Does the Atkins Diet Really Work?

For a country where adult obesity rates peak at nearly 35% (the US), the fitness industry is doing surprisingly well. As of 2015, the fitness industry represents about $85 billion in annual sales, and that figure is only expected to keep going up. With the market being what it is, many entrepreneurs are trying to take advantage of it and make a few bucks. Because of this, many new diets have been invented, bringing promises of “six pack abs,” and quick “beach-ready bodies.”

As far as diets go, the Atkins diet is probably one of the best known regimens out there. It’s been around for more than 40 years, and everyone and their mother has either heard of someone doing it, or has done it themselves. The diet was invented by Dr. Atkins, a well-known cardiologist that set out to reduce obesity, while at the same time fattening up his wallet.

For those not familiar with the Atkins diet – here is a quick breakdown. In short, the Atkins nutritional approach focuses on limiting net daily carbohydrate intake (especially of simple sugars). The idea behind the diet is that limiting your carbohydrate intake will shift the body into ketosis – a metabolic process of using ketones for energy instead of stored glucose. Dr. Atkins claims that this nutritional approach produces a metabolic advantage, as using ketones instead of glucose is less energy efficient, meaning you will burn more calories.


At first glance, the diet of fried eggs, bacon, smoked salmon, cream cheese and all the avocado you can eat, might seem appealing, but original studies have found only weak evidence of the efficacy of the diet. There have been many studies done on the Atkins diet since its rise to mainstream popularity, but most classify it as a fad diet. That said, new research suggests that there might be some truth to what doctor Atkins has been preaching all of these years.

New wisdom has debunked the “fat makes you fat” scare, and shows that lower carb diets do in fact help with the weight loss process. That said, the Atkins diet takes low carb to the next level. In order to actually enter ketosis, you need to consume less than 20 grams of carbohydrates a day. To put that into perspective, a single serving of pasta is more than twice that (44 grams per cup).

What this means is that you’ll have to make some serious sacrifices to get the body that you want. Anyone following the Atkins diet must learn to say no to delicious foods like: baked goods, pasta, fruit, starchy veggies, nuts, seeds, legumes, and even alcohol. That said, there is a lot of freedom outside of that. Since the Atkins approach focusses on heavily reducing carbohydrate consumption, your nutrition has a lot of room for protein and fats – meaning you can feast on all the butter fried steaks that you want.

No single diet is a silver bullet, and if you intend to lose (and keep off) those extra pounds, you need a shift in your mentality. Getting and staying fit is a careful game of balance between a good diet, and an active lifestyle. There are no shortcuts, but if you need a diet to get you going – the Atkins approach is about as good as any other mainstream regimen.

A Fool Proof Way to Choose The Right Foundation for your Skin

There is a reason why “beauty gurus” are so popular on YouTube – make up can be hard, especially when you’re first getting into it. When it comes to putting on your face, the most important part is the foundation. It’s like building a house, and without a solid foundation there is not much else you can do. Foundation can be tricky, though – put on too much and you look like a clown, put on too little and you look like an unpolished amature. So today, this short write-up will help you crack the foundation mystery, and hopefully answer any questions that you might have. Without further adieu, let’s begin with actually choosing a foundation.

To begin, let’s ignore the shade, and focus purely on getting the best functional match between the type of foundation and your skin. Since everyone is different, there is no set formula that you can follow, so it might take some trial and error. That said, there are a few guidelines that will definitely narrow down your search. For starters, you’ll need to figure out the type of skin you have.

If your skin is dry, you’ll want to avoid powders and opt for either a liquid or a stick foundation instead. Liquid foundation is most ideal for dry skin, as most formulations will have a moisturizing quality, giving your skin the much needed glow while at the same time combating the dryness. If you’re still not sure what you’re looking for, keep an eye out for foundations that advertise moisture.


Now, if you’re on the opposite side of the spectrum, with more oily skin than most, you’ll need to use one of two things – a powder, or an oil-free liquid. This should be self explanatory, if your skin is already oily, there is no need to get a moisturizing foundation. Instead, you’ll want to get a powder that can absorb the oils, leaving your face looking matte smooth. If you’re prone to breakouts you’ll need to hunt for a more specific foundation, ideally something that contains salicylic acid.

If your skin doesn’t fall into either category, then you have some more work to do. Combination skin requires careful planning and strategic application of a powder foundation. You’ll want to make sure to distribute more powder to where you need it most, but make sure to focus on blending it correctly so you don’t leave any visible lines.

Now that you’ve figured out what type of foundation is best for your skin, you’ll want to match it to your skin tone. Professional makeup artists can do this by eye, but you’ll need some extra help. If you’re just shopping around for your first set of foundation, you’ll need to do some tests before you buy. Grab a few colors that you think are close to your skin tone and draw a few lines on the back of your hand. Keep in mind, store lighting can be misleading so take a quick walk outside to compare. Another thing to note– make sure to give the foundation a few minutes to absorb into your skin, as the color will change as it dries.

By now, you should be able to find a foundation that’s right for you, but before you go on applying it, remember that you should never apply to un-moisturized skin. And if you’re on the drier side, you’ll also need to exfoliate before you moisturize. If your foundation doesn’t have any SPF in it, make sure to also slather some sunscreen prior to putting it on.

The Best Way To Get Rid of Flabby Arms

A lot of people, especially women, suffer from jiggly arms. Some are even embarrassed to the point of avoiding pool parties and comfortable sleeveless tops. Sure, flabby arms might be discouraging, but there’s good news – you can minimize the ‘jigliness’ if you commit.

When it comes to flabby or jiggly arms, there are two main causes, body fat and age. In short, flabby arms are a result of low skin elasticity. As we age, our skin loses its firmness, and becomes saggier as we get older. If this is the case, there is not much you can do about it, short of cosmetic surgery.

If you’re not part of the senior population, but still have flabby arms, body fat is definitely the culprit. Unfortunately, there is no way to spot reduce fat, so you can’t target your arms directly. What you can do, however, is lose body fat all around, which will eventually lead to fat loss in your arm region. There is no shortcuts here, and although it will take some work to see results, hard work will definitely pay off.

While you start eating better and exercising to lose weight, there is a bit more you can do to speed up the process. Since flabby arms are mainly jiggly around the triceps area, you can incorporate resistance training into your regimen to tone your muscles. The best part about working on your triceps, is that you can easily do it from the comfort of your own living room (assuming you have the right equipment).


To pull this off, all you need is a bench (or you can use a short stool, just be careful), and a pair of light (2.5 lb – 5 lb) dumbbells. There are three main exercises that you can do to bring out your triceps – triangle push ups, bench dips, and tricep kickbacks – we’ll go over them a bit later. One thing to keep in mind though, just working out your arms isn’t enough to ditch the flabby skin, you’ll still need to burn off that layer of fat.

With that out of the way, let’s take a look at the three exercises you can do at home. Before starting with pushups, you’ll need to figure out your physical level. If you’re new to working out, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to do a diamond push up, so start with a regular push up and use your knees if you need to. As you start to get more comfortable with these, you can progress your way up to the diamond pushup, where your hands form a “diamond” on the floor, by touching your thumbs together.

Next, give tricep kickbacks a shot. This is an incredibly easy (and effective) exercise, that nearly anyone should be able to do. Grab a light dumbbell that you feel comfortable lifting, and get to work. To set up for this exercise, bend forward at your waist while holding a pair of dumbbells by your sides. Keep your spine neutral, and bend your elbows so that your arms are parallel to the floor. Now that you’re in position, you can begin the exercise by bending and extending at the elbow.

When you’re comfortable with tricep kickbacks and diamond pushups, you can start to incorporate dips into your routine. If you’ve never done one before, these can be challenging, but don’t be discouraged if you can’t get it on your first try. Grab your bench (or a sturdy chair), sit down and begin “walking” your feet forward, with your palms on the edge of the seat. Continue to do this until your bum hangs off the bench. At this point just bend your elbows, lowering your hips towards the floor. When your elbows form a 90º angle, push yourself back up.

You should do this whole routine at least three times a week, performing three sets of 8 – 12 reps of each exercise. This easy workout regimen along with a clean diet should help tone your tricep and shed some of that unwanted arm fat in no time.

When to Know if You Should See a Dermatologist

Everybody knows that skin is the largest organ in the human body, but when it comes to skin conditions, many refuse to put up their hands and hand over the reigns to a professional. While it might feel embarrassing, in some cases seeing a dermatologist is the only way to make sure your skin is healthy. Even in cases of mild acne, a dermatologist might be more helpful than you would think. It might look mild now, but there is no guessing how bad your acne is going to get before it begins to scar. This short article will give you some tips on figuring out when it’s time to swallow your pride and see a dermatologist.

Some of the most common skin conditions like acne, wrinkles, calluses, oily or dry skin, or red bumps can usually be resolved with a few over the counter products, without a need for a dermatologist consult. That said, sometimes even the simplest of skin troubles can get out of hand, so it’s important to recognize the warning signs.

If acne is your biggest concern, and you’re noticing that no matter what you do at home it still persists it maybe it’s time to see a specialist. Most over the counter acne products contain either benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid, but sometimes they might not be enough. If you have cystic (or just stubborn) acne that persists for more than 2 to 3 months despite anti-acne product use, seeing a dermatologist is a must.

There is a slew of skin conditions other than acne that might trouble you, so it’s important to recognize those as well. For starters if you have a lot of itchy rashes that won’t go away, you might have eczema or another type of dermatitis. Some itching and rashes can be remedied by switching products, but if the issue persists you might need a prescription medication to combat the condition.


Same goes for other skin concerns that persist. For example – psoriasis, dandruff or calluses that don’t heal can become infected. At this point, these conditions will only get worse without professional help. While over the counter products will help minimize the damage, it’s unlikely that your skin will get restored to its healthy state without a doctor intervening.

On a more serious note, make sure to pay close attention to growths and moles on your body. Make it a habit to scan your entire body for new growths, and keep a close eye on the ones that you already have. If you notice your moles change shape or color, or if their diameter exceeds that of a pencil eraser, it could be a sign of melanoma. Same goes for unusual discolorations that are changing, won’t heal, or bleed. In some cases it could be nothing, but sometimes these could indicate a skin cancer, so it’s important to get a dermatologist to take a close look. These growths are no joke and shouldn’t be taken lightly. Melanoma is largely painless, so make sure to pay attention to your body and seek medical help when it’s needed.

As a good rule of thumb, when in doubt, don’t hesitate and get a medical consult; after all that’s what they are here for. Aside from seeing a dermatologist in case of an emergency, you can also make an appointment to speak to one about general skin-care information. In one visit you might be able to learn a number of ways to help prevent various skin conditions from occurring in the first place.

Can Diet Soda Really Make You Fat?

Everyone, it seems, is looking for a better way to lose weight. When soda lovers found out soda companies would be releasing low-calorie or no-calorie drinks in the 1950s, they went crazy. Assuming they could now drink soda without gaining weight, they went out and bought it by the caseload. But is that really so? Not so fast, says the internet. Two studies have become the foundation that many people have built to side against diet soda. Two investigators at Purdue University found a link between artificial sweeteners in diet soda and weight gain, but their results weren’t the most conclusive.

The Research

The-Research The first study took two groups of rats and fed them a sweet, flavored, soda-like liquid. The first group was given a liquid sweetened only by sugar. The second group was given liquid that changed from liquids sweetened with saccharin sweetener to that with real sugar. Within 10 days, the rats were exposed to high-calorie chocolate pudding. The group of rats who had eaten both artificial sweeteners and traditional sugar ate more of the pudding than the other group of rats. A separate study was also conducted. During this study the rats were fed high-calorie pudding or chocolate milk along with their regular food. The results showed that at the end of 30 days the group fed chocolate milk had gained significantly more weight. So what does this mean to you and I? Based on the first experiment, it seems that the body’s connection between sweet taste and calories is disrupted by artificial sweeteners, as they inhibit the body’s ability to judge caloric intake. Based on the second experiment, we can see that the body has trouble recognizing energy amounts delivered via liquids. In other words, researchers concluded that you gain more weight when you drink artificial sweeteners than you would drinking traditional sodas.


Complications The other issue is many people assume they can drown a Big Mac with a diet soda and not gain weight. They feel they’re doing their body a favor by not consuming traditional, high-calorie soda. That’s not the case. The calories from the hamburger and French fries remain, leading to weight gain if consumed regularly. Despite the inconsistent link between weight gain and diet sodas, there is still cause for concern. Sharon Fowler, MPH, who led a similar San Antonio study had this to say about artificial sweeteners, “I’m not convinced these sweeteners are as safe as they should be, given their widespread use, I’m concerned we’re in the middle of a giant experiment.” Until we know for sure, it might be best to avoid diet soda altogether. You don’t want to end up like the oversized rats in this study, so it might be better to just chug those eight glasses of water and leave the soda alone.

20 Most Beautiful Female Politicians

When it comes to politics, women are often a hot topic. As the United States presidential election rolls around, chances are that Hillary Clinton might become the first female president. It’s not just Hillary that’s making waves on the political scene, smart women all over the world are proving themselves worthy of power.

As more and more women enter the political circuit, we begin to see more of their photogenic faces in tabloids and on the news. This list of gorgeous politicians sets out to prove that politics doesn’t have to be bland and boring. Today, more than ever before, politics at all levels are riddled with beautiful and talented women. And if you weren’t into politics before, you will be after getting to the end of this list.

To quote Colonel Jessup from the 1992 classic, A Few Good Men, “There is nothing on this earth sexier, believe me, gentlemen, than a woman you have to salute in the morning.” If looks alone could win elections, then these women would never lose. Without further adieu, let’s jump right in with the stunning Italian Minister for Equal Opportunity, Maria Carfagna.

25 Foods You Should Never Eat Again

In this day and age we, as consumers, need to be a lot more conscious of what we put in our mouths. We are living in an age of new scientific discovery, where scientists are regularly updating the public on what is healthy. At the same time a lot of myths are being debunked, and many widely believed notions are being challenged. To make matters worse, nearly everything outside of organic stores is genetically modified and packed with mystery hormones and chemicals.

Aside from GMO’s, there are a lot of other popular foods that we need to avoid in order to maximize our health. From packaged snacks for the busy, on-the-go mom, to powdered nutrients targeted to the “fit” consumer, there is a lot out there that can do more harm than good. Take a look at your average American for example, it’s tough to be impressed when the national obesity rate is 35%, and nearly 3 in 4 men are at considered to be at least overweight.

If getting that summer body isn’t enough of a motivation, consider your health as a whole. These convenient, and readily available, meals are often times packed with potentially dangerous chemicals in order to maximize their shelf life. This article sets out to point out 25 of the worst offenders, so that you can rid your pantry of these dangerous (yet common) foods and take a step towards a more healthy lifestyle.

Top 50 Worst Oscar Dress Fails

“…and the Oscar goes to…” Every year the biggest names in the entertainment industry come together in Los Angeles to celebrate their talents and accomplishments over the past year at the glamorous Academy Awards, also known as the Oscars. While celebrities fret over nominations and speeches, millions of people around the world tune in to see their favorite actors and actresses, directors and producers, musicians, writers and crew members take home the coveted award.

Long before the awards, however, many fans tune in to watch their favorite celebrities take the red carpet in what has become an unofficial parade of fortune, fame and vanity. As reporters ask everything from “Who are you wearing?” to “Who is your date?”, stars lush over their designer gowns and dazzling jewels as they prepare for the night of the year. But, amid all of the dazzling smiles and witty comments, the fashion world is in a whirlwind as they dedicate hours of post-Oscar television to decide who was the best dressed and who was the worst.

Though everyone wants to look like a million bucks (which is easy to do as a celeb), the best-dressed celebrities at the Oscars are often the least memorable. Ask anyone who was the best-dressed at the 1996 Oscars and, more than likely, they will draw a blank! When it comes to the worst dressed, however, that’s an entirely different story! Join us as we roll out the red carpet and take a look at the top 50 worst Oscar dress fails of all time. Who will you recognize and remember? Let’s get started!

17 Celebs That Look Way Better with Glasses

Whether you call them spectacles or specs, eyeglasses, glasses or goggles, you might have never guessed that nearly 30 percent of Americans need corrective lenses. What’s even more shocking is that the majority of those people choose to wear glasses instead of contacts! Why then are so many people in a rush to get contacts or pay top dollar for corrective surgery? What’s wrong with glasses?

Thanks to childhood taunts like “four-eyes” and “geeky specs” being common on the playground, it’s no surprise that many people feel like glasses might make them look less cool or more like a dork or a dweeb. However, this may not be the case for much longer thanks to eyeglass designers who debut modern lines and celebrities who walk the red carpet looking beautiful and bespectacled. Who said glasses were dorky again?

Proving that glasses are definitely in style, some celebrities wear them to make a fashion statement while others wear them out of necessity and are far from ever being called dorks, geeks and dweebs. So, are you curious as to which celebrities looked hotter wearing their glasses than not? Let’s take a look at these 17 celebs who look way better with glasses and see if you agree!

16 Average Looking Celebs That Cashed in on Fame and Married Knockouts

What do women really want? What do they look for when it comes to their dream guy? While many women claim they’re looking for the complete package, others argue that there’s far more to their dream guy than a wallet full of money, a great personality and devilishly handsome good looks. And, to be honest, we couldn’t agree more!

While celebrities like Channing Tatum, Dwayne Johnson, Bradley Cooper and Ryan Gosling often get top billing as Hollywood’s hottest men, we couldn’t help but wonder about the regular looking Joe’s who share the spotlight. How have these average looking celebs fared when it comes to their careers and even love? You might be surprised!

Following Cupid’s arrow straight to the red carpet, concert stage and basketball court, we found 16 average (and some below average) looking men who cashed in on fame and married total knockouts! In fact, some of these regular Joe’s hit the jackpot more than once in life after marrying women most men can only dream about! Are you ready to see these “beauty and the beast” matches that are sure to make you a tad bit jealous? Let’s get started with one of music’s greatest legends!