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Work it Off: Biscuits and Gravy

When I have visitors to my (new) hometown of Portland, Oregon, they all want to go on the same sort of sightseeing tour—one that focuses on all of the delicious food available. So when my friend Beth arrived last week from Colorado I had all of my hot spots queued up: Pok Pok for its Asian Wings, Salt and Straw for its Salted Caramel Ice Cream, and Olympic Provisions for its killer brunch. But of all of the indulgences we shared, the one I was most worried about burning off was a large plate of biscuits and gravy from Portland’s J&M Cafe.

biscuits and gravy

I did some searching online and found a big range for the calorie count in a serving of biscuits and gravy—estimates were anywhere between 200 and 530 calories. Judging from the flakiness of the biscuits, the size of the serving, and the sausage that was blended into the thick gravy, I’m going to guess the plate I ate was packed with about 450 calories. Eek!

Just how does one burn off a meal of that size? I grabbed a calculator—and the American College of Sports Medicine’s Compendium of Physical Activities—to find out. Here are three ways I could have burned off a 450 calorie breakfast of biscuits and gravy:


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9 Ways To Burn Serious Calories, Just By Playing in the Snow!

This week, much of the country was in the grip of the Polar Vortex, which is really just meteorologic hyperbole for, “frigid circulating winds that escaped from the North Pole.” If Today Show weatherman, Al Roker has calmed down, we can all calm down. In fact, now that the weather is back to plain ole cold and snow, we say, “Get outside and get your cold-weather workout awwwn.”

snowshoeing

During the winter it’s tempting to bundle under a warm blanket and reach for a bag of Cheetos. Don’t do it. Grab your snow boots and your mittens! We’re going to show you 9 ways you can burn major calories in the snow without having to pay for pricey equipment or ski rental fees.

Walk – The added resistance of the snow helps tone and firm muscles.

Snowball Fight - Squat to pick up and form snowball before launching at your target.

Shovel the Driveway - Just remember to stretch first, use proper form and take breaks.

Sledding - Choose a steep hill so the walk up burns more calories. Then, hop on your sled, throw your hands up and yell, “WEEE” all the way down.

Snow ParkourGo for a jog but don’t gingerly side-step snow piles, instead, leap over, around, and if the snow is packed, jump right on top.


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The Hottest Fitness Trends of 2013—and a Preview of 2014

Exercise trends typically come and go but some fitness fads have real staying power. Here are some of the most popular fitness trends from 2013 and a look at what trends we expect to see more of in 2014:

Cross-fit

The Best of 2013
1.
CrossFit: There’s little doubt that CrossFit dominated the fitness scene in 2013. The number of CrossFit gyms continued to grow exponentially and the numbers of participants registering for that CrossFit Games more than doubled. I predict that CrossFit’s popularity will continue to rise in 2014, despite its (many) critics.


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Overindulge Over the Holiday? Exercise Every Day to Counteract the Effects

If you’re clothes are feeling a little tighter today, you are certainly not alone. Christmas is a time for family and feasting, and we understand if you subjected yourself to some holiday binging. However, the overeating you did yesterday doesn’t have to completely derail your health. In fact, according to a new study published in The Journal of Physiology, the adverse effects of binge eating can be solved by continuing to exercise.

holiday exercise

Studies taking place before this one showed that even just a couple of days of consuming more calories than you burn negatively impacts health. The energy imbalance this creates can have a major impact.

The new study shows that daily exercise, even if it’s for a short amount of time, can greatly improve your health even if you ate thousands more calories than you burn.


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Fernanda Abarca is Biggest Loser’s First Elimination, but Down 70 Pounds at Home

Last night on the The Biggest Loser, an unlucky roll of the die put Jillian’s White Team in jeopardy for the second week in a row, and Fernanda took the fall. We spoke to her about her short time on the ranch, what Dr. H. had to say about her overall health, and how much weight she’s lost since the elimination.

The Biggest Loser - Season 15

Nobody likes week 2 on The Biggest Loser ranch. Some even talk about the week 2 curse. Fernanda isn’t superstitious but wishes she’d had one more week to show what she could do. “Now that I’ve been home, my weight loss fluctuates high one week, then low the next,” she explained. “One week I’ll lose 10 pounds, the next week I’ll lose 2. Everybody’s body is different.”

During the first week, Fernanda lost an encouraging 12 pounds but at last night’s weigh-in, the scale only budged by two pounds.

This may be the second episode of Season 15, but Fernanda is actually the first contestant eliminated. In a new season twist, trainers are allowed to save one eliminated contestant and Jillian used hers right out of the gate on Craig, the warehouse supervisor from North Carolina. We asked Fernanda how she felt about Craig receiving the save. “I was totally fine with it,” she replied. “I was so concerned about working hard to save the team in case my number came up that I didn’t think about it. He deserves to be here. I was happy for him.”


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