Diets in Review - Find the Right Diet for You

Dessert Fads: Cupcakes Out, Frozen Treats Vying to be In

This past week, Business Week reported on the epic rise and fall of The Cupcake. Sad, but not completely surprising: I’ve been digging all of the cupcake shops popping up in the past few years although, I’ve seen almost as many close down. And this isn’t just happening near me—cupcakes are on decline everywhere! Per the story, just a few years ago Crumbs Bake Shop, which has been in business since 2003, couldn’t make enough of their gourmet cupcakes to keep up with the orders. But the shop has shifted their focus to “specialty desserts” like the the “Crumbnut,” which is a hybrid between a cupcake and a croissant. (Largely inspired by the blockbuster “cronut,” which is a combination of a donut and a croissant, the ”crumbnut” may easily be the next big thing.)

cupcake

But if cupcakes are out, and the croissant-hybrids aren’t yet huge sensations, what is the next dessert fad?


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Melissa Joan Hart Reveals New Bikini Body and Nutrisystem Commercial

Melissa Joan Hart is celebrating her one-year anniversary as spokesperson for Nutrisystem, and in the latest commercial, she’s revealing her very summer-ready body. Over the weekend she provided a sneak peek at her results when she Instagrammed a bikini pic with the caption, “It’s not everyday I like to show a lot of skin but these days I’m feeling confidant. Thanks Nutrisystem!”

MJH nutrisystem

In December, our managing editor and self-described fan-girl, Brandi, spoke with the Melissa and Joey star about her experience with Nutrisystem. The actress praised the meal delivery diet saying, “It’s a simple system for any mom to use.” “It takes the guesswork out.” Melissa started the diet six months after her third child, Tucker, was born in an attempt to lose postpartum weight.

Looking super cute in a floral print dress, Melissa appeared on Good Morning America yesterday where she spoke with Laura Spencer about life with three young kids, her 40 pound weight loss and how she stays in shape with such a busy schedule.


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6 Ways to Turn Spring Cleaning into a Full-Body Workout

clean

 

We’ve made it through the long winter and spring is finally here and in full swing! ‘Tis the season for baseball, sunny days, green things growing and everyone’s favorite activity: spring cleaning! Since free time is something that most of us don’t have an abundance of, it’s good to know that you can easily multitask while engaging in your spring cleaning chores. According to My Fitness Pal heavy cleaning can burn up to 250 calories per hour, making it a worthwhile fitness activity. And, by adding in just a few simple moves to your cleaning routine, you can burn even more!

Here’s six ways to fire up your heart rate, engage your muscles and get a calorie-blasting workout while you get your spring cleaning on:

 

tunes

1. Blast your favorite heart-pumping tunes
Before you start cleaning, make a playlist of music that gets you pumped. Think about songs that you listen to when going for a run or doing a cardio workout at the gym. Music with an upbeat rhythm is more likely to make you not only clean faster, but help you have fun while doing it. Go ahead and blast that music and dance around with that mop or duster (and burn a ton of calories while doing it!). You’ll discover a whole new appreciation for cleaning.


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To Lose Weight, “Be Present” (vs. Distracted) During Mealtime

By Janis Jibrin, M.S., R.D., Best Life lead nutritionist

Want to feel more satisfied after meals? You can, if you put your mind to it.

Eating mindfully, which can mean everything from simply noticing what you’re putting in your mouth to practicing stress reduction techniques to help end stress eating, can really help. When you become a more mindful eater, you savor, enjoy, and remember fondly each bite and sip of your meal. The end result: You’ll feel more satisfied and less likely to rummage around for more food.

mindful eating

In a recent University of Southern California review of 21 mindful eating studies, 18 of them helped improve in eating habits, cut calorie intake, and reduced bingeing.

There are entire books on the subject, so I won’t attempt to cover every aspect. Instead, here are my top five strategies; they work for me—and have helped people who’ve come to me for nutritional counseling.

  • Identify why you’re eating or drinking. Is it because you’re actually hungry? (Rating your hunger for a week can be an eye-opener.) Or are you eating because you’re bored, stressed, or have another emotional trigger? Is it just habit (as in “I always have a 3 p.m. snack.)? Name the reason without judgment or guilt; these negative emotions can stress you out, driving you to overeat even more.
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Q&A: Which Should Come First, Cardio or Resistance?

cardio weights 

If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably always wondered if there is more of a benefit to lifting before you run, or if the exercises should be performed in the reverse. (Sweat then strength or strength then sweat?) It’s an age old question, but finally, we have an answer.

Well, kind of.

According to a recent study from the Department of Biology of Physical Activity at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland, it turns out that the order doesn’t matter all that much. Fitness experts long ago discovered that the combination of cardiovascular exercises along with resistance increases the effectiveness of both exercises, but the order that works best appears to be based on personal preference more than any physiological differences.
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