Saturday, February 28, 2015

The Yoga Sequence That Makes Sex More Fun

What you've heard is true: yogis do it better. With improved flexibility, body awareness, stress reduction, and controlled breathing (an essential for any woman who has difficulty reaching the big "O"), yogis are able to translate the many gifts they've learned on the mat to the bedroom.

If you can't let loose in certain positions, or you constantly say "ow!" when you and your partner want to try something new, this short yoga sequence will alleviate those common issues. This relaxing yet energizing sequence brings special attention to your back, hips, and hip flexors - three of the most common trouble zones that can lead to discomfort during sex. When all is said and done, you'll be tempted to step off your mat and underneath the sheets . . . or on top of the sheets . . . or on the couch (you get the picture).

Source: POPSUGAR Photography

from POPSUGAR Fitness

Why HIIT Works For Weight Loss

Let's all agree that the quickest way to burn fat isn't a slow, 60-minute session on the elliptical. In fact, if you want to see results, you've got to think quick. Go shorter and lose more? Here's why high-intensity interval training (HIIT) works for weight loss.

Fat Burn

HIIT training involves short intervals done at almost your max effort, followed by longer, slower recovery periods or rest. The secret to HIIT is in how hard you work during your intense intervals. Your goal is to work out at 90 percent of your max, which trains your body to work anaerobic mode, which helps you become more efficient at producing and using energy. The result? Your body's fat-burning potential increases and the pounds melt away.


You put in the effort, and now it's time to reap the benefits. Another way HIIT helps with weight loss is through its afterburn effect, or the calories you burn when you're sitting on your couch and congratulating yourself on completing your workout. Those short, intense bursts of exercise help build muscle and increase your resting metabolism rate, so your 20-minute workout ends up burning more calories throughout the day than if you took a slow, easy jog on the treadmill.

How to Do It Right

To max out the benefits of your workout, intensity is key. You should be working out at a seven or eight on a rate of perceived exertion scale during your intervals. When strength training, be sure to focus on form, even when you're doing reps in quick succession. Ready to start? Check out a few of our favorite HIIT workouts below.

from POPSUGAR Fitness

Sports Bras: The Ultimate Guide to Ta-Ta Protection

What kind of sports bra do YOU need?

How to choose the right sports bra, the proper fit, shopping for plus sizes, breastfeeding, and how to care for it once you've got it!

The post Sports Bras: The Ultimate Guide to Ta-Ta Protection appeared first on A Black Girl's Guide To Weight Loss.

from A Black Girl's Guide To Weight Loss

Slow Baked BLT Frittata

A frittata is a meal suitable for any time of day. Served alone for breakfast or with a side salad for lunch or dinner, it’s a step up from scrambled eggs and less fussy than an omelet. Frittatas are generally shoved under the broiler for quick cooking and therein lies the only problem with a […]

from Mark's Daily Apple

A Gluten-Free Breakfast You'll Love: Egg and Smashed Avocado on Chickpea Crepes

Friday, February 27, 2015

4 Real Women Share Healthy-Eating Tips

Photo: POPSUGAR Photography

We all know that the struggle is real when it comes to balancing what we actually eat with our healthy goals. That's why we partnered with Weight Watchers and four of their coaches to share helpful advice for positive mental adjustments when it comes to eating.

I love to eat. It's one of the things I look forward to most during the day. I dream about breakfast, start planning dinner over my morning coffee, and look forward to trying new local cafes for lunch. Understanding how food fuels the body and embracing eating right is one way to stick with your healthy living goals. But it's easier said than done, right? Here are tips from real women who've struggled with their weight, kept it off, and have changed their mindset where eating is concerned. If they can do it, so can you!

Catherine Gunia

*People following the Weight Watchers plan can expect to lose 1-2lbs per week on average.
Photo: Catherine Gunia, Kreg Holt

What does the word "diet" mean to you?

Well, first, it has the word DIE in it . . . which for anyone who has dieted in their life, that can be what it feels like! To me, diets tend to have a start and a stop; they involve deprivation for the short term until you can't stick with it anymore, and many times people end up putting the weight back on. Diets don't work for the long term, instead it's about changing your relationship with food!

Tell us about a memorable moment that changed your relationship with food.

I have one moment that will always stay with me. I had a long day, skipped dinner, and did not manage my hunger, which has always been a slippery slope for me. I came home from work starving when I realized my husband and two children went to Taco Bell and returned with a bag full of food. I did not wash my hands, I did not take off my coat, I did not sit down, and I inhaled a burrito. The burrito will always be tempting for me, but when I have not managed my hunger, it becomes a trigger, and I fall to my knees to the burrito. If I had managed my hunger, I would have had the mindset to question if it was worth the indulgence, and I would have either sat down to enjoy it or found something else to satisfy me.

Melanie Kann

*People following the Weight Watchers plan can expect to lose 1-2lbs per week on average.
Photo: Melanie Kann

What's the most important tip for changing your mindset about food?

The best piece of advice I can offer is to open up your eyes and see that just like our relationships with people in our lives, our relationship with food is just not that simple. People tend to focus on the struggle, but food can also be our best friend if we choose to view it that way too! At the end of the day, it's really between you and what's at the end of your fork - which means you ultimately have control over it. The best tip I can offer is to make nothing off limits. If we tell ourselves we can't have something, we automatically want it!

Alicia Sissac

*People following the Weight Watchers plan can expect to lose 1-2lbs per week on average.
Photo: Alicia Sissac, Kreg Holt

What's one tip you have for changing your eating habits?

When people think about food and weight loss, they frequently think about the "foods" they cannot have. My members understand that nothing is off limits; they can eat anything. My tip would be to become more aware of your choices by tracking what you eat and drink. This one small change can help you pinpoint specific foods that produce weight loss and understand the eating habits you may need to change.

Jocelyn Shaw

*People following the Weight Watchers plan can expect to lose 1-2lbs per week on average.
Photo: Jocelyn Shaw, Kreg Holt

What kind of change can people expect to see once they've got a new way of looking at food?

I think that changing our relationship with food is always going to be a work in progress, but once you start thinking and speaking about food differently, the journey becomes more about changing habits and developing a healthy lifestyle and less about just losing weight. Once you start focusing more on habits, you realize you are in control and food is not.

More From Weight Watchers:

For more great advice from real women who have successfully changed their relationship with food and want to help you change yours, try chatting with a coach as part of the new Weight Watchers OnlinePlus with 24/7 Expert Chat. It is a whole new way to do Weight Watchers, available all online or on your phone - no meetings.

from POPSUGAR Fitness

This 370-Calorie Cobb Salad Will Be Your New Favorite Lunch

10 Weight-Loss Foods That Are Hiding in Your Kitchen

When it comes to weight-loss foods, it can be difficult to tell which ones actually work and are worth buying. Not to mention, which foods contain just the right amount of fiber, carbohydrates, and antioxidants to keep you from feeling hungry. Instead of spending your money on the latest ingredients that promise instant weight-loss benefits, we found 10 readily available foods in your kitchen to help you shed those unwanted pounds. From grapefruit to almonds, these foods will change how you diet.

from POPSUGAR Fitness

Load Up on Veggies With This Cauliflower "Rice" Stir-Fry

Go beyond your traditional stir-fry with this all vegetable, grain-free, cauliflower "rice"-based dish. It's a one-pot wonder that's sure to become a favorite side, as it's fast, fresh, and loaded with produce.

from POPSUGAR Fitness

These Celebs Are Obsessed With Waist Training - Would You Try It?

When Khloé Kardashian recently posted an Instagram snap of her new waist trainer, it got people buzzing. Many people believed that corsets became obsolete (aside from costume purposes) in the early 20th century, so seeing one on an A-lister in 2015 was a bit jarring! Khloé's sister Kim is also a fan of the practice . . . but does it actually have any benefits?

According to Women's Health, waist training doesn't accomplish much aside from making your stomach sweat. While celebrities like the Kardashians and even Jessica Alba swear by cinching their waists in tight corsets for hours on end to achieve a slimmer figure, it may actually cause bodily harm. "Once you take the garment off, your body will return to its usual shape. It's also uncomfortable, restricts your movements, and if you wear it really tight, it can even make it difficult to breathe and theoretically could cause rib damage," said Yale professer and MD Mary Jane Minkin of waist training for weight-loss purposes.

Despite the risks, A-listers swear by their corsets to lose inches off their waists. Would you try the tactic?

from POPSUGAR Fitness

Realizing the Key to Growth: A Marathoner’s Primal Story

It’s Friday, everyone! And that means another Primal Blueprint Real Life Story from a Mark’s Daily Apple reader. If you have your own success story and would like to share it with me and the Mark’s Daily Apple community please contact me here. I’ll continue to publish these each Friday as long as they keep […]

from Mark's Daily Apple

POPSUGAR Select Blogger Buzz: Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth With These Chocolate Dessert Recipes

Take a Dip Into Much-Lighter Blue Cheese Dressing

POPSUGAR Shout Out: Pair Your New Flares With These Comfy Shoes

from POPSUGAR Fitness

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Barre-based booty burner

Hi friends! How’s the afternoon going? Hope you’re enjoying the day! Today was an off day from workouts and teaching, and has been gloriously relaxing. I’m making some chili for dinner and excited to watch the Cats play later tonight. MARCH MADNESS is right around the corner! Speaking of March, if you’d like to receive […]

from The Fitnessista

Keeping Up With the Kardashians' Fitness Routines

It's safe to say the Kardashians do it all. When the sisters are not busy filming their reality TV series, they are promoting clothing brands, walking in runway shows, and modeling for campaigns. Despite their busy schedules, each sister - from Kim to Kylie - manages to sneak in some major fitness time. Just like their bold personas, the Kardashians' exercise routines are anything but boring. They hike, snowboard, box, weight lift, and take workout selfies to track their progress. Scroll through to uncover all their fitness secrets.

from POPSUGAR Fitness

The Best Vegan Soup I've Ever Tasted

Paleo-Perfect Cauliflower "Rice"

Looking to swap your grains for veggies, but don't want to miss out on all that flavor? Well look no further, because we have a delicious and foolproof cauliflower "rice" that's Paleo-friendly, vegan, and filled with tons of nutrients!

from POPSUGAR Fitness

How to Target Your 4 Most Important Ab Muscles

4 Tips to Help Any Mommy-To-Be Stay Active at Home #MakeYourMove

Tips and Tools for Staying Active During Pregnancy

One of the most difficult challenges for me during this pregnancy, is staying active. Not because I don’t want to, but because no matter how much I eat, my energy levels feel virtually depleted. (What’s worse, if I try to overeat, I just feel nauseous and develop a strong case of, ahem, postprandial somnolence. Food […]

The post 4 Tips to Help Any Mommy-To-Be Stay Active at Home #MakeYourMove appeared first on A Black Girl's Guide To Weight Loss.

from A Black Girl's Guide To Weight Loss

Liver, Lobster and Locusts: How Bizarre Foods Win Acceptance

Way back in 2008 I published an article titled Insects: Not Just for Breakfast Anymore, and periodically since then I’ve advocated for bugs as food. It makes sense on so many levels, so I was thrilled to become an investor in a company that was trying to raise awareness and bring (delicious, edible, you-wouldn’t-even-know-they’re) insects […]

from Mark's Daily Apple

A photo an hour

Hi friends! Happy almost-the-weekend!! Hope you’re enjoying the morning so far. <3 Don’t forget to order the book and cookies giveaway! Book. Cookies. All you really need in life. So last time I was going to do more of a “day in the life” style post, I gashed the heck out of my hand. Since […]

from The Fitnessista

This Sweet Superfood Will Make You Happier

Raw cacao is the purest form of chocolate you can consume, which means it's much less processed and significantly higher in antioxidants than plain old cocoa powder or store-bought chocolate bars. Studies have shown that it may reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease and reduce your blood pressure, but there's another reason to enjoy it ASAP: it can improve your mood big time.

In one study, participants were given a dark-chocolate drink to consume for 30 days, which contained 500 milligrams, 250 milligrams, or 0 milligrams of polyphenols (the chemicals in plants that have antioxidant properties). The findings? The participants who received the highest dose of cocoa experienced a significantly higher rate of calmness and happiness than those who drank the placebo. If you could use a little extra happy in your day, raw cacao is an ingredient to try.

Culinary director of Sonima Wellness Center Joy Houston is a huge fan of raw cacao powder in her smoothies, since it gives her blends a flavor that's reminiscent of a classic chocolate malt without all the processed junk. Try singer Ellie Goulding's go-to coconut-water smoothie that's sweet, hydrating, and tosses cacao nibs into the mix.

from POPSUGAR Fitness

POPSUGAR Shout Out: The 8-Minute Yoga Sequence That Will Get You Toned

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Beyoncé Just Shared a Seriously Bootylicious Workout With the World

In case you were laboring under the impression that Beyoncé wakes up flawless, she has news for you: it takes some serious work to maintain that bootylicious figure! Queen Bey shared an Instagram video celebrating Michelle Obama's Let's Move fitness initiative, which encourages participants to "Gimme Five" things that lead to a healthier life. While the First Lady recommends things like planting a garden, doing five extra pushups, or eating five healthier meals, Beyoncé took #GimmeFive to a whole new level by showing off five intensive exercises to her followers. Watch her video for a fun look at how Beyoncé stays fit, and be sure to join the Gimme Five movement for your own health.

from POPSUGAR Fitness

Craving Chips and Dip? Enjoy This Deconstructed Guacamole Salad Instead

Skinny Confidential book (giveaway)

Hi friends! How’s the day going so far? So glad you liked the banana pancake recipe. It’s SO easy and so so good. We had them again today! PS I figured out to secret to get a toddler to eat anything: make it for yourself. Whatever I’m eating (salad, smoothie, veggies with hummus), she immediately […]

from The Fitnessista

Before and After: Katrina Needed a Change, and She Got One

Need a little weight-loss motivation? Our latest Before and After story comes from one of our own POPSUGAR Select Fitness bloggers, Katrina Elle. Read her story of how she went from "self-conscious girl" to inspiring others to commit to fitness below!

Katrina: Before

POPSUGAR: What made you decide to start?

Katrina Pilkington: I have yo-yo dieted all of my life and then finally in 2010 I realized that every quick fix I tried didn't work. They did temporarily but taught me nothing about eating or working out well. I was binge eating and then not eating, I was not eating healthy but then binge drinking. I was on the road to not having a healthy life both on the outside and on the inside. I didn't have healthy relationships whether they were romantic or friendships. I needed a change. I pretty much fell to my knees in prayer one day asking for direction of what to do to get my life on a better and more positive path. I saw a commercial for Insanity and decided to take the plunge and also focus on eating more whole food nutrition. With that combination I broke a 15-pound plateau I was stuck at (after running and being at the gym) and it forever changed my life! I met my husband and so many other positive people in my life and over the course of the last five years am now a fitness coach and instructor myself working to help others build positive and happy lives who may be in a place where I once was.

PS: What's your favorite way to work out?

KP: I absolutely love using my own body for both strength and cardio for harder bouts of work and for shorter durations, Insanity is my soulmate workout!

PS: What's your weekly exercise schedule?

KP: I usually teach eight or so classes a week myself ranging from boot camp to PiYo to Insanity so I blend in my own workouts at home in between with Insanity Max:30. I usually work out in the morning four times a week on my own.

Katrina: After

PS: How do you keep workouts exciting?

KP: I have a plethora of workouts at home that I do via DVD and then also when I teach - I get creative with bootcamps to keep class fun and it also challenges me to do varying workouts to get inspiration from.

PS: How much weight have you lost?

KP: Total, I've lost 45 pounds.

PS: What was the first big difference, other than the number on the scale, that really made you feel proud and excited?

KP: I feel that I am most proud of the fact that I've now transitioned into making fitness my full-time career. I went from being the quiet, negative, sheltered, self-conscious girl to someone who works to set the example for others.

Katrina: After

PS: How do you track your weight loss?

KP: I start with how my clothes fit and how I feel and weigh myself once a month. Inches, to me, matter more than pounds.

PS: What's a typical day of meals and snacks?

KP: I usually start my morning with Shakeology and fruit, then a morning snack of veggies and carbs mid morning. Lunch is usually lean protein with broccoli and rice, with an afternoon snack on the go between classes and then dinner! Quest bars and Happy Squeeze are favorite snacks I take with me in my gym bag.

PS: What's the range of calories you eat per day?

KP: With classes I can eat upwards of 1600-1800 and on days I don't teach I stick around 1300.

PS: What are the healthy staples that are always in your fridge?

KP: We always have seasonal fruits and veggies, prepped starches and meats for the week, and almond milk (unsweetened) in our fridge.

Katrina: After

PS: How do you strategize meals?

KP: We usually take sunday afternoons to meal prep. We cook chicken in the crockpot, make ground turkey, cook basmati rice in the rice cooker with a veggie in the steamer above, and then roast a few veggies. During the week it makes lunches and meals easier than making new meals daily with us being on the go.

PS: What advice do you have for anyone starting out on a weight-loss journey?

KP: My biggest piece of advise is to NOT GIVE UP things all up front. Take time to substitute a few foods and incorporate more water. Slowly adjust meals and focus on eating whole foods. If you deprive yourself up front and feel you're making a huge change that's intimidating, you may be more apt to feel overwhelmed. Instead, make smaller changes little by little and be sure to have supportive people around you who know your goals to keep you focused.

Do you have an inspiring Before and After story to share? Message us on Facebook, and give us a few details of your journey. We might even profile you on the site!

from POPSUGAR Fitness

New Study Finds Marijuana Much Safer Than Alcohol and Tobacco

Toke on this: the least risky way to wind down after a stressful day may just be marijuana, according to a new study.

Researchers looked at the margin of exposure - a comparison between a typical dose of a drug and its lethal dose - in several recreational drugs as well as alcohol to measure each substance's mortality risk. The results found that marijuana was 114 times safer than alcohol, which was the deadliest of the bunch, measuring higher on the mortality scale than drugs like ecstasy, heroin, and cocaine, as well as tobacco.

While the fact that marijuana may provide fewer health risks than other drugs has been shown before, this was the first study to measure just how much safer it may be. Of course, this new study is no reason to start up a new pot-smoking habit, and don't forget the potential health benefits of moderate drinking. And while the authors argue for marijuana regulation over prohibition, they do caution that their study didn't look at long-term or behavioral risks of chronic use in any of the illegal drugs tested. Even so, the results of this study are a surprising quantification of just how detrimental to your health many types of hobbies can be, both legal and otherwise.

from POPSUGAR Fitness

Burn Calories With These 3 Cardio Circuits

Scratch Factory: Crisp, Flavorful, Oven-Fried Hash Browns

Oven-Fried Hash Browns

The low-fat, low-calorie way to enjoy a classic comfort food.

The post Scratch Factory: Crisp, Flavorful, Oven-Fried Hash Browns appeared first on A Black Girl's Guide To Weight Loss.

from A Black Girl's Guide To Weight Loss

This Test Will Help You Figure Out If You Have Good Balance

Can't stand on one foot without falling? You need this series from Self in your life.

This no-equipment-needed series, created by Dylan Schenk of Cross Train studio in Hollywood, targets potential imbalances that, over time, can lead to pain and injury. Try adding it to your warm-up three to four times a week. Plus, see Danai Gurira's secrets to a balanced body.

Overhead Squat

Tests: Range of motion in the hips, back and shoulders

Try It: Stand with feet hip-width apart, holding a light bar overhead (a yoga strap or broomstick works). Bend knees and sit back to squat, keeping body upright.

Ace It: Do 10 reps, aiming to get hips below parallel without leaning forward.

Single-Leg Lift

Tests: Glutes and core strength; balance

Try It: Balancing on right leg, bend knee gently as you hinge forward and reach left hand to floor in front of right foot. Then stand up.

Ace It: Do 10 reps without losing your balance or, even better, without wavering. Repeat on opposite side.

Alternating Plank Lift

Tests: Core strength

Try It: Do a plank on forearms and toes. Lift right arm and left leg; extend, then lower them.

Ace It: Do 10 reps per side, alternating sides, imagining that you're balancing a full glass of water on your lower back. Keep your torso stationary so that the glass doesn't spill.

Single-Leg Bridge

Tests: Core, back and hip strength

Try It: Lie on back, arms at sides, knees bent, feet flat. Lift left foot, knee bent 90 degrees. Lift hips; pause, then lower.

Ace It: Do 10 reps, keeping hips level instead of dipping them as you lift and lower. Repeat on opposite side.

Shoulder Stretch

Tests: Shoulder and chest mobility

Try It: Stand with feet hip-width apart. Reach right arm up, left arm down. Bend elbows behind back, reaching fingertips toward each other in middle of upper back.

Ace It: Hold for 30 seconds, working to clasp your hands together. Repeat on opposite side.


from POPSUGAR Fitness

Is Your Workout Worth the Risk?

Almost everyone I know has a chronic injury of some sort. Maybe it’s a lower back that needs extra warming up before a long day, a knee that gets stiff on cold nights, or a tweaked shoulder that prevents good overhead positioning. They’re usually not crippling, debilitating, or otherwise serious infirmities, but they are injuries […]

from Mark's Daily Apple

Blender banana-oat pancakes

Hiiiii! How’s it going? So happy you enjoyed the capsule wardrobe post. So ready to spriiiiiiiing. Happy humpday! Flashback to the Valdosta days and every Wednesday was Indian Food Wednesday. I think some channa masala is happening tonight. Speaking of Valdosta, HAVE YOU SEEN THIS? I not-so-secretly wish this show would have happened about 5 […]

from The Fitnessista

Get an Intense Burn With This 8-Minute Yoga Sequence

These yoga poses are not for wusses! Get ready to feel the burn instantly with this eight-minute sequence. It's designed to burn every major part of your body, including the arms, core, and legs. Slip on your capris, unroll your mat, and you'll definitely be feeling this one tomorrow.

from POPSUGAR Fitness

5 Truths About Working Out on Your Period

Just because it's your time of the month doesn't mean you can't get your sweat on. We partnered with Tampax® Pearl® Active™ to bust through myths about exercising with your period.

The last thing I usually feel like doing when my period hits is anything strenuous, but the fact is, a girl's gotta work out. And it doesn't matter how old you are or what your exercise regime is, there are confusing facts floating around about what you really can do when it's that time of the month. It's OK - we're here to help.

  1. Exercise helps with your mood swings: You may have been told you should kick your feet up and take it easy during your period, but even light exercise actually helps with PMS. Your body releases endorphins when you exercise, which send happy feelings throughout your body. So get up and do some light cardio and you'll feel better.

  2. You have more energy than you think: The week of your period and the week after, your body releases more hormones, giving you an energy boost. You might not feel it, as you're all bloated and ornery, but your body is more than OK with that workout. Take it easy and only push yourself if you're feeling up to it.

  3. Stick to your comfort zone: Make sure to listen to your body and only work out to a level that's comfortable. If you get to a lower percentage of body weight than is normal for your height, your body starts shutting down functions that aren't necessary - your time of the month being one of them, causing a delayed period or even skipped menstrual cycles. It's smart to stick with your regular workout schedule and eat healthy.

  4. Water is actually your friend: Some think the pool is off-limits during your period, but that's just not true. Doing a bit of swimming or relaxing in a hot shower after a sweaty workout helps circulation, which calms cramps. Just make sure to use the right type of protection. And you might think you have the heaviest period of all time, but you only lose around four tablespoons of blood during your menstrual cycle.

  5. Get your om on: If you don't feel like sticking with your cardio routine while feeling bloated, you might find yoga is a great solution for toning muscles and easing cramps. And if you suffer from lower-back pain during your time of the month, these moves are a must. Really, give it a try.

More from Tampax® Pearl® Active™:

from POPSUGAR Fitness

Curb Asian-Food Cravings With This Super Low-Carb Stir-Fry

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

A Nutritionist Shares Her Tips For Detoxing

Without the monotony of the workweek to help keep you in check, it's easy to veer away from a healthy routine during the weekend. Workouts get skipped, too many cocktails are sipped, and you wake up on Monday full of regret. Instead of thinking about what you should have done, Monday marks the perfect time to get back on track, setting the tone for the rest of the week. Before you lock yourself down on a no-carb, no-alcohol, no-everything diet, start with these approachable detoxing tips from Eve Kessner, holistic nutritionist and SoulCycle instructor.

  1. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate: Eve can't stress this point enough, "Drink lots of water!" Besides balancing out the dehydrating effects of any imbibing you did over the weekend, Eve credits water with helping the body "flush out any toxins it's holding on to." Start the morning with our wonder beverage of choice: hot water with a lemon, which among other things has been shown to aid in weight loss. From there, be sure to drink from your water bottle throughout the day. Make it a goal to refill it more than a few times before hitting the hay.

  2. Get up and move: When it comes to sweating out the bad stuff and upping endorphin levels, Eve says that exercise is key. If you're up for it, she suggests a fast-paced cardio session since it will boost the body's metabolism, allowing you to better burn off some of those weekend indulgences. If you went too overboard on Sunday and the thought of a high-intensity workout has your stomach feeling queasy, opt for a walk or restorative yoga session instead.

  3. Eat clean: After a few food-filled and sleep-deprived nights, it's important to not give in to junk-food cravings. That pumpkin cream cheese muffin might seem like a good breakfast, but you'll end up feeling worse than you did when you woke up. Now is the time to eat fresh, whole foods. "Raw foods have higher nutrient density, so you get more bang for your buck and inherently less sugar," says Eve. Enjoy a nutrient-rich smoothie for breakfast, a fresh salad for lunch, and follow Eve's guidelines for putting together the perfect dinner. Above all, Eve says to "avoid anything processed."

  4. Get some rest: One of the best ways to reset the body is to make sure you're getting enough sleep. "This one is tough [when you have a busy schedule], but superimportant for your body's recovery," says Eve. Skipping out on enough sleep can lead to stress, weight gain, and an overall decline in good health. If falling asleep is hard for you, follow these all-day habits for a better night's rest.

from POPSUGAR Fitness

Get a Celeb-Caliber Workout at Home - No Equipment Needed

I'm more of a gym rat and outdoor runner than studio devotee, but there's one boutique workout that can always get me to part with my hard-earned dollars and eagerly book my place in class: Barry's Bootcamp. The celeb favorite (Kim Kardashian and Kanye West are both fans) incorporates treadmill intervals with muscle-building floor work; alternating between machine and bench makes the time fly by even though you're sweaty, tired, and just want to quit. The result: you burn major calories in each 60-minute class, all while boosting metabolism and sculpting lean muscle.

Luckily, you don't need to rub elbows with sweaty celebs or even have a treadmill to reap the workout's benefits. Try this no-equipment version from Barry's Bootcamp trainer Allie Cohen (who's also our fitness model - that's her above!). Allie developed this do-anywhere variation for a recent outdoor Without Walls event in Los Angeles. With her heart rate-raising workout, "you get your mix of your cardio training and strength training in one session, so you leave feeling stronger, lighter, leaner, and just a badass," Allie explains. Learn the 24-minute workout below, then start blasting calories no matter where you are.

The workout: Warm up, then go through each of these eight moves, working for 45 seconds, then resting for 15 seconds. Repeat this circuit three times. Add a few crunch variations at the end to focus on your core. Get the printable version of this workout here.

Source: POPSUGAR Studios

from POPSUGAR Fitness

Baked Cinnamon Banana Chips Make the Perfect Pre-Workout Nibble

Lea Michele Isn't Taking Things Easy After Wrapping Glee - She's Busy Staying Fit!

To cope with their devastation over Glee's impending series finale, many fans are staying in bed to binge-watch the musical show - but their beloved star Lea Michele certainly isn't joining them! After wrapping six years of hard production work, the singer has kept herself busy by hiking steep mountain trails. "How I celebrate a job well done!" Michele captioned an Instagram photo of herself during one of the hikes, later adding another snap with the blurb: "Stay in bed and rest after wrapping Glee? No thanks . . . I'd rather climb a mountain!"

It might be easy to justify a few lazy days after half a decade of grueling work hours, so we love that Lea Michele isn't letting a change of pace dampen her fitness motivation. What an inspiration! Take a look at her hiking snaps below, and you might be motivated to channel your Glee-induced sadness into exercise.

from POPSUGAR Fitness

Are Crazy-Loud Exercise Classes Damaging Your Ears?

Can Getting Your DNA Tested Help You Optimize Your Diet and Training?

Last month, I received an unexpected email request from a man named Craig Pickering: “Send me your saliva.” Craig works for DNAFit, a genetic testing company using customers’ DNA results to optimize their diet and training. He’s a former Olympic 100 m and bobsleigh (bobsled to us Yanks) athlete, and a longtime reader of the […]

from Mark's Daily Apple

Total body TRX circuit

Hi! What are you up to this morning? Hope you’re enjoying the day so far! Thank you so much for your eclectic music suggestions to diversify my spin playlist. I added this swing song, this old one I forgot about, and finished it off with the Zac Brown Band live version of “Devil Went Down […]

from The Fitnessista

Run-Down? This 1-Minute Trick Will Recharge You Right Away

Confession: I sit all day long. I'm lucky enough to have a desk that pops up to stand when I need to perk up, and I regularly stretch out around the office, but the vast majority of my day is spent sitting down while staring at my computer screen. Working out regularly and eating clean keep me feeling relatively energized, but I'm always on the hunt for new advice that can give me a boost, naturally. When I chatted with Sonima Wellness Center's naturopathic medical advisor Dr. Janet Zand about my struggle to stay energized at work, she offered this tip that's rooted in traditional Chinese medicine. I was a little skeptical of at first, but to my surprise, it really works.

The next time you're feeling run-down, sleepy, and in need of a recharge, vigorously rub your ears for one minute. The ears are full of nerve endings, and this massaging motion stimulates acupressure points that can improve your circulation. This improved blood circulation translates to improved energy. It's like "pushing a reset button," said Dr. Zand.

I was feeling lethargic around 3 p.m., took out my earrings, set a stopwatch, and started rubbing. The minute felt much longer than I had anticipated, and around the halfway mark, my ears started to feel hot (luckily, this is normal). Once my minimassage was up, I took a few deep breaths and returned to my work refreshed and more alert. Yes, you will look a little weird as you're rubbing - if you're embarrassed to do it at your desk, head to the bathroom or go for a quick walk around the office - but once you try it for yourself, I doubt you'll turn back to that additional cup of coffee (and afternoon jitters) any time soon.

from POPSUGAR Fitness

8 Ways to Push Yourself Out of Your Comfort Zone

Getting stuck in a workout rut can leave you feeling frustrated, so we partnered with C9 Champion to help you push yourself to try something new.

Everyone hits a workout wall at some point, which can be extremely disappointing. You think you're pushing yourself so hard with expectations for weight-loss success, only to feel like you aren't getting anywhere - especially after stepping on the scale. It might be due to the fact you are sticking with the same routine over and over, not challenging your body to take it to the next level. And you're probably chilling in your comfort zone, which doesn't push your muscles to grow stronger. Here are eight ways to snap out of it.

  1. Mind over matter: You might be prone to early fatigue and then spend the rest of your workout sludging through movements, but it's your brain that's quick to let you give up. Embracing the understanding that you will suffer a bit while working out harder sends the message to your brain that it's time to dig a little deeper and break quitting tendencies. You know you can physically take on more, so it's a mental switch that needs to happen.

  2. Make a buddy: When someone has your back, it's a great motivator to do three more reps. And it goes both ways! You'll find yourself motivating your buddy, too, pushing yourselves out of your comfort zones. And it also sets up some healthy and motivational competition. Pledge to each take a class you wouldn't normally, and then discuss what you like about the new experience over smoothies.

  3. Mix it up: If you tend to gravitate toward the treadmill, it's time to head to the free weights. When you stick with one workout routine, your muscles aren't pushed - and you aren't as likely to torch calories. Doing the same thing over and over isn't very exciting and can lead to burnout, which is why mixing up your workout is a must. Try a yoga class, or hit the pool and swim some laps.

  4. Make a mantra: It can be as simple as chanting, "I can do this," or visualizing yourself on the beach, but having a mantra on repeat distracts your brain from what you're doing, giving you the extra kick to work through tough spots - and get to the next level.

  5. Compete: Everyone likes to win, so sign up for a race or a competition - especially if it's not something you typically do. Training will help take your workouts in a different direction and get you to look at things from a different perspective.

  6. Be uncomfortable: Who says exercising is comfortable? Running, lunging, jumping, and crunching aren't necessarily the most pleasant movements, but they work together to create a healthy mind and body. Select something you'd never typically do, like Zumba or pole dancing, and take a class. No one is going to laugh at you - and you don't even have to share your secret adventures with anyone. You'll build confidence while proving you can take on anything.

  7. Musical motivation: Put together a playlist of songs that push you to run farther. You might find you get lost in the music, which is a great distraction when you want to give up. Sing along and find a new rhythm.

  8. Own it: Moving outside your comfort zone can add a bit of anxiety to life, but that stress is actually a good thing. When we take on things we're uncertain of and succeed, it's a great brain boost that opens the door to so many amazing opportunities. You might not think that owning a three-minute plank is that big of a deal, but it's seriously liberating when you reach goals. Be proud of your accomplishments - you'll grow because of it.

More from C9 Champion:

Let NYC-based celebrity trainer Adam Rosante lead you through his kick-ass bodyweight bootcamp workout. It's 30 minutes that will leave you dripping with sweat! Every move is a full-body exercise that will leave your muscles quivering. With no equipment needed, you can do this workout anywhere. So stop with the excuses and press play. We will warm you up, work you out, cool you down, and motivate you throughout this sweat session.

from POPSUGAR Fitness

Monday, February 23, 2015

Is Matcha the New Weight-Loss Superfood?

Ready to take your morning caffeine habit to the next level? It may be time to replace your loose leaves or cup of coffee with matcha. A powdered form of steamed and dried green tea leaves that has been used in Japanese tea ceremonies for centuries, matcha tastes like a grassier, brighter version of the regular stuff. Think of it as the "healthy espresso of green tea," say David Mandelbaum and Jessica Lloyd, owners of matcha purveyor Panatea. So just how healthy is the green powder? A study found that one serving of matcha has 137 times more disease-fighting polyphenols, called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), than a brewed mug of conventional China Green Tips - the equivalent of up to 10 cups of regular green tea! With such an antioxidant punch, it's no wonder that matcha just may be the new superfood. Read on for why it could just be a miracle in a mug.

Weight-loss concentrate: EGCG has been shown in some lab studies to boost metabolism, and other research has shown that EGCG may help stop the growth of new fat cells. While more studies are still needed to confirm results in humans, add to this the fact that drinking green tea instead of sugary drinks can help you save calories, and opting for a healthy matcha-based drink (like this lower-calorie version of Starbucks's green tea latte) may just be a wise weight-loss decision.

Disease-fighter: The concentrated levels of antioxidants in matcha are hard to beat, especially considering catechins in green tea have been shown to have cancer-preventing as well as immune-boosting effects, including helping prevent high-risk health workers from catching the flu.

Daily detox: Matcha may just help keep your body functioning in tip-top shape; a lab study in rats with type 2 diabetes found that a daily dose of matcha provided a protective effect on their liver and kidney systems. Other research has found that green tea drinkers had a 33 percent lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes by helping reduce blood glucose levels - the more green tea they drank, the lower the risk.

Jitter-free energy: A serving of matcha has less caffeine than an espresso, but its nutrient makeup just may give you more energy. Because the tea leaves used to make matcha are protected from sunlight before being harvested and steamed, the leaves retain much of their natural chlorophyll (which is why matcha is so green), a substance that has been shown to help boost energy. Plus, green tea is an excellent source of the mind-calming amino acid L-theanine, which means you may just feel more awake and alert without the late-afternoon caffeine crash.

When buying matcha, be sure and check each product so you know you're buying high-quality tea with the most health benefits. "The more vibrantly green the matcha is, the higher the chlorophyll and amino acid content," David and Jessica advise. Also, check labels and watch out for additives and sugars, which some matcha products contain. For the perfect cup, David and Jessica recommend heating water until before boiling (180°F) and whisking in matcha powder in a "M" or "W" motion.


Green Tea: Your Secret to Staying Flu-Free This Winter

Healthy Recipe: Avocado and Matcha Popsicles

Three Methods For Making Matcha

from POPSUGAR Fitness

Is Your Fitness Tracker Accurate? New Tests Don’t Think So

Study tests fitness tracking wristbands, smartphone apps, and waist-clipping pedometers. Guess which one was most accurate?

The post Is Your Fitness Tracker Accurate? New Tests Don’t Think So appeared first on A Black Girl's Guide To Weight Loss.

from A Black Girl's Guide To Weight Loss

Posture Perfect: 5-Minute Back Workout

Have five minutes to spare? Take your posture from poor to perfect with this quick back workout. Combining a variety of exercises from yoga to weights, this sequence will not only improve your posture, but it will help you with running, too. Beginners, try doing each exercise for 30 seconds and, when needed, rest in a 30-second Child's Pose. For an advanced version, complete each exercise for a minute, finishing with a long stretch.

Number One: Superman Lifts

Source: POPSUGAR Studios

  • Lie on your belly, and hold an exercise ball between your feet. Engage your abs, and extend your arms straight out in front of you.

  • As you inhale, squeeze the ball, and lift your legs, arms, and chest off the floor. Hold for a count of 10 and then slowly release your body back to the floor.

  • Perform as many reps as you can in one minute.

  • To make this move a little easier, you can lose the stability ball.

Number Two: Warrior 3

Source: Louisa Larson Photography

  • Stand with your feet together. Inhale as you extend your arms out wide in a T position or straight overhead for a more advanced variation.

  • Exhale as you bend forward at your hips, lifting your right leg straight behind you coming into Warrior 3. Draw your navel toward your spine and hold for five breaths. Then come to stand, lower your right leg, and repeat with the left leg lifted for another five breaths.

  • Continue this movement for one minute.

Number Three: Pilates Mat Swimming

Source: POPSUGAR Studios

  • Begin on your stomach with your arms extended in front of you.

  • Keeping your neck neutral and in line with your spine, lift your feet, arms, and chest from the floor.

  • Begin to "swim" by lifting your opposite arm and leg a little higher, then alternate sides, making a fluttering motion.

  • Continue this movement for one minute.

Number Four: Bent Row

Source: POPSUGAR Studios

  • Hold a dumbbell in each hand and stand with your feet hips-width distance apart. Keep a slight bend in your knees. Fold your torso forward so your back is almost parallel with the floor and your arms are extended out, in line with your shoulders. Draw your abs in to protect your lower back.

  • As you exhale, bring your elbows toward your shoulders and close to your side. To get the upper back working, think of sliding your shoulder blades together. As you inhale, slowly lower the dumbbells back to the starting position. This counts as one rep.

  • With control, perform as many reps as you can in one minute.

Number Five: Marching Bridge

Source: POPSUGAR Studios

  • Lie on your back with your hands by your side, with your heels about 12 inches from your pelvis. Press your heels into the floor to come into a bridge position with a neutral spine.

  • Press your right heel into the floor, and keeping your knee bent, raise your left leg until your hip is a 90 degrees. Lower your left leg down, pressing through your glutes so your pelvis doesn't drift to the floor along with the leg. This completes one rep; switch sides and lift your right leg for your second rep.

  • Perform as many reps as you can (alternating legs) in one minute.

from POPSUGAR Fitness

Jump-Start Your Morning: Metabolism-Boosting Smoothie

Simple Food Swaps to Lose a Pound Every Week

Dear Mark: Kid Skipping Breakfast, Rinsing Meat, Glutamate, and the Snooze Button

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering four reader questions. First we have a question about an inadvertently fasting 11 year-old girl whose mom is concerned. Should she force the issue and convince her to eat breakfast, or let her do her thing? Second, what’s the real story behind rinsing raw meat? Does it […]

from Mark's Daily Apple

Taking back Sunday

(sadly not the band) Hi friends! Happy Monday! How’s the morning going? I can’t believe that Winter Shape Up is over (unless you’re repeating the fun for an addition 4 weeks). Thank you again to those of you who participated, and for your awesome check-ins, support for each other, and fantastic energy along the way. […]

from The Fitnessista

Need a Healthy, Filling Snack With No Added Sugar? Try These Delicious Muffins

Everything You Could Possibly Need to Know About the Oscars

The Oscars swept through Hollywood with the usual smattering of glitz and glam on Sunday night, and we were there every step of the way. From the bold, beautiful looks and celebrity shenanigans on the red carpet, to the most powerful moving performances and the emotional speeches, we've got everything you need to know, all in one place. Keep reading for our highlights from the Oscars!

from POPSUGAR Fitness

Sunday, February 22, 2015

More Live Coverage to Come!

Our live Oscars coverage is only just beginning - watch our aftershow immediately following the ceremony! Join POPSUGAR's Matthew Rodrigues and YouTube star Anna Akana with Fandango movie expert Tiffany Smith, celebrity stylist Anita Patrickson, and our social expert, Twitter's Elaine Filadelfo. They will discuss the night's most viral moments, best dressed celebrities, trending topics, and more!

Join the conversation with us via Twitter using the hashtag #POPSUGAROscars or by commenting on our Facebook page.

Watch here!

from POPSUGAR Fitness

How Your Fridge Can Help You Lose Weight

Your fridge could use a makeover. Sure, it's chock-full of healthy foods, but if you can't find the baby kale you just bought, then how will it end up in your breakfast smoothie? All you need is a little organization, and it'll go a long way in helping with weight-loss goals. Follow the tips below, and you'll be eating healthier in no time.

Get Organized

When all your food is crammed into the fridge, it makes healthy items less accessible, which means you're less likely to reach for them. Being able to see food neatly arranged in your fridge will inspire you to create healthy recipes and eat good-for-you snacks. A decluttered fridge also helps you keep track of staples, so you never run out of things like Greek yogurt or breakfast basics like eggs. Versatile plastic storage bins, like these from Crate and Barrel ($11), are clear and stackable, making it easy to peruse the array of healthy foods available at your fingertips.

Snack Center in the Fridge

Create a snack center in your fridge (one of those Crate and Barrel bins would be perfect for this), so you have a go-to spot to find healthy munchables when hunger strikes. Place the bin in front at eye level, and stock it with premade 150-calorie baggies of popcorn, cheese and crackers, trail mix, fresh fruit, cereal, pretzels, fruit and nut bars, fruit leather, and other healthy faves.

Precut Veggies

Veggies are low in cals and jam-packed with fiber; when you eat them you feel full longer, which keeps hunger at bay and prevents mindless snacking later. But your veggies can't help you lose weight if they sit in the crisper and go moldy before you have a chance to eat them. You're more likely to nosh on veggies if they're ready to eat. After hitting the grocery store, immediately wash, cut, and store carrots, peppers, cucumbers, broccoli, celery, and cherry tomatoes in reusable containers. Place the stack of precut veggies next to a tub of hummus, a bottle of low-calorie salad dressing like Annie's Gingerly Vinaigrette, or homemade nonfat yogurt dill dip.

Fruit Bowl

Fruit is also a perfect snack or dessert because the sweetness satisfies your sugar cravings, but it's much lower in calories than a chocolate bar or cookie. Ensure that you eat those nutritious apples, pears, kiwis, peaches, melons, and citrus fruits by displaying them in a bowl, so when you open the fridge door you're inspired to grab a piece.

Ditch the Junk

If unhealthy, nutrition-less food is in your fridge, you'll quickly push the carrot sticks out of the way to reach them. Get rid of everything from cans of soda to the half-eaten jar of nacho cheese sauce. What's that? You buy that stuff for your hubby or kids? Well don't. If it's there to tempt you, it will. If this health kick you're on rubs off on your family, it'll be that much easier to stick with it and drop those pounds; and your loved ones will be healthier too.

Store Healthier Alternatives to Your Faves

You know that ice cream is your weakness, so don't deprive yourself - it'll only lead to cravings. Make sure you have a lower-calorie option, such as sorbet bars, available to satisfy your sweet tooth. The same goes for other high-fat or high-calorie foods. Stock up on healthier alternatives, so you can still enjoy the foods you love without derailing your weight-loss train.

from POPSUGAR Fitness

Join Us LIVE on the Oscars Red Carpet Now!

click here to watch live

from POPSUGAR Fitness

5 Weird Weight-Loss Tricks That Work

When it comes to weight loss, every little bit helps. If you're stuck in a diet-and-exercise rut and are looking for a little extra calorie-busting help to meet your goals, then these weird weight-loss tricks just might work!

from POPSUGAR Fitness

Calorie-Torching Workout With a Hot-Hits Playlist

Music is motivation! So we created a 20-minute calorie-torching workout with an equally hot playlist. Get your sweat on listening to our Class FitSugar 20-minute-workout Spotify playlist or listen to your own tunes. It doesn't matter, as long as you are moving! Grab a medium set of weights, press play, and dive right into this full-body burner!

Remember, you will need to download the free Spotify software or app to listen to our playlists.

from POPSUGAR Fitness

National Margarita Day + Meals and fitness

Hi friends! Happy Sunday, and Happy National Margarita Day. I’m never really into those national food holidays… unless they include chocolate or cocktails. The Pilot and I enjoyed this sweet and spicy concoction last night: Frozen strawberries with a jalapeño-infused honey simple syrup, fresh lime, triple sec, and tequila. Quite the fiesta in your face. […]

from The Fitnessista

Weekend Link Love – Edition 336

Primal Kitchen™ Mayo officially launched this week! You can get single jars at Thrive Market. Register for an account at Thrive Market using this link and you’ll be entered to win a $500 gift certificate and 1 of 20 annual memberships ($60 value). Offer expires Wednesday, Feb. 25. Or you can order 3-packs from […]

from Mark's Daily Apple

An Easy, Protein-Rich, and Comforting Crockpot Soup Recipe

Saturday, February 21, 2015

4 Ways to Start Burning Fat Right Now

While the concept of burning fat might feel elusive, reaching your goals could be easier than you think. Boosting your metabolism plays an essential role in the process, and these techniques are all specifically linked to burning fat.

Go for the big burn: When it comes to the workout that truly blasts the most fat, Len Kravitz, Ph.D., puts it simply: "To burn more fat, burn more calories." Your lengthy leisurely walk or restorative yoga class is a great start, but they're not necessarily going to help you take off weight. If you're not sure where to start, then check out these exercises that burn the most calories in 15 minutes to have an idea of what you should be looking for when choosing a new workout.

Drink green tea: Green tea does more than calm you down and prevent sickness. According to a study from American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, drinking tea may have fat-fighting effects. The combination of green tea's high content of caffeine and catechins stops the body from absorbing carbohydrates and helps burn more fat. The warm weather doesn't suit a hot cup of tea, so enjoy green tea's benefits in this refreshing iced green tea cooler. The addition of citrus ups the antioxidants in your cup and gives the drink a pleasant flavor.

Stand up: We've heard the claims that sitting is just as bad as smoking, and your 9-to-5 gig might also be hindering your body's ability to burn fat. Scientists have determined that after an hour or more of sitting, the production of enzymes that burn fat in the body declines by as much as 90 percent. Stand up for a stretch break, or take a brisk walk outside - do whatever you can to get up and help your body out of your chair.

Work out with intervals: Not only are intervals awesome for breaking up the monotony of a long workout, but also, a study in the International Journal of Obesity revealed that women who for 20 minutes alternated cycling as fast as possible for eight seconds with 12-second rest periods dropped 9.5 percent of their belly fat, while those who cycled steadily for 40 minutes gained. But alternating between periods of pushing your body to the max with rest periods does more than burn belly fat. In another study from the journal Cell Metabolism, researchers found that periods of intense cardio can fire up certain genes that initiate the fat-burning process. Try this one-hour walk-run interval playlist for the treadmill or an outdoor run. Or if the elliptical is more your speed, then get moving with this 35-minute plan.

from POPSUGAR Fitness