April 3, 2012 at 2:49 pm , by jbrown
* More proof that using body mass index (BMI) to measure health and fitness is unreliable: Turns out 4 in 10 people in the overweight category may actually be obese. (CNN)
* Think you’re getting all your essential nutrients? According to a new report from the CDC, we ladies may be low in iron (no surprise there) and…iodine. Who knew? Click to find out why you need it and how to get more. (WebMD)
* If this 102-year-old can exercise five times a week surely the rest of us can work up the energy to do the same. (MSNBC)
* As far as breakfast indulgences go, doughnuts aren’t 100% evil—bagels are often higher in calories and fat! Just try not to pick one of these 10 “fatty sugar bombs.” (Fitbie)
March 27, 2012 at 3:29 pm , by jbrown
* Eating chocolate makes you thin?! Best finding from a scientific study EVER. But don’t dive into that giant bag of Mini Eggs just yet. Experts explain why the results may not be very accurate. (CNN)
* What Pilates can—and can’t—do to slim and tone your body. (HuffPo)
* File this under “Who knew?”: Popcorn is high in antioxidants. (FitSugar)
* Bust out of your salad rut with these creative combos. (Fitness)
* I swear this twisting plank move helped me get back into my skinny pants. Not easy but it works! (Oxygen)
February 28, 2012 at 12:22 pm , by jbrown
* Could yoga become an Olympic sport? The organizers of next month’s National Yoga Asana Championship hope so; other practitioners aren’t so enthused. (MSNBC)
* The dilemma: You know you need your omega-3s but you’re not a big fan of fish (one of the best sources of those crucial fatty acids.) The solution: Get ‘em from these 8 vegetarian sources. (HuffPo)
* True or false: Agave is a healthier alternative to sugar. (Greatist)
* Tone your thighs with these squat- and lunge-free fitness moves. (FitSugar)
* Bored with your workout DVDs? Our friends at Fitness rounded up a slew of new reader-tested options. (Fitness)
Image via Shutterstock.
February 21, 2012 at 12:38 pm , by jbrown
* If you’re as klutzy as I am—which is very—you might want to try one of these spill-proof reusable water bottles. (FitSugar)
* Trying to drop a few pounds? Here’s how to shed the fat without losing muscle. (HuffPo)
* Why many people who buy gluten-free foods are wasting their money. (MSNBC)
* EatingWell ranks the healthiest and unhealthiest Girl Scout cookies. Naturally all my favorites are in the “worst” category. (EatingWell)
February 7, 2012 at 11:55 am , by jbrown
* We will never pass up a chance to praise the health benefits of dark chocolate. (FitSugar)
* Wal-Mart is set to debut their own “Great For You” label to make shopping for healthy food easier. (MSNBC)
* If your ab workout doesn’t seem to be working for you anymore, give your core a new challenge with this resistance-band routine from our friends at Fitness. (Bonus: It’s easy to do while you’re watching TV.) (Fitness)
* Not all veggies are more nutritious when they’re eaten fresh. Greatist explains which ones get even healthier when they’re cooked. (Greatist)
* Designer Karl Lagerfeld deems Adele “a little too fat.” You know, because her weight is somehow his business. And because fat-shaming people is morally acceptable. Arrgghhhh. (US magazine)
Delicious chocolate photo via Shutterstock.
February 1, 2012 at 10:45 am , by Amelia Harnish
Having trouble slimming down? Staying the course is tough even when you know all the tricks: diet with friends, announce your goals and commit to a workout schedule. But raising the stakes might help. A new crop of dieting sites does just that by offering a chance to make money for the weight you lose—or pay up if you don’t.
We know supportive social dieting sites and apps that help you track your meals can be helpful, but weight loss gambling? It may sound weird, or even slightly shady, but research supports it: People with a financial incentive lose more weight, according to two studies.
“But it’s not as simple as just paying people to lose weight,” says Leslie John, Ph.D., a professor at Harvard Business School who studies behavioral decision-making. “What we found is that people actually hate losing money even more than they like making money. They hate that regret, so when you use that as leverage in a weight-loss scheme, it works.”
DietBet is the newest site to allow users to bet on their weight loss. The goal is to make dieting a game, according to founder Jamie Rosen. One person plays the role of organizer. She invites others to join and sets how much everyone has to put in the pot. Then, the goal is to lose either 8 pounds or 4 percent of your body weight by the team weigh-in at the end of four weeks. You split the money among the people who reach the goal.
Another site, HealthyWage, offers longer challenges and bigger payouts. To participate in their 10 percent challenge, you put down $100 and if you can lose 10 percent of your body weight in six months you can double your money. Their BMI Challenge is geared toward people with a Body Mass Index over 30. It’s free to participate, but if you get your BMI down to 25, you win $100. Or if you want, you can put down $300 and win $1,000 at the end of the year. To win the cash you have to verify your weight regularly at your gym, doctor’s office or Weight Watchers meeting.
About 25 percent of the people who pay for the BMI Challenge win the money, says co-founder David Roddenberry. Given how hard it is to move the needle on BMI, that’s pretty good.
But the biggest draw for HealthyWage is their Matchup game, played in groups of five for three months. You pay $60, and your team competes against 150 other teams to see who can lose the most weight in three months. The team that comes in first wins $10,000.
Maybe 10 grand is a bit of a lofty goal, but still, the model seems to work thanks to the added social components: teamwork and competition. “Having teammates counting on me really made a huge difference,” says Pat Grimes, who lost 44 pounds and was on this month’s $10,000 team. “The money is out of the question without everyone doing their part.”
Mom blogger Amy Oztan started a DietBet with a few other bloggers earlier this month, and has lost almost 9 pounds. “There were so many times when I wanted to just say screw it, but I didn’t want to be the loser,” she says.
These are just two of many sites out there. There’s also FatBet (which wins the prize for best tagline: “You Bet Your Ass”), GymPact (which charges you when you don’t make it to the gym) and Stickk (which allows you to choose from a variety of goals like losing weight or quitting cigarettes).
No one’s placing any bets, however, on whether the weight loss will last. That’s another story.
Photo copyright infomages—Fotolia.com.
January 31, 2012 at 12:47 pm , by jbrown
* How to make healthy versions of pizza, pudding and more. (Discovery Fit & Health)
* Which workout will help you sculpt “long and lean muscles”? None of them! Thank you, FitSugar, for explaining the truth behind this aggravating fitness myth (which is clearly one of my pet peeves.) (FitSugar)
* How your weekend splurges can easily undo your best weight loss efforts. (USA Today)
* Seven unexpected reasons why we pack on weight in winter. (Fitbie)
* The secret to coping with a food craving? Tell yourself you can have that brownie/ice cream/bag of chips later—chances are you won’t. (WebMD)