Fitbie Burn fat in less time with fitness tips, weight loss plans, exercises, and healthy eating tips you need to get fit and have the body you want from Fitbie. http://www.fitbie.com/ diet and fitness weight tips nutrition tips exercise tips fitness plans exercise plans weight lifting cardio diet Copyright © 2014 Rodale Inc. "Fitbie" is a register trademark of Rodale, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Thu, 27 Nov 2014 22:13:28 -0500 Thu, 27 Nov 2014 22:13:28 -0500 Fitbie Find: New Balance Glow Fresh Foam 980 http://www.fitbie.com/2014/11/27/fitbie-find-new-balance-glow-fresh-foam-980 Blog entry http://www.fitbie.com/2014/11/27/fitbie-find-new-balance-glow-fresh-foam-980 Thu, 27 Nov 2014 10:00:08 -0500 Fitbie
New Balance Fresh Foam 980

During the winter months, it's hard to squeeze in a run outside while the sun's still shining. That's why it's super important to wear reflective gear that'll keep you visible, both to passing cars and other people. We're not just talking warm, bright-colored vests and leggings (check out our helpful guide to winter running gear), but also sneakers. Kick your running wardrobe up a notch with this week's #FitbieFind, the limited edition New Balance Glow Fresh Foam 980.

More from Fitbie: 10 Must-Have Items for Cold Weather Workouts

The shoe literally glows in the dark. (Yes, we're serious.) Featuring a no-sew overlay upper and durable midsole cushioning, the Glow 1400 will make you much more visible in low-light conditions. Plus, it's not too shabby, you know, before that whole glow in the dark feature kicks in. 

What else we love:
• Animal print detailing
• Lightweight 
• 4 mm drop

The Details: New Balance Glow Fresh Foam 980, $119.99, newbalance.com

UP NEXT: 7 Cold Weather Workout Tips That'll Keep You Safe (and Warm!)

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Emily Abbate
10 Hilarious Tank Tops Every Lady Runner Should Own (PHOTOS) http://www.fitbie.com/2014/11/26/hilarious-tank-tops-every-lady-runner-should-own-photos Blog entry http://www.fitbie.com/2014/11/26/hilarious-tank-tops-every-lady-runner-should-own-photos Wed, 26 Nov 2014 10:00:08 -0500 Fitbie
Run DMC tank top

If you're like us, you take your running seriously, but that doesn't mean that you don't want to have fun while killing your stride. We spent a little time on Pinterest (tough, we know) to find the most popular funny running tanks as pinned and repinned by Pinterest users. If these fun fitness picks give you a laugh, follow Fitbie on Pinterest for more of our favorite pins!

More From Fitbie: 8 People Who Should Have Their Gym Memberships Revoked

NEXT: 12 Hilarious Workout Tank Tops You Need STAT (PHOTOS)

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Emily Abbate
FDA's New Calorie Count Legislation May Change How You Eat Out http://www.fitbie.com/2014/11/25/fdas-new-calorie-count-legislation-may-change-how-you-eat-out Blog entry http://www.fitbie.com/2014/11/25/fdas-new-calorie-count-legislation-may-change-how-you-eat-out Tue, 25 Nov 2014 16:05:05 -0500 Fitbie
Women looking at menu

The days of being blissfully unaware of exactly how many calories are in that small movie theater popcorn are officially over. The Food and Drug Administration is pushing back against the country's obesity epidemic with new legislation that will require chain restaurants, pizza shops, and movie theaters across the country to post calorie counts on their menus and signage. This involves all businesses with at least 20 locations, including restaurants, movie theaters, pizza parlors, amusement parks, and grocery stores. Basically, anywhere that ready-to-eat meals are served (and vending machines, too!). 

More from Fitbie: The Awesome Effect That Home Cooking Has On Your Waistline 

"Americans eat and drink about one-third of their calories away from home and people today expect clear information about the products they consume," FDA Commissioner Dr. Margaret A. Hamburg said. "Making calorie information available on chain restaurant menus and vending machines is an important step for public health that will help consumers make informed choices for themselves and their families."

This ruling allows consumers to be more aware of exactly what they’re eating and make smarter choices, limiting the amount of unhealthy foods they consume, said Christy Shatlock, a BistroMD RD. 

According to Shatlock, the nutrition facts will make some conscientious eaters change their minds about what menu items they choose. "Having the labels may create an eye-opening experience for certain people to see that some meal options they have been choosing in the past [may have been considered] 'healthy choices,' when actually they are not the healthiest or even healthy at all," she added. "Some salads at restaurants can actually contain more calories and more fat than a hamburger contains. So in these situations I think listing the nutrition facts is a great idea." (Check out our guide on how to build a better salad.) 

Kimberly Gomer, MS, RD, LDN, and Director of Nutrition at Pritikin Longevity Center + Spa agreed, pointing out that while people who are already health conscious will see the calorie counter as a plus, research shows that most people do not make different choices based on nutrition facts or food descriptions. 

"Of course, education is always great," said Gomer. "Folks who want to make healthier choices will have the option. The question is -- will this motivate them to make a healthier choice?"

UP NEXT: 6 Biggest Dieting Myths Affecting Your Weight Loss Efforts

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Fitbie Find: Beachbody 3-Day Refresh http://www.fitbie.com/2014/11/25/fitbie-find-beachbody-3-day-refresh Blog entry http://www.fitbie.com/2014/11/25/fitbie-find-beachbody-3-day-refresh Tue, 25 Nov 2014 12:25:34 -0500 Fitbie
Beachbody 3-day refresh

The holidays make us all warm inside like a cup of hot cocoa. Friends, family, good food, cozy sweaters, what's not to love? But there's no doubting that after they're over, many of us are looking to do anything and everything to shed some of those gingerbread-induced extra pounds -- and fast. While juice cleanses are a popular choice when it comes to dropping pounds uber quick, they're most certainly not for everyone. But today's #FitbieFind, the Beachbody 3-Day Refresh, can help you get back on track without spending a fortune or giving up solid foods. 

So what's the deal? The three day cleanse of sorts involves three shakes each day, a fiber drink, plus three small meals and fresh fruits and vegetables throughout the day to keep your energy and metabolism going. Each of the shakes has more than 20 grams of plant-based protein, something most juice cleanses can't offer. As for the small fruit and veggie-based meals? Think coconut steamed vegetables, roasted asparagus with almonds, and veggie stir-fry (for starters). 

What else we love: 
• Available in six different flavors including chocolate, strawberry, chocolate vegan, vanilla, greenberry, tropical vegan
• Shakes include 22 essential vitamins and minerals
• Cheaper in comparison to popular juice cleanses

The Details: Beachbody 3-Day Refresh, $82.90, amazon.com

UP NEXT: 8 Reasons You'll Lose Weight This Holiday Season

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Emily Abbate
Fitbie Find: Reebok Skyscape Runaround http://www.fitbie.com/2014/11/22/fitbie-find-reebok-skyscape-runaround Blog entry http://www.fitbie.com/2014/11/22/fitbie-find-reebok-skyscape-runaround Sat, 22 Nov 2014 10:00:07 -0500 Fitbie
Reebok Skyscape

We've been fans of the Reebok Skyscape Runaround for a while now. Which is why sharing this #SaturdaySaver with you was a no-brainer. Made with a foam material in the upper for flexibility and softness, a low-cut design for added mobility, and Reebok's skyspring technology that helps support the foot while providing all-day comfort -- they're the perfect kick to wear around town. Plus, they're available in a slew of super fun colors, so there's that. 

Was: $64.97
Now: $28.97
Buy: reebok.com

UP NEXT: The Ultimate Beginner Sneaker Guide

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Emily Abbate
The Playlist That'll Push Your Workout to a Whole New Level (LISTEN) http://www.fitbie.com/2014/11/21/playlist-thatll-push-your-workout-whole-new-level-listen Blog entry http://www.fitbie.com/2014/11/21/playlist-thatll-push-your-workout-whole-new-level-listen Fri, 21 Nov 2014 12:04:18 -0500 Fitbie
Woman working out

Every week Fitbie is featuring rad playlists from rad fitness instructors. This week, Grokker trainer Sarah Kusch shares hers with us. 

"I like to choose a variety of music from different genres and time periods and place them in an order that builds according to the workout," says Kusch. "Music can inspire you and evoke emotions that take you places physically and mentally you wouldn't go on your own. My students joke that my side job is a DJ!”

UP NEXT: The Running Playlist That'll Help You Go That Extra Mile

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Emily Abbate
The Amazing Effect a Low-Calorie Diet Could Have on the Aging Process http://www.fitbie.com/2014/11/20/amazing-effect-low-calorie-diet-could-have-aging-process Blog entry http://www.fitbie.com/2014/11/20/amazing-effect-low-calorie-diet-could-have-aging-process Thu, 20 Nov 2014 17:57:34 -0500 Fitbie
woman staring at food options

Anti-aging products are big business. There are creams, drops, serums, and pills marketed with the overarching promise younger-looking skin and less wrinkles. But what if we told you that you may not need any of those things to look and feel years younger? A new study reveals that reducing calorie intake could help slow aging. Before you start searching the inter webs for a new dieting plan, there's more to the story.
 
Senior study investigator and NYU Langone neuroscientist, Stephen D. Ginsberg, Ph.D. cautions that calorie restriction is not necessarily the "fountain of youth," but that it does "add evidence for the role of diet in delaying the effects of aging and age-related disease.
 
More from Fitbie: 8 Diet and Exercise Mistakes That Are Aging You
 
The question: Is restricting calories really the simplest way to fight aging? Laura Cipullo, RD, says ultimately no. “Restricting calories over the long term doesn’t work,” says Cipullo “you need food that will leave you emotionally and physically healthy, and ultimately, restriction does not lead to that.”

Instead, Cipullo offers these four easy tips to lose weight, without simply restricting calories: 
 
1. Think Addition Not Restriction
Losing weight doesn't have to be all about cutting things out of your diet. In fact, it could actually involve adding a slew of better-for-you foods. Cipullo recommends carbohydrates, fats, and protein at every meal to satisfy you on both an emotional and physical level. “Eating all three macronutrients at each meal will satisfy you physically because you will stay fuller longer and psychologically because you have a variety of foods.”
 
More from Fitbie: Healthy Dinners in a Dash

2. Don't Completely Forget About Numbers
Don’t eat less then 1200 calories per day. "Too much calorie restriction may cause your metabolism to slow down about 30 percent," cautions Cipullo. Take tiny, not drastic steps. 
  
3. Have a Stress-Reducing Strategy
"The everyday tension that comes from juggling a job and family life can increase your body’s production of the hormone cortisol, which can contribute to the storage of belly fat," says Cipullo. The fix? Have a plan in place to loosen the tension caused by everyday life. (Try out these 5 stress-reducing yoga poses!)
 
It’s All About that Base
"If you have a 'base' food ready to use when you walk through the door at 7 p.m., dinner will be a much healthier, lower-calorie experience,” Cipullo suggests. What qualifies as a "base" food? Try making a huge amount of your favorite salad (using kale, spinach, or another healthy green) on Monday night and just adding in different proteins (like shrimp, chicken, tofu, or steak) as well as carbs (like sweet potato or wheat berry) as the week progresses.
 
UP NEXT: How to Build Better Salads

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Allie Burdick
The Truth About Low-Carb Diets and Exercise http://www.fitbie.com/2014/11/20/truth-about-low-carb-diets-and-exercise Blog entry http://www.fitbie.com/2014/11/20/truth-about-low-carb-diets-and-exercise Fri, 21 Nov 2014 16:02:49 -0500 Fitbie
scrambled eggs and bacon

Most nutritionists insist that you need carbs in your diet, particularly if you work out frequently, since carbohydrates are the body's preferred source of energy. But does that mean you need to eat a lot of carbs to stay healthy and fit? A new low-carb study says maybe not. 

More from Fitbie: A Low-Carb Diet Is Better for Weight Loss and Heart Healthy, Study Says

The research, published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, looked at the long-term effects of a low-carb diet on exercise capacity and discovered that, despite the longstanding love affair between runners and bagels, decreasing carb consumption had little effect on the participants' workouts. In fact, the researchers found that compared to a high-carb diet (46 percent carbohydrate), a low-carb diet (4 percent carbohydrate) had similar effects on both aerobic capacity and muscle strength. Translation: Ditching starches and sugars did not make it harder for the participants to get through a tough workout. 

Another potential benefit of cutting back on French fries and Foccacia? You'll feel less hungry. Australian scientists recently discovered that a ketogenic diet (very low-carb) led to greater fullness and less hunger, despite the fact that the participants were losing weight, which typically leads to an increase in hunger. As the researchers noted in the study, "The clinical benefit of a ketogenic diet is in preventing an increase in appetite, despite weight loss, although individuals may indeed feel slightly less hungry." These findings, experts say, are likely due to more steady blood sugar levels -- carbohydrate-rich foods increase your blood sugar, which can make you feel hungry shortly after you eat them. 

More from Fitbie: 8 Reasons You're Still Hungry -- Even After You Just Ate! 

A couple things to keep in mind: For one, low-carbohydrate doesn't mean no-carbohydrate. Even the very-low-carbohydrate diets in these studies included some carbohydrates from non-starchy fruits and veggies. Secondly, the researchers in the Australian study noted that more research needs to be conducted to determine how low we should go with our carbohydrate intake in order to reap the weight-loss and hunger benefits of a low-carb diet. 

Considering cutting back on starchy and sugary carbs? Check out these Fitbie tips for doing low-carb right:

10 Rules for a Healthy Low-Carb Diet

5 Ways to Ease Wheat Withdrawal

15 Painless Ways to Crush Sugar Cravings

UP NEXT: The Awesome Effect That Home Cooking Has On Your Waistline

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Cathryne Keller
Black Friday Sales Worth Shopping If You're a Fitness Buff http://www.fitbie.com/2014/11/20/black-friday-sales-worth-shopping-if-youre-fitness-buff Blog entry http://www.fitbie.com/2014/11/20/black-friday-sales-worth-shopping-if-youre-fitness-buff Thu, 27 Nov 2014 08:28:29 -0500 Fitbie
sale sign

We have some good news, and some bad news. The good news, for all of you Black Friday fanatics, is that it's upon us. That's right: The caffeine-fueled, little-sleep day after Thanksgiving that so many shopaholics look forward to is almost here. The bad news? It sounds like this year, things are going to be dialed back a bit (and with good reason).

More from Fitbie: Top Thanksgiving Swaps for Every Diet

According to RetailMeNot, about a quarter of all consumers plan to have their shopping done before Black Friday, and almost half off them started buying before November. Even crazier, only 27 percent of consumers are actually planning on doing shopping in-store on Black Friday, according to a survey from bankrate.com

So what's this mean for you? A lot of fabulous in-store deals are also going to be online, and for longer than just a 24-hour period. In other words, you can still get fabulous bargains without the Black Friday craziness a la Walmart mobs. Don't want to kick tradition and still heading out for 3 a.m. door busters? (It's a rush, we get it.) Check out what some of our favorite brands are offering for Black Friday sales

Under Armour
underarmour.com
Until Dec. 6 -- 25 percent off the Big Logo Hoodie across all genders

Brooks
brooksrunning.com
If you spend $100 on their website, you get this fun holiday sweater running shirt:

Vitamin World
vitaminworld.com
40 percent off all items, excluding door busters, plus free online shipping

New Balance
newbalance.com
From Nov. 25 through Nov. 27 -- $10 off orders over $100, $20 off orders over $150, and $40 off orders over $200. From Nov. 28 to Nov. 30 -- 15 percent off orders plus free shopping, and 20 percent off plus free shopping on Cyber Monday

Physique 57
physique57.com
The studio is offering free online classes from Nov. 28 through Dec. 1 and $57 off 10 class packages

Lorna Jane
lornajane.com
20 percent off all apparel and accessories

Vitamin Shoppe
vitaminshoppe.com
Thanksgiving Day through Nov. 30 -- buy one, get one 50 percent off all Optimum Nutrition and buy one, get one 50 percent off all the Vitamin Shoppe brand products

ClassPass
classpass.com
One year of unlimited boutique fitness classes in any city is on sale for $999 (For our ClassPass fanatics, that's a $200 savings from standard $99/month membership! Bonus: The company just released ClassPass Flex, which means you can register for classes in any ClassPass city.)

Microsoft
microsoftstore.com
Customers who purchase a new Lumia 830 also receive a free Fitbit Flex ($99.99 value) 

Reebok
reebok.com
From Nov. 26 through Nov. 27 -- mystery savings (20, 25, 30 percent off) sitewide and then on Nov. 28, offering Skyscapes for $29.99. Come Cyber Monday, Reebok's offering 40 percent off line, 50 percent off the online outlet with code "HOLIDAY." 

Lo & Sons
loandsons.com
From Nov. 27 through Dec. 1 -- 30 percent off sitewide

Sports Authority
sportsauthority.com
The first 50 people in line at each store when they open on Thursday will get a free Sports Authority logo chair with a purchase of $20 or more. Sports Authority will also hand out Bonus Bucks worth up to $500 to the first 80 people in line at select locations on both Thursday and Friday. Shoppers will also receive a $25 Sports Authority Cash Card when they purchase Columbia or The North Face merchandise totaling $125 or more, or any Fitbit merchandise totaling $100 or more.
(Gotta love that Sports Authority is still big on Black Friday, eh?) 

Dick's Sporting Goods
dickssportinggoods.com
Until 2 p.m. Nov. 28 -- $15 off a Nike, Adidas, or Reebok apparel purchase of $15 off an athletic footwear purchase of $59.99 or more 

Burton
burton.com
Until Dec. 1 -- 20 percent off outerwear, Anon, winter necessities, and bags

UP NEXT: A Must-Try Pumpkin Smoothie Recipe

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Emily Abbate
New Normal-Sized Doll Comes With Average Woman's Proportions (VIDEO) http://www.fitbie.com/2014/11/19/new-normal-sized-doll-comes-average-womans-proportions-video Blog entry http://www.fitbie.com/2014/11/19/new-normal-sized-doll-comes-average-womans-proportions-video Wed, 19 Nov 2014 15:54:22 -0500 Fitbie
Lammily Doll

This isn't the barbie you used to play with during recess. Just in time for the holidays, the Lamilly doll -- what Barbie would look like if she actually had the average measurements of a 19-year-old woman's body (according to the CDC) -- is available for purchase. Created by Nickolay Lamm, a graphic designer turned toy maker, the doll sells for $24.99.

It gets better: Come January, a $5.99 sticker extension pack will be available that gives the doll's face moles, freckles, acne, and the ability to blush, as well as cellulite, stretch marks, and scars to stick wherever you please. 

Check out how the doll ranks up to the Barbie we're used to, here: 

Is it intriguing? Of course! We're all about promoting realistic beauty and a fuller-figured doll. But the big question is would you buy it? Tweet to us @Fitbieand let us know your thoughts.

UP NEXT: Pregnant Woman Asked to Leave Gym Because Her 'Belly Was Hanging Out'

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A New Reason to Be Wary of Online Weight Loss Advice http://www.fitbie.com/2014/11/18/new-reason-be-wary-online-weight-loss-advice Blog entry http://www.fitbie.com/2014/11/18/new-reason-be-wary-online-weight-loss-advice Tue, 18 Nov 2014 16:27:33 -0500 Fitbie
Woman staring at computer

Google and Bing can give us results for everything from pumpkin pie recipes to movie shows times. While those answers are only a few clicks away (and generally reliable), one study has found when it comes to hunting for the best weight loss advice online -- you have to do a bit more digging. 

The study published in the American Journal of Public Health finds that the first page of search engine results is likely to have mostly low-quality sources of information. These links can include sponsored stories (which can have an impact on editorial content) and strategies with unrealistic promises and results.  

More from Fitbie: 25 Worst Diet Tips Ever

For the 40 percent of U.S. web users who are scouring the Internet for diet and fitness help, this rabbit-hole effect could do more harm than good. 

You could “go down the wrong path and waste a lot of time and money,” says Dr. Sue Decotiis, a medical weight loss specialist. “If you are already having trouble losing weight, you’re only going to get more discouraged. We want you to get a clear idea what the problem is.”

This is why Dr. Decotiis stresses that there is no substitute for a medical exam. Her own patients are evaluated on what they’re eating, protein, nutrient, and mineral intake, as well as thyroid levels, all of which can drastically affect your weight. Without an evaluation it’s like you “have blinders on,” she says. 

More from Fitbie: 7 Delicious Fall Foods That Are Great for Weight Loss

The good news? There are reputable online sources to help you start or continue your weight loss journey. The researchers found medical, government and university sites to be among the most credible, as well as unexpected source—blogs. 

"I am a bit surprised, but happily," says Dr. Decotiis of these results. "Anyone can blog, so if a blog is relatable and put into layman language for readers to understand and learn from, I think that's great."

We admit, with so much content circling around the web, it’s difficult to discern the good from the bad when it comes to weight loss advice. Dr. Decotiis says there is one singular question you must ask yourself after clicking: Where did they get this from? 

Info from a board-certified expert, journal, or study are all good signs, she says. Looking to sell a product? (Think: "Take this magic pill to lose 10 pounds!") Steer clear. In familiar words of many English teachers from the past, Dr. Decotiis reiterates, “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” 

UP NEXT: The Best Advice for Any Weight Loss Goal

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The Awesome Effect That Home Cooking Has On Your Waistline http://www.fitbie.com/2014/11/18/awesome-effect-home-cooking-has-your-waistline Blog entry http://www.fitbie.com/2014/11/18/awesome-effect-home-cooking-has-your-waistline Tue, 18 Nov 2014 15:20:39 -0500 Fitbie
woman cooking at home

There’s nothing like a home-cooked meal. Sure, we love the occasional night out, but there’s something to be said for picking and choosing the ingredients that will go into your dish. Aesthetics aside, cooking at home has the potential top be way healthier, seeing how you can control everything from the fat, sugar, and salt content. 

According to a recent study, cooking at home may even make you healthier. Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found that people who prepared more meals at home not only ate healthier, but they also consumed less calories than those who ate out. 

"When people cook most of their meals at home, they consume fewer carbohydrates, less sugar and less fat than those who cook less or not at all -- even if they are not trying to lose weight," says Julia A. Wolfson, MPP, a CLF-Lerner Fellow at the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future and lead author of the study. 

More from Fitbie: Exposure to More Sunlight May Help Curb Weight Gain

The data from over 9,000 participants ages 20 and older also showed that individuals who cooked at home six to seven nights each week also ate less calories when they did dine out. Researchers found that 8 percent of the group cooked dinner a maximum of once a week and consumed a daily average of 2,301 calories, 84 grams of fat, and 135 grams of sugar. Meanwhile, those that cooked dinner six to seven times each week (48 percent of participants) ate 2,164 calories, 81 grams of fat, and 119 grams of sugar daily. This group was also more likely to eat less frozen foods or choose fast foods when they ate out.

[Weight loss and lifestyle expert Melissa Kathryn, CHHC, AADP, says she’s an advocate for home cooking because it allows you to cut added sugar, saturated fats, and other chemicals from your that diet that are often found in foods at restaurants.  

"Home cooking is the number way to turn your health around and trim your waistline especially when done right,” shares Kathryn. “However, many people struggle with this due to their lack of nutrition education and large amounts of conflicting information from varying marketers and diet companies.”

She adds that finances aside, most people also have a hard time cooking at home due to a lack of time and exhaustion from a packed day of work and social commitments. 

"I tell my clients often, 'Fail to plan, plan to fail.' Meaning if we have a meeting, we put our time in, work late, and plan what is going to be discussed," says Kathryn. "[In comparison] we want our bodies to feel better, have more energy, look better and lose unwanted weight but we don’t plan to have success in this area."

While there is no one-size-fits all model when it comes to encouraging people to cook more at home, there are some easy steps you can take today to get started: 

1. Make simple swaps. Swap out one processed meal or snack per day and after two weeks, swap out two.

2. Plan your breakfast the night before. In the morning rush, it's easy to grab something not-so-healthy on your way out the door. Plan ahead, and it'll be much simpler to kick off the day on the right foot.

3. Pack your lunches and snacks in advance. Going blind into a day at the office leaves plenty of room for mindless ordering from nearby restaurants. Make sure to bring your munchies with you, this way you can monitor bites the right way without splurging on nearby Chinese or sushi takeout. 

4. Commit to 3 days per week to start to cook dinners at home. Self explanatory. Plus, three is a much more manageable number than all seven at once. 

5. Try to adopt a clean eating lifestyle. Cut out processed and packaged foods from your diet so you are primarily eating foods closer to their natural state, richer in vitamins and minerals and ultimately lower in calories, chemicals and sugar, shares Kathryn.

UP NEXT: Couple Ties Knot After Losing a Combined 350 Pounds

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Fitbie Find: Justin's Almond Butter Squeeze Packs http://www.fitbie.com/2014/11/18/fitbie-find-justins-almond-butter-squeeze-packs Blog entry http://www.fitbie.com/2014/11/18/fitbie-find-justins-almond-butter-squeeze-packs Tue, 18 Nov 2014 13:39:40 -0500 Fitbie
Justin's Almond Butter

If you've ever caught yourself sitting there with a spoon and a jar of nut butter, you're definitely not alone. The problem with that? As loaded as they are with healthy fats and protein, they pack a heavy calorie wallop -- 190 calories per 2 tablespoon serving! That's why this week's #FitbieFind is a total home run for nut butter fans: Justin's Almond Butter Squeeze Packs.

That's right: Individual servings of your favorite almond butters. Available in varieties including maple, classic, chocolate, vanilla, and honey (they also sell honey and regular peanut butter, too!) -- they're the perfect size to tote along with your mid-morning snack or to squeeze into your smoothie. 

What else we love:
• 5 grams protein per serving
• All-natural 

The Details: Justin's Almond Butter Squeeze Packs, 10 for $17.61, amazon.com

UP NEXT: Adopt a High-Fat Diet For Lasting Health Benefits?

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Emily Abbate
Join the Sugar Smart Holiday Challenge! http://www.fitbie.com/2014/11/14/join-sugar-smart-holiday-challenge Blog entry http://www.fitbie.com/2014/11/14/join-sugar-smart-holiday-challenge Tue, 18 Nov 2014 12:15:17 -0500 Fitbie
Sugar Smart Holiday Challenge

Even the healthiest of eaters can find themselves tempted to ditch their balanced meals in the spirit of holiday cheer. Not that there's anything wrong with a few celebratory eats -- but as fun as it is to indulge with friends and family this time of year, overeating during the holidays with too many sweets and treats can end up bringing you down and crushing your hopeful New Year's outlook.

More from Fitbie: 15 Painless Ways to Crush Sugar Cravings

Want to kick off 2015 feeling lighter in spirit and body? Join the Sugar Smart Holiday Challenge on Facebook -- a FREE two-part, eight-week plan designed to keep you healthy and happy from Thanksgiving through the beginning of the New Year.

The first six weeks of the Sugar Smart Holiday challenge will consist of completing four daily wellness goals, inspired by The Sugar Smart Diet. Next, challengers will complete a total sugar detox -- eliminating all sugars for two weeks! Here's how to join:

Part 1: The first six weeks of the challenge will take place from November 24th - January 4th. Sign up for Rodale Wellness, and you'll receive an introductory email that'll connect you with the Rodale Wellness Facebook group, where the challenge will take place. You'll also get access to specific guidelines for the four daily wellness goals you'll complete throughout the challenge: Starting each day with a healthy intention, eating a protein-packed breakfast every morning, getting active for 30 minutes per day, and carving out 30 minutes of "joy time" per day.

Part 2: To participate in the final two weeks of the challenge, join The Sugar Smart Holiday Challenge Facebook event. Once you're part of the Rodale Wellness Facebook group, you'll get an invitation to join the Sugar Smart Holiday Challenge two-week sugar detox, from January 5th - January 18th.

Why sugar? Simply put, the sweet stuff is just plain bad for you -- research shows that too much added sugar is contributing heavily to increases in obesity and chronic disease, and may even be killing us. So if you want to boost your health and stay on track throughout the holidays, The Sugar Smart Holiday Challenge will help you extract your sweet tooth for good. 

UP NEXT: The Best Sugar Saving Supermarket Swaps

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Cathryne Keller
One of the 'Fittest Men of All Time' Shares His Running Secrets http://www.fitbie.com/2014/11/17/one-fittest-men-all-time-shares-his-running-secrets Blog entry http://www.fitbie.com/2014/11/17/one-fittest-men-all-time-shares-his-running-secrets Tue, 18 Nov 2014 09:24:03 -0500 Fitbie
Dean Karnazes

For most people, running a marathon takes months of training. For Dean Karnazes, author of Run!: 26.2 Stories of Blisters and Bliss, running a marathon is a daily workout. Yes, we said daily

No, Karnazes -- who has completed such feats such as running 50 marathons in 50 consecutive days across all 50 U.S. states and racing through both Death Valley and the South Pole -- is not your typical runner. While even the fittest athletes feel fatigue after a long run, Karnazes says he's never even felt a muscle cramp. No wonder Men's Health magazine named him one of "The 100 Fittest Men of All Time." 

More from Fitbie: What You Don't Really Understand Until You Train for a Race (VIDEO) 

But despite his gift for fitness, the ultramarthon man admits he almost quit running completely after his freshmen year of high school. Listen in as we talk to Karnazes, our #MondayMotivation, about what made him decide to hit the pavement again, his most memorable race, and how long it takes for him to feel tired.

What's the best advice you can offer for beginner runners?
Start from the ground up by investing in a good pair of running shoes. Visit a running specialty shop and have a knowledgeable staff member fit you with the right pair of shoes for your particular foot dimension and running style. First, you'll be more comfortable and ache less when you start adding mileage. Second, you'll feel really guilty about spending all that money if the shoes are just sitting idle in your closet!

What's the biggest misconception about runners?
Runners have changed over the years. It used to be a sport primarily dominated by males. Now there are just as many female runners. And running used to be a very solitary pursuit -- think, The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner. But that has changed, too. Runners have become much more social and more often run in groups with others than solo. Running doesn't have to be torture. It can be fun torture!

More from Fitbie: Kelly Roberts Has More to Offer Than Selfies of Hot Guys

When did you start running? Why did you start?
I first started running home from kindergarten when I was just six-years old. I was the oldest child in the family, and when we had my youngest sister my mom began having a tough time getting me home from school, so I started running home instead to help alleviate the pressure on her.
 
I ran competitively through my freshman year of high school and then stopped running entirely. Flash-forward to the night of my 30th birthday when I found myself in a bar with some friends doing what you do on your 30th birthday -- drinking heavily -- when I suddenly felt this primitive urge to leave. My friends didn't understand: It's only 11 o'clock -- let's have another shot of tequila! Instead, I walked out of the place and ran 30 miles to celebrate my 30th birthday, running straight through the night. It was the first time I'd run in over a decade. It almost killed me, but I kept going. That run forever changed the course of my life. 

What was the biggest challenge you've faced as a runner, and how did you overcome it? 
Although I've run hundreds of miles across deserts and over mountains, the biggest challenge I've faced as a runner is raising two kids. Being a good father is my top priority and it hasn't always been easy. Being a runner means being gone from the house a lot, so I've had to work my runs around my family time. I think Jacqueline Onassis said it best: "If you mess up your children, nothing else you do really matters."
 
To date, how many marathons have you run?
I don't know. When I got to one hundred I stopped counting (and that was awhile ago). I've got all my medals and trophies in boxes in the garage and one day I might go through them and count. Or maybe not. I don't run for the awards and prizes -- I run because I love to run.

What do you eat the night before and morning of a big race?
For sprint-distance races, like a marathon, I usually eat pretty light in the morning. Typically I'll have some Greek Gods yogurt with some berries or sliced bananas, and sometimes I'll add nuts to the mix. One thing that's definitely gone out of vogue is the practice of "carbo loading" the night before a long race. Doing so usually leaves you feeling bloated and full in the morning, not feeling your best. My diet has become very pure over they years -- no more ordering pizza delivery while out running.

More from Fitbie: 5 Running Myths Busted

You have incredible endurance and even ran for 350 continuous miles (without sleep!). Is there a certain distance you can go to before it becomes difficult to continue, or do you feel like you could run "forever"?
I've gotten to the point where I can run straight through the night without much trouble. Even two nights is quite doable. That third night without sleep, however, can be rather vexing. I've woken up before while running down the middle of the street and realized that I was "sleep running." That was a bit trippy.

What's the most important advice you can give to prevent running injuries?
Cross train. Cross training and conditioning your overall body goes a long way toward preventing injury. Work on building leg-strength and developing your core, arms, and chest. The more you can utilize the thrust of your arms and the propulsion of your upper torso to propel your body forward, the greater the load you can effectively take off your joints. As well, having strong muscles helps support your ligaments, tendons, and joints. 

You've achieved some amazing accomplishments like running 50 marathons in 50 states in 50 days. What's your most memorable race?
While I've had the great privilege of running and racing on all seven continents on the planet, twice over now, in some of the most remote and exotic locations on earth -- from a marathon to the South Pole to running across the Sahara Desert -- my most cherished accomplishment is running a 10K race with my daughter, Alexandria, on her 10th birthday. Nothing will ever surpass that experience.

What are 3 songs on your workout playlist that are your guilty pleasure?
I prefer listening to audiobooks over music, actually. Some of my favorites include: The Worst Journey in the World, Sailing the Wine-Dark Sea, and When You Are Engulfed in Flames. I always opt for the unabridged version and never listen to fiction. My momís a retired English teacher and she always used to tell me that fictionís the work of the devil.

More from FitbieThe Running Playlist That'll Help You Go the Extra Mile

What's your typical workout routine like?
On a good day, I like to knock out a marathon before breakfast. I usually get up pretty early, like three or four in the morning. I never sit. My entire office is setup for standing and I do all of my writing and computer work while bouncing around on my toes. I've got a pull-up bar, sit-up mat, and dip bar in my office, and cycle through a circuit of high-intensity exercises throughout the day. In the afternoon I'll typically go for a shorter, faster run or do some hill repeats. The human body is made for movement, and I like to make sure mine gets its share.

What workout do you absolutely despise?
Lounging in the steam room. [Laughs]

What did you eat for breakfast today?  
A bowl of nails. [Laughs]

What's your most popular content on social media?
My followers tend to prefer content that inspires them. There's lots of prescriptive info out there about how to train, but having someone tell you what to do doesn't mean much if you can't summons the internal drive to get out there and actually do it. My social media outlets tend to inspire people to be the best that they can be, at least that's what I'm told. If I can inspire even one person to reach higher and dream bigger, then it's all worthwhile.

How do you use social media to interact/help others? How do you think social media helps people stay on track?
Social media can be a great tool, but it can also be a massive distraction. The wealth of knowledge and knowhow available is endless, which may lead to paralysis by analysis. I tend to favor simple solutions, like a Fitbit paired with a smartphone. Besides having real-time statistics available on your wrist, all of the data seamlessly uploads to your device and is readily available for more detailed trending and sharing.

Another personal favorite is an app called Fitstar, which adapts the workout based on your level of exertion. These types of intuitive tools offer the most benefits for using technology and social media to its full advantage for getting in shape.

Follow Karnazes on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Are you a nutritionist, food blogger, or fitness expert with a large social media following? Email us at editors@fitbie.com or Tweet us @Fitbie using the hashtag #MondayMotivation to be featured as our next Fitbie Spotlight. 

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Kayda Norman
Fitbie Find: Nike Studio Wraps http://www.fitbie.com/2014/11/15/fitbie-find-nike-studio-wraps Blog entry http://www.fitbie.com/2014/11/15/fitbie-find-nike-studio-wraps Sat, 15 Nov 2014 10:00:07 -0500 Fitbie
Nike Studio Wrap

It's the time of year when most of us are taking our outdoor workouts inside, trading long runs for barre and yoga classes. You know what that means? It's time to get the right gear for your studio workouts. Enter this week's #SaturdaySaver, the Nike Studio Wrap. Whereas most studios require gym-goers to wear footwear inside, these are the perfect happy medium between going socks-only and slipping on minimalist sneakers. 

With a mesh upper designed to provide optimal ventilation, and an adjustable midfoot strap delivering arch support and custom comfort, the Nike Studio Wrap provides just enough cushioning to protect your feet during any series of movement. Plus, they have outstanding grip onto the floor.

Was: $50
Now: $39.98
Buy: sportsauthority.com

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Emily Abbate
The Running Playlist That'll Help You Go the Extra Mile (LISTEN) http://www.fitbie.com/2014/11/14/running-playlist-thatll-help-you-go-extra-mile Blog entry http://www.fitbie.com/2014/11/14/running-playlist-thatll-help-you-go-extra-mile Fri, 14 Nov 2014 18:38:26 -0500 Fitbie
Meb Keflezighi

Every week Fitbie is featuring rad playlists from rad fitness pros. This week running superstar Meb Keflezighi shares his with us.

Every runner sometimes struggles to get through those tough miles -- even Meb Keflezighi. Yep, the Olympic runner and Boston Marathon winner needs a solid playlist to pump him up just as much as the next pavement pounder.

More from Fitbie: 5 Ways Music Makes Your Workout Better

His top pick for motivational music? Traditional war songs from his home country, Eritrea. "They are very motivating," says Keflezighi . "You have to have the mindset of the warrior when you are out there competing.”

Unfortunately, there aren't too many war tunes on Spotify. So what else does Meb like to jam out to when he's logging all those miles? Eminem and Macklemore!

Crank up Meb's favorite running playlist next time you need to (literally) go the extra mile:

 

Want to run like Meb? Look out for Meb for Mortals this spring -- a complete training guide for running like a champ.

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Cathryne Keller
Is There a Healthy Way to Drink Soda? http://www.fitbie.com/2014/11/13/there-healthy-way-drink-soda Blog entry http://www.fitbie.com/2014/11/13/there-healthy-way-drink-soda Thu, 13 Nov 2014 15:48:48 -0500 Fitbie
Soda

Ever since the FDA pushed through changes that would require companies to list added sugars apart from total sugars on food and beverage labels, added sugar has had its moment as public enemy no. 1 in the healthy eating world. Lest we forget that New York City even tried to ban the sales of jumbo sugary drinks in the name of the soda wars. So when a new study came out claiming that sugary drinks might not be so bad for adolescents, we were sure it would rile up the bases.

More from Fitbie: Why You Still Shouldn’t Drink Diet Soda:

Researchers from the University of Missouri-Columbia measured the insulin sensitivity and cholesterol levels of adolescents after they consumed moderate amounts of high-sugar beverages every day for two weeks, and found little negative impact. Researchers did stress the fact that these adolescents were physically active, which they say was critical in protecting against some of the negative effects of pounding sugary drinks for two weeks straight.

Already reaching for that Big Gulp? Not so fast, said Michele McRae, certified nutritionist at Rainbow Light. Side effects related to cholesterol and insulin sensitivity aren’t markers that develop in a matter of two weeks, she explains, but rather present themselves over the course of long term consumption. And the dangerous short term side effects, like insulin spikes that lead to inflammation, acne, allergies, and weight gain, weren’t studied here. 

“Over two weeks, this may not have a lasting effect," says McRae. "But over months and years it can lead to weight gain and pre-diabetes."

So, when it comes to sugary beverages, the key is moderation. It helps to remind ourselves what it would take to burn off that sugary treat to keep ourselves from overdoing it. McRae says it takes about 26 minutes of walking or 11 minutes of running to burn off just one can of soda. Thinking about enjoying that pumpkin latte? You’d have to walk for 78 minutes or run for 33 minutes to burn off the damage in a 16-ounce.

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Emily Abbate
Fitbie Find: Athleta Power Lift Tight http://www.fitbie.com/2014/11/13/fitbie-find-athleta-power-lift-tight Blog entry http://www.fitbie.com/2014/11/13/fitbie-find-athleta-power-lift-tight Thu, 13 Nov 2014 14:17:10 -0500 Fitbie
Athleta Tight

There is nothing worse than thinking you're outfitted to take that winter workout by the horns, stepping outside, and being in for way more of a nippy chill than you expected. No, it's not that you underestimated the temperatures -- it's that you underestimated your workout gear. Long sleeves and pants are crucial during the late fall and winter months, but when temperatures dip below 40 degrees, often times we need high-performance gear that'll really protect our bodies from the chilly temperatures. That's where this week's #FitbieFind, Athleta Power Lift Tight, comes into play.

We're totally obsessed with the super cozy fleece lining these tights, adding warmth without adding weight. Plus, with a streamlined look thanks to compression paneling and a high-waisted design, these tights are perfect for the fit fashionista. 

What else we love:
• Inner drawstring for adjustable fit
• Rear zip pocket for stashing keys and cards
• Breathable crotch gusset and flatlock seams to minimize chafing

The Details: Athleta Power Lift Tight, $89, athleta.gap.com

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Emily Abbate
Which Fad Diet is Best for Weight Loss? http://www.fitbie.com/2014/11/12/which-fad-diet-best-weight-loss Blog entry http://www.fitbie.com/2014/11/12/which-fad-diet-best-weight-loss Wed, 12 Nov 2014 16:33:52 -0500 Fitbie
Step on scale

We've all seen amazing before-and-after weight loss pictures gracing magazine covers, with headlines that read “How I Lost 100 Pounds on [insert name of popular diet here]". Are these stories motivating and inspiring? Yes. Do we see what that person looks like a year later? Usually not. A new study focusing on the four of America's most-popular diet programs, Weight Watchers, Atkins, South Beach and Zone, may have the reason why. Published in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes the research shows that popular diets may not be as effective in helping people lose weight and decrease their risk factors for heart disease as we once thought.
 
More from Fitbie: The Great Way Menu Calorie Counts Are Making a Difference
 
According to lead researchers, part of the problem is that there are so few studies that exist that measure such benefits of these popular plans, even though each year Americans spend more than $66 billion on them. 

"There are very few well-done studies," says Mark J. Eisenberg, M.D., M.P.H., the study's senior author and Professor of Medicine at Jewish General Hospital/McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. "Most of them look at the short term, and weight loss is obviously a long term issue."  
 
Eisenberg and his team uncovered only 12 studies they considered "well-done," that involved enough people to produce statistically significant results. What did the 12 reveal? There were no marked differences between Atkins, Weight Watchers, and Zone diets at improving cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar levels, or other cardiovascular risk factors. If you talk weight loss numbers, those on the Atkins diet lost an average 4.6 to 10.3 pounds; Weight Watchers participants lost an average 6.6 pounds; Zone dieters lost an average 3.5 to 7 pounds; and control (the group on no particular diet) lost about 4.85 pounds.
 
More from Fitbie: 9 Mindful Eating Tips for Weight Loss
 
"I'm not surprised at all by the findings," says Keri Gans, R.D. and author of The Small Change Diet, "The hardest thing with weight loss is keeping it off and that’s what it showed. People don’t think of it as a lifestyle change but as a diet, which implies it’s something you go on and off," says Gans. "If you can change your mindset, you can change your life."
 
How does Gans help her clients do just that? Here are her five "no-fail" tricks for a healthy lifestyle change:
 
1. Refuse to Deprive Yourself
Stop thinking in terms of what you can’t have and start thinking about what you can. A lot of these diets (especially Atkins) are about restriction. Once you start eliminating food groups, you feel deprived and when you feel deprived, you’re frustrated and you rebel. Weight Watchers is best for not restricting foods, but you can figure it out without joining a pre-determined weight loss program.
 
2. There Is No Secret to Healthy Eating
"Keep it simple," suggests Gans. "Aim to eat healthy 85 percent of the time, and save that 15 percent for your bagel or ice cream." Planning is key. If you know you’re going to be at ladies night later on, eat heathy all day, and then enjoy that well-deserved martini with your friends, guilt-free.
 
3. Fill Your Plate the Right Way
When you look at your plate, it should be half vegetables, a quarter carbohydrates that are high in fiber, and a quarter lean protein.
 
4. Learn to Cook
The way food is prepared can make all the difference. Gans is not suggesting you never eat out, but when you prepare your own meals you can control what ingredients are used. Aim to include fresh vegetables, healthy fats (like olive oil) and stay away from deep frying and grill, broil or steam instead.
 
5. Portion Control Is King
Gans feels this is where people have the most trouble. Learn what the correct portion sizes are and then do your best to adhere to them. With portion controls in place, there’s no depravation and you’re on your way to a healthier (leaner) lifestyle.
 
UP NEXT: 5 Things Weight Loss Winners Know

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Allie Burdick
Man Loses 160 Pounds & Refuses to Be Insecure About Loose Skin (VIDEO) http://www.fitbie.com/2014/11/12/man-loses-160-pounds-refuses-be-insecure-about-loose-skin-video Blog entry http://www.fitbie.com/2014/11/12/man-loses-160-pounds-refuses-be-insecure-about-loose-skin-video Wed, 12 Nov 2014 10:44:12 -0500 Fitbie
John Gaude

Weight loss has loads of benefits, including a newfound sense of energy, lower blood pressure, and a reduced risk of heart disease, among others. Often times, though, there are implications of extreme weight loss that aren't widely discussed -- one of them being loose skin. After losing 160 pounds, going from 360 pounds to an astounding 200 pounds, YouTube star John Gaude knows all about loose skin. In his latest clip on his ObesetoBeast YouTube channel, he addresses his loose skin for the first time, taking that brave step to remove his shirt to reveal what's underneath. 

More from Fitbie: The Most Extreme Celebrity Movie Diets of All Time

It's not exactly what he shows us that gives us chills, but the positive message he has to share about how he feels about his body, loose skin and all:

"This is not ideal. What I would have wanted after losing 160 pounds is the perfect body, right? But that's not the case, and that's okay. And I want you guys to understand that."

So is Gaude's loose skin normal? According to Dr. Sue Decotiis, the answer is yes. 

"It is completely normal and expected that after losing a large amount of weight skin becomes lax and stretched out," Dr. Decotiis told us back in May when blogger Brooke Birmingham, who lost 170 pounds, made headlines after Shape Magazine didn't publish her bikini photo featuring loose skin. "Think of your skin as a rubber band. It stretches out and comes back initially. But as time goes on and the band continues to be pulled -- it becomes weaker and loses its elasticity. Biopsies performed on skin after significant weight loss showed loss of collagen, elastic fibers and anatomical integrity."

Sure, the models we see on the front of most fitness magazines aren't totin' that extra oomph. But regardless, Gaude won't let what others consider perfection stop him from reaching for his personal best. 

"You should never let loose skin or anything else stop you from going for your dreams," said Gaude. "My dream is to be very happy in my skin. And I am. Loose skin and all, I'm happy with where I've come from and where I'm at now."

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Emily Abbate
Adopt a High-Fat Diet For Lasting Health Benefits? http://www.fitbie.com/2014/11/11/adopt-high-fat-diet-lasting-health-benefits Blog entry http://www.fitbie.com/2014/11/11/adopt-high-fat-diet-lasting-health-benefits Tue, 11 Nov 2014 12:52:18 -0500 Fitbie
Healthy Fats

Convinced that low-fat diets are the only way to go? New research may make you think twice before cracking open yet another mid-afternoon snack of low-fat yogurt. According to a study from Sheffield Hallam University and the University of Lincoln in the U.K., the health benefits of switching to a Mediterranean-style diet and upping the amount of time spent exercising for a period of just eight weeks can still be seen a year after stopping the regimen. What exactly does that entail? Higher fat contents, and cuisine based on olive oil, fruit, vegetables, salads, legumes, wholegrain foods, fish, wine, and limited consumption of red meat.

More from Fitbie: The 4 Best Fats From Your Kitchen

Researchers asked one group of study participants to eat more vegetables, fruit, olive oil, tree nuts and fresh oily fish, as well as take up a moderate exercise regime, while the other just took up exercise alone. The results showed more health improvements in the Mediterranean diet group than the exercise only group, which one year later, were still evident despite the lifestyle changes implemented during the study no longer being carefully followed.

So what's this have to say about a diet high in good fats? "Good fats are underutilized, and we always concentrate on no-fat diets," Good Fat Cooking author Franklin Becker recently told Rodale News. "And what people don't realize is our bodies need the right fats. Good fats are useful in helping to lower cholesterol, helping the body run and function correctly, and so I really wanted to highlight the good fats in a cookbook."

Becker compares good fats to a highway, saying that "They help to get minerals and vitamins and nutrients to the right place in the body." It's true: fat is crucial to building cells and protecting your organs, and also helps you feel fuller and eat less over time.

Looking to up your intake of better-for-you fats? Try one of these satisfying recipes from Becker's Good Fat Cooking cookbook:

Recipe: Beat Chips

Recipe: Sweet & Spiced Nuts

Recipe: Acorn Squash with Hazelnuts, Parmesan, and Honey

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Jacqueline Parisi
Runner Kelly Roberts Has More to Offer Than Selfies of Hot Guys http://www.fitbie.com/2014/11/10/runner-kelly-roberts-has-more-offer-selfies-hot-guys Blog entry http://www.fitbie.com/2014/11/10/runner-kelly-roberts-has-more-offer-selfies-hot-guys Mon, 10 Nov 2014 17:27:48 -0500 Fitbie
Kelly Roberts

Nothing like stalking hot men to make long-distance running more fun. Just ask Kelly Roberts, the runner turned social-media sensation who's made a habit out of snapping selfies with hotties to get through major races, like the Brooklyn Half Marathon and last Sunday's New York City Marathon.

More from Fitbie: Being a New York City Marathoner Will Forever Change My Life (VIDEO)

But cute dudes aside, any girl who can log major miles with a smile on her face is worthy of a #MondayMotivation shout-out, so we reached out to Roberts for her backstory and top running tips. Ready to be seriously inspired by the girl behind (err, in front of) all those boys? Listen in!

What's the best advice you can offer for beginner runners?
Smile, because getting started sucks. It’s going to be hard, it’s going to be boring, and you are going to be sore. Just set a goal, find a training plan that make sense to you, believe that you can do it, and just start putting one foot in front of the other. Just stick with it because once you develop a stride and can run three miles without stopping, that’s when the fun begins.  

When did you start running? Why did you start?
I started running Thanksgiving Day, 2012. I was a few months out of college, living with my parents, grieving the loss of my brother, struggling with my body image, and felt lost. After my brother passed, I ate to make myself feel better and at my heaviest was well over 200 pounds.

More from Fitbie: The 4 Worst Things About My 70-Pound Weight Loss

I’d recently gotten into the habit of going to the gym anytime I started to feel down, but because it was a holiday, the gym was closed. I just felt like I needed to run, so I put on my gym shoes and took off. I didn’t even make it to the end of my block when I had to stop to walk. But instead of turning around and going home I decided to walk until I caught my breath, and then run until I lost it again. An hour and a half and three miles later, I felt a tiny bit less anxious. So the next day I did the same thing. 
 
What was the biggest challenge you've faced as a runner, and how did you overcome it? 
Not giving up! I am not exaggerating when I say I really hated running. Those first two or three weeks were torturous. It wasn’t fun! I was ridiculously slow, and I couldn’t run a mile without stopping! But the day I was able to run three miles without stopping changed everything. That was the day I decided I wanted to run a half marathon.

I remember I walked into my living room and told my Mom and Dad, “I am going to run a half marathon.” They laughed and said, “But you hate running.” Two months later I ran a half marathon. And four months after my first half, I ran a full marathon. After I ran a marathon I realized there really wasn’t anything I couldn’t do. It gave me the courage to move to New York and get out of my own way.

To date, how many races have you run?
Since I started running in 2012, I’ve run two marathons, eight half marathons, and a handful of 10Ks and 5Ks. 

How do you find the motivation to keep going during a race? 
Each race is different. There are some races that are just buckets of fun and feel effortless. Then there are other races that require you to work a little harder. And then there are truly terrible races that make you question why the hell you run. While I was training for the NYC Marathon I had my last long run on the day of the Staten Island Half Marathon. I ran seven miles before the race and halfway through the half marathon developed a stomachache and cramps. It was probably the worse race I’ve ever run and I wanted to quit every step of the way.

But thinking about the big picture helps. I focused on one-mile increments and I knew I at least had to walk to the finish or else I couldn’t get home. I just try to remind myself that the pain is temporary, and it’s all worth it when you cross a finish line.

What do you eat the night before and morning of a big race?
The night before a race you can find me at an Italian restaurant eating spaghetti Bolognese and bread. In the morning I eat a bagel, a banana, a Lara or Clif bar, and drink some water.  

What are 3 songs on your workout playlist that are your guilty pleasure?
I am a brand new Taylor Swift fan so right now I’m playing her new album on repeat. Otherwise my FAVORITE song on my running playlist is "Shout!" It just makes me laugh whenever it comes on and puts me in a really good mood. 

More from Fitbie: The Playlist That'll Pump Up Your Next Workout
 
What workout do you absolutely despise?
YOGA! Ugh and I want to like it so badly! It’s so good for you and everyone looks so cool doing it. I just can’t get into it. It’s too slow for me. Yoga and running on a treadmill. I’d rather gouge my eyes out than run on a treadmill. 

What did you eat for breakfast today? 
This morning I had a Lara Bar, the last piece of the chocolate cake my roommate made for me after the marathon (#SorryNotSorry), a banana, and an apple. 

Clearly you love using social media to share your love of running. Why? What's the coolest relationship you've formed with someone over social?
It’s funny I have been taking runfies of myself since I first started running. It was my vain way to say hey friends; look I’m a runner now! It made me feel like I was doing something I could be proud of. Then when #HottGuysOfTheNYCHalf happened -- it was a fluke. I did it because I hadn’t trained for the half marathon and I was terrified I wasn’t going to be able to finish. I did it solely to make myself laugh and to take my mind off the race.

Then when it went viral I got my blog Run, Selfie, Repeat on its feet, all these people started emailing me telling me that I inspired them to want to get active or to just have more fun. It was really incredible because the selfies are silly but at the end of the day I really want people to believe in their own self-worth and dare to take risks or fail. I was never athletic. I used to hide in the bushes or play dead to get out of running the mile at school. Some people are born athletes; others are made. 

Follow Roberts on Instagram and Twitter.

Are you a nutritionist, food blogger, or fitness expert with a large social media following? Email us at editors@fitbie.com or Tweet us @Fitbie using the hashtag #MondayMotivation to be featured as our next Fitbie Spotlight.

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Cathryne Keller
Fitbie Find: Adidas TechFit Sports Bra http://www.fitbie.com/2014/11/08/fitbie-find-adidas-techfit-sports-bra Blog entry http://www.fitbie.com/2014/11/08/fitbie-find-adidas-techfit-sports-bra Sat, 08 Nov 2014 10:00:06 -0500 Fitbie
Adidas Sports Bra

The right sports bra may just be the most important component to your workout wardrobe. Sure, we're all for splurging to make sure the girls are in the right place. But when we can find a bargain and support? It's a no-brainer. Say hello to this week's #SaturdaySaver, the Adidas TechFit Sports Bra

Featuring a mesh racerback and Adidas' Climacool technology, the bra offers plenty of ventilation. Plus, the stretch fabric keeps you comfortable through every rep.

Was: $30
Now: $7.97
Buy: sportsauthority.com

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Emily Abbate
The Great Way Menu Calorie Counts Are Making a Difference http://www.fitbie.com/2014/11/07/great-way-menu-calorie-counts-are-making-difference Blog entry http://www.fitbie.com/2014/11/07/great-way-menu-calorie-counts-are-making-difference Fri, 07 Nov 2014 15:51:08 -0500 Fitbie
Biting into a cheeseburger

Out of sight out of mind? Not so much when it comes to the calories in your favorite fast food or chain restaurant meals. You may have noticed that loads of your favorite restaurants are now including calorie counts alongside menu items. Awesome? Hey, we're all for enabling consumers to know exactly what they're putting in their bodies! (You have to know that Big Mac is high-cal, right?).

It turns out that there is an effect of seeing those small numbers next to your go-to order. According to a new long-term study on the subject -- the first of its kind -- consistent exposure to calorie labeling reduced the likelihood of young adults gaining weight over a one year period to the tune of a whopping 50 percent.

“Giving people more information about calories leads to more power,” said Dr. Caroline Cederquist, M.D., author of The MD Factor. “We all know that a piece of cheesecake is a splurge, but in our mind we are thinking it’s about 400-500 calories, not the 1500+ calories present in some of the desserts at restaurants.”

And while Dr. Cederquist admits that being aware of calorie counts can be an effective way to maintain a healthy weight, it’s perhaps the quality of those calories that matters most. “A meal that is balanced with enough quality protein, vegetables, and fiber will still be a healthier choice even if slightly more caloric than one that is low on nutrients and also low in calories,” she said.

More from Fitbie: America's Unhealthiest Restaurant Meal

In a pinch for lunch? If you find yourself grabbing take-out or popping into a restaurant, keep these three healthier eating tips in mind:

Be mindful: You may think a salad is inherently healthy, but think again, said Dr. Cederquist. “Cheeses, dressings, and sauces add up quickly,” she said. “Try going for the smaller portion of food if that’s an option, and avoid the unhealthier toppings or additional ingredients.”

Skip the sides: Whether it’s a side of tortilla chips or french fries, sides are typically loaded with empty calories, she said. Since you’re eating out, you’re already consuming more calories than you think -- so skipping a side keeps the damage under control.

Go healthy: “If you must eat out, I suggest you make a commitment and promise yourself to not go crazy with the unhealthy food,” Dr. Cederquist advised. Her tip? Aim to order the healthiest meal on the menu. “I can’t stress enough that when you go out to eat, you consume a lot more calories than you realize,” she added.

UP NEXT: 4 'Healthy' Restaurant Foods that Make You Fat

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The Playlist That'll Pump Up Your Next Workout (LISTEN) http://www.fitbie.com/2014/11/07/playlist-thatll-pump-your-next-workout-listen Blog entry http://www.fitbie.com/2014/11/07/playlist-thatll-pump-your-next-workout-listen Fri, 07 Nov 2014 12:21:33 -0500 Fitbie
Barry's Bootcamp

Every week Fitbie is featuring rad playlists from rad fitness instructors. This week, Patrick Frost, Master Trainer at Barry’s Bootcamp, shares his with us. 

"I love a good throwback and a sick beat. In my book, you can never go wrong with Beyonce," says Frost. "I try to pair the more intense moments of the songs with the 'peak' of the workout. If you time it correctly, you can really pump everyone up. It’s all about the flow."

UP NEXT: The Playlist That'll Amp Up Spin Class

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Emily Abbate
'Shake It Off' Pairs Perfectly With This 1989 Aerobics Workout (VIDEO) http://www.fitbie.com/2014/11/07/shake-it-pairs-perfectly-1989-aerobics-workout-video Blog entry http://www.fitbie.com/2014/11/07/shake-it-pairs-perfectly-1989-aerobics-workout-video Fri, 07 Nov 2014 10:51:19 -0500 Fitbie
Women Working Out

It's destiny, if you ask us. Taylor Swift made headlines earlier this week when she pulled her music from online streaming services including Spotify, and now she's at it again for a much less strategic reason. YouTube user Thomas Jung happened to find an aerobics dance video from 1989 (which also happens to be the title of Swift's new album), and paired it alongside Swift's "Shake It Off." 

The finished product will give you goosebumps. That, and make you want to get into an aerobics class ASAP (leg warmers, optional). Check it out:

UP NEXT: 10 Dance-Inspired Fitness Classes You Have to Try

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Emily Abbate
Fitbie Find: Asics Arm Warmers http://www.fitbie.com/2014/11/06/fitbie-find-asics-arm-warmers Blog entry http://www.fitbie.com/2014/11/06/fitbie-find-asics-arm-warmers Thu, 06 Nov 2014 17:30:33 -0500 Fitbie
Asics Arm Warmers

There's nothing more frustrating than not being able to figure out the right gear for the temperature outside. OK, so maybe we're sort of lame. But right now, in this in-between season situation, often times you're cold then warm, warm then cold, accumulating sweat makes you suddenly chilly, you get the vibe. That's where today's #FitbieFind, Asics arm warmers come in.

Great for a whole slew of outdoor activities, these warmers allow you to regulate your body temperature without shedding all of your traditional layers. Plus, they're made with a soft knit that won't chafe!

What else we love:
• Stay in-place construction that keeps 'em in one spot from start to finish
• Sold in pairs
• Stretch built into knit construction for a more comfortable fit

The Details: Asics arm warmers, $10, asicsamerica.com

UP NEXT: Being a New York City Marathoner Will Forever Change My Life (VIDEO) 

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Being a New York City Marathoner Will Forever Change My Life (VIDEO) http://www.fitbie.com/2014/11/06/being-new-york-city-marathoner-will-forever-change-my-life-video Blog entry http://www.fitbie.com/2014/11/06/being-new-york-city-marathoner-will-forever-change-my-life-video Fri, 07 Nov 2014 11:31:25 -0500 Fitbie
New York City Marathon

"There's nothing like the New York City Marathon." You've heard it before. I've heard it before. Past runners did their best telling me what to expect: Cheering fans lined down the city streets spanning from Brooklyn to Central Park West. Handmade signs galore, many of them referencing washed-up pop stars and boasting one-too-many Ryan Gosling photos (that is, if there is such a thing). Tears, from both bundled-up spectators and exhausted, proud runners alike. And of course: that proverbial wall, somewhere between miles 18 and 22, where many question just how much strength they have left as they weave through the Bronx, putting one foot in front of the other, reflecting back to those months of training leading up that ultimate run.

... Yeah, all that stuff, it's there on race day for sure. But no amount of words can ever do the experience justice, really describing the emotions a New York City Marathon runner feels striding through all five boroughs. Sure, everyone's experience is different. For me, though, November 2, 2014, was probably the best day of my life so far

Running through the city I call home, sharing the streets with so many other people who share my same passion for early morning strides and sneakers. Witnessing the beautiful diversity that the Big Apple has to offer. Feeling an abundance of love from friends who traveled far to be there with me on my big day, family who've watched me grow into the woman I am today, and complete strangers as I made my way to the finish line near 67th on the west side. I was overwhelmed in the most wonderful sense of the word. With every kick of the pavement, every single overexcited person that yelled my name, urging me to wear a smile as I chugged along, I was proud. I moved through 26.2 miles at an 8:49 pace toward a goal I never could have even fathomed seven years ago, 70 pounds heavier, unable to run a full mile down the street next to my college dorm. 

Without a doubt, the largest burst of emotions came right before the finish, as I turned and saw them in the stands. My mom and dad, so damn happy. Mom holding up her phone taking blurry photos that she'll treasure for the rest of her life. Dad waving that same Springsteen-inspired "Baby you were born to run!" sign that's been in-hand at every race since that first half-marathon in 2008. The tears started to form. I made my way across the finish line, victorious. I cried. I smiled. I started to wheeze. And then it hit me: I not only accomplished my goal of running the race in under 4 hours. I ran the race in 3:51:21. I ... nailed it. 

As I reunited with my ecstatic parents, lips blue, shivering, smile-crying, it finally felt real. I collapsed into Mom's arms, so beside myself that it was over. Just like it's hard to explain how wonderful the New York City Marathon is to someone who's never run it, I can only imagine how it feels as a parent to have your child overcome such a major obstacle, make such a wonderful dream a reality.

I did it. We were together. And in that moment, I may have been the happiest I've ever been.

New Fit video page

So what's next? I'm not sure. For now, I'm happy with November 2. I'm satisfied taking a step back, getting back into other forms of exercise aside from running. For now, I'll continue to think back to that moment seeing my parents in the stands. For now, I'll smile and say, "I'm a New York City marathoner." 

Watch the complete "Journey to the New York City Marathon" series, here:

My Journey to the New York City Marathon 

Why Cross-Training Is Great for Runners

'Runner's World' Training Tips for Your Best Race Ever

What You Really Don't Understand Until You Train for a Race

Expert Nutrition Advice for Your Best Run Yet

Women's Health Tips for Beating Race Day Nerves

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Emily Abbate
The PSA That'll Boost Your Body Image (VIDEO) http://www.fitbie.com/2014/11/06/psa-thatll-boost-your-body-image-video Blog entry http://www.fitbie.com/2014/11/06/psa-thatll-boost-your-body-image-video Thu, 06 Nov 2014 13:29:15 -0500 Fitbie
Jubilee Project PSA

Have you seen the new PSA video "Comfortable: 50 People 1 Question" from non-profit group Jubilee Project? It popped up in my news feed this morning and I couldn't wait to share it with you all.

There's nothing wrong with wanting to lose weight or shape up for the right reasons -- improving your health, increasing your energy, enjoying life's experiences more fully -- but when it comes to changing your body, what begins as a positive pursuit can easily take a negative turn toward unhealthy obsession. I'm talking about thigh gaps, unrealistic jean sizes, and any other goals that leave you feeling like your body is never small enough, toned enough, good enough.

More from Fitbie: 5 Self-Love Lessons from the 'Most Beautiful' Women of the Year

I've been there -- having just as poor a body image when I was too thin as I did when I weighed a little more than I would've liked. But what I'm finally starting to learn is that truly taking care of your body starts with accepting it -- all of it -- no matter how much you weigh or what size your pants are. You can't love something you don't accept, and loving your body is an important -- no, necessary -- step if you want to feed it and treat it well long-term.

If you've been there, too, then you'll appreciate Jubilee Project's PSA as much as I do. The "1 Question" is, "If you could change one thing about your body, what would it be?" From behind the camera, the interviewer poses the question to both children and adults, and the responses from the younger interviewees serve as a powerful reminder that hating our bodies and viewing them solely in terms of what they look like to other people is something we learn over time and, therefore, can unlearn.

 

UP NEXT: An Open Letter to My Skinny Jeans

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