Monday, 16 March 2009

Meghan McCain - Size 8 Is Not Fat

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Meghan McCainMeghan McCain is not fat. The 24-year-old daughter of Senator John McCain is a size 8. And while she admits to fluctuating up to a size 10 during her dad's presidential campaign, she is not overweight. I'm sure conservative political pundit Laura Ingraham knows this deep down. Still, Ingraham threw out the weight card recently, pegging McCain as a heavy girl.

Here's how the fat hit the fan: McCain blogged in her column at "The Daily Beast" and a spoke in an interview with talk show host Rachel Maddow about Republican pundit Ann Coulter's too-extreme views. Ingraham got mad and responded by mocking McCain in a "Valley girl" voice and implying she's too plus-sized to get a role on MTV's "The Real World." Now, McCain is talking back.

On today's "The View," McCain said she can't possibly understand why a woman would comment on another woman's weight. "Why are we so obsessed with weight, why?" she asked. It's bad form, no matter how you look at it. When McCain writes about politics and the reaction is "she's fat," it implies she's not fit to write. And what kind of message does that send to her young readers? A bad one.

Continue reading Meghan McCain - Size 8 Is Not Fat

Core Rhythms DVD Set Giveaway

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core rhythms starter packWe all want a strong, slim, sexy stomach, but seriously, I don't know anyone who really enjoys getting on the floor and doing a zillion crunches. The results are great, of course, but there are other ways -- more enjoyable ways -- to get a fabulous core. Like, say, with the Core Rhythms DVDs. I mean, dancing seems to work on the contestants of "Dancing With the Stars," so why wouldn't it work for you, right?

I've talked about this at-home workout before -- I really enjoyed it. It makes me feel sexy and gets me sweaty, both of which get major points for a dance-based workout in my book. Some of the moves are tough, but there are lots of help options, so anyone can do it. And now, you get your chance -- four lucky That's Fit readers have a chance to win the Core Rhythms Dance Exercise Program Starter Pack, which consists of four discs: Full Workout, Quick Workout, Latin Dance Made Easy and Kick Start.

Entering is easy -- here's how:

  • To enter, leave a confirmed comment below telling us about your favorite song to dance to.
  • The comment must be left before 5pm ET on Friday, March 20, 2009.
  • You may enter only once.
  • Four winners will be selected in a random drawing.
  • Four winners will receive the Core Rhythms Dance Exercise Program Starter Pack ( valued at $39.99).
  • Open to legal residents of the 50 United States, the District of Columbia and Canada (excluding Quebec) who are 18 and older.

Click here for complete Official Rules.

Winners will be notified by email, so make sure to check next week to find out if you've won!
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Get Pushy - Train Your Chest Anywhere in the World

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You should be able to work out anywhere in the world at any time of the day. You don't need a massive gym full of equipment (although that can be nice), and you don't need a full hour to get something accomplished. In this video, our fitness expert Fitz explains the function of the chest muscles and offers a variety of methods for training, using equipment, partners or nothing at all.

To view more innovative training videos, visit

The fitness equipment Fitz uses in the video can be found at

The Problem With Cardio

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Jonny Bowden, author, nutritionist and weight loss coach cuts through all the misconceptions about diet and fitness to help you transform your body, your health and your life.

We all know cardio training is great for the heart. But for weight loss? Maybe not so much.

As my friend Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS says, "Cardio exercise is such a strange thing. In theory, it should work perfectly well for all men and women, but as anyone who has tried it knows, the practicality of it just doesn't add up." A recent study in the "International Journal of Obesity" illustrates the point perfectly.

Researchers had people exercise five times a week for three months. The average weight loss was a respectable 8.2 pounds. So far, so good. But when the researchers looked at the actual individuals in the study, a different picture emerged.

Continue reading The Problem With Cardio

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Starbucks Muffin - How Many Calories?

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I don't know about you, but more often than not, my mornings are spent rushing around -- to the train, the coffee shop and eventually work. I always seem to be a few minutes later than I should be, and though I usually manage to bolt into the office doors on time, I usually do so in a frazzled fashion, having run all the way across London Bridge to make my start time.

I usually try to grab a healthy breakfast before I leave the house, but you know as well as I do that sometimes, there's just not enough time. So I'm faced with choices -- a donut, a bagel or a muffin. Usually, I go for the muffin -- it seems to be the healthiest of the lot. You too?

But is a muffin really the best on-the-run morning meal?

View Poll

Continue reading Starbucks Muffin - How Many Calories?

Toxic Beauty, Heartbreak Cures and Memory Snatchers - Links We Love on AOL Health

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We at "That's Fit" and "AOL Health" know that you've got a lot going on in your lives besides staying in great shape, and we know that a lot more than diet and exercise goes into feeling your best every day. That's why we thought we'd share some of the exciting reporting going on at "AOL Health."

For your love life, soap opera star and author Catherine Hickland shares insight on how to deal with getting dumped and finding love again in her "30-Day Heartbreak Cure."

For your your best beauty routine, "AOL Health" turned to Julie Gabriel, author of "The Green Beauty Guide" for her savvy shopping tips. (Bonus: Discover a danger lurking in your deodorant.)

And if you're feeling more forgetful, scattered and mentally taxed than ever,
check out this photo gallery of surprising memory-stealing culprits. (Tip: Your diet and cell phone could be to blame.)
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Surviving Change 101 - 8 Ways to Be Happier & Healthier

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Every Monday, That's Fit's very own "charged up" wellness guru Laura Lewis presents The Passion Principle, a weekly guide that will help you achieve your greatest potential through words of inspiration, cutting-edge ideas and action tips you can use in your every day life!

Change happens. I always wanted to create a bumper sticker with this reference to "change" to replace the one that says "@$!%& Happens!" Indeed, change does happen. To live is to experience change. Being classified as a "Change Expert," I find myself coaching and speaking about how to deal with change healthfully. I have had my fair share of dramatic "out of the blue" change and have come out on the other side wiser, happier and healthier in many ways. But the ride? Whew. At times, the discomfort of change can feel unbearable.

Discomfort and resistance to change go hand in hand. Resisting change may cause one to become unhealthy, both in mind and body, due to an elevation of stress. And as a result, not going with the flow may even cause folks to dive off their health and fitness tracks, to gain weight, to experience lowered self-esteem, to become more stressed out about relationships -- thus the spiral begins.

Continue reading Surviving Change 101 - 8 Ways to Be Happier & Healthier

Bye Bye, Blemishes and Bacne

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Acne is a problem, and not just for teenagers. And it doesn't just happen to our faces, either. Form-fitting activewear like sports bras and cotton shirts that stick to your skin when you sweat can cause breakouts all over your chest and back. And then, there are the clogged pores that show up on your arms ... before you know it, you need to wear a turtleneck to cover all your problem areas!

Peter Thomas Roth Buffing BeadsDon't worry -- you don't need to use your fancy-schmancy face wash as a new shower gel to clear up the bacne -- Peter Thomas Roth Clinical Skin Care makes a Blemish Buffing Beads Body Wash ($36 for 18.5 oz) specifically designed to battle acne all over your body. No gym bag shower kit should be without it!

Use on face and body -- it's super gentle, but effective. According to the website: "Salicylic acid clears up acne blemishes while a glycolic acid complex and oil absorbing ingredients help produce flawless, clear skin. Soft, ultra-fine jojoba beads ... help exfoliate surface dead skin cells without irritation, then ... help open clogged pores and emulsify the sebum that contributes to blackheads and whiteheads." Plus, it's smells awesome -- botanical, without being girly. But this isn't the only thing that will help you clear up your skin.

Continue reading Bye Bye, Blemishes and Bacne

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Weight Loss - 5 Tips From an Expert

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daily fit tipAre you trying to take off some stubborn pounds? Take a few tips from Dr. Jana Klauer, a weight-control specialist:

  • Get moving in the morning. A good aerobic workout in the morning really sets the right tone for your day. Right away, you feel energized and know that you accomplished something. When you start your day off on the right foot, you're more likely to stick to your weight-loss efforts throughout the day.
  • Concentrate on protein. High-quality, low-fat protein is a great choice when you're trying to lose weight. It can help keep you feeling full. Include a small portion of protein -- such as eggs, low-fat dairy, chicken or fish -- at each meal.
  • Don't skip meals. You may think you're cutting calories by skipping meals, but you're really not doing yourself any favors. Odds are, you'll feel ridiculously hungry later and then be more tempted to overeat or snack on something unhealthy. Eat reasonably-portioned meals and have small, healthful snacks as well.
  • Curb your cravings. We all have foods we crave. To curb cravings, try Dr. Klauer's stopwatch method.
  • Get plenty of water. Fresh, refreshing and zero calories -- water is a great choice for hydration.

Athleticism - Is It in Our Genes?

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DNA modelIf you have kids, you know all about the nature versus nurture debate. Some parents are paying to find out if their babies have all the right genetic stuff of an athlete. So what do you think? Were you born to be an athlete? Or did practice and hard work make you skilled at your favorite sports?

There's no doubt that certain body types have advantages in certain activities. Height is practically a requirement for elite basketball players, serious runners tend to be long and lean and would Nastia Liukin have been able to flip so elegantly if she were 5'9'" and heavyset? There are three extremes for body types:

  • Endomorphs are pear-shaped with wide hips and shoulders.
  • Mesomorphs have broad shoulders and narrow hips.
  • Ectomorphs are tall and thin with a narrow body.

Continue reading Athleticism - Is It in Our Genes?

Iron for Exercisers - Are You Getting Enough?

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ironYou may be an ironman or ironwoman in the gym, but how are your iron stores? I was cluelessly iron-deficient one winter, and it was no fun. I'd try and eat perfectly, but after only a few hours of cross-country skiing or cardio anything, I felt like I was lacing up iron boots. Chronically zapped for weeks, I finally took a blood test and was diagnosed with iron-deficient anemia.

Repeated, intense training can compromise your iron levels to the point of iron-deficient anemia, as athletes can use and/or lose more iron than they're consuming. Here's an interesting tidbit: Even with a solid supply, iron absorption is lower in athletes than non-athletes -- possibly due to food passing faster through an athlete's digestive tract. Strenuous, daily exercisers can lose iron through sweat, lower intestinal absorption and even by taking aspirin and anti-inflammatory drugs, which reduce the body's ability to soak up this essential mineral.

Iron-deficient or anemic athletes ultimately receive less oxygen to their muscles and generate more lactic acid during a workout. Other signs include muscle burning, shortness of breath during workouts, nausea, frequent infections, respiratory illness and a pale complexion. The National Anemia Action Council (NAAC) identifies these athletes as most at risk:

  • Female athletes
  • Male endurance athletes
  • Runners

Vegetarian athletes are also at risk since iron is absorbed poorly from veggies.

Continue reading Iron for Exercisers - Are You Getting Enough?

See Yourself Slim - The Fitting Room Diet

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fitting roomWhen I look at myself in a fitting room mirror, I rarely think I look hot. Dismal and dumpy is more like it. Now I know some people get pretty good glimpses of themselves in those elongated mirrors, shrouded in foggy lighting and ambiance. But mostly, I just don't look that great. I show much better at home, in the light of my own bathroom.

It's no secret that lighting is key in fitting rooms, but never has it been more apparent than now, when the economy is swirling down the toilet and retailers are scrambling to make a buck. Dressing rooms are where the sale is made, say experts, and those trying to score some funds might be capitalizing on making that little black dress look better than average. All it takes is something simple, like nixing the overhead lighting and adding some illumination alongside the mirrors.

A recent University of Florida study reveals that female shoppers, ages 18 to 35, have a preference for side lighting. Overhead lighting is just not flattering, says Anne Baumstarck, who did the research for her master's degree in interior design at UF. When a customers' surroundings register as negative, it distracts them from paying attention to the merchandise. "You never want a consumer to be thinking 'I hate this lighting' instead of 'I like this dress,'" she said. And while this study didn't touch on the topic, I'm thinking that when a reflection of someone's body in the mirror registers as negative, it also distracts from the purchase. When I don't like what I see, I don't buy. Make me look better (and by better, I mean lighter, thinner and more fit) and I'm more likely to fork over the green.

Continue reading See Yourself Slim - The Fitting Room Diet

Enviga, Fitting Rooms and Healthy Fast Food - Week in Review - March 9 to March 15

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week in reviewCalorie-burning drink Enviga got burned this week when makers Coca-Cola and Nestle settled out of court for false advertising claims. Now Enviga will carry the very obvious claim that even if you drink it, you still have to diet and exercise to lose weight.

We all know belly fat is unhealthy, but do you know what your waist size should be? See how you size up with some famous celebs, and find out if your waist is stretching the healthy limit.

Squeezing that workout into a busy schedule? Try Oscar Blandi's new dry shampoo -- tried and true by Kristen -- when you just don't have time to primp after a workout.

Water and weight loss -- can it really help? Jonny thinks so. A recent study found that drinking 16 oz. of water before breakfast can cut down on calorie consumption.

Clothing stores use all kinds of tricks to make us feel fit and firm in their fitting rooms. With swimsuit season on the way, they're going to need all the help they can get.

Looking for a long-term fitness goal? Try a half-marathon. It's the fastest-growing road race right now.

Think diet fads are bad today? How about smoking yourself thin or that terrible cabbage soup diet? Maggie shares crazy diet trends through the decades.

Fast food -- is it getting healthier? If it is, I'd say it's about time. Bev dishes on the fish on Long John Silver's new Freshside Grille menu.

"Change your mind before you change your matter," says Laura. Reaching your goals requires the right mindset, so discover the seven secrets of champions.

It's hard to believe, but even super-fit celebs with great genes have trouble squeezing into their jeans some days. Charlize Theron admits that she has "fat days" when her pants just won't fit.
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Secrets From the REAL Biggest Losers

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Liz Neporent is a diet and fitness expert and author of 12 fitness bestsellers. She regularly appears on national TV programs and is the president of Wellness 360, a New-York based wellness provider.

Last week I blogged about a study comparing bariatric surgery to lifestyle changes as a means to weight loss. The recent study, performed at the Miriam Hospital's Centers for Behavioral and Preventive Medicine in Rhode Island, found that both methods worked about the same, though it took more commitment to drop poundage without undergoing the knife. Several of you wrote in to tell me what you had done to both lose and keep off a considerable amount of weight and as I read your comments, I was struck by how similar they sounded to the findings of the National Weight Control Registry (NWCR).

For those of you who don't know about the NWCR, it's a project run by Brown Medical School and the University of Colorado and has tracked more than 5,000 successful losers, e.g., people who have lost an average of 66 pounds and kept it off for more than five and a half years. People who sign up for the registry are asked all sorts of questions about their health habits, like what they've done to lose weight and what strategies they've used to keep it off. Their answers will be surprising to the many Americans who are looking for that secret formula to help them magically shed pounds.

Continue reading Secrets From the REAL Biggest Losers

Fitness Vanity and Toxic Orange Tans

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body builder
Erin from "Fit Bottomed Girls" works out for several reasons. She wants to be strong. She wants to fit into her jeans. And yes, she wants to look good too. Nothing wrong with a little fitness vanity. I mean, we all want to look good, right?

Find out what else Erin has to say right here. She's dishes on why she doesn't like to shop and tells us what she really thinks about toxic orange tans.

Lean Mommy - How You Can Become One

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jog strollerAnyone who possess kids and a desire to work out knows the two don't always go hand in hand. Little ones don't always cooperate with our fitness plans, which means we've got to be creative.

CafeMom gets crafty with a jog stroller and shows us how to capitalize on the moment. Got a kiddo strapped in for a walk? Then try this Stroller Push-Up and this Stroller Reverse Curl. Your sagging boobs and mommy tummy will thank you.

Transform Your Body (in 2 Weeks) - This Week on AOL Health

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Dr. Oz Garcia
Looking for a few ways to shake up your weight-loss routine, or do you maybe have a big event you're slimming down for? Head to AOL Health for diet-guru and anti-aging expert Dr. Oz Garcia's best shape-shifting tips. His two-week program promises to help beat bloat, reduce wrinkles and shed pounds. It's not going to be easy. You'll have to give up sugar, exercise every day and cut back on artificially-sweetened and salty foods. Read more about his body-transformation tips on AOL Health.

Charlize Feels Fat and Marcia Needs More Time - March 6 to March 12

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If you're looking for fitness inspiration, why not look to the stars? Each week, we round up some of the best celebrity fitness stories for you. Many will motivate you to hit the gym and eat healthfully, while some ... well, some can be viewed more as cautionary tales. But no matter what, you're going to be entertained!

Jessicas Weighty Rejection and Isla's Poor Trainer

    Jessica Simpson
    Oh, the Jessica Simpson weight-loss stories just won't quit. Even though it seems like half of Hollywood is stepping up to defend her, there are others who are finding a different way to "help." Find out which big weight-loss offer she rejected here.

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    Katy Perry
    She might be active in her shows on stage, and it's got to be hard work getting into some of those costumes, but Katy Perry hates to exercise. However, there is one type of exercise she jumps right into -- Find out what it is here.

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    Sienna Miller
    Sienna Miller looks great now, sure, but will that always be the case? Doesn't really sound like it -- she's nixing exercise because she compares it to plastic surgery.

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    Isla Fisher
    Here's another slim starlet who's not willing to hit the gym -- how do we get those genes? Anyway, Isla reportedly was so bad about her diet and exercise routine that she nearly made her trainer cry.

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    Bar Refaeli
    The Sports Illustrated cover girl has a simply incredible body, no doubt. Want to know how she keeps it looking that way? FitSugar has the scoop.

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    Christina Ricci
    After battling weight gain and anorexia, Christina Ricci is looking better than ever. And, when we chatted with the stunning starlet, she told us how she keeps herself so slender and healthy.

    Getty Images

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