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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: Mon, 20 Nov 2017 04:42:43 -0800

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

Full of Kicking and Punching, This Dance Cardio Workout Is What You Need

Mon, 20 Nov 2017 04:25:11 -0800


Put on your dancing shoes, because it's time have a cardio party. This 30-minute workout led by Simone De La Rue, the creator of Hollywood's hottest workout, Body by Simone, is so fun you will forget that you're burning serious calories. The moves are kickboxing inspired with punches, jabs, and kicks, making this workout feel emotionally cathartic. Press play, and get ready to move.

Wardrobe Credits: Alo Yoga outfits and Body by Simone shoes

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Here's What - and When - to Eat Before Working Out

Mon, 20 Nov 2017 04:15:03 -0800


When it comes to working out, it's important to feel energized, but it's not always as simple as grabbing a snack on your way out the door. Eating too close to exercise is a recipe for discomfort, but heading to the gym hungry isn't ideal either.

To learn how to maximize the potential of a workout, I spoke with nutritionist Heidi Skolnik, MS, CDN, FACSM, and author of Nutrient Timing for Peak Performance ($20) to find out what to eat and when before heading to the gym.

From Mashed Potatoes to Pumpkin Pie, No One Will Guess These Thanksgiving Dishes Are Vegan

Mon, 20 Nov 2017 04:05:02 -0800


Between the turkey, gravy, and pies, Thanksgiving can be a carnivore's delight but a vegan's nightmare. Fortunately, we've put together our favorite meat-, egg- and dairy-free recipes so you can watch a delicious meal unfold. These recipes are so good, guests will be surprised to learn your secret!

[Meals and Sides] [Desserts]

Spread Some Holiday Cheer With These Tasty, Healthy Vegan Recipes

Mon, 20 Nov 2017 03:15:27 -0800


We're finally hitting that time of year when we're surrounded by pumpkins, squashes, sweet potatoes, and lots of cinnamon. Just because you have a dairy intolerance or are trying to eat fewer animal products doesn't mean you have to miss out on all this tasty holiday goodness, though. We gathered some of the tastiest vegan dishes you can make for yourself or bring to a party. They're all seasonal, and they're all so delicious that we doubt your friends will even notice there's no milk or meat involved.

The Victoria's Secret Models Are in Shanghai and They're Hitting the Gym HARD

Mon, 20 Nov 2017 03:15:09 -0800


The Victoria's Secret models have touched down in Shanghai for the highly anticipated annual fashion show, and they are ready to go! After months of green juice and boxing, the women are putting the cherry on top of all that preparation by sweating it out and doing that final jump squat inside a local Shanghai gym. After the news broke that Katy Perry, Gigi Hadid, and other models were being denied visas and were unable to make it to China, we can take a deep breath, because the beloved trainers made it there, and they are making it count.

Kirk Myers, Rhys Athayde, and Dara Hart from Dogpound, as well as Joe Holder from S10 Training, are in China for those final sessions, working out with Bella Hadid, Romee Strijd, Lais Ribeiro, Jasmine Tookes, Josephine Skriver, Georgia Fowler, Jourdan Dunn, and so many more. These workouts are no joke - we've got squats, planks, Pilates, and boxing. Read on to see all the intense workouts in action and understand what it really means to "train like an angel" just days before they spread their wings and take the runway on Nov. 20.

What Is the Healthiest Drive-Through Option? Let's Take a Look

Mon, 20 Nov 2017 02:55:02 -0800

We have somewhat of an obsession with finding the healthiest foods we can at some of the less-healthy restaurants around - maybe we just like to see the glass half full, or maybe we're trying to make the best of a bad situation. Either way, we've had some fun making a healthy eating guide for McDonald's, Burger King, Taco Bell, KFC, Wendy's, Chick-Fil-A, and more. Looking for things like high-protein, lower calorie options were priorities on our list and also making sure there's more than just one or two healthier items, not just "side salad." Related25 Drive-Through Hacks For Healthy Ordering on the Go And while Starbucks was a top contender for healthiest drive-through, we wanted to keep this list to classic fast food (side note, if you do have a Starbucks drive-through and that's one of your few options, definitely check out its hearty veggie bowls or bistro boxes). Among the burgers, fries, tacos, and fried chicken, was there a beacon of hope? Which is your best option on the road? Perhaps unsurprisingly, Taco Bell was victorious in our health quest. With nearly 6 million vegetarian combinations, Cantina Power Bowls, and very high-protein options, the Bell truly did think outside the bun and delivered a pretty trustworthy menu for those of you trying to eat lighter, leaner, or meatless. RelatedRoad-Trippin' Vegetarians Rejoice: Here Are Your Healthiest Fast Food Options In addition to that extensive vegetarian menu and its lighter, dairy-free, Fresco-style ordering, it's also got a good number of gluten-free options like black beans, Cantina Power Bowls, steak or chicken nachos, and hash browns. While we won't go around touting that Taco Bell is the new Whole Foods, know that if you're road tripping or have limited options on the go that it's a safe bet for eating healthier. The only decision you have to make now is, are you getting a spicy tostada or a chicken soft taco? [...]

90 Healthy Gifts For Anyone on Your List

Mon, 20 Nov 2017 01:35:03 -0800


Can't seem to find the healthy gift of your fit friend's dreams? We've got you covered - check out 90 of our favorite healthy products here.

If You Like a Little Extra Coverage Around Your Stomach, You're Going to Love These Leggings

Mon, 20 Nov 2017 00:40:04 -0800


Let me first start off by saying I love my body: every curve, every dimple, and every roll on my belly. Yes, that's right. I'm a fitness editor and I have belly fat. I eat mostly clean, I work out five days a week, and yet I am not sporting anywhere close to a six-pack - and that is totally OK. While I wholly accept my body, I've found that when my midsection is not supported and covered up during workouts, my stomach becomes an annoying distraction.

It's simply not comfortable for me to be in Downward Dog or doing heavy lifting and have my stomach hanging over my waistband, or worse, have my waistband digging into my skin. To avoid this issue, I opt to wear high-rise leggings that have a touch of compression. Doing so keeps my stomach tucked in and supported and allows me to focus on what's really important: my workout. It also doesn't hurt that high-rise leggings look perfect with crop tops and longline sports bras. Over the years, I've found a few brands that simply outperform others. If you're like me and prefer a little extra fabric up top, this is the guide for you.

Drift Off to Sleep With This Yoga Sequence

Mon, 20 Nov 2017 00:15:04 -0800


If you're having trouble settling down before bed, then unroll your mat and give this gentle yoga sequence a whirl. These poses are designed to bring your senses inward and to stretch the areas that are most prone to tension, so your mind and body will feel relaxed and ready for sweet slumber. Brush your teeth, slip into your jammies, turn down the lights, and start stretching.

I Wore Workout Clothes to the Office For a Week - and It Was a Game Changer

Sun, 19 Nov 2017 23:05:03 -0800


A post shared by Gina Florio (@gmflorio) on

I Went to the Gym More Often

There's really no reason not to go to the gym after work when you're already wearing workout clothes. You've already won half the battle. Four out of the five days, I went straight to Equinox after office hours, where I either did strength training or a cycling class. I came home feeling refreshed rather than exhausted, and I had a great appetite for dinner.

I Used My Standing Desk More

After a while, heeled boots can take a toll on your feet, so I found some serious relief in my Puma and Nike sneakers. Standing at your desk trumps sitting any day of the week, and I learned that firsthand, since I spent most of the day on my feet while working. I had much less lower back pain at the end of the week.

It Made Me Feel Healthier All Around

I don't know what it is about wearing my favorite Alo leggings, but it made me reach for my water bottle way more often. I ended up drinking almost 90 ounces of water one day, compared to many other days when I can barely get through 40 ounces. Additionally, I found myself making healthier choices for lunch and afternoon snacks. Something about dressing up for a healthy activity encouraged me to engage in other healthier habits, which eventually made my whole day better.

If You're Trying to Lose Weight and Failing, Read This

Sun, 19 Nov 2017 20:45:03 -0800

Whether it's the Freshman 15, breakup weight, baby weight, or can't-stay-away-from-the-dessert-cart weight, losing those extra pounds is not as easy as putting them on. It doesn't matter if you have five or 105 pounds to lose, here are the top reasons most people abandon their weight-loss goals, and what you can do to prevent it from happening. It's Taking Too Long Just as those pounds seemed to slowly creep on, it also takes time to slowly shake them off; coming to terms with this will make it easier to stick with your plan. Know that to safely lose weight and keep it off, you'll only drop one to two pounds a week, so do the math and you'll have an idea of how much time it'll be before you're near your goal weight. Find ways to celebrate your smaller goals and it'll help keep you on track. RelatedStart Losing Weight Now With These 100 Tips I'm Hungry Weight loss comes down to simple math: calories in cannot exceed the amount of calories out. If you choose high-calorie foods, you'll only be able to have a few bites, which will leave your belly empty and unsatisfied. Eat smarter by choosing low-calorie foods like vegetables, high-fiber foods like whole grains, and foods with high water content like fruit. These foods will keep you feeling full, preventing hunger pangs. RelatedDo You Need to Feel Hungry in Order to Lose Weight? I Miss My Favorite Foods French fries, pizza, burgers, chocolate cake, ice cream - it's hard not to spend every minute thinking about the foods you shouldn't eat. Plain and simple: diets don't work. You can't sustain an eating plan that is too restrictive. Of course, you won't lose weight on a diet of doughnuts alone, so eat healthy most of the time and allow yourself a little splurging to prevent feeling deprived; or find healthier ways to enjoy the foods you crave, like with this pizza quinoa polenta instead of a regular slice from the pizzeria, or this three-ingredient chocolate ice cream that's completely dairy-free. I Hate Exercising If you don't love it, find something you do. Maybe running on the treadmill isn't for you, but try giving that indoor cycling class a shot. Maybe you can't stand working out alone, and need to join a gym to get involved in some group classes. Or maybe exercise can't seem like exercise at all, and you'd rather go for an adventurous hike or mountain bike ride. If you look forward to your workouts, they're more likely to happen. Also be sure to mix up your workouts, because even though you're obsessed with Zumba, you don't want to go so often that you get burnt out. Related4 Things You Should Be Doing to Lose Weight This Summer I've Tried Everything and Nothing Works When you're eating right and exercising and the scale isn't budging, it's understandable why that frustration would make a person give up. There are many reasons why what you're doing may not offer results, such as not doing the right kind of exercise, not exercising enough, overdoing it on healthy foods that are high in calories, or miscounting calories. Seek out the help of a professional like a nutritionist or a personal trainer, or sign up for a weight-loss program that offers support. Experts in weight loss can offer tips and shed some light about what mistakes you might unknowingly be making that are sabotaging your weight-loss goals. [...]

Prevent Colds With This Quick and Easy Immunity-Boosting Tonic

Sun, 19 Nov 2017 19:20:03 -0800

Lorna Jane Clarkson, the founder of the Australian activewear line Lorna Jane, knows that not everyone has time to juice. But since a packed schedule - and the stress that comes with it - can wreak havoc on the immune system, you need a healthy, natural solution to help give it a boost. Lorna favors small "shots" of juices that you can make without the need for a juicer, like this ginger, turmeric, and orange juice tonic. Full of vitamin C, antioxidants, and antiviral power, this sunny shot can help soothe sore throats, cure upset stomachs, or just give you an extra boost of energy. Ginger and turmeric - a spice known for its anti-inflammatory and cancer-preventing properties - cut through the sweetness of the orange juice. And since you just need a hand juicer and grater, it comes together in a flash. RelatedSoothe Sinus Pain With This Simple Apple Cider Vinegar Brew Immunity Tonic From Nourish by Lorna Jane Clarkson Notes Manuka honey is made from bees that pollinate the New Zealand Manuka plant. It's said to have higher antibacterial effects than other types of honey. If you don't have Manuka honey, feel free to use a different high-quality honey (the darker and deeper the color, the higher antibacterial and antioxidant power). Ingredients1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice, pulp removed if desired 1/2-inch piece ginger, grated 2 tablespoons Manuka honey 1/2-inch fresh turmeric, grated (or pinch of ground turmeric) DirectionsWhisk all the ingredients in a small jug until combined. Pour into a serving glass. Source: Calorie Count Information Category Drinks Yield 1 serving Cook Time 5 minutes Nutrition Calories per serving 206 [...]

Give the Gift of Relaxation With This DIY Potpourri

Sun, 19 Nov 2017 17:25:11 -0800

Beautiful and sweet-smelling potpourri is the perfect way to give your loved ones the gift of relaxation. This blend of herbs, flowers, and citrus provides a soft and uplifting fragrance, perfect for taking the edge off of anyone's holiday stress. RelatedGet a Restful Night's Sleep With This DIY Lush Sleepy Body Lotion Uplifting Potpourri From Megan Lutz Ingredients1 dozen roses 1 orange, sliced 1 lemon, sliced 1 bunch rosemary 1 bundle lavender Bergamot essential oil Directions Carefully remove rose petals from the bouquet, leaving some rose buds completely intact. Arrange on a parchment-lined baking sheet along with the rosemary, lavender, and orange and lemon slices. Bake at 200°F for 2 hours, or until completely dried out. Spritz with bergamot essential oil and carefully toss. Place in decorative bowls or put into mason jars to give as a holiday gift. Information Yield 2 8-ounce mason jars Cook Time 2 1/2 hours Average ( votes): [...]

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This 4-Week Challenge Will Help You Finally Conquer Push-Ups

Sun, 19 Nov 2017 17:15:12 -0800


If you struggle with doing push-ups, I feel your pain. It wasn't until a few months ago that I could actually complete a full set of push-ups on my toes. I was fit and more active than most, but I found out from my trainer that I wasn't conditioning my body in the right way to cross push-ups off of my fitness bucket list. Fast forward four months and I am proud to say that I've completed over 50 push-ups in a single circuit.

Chances are it's the same for you. What seems like an impossible exercise is probably closer to your grasp than you think, and that's where this push-up progression plan will help. Designed by Austin Lopez, CSCS and trainer at DIAKADI, the four-week plan hones in on the muscles and movement needed to work when you do a push-up.

"Push-ups require all sorts of general muscle strength, a decent amount of shoulder mobility, and a surprising amount of shoulder and core stability," Austin told POPSUGAR. "The approach of this plan focuses on all of those things. While just working on one move like a dumbbell chest press definitely has its benefits and could maybe get you there at some point, working all of the muscles at once will help you get there more efficiently."

Besides commitment, the only requirement to complete this plan successfully is that you should already be able to do the prescribed exercises without modifications. If you're unable to, expect this to take longer as you build up your strength.

Push-Up Progression Plan: The four-week schedule consists of weekly workouts that should be done three times per week. It's laid out here in text, but continue reading for photos and detailed directions of each move. For weighted moves, be sure to pick dumbbells that challenge you without sacrificing your form; think medium to heavy weights.

Week 1 / Perform 3x Week

  • Dumbbell rows, 8-10 reps
  • Incline push-ups, 10-12 reps
  • Elbow plank, hold for 20 seconds
  • Run through the above circuit three times

Week 2 / Perform 3x Week

  • Dumbbell rows, 8 reps
  • Up-down plank, as many reps as possible
  • V-crunch, 15 reps
  • Run through the above circuit four times

Week 3 / Perform 3x Week

  • Incline push-ups (performed closer to the ground than in week one), 6 reps
  • Elbow plank with reach, 12-16 reps
  • Run through the above circuit four times

Week 4 / Perform 3x Week

  • Negative push-ups (as slow as possible), 6 reps
  • Side plank with hip dips, 8-12 reps on each side
  • Run through the above circuit four times

Week 5

  • Watch all that work come together! At this point, you should be able to do a set of three to five push-ups on your toes.

Bleeding Doesn't Stop When You're in Water, and 5 Other Period Myths Debunked

Sun, 19 Nov 2017 16:40:06 -0800

Although periods are something that half of the population has to go through every month, some myths surrounding menstruation are proving to be very hard to shake. So in order to debunk the biggest period legends once and for all, we reached out to Sara Matthews, consultant gynecologist at the Portland Hospital for Women and Children. Keep reading to see what she had to say, and have a look at how your period could be affecting your mental health. RelatedThis Is the Only Period Tracking App You Will Ever Need Does Your Period Stop When You Are in Water? According to Dr. Matthews, going swimming or taking a bath won't stop your period, but there might be less bleeding if the water is cold (or if you go scuba diving, as the pressure will reduce your blood flow until you come back to the surface). "However, I wouldn't take the risk at the pool or beach of not using a tampon or menstrual cup," she explains, "as it's a bit unpredictable, and you don't want to be caught short!" It's also worth noting that swimming or taking a hot bath could help you ease cramps and backache during your period. Does Your Period Stop When You Sleep? "As the body relaxes into a deep sleep, your muscles release tension and your heart rate slows, which means that less blood is released by the uterus," explains Dr. Matthews. But that's not all: "Gravity plays a big part too," she says. "As you sleep horizontally, the blood pools inside; so be careful when you jump out of bed in the morning, because it will all rush out and you could be caught out if you decided to sleep without a pad, a tampon, or a menstrual cup." If you have heavy periods and find that you have to get up during the night to change your sanitary product, Dr. Matthews recommends you talk to your doctor, as you could be anemic. If it's the case, you could be prescribed medication to reduce the bleeding, as well as a treatment to sort out your iron levels. RelatedDon't Let a Little Blood Stop You: 7 Tips For Working Out on Your Period Does Your Period Become Heavier on a Plane? As Dr. Matthews explains, there are mixed opinions on this subject: "Air hostesses say that the bleeding decreases up in the air, only to increase when you come down due to the change in pressure. However, I have also heard stories of ladies having awful accidents with their periods on planes. My advice would be to always be well prepared and not to leave going to the loo to the last minute as you could get stuck at row 28 in a horrible queue being a bit desperate." If you regularly travel and have to take long-haul flights, you might also have noticed that your periods can be quite irregular: "This happens because the hormone pulses from the brain that control your cycle can get confused crossing time zones, so don't be too surprised if your period comes early or late after a long-haul flight," she explains. Does Your Period Stop When You Have Sex? No, it doesn't - but that shouldn't stop you from having sex if you want to! Sure, there's a lot to think about in terms of logistics (after all, there is blood involved, and it could get a little messy), but it's totally doable and also perfectly normal to feel horny when you're menstruating. That said, as Dr. Matthews points out, "there will be an increased risk of passing on viral STIs like hepatitis and HIV," so you should be even more careful and use protection. RelatedMy Period Completely Changed When I Went Vegan - Here's How Does Your Period Stop When You Drink Alcohol? "Alcohol has no effect on your blood flow, but it might ease cramps during your period," explains Dr. Matthews. That said, she does not recommend drinking to ease your cramps. Over time, not only could it be [...]

Low-Carb Thanksgiving Recipes That Will Make You Forget the Stuffing

Sun, 19 Nov 2017 16:36:23 -0800


For someone who practices the low-carb way of life, Thanksgiving is a total buzzkill. Mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, various pies . . . even the sweet potato casserole is covered with marshmallows! Besides turkey, there aren't many dishes that grace the Thanksgiving table sans the white, wheat, or grain. So whether you're hosting or want to bring something mouthwatering to the party, here are a few low-carb dishes that will make everyone drool, from the appetizer to dessert.

Ho-Ho-Holy Sh*t, This High-Protein Chocolate Advent Calendar Is Ingenious

Sun, 19 Nov 2017 16:30:05 -0800


This holiday season, you can finally give yourself the gift of gains . . . by eating chocolate. OK, so you'll still need to put in work at the squat rack, but Cocoa+ has created high-protein chocolates that will help you indulge without the guilt. The brand's gluten-free sweets include a hefty dose of fast-absorbing protein with a luxurious 55 percent cocoa blend, so you can treat your tastebuds and your body.

In the Cocoa+ protein advent calendar, for example - yep, they have an advent calendar for the holidays! - includes 1.4 grams of protein per 5 gram chocolate coin. In each pack of the brand's chocolate Santa Claus and snowman figures, you get a whopping 10 grams of protein! We know, this is a pretty big deal for the usually cheat-heavy holiday season, so don't miss out on the chance to grab protein-rich stocking stuffers and desserts. We've collected all of the protein-packed holiday candies below.

30 Fresh and Fruity Fiber-Filled Smoothies

Sun, 19 Nov 2017 16:25:03 -0800


A smoothie can serve as a healthy breakfast for anyone on the go, but focusing on the protein content alone isn't enough. A smoothie filled with fiber will aid in digestion and keep you satisfied until your next meal. The following 30 smoothies all have seven grams of fiber or more, nearly 30 percent of your daily recommended intake for the whole day.

If You Want to Build to a Push-Up, This Is the Modification You Should Be Doing

Sun, 19 Nov 2017 16:20:03 -0800


Mastering a push-up is no easy feat. The classic bodyweight move challenges your abs and upper body all at once, and requires a tremendous amount of strength and control. While doing push-ups on your knees is a classic modification, it's not the most effective in helping you build up the strength to perform the exercise on your toes. To be honest, doing push-ups on your knees will only really help you get better at just that - doing push-ups on your knees. The best modification is one that mimics the same movement, while simultaneously activating all of the same muscle groups.


Performing negative push-ups is an ideal modification to get you to a full push-up, but can still feel challenging for beginners. If this sounds like you, opt for an incline push-up, said Austin Lopez, BS, CSCS, and personal trainer at DIAKADI. It stresses your body in the same way as a traditional push-up, but takes some of the weight out of it due to the angle.

  • Start in plank position, placing your palms on a stable surface like a wall, chair, kitchen counter, back of couch, or bench. Keep your arms and legs straight with weight on your toes, shoulders above the wrists, and core engaged.
  • Take a breath in, and as you exhale, bend your elbows out to the sides and lower your torso in one piece (it's common to leave your pelvis behind, aka sticking your butt out) toward your hands. Stop when your shoulders are in line with your elbows. Inhale and straighten your arms to return to your starting position. This counts as one rep.
  • Perform three sets of 8-12 reps.

As you become stronger and progress in the move, lower your incline until eventually you will be able to perform them parallel to the floor. If using a wall, take a step or two back to increase the angle.

What the Heck Is Ketosis, and Is It For Me?

Sun, 19 Nov 2017 16:10:06 -0800

You've probably heard of the ketogenic diet by now. Maybe you've even tried a few keto recipes. I mean, everything should be bacon-wrapped and topped with avocado, right? I never recommend jumping into a diet without understanding the ins and outs - you need to know what a diet is all about before you can decide if it is a good fit for you. The keto diet, for example, gets its name from the metabolic state called "ketosis." Fans of the keto diet say that getting your body into this state of ketosis can help you improve body composition (lose fat while retaining lean muscle), increase your energy throughout the day, and even boost your sex drive. Sounds pretty good to me. Let's take a deep dive into the world of keto to find out what ketosis is, how to achieve it, and if it's right for you. What Is Ketosis? When you follow a keto diet, your goal is to be "in ketosis." So, how do you get to the magical land of ketosis? The keto diet requires you drastically reduce your carbohydrate intake (some people go as low as five to 10 percent of their daily calorie intake) while substantially increasing your fat intake, and keeping your protein intake at a moderate level. Sadly, this doesn't mean butter and bacon at every meal. You will be swapping out your bread, oatmeal, cookies, crackers, sweeteners (even natural ones), potatoes, and most fruits for avocado, olive oil, nuts, fish, eggs, meat, green veggies, a little bit of full-fat dairy, and a few berries. So, instead of oatmeal with peanut butter and banana for breakfast, you may have an omelet with bacon, kale, and tomatoes. RelatedThe Truth About How Alcohol Fits Into Your Keto Diet Plan By shrinking your carb intake, you are also slashing the level of glucose in your bloodstream. Glucose is your body's preferred energy source, but, in its absence, your body will use up fat stores as energy instead. This process of burning up fat produces ketones and, once your blood ketone levels rise to a certain level, you are said to be "in ketosis." In a sense, you are throwing a switch on your metabolism to change it from sugar-burning to fat-burning. Once you enter ketosis, your body can more easily access stored fat. For many people, this means quick weight loss, steady blood sugar levels, reduced cravings, and improved mental clarity. You have to stick to your ketogenic diet very closely, however, to get into ketosis and stay there. How Do You Know If You Are in Ketosis? There are a few signs that your body has entered ketosis, though some of them don't sound like much fun. Many people experience what is called a "keto flu." According to Dr. Josh Axe, these symptoms include low energy, weakness, trouble sleeping, increased cravings, and bad breath, and symptoms can last for up to two weeks. Once your body adjusts to burning fat over carbs, however, these symptoms typically subside to make way for the benefits so many people rave about. Symptoms aside, the only way to truly know if you are in ketosis is to test for ketones, either through blood, breath, or urine. There is no perfect testing method (blood testing is the most accurate, but also the most expensive), so it is really personal preference. Is Ketosis Right For You? Ketosis is not for everybody. The keto diet can feel restrictive for some and may make it difficult to navigate dining out and traveling. You need to monitor your ketone levels on a daily basis to know if you are truly in ketosis, which can be costly and cumbersome. On the other hand, there are countless stories of people losing upwards of 100 pound[...]

How Zumba Helped 1 Woman Dance Off 230 Pounds

Sun, 19 Nov 2017 16:05:03 -0800

Weight-loss success happens when you truly love to live a healthy lifestyle, as Cynthia Ortega found out. Here, she tells Zumba's lifestyle blog, Zlife, about her struggles with weight and how she finally found what works - and lost 230 pounds! Cynthia: Before RelatedDietician Says Start Doing This to Lose Weight Born and raised in Houston, Cynthia Ortega used to look in the mirror and hate what she saw. "I felt horrible and sad," she says. "I used to dread going to restaurants with my husband because I knew I wouldn't fit in the seat." Often smiling on the outside, deep down inside, she wasn't happy. She was trapped in her own body, desperately wanting to be someone else. Even her husband, who was very supportive, felt helpless. Heavy mostly her whole life, she had never exercised and had many failed attempts with crash diets. One day, while standing in line to order pizza with her husband, a little girl pointed at Cynthia and said to her mom, "Look mom, that's a big lady!" Everyone heard it and Cynthia was mortified. In 2009, she was hospitalized with the swine flu and couldn't even fit through the MRI machine. She went into an induced coma and had to learn to walk and eat again. Due to her weight, she also discovered she had sleep apnea and diabetes. Cynthia: Before At a crossroads in her life, it finally clicked for Cynthia that she had to get healthy for herself and her young son who looked up to his mom and needed a positive influence. In 2013, she stumbled across a gym near her home and peeked in to see people taking a Zumba class. "It just looked like a lot of fun and something I could do." She and her friend signed up and, within one month of taking two classes per week, she lost 30 pounds! And that was just the beginning of her transformation. Cynthia: After Now 230 pounds lighter, she takes Zumba classes 12 times per week and puts more thought into her diet. She even started a YouTube page to chronicle her weight loss, called "BestFriendFitness" in the hopes of inspiring others out there to get healthy. At 29 years old and married for eight years, Cynthia is inspiring her husband and family members to be healthy and eat foods in moderation. "Now, when my husband takes me out to a restaurant, I don't have to care about the chairs and if I'll fit in them. I love taking selfies and when I look in the mirror I feel great." She recently went back to the doctor for some tests and stayed four extra days to find out that all her health issues had disappeared and her heart rate was that of a fit person's! Cynthia: After So what is Cynthia's advice to others who are suffering from weight issues? "Find what works for you and something you're passionate about. You have to be persistent. You can't expect results from one day to the next. Zumba Fitness is challenging for me. My friends think I make it look easy, but I get out of breath . . . sore . . . tired. It's something that I truly love." Cynthia: After More from ZLife: 5 Steps For a Better Body Image 5 Ab-tastic Exercises What Happens to Your Brain When You Dance? [...]

You Should Never Ignore These 4 Subtle Symptoms of Depression

Sun, 19 Nov 2017 16:00:21 -0800



Despite how common depression is, it can easily be ignored or misdiagnosed, which is harmful because when left unchecked, the mood disorder can be debilitating. Depression manifests itself in many different ways that are subjective to each sufferer, and while you may know the physical symptoms, there are a few common psychological signs you should never ignore. According to Dr. Rafael Euba, a consultant psychiatrist from The London Psychiatry Centre, the following are a few signs to look out for.

Loss of Interest

An inability to enjoy the things you once found pleasure in, coupled with a loss of interest in your usual social activities, such as spending time with friends, is one of the major signals that you're withdrawing into yourself.

Fatigue and Sleeplessness

Whether or not you're conscious of it, the weight of thoughts and worries on your mind can lead to sleeplessness and insomnia, because you're unable to switch off.

Severe Mental Reactions

While you may be experiencing indifference and a sense of joylessness, you might find that your reaction to negative news produces a heightened reaction that may lead to increasingly emotional reactions or preoccupations with the issue.

Persistent Pessimism

Although feelings of hopelessness, irritability, and sadness are all part of the human experience, the key to spotting them as a symptom of a deeper issue is in realizing when they go on abnormally longer than usual, for weeks or several days.

Don't Wait Until the New Year: 5 Health and Fitness Changes to Make Today

Sun, 19 Nov 2017 15:55:25 -0800

As we head into the final month of the year, it's easy to think you've lost the opportunity to make any major changes as you strive toward your fitness, health, or weight-loss goals. The temptation is to just get through party season and worry about things in January, when you can make resolutions for the new year and start "fresh". But we're not there yet. With over two months left in 2017, now is the perfect time to make small changes that could give you big results before 2018 even begins. Whether your goals are to increase stamina, drop pounds, or just feel better every day, here are five easy changes that'll give you a head start on your journey. 1. Wave Goodbye to a Vice or Habit Identify a vice or habit that's not doing you any favors, and aim to kick it before the year is out. Party season might not be the easiest time to say "no", but if you can do it now, you can do it forever. You could choose to go big and quit smoking or drinking, or regularly having junk food, chocolate, sweets, or fizzy drinks (including diet ones). Or you could simply identify that one food or drink item that makes you lose your self-control, and strike it off the shopping list entirely. Maybe you'd rather vow not to order takeaway for the rest of the year, or to stop buying premade meals and to cook from fresh instead? The habit doesn't have to be food- or drink-related, either. Maybe kicking your Instagram habit will do wonders for your mental health, or perhaps you're a night owl who needs to kick that one weird bedtime habit? RelatedTonight, Fall Asleep Instantly With This Breathing Trick 2. Make Positive Changes When It Comes to Activity You know you should take the stairs, you know you should aim for 10,000 steps each day. But do you actually do it? Make a conscious decision from today to take every opportunity to move as much as you possibly can. Stop jumping in the car to go to the local shop when it would only take you 10 minutes to walk there. Resist the urge to choose the parking space right by the door and choose one further away that'll give you a few more steps. Ask for a standing desk if you work in an office, go for a walk at lunch, or watch TV while doing something useful; according to Calorie Lab, an hour of ironing burns about 80 more calories than an hour spent sat on the sofa. All these little things do add up! 3. Ditch the Weekend Lie-In Sleeping in on the weekend might feel like a treat, but ultimately, it'll leave you feeling worse. It throws your sleep cycle out, and no doubt you'll wake up on Monday feeling even more exhausted than normal. Aside from keeping your circadian rhythm in check, there's another reason to stick to your weekday sleep schedule on weekends: it gives you more daylight hours to do stuff! Use those extra hours in the morning to exercise, prep healthy meals for the week, or spend time doing fun things with the people you love (because your mental health is just as important as your physical health). RelatedThe 2 Changes I Made That Helped Me Finally Shed Those Last Few Pounds 4. Carve Out Time For Self-Care In order to do well on your journey to health and fitness, you need to be in the right frame of mind - and self-care helps so much with this. It can be defined in many ways, but comes down to one thing: taking care of yourself and being kind to yourself. That means different things depending on your lifestyle. A good place to start is by finding an hour here or there to do something that feels go[...]

Is It Safe to Eat Raw Oats (as in Overnight Oats)?

Sun, 19 Nov 2017 15:25:06 -0800

You fell hard for the overnight oats craze, and we don't blame you for becoming completely obsessed (we did too!) Overnight oats taste amazing because you can come up with all kinds of delicious flavor combinations from chocolate coconut almond, to banana cashew, to vanilla almond raspberry. They're easy to throw together and eat on-the-go, and they're one of the quickest breakfasts you can make that keep you feeling full all morning long. The only issue is that you may have heard that eating raw oats isn't safe because they contain phytic acid. Why is phytic acid bad? Also known as phytate, it's found in grains, nuts, seeds, and beans and binds to essential minerals such as calcium, zinc, and iron, preventing your body from being able to absorb them. So it makes sense that if you consume too much phytic acid, you can have issues with mineral deficiencies. But don't worry! Nutritionists Stephanie Clarke, RD, and Willow Jarosh, RD, of C&J Nutrition say that even though "oats do contain phytic acid, soaking them overnight will remove some of it." Soaking oats also helps to break down the starches, so they're easier to digest (read: less bloating) than cooked oats. If traditionally prepared oatmeal made with rolled or steel cut oats have always been off-limits because it bothers your stomach, overnight oats may not. So go ahead and eat overnight oats every morning of the week! They're safe, easy on the tummy, and a great choice if you're watching your weight because the complex carbs and fiber keep you fuller. If you really crave a warm bowl, pop your glass jar in the microwave for 30 to 60 seconds. RelatedThis Genius Sunday Prep Idea Will Help You Lose Weight All Week [...]

22 Hot Guys Lifting Weights That Will Have You Booking It to the Gym, Pronto

Sun, 19 Nov 2017 15:05:23 -0800


Let's be honest: the biggest perk your gym has to offer isn't the complimentary mouthwash or the four different bikram yoga classes. It's the hot guys lifting weights. Think about it - do you catch yourself lingering outside the weight room, peering in at the exercisers and getting entranced by all the grunting? Maybe you even go inside and pretend you know how to use a lat pull-down machine just so you can ogle the throbbing muscles around you. Guess what? It's perfectly natural.

There's something mesmerizing about guys doing squats with a barbell, and then there's the CrossFit guys, who are truly a sight to behold - how are they throwing those heavy balls like they're baseballs? *Wipes sweat from brow.*

Here are 22 of the most smoking-hot weight-lifters on Instagram. Just brace yourself; you might need to catch your breath after a few slides.