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8 Fad-Free Basics of Weight Loss from the Experts

weight loss

By Janis Jibrin, M.S., RD, Best Life lead nutritionist

Here’s a secret from a nutrition insider: Even experts find weight loss fraught and confusing. A recent paper by The Obesity Society, a scientific organization devoted to researching causes and treatments for obesity, says as much. In an attempt to provide clarity, the organization published core guidelines. Not earth-shattering by any stretch, they provide an un-faddist view of the basics of weight control.

BMI is just a screening tool, not a diagnosis. A BMI of 25 to 29.9 is considered “overweight” and 30-plus is “obese.” If you’re at 25-plus, you don’t necessarily need to lose weight. But if you also have a waist circumference greater than 35 inches for women or greater than 40 inches for men, you likely do need to shed pounds.

Focus on percent of weight loss, not ideal BMI. Not everyone needs to drop below a BMI of 25 to be healthy, and some just cannot. Instead, if you have too much body fat, focus on losing at least three to five percent of your starting weight—it can significantly improve blood pressure and other aspects of your health. Losing more, like 10 percent, can be even more helpful.
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6 Slim Summer Sips That Skip the Hips

drinks

By Team Best Life

Craving a nice cold beverage to quench your thirst and beat the heat? Be careful what you reach for—some beverages can pack a pretty big caloric punch. In fact, some drinks can end up costing you more than a meal!

Take a look below to figure out how many calories some of your favorite drinks will set you back. All calorie information is based on an eight-ounce serving, unless noted.

Lemonade (powder mixed with water) – 40 calories

Sports Drink – 60-80 calories

Soda – 65-95 calories

Iced Tea – 90 calories

Light Beer – 100 calories per 12 ounces

Regular Beer – 150 calories per 12 ounces

Frozen Margarita – 226 calories per 10 ounces

Strawberry Daquiri/Pina Colada – 250 calories for 4.5 ounces

See the Calories in 4 More Popular Summer Cocktails

Of course, calories shouldn’t be the only thing you pay attention to. You should be on the lookout for artificial sweeteners, which are used to sweeten a beverage without adding any (or many) calories. These can be problematic because they may increase your cravings for sweet foods and interfere with your ability to appreciate naturally sweet foods.
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Meet the Dietitian Who Eats Butter, Sugar, and Carbs, and Says You Can, Too!

butter bread

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

As I got the butter out from my fridge the other day, a friend of mine commented in surprise, “You eat butter?”.

She’s right to question. For years, there was no butter in my kitchen because it contains a lot of saturated fat, which nutrition scientists believed could lead to heart disease and possibly increase the risk for cancer and even dementia. But being a nutritionist, I keep up with the food research, and things change. I started thinking of how my diet has changed over the past decade, and here are the main shifts; the ways I changed my own diet for the better.

I ENJOY BUTTER. Even after margarine was exposed as a trans fat nightmare, I still avoided butter because 63 percent of the fat in butter is saturated. I went along with the scientific thinking: If you eat too much saturated fat, levels of LDL (“bad” cholesterol) rise, and people with higher LDL are more likely to develop heart disease.
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6 Juicy Recipe Reasons to Pick Tomatoes This Summer

tomatoes

By Team Best Life

Tomatoes are in season and we can’t think of a more versatile fruit (that’s right—this produce poser is not a vegetable). You can toss them into green or pasta salads, add them to sandwiches or wraps, or simply snack on them raw. And there are so many tasty tomato varieties—whether you choose cherry, go for grape, or prefer plum. They complement just about any other healthy food, including basil, cucumber, summer squash, beans, grains and more!

Need more reason to pick tomatoes? They’re a nutritional powerhouse—they’re a super source of vitamin C and they also contain antioxidants like lycopene, which can help protect against a variety of diseases.

Just keep in mind that tossing tomatoes in the fridge can cause them to lose flavor and texture; instead, store them at room temperature.

Here are a few of our favorite ways to enjoy this tasty summer fruit.
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4 Things Bob Greene Does Before Every Outdoor Summer Workout

summer run

By Bob Greene for TheBestLife.com

Planning on taking your workout outdoors this summer? Great idea! I’ve always been a big fan of exercising outdoors. The changing scenery can be stimulating, the breezes are refreshing and being out in nature is mood boosting.

But before you head outside, make sure to take the proper precautions so you don’t get burned. Here are four things I do before every outdoor workout:

Plan ahead. If I know it’s going to be a particularly hot or humid day, I plan my workouts for early morning or early evening. That way, I can avoid being outside during the warmest part of the day—between 10 am and 4 pm. If you can only exercise during these times you have a few options:

  • Do something in the shade, like a hike or bike ride on a tree-lined route.