7 Best Foods for Maintaining Muscle




If you want one of those lean, tight bodies that doesn’t jiggle or pooch, then you need to build muscle. You should complete 2-3 strength-training workouts per week. But more importantly, you need to provide your body with the necessary nutrients to keep your muscles in good shape. How do you get those nutrients? Fill up on these seven best foods for maintaining muscle.
Good Food for a Strong Body



To build muscle you need to consume protein. The amino acids in protein-rich foods help build and maintain the muscle fibers that shape a strong body. Of course, you could take a protein supplement to meet your protein needs, but many experts, including Nancy Clark, M.S., R.D., recommend eating “real food” instead. “Food works,” Clark said at a recent lecture on sports nutrition. She points out that, in many cases, real food contains just as many of the essential nutrients as the supplements. Real food is also less expensive and more satisfying. Give these foods a try to maintain your hard-earned muscle.

CheesePowdered Milk

Make the most of your muscle-building workouts by giving your body the nutrients it needs to stay strong. Grab this list before you go to the grocery store so that you fill your refrigerator — and your body — with the best protein sources.

Greek YogurtSalmon


Why Shape Magazine Refused to Use This “After” Photo

Brooke Birmingham Blue Bikini Top Extra Skin
Brooke Birmingham

After learning that Illinois native Brooke Birmingham managed to not only lose 170 pounds, but keep it off for a year, Shape Magazine invited her to be part of their “Success Stories” franchise.  According to BuzzFeed, when Birmingham submitted her “After” photo, Shape rejected it and insisted that she send one of herself in a t-shirt instead.

When the blogger asked why a different photo was required, the writer emailed back, reasoning was that it was a “policy” to show success stories in tees.

“Hi Brooke!  So great to speak with you the other day,” the email read.  ”My editors were hoping you chould send over a different after photo.  (You look ah-mazing, of course, but they are looking to include one with a shirt.)  Thanks!”

On May 2nd, Birmingham posted on her Facebook, “Many of you know that I was asked to be a part of the Success Stories on Shape magazine’s website. I have since decided not to go forth with that feature. I’m a firm believer in standing up for what I believe in. When they asked me send a fully clothed picture when there’s women in bikinis all over their site, it was compromising what I believed in.

“I felt like my body wasn’t good enough to be featured on their website,” Birmingham told BuzzFeed. “When you log onto their website, the first thing that pops up is a woman in workout pants and a sports bra. There have been other success stories with women in bikinis.”

If I’m being completely honest, the “After” photo did startle me a little, mainly because I wasn’t prepared to see all that extra skin.  I shared the story with WorldLifestyle’s editorial team, who were in agreement that they couldn’t see Shape publishing the photo.

“There’s no way in hell Shape would run that,” senior editor Vicki Santillano said, “But I wish they would’ve.  People need to understand that extreme weight loss equals a lot of extra skin, not sudden body perfection.

Brooke Birmingham Weight Loss Before After

[Birmingham before and after her 170 lb weight loss]

“It doesn’t mean it’s not something to be celebrated,” Santillano added.  ”What she did was amazing.”

Staff editor Linda Barsi wondered why Shape wouldn’t consider offering Birmingham skin removal surgery.  It’s not very expensive, and it would be great press for the magazine.  (Skin removal surgery is not covered by insurance, since it’s considered a cosmetic procedure.  Procedures start at around $10,000).

What about making Birmingham’s whole journey part of the story?  Readers would want to see her coming to terms with that as a result.

Let us know your thoughts on this story – Do you agree with Birmingham?  Do you think Shape should have put more effort into creating a story around Birmingham’s weight loss?

10 Reasons You Should Do Yoga


Stressed out? Feeling stiff all over? Can’t touch your toes anymore? Time to hit the mat and do some yoga stretches and poses. Best to take a class first. You’ll need some expert instruction to keep you from overdoing or pulling something you shouldn’t. Still in denial you need yoga? You won’t be after reading this.
What Yoga Can Do for You
1. Increase strength and flexibility.

Yoga loosens and relaxes your muscles, enhancing your freedom of movement. The poses stretch and strengthen your abdominal, paraspinal, and pelvic muscles (your core) to help maintain a healthy spine. You’ll feel better and reduce the chance of injury in other sports.

2. Re-balance your body.

The poses in yoga force you to use different body parts in new ways. Athletes say yoga helps them “break through the wall” and pass those tough training plateaus. Yoga opens up your hips, hamstrings, back, and shoulders. By aligning your body and stacking your bones, you’ll discover both your weaknesses and your strengths.

3. Re-balance your nervous system.

By bringing your sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems into balance, yoga creates a natural calming effect. According to Dr. Timothy McCall, medical editor of Yoga Journal, it also stimulates the “feel-good” brain chemical, serotonin, to stop those food cravings before they start.

4. Detox your body.

Yoga’s twisting moves and poses cause you to perspire, releasing toxins out of your organs. It also regulates your glandular system to decrease hot flashes by 31 percent, according to one study.

5. Detox your mind.

Stretching muscles and tissues can release those toxic emotions you’ve been suppressing. A study from Boston University School of Medicine and McLean Hospital reported that doing an hour of standing, sitting and balancing poses helped avid yoga posers raise their GABA brain chemical levels (low GABA levels are linked with depression) by 27 percent.

6. Gain a heightened self-awareness.

Yoga connects you more acutely to your body — to enhance feelings and sensations. By disconnecting from the ego and listening more closely to your body, you learn to differentiate between complacency and laziness.

7. Gain more confidence.

By opening your body’s vital points (chakras) in a supportive environment, you gain confidence in other areas of your life.

8. Increase your breath control.

By assuming and holding different yoga poses, you learn to control your breath to calm your mind and body. This skill can easily be transferred off the mat to prevent pre-mature exhaustion, boosting your performance in running, skiing, tennis, or volleyball.

9. Sleep better and longer.

After two months of doing 45-minute yoga poses daily before bed, subjects in a Brigham and Women’s Hospital study fell asleep 15 minutes faster and slept an hour longer each night.

10. Make new friends.

Some people meet their significant others in yoga class. Others form lasting friendships. It’s a great way to meet people who are passionate about good health.

Always seek the advice of your doctor before engaging in yoga for any medical, physical or psychological condition you may have.

Eight tips for healthy eating


Download Losing weight: Getting started, a 12-week weight loss guide that combines advice on healthier eating and physical activity.

If you eat or drink too much, you’ll put on weight. If you eat and drink too little, you’ll lose weight. The average woman needs 2,000 calories (8,400 kilojoules). Most adults are eating more calories than they need, and should eat fewer calories.

Base your meals on starchy foods

eight-tips-healthy-eating_Eight tips for healthy eating2

Starchy foods should make up around one third of the foods you eat. Starchy foods include potatoes, cereals, pasta, rice and bread. Learn more in Starchy foods.

Eat lots of fruit and veg

Eat more fish

Oily fish is high in omega-3 fats, which may help to prevent heart disease.

Cut down on saturated fat and sugar

Try to cut down, and choose foods that contain unsaturated rather than saturated fats, such as vegetable oils, oily fish and avocados.

Learn more, and get tips on cutting down, in Eat less saturated fat.

Most people in the UK eat and drink too much sugar. Sugary foods and drinks, including alcoholic drinks, are often high in energy (measured in kilojoules or calories), and could contribute to weight gain. Food labels can help: use them to check how much sugar foods contain. Learn more in Sugars and Understanding food labels.

Eat less salt

Eating too much salt can raise your blood pressure. Use food labels to help you cut down.

Get active and be a healthy weight

Eating a healthy, balanced diet plays an essential role in maintaining a healthy weight, which is an important part of overall good health. Check whether you’re a healthy weight by using our Healthy weight calculator.

If you’re trying to lose weight, aim to eat less and be more active. Eating a healthy, balanced diet will help: aim to cut down on foods that are high in fat and sugar, and eat plenty of fruit and vegetables.

Physical activity can help you to maintain weight loss or be a healthy weight.