Caroline Rocked the Challenge – Check This Out!

Caroline After sm

When Caroline Williams found the IdealShape Up Challenge on Facebook, she was READY to make a change. The 25-year-old mother of two had grown up with scoliosis and a joint disease, and at one point her doctor warned her that if she didn’t keep her health in order, she could end up in a wheelchair. […]

Against All Odds This Couple Lost 130 Lbs Together


“I have always been overweight,” Kerry Pilgrim says. “At some point, I just accepted that I would always be big and there was nothing I could do to change that.” But in September of 2014, she changed her thinking. “After years of being unhappy with my weight, I decided it was time to change my […]

How This Bride-to-Be Lost 30 Lbs, Just in Time!


Nicole Starling wasn’t a fan of breakfast. The 32-year-old North Carolina teacher used to get “stage fright” before class, so she usually just skipped the morning meal. It could have been this bad breakfast habit that caused her to put on weight. Or maybe it was the slowing metabolism that comes with adulthood. Whatever the reason, after she turned […]

Matthew Set Out to Lose 10 Lbs and Shed 42 Instead!


Meet Matthew Hoover, our May Ship Shape Challenge winner! How did a computer password, a daily IdealShake and two cute kids help him reach his ideal? Read on… After watching his father recover from a heart attack and triple bypass, Matthew, a Pennsylvania business owner, husband and father of two, decided it was time for […]

At 57, Jeffrey Turned His Life Around!


When Jeffrey lost his long-time job as a bank executive at 57 years old, he planned on taking some time off to recharge his batteries and prepare for the next phase of his life. “That was the plan at least,” he says. “In reality, I was spending most of my time puttering around the house and […]

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


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.

Your Complete Easter Basket Survival Guide


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 achieve our ideal shape — by swimsuit season, no less — we need to approach Easter with caution! When it comes to holidays, Easter rivals Halloween in terms of a […]

4 Strategies to Help Your Family Eat Healthier


We all want to help our family eat healthy foods. But have you ever noticed how describing the evils of junk food and jumbo-portions rarely causes them to change their eating behavior? If anything, it seems to make them MORE likely to order the bleu bacon cheeseburger with a side of smothered nachos. As the […]

Our 2013 Cruise Winner, Julie Nesbit, is Still Rocking Her #Ideal!


As the 2013 Ship Shape Challenge winner, Julie Nesbit lost 82 pounds, got a trip to Park City UT, and ultimately won $1,000 cash and a Caribbean Cruise for two! Not long ago, before her weight loss journey began, Julie used to feel invisible. She just wanted to be seen again. “When I was heavy and would see […]

Battle Your Sugar Addiction (Without Going Crazy)

Young hungry gluttonous woman eating pie, isolated on white

It seems harmless. After all, it’s naturally found in fruits, vegetables and just about everything else. But it’s being called the most common addiction in our society today. What is it? Sugar. By USDA’s Economic Research Service estimate, Americans consume an average of 32 teaspoons of added sugars per day. The findings have proven that we don’t […]

4 Slimming Snack Habits to Practice Now


Snacking has a bad rap, but it isn’t always a bad thing. In fact, the right snacking habits can help you lose weight! We’re big fans of eating five meals a day for fat loss, and for many people that means a snack between breakfast and lunch, and another snack between lunch and dinner. So […]

Arm Workouts: 4 Fun Ways to Sculpt Your Arms


For most people, getting a lower body workout comes easier—you walk, run, cycle or climb stairs every day. It’s the strong and toned upper body you really have to work for. And who wants to spend evenings doing bicep curls and overhead presses in a stuffy gym? You need some fun arm workouts. The following […]

How a Cancer Survivor Changed Her Diet and Lost 100 Lbs!

Yvonne B&A

Meet our January Ship Shape Challenge winner, Yvonne Shaver! Yvonne’s story is proof that willpower can go a long way in creating your ideal shape. Ten years ago, at age 40, Yvonne was diagnosed with breast cancer. She survived, but aggressive treatments and depression left her weak. “My body suffered from sore bones, muscles and […]

4 Things You Can Do Before 9am to Lose Weight

Flax Seeds

What you do at breakfast time can send you soaring toward your weight loss goals or it can seriously set you back. Adopt these four morning habits and you’ll be well on your way to your ideal shape! 1. Forgo Sugary Foods The average American consumes 32 teaspoons of sugar a day! In addition to […]

How Tiffany Lost Weight with a Newborn in Tow!


How do you achieve your ideal shape with three young kids, including a newborn? Ask our December Shape Up Challenge winner, Tiffany Tegman Kostecki! Tiffany lost 20 pounds on the 12-week challenge, kick-starting her mission to lose the baby weight and get in shape. She was so happy with her results, in fact, that she […]

Why 1-3 is the Ideal Number of New Year’s Resolutions


Popular career blogger Penelope Trunk says New Year’s resolutions are a path to failure. Statistically, she is right. But the New Year just feels like the right time to set goals, doesn’t it? After a break from work and the daily flurry, we often come back reenergized and refocused on the big picture. We’re ready to hit the […]

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


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 […]

Low-Calorie Holiday Protein Smoothies


Pecan Pie Protein Smoothie 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! Candy Cane Protein Smoothie All I want for Christmas is… this Candy Cane […]

How to Manage Holiday Sugar Cravings


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 […]

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


“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


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)


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


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!


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


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!


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 […]

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


“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


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


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


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


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!

idealshape-nancy-ssc (1)

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”!


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!


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!

Pineapple Strawberry

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

b_35A2094 2

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


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

b_35A1720 2

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


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

b_35A1613 2

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

bJames_35A1225 2

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!

before-after (1)

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


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


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


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


“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

_35A0379 boost-72

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

b_35A6903 3

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

waiter holding silver tray with soda

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


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!


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

kelly-smith-idealshape-3-ssc-06 (1)

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


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

b_35A6053 2

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

Gummi bear invasion

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


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

b_35A6745 3

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

blueberry-donut copy

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 […]

Guess Who’s Joining IdealShape as Team Nutritionist?

Lindsey Mathews

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

shopping hunger trap

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

b_35A3850 2

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

carrot-cake copy

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!


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!


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

b_35A9532 2

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!

healthy salad recipes

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

_35A4898 4

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

k_35A1060 bw

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?

Pregnant belly

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 Three Square Meals is Wrong for Weight Loss


Ignore the old advice. Eating “three square meals” is NOT the best way to lose fat and keep it off. Eating five meals a day is actually ideal for weight loss. Conventional wisdom and even some well-respected diet programs recommend three daily meals for weight loss. Many people who are trying to cut calories eat just one […]

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


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


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)


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 […]

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

Mary Crafts Homer Sm

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?


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

soda drink packaging

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 […]

Make the Perfect Breakfast Meal Replacement Shake

Meal-Replacement-Smoothie-Breakfast copy

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 […]

5 Tips to Avoid Mindless Eating at the Dinner Table


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 Brian Wansink and 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 […]

Caffeine for Weight Loss: Good or Bad?

caffeine for weight loss

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!


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?

is salt bad for weight loss

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


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 […]

Vegetables for Weight Loss: Are You Making These 6 Mistakes?


Here’s a fun activity: do a Google image search for “meal.” Go ahead. I’ll wait. When I did one, I got an endless scroll of photos of large portions of meat atop a bit of veggies or potatoes. The two meatless exceptions were pasta dishes with sauce. On the whole, Americans have a peculiar relationship with vegetables, […]

What’s Really In Your Weight Loss Shake?


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


“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?


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?


“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 […]

4 Healthy Snacks for Traveling


Let’s be honest. It can be hard to eat healthy while on vacation. To avoid getting stranded with fast-food as your only option, or going hungry (which might be even worse for your waistline), it pays to plan ahead. And since I know you’re already scrambling to pack your bags, these healthy snacks are great for […]

7 Supposedly Healthy Breakfast Foods That are Pointless

sxc image breakfast

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


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


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 […]

Faceoff: “Diets” vs. Nutrition


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

Trio of Ice Cream and Sweet Sundae

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, […]

Manage Stress And Lose Weight

Beautiful girl

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

Senior Workout - Hot and Tired

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


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)

do it - procrastination concept

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?

Fresh and organic fruits and vegetables

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

Presenting alot of gifts

“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?


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


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?

Grand outdoor billboard

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?


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?


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

Glass of Cola with Ice Cubes

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


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


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


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?

Speed blur

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


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?


“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?


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


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

vacations are good for your health

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?”

rest day

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


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

Personal Trainer

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

Don't want to take health tips?

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?

Are You Sabotaging Your Spouse's Diet?

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


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


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


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?


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

sweet tooth

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


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”


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)

Photo copyrighted by Joshua Prezant 2008-- No photo maybe used without Joshua Prezant's written consent. 394-2020

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


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


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.

Resistance Bands: Deceptively Simple Exercise Equipment

resistance bands

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?


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.