weight loss

Get-Fit Clicks

January 31, 2012 at 12:47 pm , by

* 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)

Get-Fit Clicks

January 17, 2012 at 11:45 am , by

* It’s hard enough to remember the zillion or so things you need to do each day—don’t make it worse by loading up on these 5 brain-aging foods. (Yeah, you knew added sugar would be one of them.) (HuffPo)

* A great piece about why it doesn’t pay to overdo your workouts, no matter how anxious you are to lose weight. Don’t be one of those people who thinks a good workout = “I am in a pile of sweat and puking.” (NYTimes)

* Which is better for weight loss: eating 6 mini meals or 3 squares a day? EatingWell breaks down the research. (EatingWell)

* Yet another reason to take stretch-and-stroll breaks at the office: A new study shows too much sitting may be bad for your mental health. (Yahoo)

Twinkies and the Weight-Loss Blues

January 10, 2012 at 3:50 pm , by

Know any good Twinkie jokes? I just read that Hostess Brands Inc. is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and, as a health editor, I’ll shed no tears for the freefall of its junk-food sales. But I do feel some nostalgia for those sugary (and indestructible) lunchbox treats of my youth.

I grew up in the Midwest when processed and convenience foods were new and a novelty. My mom had been a home economist and food editor at Meredith Corp. in Des Moines, Iowa—the same company I work for now (parent of LHJ and other brands). Mom believed in home-cooked meals, including fresh produce from the garden when possible, and desserts only for special occasions. But sometimes, when my brother or sister and I begged for the sugary cereals we saw on Saturday morning TV commercials (Quisp and Quake!) or those hot-pink gelatinous Hostess Sno Balls others had in their lunchboxes, Mom would give in. But in general, we were all about moderation. We didn’t drink a lot of sodas, didn’t snack much, and we ran around and played outside all year round. We were not overweight and we seldom saw kids who were.

I learned more about food and nutrition as I grew up, and went through every food fad, from the Julia Child classical French experiments of the ’70s to the low-fat, high-carb, pasta- and Snackwell’s-eating ’80s to the high-protein bacon-scented Atkins ’90s to the locavore, whole-foods 2000s. Somehow, through it all, I’ve savored and enjoyed all kinds of foods without much dieting or obsessing. In fact, I’ve pretty much managed to stay within 10 pounds of my high-school weight for several decades. Nothing that virtuous about it: I just never went way overboard—and (here’s the real secret), I never starved myself.

The more we learn about metabolism, the more we know how much dieting screws it up—sometimes for life. Once you gain a lot of weight, it’s really, really hard to lose it and then keep it off. Big weight loss changes your physiology in ways we’re just beginning to understand, and only the most disciplined people seem to be able to maintain it. Tara Parker-Pope wrote a fascinating piece about this called “The Fat Trap”  in The New York Times recently, and it’s worth a read. Maintaining weight loss is possible, not hopeless. But the best bet is never to gain much weight in the first place.

Of course, that advice is much too late for a lot of folks. And the New Year is when they decide to do something about it. That’s why our friends at Yahoo! tell us that online searches for “how to lose weight quickly” are up more than 300 percent, and interest is extremely high right now for “Snooki weight loss.” How did the pint-size Jersey Shore star get down to 98 pounds? I don’t think I want to know. And based on the latest research, sadly, her loss probably won’t last.

Photo by Christian Cable on flickr.com.

Get-Fit Clicks

January 10, 2012 at 1:55 pm , by

* Eating healthy doesn’t have to be dull. Perk up your diet with almond butter, black garlic (I had no idea such a thing existed), popcorn (seriously) and 9 other nutritious, un-boring picks. (HuffPo)

* Tempted to try weight-loss supplements? Fitbie explains why these quick fixes aren’t worth it. (Fitbie)

* Your sluggish metabolism makes you chunky, plus 9 other health myths that just won’t go away. (Lifehacker)

* Does caffeine help you drop pounds? Umm, kind of. (LA Times)

* Smart weight-loss tips tailored to your personality. (Wall Street Journal)

Get-Fit Clicks: Weight-Loss Resolutions Edition

January 3, 2012 at 3:33 pm , by

* “I’ll get over my carbophobia.” You need carbs, we swear. Add these 6 healthy ones to your diet—they can help you feel full and melt body fat. (Eating Well)

“I’ll stop using lack of time as an excuse for not exercising.” You don’t have to spend hours at a gym or run marathons to get fit. Here’s 10 (realistic!) ways to work exercise into your schedule. (SparkPeople)

“I’ll make the most of the time I do have to workout.” Leisurely cardio sessions and too-wimpy strength-training routines are just two ways you may be sabotaging your weight-loss efforts. (FitSugar)

“I won’t get fooled by misleading food labels.” How natural is “natural”? Does “no trans fat” really mean there isn’t even a drop in there? Learn the truth behind these and 8 other tricky food labels. (HuffPo)


Anna Kournikova’s Biggest Loser Blog: Season Finale!

December 15, 2011 at 3:43 pm , by

It’s hard to believe this season of The Biggest Loser is over! The finale was such an incredible celebration of everything the contestants accomplished. With all of their friends and family in the audience, the atmosphere was absolutely electric. It was so much fun watching them strut their stuff across the stage. Everyone from my original blue team—Becky, Bonnie, Debbie, Coach Mike and Johnny—looked fantastic! Obviously, they had all been working hard at home. And a big congratulations goes out to John, who won with a 220 pound total weight loss! Even though Ramon wasn’t crowned the biggest loser, he and all of the other contestants are still walking away with a prize because they’ve learned how to live a healthy lifestyle. I am so proud of each and every one of them and it was truly an honor to be a part of their journeys.

Thank you to all of you wonderful Ladies’ Home Journal readers who have followed my blogs throughout the season. I hope you’ve enjoyed it as much as I have.  Now let’s go into 2012 inspired and ready to take on the new year and new challenges!

Anna Kournikova’s Biggest Loser Blog: Episode 12

December 7, 2011 at 10:15 am , by

It’s the last episode before the season finale, and the final four contestants left the ranch to continue working on their weight loss at home. John, Antone, Becky and Vinny got to show off all of their hard work to everyone in their hometowns, and it was really touching watching everyone welcome them back. You could really see how much all of the contestants have changed, both inside and out. Hearing Becky say that she was determined to finish what she had started was amazing. She is a true fighter. It was funny to see Antone really put his time management skills to work when he used his kids as weights. And with so many of his health issues under control, Vinny proposed to his girlfriend!

Later, all of the contestants and trainers traveled back to the El Mirage desert for the final challenge of the season—the biggest loser marathon. The winner would get a guaranteed spot at the finale as a finalist! Seeing how far the eliminated players had come while they were on their own was great. I was especially proud of Joe, who has grown so much since that first mile walk. Even though Joe was pulled out of the marathon, he’s still a winner for beginning the journey to reclaim his health.

The race for first place between Ramon and Courtney was really close! But in the end, Ramon won the marathon and $25,000 from Walgreens. And just like that, he’s back in the competition to become the biggest loser of the season! After a very long day in the desert, I went out to meet my original blue team members, Johnny and Debbie, to finish the marathon with them. Just like in the first challenge, we crossed the finish line together! It’s truly incredible how much all of the contestants have accomplished in such a short amount of time. Running a marathon is just the beginning!

At the weigh-in, we got to see how much work the final four contestants did at home. Unfortunately, Becky and Vinny fell below the red line, but either of them could come back and be the winner of the at-home prize. The three finalists competing for the official title of the Biggest Loser will be Ramon, Antone and John. Tune in next week for the live finale to see who wins!