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If You Want to Drop Weight, Exercise This Much

The contestants on The Biggest Loser spend hours a day in the gym with one goal in mind — to lose the most weight. But how frequently should you exercise to drop pounds in the real world? For Michelle Bridges, a trainer on the Australian version of the show and author of Total Body Transformation ($23), the amount of time you work out every week can unlock a key to weight-loss success that is about more than just caloric burn.

Michelle’s magic number for her weight-loss clients: six days a week, ideally for 50 to 60 minutes at a time. But while hours of exercise a week will surely help you create a calorie deficit, that’s not the only reason Michelle wants her clients to find time for a workout almost every day. “We’re setting up habits and rituals,” Michelle explains. “Think about the last time you had to psych yourself up to brush your teeth.” In other words, when your workout becomes just another part of your day, you’re more likely to do it without a second thought.

If the idea of almost-daily hour-long workouts sounds exhausting, Michelle assures you that it won’t feel like that. She recommends you break up your workouts three “hard” days of exercise, such as Tabata or interval training, along with two moderate days and one “passive,” or light-exercise day. “You don’t have to train like an Olympian all the time, but it’s [about] building in those habits,” Michelle says. “I guarantee that someone who has the habit of training six days a week, even if they miss a couple, is going to be more consistent than someone who only trains three days a week.” Just like how regular brushing maintains your bright, healthy smile, a habitual workout routine will produce real weight-loss results.

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Cool Down With These Healthy Pineapple and Spearmint Agua Fresca Ice Pops

NGREDIENTS

      2 cups chopped pineapple
      1 cup water
      2 tablespoons pure cane sugar
    1 tablespoon finely minced spearmint leaves (about 1/4 cup loosely fitted leaves)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Blend the pineapple, water, and sugar until smooth. Taste for sweetness, and add more sugar if needed.
  2. Add the minced spearmint.
  3. Pour the agua fresca in the ice-pop molds.
  4. Freeze overnight, and then enjoy!
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The Best Workout to Avoid Gaining Weight

Healthy eating won’t help keep the pounds off, but cardio and strength training will

To lose weight, experts agree that you have to take in less calories than you burn, and a lot of research suggests that adjusting your diet is more effective than burning the calories off. In fact, simply focusing on what goes into your mouth can be more beneficial then the hours you log at the gym, according to a study in Psychological Science, probably because eating too much of the wrong foods will cancel out any workout. (Try one of these 10 Unbelievable Diet Rules Backed by Science.)

But once you reach that goal weight, you’re better off shifting your focus out of the kitchen and into the gym, this new study suggests.

When you’re exercising regularly and shedding pounds, you increase your resting energy expenditure and total energy expenditure—meaning the number of calories you burn both by standing still and during activities. In the study, women who had recently lost 25 pounds and stopped working out lost their boosted calorie burn. Those who continued to move—either by lifting weights or doing some form of cardio—three times a week maintained the higher calorie burn, even on days that they didn’t hit the gym. Plus, those who just rely healthy eating are likely eating as much as they did to reach their goal weight, but are now burning a lot less and therefore consuming more calories in a day, researchers speculate.

Great news: it doesn’t matter much if you prefer lifting to walking, since they both offer health and weight maintenance benefits. Women who resistance trained three times a week (with two sets of 10 exercises) Increased their physical fitness more, including heart rate and oxygen uptake, while women who walked three times a week for 40 minutes saw more calorie burn during the activity and after at rest.

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Want Glowing Skin?

the summer temps are taking a toll on more than your natural deodorant supply—and starting to affect your skin with no-fun breakouts and heat-related rashes—you might want want these cooling, summer beauty foods in your crisper.

In the summer, nature adds more fuel to the skin-freakout fire, says Dr. Karuna Sabnani, ND, founder of Karuna Naturopathic Healthcare in New York City and an Ayurvedic practitioner. According to principles of that 5,000-year-old healing science, “toxic heat aggravates the skin, and often brings out skin conditions like acne,” she says. “But if you eat foods that help keep that heat in check, you’ll see more of a benefit to your skin.”

cooling foods, summer beauty foods, Karuna Sabnani

Just what foods can cool you off, while helping your skin, too? Here are nine, many of which might already be in your fridge. “What you eat is more important than what you put on your skin,” Dr. Sabnani says. “If you eat these,” she promises, “you’re going to glow.” —Molly Gallagher

1. Peppermint
While mint is very uplifting, it’s also relaxing to the body, says Dr. Sabnani. “Whenever you’re relaxed, that’s going to help reduce your stress hormones, which in turn is kinder to your skin,” she says. Stress is a trigger for acne and for premature aging. Mint also may help reduceandrogens, which can cause oil production and acne. (Can you plant mint on a fire escape?)

2. Red grapes
Grapes are only cooling if they are sweet, she says. Green grapes, for example, won’t do the trick. “Sour, salty, and pungent foods are more heating, you want grapes that aren’t sour,” Dr. Sabnani explains.

3. Cucumber
These refreshing slices are way more than a facial accessory. Cucumbers are similar to watermelon in that they’re hydrating foods, she says. “I really like cucumbers because the silica in them also has anti-aging qualities,” Sabnani says. I mean, who can argue with a two-for-one?

4. Turmeric
This root is super anti-inflammatory, which means it helps with flareups of all kinds over time, whether it’s an acne breakout or ow-y knees and joints following your long runs.

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5. Watermelon
The summertime favorite, which Dr. Sabnani calls “medicine” will definitely bring your temperature down. “It’s not just cooling. It’s cold. I never touch it until summer,” Dr. Sabnani says, abiding the Ayurvedic seasonal eating philosophy. She recommends that you don’t eat it with other foods, but instead wait to snack on it about an hour after your meal.

6. Coconut water
The buzzed-about beverage got its rep for a reason—it’s very cooling, balancing, and has a lot of electrolytes, which we lose when we sweat during the summer. “Coconut water is God’s gift,” Dr. Sabnani says.

7. Cilantro
Dr. Sabnani likes this garnish because it’s flavorful and has culinary uses, yet it’s detoxifying and cooling, which makes it your skin’s friend in summer. She whips up a mint and cilantro chutney, which sounds just delish. (Recipe, Dr. Sabnani?)

8. Fennel
“Many spices naturally bring ‘warmth’ to your body, but fennel brings ‘cool’ to your body,” Dr. Sabnani says. Thinly slice raw fennel over a salad and enjoy the cabbage-like crunch and better digestion, which helps promote clear and glowing skin.

9. Chrysanthemum tea
Tea in the summer? It might not sound refreshing, but it’ll cool you off, she promises. The tea reduces heat—and even counteracts the heat from eating a little too much, um, BBQ.

Fore more information, visit www.karunanaturopathic.com

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Browned Butter Oatmeal Cookie Cups

Yield: 12 cookie cups
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes

Total Time: 27 minutes

Ingredients:
1/2 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar

1 tablespoon heavy cream (milk works too!)

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups quick cooking oats

3/4 cups all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 1/2 cups chocolate chips (I used milk, but any kind will work)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 12 cup muffin pan.
In a small saucepan set over low heat, melt the butter. Continue cooking butter over low heat, whisking often, until the butter has turned a deep golden brown. Remove from the heat.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the melted butter and brown sugar. Beat in the cream, egg, and vanilla until well combined.

In a small bowl, combine the oats, flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.

Slowly beat the dry ingredients into the wet until well combined.

Stir in the chocolate chips.

Scoop the dough out into the muffin tins. Fill each muffin tin nearly to the top.

Bake for 12 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes in the muffin tin before running a knife around the edges of the cookie cups and removing from the muffin tin.

Store in an airtight container.
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