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Weight Loss

13 Ways to Eat Healthier in 2013

Written on January 15, 2013 at 1:41 pm , by

Veggies with hummus is an ideal snack, according to Skolnik. (Photo by Mike Dieter)

We’re about halfway through January. How’s your healthy eating resolution holding up? We spoke with sports nutritionist Heidi Skolnik, who’s worked with the New York Knicks, Olympians and dancers at the School of American Ballet, among others, to snag 13 easy upgrades to make our diets more well-rounded all year long.

  1. Be flexible. “It’s easy to add nutrition to a meal with frozen vegetables, which are a great stand-in for fresh when certain items aren’t in season,” Skolnik says.
  2. Go with the trends. Ginger is the flavor of the moment, she says, and grating some of the root into your dish can add a lot of flavor for minimal calories. Try it (and some frozen veggies!) in our Sesame-Tofu Stir-Fry.
  3. But stick with what’s tried and true.Greens have been, and always will be, a healthy choice. Kale, of course, is one of my favorites right now!” Skolnik says.
  4. Warm up to comfort food. Cold-weather meals don’t have to weigh you down. Instead of filling up on gooey casseroles (think macaroni and cheese), “try soups and stews,” she explains. “They can be satisfying and nutritious if you fill them with the right ingredients.”
  5. Time it right. What you eat and when you eat are both important. “It’s really bad for body composition, cholesterol and blood sugar to skip breakfast,” Skolnik says.
  6. Snack before you sweat. If you’re working out right after you roll out of bed and don’t want a full meal yet, grab as little as a 60- to 100-calorie snack to give you energy (15-25 grams of carbohydrate). A serving of whole-wheat pretzels will do the trick.
  7. Better your breakfast. Since skipping is not allowed, you might as well get the most out of the first meal of the day! Skolnik’s top picks: eggs, whole grain toast and 100% Florida Orange juice; or use the OJ to make a delicious breakfast smoothie and pair with a Greek yogurt sprinkled with some nuts. A peanut butter and banana sandwich with a glass of milk also works! Click for one of Skolnik’s favorite smoothies.
  8. Find balance.“If you use starch as your entree, serve protein elsewhere in your meal,” Skolnik suggests. For example, if pasta is your main, start with chicken satay or shrimp cocktail. If you begin your meal starch heavy (garlic bread, anyone?) stick with protein and vegetables for your entrée (sea bass with a mango salsa and sautéed spinach). Try pairing a baked sweet potato with grilled lean beef or whole-wheat pasta with grilled chicken. Read more

The Scoop on Jane Fonda’s Latest Workout DVD and Her Stay-Fit Secrets

Written on December 13, 2012 at 1:54 pm , by

Fonda is proof that fitness has no age limits. (Photo courtesy of Lionsgate Entertainment)

Written by Jennifer Fiorentino, editorial intern

When Jane Fonda released her debut exercise video in 1982, Jane Fonda’s Workout, it became its own genre, leading her to create 20 additional fitness videos and selling over 17 million copies combined, more than any other workout series. Now at 74, she’s looking great and feeling better than ever with her latest DVD Jane Fonda’s AM/PM Yoga for Beginners, which breaks up yoga into a rejuvenating morning session and an unwinding evening one.

We got the chance to chat with Fonda, who is one of our fitness icons about her latest workout routine and how she’s staying in shape these days.
What made you decide to create this new routine?
I started my new brand Prime Time three years ago aimed it at the baby boomer generation and older. I realized that there was a hole the series and yoga was that missing link.

Describe this new workout in one sentence.
It is yoga that has been marinating in Pilates. But it’s not pure yoga; I didn’t want it to be intimidating. Read more

Hot Topic Tuesday: Does Your Dog Need A Gym?

Written on December 4, 2012 at 6:14 pm , by

Are sneakers and a leash enough to bring your pet’s fitness back up to buff?

Written by Deanna Cioppa, editorial intern

We know health is important to you, but is there someone else who could use a couple rounds on the treadmill or yoga mat? Someone who has four feet and is furry, perhaps? And would you spend as much (or more) on your pet’s workout as your own?

CNN recently reported on a new “retreat” in Florida that helps transform your pudgy pup back into the sleek BFF (Best Fit Friend) you first brought into a loving home. Opened in 2011 by certified canine massage therapists, Rocky’s Retreat Canine Health and Fitness Center in Orlando has a variety of services to bring your dog’s fitness level up to snuff, including Aqua Therapy and a 12-week weight loss program. The appointments, however, come with a hefty price tag – the 12-week service starts at nearly $500 under special introductory pricing.

Rocky’s isn’t the only center helping pups break a sweat, either. Pet fitness centers have popped up across the country, and manufacturers have begun marketing at-home equipment. A quick search on Amazon brings up a variety of at-home doggy treadmills with prices starting between $400 and $500. That’s a lot more than a running leash and a pair of sneakers.

Now, we all love our pets and want them to live long, healthy lives. In October, though, Reuters reported a troubling statistic: Approximately 53 percent of adult dogs are obese in this country. So the question isn’t about how much we love our furry friends, but how much are we willing to spend to get their weight down? And is an expensive regimen at a pet spa worth the time and money?

Now you tell us: Would you put your pet on a diet or take them to a retreat if your vet recommended they lose weight? If you aren’t willing to cough up the dough, but still want to get your pet back on the right, er, paw,  check out our guide to running with your dog!

Hot Topic Tuesday: Would You Drink A Fat-Blocking Soda?

Written on November 13, 2012 at 2:00 pm , by

Soda to aid fat loss? We’re not so sure. (Photo by Jack Miskell)

When it’s time to slim down and ditch unnecessary calories, one of the first things to go is soda. After all, nixing the sugary beverage can help you drop pounds and lower your diabetes risk. Turns out the cola industry is trying harder to stay on your healthy-living radar, though. Hitting shelves today in Japan is Pepsi Special, a new drink that contains dextrin, a fiber that reportedly contributes to fat loss.

We were curious what our Twitter followers would think of the new drink, and whether or not they would guzzle it down if it ever makes its way to the States. Here’s what you have to say:

@LynetteNicole07: Never been into any “help” and haven’t had soda in years. No need to have it now!

@FITNESSlauren: I’m skeptical…something seems fishy about soda and weight loss! I think I’ll stick to my seltzer with lemon.

@fitterafter50: Confessions from a carbonation addict: Maybe. I just need to kick the habit!

@LockLaces: This might be unpopular, but YES! I have a secret addiction and have to keep it out of the house at all times.

@NicolettaOnline: Are you kidding me?! No! It does too many other bad things to the body!

@KGGarner: Absolutely not! I’d rather eat REAL food that would help me lose fat!

Now you tell us: would you drink soda if it helped lower fat levels?

Fit Blogger We Love: It All Changes

Written on October 25, 2012 at 2:42 pm , by

We couldn’t agree more with Cynthia’s headband.

Change is  a big part of life, whether or not we like it, don’t you think? Sometimes, though, change can be a great thing. That’s what Cynthia decided back in 2006, when she decided that life at over 270 pounds was unacceptable and she deserved to be happy. So she made little changes and day by day, she dropped the weight. In fact, she’s lost 115 pounds and now lives a happy, healthy life! Sure, there are still every day struggles, but Cynthia openly blogs about them on It All Changes. And that’s why we love her -  without the struggles, there wouldn’t be triumph! Keep reading to found out more about her successes and why we love cheering her on.

My biggest indulgence: An allergy-free treat from Sweet Freedom Bakery in Philadelphia. My mom lives near there and it’s one place I know I can get a dessert and not worry about my allergies.

Most embarrassing song I’ll admit I work out to: I have a lot of 80′s music that I work out to. The most embarrassing is “Get Down On It,” by Kool and the Gang. I always rock out to it when I’m doing squats and lunges.

My “I Did It” moment: Running a 5K after major back surgery. My doctors said I probably wouldn’t be able to do it, but I worked hard in physical therapy and was given the OK to go for it. I ran even better than I did in my first 5K!

Olympic sport I’d love to try: Skeleton. It combines my love for insanity by jumping head first down an ice course, and I’d need to work my core to steer and prevent a crash. Sounds like a thrill, plus you get a fun helmet.

My fitness mantra: “You can either throw in the towel, or use it to wipe the sweat off your face.” A friend told me this several years back and it has kept me moving and working through many ups and downs.

Do you have a favorite fit blogger you want us to highlight? Leave us a comment below or email blog@fitnessmagazine.com

Fit Links: Rainy Day Workouts and Healthy Sweet Potato Recipes

Written on October 19, 2012 at 12:32 pm , by

Sweet Potato and Apple Casserole, anyone? (Photo by Evan Sklar)

This week’s fit links from around the web:

Fit Blogger We Love: Amy’s Quest

Written on October 11, 2012 at 9:43 am , by

Amy loves a quick fit snack, but doesn’t shy away from wings after a baseball game. Moderation at its finest!

When we hop over to Amy’s Quest, one word comes to mind: real. Amy has maintained a 100-pound weight loss for nearly seven years, but that doesn’t mean every day is full of sunshine and butterflies. And she never tries to make us believe it’s always easy, which is what we love about her. Some posts may be short and loaded with emotional impact; others might be fun and full of zest and energy, giving us the boost we needed to lace up our sneaks for a quick run or clip in our shoes for a Spin class. Either way, popping over to her blog isn’t a bad idea if you’re in need of some inspiration from someone who’s gone through a major lifestyle change. We thought she seemed friendly enough, so we reached out to hear a bit more about the blogger behind the screen. Here’s what she had to say:

My favorite way to work out: Spinning! Ever since I strained my shoulder in a bike accident last summer, I’ve decided to keep things safe and bike indoors instead. I love the intensity!

Most embarrassing song I’ll admit I work out to: I have a pretty eclectic mix of music on my workout playlists, but one song that always makes me smile is “Night Moves,” by Bob Seger.

My fitness mantra: You are stronger than you think.

My fave fit snack: Turkey breast and Laughing Cow cheese wrapped around pickled asparagus spears.

My biggest indulgence: After a night of playing baseball, the thing I look forward to most is post-game chicken wings with the team.

Do you have a favorite fit blogger you want us to highlight? Leave a comment below or email blog@fitnessmagazine.com

Hot Topic Tuesday: How Can We Slow Down the Obesity Epidemic?

Written on September 18, 2012 at 1:48 pm , by

Some bad news for our scales. (Photo by Denise Crew)

By Deanna Cioppa, editorial intern

Today, two organizations that campaign against the obesity epidemic in America have released statistics that point to a dark and unhealthy future. According to the Associated Press, this new report predicts that by 2030, the obesity (not just overweight) rate in 39 states will be over 50 percent. Let that sink in.  The two organizations, Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation used data collected by the CDC and other governmental sources and examined trends to make these predictions.

What’s even more stunning is that the obesity rate in the other 11 states and the capitol will be just under 50 percent, with Colorado coming in as the lightest state at 45 percent, and Washington, D.C. coming in at a cool 33 percent by 2030. Mississippi tops the list with a 67 percent obesity rate by 2030. According to the report by Trust for America’s Health, the national cost of treating the diseases stemming from this level of obesity will be a staggering $66 billion per year.

One-third of Americans are currently obese, and the CDC predicts that as a nation, a full 42 percent of Americans will be obese by 2030. The question is how can Americans turn the tide on this catastrophic number?

Now you tell us: What do you think is the most important factor in slowing America’s rising obesity rates?

4 Quick Fixes to Tame Emotional Eating

Written on September 18, 2012 at 10:02 am , by

Stressed? Put down the pint and call a pal. (Photo by Stephanie Russer)

Even health pros struggle with making smart diet choices all the time. FITNESS advisory board member Pam Peeke, MD, admits that she “turned to food for comfort” after a family illness when she was a teen. “Bridge Mix was my ‘crack’ and seemed to numb my pain,” she says.

Peeke learned to avoid her trigger foods, and says that we can all learn to bypass temptation or emotional eating by doing the same. According to Peeke, it’s sometimes necessary to “reclaim your hijacked reward system in your brain” to conquer this issue (for example, going for a walk rather than scooping up a bowl of ice cream when you are stressing out about your upcoming performance review).

Easier said than done, though. So we asked Peeke to share tips from her new book The Hunger Fix, on sale today, for some examples of how to overcome life’s most stressful situations and still be able to slide into our skinny jeans afterward.

Struggling with a work deadline…

  • False fix: Staying up too late, using caffeine as a crutch, stress eating
  • Healthy fix: Eating nutritious foods every three to four hours, sipping green tea, standing up every 30 minutes to stretch

Read more

Hot Topic Tuesday: Too Heavy for Treatment?

Written on August 28, 2012 at 5:16 pm , by

Is this doc giving the right Rx?

We might need to step on our scales before setting up the next doctor’s visit. A Massachusetts primary care physician has implemented a policy of refusing patients who are over 200 pounds, citing concern for her employees. Dr.  Helen Carter of Shrewsbury, MA says that she decided to stop seeing overweight patients after her staff suffered injuries trying to accommodate people over 250 pounds. We didn’t think this was legal, but according to the American Medical Association’s Council on Ethics and Judicial Affairs, doctors have the freedom to determine what kind of patient-physician relationships to pursue, as this WCVB.com story points out. One of her former patients, Ida Davidson, who was turned away because of her weight, thinks this policy is just the doctor’s way of avoiding “too much work.”

Tell us: Whose side are you on? Do you think Dr. Carter is being fair or discriminatory?