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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: Fri, 18 Aug 2017 11:42:43 -0700

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

Been Skipping Workouts? Here's the Right Way to Get Back Into It

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 11:35:11 -0700

There are a lot of reasons why someone takes a break from the gym. From injury to travel or wanting to take some time away to reset the body, there's no bad answer here. We all need a break. Even professional athletes have an off-season! But if you're getting back to a fitness routine after spending time away, there's a right - and wrong - approach. We sat down with Raphael Konforti, MS, CPT, and Youfit Health Clubs National Director of Fitness, who gave us all the tips you'll need to get back to being you! 1. Overdoing Things Your first instinct might be to make up for missed workouts. The truth is that exercise and a healthy lifestyle is much more about consistency than cycles of working really hard then easing off. "Going all out on your workouts leads to burnout and another cycle of missing your workouts," Konforti told POPSUGAR. "To get long-term results take your time getting back to your normal routine." 2. Spend Extra Time Warming Up You wouldn't hop out of bed and go straight into a set of burpees, right? Taking a break from exercise isn't as dramatic of a transition but it still means your body will need extra care and attention to get going. Traveling for vacation usually means lots of sitting and other positions that fold your body up like a beach chair. To counteract that, Konforti said to "spend extra time doing light stretches and low-intensity cardio during your warmup." You'll have a better gauge on how your body feels, reduce the chance of pulling a muscle and have a more effective return to exercise. RelatedThis Is Exactly What Happens If You Miss a Workout . . . or 2 or 3 or 12 3. Start with light full-body training sessions We've all experienced how strange exercising feels after a long time off. Your body needs time to relearn the movements and fire up the right muscles and stabilizers. The best way to get your body working like a finely tuned engine is through a full-body workout that go through each major movement like squats, deadlifts, presses, and rows. "By engaging all of the big muscle groups, you're telling your body it's time to get back on track," said Konforti. 4. Don't Get Discouraged It can be frustrating to get out of breath doing exercises you were cruising through just a couple weeks before. It's OK. According to Konforti, "It's natural for exercise to feel more challenging after a break." The good news is that due to muscle memory, you'll get back to that level of fitness faster than before. Focus on the positives - you're back in the gym and doing something good for your body. 5. Reactivate Your Core Your core was probably hitting the snooze button a lot during your vacation (It's OK if you were too!) so it's time to wake it up. A strong core is at the center of every well executed exercise. "To rebuild your stability and make your return to exercise easier, spend some time activating your core. Simple exercises like planks, side-planks, or bird dogs fire up your core in just a couple minutes," said Konforti. [...]

This Trick Helped Me Finally Get Healthy and Lose Weight in My 50s

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 11:35:05 -0700

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Ericka McConnell A couple of years ago, my doctor warned that my blood sugar levels had been consistently high for two consecutive years (one year is a possible anomaly, two years is a pattern). So high, she was worried that I was on the cusp of being prediabetic. I got the dreaded lecture, "You need to cut your sugar intake and lose some weight. You must exercise. Consistently." I had prioritized family and work while relegating my self-care to nights in front of a TV . . . now I faced the consequences. Back in the day, I used to be active: running, biking, swimming, Jazzercise (LOL), even kung fu (not kidding). But life - and TBH a touch of my own innate laziness - had sidetracked me. I had prioritized family and work while relegating my self-care to nights in front of a TV or cooking amazing desserts. I'm not abdicating; I made those choices, but now I faced the consequences. RelatedNew Runners: Here's Why You Should Run For Time, Not Distance Lucky for me, family and friends were ready to reintroduce me to a more active lifestyle. I started out slowly: walking, then hiking, and eventually working up to long-distance walks like half-marathons. I even joined a running group, San Diego's In Motion Fit, so I could improve my half-marathon walking speed. My daughter Dominique, a POPSUGAR Fitness editor, consistently championed my journey and encouraged me to push boundaries. A recent conversation went something like this: Me: "My blood sugar levels are improving, but I'm still not losing any weight." Dominique: "You have to do cardio." Me: "I'm walking and hiking." Dominique: "Get your heart rate up. Try running with your group instead of walking." Me: "I'll try." I lied. I wasn't going to try. I went to my Saturday group run with all my justifications lined up: a recent broken ankle, my chronic knee issues, an inability to keep up, it was too hot, it was too cold. You name it, I was prepared. And that is when I accidentally ended up running. Wait, you say . . . how does one "accidentally run"? Well, it's easy: I didn't want to be rude. In Motion Fit groups runners together by goal and by speed. I was with the half-marathoners in the 15-minute-mile group. That morning, I began talking to some women I thought were fellow walkers as we started walking that week's scheduled six-mile course. A couple of minutes in, they all began to run. As I was midconversation, I ran to keep up. And then they stopped. Whew, I was so relieved . . . the running was just a fluke. We walked for another minute, and they began to run again. Then walk. Then run, again. "What madness is this?" I questioned. Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Alicia Astorino The author (left) with her daughter after a half-marathon in San Francisco. "Oh, this is the Galloway method," someone said, laughing. "We run for 45 seconds and then we walk for 45 seconds." "For how long?" I asked. "For six miles." Related3 Reasons New Runners Should Sign Up For a Half-Marathon (It's Not as Crazy as You Think!) Well, as I said, I didn't want to be rude. And they weren't going that fast. I figured I could tolerate anything for 45 seconds. I would try it for one mile. Six miles later, I was incredulous. I hadn't run in 30 years, and I had just run-walked-run SIX miles. My health and fitness had just taken a turn for the better. I kept training with that group and I completed a half-marathon (13.1 miles) using the run-walk-run (RWR) method for the entire distance. RelatedHow My Mother Impacted the Way I See Myself The method is as straightforward as its name implies: run - then walk, then run - for short, timed intervals, over any distance. I use the Nike+ app to track distance and the HIIT timer in the Seconds Pro app to time the intervals. Recently, I ran into the person behind the RWR method at a Disney Half Marathon prerace expo; I noticed a long line of people waiting to shake hands with none other than Jeff Galloway, member of the 1972 US Olympic Team, former All American Collegiate athlete,[...]

We Will Never Stop Dancing to The Fitness Marshall's Routine to Demi Lovato

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 11:15:00 -0700

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"Glow up without them" after you "kick your boyfriend to the curb" in yet another hilariously fun dance from The Fitness Marshall. This dance cardio jam comes courtesy of Demi Lovato's latest girl-power anthem, "Sorry Not Sorry," during which you'll sweat to the beat (with a whole lot of "church hands").

Should You Still Be on Team Olive Oil? Here Are the Facts

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 11:10:00 -0700

Recent years have seen the rise in popularity of coconut and avocado oils, with our old friend olive oil being cast aside - and, some argue, quite unfairly. Olive oil has been an important part of a balanced diet for thousands of years, dating back to Ancient Greece, and there is no reason to cut it out of your diet just because pop culture has found a new oil darling. Olive oil is a monounsaturated fat, has no carbohydrates or protein, and is cholesterol- and sodium-free. According to the American Heart Association,"Monounsaturated fats can help reduce bad cholesterol levels in your blood, which can lower your risk of heart disease and stroke. They also provide nutrients to help develop and maintain your body's cells. Oils rich in monounsaturated fats also contribute vitamin E to the diet, an antioxidant vitamin most Americans need more of." Even with this endorsement, is olive oil really that good for us? Sources say yes; the old standby still has a (big) place at the table. And here's why. Let's Talk About Fat, Baby In the pursuit of better overall fitness and health, sometimes the word "fat" becomes the "F" word. Despite the negative association, we have to face facts - we need fat in our diet to thrive. Dietary fat serves as an important energy source and is essential for vitamin absorption (vitamins A, D, E, and K especially). Believe it or not, there is such a thing as not enough fat. In fact, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends between 20 and 35 percent of our daily calories come from fat sources. What constitutes as healthy and unhealthy fat sources can get a little confusing, especially as food trends can be based more on hype than science. "Bad fats" have been known as the saturated kind, the ones that stay solid at room temperature, such as butter, lard, and everyone's new favorite, coconut oil. "Good fats" have been touted as the mono or polyunsaturated kind, the ones that stay liquid or near liquid at room temperature, such as olive and canola oils. Studies over recent years have highlighted the importance of not looking only at the sources of fat or its content, because the type of saturated fat can make a difference in its nutritional value. Case in point, the saturated fat in coconut oil is different than that in animal sources and is therefore less "bad" than you may think. But remember, just because something is a "good fat" doesn't mean it shouldn't be moderated, as overeating of any fat can create health issues and lead to weight gain. How Much Is Too Much? The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has stated that two tablespoons (23 grams) of olive oil daily may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. In order to achieve the possible benefit, though, the FDA explains that the olive oil should replace a similar amount of saturated fat and not increase the total number of calories you eat in a day. Translation: swap out your butter for your olive oil and don't go crazy on the rest of your calories just because of one small change. Does that mean you have to ditch your new love for coconut or avocado oil? According to nutritionist Amy Giustino-Talbot, we don't need to be so strict. Giustino-Talbot told POPSUGAR that "all oils are not created equal. That said, the health benefits of one oil do not negate the health benefits of another. Different oils, like the foods they are derived from, have different tastes and have various uses. Dependent on your needs for cooking, taste, viscosity, or fatty acid content, you may choose a distinct oil." Making an Informed Oil Choice Giustino-Talbot shared that olive oil can be healthy, but not all olive oils are the same. Her ideal source is organic, cold-pressed, extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO). Cold pressing is a technique where olive oil is extracted without the use of heat or other chemical additives, an actual squeezing of the olive to juice it. Cold relates to the temperature of the olive when it is pressed, which is important because heat affects t[...]

Taraji P. Henson Talks About Her "Special Diet" and What It Means to Love Yourself

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 09:10:31 -0700

Body positivity and diversity are hot-button topics that are currently a strong part of the conversation in our society. As curvier models and people who look a bit different are gaining more visibility, it's inspiring more and more of us to embrace the body we're in and truly love it. One person who has long been an advocate for diversity and positivity in all their forms is actress Taraji P. Henson. "Body diversity, it's very important, because that's where shame comes in. That's where you feel like, 'Well, I don't fit because I look a certain way,'" she told me when I sat down with her at an event with Special K. "Well, you look a certain way because God made you and you're perfect," she continued. Henson went on to say that, in her opinion, our society is moving in the right direction toward acceptance, and she hopes it sticks. "People are all different shapes and sizes. It should be representative of every body type to give someone else hope or inspire someone else who has that body type," she said. RelatedThese Body-Positive T-Shirts Are Taking Over Instagram - and We Want Every Single 1 Henson herself said she recently got herself to a place where she loves her body and wants to treat it right, too, because body positivity is more than just loving yourself. It's about loving yourself enough to be good to yourself. Henson, who recently experienced some health problems due to what she calls poor food choices, said that her work and lack of knowledge on what will make your stomach happy (like bone broth!) came crashing down on her and resulted in her having to make an entire lifestyle change. "I'm now that person who carries a lunch box with my food in it because I'm on a special diet. I take snacks with me everywhere I go because I like living; I like life," she said. And it was this health scare - which she totally kicked in the face - that made her want to do more to empower women to make the right choices, not just with food but with themselves. She and Special K, who did a study and found that more than half of women surveyed spend more time thinking about what to eat than what to wear, are encouraging women to make more positive food choices. "I think it's great to have choices," she said, not just about food but about everything in life. She said it's important to be confident in what you choose to eat and how you live and to keep loving yourself along the way, because you'll not only feel empowered within yourself, but you'll inspire others to do the same. [...]

Are You Ready For This? Our 56 Favorite Sneakers of 2017 Are So Freaking Cool

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 08:20:07 -0700


When we say, "You can never have enough sneakers," we mean it. Whether you're using your kicks to go to the gym, take a class, or just stroll around town, there's always room for more. That's why we created an ultimate guide to our favorite sneakers of the year. These shoes come in every color of the rainbow, and every style you can think of too. Shop through these enticing options and score yourself a pair before they all disappear. Trust us, they'll be selling out soon.

A Trainer Gets Brutally Honest About Why You Aren't Seeing Results

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 08:15:13 -0700

I have some tough love for you today. It's about your workouts. You go to the gym several times a week, sometimes twice in one day, and yet you aren't as fit as you should be. As a certified group exercise trainer and indoor cycling instructor, I've taught hundreds of classes. Based on what I see, I think a lot of you are shortchanging yourself. Taking a step back and getting honest about your approach will help you work out smarter, and maybe even harder. RelatedThis No-Equipment Workout Will Ignite Parts of Your Body You Didn't Know Existed 1. You Aren't Paying Attention Some instructors are better than others, but let's assume you aren't wasting your time with bad trainers. When you go to a class, are you listening to what you are being asked to do? Do you pay attention to alignment cues in yoga? Do you check your form in weight training? Listen to what the people in spandex wearing microphones are saying. They are certified experts who take continuing education classes and spend hours creating quality workouts. They have taken on the burden of exercise selection, interval timing, choreography, and sequencing. Sometimes the key to success is recognizing that you can't get there on your own. You wouldn't ask an accountant to do your taxes and then scribble all over the return as she was filling it out would you? Trust your instructors. They want to get you there as badly as you do. RelatedAfter Years of Struggling, Here's How I Finally Learned to Do Push-Ups 2. You Aren't Working Hard Enough Here's a dose of tough love: instructors know how hard you are working, and that you aren't always tapping your potential. Example: you are in an indoor cycling class and your instructor asks you to add resistance. Everyone adds gear, except for you because you don't want it to be "too hard." When the music picks up and the entire class is straining to get up that hill, there you are, pedaling like a demon, barely breaking a sweat. Another example: you are in a weight-training situation and even though you've been doing the same moves for months, you're still using the same weights. You wonder why you aren't getting stronger. Guess what? You aren't challenging your muscles when you always choose the same weights. Pick up something heavier. What's the worst thing that can happen? It's too heavy and you have to switch to lighter weights to finish? Do that every time if you want to see results. RelatedIt May Look Fancy, but This Protein-Packed Egg Dish Takes All of 15 Minutes Final example: you are in a HIIT class. There are people that are going to go half-speed the entire time. And there are people that are going to stop working halfway through the interval. You know how I know? Because I CAN SEE THEM! Don't be self-conscious; no one is staring at you while you work out. But the instructor is scanning the room for safety reasons and can see how hard you're working. I promise that you'll see better results when you put in the effort. 3. You Aren't Competing With Yourself Stop comparing yourself to the other people in class. Who knows what they had for breakfast? How many workouts a week they do when you don't see them? It's not about them. It's about you and what you can achieve. Whenever I teach class, I want my students thinking, "Today I am going to do more than I did last time. I am going to add more gear. I am going to hold my sprint longer. I am going to pick up the eight-pound dumbbell instead of the five." You go to your classes to improve yourself. You have special strengths and abilities. You may struggle at push-ups but you can plank for two minutes. You may have spaghetti arms but can crush squats all day long. Be you. Don't worry about anyone else. Stay on your own mat, mentally and physically. Your fitness will blossom. Related1 Expert Shares Why You Need to Focus on the Short Term to Hit Long-Term Goals 4. You Don't Accept What You Can't [...]

Burn 200 Calories in 20 Minutes With This Quick Workout

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 06:45:03 -0700


If your schedule is feeling tight, don't skip your workout. We have made a quick calorie-burning workout just for you. In only 20 minutes, you can burn up to 200 calories. So grab a set of five-pound dumbbells if you have them, press play, and work it.

Media Files:

What's the Theory Behind Orangetheory Fitness?

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 06:38:03 -0700

Orangetheory Fitness studios seem to be everywhere these days. The eye-catching logo, bright colors, and sleek studio formats seem to beckon you in. The fitness franchise world is blowing up, and it may be hard to determine what one studio offers from another. So here's the skinny on OTF, as the insiders call it, and why it might be your next fitness obsession. What Is OTF's Theory on Fitness? OTF bases its entire workout regimen on two concepts: heart-rate monitoring and Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC). OTF calls EPOC "afterburn" - the concept that when you work at a sufficiently high level of energy, your body creates an oxygen deficit that must be restored after the energy requirements level off (e.g. you finish your workout). While your body is working to repay its oxygen debt, calories continue to "burn" long after the workout stops. OTF claims afterburn can last up to 36 hours with some participants. And as a byproduct, anywhere from 500 to 1,000 calories can be credited per workout. Sounds like a great premise. How do they get you to the afterburn stage? Through working in a five-level heart-rate zone. Before anyone begins at OTF, they fill out a health survey where they state their fitness goals and their maximum heart rate (MHR) is calculated through age, weight, and height. The workout is based on achieving color-coded levels of MHR over a 60-minute class, associated with different levels of effort. Zones 1 and 2 are for warmup and recovery. OTF recommends spending 25-30 minutes of the workout in Zone 3, with 12-20 minutes in Zones 4 and 5 to maximize afterburn. RelatedThe Top 4 Workouts to Avoid If You're Trying to Lose Weight A post shared by Orangetheory Fitness (@orangetheory) on Feb 22, 2016 at 9:12am PST How Do You Get Started? On your first visit, allot 30 minutes for the fitness survey and to be set up with your heart-rate monitor. Only OTF monitors sync with their program (which means your Fitbit or Apple Watch won't work), so subsequent visits will require rental ($5) or purchase ($69) of your own monitor. Speaking of cost, like many boutique fitness shops, OTF is not inexpensive. Prices vary by location (McKinney OTF memberships range from $59-$159 or a drop-in fee of $28/class). Your first class at any OTF is free. Classes are capped at 24 for the 60-minute classes, which can be booked in advance through an online portal. So, aren't you curious to feel the afterburn? Why not hit an Orangetheory franchise near you and find out? RelatedI Survived My First Orangetheory Class and Learned a Valuable Lesson Along the Way [...]

Strong Abs Start With This 7-Minute Workout

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 17:50:03 -0700


Get the printable version of this seven-minute HIIT workout here!

When it comes to high-intensity interval training (HIIT), the pros definitely outweigh the cons. While it may feel unpleasant to push your body to go faster and harder for that short time period, the rewards are worth it: HIIT helps you blast more belly fat, save time, and burn way more calories (even after your workout is long over) than a lower-intensity workout alone. A 2013 study published in the American College of Sports Medicine's Health and Fitness Journal found that a few minutes of training at almost your max can accomplish all of this in way less time than a traditional workout. How much less? Try just seven minutes total.

The ACSM's interval workout consists of 12 exercises, which should be done at an intensity of eight on a scale of 10; each exercise lasts 30 seconds, with a 10-second rest in between. Repeat the circuit if you'd like a longer workout. Keeping the intensity up - and the rest periods short - is key, so keep reading to learn the moves and then get going! You'll need a mat and a chair or bench.

What Not to Wear to Yoga Class, Because Wardrobe Malfunctions Are Never Fun

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 17:40:07 -0700


Yoga is definitely not black and white, but there are some dos and don'ts when it comes to your attire. Comfort and fit are key so you can focus on doing the poses instead of futzing with your outfit. Check out these suggestions so you know what not to wear for yoga.

Running and Lifting in the Same Workout? Here Are the Shoes You Need

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 17:40:03 -0700


So, running shoes aren't designed for weightlifting, and training shoes aren't typically supportive enough for running, but what if you're taking a class that incorporates running and weights? Or if you're hitting the gym and you like to do a little mix of treadmill and floor work?

Girl, you need to get yourself a shoe that can do both. For classes like Orangetheory Fitness, Barry's Bootcamp, and Speedplay that mix a bit of weight training in with a treadmill running, you don't want to be changing shoes halfway (or sometimes a quarter way) through class. In these instances, we consulted some experts to share the best shoes that work for both short-distance running and strength training.

5 Lessons I Learned Battling Lower-Back Pain

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 16:45:00 -0700

I've had nagging pain before: a toothache, a side stitch, ridiculously sore quads that felt like boulders. But I didn't know the true meaning of "nagging pain" until I hurt my back earlier this year. As one of the 31 million Americans who experience back pain at any given time, according to the American Chiropractic Association, I'm lucky that my discomfort isn't constant. Only felt when I arch my back (think Upward Facing Dog in yoga), the pain came on suddenly after attempting a heavy-squat snatch during the CrossFit Open earlier this year. Nearly five months, an X-ray, and an MRI later, I've completely adjusted my day-to-day life to avoid angering what turned out to be arthritis in my lumbar spine. RelatedBecoming a Spin Instructor Taught Me to Love Myself Being on the injured list is the absolute worst. Especially as a certified personal trainer, run coach, and indoor cycling instructor, movement is part of my everyday agenda. Some days it's hard to have patience, not being able to do everything as I did pre-snatch. What I've learned along this road to recovery is that there are small, simple things you can do not only to alleviate back pain, but stave it off altogether. 1. Backpacks Are Your BFFL You loved them when you were in kindergarten, and it's time to love 'em again now, no matter your age. It was about a month into learning how to live with back pain that I realized how important it was for me to ditch my standard tote bag. On any typical day, I'm leaving the house before 7 a.m. for a workout and sometimes not coming back until 9 p.m. after a day of workouts, events, teaching, and hitting up the office somewhere in between. That means that my go-to bag was large, filled to the brim, and often only weighing me down on one side. So I swapped my tote for a Lululemon Adventurer Backpack. Aside from the fact that I'm obsessed with its copious amounts of pockets, I can say without a doubt that it makes going from point A to point B easier. My load feels lighter. Within two days of rocking the pack, I felt like I was standing up straighter. And unlike before, I wasn't doing a scan come day's end, wishing I could hit up the massage parlor. 2. Stand Up For What's Right Or at least sit less. Here's the thing: while I don't have a 9-to-5 desk job, so to speak, I do spend a great amount of my day on my iPad answering emails and getting work done. Mixing up my routine, and going from sitting to standing every 30 minutes to an hour, helps me do a bit of a posture check a few times a day. It also doesn't hurt that standing up more often during the day can help decrease risk of disease despite activity levels, according to a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. 3. Find a Smarter Workout Hands down, my exercise habits were the hardest things for me to switch up. For the last four years, I've spent the Summer marathon training, something that I reluctantly had to abstain from for 2017. Instead of logging 13- to 18-milers on Sunday mornings, I've shifted my routine to incorporate more exercises that help support my back by strengthening my core, glutes, and hips. When you strengthen the muscles surrounding your spine, you give it a better base of stability. This means that my routine today looks totally different than it did six months ago; think barre, yoga, HIIT classes, and - of course - spin. Doing these classes without changing my focus wouldn't be possible, either. Now, I have to remember to tuck in my tailbone to protect my lower back during a slew of moves. I have to think about really engaging my abs so I'm not overcompensating with the wrong muscle groups. And, most importantly, I have to make time to do extra sets of strengthening exercises in the comfort of my own home so[...]

These Wheat-Free Pancakes Are Perfect For a Low-Carb Brunch

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 16:30:21 -0700

Controlling cravings when you've cut carbs or gluten can be especially hard when it comes to breakfast or brunch. Between baskets of muffins and stacks of pancakes, there's often enough on the table to make your dietary restrictions dampen the morning fun. RelatedVegan French Toast That Barely Breaks 100 Calories Luckily, you don't have to pass on a pancake breakfast if you whip up a batch of these wheat-free pancakes. Using almond flour and flaxseed means these dense, filling hotcakes are high in fiber (three grams per serving) as well as protein (six grams per serving). Wheat-Free Pancakes From Wheat Belly Cookbook Notes These pancakes have almost no sugar, so serve with Greek yogurt, fresh fruit, or your favorite maple syrup if you'd like to sweeten them. Ingredients3 cups almond meal 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed 1/2 teaspoon sea salt 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 3 large eggs 3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk, light coconut milk, or milk 2 tablespoons extra-light olive oil, walnut oil, coconut oil, or butter, melted Directions In a medium bowl, combine the almond meal, flaxseed, salt, and baking soda. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, then add the milk and oil or butter and whisk thoroughly. Gradually whisk the flour mixture into the egg mixture. Add more milk as necessary, one tablespoon at a time, to reach pancake-batter consistency. Lightly oil a skillet and heat over medium heat. Pour 1/4 cup batter onto the skillet. Cook for three minutes, or until bubbles form and edges are cooked. Flip and cook for three minutes or until underside is lightly browned. Repeat with remaining batter. Serve with desired toppings. Makes 14 four-inch pancakes. The following nutritional information is for one pancake made with unsweetened almond milk and coconut oil. Source: Calorie Count Information Category Breakfast/Brunch, Pancakes/Waffles Yield 14 pancakes Cook Time 20 minutes Nutrition Calories per serving 162 [...]

Boost Your Metabolism With This Cooling Green Tea Limeade

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 16:25:12 -0700

If you're looking for a cooling and caffeinated pick-me-up, look no further than this metabolism-boosting iced green tea. The addition of citrus increases the antioxidant levels of green tea while giving the drink a refreshing tang. Plus, this recipe is as easy to make as it is to sip. RelatedThe Debloating Refresher You'll Want to Sip All Summer Long Green Tea Lime Cooler From Susi May, POPSUGAR Fitness Notes You can make this recipe with jasmine tea for a more floral tasting drink. Triple the recipe to make a pitcher. Ingredients 1 green tea bag Juice from 1/2 lime 1/2-1 teaspoon agave nectar Handful of ice Garnish (optional): Mint leaves, lime wedges, or cucumber slices Directions Boil water and steep green tea in about 1 and 1/2 cups boiling water for about five minutes. Add in lime juice and agave nectar (or sweetener of your choice). Stir until mixed. Add a handful of ice. Drink up and enjoy! Makes one serving. Information Category Drinks Average ( votes): Print recipe [...]

12 Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipes That Taste Like the Real Deal

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 16:07:03 -0700


Sweet and not sinful? We're 100 percent in. Why skip chocolate altogether when you can still indulge in vegan, Paleo, and gluten-free cookies that are so good you won't even notice they're "good for you," too? Take a peek at all the best healthy chocolate chip cookie recipes the internet has to offer.

Change This 1 Thing to Get More From Every Workout

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 15:30:04 -0700

You take the back corner whenever possible. Being close to the instructor is your nightmare. You prefer packed classes where you can get lost in the crowd. You avoid looking in the mirrors, even to check your form. You are OK with marginal fitness improvements because you are scared to work harder in case you look silly. You know who you are. As a trainer, I have one thing to say to you: you need to kick that shy person inside you to the curb and start tapping into your inner workout beast. And start today. The more committed you are to every move, every drill, every repetition, the better you will perform. And more importantly, you will get better results. Too often we let our desire to hide during our workouts shortchange our ability to get all we possibly can out of every minute. RelatedA Trainer Reveals the 3 Biggest Mistakes You're Making in Class When you walk into any fitness arena - gym, studio, weight room, outdoor boot camp - your game face should be on. You have taken the time out of your busy schedule. In most cases, you have paid money to participate. Your results are based on the work you put in, not the effort of your trainers. You are given the tools; it's what you do with them that makes you a fitness badass or a wannabe. The badasses commit. They grunt. They groan. They pick up the heavier weights and crush their sets, even if they have to make weird faces while doing it. They get sweaty in unattractive places. (Hence why I typically only wear black workout pants). They go all out, all the time (regardless of where their sweat goes), and you know who they are because they look the part. The people who aren't as successful are often the ones that are more worried about what they look like than what they are actually accomplishing. They barely swing a kettlebell because they are embarrassed to really thrust their hips up to get the full motion of the move. They do a halfhearted punch or kick in their kickboxing class because they don't want to seem overeager. Or worse, that they are "acting tough." They refuse to sprint in boot camp because they worry about looking like they are trying too hard. It's this self-consciousness that is holding them back from reaching the next level of fitness. And they need to get over themselves and get out of their own way. I guarantee you, no one is really looking at you. Related16 Kickass Fitness Quotes to Motivate Your Monday Workout In yoga, we are reminded to stay on our own mats. In cycling, we are the master of our own rides. While driving, we stay in our lanes. What you chose to do in your fitness lane and how you chose to do it should not be driven by those around you. Let your inner badass come out, in all its glory. Your squats will be deeper, you'll squeeze in a few more reps before time expires, you'll burn those extra calories you are after. Dig in, dig deep, and forget about everyone else. This is YOUR workout. Be committed. Do this and you will start seeing better results. RelatedThe 5 Secrets Your Trainer Wishes They Could Tell You [...]

A Celebrity Trainer's Weight-Loss Rule: 3 Miles or 30 Minutes

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 15:15:10 -0700

Before trainer Kit Rich became a Pilates instructor to the stars (and healthy-lifestyle ambassador for brands like Lucy), she was just a woman trying yet another crazy, extreme, or unhealthy diet in order to lose weight. "I tried everything," she told POPSUGAR, adding that she also suffered from eating disorders and body dysmorphia. "I was desperate to lose weight. So I would do, like what most women do, those freaking crazy juice diets. I would do all these extreme things, but it always brought me back to the other extreme." Related30-Minute Fat-Burning Pilates Workout After years of yo-yo dieting, Kit finally hit on her problem: she was working out in a way that wasn't sustainable. Her solution was one that helped her lose 30 pounds and one that she still shares with her students today, whether she's teaching a private class in LA or going on tour with a musician client. Her tip? Make it manageable. Specifically, Kit says that her mantra of "three miles or 30 minutes, every day" is what helped her finally break free from weight fluctuations and keep the pounds off for good. As in: run, walk, or hike your way to three miles a day, or do a 30-minute workout instead. "I really do believe wholeheartedly that the middle road is the way to go," she says. "Anything extreme is not long-lasting." RelatedYou Don't Need a Gym For This 2-Week Workout Plan As a former athlete, this manageable mantra helped keep Kit from burning out on her workouts when she was trying to lose weight. "I come from a background of injury, and I had knee surgery, so you can't tell me to go and take some crazy bootcamp class," she says. "Because my knee will start to hurt, and then what's going to start to happen, I'm going to freak out that I won't be able to do that for the rest of my life." Instead, just telling yourself to do something little every day can help you get a hold of your health and your weight-loss goals. "Women need to feel empowered," she says. "They need to feel like what they're doing is something that they somewhat enjoy and that they can have a grip on. And that's why I believe in this three or 30 rule." Inspired by Kit's message? Check out all our 30-minute workouts here! [...]

7 Myths Nutritionists Wish You'd Stop Believing

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 15:15:03 -0700

There's a lot of misinformation out there, but dietitian Julie Upton, MS, RD, of Appetite For Health, is here to shed light on seven nutritional myths that could mess with your weight-loss efforts and your health. The Internet is like the Wild West when it comes to nutrition information: anything goes. Websites are rife with less-than-accurate nutrition facts, which only fuels food myths and adds to consumers' confusion about which picks are the healthiest. At best, you can hope there's a kernel of truth in what you're reading, but more often than not, there's no scientific basis for these myths. Below are seven of the most popular nutrition myths and the real deal on each. RelatedLook For These 46 Ways Added Sugar Can Appear on Your Food Label Myth 1: You need to detox your body with a juice cleanse. Fact: From celebrities to personal trainers, there's no shortage of so-called experts advocating fasts or juice cleanses to detox. If you Google "detox," you'll get nearly 64 million results for diet programs and treatments that are supposed to help "flush out your system," "remove toxic substances from the body," "give your GI tract a rest," or "speed up your metabolism" and "enhance your overall health." But despite all the hype and popularity, there's little proof that fasting or following a deprivation diet for several days actually delivers on any of the above promises. While an occasional short fast or a day of following a "juice diet" won't cause harm for most healthy people, it will likely leave you feeling cranky and hungry. If you really want to be and feel your best, eat a healthy diet that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables, get adequate sleep, and don't drink more than one alcoholic beverage per day. Myth 2: Diet sodas make you gain weight. Fact: While you may have read that diet beverages make you gain weight, a recent clinical trial found just the opposite. In the 12-week study, published in the journal Obesity, dieters who drank diet beverages lost 13 pounds on average - 44 percent more than subjects drinking water only, who lost an average of nine pounds. What's more, the diet-soda drinkers reported feeling more satisfied. This study adds to a substantial body of research demonstrating that low-calorie sweeteners and the diet beverages that contain them do not hinder but can in fact help with weight loss. Two peer-reviewed studies published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition by researchers from the University of North Carolina in 2012 and 2013 randomly assigned subjects to drink either water or diet beverages (without making any other changes to their diet). After six months, the diet-beverage group had a greater likelihood of reaching a meaningful amount of weight loss - five percent of one's body weight - compared to the control group. These studies reinforce that if you're trying to lose weight, diet beverages may help you peel off pounds, as they can help you achieve and maintain a lower-calorie eating plan. Myth 3: Canola oil is made from rapeseed plants, which are toxic. Fact: Canola oil comes from the crushed seeds of canola plants - not rapeseed plants, which are, in fact, harmful. Rapeseed oil contains high levels of erucic acid, which is linked to heart disease and therefore is not allowed to be sold in the US. While the two plants are cousins, they're distinctly different in their composition. In the 1960s, farmers used breeding methods to help eliminate the erucic acid from canola plants, and canola oil is now regulated to contain negligible amounts of the compound, ensuring that cano[...]

Fiber-Rich Chia Berry Smoothie Will Keep You Full For Hours

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 15:10:03 -0700

Chia seeds offer an easy source of plant-based protein, anti-inflammatory omega-3s, and antioxidants to your diet. If you find their crunchy texture a little off-putting on their own, try tossing them into this refreshing morning smoothie. High in vitamin C and boasting more than 10 grams of fiber, this antioxidant breakfast blend gets an extra lift with some chia power. RelatedIf You Want to Lose Weight, This Is the Smoothie Formula to Use Antioxidant Smoothie From Whole Living Ingredients1 cup frozen mixed berries 1/2 cup unsweetened pomegranate juice 1/2 cup water 1/2 tablespoon chia seeds Directions Combine all ingredients in a blender, and mix until smooth. Top of with an extra sprinkle of chia seeds if you wish. Source: Calorie Count Information Category Drinks, Smoothies Yield 1 serving Cook Time 5 minutes Nutrition Calories per serving 223 [...]

These Vegan Burgers Look So Damn Good - Here's How They Actually Taste

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 15:10:00 -0700

As a hardcore vegan, people always ask me what I miss most about eating meat and cheese. They tell me they would sorely miss pizza and cheeseburgers more than anything else, and while I don't crave those foods anymore (I used to at the beginning of my vegan diet, though), I definitely don't mind it when a vegan alternative falls into my lap. When I first saw the Beyond Burger from Beyond Meat, I was shocked at how real the patties looked. They were red and juicy, and it seemed like they had the same consistency as a regular burger. Made without hormones, antibiotics, GMOs, gluten, and soy, these plant-based burgers have 20 grams of protein and only six grams of carbs, and they're 290 calories a patty. They're made from a pea protein isolate, and natural beet juice lends the gorgeous red color. They almost seemed too good to be true. I cooked up the patties at home in a cast iron skillet, and the first thing I noticed was that they sizzled just like regular burger patties do. I had two friends visiting for lunch (both of whom are regular meat-eaters), and they were pretty mesmerized at how real they looked in the pan. Related13 Vegan Beauty Products I Simply Cannot Live Without I served the burgers with the works: sautéed mushrooms, caramelized onions, cashew cheese, sliced tomatoes, mustard, ketchup, and fluffy pretzel buns. It was starting to look like a real burger, very similar to how they appear in the photos. When I took my first few bites, I was surprised at how juicy the patty was, and seeing the pink in the middle reminded me strongly of what it felt like to eat a regular burger. Having not had a traditional burger in years, I thoroughly enjoyed the experience of ripping into it. However, the taste wasn't all I hoped it would be. My friends agreed with me that it was definitely good, but it wasn't fantastic. It was a little bland, which is why we were grateful for all the toppings I had laid out on the table. That being said, I would definitely buy these burgers again. Even though they could have been better, they were still pretty tasty, and I loved that I was able to eat a juicy cheeseburger once again. Michele Foley, director of Fitness at POPSUGAR, is a meat-eater who also tried the Beyond Burgers. Here's what she had to say about the vegan alternative: RelatedMy Period Completely Changed When I Went Vegan - Here's How "Let me start by saying I love a good hamburger! Whether it's a pit stop at In-N-Out or splurging on a $16 offering at a fancy restaurant, it's incredibly satisfying to bite into a perfectly cooked burger. Despite my affection for meat, I've sampled my fair share of vegan and veggie patties, and each time I have been sorely disappointed. If you're craving a crunchy grain burger, sure, a veggie patty will do. But if it's a true burger alternative you're looking for, there's really nothing out there. "I was immediately intrigued by Beyond Meat. In raw form, it looks exactly like a beef patty - freakishly so! And as Gina already touched on, it sizzles up like one, too. As for taste, I am also in agreement with my fellow taste-tester: the flavor was a bit bland. While it looked 100-percent like a burger, it tasted nothing like one; it could have definitely benefited from some spices or a dash of liquid smoke. That being said, it still was one of the best vegan options I have tried. The texture was more meaty than other options I've had, and it's incredibly juicy, something most vegan patties lack. And from a sensory perspective, if you are missi[...]

Why You Shouldn't Worry Too Much About Counting Carbs When You're Vegan

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 14:36:03 -0700

There are many different reasons people become vegan. Some might be trying to lose weight or improve their overall health while others are staunch fighters for animal rights. Whatever the case may be, veganism has become widely known as a high-carb diet. When you give up meat and dairy, you start eating more grains, legumes, fruits, etc., and these foods are naturally higher in carbs than, say, chicken or fish. However, if you're vegan or considering going vegan, you may not have to worry too much about this fact. Julieanna Hever, MS, RD, CPT, a plant-based dietitian and health and fitness expert, spoke to POPSUGAR about this topic, and she said counting carbs on a plant-based diet might not be the best use of your time. RelatedMy Period Completely Changed When I Went Vegan - Here's How "Carbs have been so misinterpreted that candy bars and carrots end up in the same category, when, in fact, they are completely different in the body in how they are metabolized," Hever told POPSUGAR. "We need to regulate our food intake based on quality of food, rather than their macronutrient profile." In other words, it may not matter that much if you're eating more carbs than you used to, as long as they're plant-based foods that are completely unprocessed, such as quinoa, lentils, fresh fruits, and beans. Hever thinks we would all do better to "shift the conversation away from carbs, proteins, and fats" and rather understand how to eat wholefully and healthfully again. "Foods high in carbohydrates, such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and legumes, are the healthiest foods on the planet," Hever continued. "In fact, it is one of the advantages of a plant-based diet that it is high in carbohydrates. Weight loss is not only easier, but also healthier and more sustainable when these foods are the foundation of a diet." RelatedI Cut This Out of My Diet to Lose Weight and, No, It's Not Carbs Keep in mind that a vegan diet and a plant-based diet are not necessarily the same thing. You can still eat processed snacks, flour, and sugar when you're eating vegan, but eating a whole-foods, plant-based diet means you only eat foods that are naturally from the earth. That's the diet Hever is referring to, and while that diet might be naturally high-carb, it's certainly not something to worry about, even if you're trying to lose weight. [...]

Forget the Mat! Try These 25 Wall Yoga Poses

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 14:35:50 -0700


Blocks and straps are well-known yoga props, but a wall is even better because it's free! Check out all the cool ways you can use a wall to get deeper into your yoga practice, and have a little fun.

The Weight-Loss Tips Missing From Your Evening Routine

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 14:15:03 -0700


While losing weight isn't something that happens overnight, doing some prep work the night before can make all the difference when you step on the scale. If slimming down and becoming healthier are two goals at the top of your priority list, here are four must dos to make part of your weeknight routine.

Does Drinking Apple Cider Vinegar Help You Lose Weight? A Dietitian's Response

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 14:15:00 -0700

You've been taking shots of apple cider vinegar (ACV), adding it to your morning glass of water, or making ACV smoothies because you heard it helps with weight loss. But does it really have that much of an impact on the scale? POPSUGAR asked certified dietitian Leslie Langevin, MS, RD, CD, of Whole Health Nutrition, who said this is a pretty controversial topic. Leslie said that there isn't any harm in taking it regularly but that she wouldn't recommend it for a weight-loss supplement. She told POPSUGAR, "There is some evidence it can help with blood sugar levels and possibly weight loss, but we are very cautious about recommending things without a ton of evidence." Some small studies on animals, mostly mice, show that it may promote feeling satiated so you end up eating less all day. Other studies say it may suppress the accumulation of body fat and reduce body weight, but again, that was tested on mice, not people. Taking ACV may also block starch absorption, which prevents blood sugar spikes, which in turn suppresses appetite. These studies sound promising, but as mentioned above, there haven't been extensive studies proving that taking ACV daily will greatly impact your metabolism or help with weight loss. RelatedDietician Says Start Doing This to Lose Weight This is great news if you hate drinking apple cider vinegar but have been forcing yourself to endure the sour flavor purely for weight-loss purposes. Leslie says it can't hurt to add vinegar to salads for taste or to add it to your morning lemon water, but don't jump to taking it as a weight-loss aid since more research needs to be conducted to prove it's worth it. Translation: ACV is no magic weight-loss elixir! She suggests to "fix your underlying diet and exercise problems that are not allowing you to lose weight." [...]