Written on September 23, 2013 at 4:16 pm , by FITNESS Intern
Written by Alena Hall, editorial intern
Jillian Michaels is at it again. The health and fitness expert, who’s known for her tough coaching on NBC’s The Biggest Loser, her toned body in her workout DVDs and inspiring outlook on life in her books, is taking on a new challenge. Tomorrow, Michaels’ first DietBet game launches, motivating participants all over the world to lose weight with the support of social media.
The Jillian Michaels DietBet will host a motivating community for anyone looking to improve their health. Each participant begins by placing $30 in the pot and submits a photo of themselves on their scales to DietBet’s referees (don’t worry, the pic is totally confidential). On Tuesday, September 24, the four-week countdown begins for each participant to lose 4 percent of their body weight. Everyone who completes the goal splits the pot evenly, pocketing some hard-earned cash. With 5,472+ players currently signed up, and the pot up to $164160, the game ought to be a fun one.
Using social media as a weight loss tool helps users compete with one another, and support and encourage one another’s goals simultaneously. Plus, each participant will receive nutrition advice, workout information and motivational tips from Michaels herself throughout the four weeks to help them succeed. “It’s the first of its kind, so not only is it one of a kind, it’s revolutionary,” says Michaels. “The concept makes weight loss fun, motivating and challenging! What could be cooler?” The financial incentive doesn’t hurt either.
Like with many of her other fitness projects, Michaels approaches this new challenge with loads of enthusiasm and little fear. “I just love being a part of something new. I don’t really have concerns,” says Michaels.” People bet $30 on themselves to succeed. If they lose 4 percent in 4 weeks, they get it all back and way more. The worst-case scenario is you spend 30 bucks to have me coach you to lose weight for a month. The best case is you lose the weight and make money doing it.”
Today is the last day to sign up for the Jillian Michaels’ DietBet. What are you waiting for?
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Written on September 23, 2013 at 10:34 am , by Colleen Moody
Not to be pessimistic, but when it comes to Americans, our glasses are half-empty these days–literally. According to the Center for Disease Control, an estimated 43 percent of adults drink less than four cups of water a day and 7 percent drink no water at all. That’s why earlier this month FLOTUS Michelle Obama launched her Drink Up initiative to get people drinking more water and less of the sugary stuff. To get some tips on how to increase your water intake we chatted with Dr. Jenna Bell, RD. Follow her tips below and follow in the FLOTUS’ adequately hydrated footsteps:
- Jazz it up: Not one to drink boring old tap water? Try a water enhancer like Stur, sweetened with stevia, so there’s no added calories or sugar. The coloring from each flavor comes from vegetable juice and you can control how much want in your glass with a simple squeeze.
- Do as Diane Sawyer does: “She puts a glass of water by her bed and drinks it every morning when she wakes up, so now I do too,” says Bell. “If you’re going to take advice from anyone, take it from her because it’s clearly working!”
- Carry a water bottle: This isn’t exactly breaking news, but it is the easiest way to keep drinking as the day goes on. Buy a reusable bottle like S’well, who is partnering with Drink Up with a limited edition bottle that gives 10 percent of proceeds back to the foundation.
- Start meals with water: “A study in 2010 out of Virginia Tech looked at whether or not drinking water before a meal effects what we eat and weight loss. They found that two glasses of water before a meal helped shed weight and made participants eat less because water fills up your stomach,” says Bell.
- Order water every time you order a beverage: Coffee? Get water. Wine? Get water. Not only will you stay hydrated, you’ll probably fend off a hangover in the process.
Now tell us: What tricks do you use to drink more water?
Written on September 19, 2013 at 5:08 pm , by Marla Horenbein
With the craziness of New York Fashion Week behind us, we have to admit, we’re feeling a bit overwhelmed. We saw Spring ’14 walk the runways while wearing our Summer ’13 wardrobe and prepping for Winter ’14 in the office. If you’re confused, just imagine how we feel! Our heads are spinning with thoughts of summer dresses and winter whites. But hey, it’s all about living in the present, right? So we’re taking a step back to enjoy this season’s top trends. And you can too, with a few of our tips on how to look your best this fall.
The Look: Slouchy Pants
To master this tricky trend, you want to make sure you have a balanced silhouette. Instead of hiding your trouble spots – too much fabric on top can actually make you look bigger than you really are – the key is to wear a form-fitting top to offset your billowy pants. Three pairs we’re crushing on: Elizabeth & James, Vince, and Robert Rodriguez
The Look: Military
Camo might be our favorite trend this season, and we’re totally digging structured military style jackets. In order to make it work though, you can’t go into military overload. Camo on camo? Too much. Stick to one standout piece and keep the rest of your look simple. Fatigues that we’re loving: J.Crew, Gap, Monrow
The Look: Grunge-Inspired Boots
This fall we’re channeling our inner ’90s girl and shopping for grunge-inspired boots. We like the idea of pairing such a rough-around-the-edges style with something a little unpredictable, so try a girly dress or skirt. Mixing-and-matching these styles gives you the edge you desire, while still keeping a little girly mystery. Styles we’re stocking up on: Ash Footwear, Lucky Brand, Matt Bernson
And if you haven’t seen our story on how to style jackets this fall, be sure to check that out here!
Written on September 18, 2013 at 2:35 pm , by Samantha Shelton
In our transition into fall, we tend to work out a little less and eat a little more. Why? It’s simple, really: we’re not spending every weekend at the beach, when the idea of flashing a bikini often motivates us to be on top of our sweat schedules. But if heading into a humid gym to log miles on the treadmill or elliptical sounds less than appealing, celeb trainer Harley Pasternak has one word for you: Don’t. When he trains clients like Julianne Hough, Rihanna and Katy Perry, he gives them all one piece of equipment, and has an easy trick to staying out of the gym. Watch the video to steal his no-gym secrets, and watch yourself shimmy right back into those skinny jeans.
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Written on September 17, 2013 at 4:34 pm , by FITNESS Intern
Written by Kristen Haney, editorial intern
While most of us are guilty of digging into a decadent dessert from time to time, these caloric bombs aren’t the best way to maintain a svelte waistline. But at a recent dinner hosted by Shutterfly at New York’s SD-26, celebrity chef Rocco DiSpirito gave an array of Italian favorites an image reboot, slashing calories, sugar and fat.
As we snapped away photos to create our own personalized recipe books with Shutterfly’s new Photo Story app, the host of the upcoming syndicated Now Eat This! TV show demonstrated how to make lightened up Italian eats. Our favorite was his insanely easy take on raspberry Italian ice. The dessert blends together in minutes and boasts a fifth of the calories you’d normally find in the icy treat. So next time you’re jonesing for a frozen treat, bust this healthy recipe out and consider your craving curbed.
Instant Italian Ice
- 6 packets Stevia
- ½ teaspoon xantham gum
- 2 tablespoons raw agave nectar
- 1 ½ tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon water
- 2 cups frozen unsweetened strawberries (do not thaw)
Mix the Stevia and xantham gum together in a small mixing bowl and set aside. Pour the agave nectar, lemon juice and water into a high-powered blender. Cover and blend until well combined.
Add the stevia and xantham mixture to the blender. Cover and blend on low until the mixture is well combined, about ten seconds. Add the still-frozen strawberries to the blender. Cover and blend on high while pushing the strawberries down into the blade with the wand, until the mixture is smooth but still frozen, about 5 to 10 seconds.
Spoon the strawberry ice into paper cups or chilled bowls and serve immediately. This ice will stay fresh and tasty, tightly covered, in the freezer up to a month. If it is too hard after freezing, simply temper in the refrigerator for 30 minutes before serving or put in the microwave on high for 5 to 10 seconds until just soft enough to scoop.
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Written on September 16, 2013 at 11:14 am , by Samantha Shelton
Is it just me, or does it feel like now that summer is over, it’s time for another tropical vacation? If you’re in the market for a getaway, I have a great suggestion: Aruba. While I love lounging on the beach as much as the next girl, there comes a point in my trip when I feel the urge to get up and go. So, if you’re like me and need a healthy mix of active adventure sprinkled with total relaxation, then the One Happy Island is perfect for you to explore. Allow me to explain:
Beaches. Aruba’s got ‘em and they’re beautiful. The crystal-clear water is extremely inviting, and the temperature is perfect for swimming, snorkeling or a good ole’ splash fight with friends. The sand is pure white, and with more than 10 locations, there’s plenty to choose from if one spot is a bit too crowded for your liking. One warning, though: It’s windy in Aruba (making the high temps super comfortable). So if you’re a girl who prefers sun-bathing to water-splashing, I’d recommend lounging by the pool.
Water sports. This is the place to try it all and really test your limits. If you’re a beginner, try snorkeling or stand up paddleboarding. If you want to feel the wind in your hair, give wind- or kite-surfing a whirl. I hopped on a catamaran tour with friends, where we explored three different locations, including a ship wreck! And you have to be sure to try a unique water activity I had never heard of before: Snuba. A cross between snorkeling and scuba diving, this is for those who don’t have their scuba certification but still want to explore the depths of the ocean. The difference: instead of strapping a tank to your back, it stays above water so you can swim freely. Perfect compromise, right?
Guy-friendly adventures. If you’re bringing a special man along, most of the time they do a good job of relaxing on the beach beside you while sipping ice-cold beverages (I recommend tasting an Aruba Ariba, the island’s famous tropical cocktail). But if they’re being honest, most would rather explore in a more, er, rugged way. Enter ATV riding. The landscape in Aruba has turquoise waters colliding against desert-like terrain, giving you those Instagram-worthy views (#nofilterneeded) and him an adrenaline rush as you cruise over sand dunes, past cacti and through the rocky cliffs of Arikok National Park. And if that’s not quite your speed, you can hike or hop on a horse – you’ll still slowly walk along the beach for more of a romantic vibe, but there are plenty of trails that take you through the same rugged terrain as an ATV. Join a tour of more experienced riders and you won’t soon forget the feeling of moving along at a full gallop with ocean views to your left and rocky mountains to your right.
Written on September 13, 2013 at 3:35 pm , by Marla Horenbein
Hut, hut, hike! From nailgating to tailgating, we think we’ve kicked football season off the right way. But we want to show you how to showcase your team spirit and still look super cute, without looking like you’ve raided your boyfriend’s closet. Leave that oversized, shapeless jersey at home, and show up to your Sunday Funday hotspot wearing your team’s colors in a more – dare we say – fashion-forward way.
After attending the Junk Food Vintage NFL fashion show, which was curated by Kristen Cavallari, (none of the pieces that walked the runway will be available for purchase, but we’re totally inspired by the cute jersey dresses, and leather sleeve crop tops!), and seeing this ad while watching the games last Sunday, we put together a little round up of what we’ll be sporting when we hit the stands to watch our teams kick butt this season.
- Pair a loose tank with a leather jacket and your fave worn-in jeans (cuffed at the bottom!) for a laid-back but edgy look. (Junkfood Touch Down tank, $30)
- Knot up a v-neck tee (that sort of resembles a jersey), and score some major points with your man as you rock his team’s colors at your next tailgate. (Nike Fan tee, $45)
- Show off those abs (you’ve worked hard for ‘em!) with a sporty crop top. For an unexpected look, style it with a flirty skirt like this one. (Victoria’s Secret Pink Cropped Athletic tee, $50)
- Layer a baseball-style sweater under a vest for those chilly SNF games! (Touch by Alyssa Milano Fan for Life sweater, $75)
- Are you a comfy-casual, watch-the-game-from-your-couch sort of girl? Throw on a cozy rugby shirt with your go-to leggings. Just because you’re at home doesn’t mean you have to look like you rolled out of bed! (NFL Shop Shabby Rugby tee, $36)
- For those days when your hair just won’t cooperate, a jazzy baseball cap will have you covered. (Victoria’s Secret Pink Sequin baseball hat, $40)
Written on September 13, 2013 at 10:15 am , by FITNESS Intern
Written by Gabriella Rello, editorial intern
With football season finally here, we can’t help but be pumped for tailgates. Can you blame us? Although we love to cheer on cute guys in tight pants, pre-game fun with our pals is what makes football season worth waiting for. Throw in some good food and drinks and we’re counting down the days until the next kickoff! As we gear up for fan festivities, it’s clear game day prep isn’t just for our favorite teams. While the stands aren’t quite as dangerous as the field, common activities like loading up coolers and sprinting to seats leave fans with fears of being sidelined. Gold’s Gym and celebrity trainer Mike Ryan teamed up, giving us four moves to tackle pre-game injuries.
Prevent Pre-Game Back Strain: Standing Arm and Preacher Curls
Cooler-carrying duties can take a toll on your back, so pump up your arm routine to relieve some of that pressure. Add three sets of seated dumbbell tricep extensions, suggests Ryan, for 12 reps. After each set, jump into a superset of 15-18 reps or seated dumbbell curls, using a weight that’s lighter than your extensions, but still challenging.
Tackle Forearm Flipping Fatigue: Dumbbell Reverse Wrist Curls
Grilling seems like an easy tailgate task until the forearm ache sets in. Prep your wrists for endless burger and hot dog flipping with dumbbell reverse wrist curls. With an overhand grip on the dumbbell, lean forward resting your forearm at a 90-degree angle on a bench. Then lower the weight down and bring it back up, flexing your wrist throughout the process. At least three sets of 12-15 reps on each side will keep you in chef shape, says Ryan.
Avoid Second Hamstring Pulls: Lying Leg Curls
Top-notch football tickets are hard to come by. Do your wallet and legs a favor by opting for the nosebleed section. While climbing endless stairs may leave your muscles in need of a “Hail Mary,” pre-game hammy strengtheners like lying leg curls will make it a possible feat. Adding four sets of 12 reps will build muscles ready to scale the stadium.
Skip Stadium Sprint Splints: Straight Knee Calf Wall Stretch
Whether you’re late for kick-off or trying to beat the post-game parking lot rush, running at full speed can lead to painful shin splints. To avoid an embarrassing injury, Ryan suggests setting aside 5-10 minutes a few times a week to stretch out your calves with straight knee calf wall stretch. Aim for three or four sets, holding for 15-30 seconds per side.
More from FITNESS:
- The FITNESS Guide to Healthy Tailgating
- Star Chef Aaron Sanchez Amps Up Your Football Snacks
- Waistline-Approved Super Bowl Recipes
Written on September 12, 2013 at 10:46 am , by FITNESS Intern
Written by Kristen Haney, editorial intern
It only takes six seconds before a bobsled pilot is singlehandedly in charge of steering a 400-pound sled as it plummets down an icy one-mile track, whipping around a labyrinth of turns at upwards of 75 mph. No pressure, right? Not for Jazmine Fenlator, who’s used to steering herself and others through tough situations.
The USA bobsled driver and Olympic hopeful has triumphed over her fair share of struggles both on and off the track. Despite serious family health problems, personal injury and the loss of her home to Hurricane Irene, the New Jersey native has kept her sights focused on the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, finishing right behind the reigning Olympic gold medalist at the 2012 Lake Placid World Cup with new partner Lolo Jones. Oh, did we mention she also juggles her training with studying for grad school? We caught up with the resilient athlete, ranked second in the U.S. and eighth in the world, to discover her pre-race rituals, hidden childhood passions and how she continues to bounce back from personal setbacks.
We’d love to know what you’re training for right now. It sounds like the Olympics, hopefully soon?
I’m hoping to vie for a medal in Sochi, so that’s less than six months away. It’s pretty exciting. Right now I’ve just been going back and forth between Calgary, Canada and the U.S. Calgary has an indoor ice facility and the U.S. doesn’t, so to simulate our sport as much as possible, we’ll go up there in the off season. We also do a lot of dry land training in the off-season, when we’re off-ice, running, lifting, sprinting. All that good stuff.
You come from a track and field background. How did you get into bobsled?
I was a track and field athlete in college at Rider University, and was looking to train for London. Some good friends of my coach, who were also coaching our rivals, kind of mentioned that they did bobsled after their careers, and asked what I wanted to do. And he was looking at them like, “Bobsled? What are you talking about? She wants to do track, but I’ll mention it to her.” At that time I was qualifying for NCAA’s and I was pretty focused on one goal at a time, so he submitted my athletic resume for me. They ended up contacting me and asking me to try out, so I tried out in the fall of 2007 and haven’t left. I fell in love with the sport and pursued that path instead.
What have been the highlights of your career so far?
What’s pretty awesome is Lolo Jones came out for our team last year, as well as Tianna Madison, and now we have Lauryn Williams. I’ve been a huge fan of Lolo and for her to be my direct teammate and friend throughout this past year has been super awesome and not anything I ever expected. I’ve learned a lot from her. She’s extremely humble in our sport and just soaks up information. She has a lot of experience she brings to the table as well. Last year was my second season on the World Cup. Lolo’s my brakeman and she was only in the sport for two and half weeks when we came away with a silver medal.
How do you prepare for a really big race or event?
At a competition I have to have music. It’s something that just helps fuel me. I always have to rock out to Bob [Marley]. It’s in my roots. My dad’s Jamaican. Some rituals: I like to wear all black under my suit. For me, black is like a warrior—in the zone, ready for battle. But I also like some subtle swag, so I’m an accessories kind of chick. I have a lime green watch and I paint my nails gold and lime green—gold for victory, lime green for my bobsled color.
What was it like with Lolo being so new?
You get to choose who you race with: brakemen have driver choice and drivers have brakemen choice, so it’s kind of like a prom. You’re like, “Hey, do you possibly want to race with me?” Brakemen have that first six seconds, and usually it’s less than that, at the top of the hill to show what they’ve got athletically, and then it’s up to the pilot to maintain it. When I raced with Lolo in team trials, I was super impressed. I’ve seen her compete in hurdles and be super resilient—she’s been knocked down, suffered from injury, and gets back up. At the line, we had that bond right away.
Written on September 12, 2013 at 10:35 am , by FITNESS Intern
Written by Alena Hall, editorial intern
Miss Kansas, Sgt. Theresa Vail, will undoubtedly leave a lasting impression on the Miss America Pageant this year. From body art to boyish hobbies, she is breaking multiple glamour girl stereotypes and empowering women across the country to be beautiful by simply being themselves.
The 22-year-old senior at Kansas State University joined the Kansas City National Guard soon after she turned 17, and she plans on returning for an additional six years after completing her Chinese and chemistry double major. Vail may be the second contestant in the military to compete for the crown, but she was the first woman to reveal two taboo tattoos—the insignia for the U.S. Army Dental Corps on her left shoulder and the Serenity Prayer on her ride side— during the swimsuit competition of the Miss America preliminaries on Tuesday, Sept. 10.
During a People interview, Vail said, “My whole platform is empowering women to overcome stereotypes and break barriers. What a hypocrite I would be if I covered my ink. How can I tell other women to be fearless and true to themselves if I can’t do the same? I am who I am, tattoos and all.”
Bold ink aside, this hardcore heroine is also an expert M16 marksman, bow hunter, sky diver and mechanic. While her opera singing talent helped win her the Miss Kansas title, she originally had her heart set on archery before she found out “projectile objects” were prohibited in the talent portion of the competition.
This soldier may make for an unconventional beauty queen, but she definitely proves just how stunning a strong woman can be. And for that, we wish her the best of luck this Sunday.
Now You Tell Us: What are your thoughts on Vail competing for the Miss America title (and her body art!)?