Written on April 22, 2013 at 11:08 am , by Colleen Moody
There should be no shame in your snacking game. That’s because a recent study by The NPD Group found that 83 percent of Americans snack, and those with the healthiest lifestyles are also the ones who snack most frequently. Score! Below, we chatted with Jessica Levinson, MS, RD, CDN and founder of Nutritioulicious, a nutrition consulting and counseling practice in New York about the benefits of snacking, especially when it comes to managing your weight.
Why is snacking so important?
This is something I’ve talked to clients for years about. Snacking is what really keeps your metabolism going. Think of the analogy of wood in a fire—the more you put in, the more you burn. The same is true with eating. Skipping meals or waiting too long causes your metabolism to slow down, while also putting you at risk for overeating the next time you do sit down to eat.
Does it matter when you snack?
It is a big nutrition myth that the time of day that you eat impacts your weight. If you have a 1,600 calorie allotment for your diet and lifestyle, then what matters more is if you’ve taken in that many calories or not. Let’s say you’ve consumed 1,400 calories by the time 6:00 p.m. rolls around. Now you only have 200 calories to get you through the rest of the day (taking exercise out of the equation here, which of course gives you some of those calories back). But if you’ve only eaten 1,000 calories by 6:00 p.m. then it doesn’t matter what time you’re eating or having a late-night snack, as long as you don’t go past your daily allotment.
How can you keep your snacking portions controlled?
This is a big issue for most people, because it’s hard to stop once you start! My biggest tip is to portion out in advance at home. For example, if you like almonds portion out an ounce (23 almonds) into 5 brown bags at the beginning of the week. Then you can grab a bag for your snack every day as you walk out the door. Just bring one bag at a time; if you take the whole stash you’ll be more tempted to dig into multiple bags. There are also a ton of companies who make portion controlled snack packs. Justin’s Nut Butter is great for baby carrots or a banana or a bag of 100-calorie air popped popcorn is perfect for salt lovers. And of course, fruit! You can’t really ever overdo it on fruits and veggies. Fruit especially is a good sweet tooth fix while also quenching your thirst and filling you up since so many have a high water content.
Now tell us: What’s your healthy snack go-to?
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Written on April 12, 2013 at 3:00 pm , by Colleen Moody
Now that I have finally jumped the hurdle of being an early morning runner, there are a number of reasons I lace up instead of hitting the snooze. Fun weekend plans. My brother’s wedding. My wedding. Wanting to PR in the Pittsburgh Marathon next month. The list goes on. And of course, there are dozens of reasons that inspire others that aren’t on my list. To figure out what motivates healthy lifestyles among its consumers, Tyson Foods on behalf of the Tyson® Grilled & Ready® product line surveyed over 2,000 participants all across the country and found out what really sparks the masses to eat healthier and work out harder. Below, some findings we found particularly interesting:
- Nearly everyone surveyed–94 percent–is looking to make a positive change related to his or her health this year. Of those, 79 percent want to eat healthy. (Get started with our new Healthy Snack Finder, to make mid-morning and afternoon munching satisfying, without being total calorie bombs.)
- When it comes to motivation, 79 percent say their health motivates them to live a healthy lifestyle while 58 percent want their clothes to fit better. Around 52 percent stay motivated for their family (aww!) and 28 percent do it for an upcoming social event.
- In terms of the most motivating tool, there’s no surprise here–social media! About 43 percent said they were more motivated to work out after seeing a friend post or tweet about having a great workout.
Some other fun facts: For those wishing a celebrity chef would pop up in their kitchen and help them cook, 1 out of 4 picked Emeril Lagasse. As for favorite trainer, Jillian Michaels is queen by both women (45 percent) and men (41 percent).
Now Tell Us: What motivates you to live a healthy lifestyle?
Written on April 12, 2013 at 10:45 am , by Colleen Moody
According to the Center for Disease Control, more than 440,000 Americans lose their lives every year to smoking related illnesses. On top of that, for one death, 20 more live with serious illnesses from smoking and 8 million Americans suffer from chronic diseases caused from smoking. With stats like these it’s not surprising that 70 percent of smokers say they want to quit.
This sparked the CDC to launch the first anti-smoking campaign funded by the U.S. government, Tips from Former Smokers. Due to the response and success of the campaign the CDC is launching a second phase this month, with more personal stories from smokers and how the habit has hurt their health, their family and their lives. We got the chance to chat with Dr. Tim McAfee, director of the CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health on how smoking affects more than just the person doing it, and how you can help a friend, family member or yourself quit for good.
This campaign if pretty graphic. What made the CDC decide to go this route?
This campaign is the first that the federal government has funded since the 50thAnniversary of the first Surgeon General’s report in 1964, although separate states have run campaigns consistently. We felt that we needed the ads to get a visual point across so we could be a counterweight to the tobacco industry’s promotion. They are spending $8.5 billion a year on promotion, so it’s a steep climb to compete with. This is not something you can do once and then it’s done with, people need to hear it and see it regularly to really register with them.
With this phase of the campaign we address several conditions linked to smoking, although there are so many more. We have a story about diabetes and smoking, as well as someone with COPD and someone who suffered serious lung damage from secondhand smoke exposure. The first time around we stuck to the impact of smoking on the smoker, this time we’re focusing on the impact on those around a smoker. Read more
Written on April 11, 2013 at 11:15 am , by Colleen Moody
We finally had our first glimpse of some warm weather this week in NYC and to celebrate, we did it with popsicles of course! To help kick off the launch of Fruttare Fruit Bars, Grammy-Award winning singer Ne-Yo and platinum-selling superstar Cher Lloyd are teaming to do a song collaboration–inspired by you!
To make it into the tune, all you have to do is log on to Twitter, Facebook or Instagram and share what keeps you looking on the positive side of things, with the hashtag #itsallgood. And let’s be honest–when the sun is out and you’re heading on your long awaited vacation, beach trip, a hot and sweaty outdoor workout or whatever else you’ve got planned, there’s not much that’s not good.
Ne-Yo, who admitted to thinking of himself as a “fake freelance photographer” with his Instagram photos and Cher Lloyd, who loves Twitter (follow her @CherLlyod!) to connect with her fans and catch up on the news, will round up your responses to work them into their tune. The duo will also sing it live at the iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas this September. Pretty sweet, right?
To see Ne-Yo and Cher Lloyd in the studio and to purchase their song, visit the Fruttare Facebook page.
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Written on April 8, 2013 at 3:45 pm , by Colleen Moody
The next time you get the itch for a sweet treat, cave in for a good cause. In honor of Parkinson’s Awareness Month (FYI: One American is diagnosed every nine minutes), Magnolia Bakery has teamed up with the Michael J. Fox Foundation on a limited-edition cupcake, available online and sold in stores throughout April. For $1.75, you can support the MJFF and Parkinson’s disease research for new treatments and ultimately–a cure.
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Written on March 12, 2013 at 9:00 am , by Colleen Moody
Megan Fox. Jennifer Hudson. Amanda Seyfried. Katy Perry. Those are just a few of the celebs trainer Harley Pasternak has whipped into A-list shape. Here at FITNESS, we’ve been getting a lot of Harley time lately (lucky us!). Not only is he the newest member of our advisory board, he recently treated us to an exclusive staff workout to talk about his latest collaboration with New Balance with the New Balance 5 Factor997 for cross-training and his latest book The Body Reset Diet, which helps you lose weight fast (we’re talking five days fast) in a healthy, non-cleansing or detoxing way. See what Harley had to say about his new program below (spoiler–it involves quitting the gym!) and find out why if you don’t already have one, you should go get yourself a blender ASAP!
What prompted you to create this new plan for The Body Reset Diet?
I finally understood the sense of urgency women have in wanting to see a difference in the way they look and feel. They don’t want it to take weeks, they want to see a change this week. It made me realize that I need to offer them a healthy option to quickly drop weight and transform their body. I wanted to talk them out of doing cleanses and using diuretics and show them that there is a healthy way you can lose weight and feel great.
In the book, you map out a three-phase plan to slim down that incorporates smoothies in each phase. What are some common myths you’ve heard in the past from your clients about smoothies?
People definitely don’t know the difference between blending and juicing. They think blending is for body builders and they are all just forms of protein shakes packed with calories that bulk you up. But that’s wrong. Believe it or not, a fresh cold pressed apple juice can have twice the calories of an entire blended meal and four times the sugar! Read more
Written on March 7, 2013 at 4:30 pm , by Colleen Moody
Have you ever walked into a Lindt store before? I had not, until this week when I went to go see actress Jennie Garth kick off the Lindt Gold Bunny Celebrity Auction to raise funds for Autism Speaks. Let me tell you, it is a deliciously terrifying place if you have a sweet tooth. The walls are covered with chocolate, not to mention the gold bunnies that basically spoke to you as soon as you walked in the door. (I swear one of them whispered to me that I could take all their chocolate ears and no one would care). But luckily, watching Garth sign her bunny and looking more in shape than ever was enough motivation to keep me from ransacking the walls. Below, Garth chats with us on her latest fitness routine, weight loss tricks and how she stays in shape.
What made you decide to get involved in the Lindt Gold Bunny Celebrity Auction this year?
I have three daughters and Easter is a big family time holiday for us. It’s also a valuable time to tell them about the importance of giving back, so partnering up with Lindt for this is just something I can really feel good about.
What’s your fitness routine like these days?
I’m really into hiking and jogging with my dog right now. I recently got a really big dog and he needs exercise all the time, so that is something that is new for me. I work out in a gym with a trainer two to three days a week on top of that. Read more
Written on March 5, 2013 at 2:27 pm , by Colleen Moody
Brr! It might be the first week of March, but it feels more like December. One way FITNESS editors stay motivated through the winter is to sign up for a spring race (or races, for that matter!). On top of beating our seasonal blues, a new campaign started by She’s the First, a not-for-profit that sponsors girls’ educations in developing nations has got us more fired up than ever.
From March 1 to June 30, sign up at shesthefirst.org/RunSTF and get placed on a virtual “Run the World” map and create an online fundraising page. Then, ask your friends and family to match your miles or minutes for your race (for example, $13.10 if you’re running the MORE/FITNESS Magazine Half-Marathon!). You can also connect to the She’s the First Trailblazers Facebook page, so you can cheer and be cheered on as you all train for your races and raise money for a good cause! Don’t want to go at it alone? Grab some friends and start a team, plus tweet your progress with the hashtag #RunSTF for some social support. Once you finish training for your marathon, half-marathon, or bevy of spring 5Ks, you’ll be able to check back at the site and see how much your training and charity efforts helped school-aged girls all around the world. Oh yeah, and your body will be beach-ready, too. That’s a win-win in our book!
More from FITNESS: Find a Race in Your Area to Sign Up For!
Written on March 1, 2013 at 1:57 pm , by Colleen Moody
Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney might have been less than impressed with her vault silver medal at the 2012 Olympic Games, but her attitude these days is straight gold. I got the chance to chat with Maroney as she helped launch TEN, a line of 10 calorie sodas from the Dr. Pepper Snapple Group on the lessons she learned in London, recovering from injury and what she thinks about teammate Aly Raisman’s Dancing with the Stars announcement.
I love that the tagline for the TEN campaign is “McKayla is finally impressed.” Are you so sick of hearing about and seeing your not impressed face all over the Internet?
I wouldn’t say I am sick of it, but it definitely comes up in every topic with every person I talk to. It’s great that now I can turn it into something positive, and be impressed with TEN. My favorite out of the line is the Sunkist TEN; I have always loved orange soda so now I can enjoy it without all the sugar.
What are some of the lessons you learned from your time in London at the 2012 Summer Olympics?
The first thing I learned was how to deal with the media. I came to the Games and I had no media experience and I didn’t know how to take it all with a grain of salt. All of us on the team had our media issues, Gabby with her hair and then my face – so we had to learn how to let it roll off our backs. At the beginning it was hard, because I was just a gymnast. I was never famous, I was used to being in the gym eight hours a day and I never had anyone judging me because of my face, they were judging me on my gymnastics! Now I handle life way better and I’m actually happy that it happened because nothing hurts my feelings anymore. And since I want to get into acting I have to be ready for a lot more of that kind of attention. Read more
Written on February 28, 2013 at 10:25 am , by Colleen Moody
Whether you’re an Equinox member or not, the gym just made finding a healthy spot to nosh at as easy as turning a page. That’s because they’ve teamed up with Zagat to create Zagat’s Dining Out. By Equinox. It’s a health-conscious Zagat guide highlighting restaurants located near the 58 Equinox locations in cities like New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami, Boston, Dallas and Washington, D.C. Stop by select Equinox shop locations and pick up your copy to start navigating the restaurants in your area.
The guide helps launch Equinox’s new nutrition philosophy, which consists of 12 pillars of healthy eating (you can read about them at q.equinox.com). We flipped through the book and quickly reached a verdict: We’ve got a lot of eating to do in 2013! And that’s just fine with us.
Zagat’s Dining Out. By Equinox. is available at 28 Equinox stores for $18.95.
More from FITNESS: Eat Out and Still Lose Weight