We’re trying really hard to avoid holiday bloat (as inevitable as it might be). So we’re loving these tips on how to prevent and get rid of it. We’re also glad to hear that our hugging habit could keep us from getting sick. Read on to get the full scoop on these stories and others that have caught our eye this week.
Hug It Out
Reach out and wrap your arms around someone. A new study shows that hugs, as well as broader social support, could help you fight off colds. More than 400 adults were questioned about their interpersonal conflicts and if they’d received hugs that day. Participants were then exposed to the common cold virus, and those who reported having more support in their lives — and enjoying more hugs — showed less severe signs of illness. (Huffington Post)
Bloat Be Gone
If the holiday season has left you feeling a little larger than usual, you probably want to know how to de-bloat — and fast! You know to stay hydrated but eating yogurt and fermented foods can also help. Stop your meals several hours before bed, too. Your digestive system needs rest to reset and be ready for the next day; not giving it a proper break may lead to backup and bloating. (Eating Made Easy)
What a 2,000-Calorie Meal Looks Like
While most fast food restaurants are introducing smaller portion sizes, they’re still adding dishes so rich they contain an entire day’s worth of calories. But do you know what 2,000 calories really looks like? It could be just a steak and martini, and these eye opening photos show you exactly what you’re eating. Don’t be lured by words like “fresh, simple ingredients.” It is possible to eat healthily at some of these fast food restaurants — you just need to be mindful of the calories and sodium in your meal. (The New York Times)
Trainers Get Things Wrong, Too
You’ve finally decided to hire a trainer to help you get in shape. But even the most seasoned pros sometimes get things wrong. In fact, they could be giving you advice that’s just plain bad — or even dangerous. Take matters into your own hands by educating yourself on proper form. These tips will keep you safe and strong. (Shape)
A Weighty Pill to Swallow
The fight against obesity may have just gotten a little more winnable. Researchers from the Harvard Stem Cell Institute have tricked white fat cells (the bad ones which store energy) into behaving like brown fat cells (the good ones which burn energy). The implications of this could lead to future anti-obesity drugs — but of course no pill will ever replace the endorphins from a great workout. (New York Magazine)
Beware the TV Doctor
If you live and die by The Dr. Oz Show…well, we’ve got some bad news. Canadian doctors recently conducted a study of 479 claims made on 40 randomly selected episodes of Dr. Mehmet Oz’s TV show. They found that evidence contradicted his claims 15 percent of the time and didn’t exist for 39 percent of the claims. As always, consult with your own doctor before making important health decisions. (MediaPost)
Where Does It Go?
Congratulations! You’ve lost those last few pounds. But where did the excess fat that was sitting on your waistline actually go? If you’ve ever heard that fat turns into muscle, you heard wrong. It actually turns into carbon dioxide, which is released into the air. Mind. Blown. (The Atlantic)