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POPSUGAR Fitness inspires readers to live a healthy, balanced lifestyle with news and tips on exercise, eating, gear, and more!

Published: Sat, 23 Sep 2017 06:23:23 -0700

Copyright: Copyright 1976-2017 POPSUGAR Inc. All rights reserved.

20 Minutes and Done! Full-Body HIIT Workout

Sat, 23 Sep 2017 05:55:35 -0700


This high-intensity workout is anything but boring - time flies by as you jump, twist, and lift. Celebrity trainer and Barry's Bootcamp instructor Astrid Swan McGuire created a 20-minute scorch session that works every muscle in your body. You will have tons of fun while blasting calories with this workout. All you need is a light set of weights. Press play and get ready to work!

Media Files:

Forget Smoothies: 5 New Ways You Can Use Your Protein Powder

Sat, 23 Sep 2017 05:45:03 -0700

If you're anything like me, the only time protein powder comes in handy is when you're making a smoothie. Although this is the most reliable way to get the most out of your protein powder, you're not unleashing its full power unless you're utilizing it in other ways in the kitchen. Protein is one of the most important parts of our diet, especially if we're trying to lose weight, and our fitness level suffers if we're not getting enough of it on a daily basis. With these unique ways to use the protein powder that's sitting in your cupboard, you'll never be deficient of protein again. Related9 Protein Powders That Actually Taste Good Sprinkle Some Into Your Oatmeal Breakfast is the meal where it's easiest to reap the benefits of protein powder. Rather than simply mixing it in almond milk or tossing it in a smoothie, try dusting some on your oatmeal instead. It adds a boost of flavor and gives you a jolt of energy at the start of your day. Plus, it will keep you fuller for longer. Here are a few recipes to play with: High-protein oatmeal High-protein overnight oats Blueberry banana protein-packed baked oatmeal Bake With It You've probably heard this tip before, since there are so many different baking recipes that include protein powder. You can put it in cupcakes, breads, brownies, etc. The possibilities are endless. Try these recipes, and use whatever protein powder you like best: Gluten-free protein mini muffins Vegan banana almond bread with protein Protein lava cake Gluten-free almond oatmeal protein bars RelatedHere's What Your Dinner Should Look Like After a Sweat Session Mix It Into Your Coffee or Hot Chocolate Just like you would make a Bulletproof coffee with MCT oil or ghee, you can take your morning beverage to the next level by blending coffee with protein powder. In fact, if you're into Bulletproof coffee, you can stick to your normal routine and simply add protein powder into the mix. It's an easy way to add some flavor and variety to your coffee, while also getting all the nutrients you need. Cook Savory Dishes With It It sounds weird at first, but there are quite a few dishes you can make with protein powder, as long as it's not a really sweet or chocolaty flavor. For example, if you're making a quiche, put in half a scoop of pea protein to give your dinner an extra boost of nutrients. Homemade veggie burger patties are another great place to toss in some extra protein. Also consider adding a small amount to your soups or curries. RelatedThis Is How to Eat Enough Protein on a Vegetarian Diet Make Protein Ice Cream or Popsicles Give your nice cream an upgrade by putting a scoop of protein powder into your mixing bowl. You can also take your favorite popsicle recipe and throw in some protein, or try these strawberry-banana recovery popsicles. Play around with different flavors and see which combination you like best. Have fun with it! [...]

This AcroYoga Trick Is Pretty Impressive, but the Real Show Is Behind Them

Sat, 23 Sep 2017 05:25:03 -0700


Watch the dude in the background...

These two ladies practicing some AcroYoga thought it would be fun to set up a camera to videotape their upside-down tricks. From a backbend to a headstand, we're pretty wowed by their strength and balance, but wait - what's that guy doing in the background?! Against a tree?! Um whaaaat? He's like, "Yeah, you girls are pretty cool with your AcroYoga, but can you do THIS?!" Uh, no. No, we cannot.

If you're itching to try some yoga with a friend and you're just starting out, check out these basic partner yoga poses for some inspiration. Need more of a challenge? Give these amazing partner poses a try.

The Secret Behind Getting the Best Results at the Gym

Sat, 23 Sep 2017 05:00:39 -0700

There are as many tips for making your workout better as there are opinions in the world. We get it. It's hard to really know which advice you should follow, especially since so much of it can be questionable at best. Let's look past the gurus and experts who don't seem to have any reasonable credentials to have earned those titles and get down to science of workout performance. When it comes to improving the results you see in the gym, diet plays a huge role - specifically, consuming protein prior to a workout. Sure, it doesn't sound earth shattering, but the results you'll see will make you a believer in a flash! Why You Need Protein Before You Work Out We really can't say this any clearer: protein is an essential element for so many of the body's functions, especially the ones associated with burning fat and building toned muscles. According to Kate Shanley, holistic health coach at Vibrant Health, "Protein is found in every cell in your body, including your hair, nails, and muscles, and it is responsible for enzyme and hormone production, digestive processes, and even immunities!" What does this mean for you, the woman who wants to get more out of her workout? Simple: in order to have the best results and see your body perform and recover in an optimal manner, you just have to fuel up with protein at least 30 minutes before you train. Why? It's going to fuel your muscles and prime them for change! Change means less fat and more muscle! We figured that would get your attention. According to Bardia Rahim, founder of NutraLeaf, "Without pre-workout protein consumption, your body would literally begin to break down its muscle fibers to release proteins for use, resulting in muscle loss." That means your body would be eating up your muscles instead of adding to them! That's the opposite of what you want from your workout. RelatedThis Might Be the Reason You're Not Losing Weight What Protein Should You Use? The easy answer is whey protein! Studies have shown that consuming whey protein before you work out will increase your resting energy expenditure by almost 10 percent for up to two days after you train. That means you'll be burning fat long after your session if you have whey before you train, and fat will be melting off of your middle at the same time! You won't get the same results reaching for simple carbs or working out on an empty stomach. Not convinced? How about the fact that whey protein curbs the stress hormone cortisol? Less fat, more muscle, and less stress? Sounds like a win, win, win! How Much Should You Eat? The answer to this always seems like you have to be some kind of wizard to know for sure. The fact is that there are some very simple rules to follow. While the CDC advises that women should have a minimum of 46 grams of protein every day, women who are looking to lose weight or add toned muscle need more than that. According to certified personal trainer Terry Asher, founder of GymJunkies, women should "gave a shake with about 15 grams of whey for the best protein benefits before training." Asher went on to say that women should also "aim to have another 15 grams after training to help the body repair and rebuild." If you follow this approach and couple it with your efforts in the gym, you'll see results faster and be way ahead of almost anyone else in your gym! You can thank us later. [...]

The 300-Calorie-Burning Walking-Jogging Workout

Sat, 23 Sep 2017 04:30:29 -0700


If you're just starting a workout routine, doing gazelle-being-chased-by-a-lion sprinting intervals will be just as painful as they sound. Ease into it by doing a brisk walking workout that includes short and slow jogging intervals. This lower-impact workout is not only great if you're a beginner, but those expecting or getting over an injury - or even runners who want to take it easy one day a week - will also love this plan.


This 60-minute workout alternates between walking briskly and jogging slowly, and you'll burn just over 300 calories.


Total calories burned: 306

Calculations are based on a 130-pound woman
*RPE = Rate of Perceived Exertion

Click here for a photo-free printable version of this workout to take to the gym. If this workout is too easy or too hard, just adjust the speed to fit your level. If you prefer running outside, then use the RPE column to determine how fast you should be going.

77 Snacks to Satisfy Hunger, All Under 150 Calories

Sat, 23 Sep 2017 04:20:10 -0700


There's so much more to snacking than cheese and crackers! Here are 77 different mouthwatering, hunger-curbing snacks to enjoy every day of the month (and then some!) - all at 150 calories or fewer.

Workouts That Give Me Everything Running Promised (but Didn't)

Sat, 23 Sep 2017 04:20:04 -0700

There's so much to love about running - in theory, at least. It's a workout that I've always romanticized in my mind: it's just you and the road - no judgment or competition - and let's not forget that runner's high that can solve anything. RelatedI Broke Up With Running and My Fitness Life Is So Much Better Sadly, my running reality is the exact opposite. In all the miles I logged chasing a runner's high, it never arrived. NOT. ONCE. Three half-marathons under my belt and not once was I left feeling like a gazelle or empowered. Instead I felt defeated and questioned what was wrong with me, why was running always so hard. All of my friends loved running, so why didn't I? It took many miles, injuries, and trips to a sports doctor to let go of the idea that running was the benchmark of fitness success. It took a few years for me to get here - and maybe a breakdown during one pitiful training run - but I'm finally OK telling myself that I am not a runner, and that's OK. Fitness is a personal journey - personal being key. There is no right or wrong way; there's only your way. Once I fully embraced this idea and hung up my running shoes for good, my life changed for the better. Along the way, I was also happy to find that all the things I craved from running were there waiting to be discovered, just not on the track. The Runner's High: Dance Cardio If you ever told me that dance would be my thing, I probably would have laughed. I've never been great with choreography, and I let fear hold me back from attending a dance class. On a brave day, I allowed my friends to drag me to Hipline for my first-ever dance-cardio class. I was nervous, inside my head, and made a beeline to the back of the room - but I am so glad I went. That first class and every class since has been one big ball of happiness. Instead of judgement and fear, I found pure, unabashed joy - and one hell of a workout. Here I am, finally experiencing the "runner's high" described to me by so many friends, except at a dance class! I find myself lost in the movement and the music and have a permanent smile on my face the entire time. While Hipline is my absolute favorite, I've found the same feeling of euphoria at other studios like Zumba, AKT, and 305 Fitness. Intense Cardio: Indoor Cycling Even if my heel was sometimes left throbbing, I always appreciated the type of workout I got from an intense running session. There is no denying that hill sprints, speed play, and running intervals get the heart rate up in a major way. You know what else does? Indoor cycling. Whether I'm at Spin, SoulCycle, or Flywheel, I know I'm in for an intense workout that will having me climbing hills and maxing out - just like I did when I ran, except this time I'm enjoying the entire process from start to finish. Buns of Steel: Rowing Like so many others, I walked by the rowing machine in my gym without giving it a second thought. Then I took a class at CityRow and realized what a fool I'd been. Rowing is the definition of a total-body workout; it works all the muscles of your lower body (plus your core and your arms!) while keeping the heart rate up. Unlike running, it's much easier on the joints, which is exactly what my beat-up body needed. Becoming Zen With Nature: Backpacking One of the things I liked most about running was getting outside. Studio workouts definitely have their place, but being outside on a sunny day can't be beat, especially when a run ended up somewhere beautful like a coastal trail. I've always been big into hiking, but in the last couple of years, I've been doing a lot of backpacking. Being out in the middle of nowhere for days on end may sound terrifying, but it's led to some of the most beautiful backdrops I've ever experienced. From a black sand beach in Hawaii only accessible to backpackers to the ever-changing scenery of the John Muir Trail, backcountry hiking has given me a glimpse of nat[...]

Heading to the NYC Marathon? Here's the Only Travel Guide You Need

Sat, 23 Sep 2017 04:15:12 -0700

Every year around this time, I start plotting my trip out to New York City to cover the marathon. In my first few years going out there, anything outside of my work schedule seemed to involve drinks, late-night shows, and decadent restaurant eats. It's a lot different these days. The only way I can stay healthy and sane during my annual trip is by throwing in a nice dose of workouts and healthy eats. And that's what's great about NYC: for every cocktail bar pushing its latest artisanal concoction, there's a new boutique fitness studio opening down the block. If you're heading there for the marathon or just have a trip in the works, let this be your guide on moderation while there. Travel Logistics Who to fly: When it comes to flying to NYC, JetBlue is hard to beat. Its headquartered in New York, so it's no surprise that there are a lot of flights coming in and out of the area from the airline. JetBlue has flights to and from all major airports (JFK, Newark, and LaGuardia) around NYC, with service between the NYC area and almost 100 US cities and close to 200 flights each day. Besides the sheer number of flights, passengers will appreciate that JetBlue has the most legroom in coach out of any airline, as well as free snack stations located throughout the plane. Runners: carbo load to your heart's desire! And because running the NYC Marathon is no easy feat, treat yourself on the way home to JetBlue's Mint Class. It's the most affordable first-class option that you'll ever come across and has flat-lie beds, allowing you to lie back and take care of that body that just ran 26.2 miles. Where to stay: There are a lot of great hotels in New York, but when it comes to marathon weekend, I am partial to Kimpton's Ink48. It's a short walk to the Marathon Expo at the Javits Center, and the hotel has free bike rentals, which will help keep your feet fresh for the race. During marathon weekend, there's lots of fitness-oriented amenities for guests to partake in: iPod Shuffles preloaded with playlists for your run, gluten-, nut-, and dairy-free snacks for your minibar, and running guides who will take you through sightseeing tours. Perhaps what I love most about the Ink48 is its location; since it's on the west side of the city and just below the park, getting back from the marathon finish line is much easier compared to staying in other areas of Manhattan. RelatedWork Out Like a Local: San Francisco Edition Where to Work Out The sheer amount of workout studios in NYC is overwhelming. Because of this, I try to focus on trying new studios that don't have locations outside of NYC. If you don't come from a city with a lot of studios, definitely hit up these classic workouts who have their roots in New York: SoulCycle, Barry's Bootcamp, and Flywheel Sports. If those have been checked off of your list, make sure to give one - or all - of these a try. 305 Fitness: My all-time favorite workout in the city is by far 305 Fitness; I never visit without doing one of its infectious dance-cardio classes. A mix of pick-up dance cardio, high-intensity intervals, and strength training, 305 trumps other dance workouts because of its fun, party-like environment. The soundtrack is provided by live DJs and most of the class is done under a blacklight. SLT: In recent years, there's been an uptick in Pilates classes that verge on the border of being called Pilates bootcamp classes. To get a true NYC experience, I recommend trying SLT (strengthen, lengthen, tone). The boutique studio is wildly popular, and for good reason: the workouts are tough and truly measurable when it comes to results. Unlike other Pilates classes, you can probably expect to sweat a little, too; it's a good mix of strength training, cardio, and classic Pilates. You'll come out stronger and most likely be feeling your midsection for days. IMAXShift: It's kind of crazy how many indoor[...]

Soft, Sweet, and Packed With Protein, These Vegan Pancakes Come Together in 15 Minutes

Sat, 23 Sep 2017 03:20:05 -0700

Brunch is ahh-mazing - well, not if you're vegan. It pretty much sucks, actually. Most pancakes, waffles, scones, and muffins you order at restaurants are made with butter, milk, and eggs. So take matters into your own hands and have a fabulous brunch at home with these homemade, supersoft and sweet vegan protein pancakes. What makes these so special is that they won't put you into the pancake coma you normally get after a stack of typical flapjacks. That's because each of these 100-calorie pancakes is made with protein powder and chia seeds - offering five grams of protein each! But who cares, because they come together in minutes and taste amazingly sweet with those crispy edges and the soft texture you crave! That means you don't have to wait for the weekend to griddle a stack up. Three pancakes offer nine grams of hunger-satiating fiber and 15 grams of energy-boosting protein, so you can enjoy these on a regular ol' Tuesday if you want. Go nuts! Related100-Calorie Fluffy and Sweet Vegan Pancakes Vegan Protein Pancakes From Jenny Sugar, POPSUGAR Notes For fluffier, lighter pancakes, use all-purpose flour instead. Griddle up the entire recipe and store the extras in the fridge to warm up later in the week. IngredientsWet ingredients: 1 1/2 cups unsweetened soy milk 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar 1 tablespoon oil (coconut or canola) 1/2 teaspoon vanilla Dry ingredients: 1 cup white whole wheat flour 1 serving vanilla plant-based protein powder (1/2 cup) 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1 tablespoon organic sugar 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 1/2 tablespoons chia seeds Cooking spray Fresh fruit, nuts, jam, or soy yogurt for serving (optional) Directions Mix soy milk and apple cider vinegar and set aside to curdle for a few minutes. Mix dry ingredients together. Add oil and vanilla to soy milk mixture. Add wet ingredients to the dry. Heat a skillet over medium heat. Spray the pan lightly with cooking spray. Pour a heaping spoonful of pancake batter onto the hot pan and cook until bubbles form. Then flip and cook the other side. Make nine pancakes and serve with fresh fruit, jam, soy yogurt, or maple syrup. Information Category Breakfast/Brunch, Pancakes/Waffles Yield 9 pancakes Cook Time 15 mins Nutrition Calories per serving 104 [...]

Holy Hell! This Running + Strength Workout Is Intense

Sat, 23 Sep 2017 03:20:03 -0700

There are weeks when all you have time for is a one-and-done workout. The kind of workout that leaves sweat dripping from every inch of your body and every muscle shaking. The kind of workout that takes less than an hour to finish, but feels like you were working out for two. This is one of those workouts. If you're short on time, but need a solid sweat session, this beginner combo workout will do you right! A mix of strength training and running, you'll be tasked to push yourself to your edge, while getting stronger, leaner, and faster! RelatedCreamy Collagen Coffee: The Energizing, Debloating, Weight-Loss Boosting Drink The Workout Start off with the 10-minute strength session, then follow it up with the beginner-friendly treadmill interval workout. Before jumping into the workout, be sure to get in a quick dynamic warmup. Strength Go through the below circuit, doing as many rounds as possible in 10 minutes. Feel free to modify the exercises to suit your fitness level. 30 jump rope single unders (if you don't have a jump rope, do lateral bunny hops) 10 deadlifts using a heavy set of dumbbells or weighted bar 15 jump squats 10 negative push-ups After cycling through 10 minutes of the strength circuit, hop on the treadmill for a satisfying interval workout that alternates between jogging and walking. Cardio Time Speed Incline Notes 0:00-5:00 3.0 1.0 Warmup 5:00-6:00 5.5 1.0 Ladder One 6:00-7:00 3.5 1.0 Recover 7:00-9:00 5.5 1.0 9:00-10:00 3.5 1.0 Recover 10:00-13:00 5.5 1.0 13:00-14:00 3.5 1.0 Recover 14:00-18:00 5.5 1.0 18:00-20:00 3.5 1.0 Recover 20:00-21:00 5.5 4.0 Ladder Two 21:00-22:00 3.5 1.0 Recover 22:00-24:00 5.5 3.0 24:00-25:00 3.5 1.0 Recover 25:00-28:00 5.5 3.0 28:00-29:00 3.5 1.0 Recover 29:00-33:00 5.5 1.0 33:00-38:00 3.5 1.0 Cooldown [...]

Sip These Teas to Soothe Your Stomach, Lose Weight, and Get Clear Skin

Sat, 23 Sep 2017 02:55:23 -0700

Tea is a soothing Winter drink, and it can have pretty miraculous healing properties. Did you know the teabag you choose can give you a unique result? Whether your goal is calming down, perking up, or recovering, there's a tea for that. We asked tea expert Kristina Richens - a director at The Republic of Tea, certified tea specialist from Front Range Herbal Institute, and speaker from the SF International Tea Festival - to share what she's learned from her travels to China, India, Japan, and South Africa. She spoke about which teas you should brew up for each time of the day, as well as which ones help with certain physical goals (even if your goal is just to fall asleep!). RelatedThese Super Herbs Fight Stress, Give You Energy, and Promote Weight Loss Supercharge Your Morning: Black or Green Tea. The caffeine content with L-theanine (present in these teas) will give you a calm state of alertness. Get Through an Afternoon Slump: Green Tea With Ginkgo Biloba. Kristina told us that green tea can enhance performance, while ginkgo biloba can keep your memory sharp. Recover After a Workout: Black Tea. A cup of black tea has 88 milligrams of potassium, which contributes to muscular recovery. Reduce Stress and Anxiety: Green Tea, Lavender, or Chamomile. Time to unwind. "Chamomile and lavender are known as nerve-soothers and calming herbs," she said. Lavender and lavender oil are great ingredients to look for when relieving anxiety, and green tea and matcha also promote relaxation. Snooze Soundly: Chamomile or Valerian. Soothing and mellowing chamomile and valerian root will help you slip into a peaceful slumber. Valerian root, referred to as nature's Valium, is a common ingredient in sleep supplements thanks to its relaxing properties. "Valerian is also great for drinking before bed as it won't interfere with REM sleep," Kristina said. Slim Down: Dandelion or Peppermint. Dandelion has been said to help eliminate excess water weight, as well as aid in digestion - a key component in weight loss. "Dandelion's use traces back to the 10th century when Arabian physicians revered the root for its cleansing properties and as a natural aid for digestion," she said. Peppermint tea can help curb your appetite and support digestion as well. In herbal blends, Kristina says to look for ingredients like "gymnema leaves, which are known as the 'destroyer of sugar' in Ayurvedic medicine," and "cordyceps, a Chinese medicinal herb, [which] may boost energy and endurance, and can help rev up your internal engine and increase metabolism." Clear Skin: Rooibos or Green Tea. Antioxidant-packed rooibos and green tea can both help alleviate acne, pimples, sunburns, and uneven skin. Soothe an Upset Stomach: Dandelion or Ginger. The dandelion root is a natural aid for digestion and has cleansing properties, while ginger root is known to settle a stomach in all its forms. [...]

5 Printable Cardio Workouts For People Who Hate to Run

Fri, 22 Sep 2017 23:20:03 -0700


Hate the gym? Can't stand to run? Or maybe your schedule is such that your home also doubles as your fitness haven? If any of these scenarios sound like you, get excited, because we have five solid cardio workouts you can do at home - many with no equipment needed! And gym rats, don't fret. All of these workouts can be printed out and easily taken with you when you need to design a workout plan for those days that you're on the go.

The Definitive Ranking of Halo Top Ice Cream, From Worst to Best

Fri, 22 Sep 2017 20:15:04 -0700


There is a special kind of love for Halo Top at POPSUGAR. People here go wild for the low-calorie, high-protein ice cream and can barely believe it's not laden with fat and sugar. How can something that tastes so damn good only result in 300 calories for an entire pint?!

Since its release last year, we've had the hard job of tasting each one of Halo Top's 25 flavors. We've endured spoon after spoon of flavors like Pancakes and Waffles, Vanilla Bean, and Mochi Green Tea - hard life, I know. At this point, it's safe to say that POPSUGAR editors are true experts in all things Halo Top, helping you decide the flavors that deserve room in your freezer. Here's our definitive ranking of Halo Top ice cream from worst to best.

- Additional reporting by Dominique Astorino

Before You Break Into the Hard Stuff, Find Out How Many Calories It Has

Fri, 22 Sep 2017 18:05:02 -0700

Watching your calories and limiting your carbs? Still want to enjoy a cold drink on a warm Summer day? We have you covered! Skip the beer for one of these carb-free, lower-calorie options. Below is the average number of calories contained in the most common liquor brands at a standard 80 proof, 1.5-ounce serving at 40 percent alcohol by volume (ABV). To maximize you efforts, be sure to cut out all the sugary mixers and additives, like soda, sweetened juices, and artificial syrups. Stick with soda water and fresh fruit or herbs, like mint and lavender (if that floats your boat). If you like a stiff drink, enjoy it neat or on the rocks to really cut the calories. Whichever you choose, just remember to be mindful and drink in moderation! And don't forget to double up on water. It'll keep you hydrated and help prevent a hangover. LIQUOR CALORIES Bourbon 100 Brandy 96 Cognac 96 Gin 96 Rum 97 Scotch 98 Tequila 96 Vodka 97 Whiskey 96 [...]

This Superchallenging Bodyweight Workout Will Rock Every Muscle Group

Fri, 22 Sep 2017 18:00:10 -0700


While visiting New York City a few weeks ago, I knew I had to check out the ultrapopular (crazy hard) workout at DOGPOUND gym in TriBeCa. I got the chance to take a class with Rhys Athayde, founding trainer at DOGPOUND, who completely kicked my ass (in the best way possible). I asked him to put together a DOGPOUND-style workout for all of you at home so you could get a taste of what the workout is all about.

"This is a full-body workout with a strong focus on core," said Rhys. "It can be done anytime and anywhere, which makes it perfect for the gym, at home, or on the go! I always tell my clients at DOGPOUND that no matter what level you are at, always take a workout one step at a time and strive to get as much done as you can. This way you are breaking your limits as well as reducing the risk of injury. Try this out, and smash it when you do!"

In seven rounds with no equipment (unless you want to add dumbbells to circuit five), you'll work every muscle group, strengthening your body and creating lean muscle in under 30 minutes. The instructions for every movement are ahead. Go straight through all seven rounds, and there's a built-in rest after circuit two.

How Many Calories Do You Really Burn in a Cycling Class? We Know You're Wondering

Fri, 22 Sep 2017 17:35:02 -0700

Some cycling studios make pretty wild claims about how many calories you'll burn from an hour-long class. For example, I was once promised that I would fly through 1,000 calories in one sitting, which sounded a bit hokey to me, but I appreciated the enthusiasm behind it. The more I asked around, the more I realized that I'm not the only one wondering what the truth is, so I decided to investigate. I spoke with Michael Olzinski, MSc, Purplepatch endurance coach and Equinox coach, who said, "Even though the benefits of a cycling class are really not about how many calories you are burning (much like how nutrition is not really related to how 'many' calories you intake), it does make sense to have a realistic idea." First of all, it's important to know that the amount of calories you burn doesn't only have to do with how long you cycle and what kind of class you do. "It is about your own personal effort," Mike said. RelatedFight Belly Fat With This Boredom-Busting Interval Workout If you're working hard - as in, 85 to 95 percent of your physical capacity - you could potentially burn upwards of 550 calories in an hour-long class. However, this is only if you're going hard. "Ultimately, the harder you work, the better intervals or power you hit, the higher the work for your body, and that is basically the measure of calories," Mike explained to POPSUGAR. I always wear my Fitbit to my cycling classes, and when I'm done, it generally says I've burned anywhere between 350 and 400 calories. If I'm being honest, I'm not always giving it 95 percent of my physical capacity, so I can see why I'm not reaching the 550 mark. However, Mike wants to stress that the number of calories you burn shouldn't be your main concern. "If you truly are working hard and at the requested intensities of the coaches, then you will experience this excellent effect called 'Excessive Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption' or EPOC," he explained. "This means that your body will require more oxygen for the remainder of your day, and thus your metabolism will require more calories to sustain, and this is really where the true benefit comes in." RelatedA Killer 30-Minute Treadmill Workout That Will Whip You Into Shape In other words: sure, it's good to burn calories during class and see a high number on your fitness watch when you're walking out the door, but you'll get so much more out of your cycling class if you experience EPOC, which will help you burn more calories throughout the rest of the day. That's what's going to cause positive change in the long run. Just to be sure, I asked Mike if indoor cycling is a form of cardio he would recommend. This was his response: "I definitely love indoor cycling as a great and very useful form of cardio training. It's very repeatable, and cycling is one of those things that, when you are set up properly and riding in a safe, effective position and posture, you can progress very quickly by putting in some hard work." Key words here being "hard work." Follow the instructor's commands and go all out, and you'll reap all the benefits of your cycling class - whether or not you hit the 550-calorie mark. [...]

This Dairy-Free Ice Cream Might Be Halo Top For Vegans

Fri, 22 Sep 2017 17:20:12 -0700



The healthy ice cream craze has been delightful for millions of dieters, but even the most beloved brands like Halo Top leave vegans and dairy-free eaters with no dessert - and a whole lot of FOMO.

A recent brand to respond to said void in the healthy dessert space is Vegallia, a dairy-free dessert line with no added sugar, using xylitol (a sugar alcohol) as a sweetener (similar to Halo Top, which uses erythritol in addition to cane sugar and stevia).

The brand offers seven vegan, gluten-free flavors: dark chocolate, french vanilla, coconut, mango, wild berries, creamy lime, and banana and french vanilla. We tried the first five here in the POPSUGAR office and decided that mango was the winner of all of them, coming in with the most positive reviews (it tastes sort of like a mango lassi in frozen form).

Each serving varies in nutrients depending on flavor, but the calorie count hovers between 110 and 160 per half cup serving. It's got zero protein because, well . . . no dairy, but it's super low in fat (zero to one gram) with roughly 20 to 28 grams of carbohydrates.

Here's an example ingredient list, for reference, courtesy of the wild berries variety: strawberry purée, raspberry purée, blackberry purée, organic coconut milk powder, monk fruit, maltodextrin (vegetable fiber), sorbitol, xylitol, vegetable-distilled monoglycerides (emulsifier), and xanthan and cellulose gums.

You can find Vegallia in some specialty grocers and in the brand's online store for $10 a pint.

The 6 Stretches For Anyone With Tight Hamstrings

Fri, 22 Sep 2017 17:20:03 -0700


If you run, bike, are desk-bound all day, or have been sitting in a car or plane traveling, your hamstrings could use some extra love and length. It not only feels good to stretch this commonly tight area, but hamstring flexibility is also important for the health of your back, hips, and knees. Here are six easy and essential stretches that target the backs of your legs. To avoid injury, it's best to do them at the end of a workout, when the muscles are warm.

After Years of Exercising, This Is the Workout That Changed My Body

Fri, 22 Sep 2017 17:15:10 -0700

When I started working out with a trainer a few months ago, I wasn't entirely sure what to expect, but if there's one thing I am certain of, a barbell was never part of the equation. Yet here I was, standing in front of one with my trainer off to the side asking me to do deadlifts. I was equal parts perplexed, scared, and thrilled. In all my years of working out, heavy lifting was something I had never done. Like everyone else in my life, I hopped from trendy studio to trendy studio for my workouts, and though there was a weight room at my gym, the idea of picking up a barbell on my own seemed terrifying. I looked down at the 65-pound steel bar and then looked up at my trainer Austin (a few times in a lame attempt to stall). With no knowledge of or prior exposure to lifting, I was also dealing with the real fear that I would possibly drop this thing, along with myself, in the process. Sensing my fear, he talked me through the steps repeatedly with the right amount of encouragement, until I grabbed the damn thing and remarkably pulled it off - "with ease and perfect form," he would later tell me. I surprised myself; I was stronger than I gave myself credit for. Austin added weight to the bar at a quick pace, which I think even surprised him. RelatedWorkouts That Give Me Everything Running Promised (but Didn't) Looking back, I am not sure why I stayed away from a barbell for so many years. Sure, I wasn't exposed to it, but I also never allowed myself to even explore the idea. When I heard SoulCycle was coming to my city, I was in the very first class. When the new TRX studio moved in down the block, I couldn't wait to try it! But lifting? Nope. Despite my firm belief that women are strong AF, there was a part of me that thought of lifting as a man's world, or at least the kind of world where you go when you want biceps as big as your head. And if I am being totally honest, huge 'ceps weren't what I was looking for. Double the deadlifts, double the fun (that's me on the left and Austin, my trainer, on the right). The kicker here is that it has has changed my body in a way that I never could have anticipated. I have lost more weight over these last three months than I have in the last few years. I am stronger and faster in just about every other workout in my life. And most recently, during a beach vacation, my partner commented on my butt. It was higher! Perkier! Lifted! Rounded! I went into heavy lifting with the very wrong idea that it would add bulk, yet here I am feeling my absolute best and more confident than I have in a long time. Even more importantly is the understanding that this confidence had less to do with how I look and everything to do with how I feel. Related3 Things You Need to Be Focusing on If You Want to Up Your Fitness Game The thrill of doing something new mixed with a real sense of accomplishment has given me an exercise high that I have not felt in a very long time. Instead of being terrified of a barbell, I now give my trainer grief when we aren't lifting. Through this process, I have come face to face with my physicality in a way that has never happened. There's also a real sense of pride from seeing more weight being racked up on the bar and learning what my body is capable of handling. But more than anything, the inner confidence that I have built from this latest step in my fitness journey has helped me in all facets of my life and continues to surprise me on an almost daily basis. [...]

If You've Got Big Boobs, Here Are Some Tips For Buying the Perfect Sports Bra

Fri, 22 Sep 2017 17:10:20 -0700

Activewear is an investment, and your spending shouldn't be limited to the most visible items you workout in like cool trainers and snazzy leggings, because your undergarments matter just as much. This is even more important for bustier women. The size of your chest should never stand in the way of your active lifestyle and fitness pursuits, so if you're struggling with ill-fitting sports bras, or having to double-bra your way through every workout, the following tips will make your next sports bra shopping trip a complete success. Get Measured Workout gear is made from technical, durable fabrics, so instead of reaching for your regular underwear size, get measured so that you're wearing the right size. Due to the fact that brands tend to size their bras differently, you can't rely on your size in one style to be the perfect fit in similar offerings from different brands. To take the tediousness out of getting measured for each and every sportswear brand out there, head to a department store that stocks a variety of different brands, get measured, and ask for recommendations. Prepare to Pay More Unfortunately, due to the nature of manufacturing, bras for bustier women tend to cost more. If you're used to paying more for your regular underwear, don't expects your sports bras to be any different. While it may feel like a con, paying more for the right fit is important to supporting your back, minimizing the strain on your neck and shoulders, holding your bust secure, and preserving your delicate breast tissue. RelatedDo These 6 Things in the Dressing Room Before Buying New Workout Clothes Function Over Fashion Sacrificing style for fit and comfort can be hard, because let's face it, we all want to look good, even if it's just while jogging in the park. But, if you're on the bustier side, then function should be foremost in your mind when shopping for a sports bra. While you have options with fabric and color ways, be mindful of important features like comfortable and adjustable shoulder straps, supportive cups, and durable fastenings. Wear It In If you aren't used to wearing a cupped sports bra, it can take some getting used to. High-impact support bras are required to hold you secure without squishing you down while you're being active, and to do that they usually have a snug-fitting band and high cups. If your bra feels a little constricting to begin with, try breaking it in by wearing it around the house for a few hours before you work out in it. Handwash It If you pend enough money on your activewear, you'll appreciate it enough to want to wash every item correctly. While there are arguments for both hand and machine washing, we suggest the former. The agitation and high temperatures of machine washing can contribute to the breakdown of the elastic fibers in your sports bra, while hand-washing allows you more control of the temperature, force, and amount of detergent you use to wash your delicates. [...]

18 Whole30 Dinners You'll Make Well After Your Diet Ends

Fri, 22 Sep 2017 17:10:03 -0700


There are a lot of good reasons to try the Whole30 Diet; it's made up of fresh, whole foods, and free of things like sugar, junk food, and alcohol. It's a great plan for anyone looking to clean up their diet, but given the strict guidelines, meal prep is a must, especially when it comes to dinner. Gone is the ease of ordering takeout or delivery at night - trust us, that General's chicken is definitely not Whole30 approved.

If you're considering the diet for yourself, these 18 Whole30 dinner recipes are a good place to start, and the dishes easily lend themselves to leftovers for next-day lunches.

Need Some On-the-Go Paleo Grub? Try These Yummy Snacks From Whole Foods

Fri, 22 Sep 2017 17:00:28 -0700

Grain-free, dairy-free, low carb, high protein: these are a few basic dos and don'ts of the ever-popular Paleo diet, which aims to mimic a caveman diet, filled with fresh fruits and vegetables, grass-fed meat, and very little processed ingredients. Chances are you're already wondering how the heck this eating plan even works without feeling starved, sluggish, or just downright angry. Sure, there are already countless Paleo recipes available for you to whip up at the drop of a hat, but the secret to mastering this diet lies in proper, planned snacking. The bites ahead are ready-to-eat, prep-free products available right on the shelf of your local Whole Foods. Grab 'em ASAP to get your Paleo game going strong. RelatedBottoms Up: These Are the Alcoholic Drinks You Can Have If You're Paleo Frozen Fruit Pops: Regardless of your diet, the sugar cravings will kick in at one time or another. These Paleo Passion Pops - available in a variety of flavors, including coconut, strawberry, and chocolate - contain no sugar at all but are instead sweetened with natural fruit concentrates. They steer clear of dairy, too, with added coconut milk. Crunchy Granola: Steve's PaleoGoods is a grain-free line of snacks, so you'll likely take note of the name and logo when eating Paleo. The PaleoKrunch grainless granola is filled with almonds, seeds, coconut, and a touch of honey for added sweetness. Chewy Granola: If your granola preference is more chewy and fruity, go for Wildway's Soft & Chewy varieties. Each flavor contains dried fruits and nuts, cinnamon, and seeds . . . and bonus: they're all non-GMO, so you can feel extra good about each handful. Savory Crackers: Thanks to SimpleMills, crackers aren't off limits on a Paleo plan. These Almond Flour Crackers are the crunchy snack your desk lunch needs. On-the-Go Bars: RXBars are a Paleo godsend, especially for superbusy days. The bars, in flavors such as Chocolate Sea Salt and Blueberry, contain only clean, raw ingredients, including egg whites, dates, nuts, and natural spices. RelatedThe Healthiest, Most Delicious Granola You Can Pick Up at the Grocery Store Peanut Butter Chocolate Candy: Hats off to Eating Evolved for creating "not candy" candy. That means gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, refined sugar-free, paleo, vegan sweets. No wonder its Dark Chocolate Coconut Butter Cups are such a hit. RelatedThese Healthy Snacks Fit Right Into Your Bag, So You Can Take Them Everywhere Sweet 'n Salty Crisps: You'll quickly learn that coconut is a saving grace on the Paleo diet, whether in the form of milk, oil, or in its natural form. Dang's Toasted Coconut Chips are the crunchy, sweet-and-salty snack your diet needs, especially since they're made of just three simple ingredients: coconut, sugar, and salt. Sweet Potato Chips: Veggie chips are one of the most deceiving snacks on store shelves. Most dieters think they're a totally safe health food, but a closer look reveals that many of the ingredients aren't so Paleo-friendly. Jackson's Honest Sweet Potato Chips, however, live up to the name of being straightforward with what goes into each bag, so you'll stay on track when in dire need of something to snack on. Protein-Packed Jerky: If you're not already on the jerky bandwagon, you'll certainly consider it when going Paleo. Epic's line of bites, such as the Chicken Meat With Currant & Sesame BBQ Seasoning, are handcrafted, on-the-go meats that pack a huge punch of flavor. Dried Fruit: While refined sugars[...]

13 Veggie Sandwich Fillings So Good, You'll Forget Meat Was Even a Thing

Fri, 22 Sep 2017 16:55:02 -0700


Leaving lunch to chance is the easiest way to throw your healthy intentions off track, even if you're vegetarian. If you're trying to eat more vegetables or just need more options for your vegetarian packed lunches, check out 13 sandwich fillings that are fiber full, packed with flavor, and meat free!

I Sent Away a Sample of My Poop, and Here's What I Learned About My Health

Fri, 22 Sep 2017 16:50:09 -0700

"When in doubt, follow your gut," conventional wisdom tells us. And when it comes to your health, it's actually not bad advice. The organisms living in our guts can help explain everything from our weight to our mental state. "There is clear evidence from various studies that our microbiomes impact human health," explained Cornell University professor Maureen Hanson and her research associate Ludovic Giloteaux. The pair told POPSUGAR that the bacteria in our guts are "involved in the processing of food we eat, helping to get important nutrients we wouldn't get solely from our digestive system." Together, Hanson and Giloteaux have written a major paper on the microbiome, and they say that more and more research correlates conditions such as obesity, type II diabetes, cancers such as lymphomas, and inflammation to our gut microbiome composition. In addition, they said "there is increasing evidence that metabolites produced by gut bacteria can have effects on the brain." Assuming you're comfortable sending a small sample of your poop, uBiome will analyze your microbes and present you actionable results. Considering the importance of the microbiome, scientists are making more of an effort to understand the thousands of species that live not only in our digestive system, but also on our skin, in our mouths, and all over our bodies. As research continues, everyday people now have a chance to look inside their own. One company, uBiome, offers a gut test kit for $89. Assuming you're comfortable collecting and sending a small sample of your stool (i.e. poop), uBiome will analyze your microbes and present you actionable results. I recently decided to try it out. While I wish I could have learned even more, I did come away with some new health goals. RelatedLose Weight, Feel Great, and Stop Getting Sick: It Starts With Your Gut How It Works If you're familiar with the DNA kits offered by companies like 23andMe or, then you'll recognize the process uBiome follows. After purchasing a kit online, they'll send you a box that contains everything you need to collect your bacteria sample and send it back to them to test. There's a catch, though: instead of swabbing the inside of your month with a Q-tip or spitting into a little tube to collect your DNA, you have to dab a Q-tip on a piece of soiled toilet paper. The directions promise they only need a tiny amount, so it's actually not that gross. After that first step, you then mix the Q-tip in a container of the provided liquid, shake it up, seal it, and send it back to uBiome. Before dropping off your poop at the mailbox, you'll want to register your kit online and fill out a survey about your lifestyle habits. In addition to the gut kit, uBiome offers a "time lapse" gut kit ($199), which lets you sample your gut three different times to see if changes you've made to your diet or lifestyle are impacting your microbiome. There is also a "five site" kit that will look at your gut, mouth, nose, genitals, and skin. I went with the entry-level gut kit. RelatedHappy Gut, Happy Life: Ways to Get Your Probiotics My Results When analyzing my gut sample, uBiome looked at: Bodyweight bacteria match: did I have bacteria correlated with weight loss or obesity? Probiotics match: did I have bacteria correlated with better mental health and gastrointestinal functions? Diversity percentile: how diverse was my microbiome? Most uncommon bacteria: what type of rar[...]

Emily's 150-Pound Transformation Started With Meal Prep and a Low-Carb Diet

Fri, 22 Sep 2017 16:40:03 -0700

Emily didn't realize how overweight and unhealthy she actually was until she saw a picture of herself from a friend's wedding. That was the turning point, and she knew she had to get herself on track if she wanted to be there for her family in the long run. From weighing over 300 pounds to losing more than half of her bodyweight, Emily has truly turned things around for herself . . . and she's become quite the fitness junkie, too! RelatedLobke's 75-Pound Weight-Loss Secrets: Weight Watchers and Fitbit POPSUGAR: Tell us about the start of your weight-loss journey. I started my journey in October 2012. I knew I was very overweight; however, it was not until I received a photo of my husband and me from a wedding we had attended that I realized it was time to make a change. I was shocked by the photo and knew right then that I needed to make a difference for myself and for my family. PS: How much weight have you lost so far? EP: I [originally] weighed over 300 pounds, and I have lost more than 150 pounds! RelatedTiffany Went From a Size 2XL to a Small in 1 Year - and She Didn't Go to the Gym PS: How did you do it? Did you follow a specific diet? EP: Initially, I followed a low-carb diet and within a year lost 102 pounds. Now, I try to incorporate all types of foods into my diet in moderation. I love sticking to fresh and healthy items like fruits and veggies. I'm a huge zoodle fan! This Summer I had a huge vegetable garden, which really helped. PS: Did you do a specific workout type or schedule? EP: I did not start to incorporate fitness into my journey until January 2015, as I was recovering from major back surgery. Now that I'm back in action at The Edge Fitness Club, I follow a strength-training routine developed by my trainer along with cardio, such as running or the StairMaster. And to change things up, I like to participate in group classes from time to time to keep things interesting! PS: What are some nonscale victories you've experienced? EP: There have been so many! One that really stands out is running. When I weighed in at over 300 pounds, I used to have dreams that I was running, and now with my weight-loss journey, I can! I love entering 5Ks. I actually just completed two in one weekend a few weeks back. I'm not the fastest, but it's a great challenge and it makes me feel great. PS: How do you stay motivated? EP: Some days it can be tough, but I remember how far I've come and that fitness has been a true lifesaver for me. The Edge has a weight-loss competition, The Edge Challenge, which is an eight-week challenge that I have done several times. It's a great way to stay on track, and the teamwork is excellent; it really pushes you to try new things and get out of your comfort zone. RelatedThe Key to Jessica's 115-Pound Weight Loss Had Nothing to Do With Diet and Exercise PS: What does a typical day of eating look like for you? EP: I have really embraced meal prepping, so Sundays at my house is usually a big cooking day. Breakfast usually consists of eggs or egg whites with a carb. My favorites are sweet potato or oatmeal. For mid-morning I will have a protein shake or bar. My faves are the Power Crunch or OhYeah! One Bars. If it's a shake, I usually add one cup of frozen fruit and some cashew milk along with a protein powder. Lunch is usually a lot of veggies and a lean protein. This week is zoodles with a fresh cherry tomato sauce I made (from my [...]