The Scale Isn’t The Only Way To Measure Weight

When you are trying to lose weight or get into shape, it is all too easy to slip into hanging onto what the scale says to determine whether or not your efforts are “working” but studies are showing that this is not only harmful to your motivation but most likely not even an accurate representation of results.

by Jessica Migala

Sure, a bathroom scale tells you how much you weigh, but that number doesn’t always tell the whole story. A thin person can still have an unhealthy amount of body fat lurking beneath their skin. Likewise, a muscular athlete with a low body fat percentage may weigh more than traditional height-weight charts deem healthy. Here are 13 other tests-some common, some trendy, some you’ll remember from gym class-that measure body fat, and how accurately they can tell you whether you’re carrying around too much fat.

RELATED: The Definitive Guide to Body Fat

Next: BMI


What it is: A mathematical measurement that adjusts your weight for your height. Your number will tell you if you fall in the underweight, normal, overweight, or obese categories.

Does it work? Well, sometimes. A 2012 study in the International Journal of Obesity found that 29% of people who were “normal” weight actually had a body fat percentage in the obese range. So it may miss people who look thin but actually carry a lot of body fat. Another issue: if you’re especially muscular and fit (hello, Serena Williams), you’ll naturally weigh more since muscle tissue is denser than fat. That can throw your numbers into the overweight category.

What to do: You can find a BMI calculator here. While the average non-athlete can trust that they won’t get a false “overweight” result, given the limitations, you should still interpret your results with caution.

Next: Waist circumference


What it is: For women, the ideal waist measurement is less than 35 inches; for men, less than 40.

Does it work? Yes, according to a large consensus statement released from a group of organizations like the American Diabetes Association. It’s a marker of excess abdominal fat, which puts you at risk for heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. William Yancy, MD, director of the Duke University Diet and Fitness Center, uses waist circumference for patients who are overweight, but not obese.

What to do: Place the tape measure around your middle, just above your hipbones, advises the CDC. It should be snug but not too tight. Breathe out and take the measurement.

RELATED: How to Reclaim a Tiny Waist

Next: Thigh gap


What it is: Beloved by Tumblr pages and a hot trend in 2013, fans of this method claim that if you can stand with your legs together and see a gap between your thighs, you’re slim.

Does it work? No. “It’s all based on your bone structure and musculature, not if you’re thin or not,” says Charlie Seltzer, MD, a doctor specializing in weight loss in Philadelphia and a diplomat of the American Board of Obesity Medicine. He points to a very lean and healthy figure skater he’s worked with who has muscular thighs and tight hips, but no thigh gap.

What to do: There’s no reason to stand in the mirror and try to stand in such a way you can spot a gap, and critics point out that it can be a knock to your body-image and even trigger eating disorders.

Next: Waist-to-hip ratio


What it is: Women who have a waist-to-hip ratio of above 0.8 have a higher risk of disease.

Does it work? Yes. A study published in the European Heart Journal found that both waist-to-hip ratio and waist circumference were associated with heart disease risk, and researchers recommended that doctors incorporate these measures of obesity into cardiovascular disease assessments. But while it used to be popular, Dr. Yancy doesn’t use waist-to-hip ratio much anymore. The reason: it’s harder to accurately measure two places, especially when it’s sufficient to worry about only one (your waist).

What to do: To calculate your own waist-to-hip ratio, wrap a tape measure around the widest parts of your waist and hips, and then log the numbers into this calculator. ( to pop out your results.

RELATED: 10 Ways to Walk Off Fat Faster

Next: Can you see your abs?


What it is: If you have a six-pack, then you’re fit.

Does it work? Sort of. “The amount of fat you’re carrying under your skin is a reflection of what’s going on inside your body metabolically,” Dr. Seltzer says. But washboard abs require an ultra-low body fat percentage, a serious dedication to daily exercise, and a very calorie-restrictive diet.

What to do: Look at yourself in the mirror. What do you see? If you can make out some muscular definition (and this doesn’t mean you need a six-pack) and you don’t have a lot of fat rolling over your underwear, then that’s good, says Dr. Seltzer. If not, it’s not an indication you should go on a crazy fad diet or try to have a perfect body. Making some small lifestyle changes can help you shed fat in a big way. Whatever you see, the only truly accurate way to determine your health is to see your doctor and get lab work done, checking for markers like cholesterol and triglycerides.

RELATED: 10 Reasons Your Belly Fat Isn’t Going Away

Next: The “belly button challenge”


What it is: Wrap one arm around your back. If you can touch your belly button, you’re slim.

Does it work? Not even close! Dubbed the new thigh gap, Health debunked the myth in 2015. All it teaches you is how flexible you arms are-not if you’re fit or not. Oh, and not to mention, plenty of fit women can’t “pass.”

What to do: Take your waist measurement with an actual tape measure.

Next: The “collarbone challenge”


What it is: Take a roll of quarters and place them in the space in your collarbone. Do they stay put or do they fall? If you can balance them there, you’re sufficiently skinny.

Does it work? Ugh, absolutely not. File this one away in the “bogus” file with the belly button challenge and thigh gap. While you’re here, add to it the “bikini bridge,” described as where-as one Tumblr puts it-there’s a “graceful space created by a woman’s hip bones suspending bikini bottoms from their abdomens.”

What to do: “I worry about people tricking themselves into thinking they’re healthy by using any trendy mean necessary,” says Dr. Seltzer. Similarly, just like other trends, this can affect your self-image. Skip, please.

RELATED: 14 Fad Diets You Shouldn’t Try

Next: The string challenge


What it is: A fun way of measuring your waist-to-height ratio. If your waist is less than half of your height, you’re healthy.

Does it work? Yes. A 2014 UK study in the journal BMC Medicine found that the waist-to-height ratio is more accurate than BMI and would account for those people who were “missed” by BMI screenings. Researchers say that it’s cheap, easy, and can be used for every ethnic group.

What to do: Measure your height with a string. Fold the string in half. It should fit around your waist.

Next: Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis


What it is: A fancy term for a machine that sends electricity through your body and back to the machine. From there, the device calculates the percent of fat versus lean tissue you have.

Does it work? Kind of. Weight loss labs use large machines that measure your body composition, and those are accurate. But this technology is also available for at-home scales and handheld devices. Problem is, those are notoriously inaccurate.

What to do: You can still use it if you have one at home. While it may not tell you accurately what body fat percentage you’re starting out with, if you’re losing weight you should see this percentage trend downward, says Dr. Yancy. And just like stepping on the scale, use one of these under the same circumstances every time you do it for the most accurate results, like when you wake up in the morning, after you pee, and not after exercise.

RELATED: The Top Fat-Burning Foods

Next: The pinch test


What it is: Many health clubs still use good old calipers, which pinch areas on your body to determine your body fat.

Does it work? It all depends on the person who’s doing it-if a trainer uses one on you, let’s hope they know how to use it correctly.

What to do: While one measure may not tell you the whole story, if you’re trying to lose weight, the calipers should pinch less and less as you repeat the test over time. Make sure you’re doing it as one measure of progress (coupled with the number on the scale, how your clothes are fitting) and not the only one.

Next: Underwater weighing


What it is: Also known as hydrostatic weighing, a tech submerges you in a water tank, and water displacement measures fat versus lean mass.

Does it work? One criticism is that it’s just not convenient to use. You have to get the air out of your suit and breathe as much as you can out of your lungs, which can introduce error. It’s also hard to find compared to other fat-measuring methods. According to the American Council on Exercise, it has a 2.7% margin of error compared to 3.5% for the skinfold (caliper) test.

What to do: These may be available in a research setting, but there are some mobile labs in limited areas of the country.

RELATED: 30 Fast, New Fat-Burners

Next: The Bod Pod


What it is: The simple explanation is that it looks like an egg that you sit in while wearing your swimsuit, explains Dr. Yancy. It’s similar in concept to underwater weighing, but you stay dry. The Bod Pod taps into ADP technology (air displacement plethysmography, if you want to get fancy), which uses air displacement to measure body volume and calculates lean and fat mass.

Does it work? Yes, though some studies have found it may not be as accurate for underweight or overweight people. Other research indicates it’s as good as a skin fold (caliper) test, but the downside is it’s more expensive (skin fold tests are likely free at your gym).

What to do: You’re not going to buy a Bod Pod for your house, but you can find one at sports and fitness locations near you.

Next: DEXA scan


What it is: Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) is traditionally used to determine bone density and assess osteoporosis risk, but it can also be used to look at body composition, says Dr. Yancy.

Does it work? It’s convenient and quick and DEXA can determine the amount of muscle, fat, and bone-and break it up by body area. The results can also determine how much visceral fat you have, the dangerous fat around your waist that’s linked to diabetes and heart disease. Research notes that it’s accurate with a small margin of error, while a 2015 study found DEXA was better than the Bod Pod, especially for thinner and underweight people.

What to do: If you’re interested, you can see if there’s a DexaFit near your city. Prices are around $150 for a 30-minute session.


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Tame Bloating

Bloating is a common feeling that most people don’t know how to get rid of. Just like any other dietary decisions, it is important to understand why something is good or bad for you and this article does a great job showing you how to cut out bloat creating foods from your diet and how to determine foods that are good or bad for you and bloating.

by Esther Crain

Sometimes it comes from excess air trapped in your digestive tract. Other times it feels like a basketball is stuck in your abdomen, or your entire midsection has been flooded with water. Whatever bloating feels like to you, one thing’s for sure: it’s uncomfortable. And though bloat rarely signals something serious and typically goes away after several hours (eased up by moving around, drinking water, and just waiting it out), a distended middle can make you feel lethargic, clumsy, and suspecting you’ll never be able to button your jeans again. Welcome back your flatter belly by saying goodbye the habits that are prone to puff you up.

Next: You eat too fast


The pace of life has us all in a hurry, but if that leaves you wolfing down your meals, be warned: besides food, you’re also swallowing gas-producing air, which balloons your belly. Trapped air isn’t the only bloat trigger here. “When you eat in a rush, you don’t chew thoroughly, and that leads to larger food pieces sitting in your gut, waiting to be fully digested,” explains New York City nutritionist Stephanie Middleberg, RD, of Middleberg Nutrition. Another speed-eating danger: you lose track of how much you’re consuming, and stuffing yourself makes your stomach feel, well, stuffed. Instead of eating on the run, carve out at least 20 minutes for a slower sit-down meal. That’s how long it takes your brain to register fullness, signaling that it’s time to put your fork down so you don’t overdo it.

Next: Your go-to lunch is a sandwich


Even the healthiest sammies tend to be packed with sodium. A recent USDA study discovered that the sodium content in the typical sandwich can chew up 20% of your sodium allowance, says Janet Brill, PhD, RD, a Philadelphia-area nutritionist and author of Blood Pressure Down. And a 2012 CDC study listed the top sodium-loaded foods, many of which were sandwich staples. “Bread and rolls ranked as the number-one source of sodium in the typical American diet, and deli meat was number two, with cheese not far behind,” says Brill. The CDC recommends keeping sodium intake under 2,300 mg, and you can stay within that number and prevent sodium-induced bloat by alternating your sandwich habit with other foods or forgoing the bread and wrapping it a crisp piece of romaine lettuce.

Next: You consume your kale raw


Packed with essential vitamins, kale has a well-deserved reputation as a trendy salad superstar. Thing is, this cruciferous vegetable contains so much hard-to-break-down fiber and an indigestible sugar called raffinose that consuming it raw in a smoothie or salad may bring on gas and puffiness, says Middleberg. Kale is not the only veggie offender; other cruciferous greens like Brussels sprouts and broccoli have the same effect. “Cut down on the bloating by eating less kale and cooking the kale you do eat by steaming or roasting it,” suggests Middleberg. You still get the nutrients, but cooking helps soften the fiber and shrink the volume of kale you consume, so it doesn’t take up so much gut-busting room in your small intestines.

Next: You drink through a straw


Coffee beverages, fruit smoothies, green juice drinks-these days, all kinds of adult-friendly drinks are designed to be sipped through a straw. But as convenient as straws are, they force you to suck in lots of extra air, and that makes you feel like an inflatable ball, says Middleberg. It doesn’t make a difference how slowly or deeply you sip; you’re taking in the air already trapped in the upper part of the straw, and it’s impossible to avoid. Whenever you can, sip your drinks from the rim of the glass.

Next: You eat lots of packaged foods


Once again, the culprit here is sodium-it’s used as a preservative for tons of processed convenience foods. You know that crackers and chips are sodium bombs, but even healthy-looking items such as soups, salad dressings, cereals, and tomato sauce can have crazy-high amounts of sodium that easily lead you to exceed the 2,300 mg daily recommended limit. (Read more about surprisingly salty processed foods.) “It’s a good bet that pretty much any product that comes wrapped in a package contains more sodium than you’d think, and you’re unlikely to even taste the salt,” says Brill. Dodge the belly-bloating effects by reading labels and going for packaged foods that contain less than 500 mg per serving. And of course, try to cut back on the processed stuff and fill your plate with naturally low-sodium or sodium-free fresh fruits, grains, and veggies.

Related: 13 Foods That Are Saltier Than You Realize

Next: You choose diet or low-calorie products


Artificial sugars such as aspartame and sucralose have been added to everything from diet beverages to gum and candy. But the low or no calories come at a cost. While the FDA has recognized zero-cal sugar substitutes as safe, they’re serious bloat inducers. Artificial sweeteners hang around your stomach a long time because your system doesn’t digest them well (or at all). Makes sense, considering that they contain nothing your system recognizes as actual food, says Middleberg. “Banish them from your diet, and you’ll feel instant relief,” she says.

Next: You can’t give up your soda habit


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Kidney, pinto, black, red-beans (plus their legume cousins, lentils and chickpeas) are an awesome source of high-quality plant protein. Unfortunately the carbohydrates in beans tend to be indigestible, and that’s what gives them their gassy, belly-bloating reputation, says Brill. Thing is, beans boost the health of so many dishes, from chili to soup to burritos, that it would be a nutritional crime to dump them out of your diet entirely. The solution: take an over-the-counter anti-gas product such as Beano along with your beans. “These contain the enzyme we’re missing that makes the carbohydrates digestible,” says Brill. “It’s safe to take, and it prevents the uncomfortable puffy feeling.”

Next: You chew gum or suck on candy


Gum and hard candy keep your mouth occupied, which can help you lose weight or quit smoking. But they too cause you to inadvertently gulp lots of excess air. And as with using a straw and eating too fast, excessive air can lead to belching and that beached whale feeling. Try giving up the gum and suckers and instead take frequent sips of water-that will keep your mouth busy too. There’s a bonus to H2O as well: plain water helps keep your GI tract moving, and that gets rid of excess air and water bloating out your system, explains Alissa Rumsey, RD, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Next: You eat dinner too close to bedtime


If you eat a typical-size dinner within an hour or two of hitting the sack, you’re setting yourself up for morning muffin top. Lying down impairs digestion, so if you hit the bed with food in your stomach, it won’t be broken down as quickly, leaving you bloated in the a.m., says Rumsey. It’s not always easy to shift your schedule, but try having supper at least three to four hours before turning in for the night. Stay on your feet as much as possible to keep things moving before you fall asleep. If you have no choice but to eat right before bedtime, make it something small, like a piece of fruit or yogurt, and refuel with a bigger meal at breakfast, when your metabolism is running high again and your body will benefit from the energy jolt.

Next: You ignore food allergy symptoms


Despite all the attention food allergies score these days (gluten-free mania, anyone?), most of us aren’t affected by them. Still, some allergies and sensitivities are a little-known reason for belly expansion. People with a wheat allergy who can’t digest gluten often deal with digestive issues and bloating, and if you’re lactose intolerant, you’ll also experience lots of distention and discomfort, says Rumsey. If you find yourself frequently feeling like a bowling ball, and none of these other factors seem to be the cause, check in with your doctor and ask to be tested for food allergies and sensitivities.


Are You Catching Enough Sleep?

Sleep is one of the most important things that you can do for your body in order to keep it healthy. It is very interesting though, how little we understand sleep and dreaming and why it is so essential. New studies are showing however what lack of sleep or too much sleep can do to the body and this is another step on the way to demystifying sleep.

People who sleep fewer than 6 hours or more than 10 hours per night suffer from low-grade inflammation more often than people who sleep 7-8 hours per night. Earlier studies have found a relation between reduced sleep and low-grade inflammation, according to one of the study researchers. Furthermore, low-grade inflammation occurs in overweight, depression and diabetes. This new study is the first to analyze the association between sleep duration and serum micronutrient concentrations in a large sample, and it found a link between high serum copper concentration and long sleep duration.


Great Easy Recipes for Diabetics

With so much sugar being present in everything that we eat and drink, many people are developing diabetes in addition to those who are born with diabetes. Even if you aren’t diabetic, you can enjoy some of these recipes to keep you that way. Sometimes finding healthy foods for diabetics can be incredibly difficult so here’s three quick recipes to enjoy.

It’s very important for diabetics to be very careful with the things they put in front of them at the dining table. Yes, it can be challenging at times to plan meals but, fortunately, the internet is teeming with so many scrumptious recipes perfect for individuals with diabetes.

Some of the healthiest dishes on the planet are the ones intended for diabetics. That is why a lot of health-conscious people who don’t have diabetes also often sit in front of their computers to scour the web for the delectable and nutritious recipes for diabetics.

If you are on the hunt for casserole recipes ideal for diabetics, look no further. Below are 3 of the easiest recipes that can make your mouth water and help keep the symptoms and complications of diabetes at bay.

Chicken and Vegetable Potpie

This classic dish loved by many is given a new twist by including more vegetables than meat. The following recipe serves up to 8 people, and everything can be prepared in just about an hour.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme, dried and crumbled
  • 1 egg whisked with 1 tablespoon milk, for glazing
  • 1 14-ounce can chicken broth, reduced-sodium and fat-free
  • 2 cups bite-size pieces chicken, cooked
  • 1 cup green peas, fresh or frozen
  • 1 cup mushrooms, thickly sliced
  • 1 large red potato, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 2 large carrots, sliced thickly
  • 2 stalks of celery, coarsely chopped
  • 3 leeks, rinsed and coarsely chopped
  • Prepackaged pastry for pie, single-crust and 9 inch


  1. In a large saucepan, heat olive oil. Throw in the potatoes, carrots, celery and leeks. Stir for about 5 minutes then add mushrooms and continue stirring. After 5 minutes, dump into the saucepan your flour, thyme and salt. Stir well and add the chicken broth.
  2. Once thick, add peas and chicken.
  3. Transfer everything in a pie plate that’s about 9 inches deep. Allow to cool for several minutes.
  4. While waiting for it to cool, preheat the oven to 400 °F.
  5. Grab your pastry, measure it over the pie plate, and brush some glaze on the underside.
  6. Trim and place over the dish. You may flute the pastry if you like. Brush the remaining glaze on the top of the pastry. Create 1-inch slits to serve as vent.
  7. Bake until the pastry is golden-brown. Allow to stand for about 10 minutes before serving.

Tuna and Noodle Casserole

With some of the ingredients replaced with fat-free variants, this all-time favorite casserole becomes perfect for diabetics. Whipping this up takes only about half and hour, and this recipe serves 6 people.


  • 1/2 cup milk, fat-free
  • 1 10 3/4-ounce can of cream of mushroom soup, low-sodium
  • 1 6-ounce can tuna in water, drained
  • 1 4-ounce can mushrooms, drained
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, fat-free and shredded
  • 1 cup peas, fresh or frozen
  • 8 ounces egg noodles, broad


  1. Have the oven preheated to 350 °F.
  2. Cook the noodles according to the directions printed on the package. Drain thoroughly once cooked.
  3. Grab a 1 1/2-quart baking dish. Combine soup, milk, cheese, peas, tuna and noodles.
  4. Place the baking dish in the oven and bake for about 30 minutes or until bubbling. Serve when done.

Lamb Stew with Sweet Potatoes

You can actually whip up a healthy and thick West African-inspired stew in just under an hour. It’s good for diabetics and non-diabetics alike. Below is the recipe that serves 4 people in total.


  • 3 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter, creamy
  • 1 cup canned tomatoes, no-salt and crushed
  • 1 medium-sized onion onion, chopped finely
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 10-ounce package okra, whole or frozen cut
  • 1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks (1/2-inch thick)
  • 1 pound leg of lamb, lean and cut into chunks (1-inch thick)


  1. Get the over preheated to 350 °F.
  2. Grab a casserole dish that’s flameproof. Over medium-high heat, heat up a couple of teaspoons of olive oil.
  3. Sautee the lamb for about 5 minutes or until already brown. Transfer to a plate once cooked.
  4. Place the remaining teaspoon of olive oil in the dish and reduce the heat to medium. Sautee the garlic and onion, then pour 1/3 cup of water. Allow to simmer for a while until the onion is already tender and golden-brown.
  5. Add in the sweet potatoes, tomatoes, peanut butter, cayenne and salt. Also put 1 1/2 cups of water into the mix. Allow everything to boil.
  6. Once boiling, take the cooked lamb back into the dish. Turn off the heat.
  7. Cover the dish and place it in the oven. Bake for about 25 minutes.
  8. Add in the okra and stir, and allow to bake further for about 15 minutes or until both okra and lamb are tender.


Younger Looking Skin

In addition to the miraculous results of treatments from Stellar Skin and Laser, there are certain lifestyle changes that can greatly improve the appearance of your skin and keep it looking young. One such lifestyle change is adding these super foods to your diet that nourish your skin and body allowing that youthful glow to remain.

by Barbara Stepko
From Health magazine

You can head off a lot of your most common beauty concerns simply by downing the right foods. That’s right-eating well not only does wonders for your waistline and bolsters your immune system but can also provide some very real get-gorg benefits, such as smoothing wrinkles, giving hair a glossy shine and strengthening flimsy nails. “Your diet directly affects your day-to-day appearance and plays a significant role in how well you age,” says Joshua Zeichner, MD. The smart approach, Dr. Zeichner says, is to create a plan that includes what he calls “the building blocks of healthy skin and hair”-nutrients, minerals and fatty acids-as well as antioxidants to protect your body from damaging environmental stresses. Get ready to nab some beauty-boosting perks by tossing these essential face-saving edibles into your grocery cart.

Watch the video: 6 Foods for Beautiful Skin and Hair  

Next: Coffee


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The summertime fave is loaded with lycopene. “This antioxidant compound gives watermelon and tomatoes their red color-and helps skin stave off UV damage,” says nutrition pro Keri Glassman, RD, founder of Researchers believe that the melon contains as much as 40 percent more of the phytochemical than raw tomatoes; that’s the equivalent of an SPF 3, so use it to bolster (not replace) your daily dose of sunscreen.

Next: Pomegranates


The seeds of this wonder fruit are bursting with antioxidants, like vitamin C, that prevent fine lines, wrinkles and dryness by neutralizing the free radicals that weather skin. A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that higher vitamin C intake lessened the likelihood of dryness and wrinkles in middle-aged women. Also in the fruit’s arsenal: anthocyanins (which help increase collagen production, giving skin a firmer look) and ellagic acid (a natural chemical that reduces inflammation caused by UV damage).

Next: Blueberries


Boost radiance by popping some of these plump little beauties. Blueberries supply vitamins C and E (two antioxidants that work in tandem to brighten skin, even out tone and fight off free-radical damage), as well as arubtin, “a natural derivative of the skin lightener hydroquinone,” Dr. Zeichner says.

Next: Lobster


High in zinc, shellfish has anti-inflammatory properties that can help treat a range of skin annoyances, acne included. “Zinc accelerates the renewal of skin cells,” says Whitney Bowe, MD, clinical assistant professor of dermatology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. “That’s why you find the nutrient in many acne medications.” In fact, research shows that people with acne have lower levels of zinc than people with clear skin.

Next: Kale


On the long list of this leafy green‘s nutrients are vitamin K (it promotes healthy blood clotting, so the blood vessels around the eyes don’t leak and cause Walking Dead-like shadows) and loads of iron. “Insufficient levels of iron in your diet can cause your skin to look pale, making it easier to spot blood vessels under the skin,” explains Howard Murad, MD, associate clinical professor of medicine at UCLA. To max out the benefits, eat the veggie cooked, not raw.

Next: Eggs


Your fingernails (toenails, too) are made of protein, so a deficiency can turn those talons soft. Keep yours thick and mani-pedi-ready by cracking smart: “Eggs are a good source of biotin, a B complex vitamin that metabolizes amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein,” says Frank Lipman, MD, director of Eleven-Eleven Wellness Center in New York City.

Next: Walnuts


Omega-3 fatty acids (found in the natural oils that keep your hair hydrated) and vitamin E (which helps repair damaged follicles) are two secrets behind strong, lustrous strands-and these nuts are full of both, Dr. Lipman says. All you need is 1/4 cup a day. What’s more, walnuts are packed with copper, which will help keep your natural color rich: Studies show that being deficient in the mineral may be a factor in going prematurely gray.

Next: Avocado


Lying About Your Weight

As many philosophers have contended, there is no truth and only perspective. This is especially a tricky area for body image and weight. Many people believe that they are fat when they are not and the opposite. Some ways to make sure that your body image is accurate and healthy is to stop lying either way.

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In reality, people prioritize and spend money on what’s important to them, says Amy Goodson, RD, co-author of Swim, Bike, Run-Eat ($17; “You may pay more for some healthy and organic food, but you are getting more nutrient quality for your dollar,” she says. Plus, there are plenty of ways to save. Seasonal, local produce costs less than fruits and veggies shipped from afar-and the more-frugal frozen stuff is just as nutritious as fresh. You can also buy lean meats in bulk when they’re on sale and freeze what you don’t use for later.

RELATED: 11 Ways to Save Money on Healthy Food

Next: I just don’t like the taste of healthy food.


Many people claim they don’t like “healthy food,” when the truth is they reject nutritious eats without even trying them, says Goodson. “It’s recommended you eat a food 10 times before you can determine if you really dislike it or not,” she says. To acquire a taste for healthy food, Goodson suggests you try mixing the food you don’t like with foods you do like. For instance, if you hate broccoli but like rice and cheese, trying making broccoli rice casserole with brown rice and 2% cheese. Gradually increase the amount of broccoli in the dish each time you make it.

RELATED: 13 Veggies You Only Think You Don’t Like

Next: My jeans don’t fit because they shrunk in the wash.


Sure, this might be true with some of your clothing, says Brian Quebbemann, MD, a bariatric surgeon in Newport Beach, Calif. “All my patients know, however, that normally clothes don’t tell lies. If you ask, ‘Have I gained weight?’ just put on that sleek dress, or Speedo from your swim team days, and you’ll have the honest answer.”

Next: I worked out today, so I can have this bowl of ice cream.


No amount of exercise will overcome a high-calorie diet, says Dr. Quebbemann. Consider that walking for an hour at 4 mph (a very brisk pace) burns approximately 360 calories. A mere half-cup of Ben & Jerry’s vanilla ice cream contains 230 calories. A real-life serving of ice cream is typically double that, clocking in at 460 calories. That means you’d take in 100 calories more than you burned.

Watch the video: What to Eat After a Workout  

Next: I eat healthy all week so I can indulge on the weekend.


No, you can’t follow a healthy diet during the workweek and then go hogwild on Saturday and Sunday without gaining weight. “Eating 2,000 extra calories over a weekend will increase your daily average by close to 300 calories, causing a gain of 20 pounds within a year,” says Dr. Quebbemann. If you do indulge during your downtime, then be sure to make up for it in the following days. A 2014 Cornell University study found that thin people are better at adjusting their calorie intake after a calorie-packed weekend than those who are overweight.

Next: My mom’s fat, so no matter what I do, I’m always going to be overweight too.


Some research does show a genetic link to obesity, but in most cases, lifestyle trumps genetics. “The most common reason some families are overweight and some are not is because some parents have poor eating habits and teach their kids the same,” says Dr. Quebbemann. “It’s often a cultural inheritance more than a physical one.”

Next: I can have another glass of wine[MDASH]it’s healthy!



Skipping meals as a way to save calories won’t help you drop pounds, says Zanini, because you’ll make up for it-and then some-later in the day when you’re starving. A 2012 study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found that women who reported missing meals lost 8 fewer pounds than those who ate breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day.

Next: I can’t lose weight because I have kids.


We get it-it can be tough to plan kid-friendly meals that are compatible with your diet goals, and you probably feel too busy carting the kiddos to and from school, soccer practice, and piano lessons to give your diet goals much thought. But the truth is, you can overcome these obstacles. If you find yourself eating your child’s leftovers or sharing a few licks of an ice cream several times a day, for example, then try to stop-this can easily add up to 300-plus extra calories, says Goodson.

RELATED: 20 Easy Meals for Families

Next: Losing weight is impossible because I’m hungry all the time.


Your own poor eating choices are likely the reason you’re always hungry, says Dr. Quebbemann. High-carb, low-protein meals spike your blood sugar, which leaves your belly rumbling after it plummets back to earth. “This is the carb-hunger roller coaster many of my patients ride every day,” says Dr. Quebbemann. “When they tell me, ‘I’m hungry all the time,’ I respond, ‘I would be too, if I ate that way.'” Dehydration, stress, and certain meds may also cause an insatiable appetite.

RELATED: 11 Reasons You’re Always Hungry

Next: I’m not eating that much and the scale’s not budging.


Chances are, you’re overestimating how hard you’re working out and underestimating how much food you’re taking in, says Jonathan Ross, senior advisor for the American Council on Exercise (ACE). In fact, a study published in the British Medical Journal showed that 23% of adults underestimated the number of calories in their fast food meal and, as a result are making uninformed choices.

Next: I’m doing everything I can to lose weight and nothing’s working.


“This typically translates to, ‘I’m doing everything I’m willing to do,'” says Ross. “You need to ask yourself, ‘Is there anything I can do that I’m currently not willing to do?'” Take a look at your day-to-day habits for ways to add in more activity (get up from your desk more often, walk the stairs) or eat healthier (bring a lunch versus relying on last-minute choices from the vending machine). Track your food and exercise to pinpoint trouble spots.

Next: I deserve a treat once in a while.


Many people “compartmentalize” what they eat, says Ross. “They’ll have a doughnut at a meeting, pizza for lunch, and go out with friends and have chicken wings and then say, ‘I only ate chicken wings twice this month,’ forgetting all the other treats they didn’t count.” These treats are the foods that take you further away from your goals, he says. Keep an accurate food journal to pinpoint all these treats you may otherwise forget.

Next: I look better when I have more meat on my bones.


It’s important to accept yourself, love your shape, and feel comfortable in your own skin. But if your body mass index (BMI) indicates that you’re overweight or obese, think about whether you need to lose weight or at least eat healthier and exercise more. Of course, some people have more muscle than others (BMI is not a perfect measure), but the truth is, research shows that if you are obese, your risk rises for serious health problems such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. Maintaining a BMI over 30 or a having a waist circumference larger than 35 inches for women and 40 inches for men puts you at a higher risk for cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and other illnesses, says Goodson. “Losing just 10% of your body weight can help lower cholesterol and blood pressure,” she says. And even if you don’t lose weight, exercise and healthy eating will help lower your risks for those conditions.


Kissing Not As Common As You Think?

Most people think of kissing as a universally enjoyable activity….and most people are wrong. Kissing is something that not that many couples engage in on a regular basis and many people claim to not enjoy at all. According to this study, many people’s attitudes towards kissing on based on culture and personal preference. Check it out. You’d be surprised at the numbers.

You might assume that sexy mouth-to-mouth action is a staple in the love lives of people around the world-but it’s not. At least, that’s what a new study published by the American Anthropological Association suggests.

For the study, researchers investigated whether 168 different cultures engage in romantic lip locks-and they found that only 46 percent of those groups actually kiss. Seriously, that’s it. Interestingly, the geographic location of the each culture didn’t impact whether or not the people in that group got their smooch on. In fact, 45 percent of the North American cultures investigated didn’t kiss at all. But researchers did find that the more socially “complex” a society (groups like Americans and Chinese are considered socially complex), the more likely they were to partake in romantic lip locking. Some of the non-kissing cultures, even some small, egalitarian groups, said they see mouth play as unclean or just really freaking unpleasant, the study authors write.

So how are these anti-smooching folks seducing each other? Apparently it could involve a lot of sniffing or sharing breath, says study author and anthropology P.h.D. student Shelly Volsche. “There is also something called the oceanic kiss in which two people pass their open mouths near each other but do not make contact,” she says. Is it getting hot in here, or is it just us? Compared to the mating habits of other primates and mammals, these pre-sexy time habits aren’t super surprising, says Volsche.

Though the researchers still aren’t certain how kissing became a popular way to show affection in some cultures, they think it could have been a result of oral hygiene becoming a thing-which makes someone else’s mouth way more inhabitable for yours. Or they say elite social classes might have frowned upon sniffing your lover in front of your friends but still wanted to share their romantic feelings.

The research got us wondering about how other people around the world get mushy with each other, so we asked our international Women’s Health editors what’s normal in their cultures. Here are some fun facts!

“Kissing is common in Indonesia, but since the majority of our population is Muslim, kissing remains mostly private between couples. The only exception would be in big cities like Jakarta or Bali, as young couples there like to occasionally kiss in public.” -Pangesti (ChiChi) Bernardus, Women’s Health Indonesia, editor in chief

“We love kisses in Spain! It’s part of our culture, and it’s probably a good way to relax the atmosphere. If I have dinner with my boyfriend in a restaurant, I’ll kiss him on the mouth. There is always a good excuse to kiss and be kissed, but we’re not exhibitionist people. I mean, if we are in the middle of the park where a lot of kids are playing, we know it’s not the best place.” -Maria Gijon Moreno, Women’s Health Spain, staff writer

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Signs Your Hormones May Be Off Kilter

Signs Your Hormones May Be Off Kilter

Hormones are a very important aspect of overall health. It is something that men and women both need to be aware of. It is important to get your hormone levels checked as they can be causing all kinds of unwanted ailments such as fatigue, weight gain and depression but also can be symptoms of another medical condition that could need to be addressed. Here are five signs that your hormones may be out of whack from MindBodyGreen.
When we hear the word “hormones,” we often think of a woman’s estrogen and progesterone levels, and occasionally a man’s testosterone level. But there’s so much more to these naturally occurring chemicals than you may realize.
We have many different hormones that determine a state of balance or imbalance, from thyroid-stimulating hormone, which regulates the thyroid gland, to follicle-stimulating hormone, which directs ovulation in women. To achieve optimal, sustainable health and wellbeing, we need to strive for hormone health that includes the proper balance of all bodily chemicals. Below are five symptoms that indicate your hormones may be imbalanced.
1. Fatigue
Sometimes the symptoms of hormonal imbalance can be nonspecific. In these cases, it’s important to consider hormonal imbalance as a possible cause of the symptoms. For example, someone who suffers from fatigue could have an imbalance in her thyroid hormones, causing hypothyroidism; in her adrenal hormone levels, resulting in adrenal fatigue; or in her melatonin levels, causing poor sleep. Any of these imbalances can be the cause of fatigue.
Fatigue in this sense may feel like illness-related fatigue, leaving you tired when you wake up and without energy during the day. Sufferers often describe this as if they’re “running on fumes.”
2. Poor sleep
You either have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, which contributes to not feeling refreshed in the morning. This can result from a variety of hormonal issues, including melatonin, cortisol or even the brain neutrotransmitters.
3. Mood swings and irritability
These can become anxiety and even depression. People who have an imbalance in cortisol, testosterone, or estrogen can all have mood swings and irritability. Neurotransmitters that are out of balance can also cause this symptom.
4. Skin changes
Many people notice changes in their skin and hair and wonder if it’s normal aging or just “bad luck,” but the problem may be a hormonal imbalance. Low thyroid levels can cause dry skin and hair, hair loss, and brittle nails.
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Revolutionary New Face Lift Technique

Revolutionary New Face Lift Technique

Although face lifts have proved to be effective against the signs of aging, they are not as effective as we would have hoped. With the new technique of autologous stem cell face lifts, there is an entirely new process at work that begets results that speak for themselves. Here are some frequently asked questions about the procedure.
  1. Are there any ethical issues with Adult Stem Cells?

    No, adult stem cells are not embryos. They don’t have the potential to develop into a new human being. They reside in the bone marrow and fat and they exist in large quantities.

  2. How do I know if Stem Cell therapy is good for me?

    Consult with your physician if you have any type of joint pain or if you suffer from any degenerative disease. Stem Cell Therapy enables the patient’s body to use it’s own stem cells to heal and repair.

  3. Are there any side effects to Stem Cell Therapy?

    It is a very safe procedure. After a complete medical evaluation, our specialists will determine if you are a candidate for this treatment. Some patients may experience pain and soreness during the post-operative period. Because autologous blood and fat is used, there are minimal chances of allergic reactions.

  4. What are the potential benefits of Stem Cell Therapy?

    Healing, repair and regeneration of injured or damaged tissue. It can regenerate tissues that are injured in meniscal tears, ligament tears, rotator cuff tear, tennis elbow and in degenerative diseases like arthritis and osteoarthritis. It decreases pain at the level of the injury and improves performance. The procedure is done in an office setting, under local anesthesia. This eliminates the risks associated with surgery or anesthesia.

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Low Libido Treatment Glendale Arizona

ED Can Be a Big Problem

Erectile dysfunction is a sometimes embarrassing medical issue that many men do not seek treatment for. Sex is an act of love, vulnerability and humanity and it should be able to be expressed freely without shame. At Protea Medical Center, we treat the patient first, making the illness actually cured. ED is a lot more of a common problem than most people realize with over 50% of men over the age of 40 that are affected by it. Here are the basics of ED that you should know. Call Protea Medical Center for a consultation today.

Erectile dysfunction (impotence) is the inability to get and keep an erection firm enough for sex.

Having erection trouble from time to time isn’t necessarily a cause for concern. If erectile dysfunction is an ongoing issue, however, it can cause stress, affect your self-confidence and contribute to relationship problems. Problems getting or keeping an erection also can be a sign of an underlying health condition that needs treatment and a risk factor for heart disease down the road.

If you’re concerned about erectile dysfunction, talk to your doctor – even if you’re embarrassed. Sometimes, treating an underlying condition is enough to reverse erectile dysfunction. In other cases, medications or other direct treatments might be needed.

Erectile dysfunction symptoms might include persistent:

  • Trouble getting an erection
  • Trouble keeping an erection
  • Reduced sexual desire

When to see a doctor

A family doctor is a good place to start when you have erectile problems. See your doctor if:

  • You have concerns about your erections or you’re experiencing other sexual problems, including ejaculatory dysfunction, such as premature or delayed ejaculation
  • You have diabetes, heart disease or another known health condition that might be linked to erectile dysfunction
  • You have other symptoms along with erectile dysfunction