Related: Yes! 5 Ways Sex Makes You Happier & Healthier

    Researchers at Oxford University studied 523 comedians (404 male, 119 female) from the U.K., U.S., and Australia. The comedians completed an online questionnaire designed to identify and measure psychotic traits in healthy people. The four aspects in question were unusual experiences (paranormal activity, telepathy), cognitive disorganization (easily distracted), introvertive anhedonia (avoiding intimacy and an impaired ability to feel

    Read More »from Are You Funny? Then You May Be Psychotic, Too
  • Julie Real, 31, a married mom of two young girls, never thought she'd be able to run 26 miles--but she also didn't believe she'd be able to lose more than 100 pounds. As told to Jane Bianchi, REDBOOK.

    "I started gaining weight when I was 25. I had taken a new job as an event planner and it required a lot of travel, which meant that I was eating way too much convenience food--Pop Tarts for breakfast; a beef, bean, and cheese burrito with chili-cheese fries and a chocolate shake at Del Taco for lunch; a snack of peanut M&Ms; and for dinner, a burger with potato wedges at my hotel. I was on the go and I didn't have a kitchen, so fast food was an easy choice. Plus, when you're alone in a place like Portugal and you don't speak the language or know your way around, fast food feels familiar and comforting.

    As for exercise, I never made it a priority or scheduled any time for it. Sure, I had a gym pass, but I never used it. And I owned an elliptical, but it became more of a closet than a

    Read More »from How to Deciding to Run a Marathon Literally Saved My Life
  • 16 Health Secrets Olympians Know

    You'll never need to land a triple toe loop or steer a rocketing bobsled (we hope), but how to eat for energy, unkink your back, and smile away nerves? Those kinds of tips could come in handy, so we got them from 10 spectacular Winter Olympians. Thanks, ladies, and good luck out there. By Caitlin Moscatello, REDBOOK.

    Lindsey Vonn1. Power up with a parfait
    "Before a workout, I'll have Greek yogurt with almonds, blueberries, and pineapple. The yogurt has the perfect mix of protein and fat, the fruit provides carbs, and almonds add an energizing boost of omega-3 fats." -Alpine skier Lindsey Vonn, 29, who won the women's downhill at the 2010 Olympics

    2. Beat anxiety with RPMs
    "A few minutes of meditation gives me more clarity and focus, and it's as rejuvenating as caffeine. But it's so easy to skip it if I don't do it first thing. So I live by the RPM rule: Rise, pee, meditate. In that order."-Snowboarder Gretchen Bleiler, 32

    3. Forgive yourself to turn around a mistake more quickly

    Read More »from 16 Health Secrets Olympians Know
  • Are you accidentally overdosing on sugar?When you're trying to eat right, there are a lot of obvious nutritional potholes to avoid. Packaged donuts. French fries. White bread. You might miss them, but you know it's worth it to steer clear. It's even more of a bummer to learn that some of the things you thought were good for you (or at least OK for you) are actually sabotaging your efforts.

    MORE: Is This the Healthier Version of Butter?

    Too much added sugar or added syrup (that is, added to foods rather than part of them) is bad for your body-and bad for your beauty, too. Sugar is quickly absorbed, and high levels of sugar in your blood can hamper the function of important proteins-for example, making hemoglobin unable to properly deliver oxygen to your tissues. Further, if you eat too much sugar and produce too much fat from that, your body can build up what's called insulin resistance, which is one step away from type 2 diabetes. High blood sugar also disrupts the lining of your arteries and causes dangerous

    Read More »from 8 'Healthy' Foods that Are Secretly Loaded with Sugar
  • 5 Best Weight-Loss Apps

    By Josue Ledesma Cheapism.com

    Accountability is key in any weight-loss program. With most of us carrying a smartphone everywhere, diet apps make that possible at every moment of the day and night. But with hundreds of diet apps on the market, deciding on the best can be a bit much. In updating our list from last year we discovered a couple of newcomers that feature some nifty elements.

    Related: Best inexpensive treadmills

    My Fitness Pal Calorie Counter & Diet Tracker. Ranking first on our list again for 2014, this diet app from My Fitness Pal provides calorie counts for more than 3.5 million foods and 300 exercises, a goal and calorie tracking tool, and a barcode scanner. Unlike other diet apps, all the features are free and built-in.

    It's hard to ignore the convenience of Calorie Counter & Diet Tracker. Data is backed up in the cloud so it's easily accessible through your computer or the app itself. You can customize your goals and receive reports based on your progress

    Read More »from 5 Best Weight-Loss Apps


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