Excuses for those extra pounds? Oh, you've got good ones: Maybe you had a kid or two. Maybe an injury came between you and your Zumba addiction. Maybe you moved, switched jobs, got really busy. Or perhaps it was just the damn holiday cookies. Whatever the cause, you're eager to reclaim your shape; you're just not sure how.
Celeb trainer Tracy Anderson, 37, feels your pain. You'd never tell by looking at her rock-solid body, but 14 years ago, five-foot-tall Anderson struggled to shed the 60 pounds she gained while pregnant with her first child. "I ate everything in sight," she says. "I swam if I felt like it, or did a walk, but I had no exercise strategy or regimen." After getting back in shape, she used her experience to create The Tracy Anderson Method, an ever-changing set of exercises designed to whittle the body into shape; they helped her drop the 30 pounds she gained while pregnant with her second baby in just four months.
If I hadn't taken up running, I'm not sure how much I would weigh now—but I know it would be a lot. By the time I found the sport, I tipped the scales at more than 200 pounds. It didn't help that I had just moved to New York City, where fit, slim people surrounded me. I felt lumpy and bumpy, like America Ferrera at the beginning of Ugly Betty! So I started walking—and before long, I was running. Within a few months, I had dropped 40 pounds.
Found: my inner athlete Getting lighter made running easier and, in turn, more fun. To stay on track, I signed up for the New York City Half Marathon. I trained for 3 1/2 months, even through winter. Logging all those miles had a direct impact on my diet. The more I ran, the better I ate. I ditched meals that came in greasy paper bags (think burgers and fries) for ones that fueled my runs, such as pasta, eggplant and kale. The combination of eating clean and training hard helped me shed another 10 pounds (and gave me a pair of killer leg…
A buzzy British eating plan called the Fast Diet grabbed our attention when it jumped the pond to the United States this spring. The diet—which involves cutting your calories two days a week—was created by Dr. Michael Mosley, MBBS, a science journalist, and built on research suggesting that intermittent fasting (IF) can not only help people shed weight but also reduce their risk of heart disease and diabetes. While the concept of fasting for health benefits and weight control has been around for centuries (even Hippocrates recommended it!), it has been gaining momentum in recent months thanks to Dr. Mosley's book The FastDiet (as well as other expert-penned IF offerings, including The 2-Day Diet). Curious? Here is an exclusive excerpt of the book—along with our own version of a 500-calorie day.
Why I created this plan, by Dr. Michael Mosley, MBBS
About 15 months ago when I was 55, I went for a medical checkup and had a nasty shock. I discovered that although I looked quite slim, I …
"These runs just aren't doing it for me anymore," I griped to my husband after finishing my usual four-mile trail. For months, I hadn't felt the exhilaration I once did. Worse, my weight had begun to creep up, along with anxiety and insomnia.
"Maybe you should start cycling again," Gordon said.
"But I like to run," I responded. "It's my thing, like triathlons are yours."
"Then sign up for a half marathon," he suggested, "to push your mileage."
"Ugh." I'd given up competition years before, when I realized it sucked the joy out of running. Still, I felt an uncomfortable pang at my resistance to trying a new activity. There was a time when I had been up for anything: backpacking through the Austrian Alps, canoeing in the remote Canadian wilderness. Where had that fearless woman gone?
A few days later, Gordon came home with a grin on his face and announced, "…