TIME Diet/Nutrition

12 Superfoods for Stress Relief

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Skip the chips and fill up on these stress-fighting foods

When work deadlines begin piling up and your social calendar is booked, the last thing you want to hear is to steer clear of the vending machine. Who has time for healthy eating? But when it comes to combating stress levels, what you eat may actually help relieve your tension. Indeed, some foods may help stabilize blood sugar or, better yet, your emotional response. Here, 12 foods to reach for when you’ve just about had enough.

Green leafy vegetables

It’s tempting to reach for a cheeseburger when stressed, but go green at lunch instead. “Green leafy vegetables like spinach contain folate, which produces dopamine, a pleasure-inducing brain chemical, helping you keep calm,” says Heather Mangieri, RDN, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. A 2012 study in the Journal of Affective Disorders of 2,800 middle-aged and elderly people and found those who consumed the most folate had a lower risk of depression symptoms than those who took in the least. And, a 2013 study from the University of Otago found that college students tended to feel calmer, happier, and more energetic on days they ate more fruits and veggies. It can be hard to tell which came first—upbeat thoughts or healthy eating—but the researchers found that healthy eating seemed to predict a positive mood the next day.

Read more: New Greens to Power Up Your Salad

Turkey breast

You’ve probably heard that the tryptophan in turkey is to blame for that food coma on Thanksgiving. The amino acid, found in protein-containing foods, helps produce serotonin, “the chemical that regulates hunger and feelings of happiness and well-being,” Mangieri says. On its own, tryptophan may have a calming effect. In a 2006 study published in the Journal of Psychiatry Neuroscience, men and women who were argumentative (based on personality tests) took either tryptophan supplements or a placebo for 15 days. Those who took tryptophan were perceived as more agreeable by their study partners at the end of the two weeks compared with when they didn’t take it. (The study was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.) Other foods high in tryptophan include nuts, seeds, tofu, fish, lentils, oats, beans, and eggs.

Watch: How to Make a Healthy Turkey Club Sandwich

Oatmeal

If you’re already a carb lover, it’s likely that nothing can come between you and a doughnut when stress hits. First rule of thumb: Don’t completely deny the craving. According to MIT research, carbohydrates can help the brain make serotonin, the same substance regulated by antidepressants. But instead of reaching for that sugary bear claw, go for complex carbs. “Stress can cause your blood sugar to rise, Mangieri says, “so a complex carb like oatmeal won’t contribute to your already potential spike in blood glucose.”

Yogurt

As bizarre as it may sound, the bacteria in your gut might be contributing to stress. Research has shown that the brain signals to the gut, which is why stress can inflame gastrointestinal symptoms; communication may flow the other way too, from gut to brain. A 2013 UCLA study among 36 healthy women revealed that consuming probiotics in yogurt reduced brain activity in areas that handle emotion, including stress compared to people who consumed yogurt without probiotics or no yogurt at all. This study was small so more research is needed to confirm the results—but considering yogurt is full of calcium and protein in addition to probiotics, you really can’t go wrong by adding more of it to your diet.

Salmon

When you’re stressed, it can ratchet up anxiety hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol. “The omega-3 fatty acids in salmon have anti-inflammatory properties that may help counteract the negative effects of stress hormones,” says Lisa Cimperman, RD, of the University Hospitals Case Medical Center and a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. In a study funded by the National Institutes of Health, Oregon State University medical students who took omega-3 supplements had a 20% reduction in anxiety compared to the group given placebo pills. One 3-ounce serving of cooked wild salmon can have more than 2,000 milligrams of omega-3s, double the daily intake recommended by the American Heart Association for people with heart disease.

Read more: 19 Natural Remedies for Anxiety

Blueberries

“When you’re stressed, there’s a battle being fought inside you,” Mangieri says. “The antioxidants and phytonutrients found in berries fight in your defense, helping improve your body’s response to stress and fight stress-related free radicals.” Research has also shown that blueberry eaters experience a boost in natural killer cells, “a type of white blood cell that plays a vital role in immunity, critical for countering stress,” says Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD, Health’s contributing nutrition editor.

Pistachios

When you have an ongoing loop of negative thoughts playing in your mind, doing something repetitive with your hands may help silence your inner monologue. Think knitting or kneading bread—or even shelling nuts like pistachios or peanuts. The rhythmic moves will help you relax. Plus, the added step of cracking open a shell slows down your eating, making pistachios a diet-friendly snack. What’s more, pistachios have heart-health benefits. “Eating pistachios may reduce acute stress by lowering blood pressure and heart rate,” Mangieri says. “The nuts contain key phytonutrients that may provide antioxidant support for cardiovascular health.”

Dark chocolate

Calling all chocoholics: a regular healthy indulgence (just a bite, not a whole bar!) of dark chocolate might have the power to regulate your stress levels. “Research has shown that it can reduce your stress hormones, including cortisol,” Sass says. “Also, the antioxidants in cocoa trigger the walls of your blood vessels to relax, lowering blood pressure and improving circulation. And finally, dark chocolate contains unique natural substances that create a sense of euphoria similar to the feeling of being in love!” Go for varieties that contain at least 70% cocoa.

Read more: 17 Surprising Reasons You’re Stressed Out

Milk

Fortified milk is an excellent source of vitamin D, a nutrient that might boost happiness. A 50-year-long study by London’s UCL Institute of Child Health found an association between reduced levels of vitamin D and an increased risk of panic and depression among 5,966 men and women. People who had sufficient vitamin D levels had a reduced risk of panic disorders compared to subjects with the lowest levels of vitamin D. Other foods high in vitamin D include salmon, egg yolks, and fortified cereal.

Seeds

Flaxseed, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds are all great sources of magnesium (as are leafy greens, yogurt, nuts, and fish). Loading up on the mineral may help regulate emotions. “Magnesium has been shown to help alleviate depression, fatigue, and irritability,” Sass says. “Bonus: When you’re feeling especially irritable during that time of the month, the mineral also helps to fight PMS symptoms, including cramps and water retention.”

Watch: 5 Healthy Seeds You Should Be Eating

Avocado

You can’t just reach for slice after slice of avocado toast during crunch time if you don’t want to gain weight, but this superfruit might help shut down stress-eating by filling your belly and making you feel more satisfied. In a 2014 study by Loma Linda University (which, full disclosure, was sponsored by the Hass Avocado Board), researchers had participants add half an avocado to their lunches, which reduced their desire to eat more by 40% for the three hours following the midday meal. That full feeling will make you less inclined to reach for unhealthy snacks when stress kicks in.

Cashews

One ounce of the buttery nut packs 11% of the daily recommended value of zinc, an essential mineral that may help reduce anxiety. When researchers gave zinc supplements to people who were diagnosed with both anxiety symptoms (irritability, lack of ability to concentrate) and deficient zinc levels over a course of eight weeks, the patients saw a 31% decrease in anxiety, according to Nutrition and Metabolic Insights. This is likely because zinc affects the levels of a nerve chemical that influences mood. If you’re already getting enough zinc, then it may not help your mood to chow down on cashews (or other zinc-rich foods like oysters, beef, chicken, and yogurt). But, cashews are also rich in omega-3s and protein, so they’re a smart snack no matter what.

Read more: 13 Ways to Beat Stress in 15 Minutes or Less

This article originally appeared on Health.com.

TIME Exercise/Fitness

10 Habits of People Who Love to Work Out

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Experts say you can teach yourself to love exercise

You know these people: they bound out of bed in the morning ready to tackle their sunrise bike rides. They leave the office during lunch to sneak in a quick run. Or they head out of work, gym bag in hand—and they’re going to use it (not just bring it back home). They’re the ones who look like they’re actually enjoying themselves as they pedal furiously at Spin. Can you be more like these fitness fanatics? Experts say yes, you can teach yourself to love exercise. Get into the workout groove by mimicking their habits.

They only do workouts they enjoy

People who love to exercise don’t waste time with activities they despise. “Too often I see people who sign up to do something like running, even though they know they hate running,” says Shavise Glascoe, exercise physiologist at the Johns Hopkins Weight Management Center. Start with an activity that you’re interested in or already enjoy—it doesn’t have to be what your neighbor said helped her lose weight or what the group-class trend of the moment is. What matters is that you like it. If you don’t want to do it, you will make an excuse to skip it tonight (and tomorrow, and the next day).

Read more: 4 Fat-Blasting Jumping Exercises

They look for feedback

Fitness fanatics often thrive on instant feedback, says Jimmy Minardi, a former professional cyclist and personal trainer in New York City and Santa Barbara, Calif. He suggests trying out a fitness tracker that measures heart rate or calories burned. That real-time feedback will help you push yourself further—you’ll always feel motivated to match or exceed your personal best—and take your workouts to the next level. Plus, Minardi says, you’ll be more connected to your training.

They exercise with a friend

Exercise addicts get by with a little help from their friends, says Glascoe. They’re sure not to ditch their yoga buddy for an om-session even when they’d rather beeline straight home, and are excited to get out of bed for a morning run because they’ll have the chance to chit-chat with their pals. Case in point: in a University of Southern California study, people said they had more fun and enjoyed working out more when they did it with a friend. Don’t assume that none of your friends want to work out—you may find one who wants to get in shape alongside you. But you could also find a workout buddy by joining a local running or biking club, or signing up for a recreational sports league.

Read more: 11 Reasons Why You’re Not Losing Belly Fat

They get back to nature

When the weather outside is nasty, it’s natural to want to take exercise inside. But if it’s nice and bright out, bike along that lakefront path, run through your neighborhood early in the morning, or find an outdoor yoga class. “Nature makes you feel alive—and when you feel great, you are more likely to want to do the workout again,” says Minardi. Besides, in one 2011 study in Environmental Science & Technology, sweating outdoors was associated with a boost of energy, more engagement in the activity, and better mental wellbeing. Go ahead—sweat, and say ahhh.

They let setbacks slide

Sometimes life gets in the way of exercise, and that’s okay, says Glascoe: “Studies show that people who have wiggle room in their mindset are more likely to maintain a regular exercise routine,” she says. “Prepare yourself for potential barriers and come up with a backup plan.” Glascoe has her clients plan the maximum and minimum number of days they want to exercise in a week. That way, if they miss one, there’s no “I’ve blown it” mentality. If you have to work late and can’t hit Spin, tell yourself that tomorrow you’ll get back on track.

Read more: 5 Ways to Work Your Abs Without Crunches

They don’t think about how much weight they’re losing

“We seem to be more powerfully motivated when we look at the short-term, immediate benefits of exercise,” says Gregory Chertok, a sport psychology consultant. Rather than focusing on the 20 pounds you want to lose (which, turns out, doesn’t help us get off our butts and get moving, he says), think about the almost instantaneous extra energy you’ll get with your kids, at work, or in the bedroom. And anyway, when you stop thinking about how your workouts are affecting your weight, you may actually start seeing the pounds melt away: Cornell University research suggests that framing your exercise as something other than calorie burning (like a break or “me time”) can help you eat less after.

They don’t care if it’s ‘traditional’

Exercise is exercise—doesn’t matter if it’s at the gym or not. All types of activity count, so try baking your playtime into your workout time by becoming a member of the company kickball team, joining a beach volleyball league, or trying something you’re curious about, like martial arts. “You’re creating a lasting relationship with the activity, rather than simply showing up for classes,” Minardi says. Other activities that count? Gardening, running in the backyard with your kids, and dancing (even if it’s a dance party for one in your living room), adds Chertok.

Read more: 10 Fun Ways to Get Fit Without a Gym

They crank up the tunes

There’s a reason why you see so many people wearing earbuds at the gym: Music is a huge motivator, reveals research in the International Review of Sport and Exercise Psychology. “Use music to improve your results. People exercise longer and more vigorously to music, and it distracts them from fatigue,” says Chertok. He recommends compiling a playlist of your favorite music. When you need motivation to get out the door, put your headphones on and get inspired to sweat.

They reward themselves

Your goal is to make exercise an automatic habit that you don’t have to agonize over. (Do I really have to go to the gym after work today? Am I actually going to get up early for that run?) A way to reinforce the routine is to reward yourself for a job well done, says Chertok. One of his clients set up a checking account that he uses to deposit a set amount of money each week he successfully sticks to his fitness goals. And every time he misses them? He withdraws money. At the end of the month, he takes the money he saved and does something fun, like signing up for a cooking class or buying tickets for a show. You can also plan mini rewards, like stopping by your favorite coffee shop or juice bar post-workout. (Just don’t go overboard on treats.) It’s something to get you up and moving when you’d rather not.

They dress the part

Truth: you don’t need expensive workout gear to have a great workout. But, buying new athletic apparel may be a good motivator. “We feel better about ourselves doing something athletic when we perceive ourselves as looking more athletic,” says Chertok. So switch out your old, rundown pair of shoes in favor of new kicks, pick up a new sporty headband to accessorize, or spring for a pair of running shorts if you’re starting to train for your first 10K.

This article originally appeared on Health.com.

TIME Diet/Nutrition

17 Ways to Lose Weight When You Have No Time

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Trust us, you're not too busy for these easy tips

If packing your lunch, cooking dinner every night, and getting to the gym regularly sound like things you’ll be able to do half past never, you may think that real weight loss just isn’t in the cards for you right now. It’s true: healthy weight loss can be a time commitment, especially if you’re overweight thanks to a job that keeps you sedentary for much of the day or a schedule that lends itself to fast food and unhealthy snacking.

Don’t throw in the towel just yet. You don’t need extra minutes in your day to eat less or to move more, the two basic pillars of weight loss. Here’s how to reevaluate the time you do have, and smart strategies to make dropping pounds easier, no matter how swamped you are.

Ditch the all-or-nothing mentality

Every small step you take toward a healthier lifestyle matters, says Jeff Katula, PhD, associate professor of health and exercise science at Wake Forest University. “People often think they have to spend an hour at the gym or eat a diet full of hummus and superfoods, and when they can’t attain that level they just give up and don’t even try,” he says. Instead of looking at your whole day as a success or failure, says Katula, consider every decision you make a chance to do something healthy. Just because you skipped the gym doesn’t mean you shouldn’t watch your calorie intake for the rest of the day, for example. (In fact, it means the exact opposite!)

Eat smaller portions

“You don’t need to cook your own food or even eat different food to lose weight,” says Katula. “You just need to eat less, and eating less doesn’t take more time or cost more money.” Most people need to consume between 1,200 and 1,500 calories a day if they want to drop pounds in a healthy and sustainable way—and for a lot of people, eating appropriate portion sizes, skipping dessert, or not going back for seconds is one of the easiest ways to reduce their total calorie intake.

Watch: 5 Easy Ways to Measure Portion Sizes

Don’t skip meals

This may seem counterintuitive after advice to eat less overall, but busy people especially may need to space out their calories more throughout the day, says Jessica Bartfield, MD, clinical assistant professor at Loyola University’s Center for Metabolic Surgery and Bariatric Care. That’s because going more than four or five hours without refueling can slow metabolism, affect hormones and insulin levels, and contribute to unhealthy food choices when you do finally sit down to eat. “A lot of our overweight patients aren’t necessarily overeating, but their eating patterns have become so erratic—they have a cup of coffee in the morning and then no real food until late afternoon,” she says. “They key is to avoid that and keep a consistent schedule, whether that’s three meals a day and a couple of snacks, or five mini meals.”

Squeeze in more movement

Setting aside time for a 30- or 60-minute workout is ideal, “but you can burn a lot of calories in not-so-ideal workout situations, too,” says Katula. In fact, there’s nothing wrong with breaking up your 150 recommended minutes of weekly moderate exercise into short bursts throughout your day. “If you can fit in 10 minutes in the morning, 10 minutes at lunch, and 10 minutes at night, and you can do that five days a week, you’re there,” he says.

Katula tells his patients to think of burning calories they way they think of saving money. “We do so many little things—clip coupons, buy store brands—to save a dime here or a quarter there, because we know it adds up,” he says. “Exercise is the same way: A few push-ups here and a few extra steps there can add up, too, if you do it regularly.”

Practice simple food swaps

Just like Katula tells his patients to think of exercise like they do clipping coupons, he tells them to think of their food choices the same way. “Whether it’s leaving the cheese off a hamburger or switching from mayo to honey mustard, there are so many little things you can do and so many little swaps you can make over the course of a day that can add up and save you calories without costing you any extra time.” Think about your daily beverages too, not just your solid foods. Switching from soda to seltzer water with lemon (or even to diet soda), or using less sugar in your coffee, for example, can save you several pounds a year.

Read more: 24 Food Swaps That Slash Calories

Don’t sit when you can stand

You’ve heard it before: Too much sedentary behavior is bad for your heart, your brain, and yes, your waistline. Turning some of that sitting time into standing time (or, better yet, fidgeting, walking, or working-out time) will help you burn more calories. “It may not add up to much weight loss on its own, but it certainly comes into play if you’re looking to maintain any weight you’re already losing,” says Dr. Bartfield.

Standing while you work may not be an option, especially if you use a computer and your office doesn’t offer a standing-desk setup. Instead, consider other times during your day you might be able to get up off your butt: your morning train ride, staff meetings, an evening phone call with your sister, or while you unwind after dinner in front of the TV.

Make sure you’re sleeping enough

When it feels like there aren’t enough hours in the day, it may be tempting to stay up late or wake up super early just to get everything done—especially if you’re trying to squeeze in regular exercise in addition to everything else you have to do. That strategy can backfire if you’re not getting enough quality shuteye for your body to function properly, says Katula. “If you’re trying to change your behavior and lose weight by eating less and moving more, you will be more likely to achieve that if you are getting the proper amount of sleep,” he says. Sell yourself short and you may lack the energy needed to complete your workouts; even worse, you’ll crave sugary and fatty foods that will help you stay awake, but will wreak havoc on your waistline.

Use your weekends wisely

Even if your job requires long and grueling hours, hopefully you have at least a couple of days off every week to regroup—and plan ahead. “Even though we’re pressed for time, most of us have pretty predictable schedules,” says Dr. Bartfield. “So it can help to spend some time on Saturday and Sunday shopping for healthy food, preparing some lunch and dinner items for the week, and deciding which days you’re going to eat what.”

You can also use your day or days off to get in longer workouts than you’d have time for during the week, says Katula. “If you can get in 120 minutes of exercise over the weekend, you really only need to dedicate small amounts of time throughout the week to reach your 150-minute goal.”

Read more: Skinny Up Your Weekend

Be active with friends and family

You may argue that weekends are for family time, or that you’d rather spend your precious free time with friends. Why not turn that social time into fitness time? “You don’t need to go to the gym for it to count as exercise,” says Katula. “You can play with your kids for a few hours and still get your heart rate up and see beneficial results.”

Join a pick-up sports league or a running group with friends, or swap your typical happy-hour date for a Spin class together. Or, start a weekly walking or hiking tradition with your family. Either way, being active with others can help you stick with it. “Social support is a key ingredient to any sort of behavior change,” says Katula.

Switch to a high-intensity workout

The best workout for fat loss doesn’t require hours upon hours in the gym. In fact, multiple studies show that a 20-minute high-intensity interval workout (HIIT) may burn more calories than 45 minutes chugging away on the elliptical. Try this workout, which you can do running, walking, biking, or with any type of cardio equipment: Warm up at a moderate pace for 5 to 10 minutes. Go all-out for 30 seconds, then switch to an easier pace for 45 seconds. Repeat the 30- and 45-second intervals five more times. Then cool off at an easy pace for 5 to 10 minutes.

Use healthy-meal shortcuts

We’re often told to steer clear of packaged foods for better health, but some frozen and pre-made goods can truly help you whip up a healthy meal in minutes, says Bartfield. “There are tons of good options in the freezer aisle, either for individuals or even family-size meals, that can be prepared quickly,” she says. “Or you could buy a rotisserie chicken—take the skin off and slice it on top of a salad, or buy frozen vegetables to serve with it.” (Keep in mind that rotisserie chickens can be high in sodium, so cut back your intake from other sources.) On nights when even that’s not an option, you still have choices about where you eat out or what prepared foods you bring home; the key is knowing ahead of time which restaurant you’ll choose and which items are healthiest, so you’re not stuck making a last-minute (bad) decision.

Set up a home gym

If you can’t devote time to driving to the gym or you’re stuck at home with kids, working out in your own home may be your best option for fitting in quick calorie-burning session. You don’t necessarily need to invest in a cardio machine—you can still get a great workout using nothing but your own body weight, or with a few simple tools (like hand weights and resistance bands) that take up next to no room in your home. Just roll out your yoga mat, set up a mirror, and you’re ready to go.

Watch: How to Set Up a Home Gym for Less Than $50

Use high-tech solutions

Few of us have the time (or patience) to keep track of all the numbers involved in weight loss—calories eaten, calories burned, steps taken, and so on. That’s why fitness trackers were invented. “These apps and devices can save an extraordinary amount of time and make it much easier to follow a specific plan or reach daily step goals or calorie goals,” says Katula. The type of tracker you wear on your wrist—think Fitbit, Jawbone, and Garmin Vivofit—typically log steps taken and calories burned, and pricier models may track your heart rate in real time. Plus, seeing the tracker on your wrist may serve as a constant reminder to get moving. You can also log your meals with an app like MyFitnessPal, which automatically calculates calorie totals and nutrition content for you.

Use social media

Put all that time you waste scrolling through Facebook or Twitter to good use. A 2014 Imperial College London study found that social networks can be affordable and practical alternatives to real-life weight-loss support groups like Weight Watchers. Talking about your weight loss journey with your virtual social circle can help you feel like part of a community. So join an Instagram fitness challenge, Tweet about your Pilates class, or start a Facebook group—all on your own time.

Read more: 30-Day Weight Loss Challenge

Eat more fiber

Here’s one weight-loss trick that requires zero extra time: Eat at least 30 grams of fiber a day (from food, not supplements). People who did that for a year lost almost as much weight as those who followed a complicated diet plan with 13 components in a recent University of Massachusetts study. “For people who find it difficult to follow complex dietary recommendations, a simple-to-follow diet with just one message—increase your fiber intake—may be the way to go,” said study author Yunsheng Ma, MD. The logic is simple: eating foods rich in fiber, like whole grains, beans, fruits, and vegetables, makes you feel full, so you have less room less room high-calorie junk food.

Get a handle on stress

The way you deal with that stress can mean a lot to your waistline. “I tell my patients the three areas affecting their weight they have the greatest control over is what they eat, how they move, and how they handle stress,” says Bartfield. “Stress has a big influence on appetite, food intake, and how the body processes calories, and I think people underestimate that.” And no, confronting your anxiety won’t add a ton of extra time to your day. Unwind with 13 ways to beat stress in 15 minutes or less.

Reflect on your priorities

Take a long, hard look at what’s eating up your time. “When my patients tell me they don’t have time to lose weight, I ask them to really think about what they do have time for,” says Katula. You may be able to pinpoint time sucks you weren’t conscious of before, or decide that certain commitments aren’t as important to you as they once were. (You may also want to talk with your boss or your partner about ways you might make your schedule more flexible.)

“Most people still find time to go to the doctor when they’re sick or get their hair done when they need a cut, but they’re not able to find a few minutes to exercise or eat well, because it just doesn’t seem as urgent,” Katula continues. But it should be just as important, he says, in order to ward off health problems in the future. The bottom line? If you truly can’t find time to take care of yourself, it’s probably time for a change.

This article originally appeared on Health.com.

Read next: 7 Reasons Why You’re Working Out and Still Not Losing Weight

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TIME Diet/Nutrition

5 Habits of Vegetarians You Should Steal

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These habits can lead to weight loss, and lower risks of high blood pressure and diabetes

More and more of my clients consider themselves to be “part-time” vegetarians. While they may not want to give up meat altogether, they enjoy plenty of meatless meals or take part in ongoing movements, like Meatless Mondays. Today is another formal campaign focused on leaving meat off your plate: It’s the Great American Meat-Out, and getting on board can be a great opportunity to improve your health.

Even semi-vegetarians weigh less, and have lower risks of high blood pressure and diabetes. Plus, taking the focus off meat can be a simple way to boost your intake of plant-based foods you may not be eating enough of.

Here are five healthy veg-based habits you can adopt, even if you aren’t interested in embracing a total vegetarian lifestyle.

Make veggies the main attraction

When I ask most of my omnivore clients what they had for dinner last night, they typically reply with meat first (e.g. “I had chicken with…”). Veggies are often an afterthought. Obviously my vegetarian and vegan clients don’t eat meat, but I advise everyone—including omnivores—to think about veggies first and build the rest of their meals around them. It’s key, because eating more veggies is one of the most impactful dietary changes you can make, but about 75% of adults fall short of the minimum recommended three daily servings.

Fitting in just one additional portion per day can slash your risk of heart disease by as much as 11%, and making veggies the star of your plate can lead to a myriad of benefits. From today on, when choosing what’s for lunch or dinner, select your veggies to start, then add lean protein, good fat, and healthy starch to round out your meal.

Read more: 13 Ways to Make Veggies Taste Better

Choose plant-based fats over animal fats

My hubby, who’s from Texas, grew up eating not just plenty of meat, but also meals made with other animal-based fats, like butter, and bacon grease, as well as lots of dairy-based sauces. While he still eats these foods once in a while, he now prefers veggies sautéed in olive oil or dressed with EVOO and balsamic vinegar, as well as guacamole instead of sour cream, and sauces made from tahini (sesame seed paste) or nut butter—all staples for many vegetarians.

The switch has helped him lose weight, up his energy, and improve his health, and I see the same with many of my clients. Plant-based fats have been shown to reduce inflammation, a known trigger of premature aging and diseases, including obesity, and even help boost weight control and whittle waistlines—even without cutting calories (check out my previous post 5 Amazing Powers of Avocado). Make the switch more often yourself and monitor how you feel, as well as how your jeans fit.

Read more: 14 Best Vegetarian Protein Sources

Make “pulses” your protein

Pulses are my current obsession. Eating at least one serving a day is the cornerstone of my latest book Slim Down Now, and I truly believe that pulses are the most underrated superfoods on the planet. Pulses include beans, peas (e.g. chickpeas, black eyed peas), and lentils, and in numerous studies, eating more of them has been tied to weight loss, less belly fat, appetite suppression, a better overall nutrient intake, and a lowered risk of diabetes and heart disease. Vegetarians often opt for pulses as their protein source and there are plenty of delicious ways to enjoy them, including lentil or split pea soup, black bean tacos, and hummus.

Pea protein powder, also a pulse, is also becoming a hot plant-based protein. I love to whip it into smoothies, and use it as a protein-booster in oatmeal. In addition to providing protein, pulses are rich in filling, blood-sugar regulating fiber, as well as resistant starch, a unique kind of carb that’s been shown to naturally up your body’s fat-burning furnace. Pulses also pack antioxidant levels that rival berries, and they’re satisfying without making you feel sluggish. This Friday or any day, trade the meat in a meal for a serving of pulse, like cannellini beans, lentils, or oven-roasted chickpeas—they’ll fill you up while helping you slim down and stay healthy.

Read more: 9 Reasons You Should Eat More Beans

Snack on plants

While there are “junk food vegetarians,” many veg-heads make whole, plant-based foods their focus, including at snack time. Great options anyone can reach for include raw veggies with hummus or guacamole, fresh fruit with nuts, seeds or nut/seed butter, or a smoothie made with a plant-based “milk” (like almond or coconut) with fruit, leafy greens, and a plant-derived protein powder, such as pea or hemp. Even choosing dark chocolate over milk chocolate ups your plant-based game and boosts your antioxidant intake!


Build plants into desserts

I love baking (check out this video for my 5 healthy baking swaps) and one of my favorite challenges is to find delicious ways to sneak more plants into my splurges. I’ve added puréed spinach to vegan brownies, and in Slim Down Now I incorporate pulses into several goodies, including whipping white beans into chocolate pudding, and using garbanzo bean flour to make pumpkin spice mini muffins. Nutritionists and chefs are incorporating produce into desserts in lots of interesting ways, from tomato sorbet and chocolate eggplant cake to mushroom meringue.

Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD, is Health’s contributing nutrition editor, and privately counsels clients in New York, Los Angeles, and long distance. Cynthia is currently the sports nutrition consultant to the New York Rangers NHL team and the Tampa Bay Rays MLB team, and is board certified as a specialist in sports dietetics.

This article originally appeared on Health.com.

Read next: How the Nation’s Nutrition Panel Thinks You Should Be Eating

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TIME Exercise/Fitness

10 Reasons Your Belly Fat Isn’t Going Away

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The choices you make every day can supercharge your ability to burn belly fat

A little bit of belly fat is actually good for you: it protects your stomach, intestines, and other delicate organs. But too much fat is anything but healthy. Extra fat cells deep in your abdomen (aka visceral fat) generate adipose hormones and adipokines—chemical troublemakers that travel to your blood vessels and organs, where they cause inflammation that can contribute to problems like heart disease and diabetes. The good news? Every pound you shed can help reduce your girth. “Once women start losing weight, they typically lose 30% more abdominal fat compared with total fat,” says Rasa Kazlauskaite, MD, an endocrinologist at the Rush University Prevention Center in Chicago. Even better, the choices you make every day can supercharge your ability to burn belly fat. Here are 10 common pitfalls—and ways to undo each one.

Read more: 20 Best Superfoods for Weight Loss

You’re on a low-fat diet

To shed belly fat, it’s good to eat fat—specifically monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs). When researchers in one study asked women to switch to a 1,600-calorie, high-MUFA diet, they lost a third of their belly fat in a month. “MUFAs are satiating, so they help you eat fewer poor-quality foods,” says David Katz, MD, director of the Yale Prevention Research Center.

Belly blaster: Have a serving of MUFAs—like a handful of nuts, a tablespoon of olive oil, or a quarter of an avocado—with every meal and snack.

Read more: 9 Low-Fat foods You Should Never Eat

You’ve been feeling blue for a while

Women with depressive symptoms were far more likely to have extra belly fat, found a recent Rush University Medical Center study. That may be because depression is linked to reduced physical activity and poor eating habits.

Belly blaster: Exercise! “It improves levels of brain chemicals that regulate metabolism of fat, as well as your mood,” Dr. Kazlauskaite says. This enhances your motivation to do other things that help ward off depression, like seeing friends. But if you’re so bummed out that you don’t want to do things you used to enjoy, it’s time to seek the help of a therapist.

Your food comes from a box

Simple carbs (like chips) and added sugar (in items like sweetened drinks) cause your blood sugar to spike, which triggers a flood of insulin—a hormone that encourages your liver to store fat in your middle.

Belly blaster: Instead of focusing on cutting out junk, center your efforts on adding in healthy fare (think extra servings of vegetables at each meal). As Dr. Katz says, “Filling your tank with high-quality fuel thwarts hunger.”

You’re skimping on the miracle mineral

Magnesium regulates more than 300 functions in the body. No surprise, then, that a 2013 study found that people who consumed more of it had lower blood sugar and insulin levels.

Belly blaster: At least twice a day, reach for magnesium-rich foods such as dark leafy greens, bananas, and soybeans.

You’re hooked on diet soda

A study in Obesity found that diet soda drinkers were more likely to have a high percentage of fat in their bellies. The researchers think that diet drinkers may overestimate the calories they’re “saving,” and then overeat.

Belly blaster: If you’re not ready to kick your habit, the researchers suggest reducing the number of food calories in your diet.

Read more: 10 Reasons to Give Up Diet Soda

You love burgers

When Swedish researchers gave one group of adults 750 extra daily calories, mainly from saturated fat, and another group the same amount of calories but mostly from polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) for seven weeks, the saturated fat group accumulated two times as much visceral fat.

Belly blaster: Dine on fatty fish like salmon or trout once a week to get a good dose of PUFAs. The rest of the time, reduce your intake of red meat and opt instead for protein low in saturated fat, such as legumes and chicken.

You think girls don’t get beer guts

According to a 2013 Danish study, beer may indeed be linked with abdominal obesity. And though beer appears to have the greatest impact, wine won’t save you from a spare tire: One study found that the amount of alcohol of any type that women drank contributed to weight gain.

Belly blaster: Stick with seven or fewer alcoholic beverages a week. Light to moderate drinkers are the least likely to carry excess weight anywhere, shows a recent Archives of Internal Medicine study.

You can’t recall when you last said “om”

Menopause-related hormonal changes (which typically begin in your 40s) make it harder to shed stomach pudge—but vigorous yoga can help offset the effects. A 2012 study found that postmenopausal women who did an hour-long yoga session three times a week for 16 weeks lost more than 1/2 inch around their waists.

Belly blaster: Not a fan of Sun Salutations? “Take an hour to do something nice for yourself,” which could help control your stress hormones, advises Sheila Dugan, MD, a physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist in Chicago.

Read more: Try This Flat-Belly Yoga Pose

Your meals are beige

Brightly colored fruits and veggies are loaded with vitamin C, which reduces cortisol. What’s more, a recent study in The Journal of Nutrition showed that people who ate more of the nutrients in red, orange, and yellow produce had smaller waists as a result.

Belly blaster: Add color to your plate by topping fish with a mango salsa, or throw diced red pepper into your turkey meatballs.

Your sweat sessions don’t involve sweat

Research has shown that high-intensity interval training, or HIIT—bursts of vigorous activity followed by short periods of gentle activity or rest—boasts belly-shrinking benefits. “High-intensity exercise seems to be more effective at reducing insulin, triglycerides, and cortisol, and it burns more calories in less time, too,” notes Shawn Talbot, PhD, a fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine.

Belly blaster: If you enjoy biking or running, for example, accelerate to a pace that makes it hard to talk for two minutes; then slow down for a minute, and repeat until you’re done. Like resistance training? Try a series of moves like squats or push-ups for two minutes each with a 60-second break between them.

This article originally appeared on Health.com.

Read next: What Diet Soda Does to Belly Fat

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TIME Mental Health/Psychology

Why Certain Noises Drive Some People Totally Nuts

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The condition, misophonia, means "hatred of sound"

A primary care physician recently made an unusual confession in the New York Times: Barron H. Lerner, MD, admitted that some of the sounds his patients make, like loud yawns and sniffling, bug him. A lot.

He has misophonia—the “hatred of sound”—a condition that causes people to feel irritated, or even enraged or disgusted when they hear specific noises. The most common culprits are eating sounds (think lip smacking), hand sounds (such as pen clicking), and breathing sounds (including any activity in the nostrils).

Scientists don’t fully understand why these noises cause angst for misophonia sufferers, but early research suggests a hyperconnectivity between the auditory system and the limbic system, a part of the brain that deals with emotions, explains Dr. Lerner, a professor of medicine and population health at the NYU Langone Medical Center.

Read more: 10 Things You Should Never Do When You’re Angry

He writes that “one of the most frustrating aspects of misophonia is what I call the ‘incredulity factor.’ For years, I could not believe that my friends and relatives were not getting as upset at what I considered rude behaviors. They were getting frustrated with me for focusing on sounds they did not really hear.”

I imagine noise-sensitive folks around the country were nodding in relief as they read Dr. Lerner’s essay and discovered they weren’t alone. In the comments section, hundreds shared their own misophonic grievances, from the crinkling of a bag of chips to the grating scrape of a fork against a plate.

The response led the Times to poll its readers on the most cringe-worthy sounds of all. The top five are:

5. Kunckle cracking (8% of the vote)
4. Nail clipping (10% of the vote)
3. Nose sniffling (17% of the vote)
2. Gum chewing (18%) of the vote)
1. Soup slurping (25% of the vote)

Think you might have misophonia? Dr. Lerner says the website misophonia.com has a sample letter about the condition you can bring to your doctor, and it also has a self-test.

Read more: 12 Worst Habits for Your Mental Health

This article originally appeared on Health.com.

TIME Diet/Nutrition

The 4 Most Confusing Things About Sugar

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Some kinds are better than others

Nowadays, when people meet me and hear that I’m a dietitian, the first thing they want to know is: What’s the deal with sugar? No doubt, sugar is the diet villain du jour. You’ve probably seen some scary headlines calling sugar toxic and pointing to it as the source of all our health woes. But the real story is far more complex.

Sugar in large quantities is, in fact, a big threat to your health. For years, experts have been saying that eating too much of any food can up your diabetes risk because overeating leads to obesity, which is the real culprit behind skyrocketing rates of the disease. But recent research suggests that the sweet stuff may have a more direct impact: For every additional 150 calories of added sugar downed per person per day, the prevalence of diabetes rose by 1 percent, even after controlling for obesity, physical activity and calories from other foods, according to a large study looking at international data. When it comes to heart health, excess sugar is also suspect. People who ate the most added sugar more than doubled their risk of death from heart disease, a JAMA Internal Medicine study found.

Adding to the problem, sugar is hiding in many surprising products, such as oatmeal and peanut butter, and confusing food labels make it hard to know how much of it you’re getting. So what’s a sugar-conscious consumer to do?

Read more: 10 Easy Ways to Slash Sugar from Your Diet

Before you swear off everything from ice cream to strawberries, read my ground rules to satisfying your sweet tooth in the safest way possible.

Truth #1: Some kinds are better than others

It’s key to know the difference between the two main types of sugar.

Naturally occurring sugar is found in whole foods, such as fruit, vegetables and dairy products. These foods tend to be better for you because they deliver fiber (in the case of produce), as well as protein and calcium (in dairy) and other important vitamins and minerals.

Added sugars are anything sweet put into a food for flavor, from the sugar in store-bought ketchup to the honey you spoon into your tea. (Yes, “natural” sweeteners count.) These sugars are concentrated and mostly devoid of nutrients. Although honey, maple syrup and the like have some healthful antioxidants and minerals, they still pack hefty doses of sweetener per spoonful. This means you get a lot of pure sugar—and calories—in a small portion, making it easy to go overboard and cause big problems. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), increases in sugar intake over the past four decades parallel our expanding waistlines, and studies have connected added sugar, not the naturally occurring kind, to heart disease and diabetes.

Read more: 10 Coffee Drinks With More Sugar Than a Candy Bar

Truth #2: You have to read labels carefully

A lot of packaged foods contain both naturally occurring and added sugars. But the Nutrition Facts label lumps both kinds together, giving you one combined total. Last year, the FDA proposed separating the two to make it clearer how much of each type you’re getting, but until those changes take effect, the easiest way to tell if sugar has been added is to scan the actual ingredients list. If you see sugar grams but no sweeteners listed, then none were added. If you do see any type of sweetener—including brown sugar, cane juice, corn syrup, maltose or fructose—make sure it’s not the first thing listed. By law, ingredients must be in descending order of weight, so the higher up the added sugar, the more there is per bite. Also check for multiple types of sugar, which is a sneaky way food companies make something supersweet without telegraphing it on the ingredients list.

Read more: 16 Most Misleading Food Labels

But you can automatically slash your sugar load by ditching sweetened drinks, eating mostly whole foods instead of sugary snacks and buying more unsweetened versions of packaged foods.

Truth #3: The limits are low but doable

According to the AHA, women should have no more than 100 calories of added sugar per day (about 6 teaspoons). Yet the average woman gets 18 teaspoons a day! Most of our added sugar comes from sweetened drinks and packaged foods, and the Nutrition Facts label lists sugar in grams, not calories or teaspoons, so it’s easy to lose track. Fortunately, there’s a simple formula for counting up sugar from any source: Just remember that 1 teaspoon equals about 4 grams of added sugar. So if you add a teaspoon to your morning joe and later have a chocolate protein bar with 12 grams (3 teaspoons) of sugar, you have 2 teaspoons (8 grams) left for the day.

Truth #4: Natural doesn’t mean free-for-all

Hardly any of us are inhaling too many servings of whole fruits and vegetables. But juices, smoothies and dried fruits are another story. Recently, a client was confused when I pointed out that her 15-ounce bottle of green juice contained more than 53 grams of sugar (and nearly 270 calories!). It’s all fruits and veggies, she reasoned, so why care? One problem when you gulp your produce is that you’re getting natural sugar without fiber (and it’s fiber in fruit that slows down digestion and gives your body time to metabolize the sugar). As a result, you store the excess calories as fat. Fiber also prevents blood sugar spikes that can raise your risk of type 2 diabetes.

Dried fruit can be tricky, too; without water, the natural sugars become more concentrated. You can still enjoy it, but right-size your portion: One cup of fresh fruit equals 1/2 cup of 100 percent juice equals 1/4 cup of unsweetened dried fruit.

Now you’re in control of your sugar calories.

Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD, is Health’s contributing nutrition editor, and privately counsels clients in New York, Los Angeles, and long distance. Cynthia is currently the sports nutrition consultant to the New York Rangers NHL team and the Tampa Bay Rays MLB team, and is board certified as a specialist in sports dietetics.

This article originally appeared on Health.com.

TIME Exercise/Fitness

6 Exercise Tweaks That Make a Big Difference

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For an optimum workout, give your body the variety it needs

We always hear that it’s necessary to keep “switching it up” when it comes to our workouts. While it’s true that constantly sending a shock to the body is essential in terms of becoming stronger and seeing results, these shocks don’t have to come in the form of changing your workout completely.

Making tiny tweaks to the same exercises you’re used to doing can create needed variety in your body without forcing you to give up the moves you already know and love.

Here are 6 tiny tweaks you can try adding in to your workout routine to achieve lasting results.

Challenge your balance

Adding an unstable surface to your move of choice is one of the most challenging variations you can do to an exercise. Plus, it recruits all those smaller muscles in addition to the larger ones so your body is working double time.

The exercise: BOSU burpee

Squat down and place your hands on the edges of a BOSU balance trainer and jump your feet back so that you land in a pushup position. Lower your chest to the ground, press back up to complete a push-up, and then jump your feet back toward your hands. Pick up the BOSU and press it overhead as you explosively jump up in the air, then squat back down and place it on the ground. That’s one rep. Try to do 3 sets of 15 reps.

Read more: 3 Ways to Do a Burpee

Change the position

When it seems like standard body weight exercises just aren’t cutting it anymore or you want to send a shock to the system, try changing the position of an exercise. Change your hand position or place your body on an incline or decline. Performing the same move in a different way can make it feel brand new again.

The exercise: Decline push-up

Find an elevated surface, like a park bench or plyometric box and place your feet on top. Kneel down and get into a plank position with your hands on the ground directly underneath your wrists and your feet elevated above your heart. Start to bend your elbows wide until your collarbone almost touch the ground, and then straighten your arms. Do 15 reps.

Read more: How to Do the Perfect Push-Up

Try one side at a time

The great thing about body weight exercises is that they’re easy to tweak and adjust in so many ways to make them harder. In this case, removing a leg or arm from the exercise is a surefire way to activate muscles in a new and fun way.

The exercise: Single-leg pelvic lift (shown here on a BOSU trainer)

Lie on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Place arms at your sides, palms face down. Extend one leg up toward the ceiling with foot flexed. Engage your glutes and lift the hips up as high as you can while keeping the upper back on the floor. Hold for 2 counts and then lower hips down. Complete 10 times, then switch legs and repeat.

Read more: Butt-Lifting Move: Hip Bridge

Add a pulse

Adding a pulse at the end of an exercise is the best way to activate the fast-twitch muscle fibers of the body. If you hadn’t already been feeling the burn, you’ll be feeling it now.

The exercise: Walking lunge with pulse

Step your left leg forward and lower your body into a lunge until both knees are bent at 90 degrees. Slowly pulse up and down by about an inch 10 times. Then, push through your left heel to return to standing; that’s one rep. Repeat with the right leg, and then do 3 more sets of 10 pulses on each leg.

Read more: Triceps Extension + Rhomboid Pulse

Hold the position

Most people are so quick to rush through each exercise because they want to get it over with or they’re trying to hit a certain amount of repetitions before they tire out. But instead of focusing on reps, how about focusing on length of time held in a position? One of the main benefits of isometric training is that the body is able to activate nearly all the available motor units—something that’s usually very difficult to do. This simple tweak can seem easy but become really challenging in a matter of seconds.

The exercise: Squat hold (or wall sit)

Although isometric moves can be done with equipment as well, here we are using body weight. The squat hold can be done as a wall sit or as a free-standing squat and hold. Place your feet hip-width apart. Sink down until your thighs are parallel to the ground, knees directly over your ankles. Make sure to sit back on your heels when you squat and don’t sink below 90 degrees with this move as this actually makes it easier. When your muscles start to burn or shake, try to hold for another minute (or as long as you can) before coming up.

Read more: 18 Moves to Tone Your Butt, Thighs, and Legs

Add a weight

It should come as no surprise that adding weight can make any exercise more difficult. But even a small 2- to 5-pound dumbbell can make a big difference when you’re switching it up from the norm.

The exercise: Side plank with weight

Lie on your right side with your forearm directly under your shoulder, hand perpendicular to your body, and legs stacked. Engage your abs and the right side of your waist, lifting your hips so your body forms a straight line from head to heels. Grab a small weight with your left hand and extend your arm toward the sky, staying engaged through your core. Then scoop your left arm under your torso, twisting only from the waist up. 

Come back up; repeat 8 times, then lower body to the ground. Repeat on the opposite side.

Read more: 20 Ways to Do a Plank

For more workout ideas, check out 5 Fitness Trends That Are Having A Moment.

This article originally appeared on Health.com.

Read next: 4 Apps That Can Help You Relax, Focus and Sweat

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TIME Diet/Nutrition

5 Ancient Grains You Need to Try

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Whole grains from way, way back

The hottest new food trend is actually pretty old. Way, way old. The same whole grains grown by ancient Egyptians, Ethiopians, Aztecs, and Incas are shaking up the 21st century as they’re now appearing in staples like Cheerios and Chobani yogurt, with many more products expected to hit the shelves in 2015.

Here are five grains from long ago that you need to know about, plus what to do with each one.

Amaranth
Don’t let amaranth’s tiny size fool you. The Peruvian native is high in protein (nearly double the amount in brown rice), and offers all of the essential amino acids your body can’t make on its own—so it’s a complete protein, like meat, poultry, and eggs. It’s technically a seed, so it’s naturally gluten-free, and a perfect addition to vegan and gluten-free diets.

Try it: Pop it like popcorn in a hot, dry skillet and mix it into freshly baked granola, or stir into melted dark chocolate and freeze in mini muffin tins for a sweet, single-serve dessert.

Buy it: Arrowhead Mills whole grain amaranth ($10, amazon.com) or Bob’s Red Mill amaranth flour ($13, amazon.com)

Read more: Best Superfoods for Weight Loss

Millet
Millet was actually Asia’s staple grain before rice more than 10,000 years ago. These days, you may be more familiar with it as birdseed. It’s gluten-free and high in antioxidants and magnesium, which research suggests may help prevent and manage high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes. Since 60% of adults in the United States don’t consume the recommended amount of magnesium, millet may be just what’s missing from your healthy diet.

Try it: Serve up millet porridge instead of oatmeal or toast it in a hot skillet to bring out its nutty flavor. Sprinkle toasted grains on fresh fruit and yogurt, cereal, or salads.

Buy it: Arrowhead Mills whole millet ($4, amazon.com) or Bob’s Red Mill millet flour ($3, amazon.com)

Read more: 17 High-Protein Snacks for Weight Loss

Spelt
Spelt is a type of wheat that was pushed aside during industrialization because it was harder to grow than the wheat that’s popular now. It’s rumored that wheat-sensitive people are better able to tolerate spelt, but because it contains gluten, it’s not safe for those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. One cup of cooked whole spelt is high in fiber (helpful for weight management) and a good source of iron for vegetarians.

Try it: If you don’t like the bitter flavor of whole wheat in baked goods like muffins, you may prefer spelt flour’s sweeter, nuttier bite and lighter texture. Or toss cooked spelt berries into salads for a more filling lunch. Look for “whole spelt” on the label to ensure you’re getting the whole grain, not a refined version.

Buy it: Bob’s Red Mill organic spelt berries ($4, amazon.com) or Arrowhead Mills spelt flour ($6, amazon.com)

Read more: 5 Natural Appetite Suppressants

Teff
If you’ve ever tried Ethiopian food, you’ve had teff, which is used to make their famous spongy injera bread. It’s surprisingly high in calcium, with one cup containing as much as a half-cup of cooked spinach. Teff can also help with weight management: it’s rich in a type of fiber called resistant starch, which helps you feel more satisfied, feeds your healthy gut bacteria, and doesn’t raise blood sugar levels.

Try it: This gluten-free grain has a mildly sweet flavor (injera only tastes sour because it’s made with fermented teff), and makes a delicious hot cereal similar to farina. You can also substitute whole grain teff flour for ¼ of the all-purpose flour in a recipe.

Buy it: Shiloh Farms ivory teff ($6, amazon.com) or Bob’s Red Mill teff flour ($12, amazon.com)

Read more: 14 Non-Dairy Foods That Are High in Calcium

Kamut
An ancient cousin of modern wheat, kamut has 20-40% more protein and a sweeter, more buttery flavor. If you suffer from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a small 2014 study in the British Journal of Nutrition found that subjects eating products made with organic, semi-whole grain kamut reported a significant decrease in the severity of IBS symptoms like abdominal pain and bloating than when they ate products made with semi-whole grain modern wheat. Blood tests revealed reduced inflammation after the kamut intervention, but not after the modern wheat period.

Try it: Use whole grain kamut flour to make healthy pancakes, bread, and other baked goods or toss cooked kamut berries into a stir-fry or salad. There are many ready-to-eat products made with kamut already on the market like breakfast cereal, granola, and pasta.

Buy it: Bob’s Red Mill organic kamut ($9, amazon.com) or Bob’s Red Mill organic kamut flour ($4, amazon.com)

This article originally appeared on Health.com.

Read next: The 12 Ingredients Your Kitchen Should Never Be Without

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TIME Exercise/Fitness

5 Fitness Trends That Are Having a Moment

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These workout options won't bore you

These days, fitness trends seem to be popping up faster than you can say Fitbit. Working out has never been more scientific or sophisticated thanks to innovative class-style studios. Paying hundreds of dollars a month for luxury gyms where you typically pay extra for all the amenities you don’t use is a thing of the past.

Group classes keep your wallet fiscally fit, keep you accountable to yourself and your peers, and ensure enough variety within each workout that you never get bored repeating the same workout over and over again. Whether you’re into a large or small class, cardio or weight training, here are 5 trends that are having a moment right now.

The competitive class

If you’re a former athlete or just someone with a competitive drive, a little friendly competition could be exactly what you need to achieve your best workout. Nothing gets people motivated like knowing they’re being monitored in some way, shape, or form. People are not only encouraged by their trainers or peers during a workout, but now there are classes that offer a more detailed look at your progress in real time. Flywheel is a cycling studio that keeps you accountable with a Torqboard, a scoreboard at the front of the class that the instructor will occasionally light up during the ride allowing you to see your own metrics as well as compete with others in the class.

Orangetheory Fitness has a similar vibe in the form of treadmill/indoor rowing machines and weight training rolled into one class, where you’re hooked up to a heart-rate monitor and you can track how high or low your heart rate is on a screen at the front of the room. And, yes, trainers will call you out by name if you’re slacking. Whether you’re competing with a friend or just your own previous score, you’ll be pleasantly surprised how fast the time goes when you’re focused on getting the most out of yourself.

Read more: 24 Fat-Burning Ab Exercises (No Crunches!)

The hybrid workout

The hybrid workout is quickly becoming one of the more beloved types of sweat sessions. Most people know that the combination of weight training and cardio in the same workout can produce considerably more benefits than using either training type on its own. But what about when you throw in a lengthening or toning element like Pilates or yoga? In workouts like Pilates Plus, you get the strengthening benefits of weight training, the non-stop movement of cardio, and the muscle lengthening and postural aspect of Pilates all in a one-hour class.

Buti Yoga is a similar hybrid that fuses power yoga, tribal dance, and plyometric moves for a deep abdominal toning that works your body from the inside out. This workout will accomplish everything you need, from yoga and toning to cardio and fun dance moves. With these hybrid classes, you never get bored because you never take the same class twice. In addition to a heart pumping sweat session, they give a keen sense of community that make all women feel at home, which is something essential to accomplishing a great workout. Classes are offered in 32 states and 15 countries, from top yoga studios to internationally recognized gym chains including Hard Candy and Anytime Fitness. They also have online classes on their website.

Read more: 25 Exercises You Can Do Anywhere

The boutique class

If large class environments with people flinging sweat two inches away from you isn’t your thing, and you’re indifferent to the competition aspect, a smaller boutique class could be more your style. Unlike the mega workout conglomerate chains, these classes may take a little more research on your part. But finding that class or instructor you love will keep you coming back for more as well as give you that in-the-know feeling that makes you think your workout is the best kept secret. Most of these boutique classes are held in smaller studios and offer a more relaxed environment (without skimping on the body benefits!) Many of them incorporate props into the class. Trampoline classes are trending right now, where class goers have individual trampolines to work on. This form of exercise offers a lower impact cardio alternative to running or even cycling.

Surfset is another boutique class that takes inspiration from the real movements of surfing to create a workout that builds balance, core strength, and aerobic conditioning. They literally created a machine out of a surfboard that delivers a 45-minute, surf-inspired workout that has the same benefits of working with a BOSU trainer at the gym. No matter what sport or pastime you’re into, there’s bound to be a corresponding workout for you; you just have to look.

Read more: 3 Ways to Do a Burpee

Aerial fitness

Aerial yoga and fitness classes seem to be popping up everywhere. They are classes practiced using a set of supported fabric slings that are hung from the ceiling, wall, or other foundational apparatus. People are drawn to this form of physical conditioning because it allows them to feel like they can ‘hang’ with the Cirque du Soleil performers. Some people refer to it as the ‘accidental workout,’ because it allows people to have a fun experience while simultaneously using their entire body to keep them suspended in the air for a long period of time. It also takes a lot of mental prowess; if you don’t pay attention to the choreography of each move you might not know how to get down properly.

Read more: 3 Fat-Burning Strength Exercises

Technology

This one may not be a particular style of classes, but if fitness and technology got together, their offspring would be the thousands of fitness apps, trackers, and other online subscriptions and fitness DVDs that have grown in popularity in the last few years. The latest technological fitness trend: ClassPass. ClassPass is an online monthly membership that allows its members to take unlimited classes at the best fitness studios all over their city for $99 a month. What’s the catch? Well, you can only visit any given studio three times per month. But, this gives you the opportunity to try out numerous different studios and keep your body from hitting a plateau because you will never get bored with all the options!

This article originally appeared on Health.com.

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