Holiday Weight Loss Smoothie Recipes!

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Don’t dread the holiday temptations! Try this yummy and healthy Pecan Pie alternative! 1 scoop Vanilla IdealShake, 1 cup unsweetened almond milk, 2 T pecans, 5 pitted dates, 1 T ground flaxseed, 1/2 tsp cinnamon. Add ice, mix, and enjoy!   All I want for Christmas is… this Candy Cane Shake!! It’s delicious and keeps you full […]

Bri Lost 100 Lbs, But That’s Only Part of Her Amazing Story!

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It’s hard for people to believe that Brianna Brigidi once weighed 230 pounds. When they meet her now, they see a fit 35-year-old woman and assume she’s always been that way. But Brianna (who goes by “Bri”) struggled with her weight for years. She also struggled with low self-esteem and addiction, feeling caught in a […]

How to Manage Holiday Sugar Cravings

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Sugar cravings are a battle throughout the year, but managing them gets really hard during the holidays. The reason? Stress. Add up the pressures of college exams, work deadlines, holiday shopping (i.e., crowds), and getting out to exercise despite the cold, dreary weather, and a season for cheer can quickly become a season for sheer […]

After a Heart Attack at Age 36, Vicky Saved Her Own Life #MyIdeal

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At 36 years old, Vicky Liberty had a heart attack. Before starting her weight loss journey, she weighed 268 pounds and was caught in a downward spiral. “I just figured I was heavy, and I’d just keep eating,” she says. “Because when you’re heavy, you really don’t fit in.” Even though she talked about making […]

The Sneakiest Holiday Sugar Traps – and How to Avoid Them!

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Normally we’re in danger of inadvertently drinking too many calories, but during the holidays, the danger is pretty clear: it’s piles of candy, cupcakes, cookies and pie. While this calorie battlefield may seem obvious, it is no less hauntingly delicious. If you have a sweet tooth, you know how difficult it is to rein in […]

How this young couple lost 243 pounds together

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“I never had the confidence,” Mark says. He always struggled with his weight, and weighed more than 300 pounds when he graduated high school. When he and Heather got married and had a baby, “that’s when everything started changing” for Heather. Both wanted to be healthier and to see each other thrive, but none of […]

“Watching Him Cross the Finish Line Inspired Me to Lose 81 Pounds”

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“That’s me and Mike at the start of his Ironman race,” Leigh says, referring to the picture below. In November of 2013, the 38-year-old Michigan mother of three watched her husband complete his first Ironman triathlon. At the time, she wore a size 18 and weighed 211 pounds. Leigh had gained weight with her first pregnancy […]

IdealShape Got Me Out of a Wheelchair! – Linda’s Story

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Growing up, Linda was always thin (often too thin, she says). But when she had a serious back injury at work in 2010, the pendulum swung the other way. She became wheelchair bound and “the weight piled on.” “I couldn’t walk, couldn’t do anything, it was very hard,” she says. Forced to be immobile and […]

The Power of Gratitude (Read This Before New Year’s)

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It’s too easy, on our journey to our ideal shape, to think about what is left to do. To obsess over the things we still want to change. But sometimes, greater progress comes from looking back at how far we’ve come. Though it seems counterintuitive, one of the best ways to get what you want is […]

Kim’s Turning Point and Incredible Weight Loss Transformation

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As a university professor, a wife and a mother of two young children, Kim had a lot to live for. But a year ago, she started questioning whether her life was worth living. As a child, Kim endured traumatic childhood experiences that led to using comfort foods as a coping mechanism. It’s something many people can […]

Mark Lost 86 Lbs to Save His Own Life!

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Mark was in excellent shape when he was young, but after the birth of his first son he gained 82 pounds. “I think they call that sympathy weight,” he jokes. “I have no excuse for getting fat. I just got lazy, loved to eat, and slowly packed it on.” Over the years, Mark kept the […]

“How I Lost 188 Lbs to Participate in Life!” – Kelly’s #MyIdeal Story

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Sixteen months ago, Kelly Smith couldn’t tie her shoes. At 355 pounds, everyday activities that people take for granted weren’t in the realm of possibility for her… things like brushing her hair, going on amusement park rides, hugging her son. When she had to go on business trips, she was constantly afraid of being denied […]

Jana Lost 68 Pounds and Inspired Her Family, Too!

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Jana Kislingbury is the October Ship Shape Challenge winner! This year, she lost 68 pounds and even got her family and coworkers on board, too… At the start of this year, her milestone 40th birthday year, Jana felt she had hit rock bottom. She had gained a total of 60 pounds during her two pregnancies and it stuck. Her children […]

“It was a true wake up call for me” – How Joe Lost the Freshman 15… and Then Some!

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Joe Deluca’s weight fluctuated throughout his life, but things got really bad in college. There, he put on the “freshman 15”… and then some. “My clothes got to feel a little bit tighter, but I would blame it on the washing machine,” says the 25-year-old from Brick, New Jersey. But one day while visiting a […]

When Her Job Almost Ruined Her Health, Kelli Fought Back! – #MyIdeal

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“Seriously, I’m probably lucky to be alive,” Kelli Herbert told us at the Ship Shape Challenge retreat this past September. Like so many, her weight loss journey spans years and is riddled with obstacles. At 368 pounds, Kelli knew she needed to find a solution. But she had a career that demanded 90-hour workweeks. When […]

New Study: Soda Linked With Premature Aging

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Think bacon burgers and pasta are your worst enemies in the fight against fat? Think again. The CDC reports that America’s increased consumption of added sugars is one of the biggest culprits behind the mass increase in body weight. While there’s added sugar in all kinds of processed foods, sodas and energy drinks are PACKED […]

How David Palmer Got His “20s Body” Back! – #MyIdeal

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When David Palmer started out in the Air Force, he was in awesome shape. But over the years, his job required increasing amounts of desk time and sitting in an airplane for 10-hour stretches. “I wasn’t in the shape I wanted to be,” he says. “I wanted to get back to where I was when […]

Healthy Recipe: Black Bean Lettuce Wraps

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One of the best ways to stay in shape is to eat five small, protein-rich meals a day. These black bean lettuce wraps are healthy, and you can share those extra servings with the family or spread it out across a few meals! (Serves about 4) 3 T avocado oil 2 boneless skinless chicken breast […]

“I Lost 81 Pounds for My Son, My Sister and Myself” – Christine’s #MyIdeal Story

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Christine was always the heaviest kid in her class, and when she became pregnant at 19, her weight challenge got worse. Eating away from home and eating whatever she wanted to, she gained 50 pounds before giving birth to her son. Despite being a young mother in her twenties, Christine had trouble keeping up with […]

How Challenge Winner Nancy Transformed Her Life!

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Nancy Gorman is our winner of the latest 12-week IdealShape Up Challenge and the September Weight Loss Challenge. We love her story! At first she was hesitant to even sign up for the Challenge because she didn’t think she could do it. We’re so glad she did. “I’ve been overweight my entire life,” she says. “I was a heavy […]

Living #MyIdeal – How Chrissy Became the “Fun Grandma”!

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Chrissy, 49, of Niederwald, Texas, loves her 11 grandkids. She hated that being overweight kept her on the sidelines – she wanted to be the fun grandma! Always hiding from the camera and family photos, one day her daughter said that her grandchildren might not even remember her, and that did it. She decided it was […]

Living #MyIdeal – Ken & Kate Nelson Walk 1,000 Miles Together!

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How you start your weight loss plan has everything to do with your success! Since embarking on their journey in 2012,  Ken (age 64) and Kate (age 63) of Rancho Cordova, California, have lost 110 pounds together. Not only did they lose the weight, but they’re still going strong — and have gotten seriously strong! […]

Goodbye Calorie Bombs, Hello New Pineapple Strawberry IdealBoost!

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So you know you need to cut out your high-calorie daily beverage (or three). You also know… it’s not that simple. If giving up sodas, lattes and energy drinks was easy, you would’ve done it already. Maybe you even tried — but after a few days, it was “business as usual.” On the other hand, […]

Living #MyIdeal – Why Lucas Traded Weight Lifting for Climbing

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We love foolproof exercise regimens, so we sat down with avid rock climber and full-time PhD student Lucas Matthews to get his secret. How does he outsmart his busy schedule and work ethic in order to stay fit? The answer lies in rock climbing. When Lucas discovered the sport, it meshed perfectly with his preference for […]

ResveraShape’s Green Tea & Caffeine Combo Revs Fat Burn

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In the right amounts and via the right sources, caffeine can provide many weight loss benefits, including a proven ability to speed up metabolism. Yet a new study has gone even further to uncover a unique, extra-potent effect produced by the combination of caffeine and green tea. When Maastricht University took a group of overweight […]

How the Zimmermans Make Mountain Biking a Family Affair – #MyIdeal

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Leslie and Judd Zimmerman are passionate about mountain biking, and they’ve found a way to turn it into a family activity. “Balancing life and exercise is rough with three kids,” Leslie says. “If you find someone to work out with, to be active with, it’s so much easier.” The couple hits the trails together when […]

NatralShape: Hunger-Blocker Plus Green Tea Benefits

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Back to school. Back to stress. Back to overeating and under-exercising. When the bustle of fall hits, it’s too easy to return to bad habits like “stress eating” and skipping workouts. Arming yourself with tools to stay on track with your goals is critical this time of year — and one of our favorite tools is NatralShape. […]

Samba Dancing with Fire? An Everyday Workout for This Girl – #MyIdeal

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Your daily workout doesn’t have to require sweaty gym clothes and kettle bells! Dancing with fire lets Christina Kilbane turn exercise into an art form. It all started when Christina went out on a limb and signed up for a Samba class, which is a Brazilian style of dance. Adjusting to a new life in […]

Muay Thai Fighter James Gagnon Strikes a Fitness Balance – #MyIdeal

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Working up a sweat every day isn’t easy, but it got easier for James Gagnon when he discovered Muay Thai fighting. “I would go to the regular gym and just sit on a stationary bike forever,” he says. “My body would get tired but my brain wouldn’t … so I started looking at other things […]

Our August Ship Shape Winner Just Bought Her First Bikini…at 40!

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Meet our August winner for the Ship Shape Contest: Kim Ratliff! Approaching her 40th birthday, Kim has achieved a goal that few of her peers can boast: she just bought her first bikini ever! This North Carolina mom of two kids (ages 11 and 5) and army wife of 19 years is now in the […]

This Marathoning Mama Has Some Fitness Advice for You! – #MyIdeal

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After gaining 65 pounds with her first baby, Chandi Schwab was ready for a healthier lifestyle. “It was miserable — I just wasn’t myself,” she says. Five years and three more pregnancies later, Chandi has built a fitness regimen that can stand up to the challenges of being a busy wife and mother of four. […]

Why a Meal Replacement Shake Prevents Diet Chaos

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When it comes to eating for fat loss, we believe in “K.I.S.S.” (Keep It Simple and Sustainable). A meal replacement shake is one of the best ways to do it. Here’s why. There’s no way around it: biting off more than we can chew (forgive the pun) causes us to choke. We freeze up mentally […]

Jenny Grothe’s Total Body Transformation was Built on Oatmeal! – #MyIdeal

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Jenny Grothe has a remarkable transformation story — and it has a lot to do with oatmeal. At age 37, it hit her: she was now that person, the one who people were worried about. She was 170 pounds, and the weight had snuck up over the years. Work, motherhood, eating unhealthy and not exercising […]

Three Easy, Fat-Blasting Breakfasts

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“I don’t have time for breakfast in the morning.” “I’m not hungry when I wake up.” “I want to save my calories for later.” There are many reasons to skip breakfast… but the truth is, there are more reasons NOT to. You can diet and exercise all day long, but missing your morning meal will […]

Power Combo: Green Tea and Caffeine for Weight Loss

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There’s a reason IdealBoost contains both green tea and caffeine for weight loss. Green tea naturally contains a small amount of caffeine, but adding extra caffeine to the mix has been shown to powerfully improve metabolism… and we’re not ones to let research go to waste! In an investigation done by Maastricht University in the Netherlands, they studied the […]

What Disability? Weight Lifter Rocky Mortensen Rocks His Ideal – #MyIdeal

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Rocky Mortensen was born with a condition that compacted his limbs. His arms and legs are much shorter than average — a disability that most people would take as a great excuse to write off exercise. But Rocky loves proving people wrong. His belief: you can look at an exercise or diet program and say it’s […]

Attack of the Bottomless Restaurant Soda

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500 un-filling calories… coming right up! Trying to fight against soda upselling tactics (“$1 any size”) and servers’ soda refilling skills (they’re like ninjas!) is futile. It’s like restaurants want us to be fat. Just picture the last time you went out to eat. It likely took a while to be seated and place your order. […]

43-Year-Old Zumba Hottie Desree Bennett – #MyIdeal

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Exercise or party with your friends? Desree Bennett says, why not both? For someone who is natural people-person, Desree looked for a fun and social way to get in shape after she gained 60 pounds with her first baby. She tried a group fitness class and loved it — so much, in fact, that she […]

Strong muscles, strong mind: so lift up!

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Have you noticed that after a great lifting session, everything rocks — YOU in particular? You feel confident, strong, steady and in control. I’ve certainly noticed this. I’ve also noticed that when I sit in the ol’ office chair all day, I feel flabby. Mentally. Emotionally. Willpower-ly. You want to overcharge me on my phone […]

July Ship Shape Challenge Winners – Read Kelly’s & Mark’s Incredible Stories

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We selected two Ship Shape Contest winners for July because their stories are both so powerful. Get ready to be inspired! Mark Theis Mark started drinking IdealShake a little over a year ago with the goal of losing 100 pounds, and he has lost 75 pounds! Mark says that at 52, he feels better than he’s felt in […]

The Biggest Meal Replacement Shake Missteps

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Replacing 1-2 meals a day with a meal replacement shake can be a boon to weight loss and appetite control efforts… or it can be a bust, if you’re using it wrong. To get maximum benefit from your meal replacement shake, avoid these common weight loss shake mistakes: Shake Mistake #1 – Eating More at Other Meals […]

How “Iron Cowboy” James Lawrence Did 30 Iron Distances in 1 Year – #MyIdeal

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Don’t tell James Lawrence there isn’t enough time in the day to exercise. James, aka the Iron Cowboy, says that’s the biggest excuse he hears from people who aren’t making an effort to reach their #ideal. His belief: “You have time for what you make time for.” Hey, James set two world records in endurance racing, including completing 30 full Iron […]

How to Survive Summer Sugary Carb Madness

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Think winter holidays are the sugariest time of year? Think again. It’s gotta be summertime. Just count all the parties, barbeques, social outings, and visits to friends and relatives. Not only do social gatherings equate to piles of sugary carbs (for some odd reason), but when we’re other people’s guests, we’re at the mercy of […]

These Three Letters Are Making You Gain Weight

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Do These 3 Letters Cause You to Eat an Extra 300 Calories Every Day? So Lindsey, our nutritionist here at IdealShape, has been tracking the daily snacking habits of people who are struggling to lose weight. What we have to report is a little scary… Over the course of a week, three letters can cause people […]

#MyIdeal – Cotopaxi Designs Outdoor Gear with a Social Mission

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Davis Smith always wanted to make a difference. He loves the outdoors and going on adventures, but he really loves helping people. That’s why he launched Cotopaxi with a double mission: to help connect people with their love of outdoor sports and to improve the world through social good. “I think everybody needs to find what their passions […]

Blueberry Protein Donuts with IdealShake

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Last week’s Carrot Cake Protein Cupcakes were so unbelievably good we couldn’t resist another healthy baked treat: Blueberry Protein Donuts. We love adding protein to our treats because it’s nutritious and filling, so you can get away with having just one. A healthy donut that happens to be delicious? Let’s just say, they’re so good that when Lizzy […]

Guess Who’s Joining IdealShape as Team Nutritionist?

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It’s official. Fitness guru Lindsey Mathews is IdealShape’s new fat loss nutrition and exercise expert! Over the past decade, Lindsey has helped hundreds of people lose weight and build muscle. She’ll be creating brand-new exercise and nutrition plans to help IdealShape customers achieve your fat loss goals — in a way that’s fun, fast and long-lasting. She’ll also be […]

Always Take This With You When Shopping

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Crazy how quickly an everyday shopping trip can derail our fat loss goals. Tell me if this sounds familiar… you pop out on a Saturday morning to run a few errands — do the grocery shopping, get the oil changed, make a quick stop at Home Depot. Next thing you know, your “quick” shopping trip has […]

#MyIdeal – Lindsey Mathews, Figure Competitor & Mom of 3

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No “Barbie weights” for this girl! Lindsey Mathews — a wife, mother of three kids and certified fitness trainer — started competing in figure competitions four years ago and never looked back. Lindsey loves sculpting her #ideal body by lifting heavy weights. “The thing I love about competing in figure is that your body is like a […]

Carrot Cake Protein Cupcakes with IdealShake

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Bet you didn’t know you could bake with IdealShake! Check out this yummy way to have fun with your protein weight loss shake. Recipe: 1 cup oat flour 2 scoops vanilla IdealShake 2 tsp cinnamon 1/2 tsp baking soda 1/4 tsp nutmeg 2 tbs flaxseeds 1/2 tbs vanilla extract 4 egg whites 8 oz jar carrot baby […]

Warning: These Popular Drinks Could Make You Gain a Pound a Week!

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It happens all the time: people are guzzling themselves toward fat gain and don’t even realize it. You see, unlike food calories, “beverage calories” slip under the radar. Deceptive labeling practices don’t help, either. Two servings per can? 2.5 servings per bottle? Yeah right. Have you been baffled about why you’re not reaching your fat […]

Beware: Poor Sleep Triggers Cravings!

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That guy in Iowa who attacked a vending machine with a forklift to get his Twix fix? Some days, I can relate. Have you ever wondered why sometimes cravings just seem out of control? You’ve managed to get your diet in tip-top shape… and then one day you’re driving to work and a greasy breakfast sandwich sounds mouthwatering. At the […]

#MyIdeal – Why Kenzie Loves Dancing in *Her* Body

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As a dance teacher and choreographer, McKenzie knows how harsh the dance world can be on a person’s body image. She’s been dancing since age three, so she’s literally grown up in a room full of girls — where comparing body shape and size is almost unavoidable. From ballet to contemporary jazz, plus lots of […]

Healthy Salad Recipes Guaranteed to be Juicier Than Any Steak at Your BBQ!

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Salad is the perfect flat-belly food, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make it juicy! At this weekend’s cookout, may we suggest trading the gooey, creamy deli salads (like these diet disasters) for something light, clean and full of fruits and veggies? A few of us IdealShape girls hand-picked our favorite salad recipes that will make you feel light, fresh, fabulous… and […]

How #MyIdeal Power Couple Joe and Tina Semanoff Keep Each Other Motivated

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A lot of us were involved in sports, cheerleading or dance in our teenage years… and then we grew up. Getting married, having kids, embarking on college and careers, it can all make physical fitness nothing more than a “former glory.” Joe and Tina Semanoff have found — or rather, CREATED — a way to keep the fitness flame […]

#MyIdeal Story – Why Kaytlin Neil Traded Pom-poms for Sparring Gloves

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Kaytlin Neil is always redefining and pursuing her #ideal. She competed in cheerleading for 6 or 7 years growing up, and before that she did dance and gymnastics. In college, she started looking around for something new to stay motivated… and that’s when she found mixed martial arts, or MMA. It was love at first knockout! “It’s an awesome […]

Is It Safe to Drink Weight Loss Shakes While Pregnant?

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We know, working off pregnancy weight sucks! And avoiding excessive weight gain while you’re pregnant is just as tough. We often get asked whether it’s safe to use weight loss shakes like IdealShake while pregnant or breast-feeding, so here’s the scoop: Q: Are IdealShape products safe when you’re pregnant or nursing? A: First off, we always advise […]

Why This Month’s Challenge Winner, Linda, Deserves Three Cheers!

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Linda Acosta is our newest winner of the IdealShape Up Challenge (workout contest) and our June winner of the IdealShape Weight Loss Challenge! Since embarking on the IdealShape Up Challenge last October, Linda has lost 36 pounds. But there’s more to her journey than that… In 2010, Linda suffered two ruptured discs in her lower back that put her in a […]

#MyIdeal – How the Sweat4Sweets Ladies Do It

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Here are two women with a sensible approach to fitness! Ashley and Kristi are triathletes who have conquered that balance between exercise and eating what they love. They bike, run, swim and enjoy every minute of it… but give up their treats? No way! “We like to keep it real for people,” Ashley says. “Life is […]

3 Diet Disasters to Avoid at Barbecues (Including These Popular Salads)

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You’ve worked hard all week. You’ve watched your calories, eaten tons of fruits and vegetables, and worked up an exhilarating sweat at the gym. Want to reverse it all at the cookout this weekend? I didn’t think so! Fear not… you can still get your fill of delicious barbecue foods, just follow these three easy rules to keep excess calories […]

The Surprising Reason IdealBars Crush Fat

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It may seem counterintuitive, but eating more meals is one of the best ways to eat less. At IdealShape, we’re devoted fans of the five meals a day strategy. Not only because it makes sense for your metabolism, but because this pattern helps you avoid two big dangers that make it IMPOSSIBLE to lose weight… […]

Living #MyIdeal – How Mary Crafts Homer Created Her Ideal Business & Ideal Body

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Mary Crafts Homer is devoted to running the #ideal catering and event planning business. She’s been giving it her all for nearly three decades and has grown Culinary Crafts to be the biggest catering company in the state of Utah. Mary loves every minute of her business — coming to work, being hands-on and getting […]

Is a Gluten-Free Diet Good for Weight Loss?

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There you are, gazing up at packaged foods on the grocery shelves, poring over restaurant menus and wondering what the “gluten-free” buzz is all about. The gluten-free diet is a necessity for people with celiac disease and gluten sensitivity. But now people are asking: could it be a healthy diet for the rest of us? […]

Soda Drink Packaging That Actually Makes You Thirsty

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In a new study published in the Journal of Consumer Psychology, researchers observed that humans are naturally drawn to glossy objects — and the reason, they think, is that we’re thirsty. “The preference for “glossy” stems from an innate preference for fresh water as a resource,” the study authors said. Looking to evolutionary psychology for […]

Healthy Easter Basket Ideas

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Nothing against jelly beans and marshmallow Peeps (except that they’re full of sugar, empty calories and artificial dyes)…it’s just that if we’re going to reach our health and fitness goals — by swimsuit season, no less — we need to approach the Easter candy spree with caution. When it comes to holidays, Easter rivals Halloween […]

Why Happiness Leads To Weight Loss

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It’s no secret that feeling sad can drive our impulsive choices — usually in the wrong direction. (Hence the stereotypical pairing of articles about heartbreak with photos of empty Ben & Jerry’s cartons.) But does happiness lead to weight loss? Do you think that happiness can drive our choices in the right direction? Researchers at […]

Make the Perfect Breakfast Meal Replacement Shake

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It’s unwise to mess around with breakfast. After all, we’re talking about the most critical meal of the day — the meal that will fuel the majority of us through our most productive work time (9am-11am), and quite possibly an early morning gym session, too. Nobody has time for a pre-lunch crash. So, is a […]

Avoid Mindless Eating at the Dinner Table

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It’s well proven that when it comes to how we eat (and what we eat), we’re highly influenced by external cues. According to the Cornell University Food and Brand Lab, dieters are even more susceptible to unconscious “nudges” than non-dieters! This has important consequences for dinnertime: researchers have shown that eating a low calorie dinner […]

Caffeine for Weight Loss: Good or Bad?

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When people start taking our weight loss products ResveraShape and IdealBoost, some are surprised to see caffeine on the list of ingredients. Caffeine for weight loss? There are some reports out there that give caffeine a bad rap, and just seeing the word, your guard might go up: isn’t it bad for you? Not necessarily. In the right amounts and from […]

7 Ways to Make Your Meal Replacement Shakes Even Healthier!

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I know, I know — just when you thought it couldn’t get any better than a protein-rich, fiber-rich, low-calorie meal that takes about two seconds to prepare and can be eaten on-the-go… Meal replacement shakes are great for curbing caloric intake because they enhance fullness and deliver loads of essential nutrients. When protein is a […]

Is Salt Bad for Weight Loss?

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According to the American Heart Association, 9 out of 10 people are consuming too much sodium. Not hard to do, apparently. The daily value (DV) for sodium is 2,400 mg, which is about a teaspoon of salt. But the AHA says: –    1,500 mg is actually the *better* daily allowance of sodium –    and 3,400 […]

Debunking Breakfast Cereal

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Boxed cereal is pretty much the American standard for a quick, healthy breakfast. The question is: why? True, certain kinds of cereal are healthier than white bread with jam, or Pop Tarts, or a maple donut. But not by much… For the most part, it seems the idea that cereal is a great, waistline-friendly way […]

What’s Really In Your Weight Loss Shake?

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Protein shakes for weight loss… we know them by different names but drink them for the same reasons — to replace a meal or snack; boost our protein intake, especially in conjunction with a workout; and to promote our weight loss efforts with protein, fiber, and vitamins and minerals. While we may guzzle them for […]

Best Winter Cardio

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“Brrr” is no excuse to queue up Netflix, at least not until after you’ve had your workout. Frosty weather or not, the CDC says we need 2.5 hours of cardio per week in order to help stave off chronic disease. In fact, we probably need even more to keep from packing on the winter (ahem: […]

Is Your Workout Buddy Holding You Back?

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Conventional exercise wisdom says that we’ll be more motivated, accountable and stoked to exercise with a workout buddy. As my friend Gail says, walking with a friend is “just more fun.” But recently she complained that she and her friend have opposing work schedules now, and she’s started to fall off the fitness wagon. While […]

Are Scientific Studies Reliable Research?

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“They just came out with a new study…” If you’re like me, you cringe when you hear this. Before someone can finish that sentence, I’m already feeling frustrated, suspicious, confused and jaded—about whatever they’re going to say, and about health research in general. Every day it seems like there’s new research that *completely debunks* previous […]

7 Supposedly Healthy Breakfast Foods That are Pointless

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Still stuck in your cereal or waffles routine? Granted, you may be doing better than a heat-lamp sausage muffin. But not that much better. When it comes to breakfast, forget “continental” (high carb, high sugar) and go for the golden ratio of calories: 40-50% carbs, 25-35% protein and 20-30% fat. Each of these macronutrients gets […]

Food Advertising to Children

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Gone are the days when women were considered the primary purchase decision-makers. Kids, it seems, are the new consumers. Especially when it comes to unhealthy foods. Food advertising to children is now a global phenomenon, the World Health Organization (WHO) reports. And “most of this marketing is for foods with a high content of fat, […]

Food Package Design: 3 Ways It’s Fooling You

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Think your food label vigilance is helping you eat healthier? Don’t get too cozy. Just when we’ve figured out how to be conscientious consumers… marketers get sneakier. They have now found ways to trick you with the food package design of their products. It’s not even just the obvious stuff (like unrealistic serving sizes, which […]

Is Your Family Eating Healthy?

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We all care about our family eating healthy but have you ever noticed how describing the evils of junk food and jumbo-portions rarely causes family members to change their eating behavior? If anything, it makes them MORE likely to order the bleu bacon cheeseburger with a side of smothered nachos. As the much-older sister of […]

Faceoff: “Diets” vs. Nutrition

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What’s the difference between a “diet” and healthy nutrition habits? We talk a lot about “diets” on the IdealShape blog (namely how they usually end in tears and regained weight). So I realized it’s probably a good time to clarify the difference between “going on a diet” and “adopting healthy nutrition habits.” The biggest difference […]

The Secret to Eating Perfect Diet Portions

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Ever scarf down a giant platter of food and think, “Why did I just eat all that?!” You’re not alone. Eating perfect diet portions is a skill few have mastered. Eating until full (instead of comfortably satisfied) is a great way to feel like you have a bowling ball in your stomach — and eventually, […]

How Sugar Prevents Weight Loss

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HOW SUGAR PREVENTS WEIGHT LOSS, AND WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT. There are 119 songs about sugar. It has 30 different aliases. Sugar is used as a term of endearment for loved ones. To “sugar” something means to make it more pleasing. Is it safe to say that we are obsessed with sugar? Some 10,000 […]

Manage Stress And Lose Weight

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LEARN TO MANAGE STRESS AND LOSE WEIGHT. HERE’S HOW TO DO IT. Some people don’t experience stress. But, unless you spend your days in a seaside hammock listening to ocean water lap against the sand as you fan yourself with a straw hat, you probably aren’t one of those people. And if you are, then […]

Why We Hate Exercise And How to Fix it

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The Deep-Rooted Beliefs That Make You Hate Exercise Moving your body is essential if you want to get in shape. You might be able to ”drop a few pounds” without exercise, but what is that worth? If you want the whole shebang—the trim and toned physique, the energy, the lean muscle to burn calories, the […]

Liquid Gold: How to use water for Weight Loss

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Dehydration is the enemy of every weight loss and fitness goal. And “beverages with benefits” usually are, too. So what’s the problem—why can’t we just drink more water already? Well, as always, there’s a complicated answer for this. Actually, there are four complicated answers: sugar dependence, consumerism, misinformation, and habit. Before we get into these, […]

4 Ways Procrastination is Harming Your Health (and How to Kick It)

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First, take a deep breath and refrain from scolding yourself. If you’re stalling on any of your new year’s health goals, well, everyone else is too. That’s because procrastination is a natural phenomenon. Psychologists call it “hyperbolic discounting,” which is a fancy term for: party today, suffer tomorrow. We think we’ll enjoy a reward now […]

The Raw Deal: Eating Raw or Not?

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Ever heard of eating raw? Or are you nuking all your nutrients? Me too. Just when I thought I’d conquered healthy eating, it turns out I have an odd tendency to cook everything. And I’d say I’m not the only one. Given the hot debate over whether cooked or raw foods are healthier, it seems […]

How to Give Meaningful Gifts

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“Money can’t buy happiness,” they say. If that is true, it has awkward implications for gift-giving this time of year. Isn’t that the whole reason we flock to stores and brave crowds, clutching wish lists? To buy our loved ones happiness? We gather gifts with visions of their excitement in our minds. We picture them […]

Would You Join a Gym With a Motivational Fee?

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We don’t always make the exercise choices that are in our best interest. Why? Ask a psychologist or behavioral economist, and they’ll tell you the answer is simple: people are not rational. In addition to a desire to be healthy and strong, we’re driven by many other factors: our subconscious, our emotions, seductive advertising, a […]

Great Travel Exercises for Tight Spaces

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A bit ago, we had a discussion about the dirty, sweaty reality of midday exercise. Well how about the dirty, sweaty reality of vacation exercise? The answer is simple- with travel exercises. Think tight spaces, unpredictable schedules and switching from vacation mode to workout mode. And heaven help you if you’re traveling to a locale […]

Misleading Ads: When Is It OK for the Media to Mislead Us?

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Is it ethical for companies to airbrush models into perfection? Or to make misleading, even blatantly false, health claims? Whether it’s ethical or not, it seems that more and more companies are coming out with misleading ads. Increasingly, companies are being outed for employing illusions and trickery to sell their products. Yet their defense is […]

Weekend Warriors: Not Doomed After All?

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Confession: I’m a weekend warrior. And all these studies about how we are sitting ourselves to death are freaking me out. Can anyone really get down to 3 hours of chair time a day? I can’t. I’m an official “desk jockey,” and frankly, a trek desk is not in the cards for me. Not only […]

Which Yoga Style Matches Your Fitness Goals?

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When you think yoga, you think stretching, right? Or perhaps contortionist poses worthy of the circus. Well, you can stretch any old time, and frankly, you’re just not very flexible. So, no, you’re not going to yoga with me. This is the typical conversation I have with my friends and family, and even my students […]

How We’re Defenseless Against Creepy Coca-Cola Ads

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That’s funny. When I think back to some recent times I felt revived, relaxed, bold, adventurous or radiantly healthy, Coca-Cola doesn’t come to mind, despite what the coca-cola ads. Neither does Mountain Dew or a McCafé frozen mocha. Pretty sure Vitamin Water wasn’t there. Nor Snapple, or even Honest Tea. Come to think of it, […]

What you can change About Genetics

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If you’re part of the IdealShape community, you’ve likely already decided that you have some control over your health. You’re chasing down the food, exercise and psychological choices that will give you the healthiest life possible. But have you ever believed that your quest for health is in spite of certain genetics? That you might […]

The Secret to a Fitness Routine That Sticks

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Pessimists and procrastinators, listen up! There is only one way to stick to an exercise routine. What is it? Make it a routine! Exercise should have a comfortable, well-worn-in niche in your daily regimen. Of course, you’ll be upgrading the particulars every few weeks. (If you stick to the same old stuff, and you’ll probably […]

Why it pays to have a fitness buddy

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Living in Siberia has me thinking about “community” a lot. People tend to congregate here. Friends and families are close-knit. People look after each other (and sit on top of each other) on the bus. It’s not uncommon to come home and find your neighbor at your kitchen table. It’s great to have personal space […]

Should Running Be Your Go To Workout?

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Ask any marathoner—in other words, ask just about anyone—and you’ll get why running has become so popular. It feels natural, it requires minimal equipment and setup time, and perhaps best of all, it inspires a feeling of solidarity. Burpees with friends? No thanks. But running with friends is fun, and running a race with friends […]

The Best Time of Day to Workout: The Sweaty Reality of Midday Exercise

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And now, for the moment of truth: sometimes you can master motivation, flawlessly fuel your workout, and have your gym and snack bags packed—and still not be able to fit exercise into your daily routine. Not midday, anyway. I’m an afternoon exerciser, because it’s my best time of day to workout. But even if you […]

Adaptability: Will You Adapt or Self Destruct?

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“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.” – Charles Darwin Increasingly, I’m in awe of the amazing ability we have to triumph over change and challenging circumstances. Some people blame circumstance for their failure. Others […]

Should You Love Your Workouts?

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Today I started reading “Poke the Box.” It’s a manifesto by Seth Godin about doing something new and scary, instead of taking a nap. Godin is warning us about getting too comfortable with routine, and also how quick we are to use the “escape hatch” when we do try something new and it ends up […]

Athletic Focus: How You Can Achieve It

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When professional tennis star Maria Sharapova needs to save a match, she gets into her “zone.” “I take it one point at a time and really focus,” she says. Penning an hour-long workout into your planner can seem laughable when you have a business to run, a house to clean, a family to organize. And […]

Why Vacations Are Good For Your Fitness

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Leap Year Day has me thinking about how powerful it can be to step outside the box, even for just a day. Suddenly people start thinking about the “possible.” We had an extra day, February 29. What could we do with it? My colleagues threw parties or went out to dinner with friends even though […]

What Your Trainer Means By “Rest Day?”

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We get it. Rest is just as important to fitness gains as the actual workout. I think the real question is: what exactly does ‘rest’ mean? You worked out yesterday, so tonight you’re obliged to slip into your pink bunny slippers and queue up Comcast on Demand? I used to think that. Gee, I sure […]

A Good Cause Can Save Your Fitness Regimen

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Last year, hordes of people paid thousands of dollars apiece on eBay for pairs of Nikes. Specifically limited-edition “BacktotheFuture” Nikes to benefit Michael J. Fox’s charity for Parkinson’s disease. While Nike didn’t get to keep the $4.7 million in profits, this benevolent act boosted its image too. Nike fans retweeted stories about the fundraiser and […]

5 Tips It’s Time To Get A Personal Trainer

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We get it. You don’t need a babysitter at the gym. And yes, you’ve heard of YouTube. But sometimes, an hour with a personal trainer is worth 10 on Google. These are some of those times:  You’re on deadline. The sooner you start training for that triathlon, bike race or other athletic event, the better. […]

Is the 4 Minute Workout Legit?

Is the 4-Minute Workout Legit?

This pocket-sized workout might be deceptively powerful Good-bye long, drawn-out cardio. In just four minutes, experts are saying, you can accomplish double what you have been by spending hours at the gym. Appealing to our shortcut-loving brains, the “burst” movement is catching on quickly. The most popular example is the Tabata Protocol (no, this isn’t […]

Overcoming Our Annoyance with Health Tips

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I’ve been searching for some fresh health tips this week. I’ve trolled Fitness Magazine, Men’s Health, even the SelectHealth quarterly newsletter. Finally today I found it: an article on Yahoo! by Prevention Magazine about getting in sync with the body’s natural energy and eating cycles to lose weight. The daily play-by-play wasn’t my inspiration. It […]

The Marriage Diet: Are You Hurting Your Spouse’s Diet?

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Your better half is committed to eating healthy in the New Year, and you’re behind ’em one hundred percent. Or are you? New research has found that when it comes to nutrition habits, we are who we’re hitched to. Which means that, despite your nagging about his dangerous three-bag-a-day Cheeto addiction/her habitual midnight Taquito fests, […]

Working Out When Sick: Don’t Let A Cold Blow Your Fitness

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Ahhh… choooooooooo. There goes your workout regimen. And you thought regular exercise was supposed to keep you healthy! (Honestly, it does.) Sometimes there’s just no avoiding a cold during sniffle season. If you work in an office building or have school-age kids, you’re practically doomed to catch something. Then there’s starting a new exercise routine, […]

The Art of Single Tasking

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Many of us would like to relearn the art of single tasking. Achieving goals depends on it. Sanity depends on it. Lately I’ve been looking into grad school again. I wanted to make headway on my plan over the weekend. I committed the whole delicious two-day stretch to figuring out the best type of program […]

How To Stay Happy On Your Fitness Routine

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Want to see the joy you get from butter rolls fade faster than a Kardashian marriage? Of course you don’t. But according to psychologists, it’s kind of inevitable. And with that fizzled joy comes—yes—a need for more butter rolls. And candied yams. And eventually, the whole pumpkin pie. It’s not easy keeping ourselves happy. For […]

Calorie Counting: In or Out?

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Calorie counting might not be working anymore, according to a New York Times write-around of a recent study. The Harvard study tracked more than 120,000 participants over the course of 10 to 20 years, following their habits and their weight. Their findings: even those who stayed true to the golden rule “eat less and exercise […]

Tricks to Prevent Over Eating

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The amount of treats you can eat without realizing it is spooky. Even scarier: the calories and sugar lurking in frosted cupcakes, cookies, pumpkin pie, pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin cream cheese muffins and those little orange taffies with pumpkin faces are enough to turn YOU into a pumpkin. Let others buckle under the weight of […]

When It Comes to the Gym, Bigger Isn’t Always Better

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The secret to making your fitness goals happen? Joining a tricked-out gym. Or so I thought, as I was rolling up to the new luxury gym in my neighborhood. After a tour, my head was spinning with the workout possibilities (ooh, heated pool!) and I was eager to sign on the dotted line.  But half an […]

“Real Men Don’t Do Yoga”

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Yesterday I was outlining the many benefits of yoga for one of my guy friends, who complained of tight muscles and achiness. He agreed that yoga was great and said he totally understood why people do it. Pause. “So why don’t you do it?” His response: “Yoga is for girls… and hippies.”

3 Reasons to Try Zumba (and One Reason Not to)

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Let’s face it: there’s a good reason for our gymphobia. The gym usually sucks. Stuffy locker rooms. Bad techno. Sweaty equipment. Buzzing fluorescent lights. Grunters. It’s too easy to think of 1,001 reasons not to go. Strange, then, that reportedly 7.5 million people are flocking to Zumba classes every week. Are you wondering if it might be worth a try?

Perfect Fitness: Why It’s a Myth (and Thank Goodness)

Bette Midler in The Stepford Wives.

“Perfection is a mean, frozen form of idealism.” That’s what author Anne Lamott writes in her book Bird by Bird. It’s about her experience becoming a published writer, yet it’s eerily pertinent to fitness. Her tips on writer’s block? They’re what helped me plow through my exercise impasse in December. I consider myself something of […]

Meal Replacement Shakes for Weight Loss: Two Common Mistakes to Avoid

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When used correctly, meal replacement shakes can skyrocket your weight loss program. But use them the wrong way and they can be ineffective, a drag, even dangerous to your health. Get the full benefits of your weight loss shake by avoiding these common mistakes.

Weight Loss Hypnosis Myths Dispelled

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Questions and misconceptions often crop up about weight loss hypnosis. For those who don’t know much about “hypnotic suggestion therapy,” or who haven’t experienced it for themselves, it probably sounds downright weird. Here’s the real deal about weight loss hypnosis.

What’s the Best Way to Lose Weight? Revamp Your Grocery List!

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Your strategy for healthier eating starts at the grocery store. For instant body shaping, here’s what to put on, and scratch off, your shopping list.

Resistance Bands: Deceptively Simple Exercise Equipment

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Resistance bands come in many shapes, sizes and resistance levels and can be used to stretch, strengthen and tone the entire body. Weighing just a few ounces, a resistance band can create 30 lbs. of resistance!

Effective Weight Loss: Is Outside Intervention Really the Answer?

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America’s weight problem is more complex than today’s studies and statistics portray. Effective weight loss doesn’t start with our employers, the media or the government — it starts with the individual.