PLEASE DON'T FEED THE MODELS. These five words may ring true for Janice Dickenson-type modeling agencies and "all carbs barred" magazine offices, but we're happy to say there's plenty of room for an appetite at SHAPE Magazine.
In a women's world of muffin tops and Cellulitous Rexes, it'd be silly to say that models aren't regular women like the rest of us (well, that's what we keep telling ourselves anyway).
As part of its "celebrate your body type" aura, SHAPE has joined forces with multiple sponsors to bring you their first annual Bikini Body Tour, which will hit Miami Beach's Lummus Park this Saturday. The all-day event, which starts at 9 A.M., will include 20 workout classes (all are encouraged to attend, even if you consider chip-to-mouth movements on your couch a calorie-burning measure), a fashion show previewing all the new beach-trendy looks, sponsor booths, free swag, and tons of healthy entertainment to keep you busy.
"The event is really about self-empowerment and self-confidence," enthusiastic event director John Balen said, "it's really bringing the way of SHAPE to our readers."
The workout classes, which will be led by the pros at Equinox Fitness, include July 2009 cover girl Marisa Miller's "Sexy Surfer-Body Workout" presented by Victoria's Secret. Some other front-runners are "The Skinny Jeans Workout," "Latin Fusion," and "Beach Booty Camp," among others. Who ever said working out couldn't be fun? Well, all of us, but we're hoping SHAPE will prove us wrong.
SHAPE's Executive Style Director Jacqui Stafford stresses the importance of the versatility in beauty, saying, "It's important for us to portray real women's bodies; it's important for us to tell women that you don't need an ideal body, just be the best you can be."
We'll crunch to that.
This event is 18+. Workout classes are $10 each and enthusiasts are encouraged to sign up beforehand in order to reserve a spot by going to www.bikinibodytour.com.
Cottage cheese, grandma arms, gobble neck: whatever you like to call all that jiggles on your body, we asked two SHAPE editors for their advice on how that whole nutrition and fitness thing really works. Here's the skinny on sleeping, spot-reducing, and the importance of pulling in your belly button.
As far as healthy eating is concerned, what are three staples that every girl should keep in her kitchen?
Trisha Calvo, Shape Executive Editor: Above anything else: fruits and vegetables. They are packed with nutrients, low in calories, and very filling. Most people do not get the recommended 5 to 9 servings a day. Whole grains and beans are important because they provide protein and fiber, which help you control your weight. Lean sources of protein-tofu, chicken, fish, and lean cuts of beef and pork, also help with weight loss.
Which do you think is better: sleeping in with 8 hours of sleep or waking up early to go to the gym on less than 8 hours of sleep?
TC: Studies have shown that getting enough sleep positively affects the hormones that help control weight, so adequate sleep is almost as important a weight loss tool as healthy eating and exercise. Many people find that exercising in the morning helps them stick to a regular routine because it reduces the chances that you'll be distracted and skip your workout later in the day. My advice: go to bed early, get your 7-8 hours, and get up early to hit the gym.
Which is more important: the diet or the workout?
TC: When it comes to weight loss, studies have shown that cutting calories will get you faster results than exercise alone. But exercise, of course, burns calories, helps you tone up, and build muscle. If you are exercising, you have more wiggle room in your diet. And once you lose the weight, exercise is essential in helping you keep it off. It's not really an either/or situation.
Some girls think they can lose 5 pounds in a week. What's the healthy estimate of pounds a woman can lose in one week?
TC: Unless you are extremely heavy, losing 5 pounds a week isn't really doable. Just think: you have to either burn or cut 3,500 calories to lose a pound. To drop 5 pounds in one week you'd have to burn or cut an extra 2,500 calories a day! When people drop 5 pounds in one week, most of that weight is typically water weight, not fat. Fat is what you want to lose.
What are five exercises a girl should do every day to tone-up?
Janet Lee, Shape Deputy Editor: This is tough because we don't recommend weight training every day. One exercise women can practice every day is pulling in their belly button and holding it for 30 seconds (repeat several times a day). This engages the deepest abdominal muscle, which helps pull your belly in and stabilizes your spine.
Other moves a woman should be doing 2-3 times a week include squats or lunges, which work the large muscles of the lower body. A push-up, which works your chest, shoulders, core and triceps is also beneficial. This replicates pushing movements that you do every day (pushing against a door to open it, for example). Finish your push-ups by holding at the top (rise up onto your toes if you were on your knees) for 30 seconds to a minute.
Finally, some kind of pulling movement like a row would be good. This helps strengthen the back and biceps and will help strengthen your postural muscles that help pull your shoulder blades back. You can start each set of rows by just pulling the shoulder blades together then apart 10 times.
What do you think the biggest exercise/fitness myth out there is?
JL: The fat-burning zone: in order to burn the most fat, you have to work at a low to moderate intensity for a long time. That's just not true. If you're trying to maintain or lose weight, you want to burn as many calories as possible and the best way to do that is with higher intensity exercise (where you're breathing hard). You don't want to do high-intensity work every day, but a few times a week is great. Intervals are the perfect way to do this: You go hard for 30 seconds to 2 minutes, then recover easy for the same amount of time and repeat it several times. As you get more fit, you can play with the hard/recovery interval times.
The second biggest myth is spot-reducing: You can't target where to burn fat. It will come off all over and in a pattern that is genetically programmed (you may add/lose weight first in your abs, thighs, breasts, etc.) You CAN spot tone, though, which is what we do in weight training.
What's the best fitness advice you can give me?
JL: Find an activity you enjoy and will do frequently and change up your routine often. Also, anything is better than nothing. If you have 10 minutes, do 10 minutes.