Hum's team of Black Belt Nutritionists will assist you for free in looking and feeling better. Take our smart online quiz and one of our Nutritionists will provide you with a detailed report on how to eat and which vitamins can assist you in feeling great and looking even greater.
Eating disorder recovery isn’t easy. However, it is possible with the right help and mindset. In this article, we’ll review the signs and types of eating disorders. Then, I’ll share actionable advice in achieving better health and self-acceptance with eating disorder recovery.
the Importance of Eating Disorder Recovery
First, let’s be clear: eating disorders are extremely common. The National Eating Disorders Association estimates that 20-million women and 10-million men in the US will suffer from an eating disorder at some point. For context, around four out of 10 people will either personally experience an eating disorder – or know someone who will.
The prevalence of eating disorders is especially concerning for one big reason. Eating disorders actually have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness. Luckily, treatment for eating disorder recovery is very much possible. As much as 60 percent of people with eating disorders who seek treatment will recover. One need only commit to the process to get there.
What Does an Eating Disorder Look Like?
Here are common warning signs that you (or someone you know) may suffer from an eating disorder:
Avoids meals and social occasions that involve food
Restricts food groups or refuses to eat certain foods
Prefers to eat alone
Preoccupied with food, calories, carbohydrates, fat content, and dieting
Talks negatively about body and weight
Shares feelings of shame and guilt after eating
Frequent mirror-checking or weigh-ins
Easily upset or irritable when dieting, food, or exercise is brought up
Increased anxiety, stress, depression, mood swings, or inflexibility around eating
Still, this list is just a few of the behavioral and physical warning signs. In reality, eating disorders look different for everyone. Similarly, eating disorder recovery will vary for each person.
Types of Eating Disorders
There are several types of eating disorders, and many of them share similar characteristics. Here are some of the most widely known eating disorders and symptoms:
Anorexia nervosa is characterized by severe food restriction. It leads to significant weight loss and a decline in health. Low energy, digestive issues, missing periods, and cold intolerance are common symptoms. Intense fear of gaining weight results in food restriction. It entails an obsession with food, calories, and dieting. Also, anorexics typically display perfectionist tendencies. They may also suffer from anxiety and depression.
Bulimia nervosa entails recurring episodes of binge eating. Those afflicted may compensate with purging, over-exercising, and/or abuse of laxatives or diuretics. Weight fluctuations, dental issues, and digestive distress are all typical side effects of bulimia. Like anorexia nervosa, it’s often accompanied by a fear of gaining weight, depression, and anxiety.
Binge Eating Disorder
Binge eating disorder includes recurring episodes of compulsively consuming large quantities of food. Typically, binges are done in private. They’re associated with extreme feelings of guilt and shame. Additionally, binge eaters identify with terms like “emotional eater” and “food addict.” Large weight fluctuations, digestive distress, cyclic dieting restriction, and body dissatisfaction are all common in this disorder.
Orthorexia is marked by extreme fixation over the quality and purity of food. Orthorexics often fixate on the words “clean,” “pure,” and “healthy.” The rigidity of food preferences leads to malnutrition, weight loss, and emotional and digestive distress.
Actionable Steps for Eating Disorder Recovery
Step 1: Find Your Team
To begin with, set yourself up with the support of professionals. Work with a team of a skilled eating disorder therapist, registered dietitian, and physician. This team is critical in helping work towards weight restoration. They can help assess appropriate caloric intake and develop consistent eating patterns. Futhermore, these specialists can also help correct physical and nutritional impairments. Additionally, you’ll focus on changing body-image issues and a negative food mindset.
Step 2: Create Your Support System
Next, continue to build out your support network with friends and family. Establish which loved ones you’d like to include in your support system. Here’s why this step is so important: research shows that individuals with community support are more likely to recover from an eating disorder. For that reason, social support is an essential step to eating disorder recovery.
Step 3: Reconnect with Your Body through Mindfulness
Then, incorporate mindfulness into your eating disorder recovery. You want to work towards having non-judgmental awareness of your feelings. This is especially important around food and your body. You can foster these mindful moments by sitting down for meals and eating slowly. Pay attention to the flavors, taste, and texture of your food. Meal mindfulness can encourage your ability to recognize hunger and fullness cues. In turn, you can respond appropriately to those cues.
Step 4: Foster Compassion and Kindness
Next, it’s important to build up a positive inner dialogue with yourself. This step is crucial as you learn to set recovery-based boundaries and guidelines. Try adapting positive self-talk, self-reflection, and affirming dialogues. Although it may sound trite, even psychologists agree that affirmations can adopt proper perspectives on the self.
Step 5: Discover the Joy in Movement
Then, those in recovery must learn a balanced approach to fitness. You can find joy in movement when you can exercise without compulsive thoughts and behaviors concerning food and body image. With that said, it’s important that those in recovery are nutritionally stable. Also, they should receive medical clearance to work out, plus ongoing monitoring from their team of professionals.
Step 6: Embrace Your Body
Finally, accepting your body’s size and shape exactly as it is, is what it’s all about. All types of eating disorders affect one’s physical and emotional well-being by creating a disconnect from the body. To recover, one must learn to trust and appreciate their body. You can do so by listening to and taking care of its needs. Thus, in recovery, celebrate what your body can do for you. Let go of diet culture and the pursuit of unattainable aesthetics. Instead, focus on your body’s many strengths and capabilities.
To reiterate, it’s possible to recover from an eating disorder. Specifically, research shows that one should go a full year without harmful behaviors to best prevent relapse. However, you really have to want to recover to make progress. Again, eating disorder recovery is different for everyone. But it’s attainable if you commit to the time and work it requires. Early detection and intervention are essential for eating disorder recovery success and relapse prevention. The path to eating disorder recovery is full of ups and downs. But knowing you’re on your way to a positive, healthy, and fulfilling life makes the journey worth it.
A woman’s hormonal health is delicate. Unhealthy eating habits, high stress, and a sedentary lifestyle can all wreak havoc on your hormones. However, even women who eat healthily and get proper exercise can struggle with hormonal issues.
Keep reading for a breakdown of symptoms of hormone imbalance and the key hormones women should track. Then learn about the best vitamins for hormonal imbalance, including vitamin D and vitamin B12. Plus: herbal supplements and tips for optimal hormonal health.
hormonal imbalance Symptoms
There are many signs and symptoms of hormonal imbalance, such as:
By keeping hormones balanced, it’ll be easier to maintain healthy weight, keep a regular menstrual cycle, and have optimal energy levels.
key hormones to keep in check
Cortisol is your main stress hormone. When your body is under stress, your adrenal glands release cortisol. Many of us carry too much of this stress and don’t make time to switch it off. When cortisol levels are high for too long, you may experience greater fatigue, mood swings, and stubborn belly fat.
The pancreas secretes this fat-storing hormone that controls your body’s blood sugar levels. When you have too many blood sugar surges and dips—usually from eating too much at once or not eating enough at other times—insulin can keep you in fat-storing mode.
Thyroid hormones regulate both your body’s energy use and metabolism. If you often feel tired or sluggish, or if you witness changes in your metabolism, your thyroid might not function properly.
Estrogen is the female sex hormone that gives you female characteristics. It’s vital for your mood, weight, bones, brain, and energy. After age 35, estrogen levels can start to decline. Ensuing issues can include night sweats, irregular periods, mood swings, and anxiety.
The Best Vitamins for hormonal imbalance
We know that bad foods can cause stress on your body, elevate blood sugar, and slow your metabolism. You can stave off hormonal imbalances with the following vitamins and nutrients:
Omega-3 fish oil can positively affect hormones. Omega-3 fatty acids are necessary components of cell function and are vital in creating hormones. Without a healthy supply of omega-3s, the body has difficulty producing the hormones it needs. Instead, it relies on lower-quality fats, which in turn puts females at higher risk for inflammation-related issues. Additionally, a 2012 study found that greater consumption of omega-3s may diminish insulin resistance.
If you suffer from leaky gut syndrome or are on birth control, you might have low zinc levels. You need sufficient levels of zinc to balance your thyroid hormones. It’s also a necessary trace nutrient used to regulate the menstrual cycle and fertility. Next, zinc is a natural antimicrobial that kills bacteria and opens pores, thereby helping reduce acne. Even further, zinc can help reduce period pain, which is symptomatic of hormonal imbalance. The standard dose is typically eight milligrams per day. However, since zinc can affect copper and iron levels, it’s best to work with a health professional to determine what’s best for you.
Vitamin B12 is essential for proper nerve function. It’s mainly found in animal protein, so vegans and vegetarians are at higher risk for vitamin B12 deficiency. B12 is responsible for energy levels, memory, and learning and retaining information. Low levels can make you feel fatigued and depleted. Methylcobalamin—a form of the vitamin available in food and supplements like HUM’s B12 Turbo—is easier to absorb and retain than its counterpart, cyanocobalamin.
Herbal Supplements for Hormone Imbalance
Looking to go beyond vitamins for hormonal imbalance? There are also a number of herbs that can keep everything in check.
While vitamins and herbal remedies can certainly help, your lifestyle also plays a pivotal role in combatting hormonal imbalances. Adapt the following tips to foster optimal hormonal health:
Watch Your Stress Levels
Winding down is crucial. Many women lead hectic lifestyles, allowing their bodies little time to readjust from life’s demands. Ensuing stress can disrupt women’s natural hormone cycles. Find small ways to reset and relax, such as through meditation and other self-care rituals.
Catch Adequate ZZZ’s
Sleep allows the body to recover from any duress it may have suffered throughout the day. A lack of sleep means less recovery time, thus swinging hormones into overdrive. Try to get at least seven or eight hours of sleep each night to stave off hormonal imbalances.
Enrich Your diet for Healthy, Well-Rounded Nutrition
Incorporate more fresh, organic fruits and vegetables plus an abundance of raw nuts and seeds into your diet. Refined carbohydrates, fried foods, soft drinks, processed vegetable oil, and trans fats may all alter hormone balance.
Sweat It Out
Get moving for 45-to-60 minutes at least three times a week. Form a routine that you enjoy and can stick to on a consistent basis.
Get Some Sunshine
Giving your body a healthy helping of full-spectrum sunlight can help stabilize hormones. Go outside and take a walk around the block a couple of times a week. It’ll help get you the movement you need plus the feel-good sunshine your body craves.
If you’re a summer person, you likely spend all year looking forward to beach days and outdoor parties. However, if you spend a lot of time outside, you might find that your skin is more prone to breakouts in the summertime. How come? Thick, humid summer air mixes with dirt and oil, which then creates a veil over the skin that traps in sweat. When sweat glands get blocked and sweat beads can’t make it to the skin’s surface to evaporate, that’s when acne breakouts occur.
Wondering how you can enjoy your favorite summertime activities without annoying breakouts getting in the way? Here’s a list of tips and products to consider if you want to keep summer breakouts at bay.
Tips to prevent summer Breakouts
First things first: Changes in weather mean that you should adjust your skincare routine accordingly. You’ll want to opt for lightweight products that won’t clog your pores once you’re hit with thick summer air.
Next, washing up after a long day in the sun will also help prevent future breakouts, especially if you wear makeup. Your makeup can trap dirt, oil, and free radicals that lead to breakouts. The same goes for when you’re sweating. Whether you’re exercising or just happen to work up a big sweat while laying out by the pool, changing out of damp clothes and washing your body will help prevent acne flareups.
Need product suggestions for when the temperatures start to rise? Look no further:
When it comes to cleansers, you don’t want to use anything too harsh for a number of reasons. For starters, using a cleanser that acts as an intense exfoliator on a daily basis can result in over-washing. Over-washing strips the skin of its natural oils and can eventually lead to dryness, inflammation, and even more breakouts. Additionally, intense cleaners can cause irritation and ultimately result in sensitive skin that’s even more susceptible to sunburn.
Looking for a cleanser that’ll get rid of makeup, dirt, and impurities but won’t result in overwashing? A jelly cleanser like Belif’s Aqua Bomb Jelly Cleanser is a safe bet. Belif’s jelly cleanser is packed with glycerin-based cleansing agents that gently remove makeup and impurities via lightweight foam, while also adding bursts of moisture.
To prevent breakouts this summer, opt for a serum that’ll work with your skin to fight dirt and impurities all day long. Look for an option that contains salicylic acid as the active ingredient. Salicylic acid is a BHA (beta hydroxy acid) that cuts through pore-clogging oil. It’s a must-have to treat and prevent breakouts in acne-prone skin.
For a lightweight BHA serum that’ll battle breakouts all day long, go for The Ordinary’s Salicylic Acid 2% Solution. It’ll exfoliate the skin, fight off blemishes, and give a clear complexion while you go about your fun summer days.
You probably already know that sunscreen is one of the most important parts of any summer skincare routine. But one of the major keys to preventing breakouts is to use SPF that isn’t based in oil. Oil-based sunscreens can clog your pores even further and lead to more intense breakouts.
For a lightweight sunscreen that’ll protect your skin from the sun but still feel good on the skin, check out Glossier’s InvisIble Shield. It has a water-gel texture that melts into the skin and doesn’t leave a white cast like many other sunscreens. Fortunately, it’s light enough to be worn under makeup or by itself. The lightweight gel has an SPF of 35, so it’ll provide adequate sun protection on a daily basis.
Treat yourself to a self-care Sunday following a weekend spent in the sun. Grab a facial mask that’ll exfoliate to prevent breakouts and soothe any inflammation. With the help of the right mask, you can get your best summer glow.
Do double duty with the Pure-Clay Clear & Comfort Face Mask by L’Oreal Paris. It uses naturally derived clays to clear pores of impurities while also leaving skin smooth, soft, and calm.
Finally, while topical products are important, clear skin really does start from within. Seeking smooth and radiant skin that’s also free of blemishes? Consider taking oral supplements that’ll cleanse, detoxify, and fight off inflammation from the inside out.
HUM’s Daily Cleanse is a tried-and-true solution that’ll detox your system thanks to key botanical herbs and minerals. Next, OMG! Omega the Great helps reduce redness and promote an even skin tone with omega-3 fatty acids. Finally, you can opt for HUM’s newest skincare supplement, Skin Heroes, to simultaneously nurture your skin and gut.
July might be synonymous with Independence Day—but if you’re a beauty lover, you’re well aware that it’s also time for the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. From July 12 to 18, Nordstrom card members can gain early access to the Anniversary Sale. It goes live for all shoppers on July 19 and lasts through August 4. This year’s theme is “Glam Up!” With hundreds of exclusive makeup, skincare, fragrance, and hair care sets, you’ll surely want to go all out.
To help you navigate the season’s very best sale, we’ve rounded up our top 12 beauty picks from prestige brands like Charlotte Tilbury, T3, and, of course, HUM. Check them out below!
Top beauty Buys at the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale
Trish McEvoy Power of Makeup Planner, $230 ($575 value)
Take the stress out of packing your beauty routine by adding this fun makeup planner to your collection. It’s stocked with all the essentials you’ll need from day to night, including eyeshadow, eyeliner, mascara, lip stain, and more.
Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk Full Size Lip Kit, $60 ($78 value)
Pillow Talk lip liner and lipstick has long been the talk of the town, but now you can score the same universally flattering hue in a shiny gloss. It’s exclusive to Nordstrom and sold in this pretty pink trio.
If you love a touch of lip color but crave the hydration of a balm, it’s time to discover Dior’s cult-favorite Lip Glow. With this set, you’ll not only get the signature Glow, but also a mini Addict Lip Maximizer and full-size Addict Lacquer Stick in an exclusive Nordstrom Shade, too.
Whether you do at-home extractions, love to tweeze your own brows, or simply need help seeing your lid to execute the perfect wing tip, this magnifying mirror is here to help. The unique design offers 5x and 10x magnification, as well as the option to remove the center mirror for even closer inspection.
If you haven’t yet experienced the magic that is Le Labo fragrances, stop what you’re doing and add this Discovery Set to your bag. It comes with four of the brand’s most popular scents, all of which can be worn separately or layered together.
This celeb-fave brand is renowned for its well-made formulas and high-end prices. If you’re not ready to splurge on a full-size collection, consider introducing yourself to the brand with this travel-friendly set of favorites. It includes The Eye Concentrate, The Lifting Eye Serum, The Concentrate, and Crème de la Mer Moisturizing Cream.
Did you know that scoring your best skin and hair can be as simple as taking a few vitamins every day? Instead of ingesting chalky supplements, treat yourself to this duo of delicious gummies by HUM. In just four-to-six weeks, you’ll notice stronger, shinier strands and a glowing complexion to boot.
We fell in love with Norstrom Beauty Director Kevin Sifflet after he gave us next-level eyebrow makeovers. Now he’s back to share his five favorite beauty products for glowing skin this summer. As a beauty director, Kevin’s job is to research all the latest and greatest in skincare, makeup, and haircare—so when he has a recommendation, you can trust it’s a good one.
Kevin’s 5 Favorite Beauty Products For Glowing Skin
This intriguing device was created by BeautyBio founder Jamie O’Banion. “If Elle Woods was in skincare, it would be Jamie. She’s beautiful and also super smart.” The device combines stainless steel microneedles and LED red light therapy to rejuvenate skin. “It works by creating micro-channels inside of your skin. That way, your skincare can work so much better because it has a way to get deeper into the surface.”
“I love this product because it’s like mermaid tears on your face,” Kevin jokes. While it simply looks like the most beautiful highlighter you’ve ever seen, ARCONA’s Eye Dew Plus is actually a powerful anti-aging product. It combines active ingredients Dermaxyl® and Cavamax® with vitamin C to help reverse visible signs of aging. Use it around the eyes or on the lips.
“These taste like an Orange Julius! Remember those?” Indeed, a delicious taste, with even better benefits. These vegan gummies are packed with hyaluronic acid, vitamin C, and vitamin E to help your skin stay hydrated against the summer sun. “Hyaluronic acid holds a thousand times its weight in water, so we put that on our skin topically—but it’s also great to ingest it,” Kevin explains.
To get a sun-kissed glow without the UV damage, Kevin recommends these handy self-tanner pads. “I’m obsessed with these. When I’m filming and just want to look really, really glowy, I use these the night before. Then, I wake up and you look like I’ve been on vacation!” Not only does it deliver a streak-free tan, but also exfoliates with glycolic and lactic acid.
Last but not least: the limited-edition Glowgasm collection from Charlotte Tilbury. The Beauty Wand Highlighter is available in three different shades and has a cushion applicator for convenient highlighting on the go. Meanwhile, the Glowgasm Face Palette uses beautiful pearl pigments in four light-diffusing shades to bronze, blush, and highlight. “It’s so versatile and perfect for that summery, beachy glow,” Kevin shares.
I’ve long been on a quest for clear, matte, beautiful skin. Paired with the fact that I’m turning 30 by month’s end—and now have to contend with gravity, wrinkles, and fine lines—you could say that I’m *facing* yet another hurdle.
Always on the lookout for the best and latest treatments, my ears perked up when I first heard about microinfusion facials. Microinfusions are said to combat oily skin, produce a plumping effect, and give an overall glow to your complexion. Ever curious and intrigued by this triple-threat treatment, I had to try it out. I headed over to FACILE dermatology + boutique in West Hollywood for a consultation and microinfusion with Gabriella Gerbi, FNP, who broke down the deets on this buzzing skincare trend.
What is microinfusion?
A microinfusion treatment uses a stamping device with hairlike needles that puncture the skin to deposit a special formula of powerhouse ingredients. The cocktail includes botulinum toxin (aka Botox), fillers, and antioxidants. While Botox and fillers are traditionally injected more deeply into the skin’s surface, microinfusions deliver these ingredients only at a superficial level. Since the effects are less pronounced, microinfusions can be a good entry point for anyone new to or considering injectables.
FACILE’s co-founder and resident dermatologist, Dr. Nancy Samolitis, tested out different formulations before finding the perfect blend that offers maximum benefits. For botulinum toxin, FACILE opted to use Dysport over Botox since it has a better spread. (Aside from relaxing the skin and smoothing wrinkles, botulinum toxin is effective in treating oily skin.) Next, they chose Restylane Silk for filler since it expands more than others for an overall plumping effect. The final star ingredient is glutathione, a potent antioxidant, which creates brightness.
Who’s the ideal candidate for a microinfusion treatment?
“Microinfusion is great for anyone who wants a little pick-me-up for their skin,” says Gabriella. “It’ll help you achieve a brighter complexion and let your makeup sit better. It’s also perfect in anticipation for a special occasion. We have a lot of celeb patients who come in for microinfusion before a big event.” Gabriella notes that it takes about a week for the results to fully set in, so plan your treatment in advance.
How long do the results last?
Gabriella says that everybody gets a different outcome, but that the average treatment lasts for six weeks. However, you can get a microinfusion monthly or quarterly to keep the glow, well, glowing. “It makes sense that people will come in every three months or so because botulinum toxin only lasts about that long. However, fillers can linger for a bit longer. It also depends on how often you’re working out, what your metabolism is like, and how quickly your skin eats up the product.”
I halted upon hearing the last bit. I pretty much exclusively practice hot yoga and have developed a costly infrared sauna habit, so I asked if sweating has a major bearing on microinfusion results. To my dismay, the answer is yes. “Heat, metabolism, and circulation all factor into how long the microinfusion benefits will last,” Gabriella advises. Noooo! I’ll try my best not to sweat it, both physically and mentally.
My microinfusion experience
Aside from informing me about microinfusion and how it works, Gabriella asked what my skincare concerns were. I mentioned that skin clarity (read: zapping oil, lightening hyperpigmentation, and banishing breakouts,) was my primary focus. An anti-aging lift was the second, while bright, glowing skin was a tertiary nice-to-have. She left the room to whip up the best blend for my goals, and came back with stamper in hand. I was surprised to see that it was simple and petite, especially since I’d grown used to more complicated machinery in my quest for beautiful skin.Personally, I’m fine with needles and have a high threshold for pain, so I’m probably not the best source to weigh in on this point. However, I could feel the heat rush to my my face with each pass, and my eyes certainly welled up. Surprisingly, she also stamped my lips as well as my undereyes. Gabriella noted that I could expect a subtly plumper pout, plus a reduction in fine lines under my eyes.
The actual treatment took no more than 10 to 15 minutes. I left FACILE with pinkish skin—akin to a mild sunburn, which faded later that evening—and high hopes.
Before and After
I noticed that my lips were a bit more plump right off the bat. However, I waited a week before assessing my overall microinfusion results. While my skin isn’t completely matte, I do see less hyperpigmentation, lightened dark circles, and massive improvements in skin clarity. Furthermore, my complexion is significantly less crepey, and I can notice more volume in my cheeks. Above all, I’m happy to say that my skin now has a next-level glow that I’ve never achieved before.
Just as Gabriella mentioned, I’d recommend microinfusion for anyone seeking subtle improvements and serious radiance. It was the perfect treatment in anticipation of the big 3-0, and I’ll confidently put my best face forward when it’s time to celebrate. In the words of Post Malone, it’ll be “a moment when I show up, got ’em sayin’, wow.”
Kayla Itsine’s Bikini Body Guide (BBG for short) is a 12-week long workout program that is notorious for delivering dramatic results. It also has a reputation for being crazy hard with many people tapping out after only a few weeks. Each week consists of three strength training circuit workouts and three days of cardio. In addition to the 12-week program, there’s also a recommended four-week beginner program to acclimate to the workouts in the official program.
Curious to see if the hype was worth the sweat, two of us at HUM committed to working out with Kayla for 16 long weeks. Here were our shocking results… including a visit to urgent care.
Why did you want to try BBG?
Vanessa: I’m pretty active already but I wanted to try BBG so I could get back into a gym routine. I thought it would be a great motivator and was curious to see what results I would get.
Zena: I was all about the before & after transformations I’ve seen on Instagram. I do a lot of yoga and have dabbled in circuit training classes irregularly. But, I liked the idea of committing to a more thorough fitness program for several months to see results.
What results were you hoping to see?
Vanessa: Stronger, more muscle definition and leaner.
Zena: I was hoping for a full body transformation. Not because I don’t like my body as is. I do. But, I’ve never really worked to get toned. For a program that asks you to work out 6 days a week for 16 weeks, let’s be real. I was expecting some Britney abs circa 2001.
Did you use the app or e-book?
Vanessa: I used the app. I like it because it includes video demos of all the moves and is easy to use with music on my phone while I’m working out.
Zena: I used the e-book! I actually got it printed and bound so I could have a physical copy. It was an extra expense and bulky to carry, but really worked for me. I liked being able to flip through it and see what was coming up in the weeks ahead.
How closely did you stick to the program?
Vanessa: I modified it a bit but stuck to my own version. I’m really active in my workouts already so instead of doing the long walks Kayla recommends as cardio, I took classes at Rise Nation. For the strength training workouts, I would modify some of the workouts that required jumping, or the cable machine – which are moves I felt less safe doing.
Zena: Very closely! I even started with the four-week Beginner BBG program after reading several reviews to prime myself. Every week I did my three days of LISS and three days of strength training. If I missed a workout for any reason, I would make it up. One thing that really kept me motivated was printing a visual tracker of my BBG journey and crossing off each workout as I went.
What was your diet like during the program?
Vanessa: My diet is pretty clean. I eat lots of veggies and plant-based protein. Often, I do intermittent fasting and skip breakfast but during this program, I did start to eat breakfast again. The workouts were hard enough that if I didn’t I would be starving afterward.
Zena: This is the one area where I was not so strict. There is a BBG meal plan you can follow but I chose to do my own thing. I think it’s important to commit to one big change at a time to not overwhelm yourself. The meal plan looks like it’s a low-calorie, low-fat type deal. My typical diet is less strict. I just focus on getting a lot of variety and veggies in but I’ll indulge in a good dessert now and then.
What did you like about BBG?
Vanessa: The app was really convenient and easy to use to get a quick gym workout in without having to plan ahead much.
Zena: It’s really cost effective! I’ve paid for unlimited monthly studio memberships but they’re so expensive. Classpass is great but hard to build consistency with. This was a very happy medium at a good price. After investing in the e-book, I only needed my monthly gym membership for $50 per month to get a really satisfying workout in six days a week. It was also easy to do while traveling in hotel gyms!
What did you not enjoy about BBG?
Vanessa: Honestly, I don’t have many negatives! I guess the workouts did feel redundant after a while.
Zena: Um. Well. I tore my ACL in Week 13. So that was unpleasant. I wouldn’t blame BBG for it at all though. To be fair, I had knee surgery on the same knee ten years ago and it’s always been wonky since then. I was doing broad jump burpees and my knee just kind of gave out. Sadly, because of this I wasn’t able to finish the program. In fact, I actually had to get another knee surgery.
It was mostly disappointing because I’d made such an effort to keep up with BBG. Until that point, I was feeling so much stronger and more confident in my body. But stuff happens! And while I loved being the independence of doing this program on my own, it was a reality check into why working with professionals in a class or one-on-one setting can be good too.
What were your final results?
Vanessa: I lost an inch off my waist and def have more muscle definition in my arms so I was very happy with my results.
Zena: Honestly, hard to say! The photo above was taken after the first four weeks after completing the beginner program. I didn’t take my final measurements until two weeks after my injury and was consoling myself with lots of ice cream in that time period. My measurements were all the same, or perhaps even slightly up. But, I did see the changes in muscle definition in my arms, legs, and midsection.
Would you recommend bbg?
Vanessa: I would! Since completing this challenge, I’ve continued to use the Sweat app for my workouts.
Zena: This might sound crazy… but yes! Just maybe not the full program. Beginner BBG and the first four to eight weeks of the regular program were more my pace and I would cycle through those again in the future. After that, the workouts start to incorporate more plyometrics and jumping which now I know just doesn’t work for my sensitive joints as much.
One of the top reasons fitness plateaus occur is the simple fact that trekking to the gym every day can sometimes feel impossible—especially when you’re on vacation. But what if you could work out anytime, anywhere, at the same level as you would in a boutique fitness studio? Well, thanks to the modern obsession with technology and convenience, now you can. Here’s where on-demand online fitness programs come into play.
To help you suss out the best online workout programs, we’ve rounded up the top at-home and on-the-go sweat seshes. Stream directly from your TV, laptop, or even your phone to stay fit and motivated through summer and beyond.
A look at the Best Online fitness Programs
AKTransform On Demand
Anna Kaiser is renowned throughout the fitness industry for her next-level cardio dance workouts that bring major results. Unable to join her live classes in California, Connecticut, or New York? Then you’ll be glad to know that you can enjoy her trendy technique on demand. The program includes dozens of workouts and tons of encouragement, ensuring that you’ll feel her signature energy outside the studio.
Pricing: $99.99 for an eight-week program that combines fitness and nutrition assessments, weekly coaching, and dozens of workout plans to enjoy from anywhere Shop Now
Daily Burn 365
Tired of trying to figure out what to do when you want to sweat it out? Daily Burn 365 provides you with a new 30-minute full-body workout every day of the week to take the guesswork out of your fitness routine. Yoga, dance, and Pilates are only a few of the workouts on offer, and subscribers have access to 20+ fitness courses. Additionally, if you’re a premium subscriber, you can look forward to hundreds of “Fan Favorites” to take for a test run. Best of all, the program introduces users to a community of other Daily Burners. You can keep in touch with people all over the world who are working toward the same fitness goals.
Pricing: free 30-day trial; memberships start at $14.95 per month Shop Now
Whether you want to do cardio, core training, Pilates, yoga, meditation, strength training, barre, or Zumba, there’s a FitPASS class for you. All you have to do is purchase a membership to start sweating from the comfort of your own home. You have the option to buy just the unlimited classes on a monthly or yearly basis, or add a FitPASS heart-rate monitor to your package.
Pricing: $19.99 for monthly unlimited classes, $199.99 for yearly unlimited classes, or $379.76 for two years of unlimited classes; plus an additional $79.99 for the FitPASS heart-rate monitor Shop Now
Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Guide (BBG)
Ready to sweat your booty off? Australian fitness guru Kayla Itsines is here to help. You can choose from BBG—which we tried—or her 12-week bundle. The on-demand bundle gives you access to an exercise training plan, comprehensive meal plan (regular or vegetarian), and detailed instructions to perfect technique and form. In other words, you’ll be looking and feeling your best in just three months—all without ever having to step foot in a gym.
This one’s not so much a subscription as it is an investment in your at-home fitness routine. As the title suggests, it’s a mirror—but not just any old one. Instead, within its reflective surface, you’ll find a variety of trainers and workouts that you can enjoy in real time alongside other MIRROR users. You can choose from the likes of cardio, strength training, yoga, barre, Pilates, boxing, HIIT, and more. There are workouts for all fitness levels and goals, so you never have to worry about feeling out of your element. What’s more, the wall-mounted MIRROR comes with a Bluetooth heart-rate monitor that syncs with your workouts. You can easily track your metrics as you watch your form and build up a sweat.
I love a good schvitz. From hot yoga and sweat lodge ceremonies to vacationing in warmer climates, I always opt for turning up the temp. In my constant quest to meet—rather than beat—the heat, lately I’ve been turning to infrared saunas to get my fix.
Infrared sauna spas often market themselves as one-stop wellness shops that can promote weight loss, skin purification, and a better mood. But are their claims legit? Let’s take a look.
First, what’s an infrared sauna?
Infrared saunas use infrared (IR) light to induce heat within the body. They emit wavelengths of light that your skin absorbs via convection. From there, your core temperature rises, and that’s when the wellness benefits are supposed to kick in.
There are three types of infrared light rays: near, medium, and far. They’re differentiated by wavelength, and each is said to offer a unique advantage. However, far infrared rays are praised as the most beneficial. You’re likely to find this type at trendy infrared sauna spas from coast to coast.
Are they different from traditional saunas?
Infrared saunas differ from traditional saunas in several ways. First, standard steam saunas require pouring water over hot stones to create a heated environment. Steam saunas are thus more humid than infrared saunas. Also, standard sauna temperatures can reach as high as 195 degrees Fahrenheit. By contrast, infrared saunas only need to be heated to around 120 to 150 degrees Fahrenheit for IR light to optimally penetrate the body.
hype vs. hoax
Infrared sauna spas boast countless beauty and wellness benefits of IR therapy. But are they actually valid? Here are the verdicts:
Anti-aging: it’s a toss-up
I’m all about getting my collagen fix, so my fingers are crossed that the anti-aging claims of IR radiation ring true. But after reading a 2006 study, it’s not looking so *hot* for me. Researchers looked into the effects of IR radiation on type I procollagen and MMP-1 (interstitial collagenase) levels. One-time IR exposure showed increased levels of type I procollagen and decreased MMP-1 within 24 hours. Conversely, regular IR exposure (three times a week over four weeks) showed the exact opposite. Even further, the researchers suspect that regular IR exposure can potentially spur photoaging and connective tissue damage. Yikes! Excuse me while I do the math to see if I can balance my sweat sessions to call it a wash…
Infrared sauna brand Sunlighten sponsored a 2008 study investigating the effects of far-infrared sauna therapy on people with type II diabetes. Participants sat in an infrared sauna for 20-minute sessions three times a week over three months. The researchers found that infrared sauna benefits may extend to reducing both waist size and blood pressure. However, improvements didn’t noticeably extend to weight loss.
But the impact of sweat therapy on metabolism and calorie burn shouldn’t be totally discounted. Dr. Ward Dean, an anti-aging and life-extension expert, indicated early on that saunas do have legitimate merit.
As he writes in a 1981 letter published in the Journal of the American Medical Association: “Sweating is a part of the complex thermoregulatory process of the body involving substantial increases in heart rate, cardiac output, and metabolic rate, and consumes considerable energy.” He notes that while water weight may bounce back upon hydrating after a sauna session, calorie count won’t. He concludes: “Regular use of a sauna… may well be as effective a means of cardiovascular conditioning and burning of calories as regular exercise.” Skip a workout, bask in sauna heat, and still reap cardio and calorie-burning benefits? Sign me up!
Fatigue: potentially beneficial
Waon therapy is a Japanese far-infrared sauna experience that translates to “soothing warm therapy.” Their Research Institute conducted a 2015 study on the effects of their IR treatment for chronic fatigue syndrome. Participants sat in an infrared sauna for 15 minutes five days a week over four weeks. Their perceived levels of fatigue lowered significantly following infrared sauna treatment. They also reported leaving treatment in a better mood and with less anxiety. However, given that the study assessed only 10 participants, we should take the results with a grain of salt.
Personally, I haven’t noticed a massive difference in my fatigue symptoms following IR treatments. But I do leave feeling relaxed and restful, so that’s a plus.
Researchers at the University of Wisconsin at Madison published a 2016 study that investigated the impact of hyperthermia in treating major depressive disorder. Participants sat beside infrared lights and heating coils until their body temperature reached 101 degrees Fahrenheit. From there, they turned off the infrared devices and rested for 60 minutes. An impressive 40 percent of participants showed significantly lowered indications of depression after just one session. Moreover, they reported still feeling better six weeks following IR treatment. The researchers believe that the heat induced from infrared saunas stimulates the production of serotonin, a key neurotransmitter that regulates mood. While you shouldn’t necessarily swap your meds for infrared sauna therapy, the latter could be a good complement to combat the blues.
I’d like for all of the purported infrared sauna benefits to ring true—at the very least to justify the cost of treatment. But research backs only some claims, while others remain questionable. At any rate, since I love the heat and haven’t noticed any negative side effects, I don’t see myself giving up my infrared sauna habit anytime soon.
HUM HQ was #blessed to have an incredible team-building day on June 19. HUM staffers—including those from member services, shipping, the RD team, and more—gathered to celebrate the company and each other. A beautiful beachfront villa in Malibu was the perfect location for HUM Together, our annual summer festivity.
First, we kicked things off with a look back at HUM’s growth over the past year. Highlighting these impressive numbers was the perfect segue into the day’s agenda. Walter, our CEO, shared jaw-dropping stats in terms of boxes shipped, awards won, and team members onboarded. From there, we dove into the day’s activities. They were all based on HUM’s core values: diversity, impact, collaboration, respect, curiosity, and positivity.
HUM Together: Values and Activities
Diversity is crucial to HUM’s DNA; we prize individuality and celebrate people from all walks of life. In a discussion led by AdaPia d’Errico, each staffer voiced the highlights and challenges of their role at HUM. We learned that no matter the position, each of us had more in common than meets the eye. We then ended the session by sharing what makes each of us unique and emphasizing the value of different perspectives.
This segment was organized by HUM’s all-star customer support team. Each of our reps explained the pride and care they take in their jobs, then shared their favorite customer service reviews. Many of them highlighted meaningful exchanges, like how a rep was helpful outlining product information and subscription options. Others touched upon the empowering, positive influence of HUM products, such as how Daily Cleanse was the secret ingredient for blemish-free skin. By the end of these testimonials, it was *clear* that looking and feeling your best truly starts from within.
As they say, teamwork makes the dream work. We turned lunchtime into a collaborative activity by dividing into groups to create an Insta-worthy picnic setting. Armed with delectable bites from Malibu Farms, picnic basket staples, and of course HUM products, each team plated meals and positioned props to perfection. Our HUM community later voted on the winner via Instagram Stories. The winning picnic is featured above!
With bellies full, we began the next activity to activate our hearts. This time, we engaged in healthy competition to give back to the community. Our challenge was to build as many toiletry kits as possible within 20 minutes to donate to the LA LGBT Center’s Transgender Economic Empowerment Project (TEEP). TEEP provides resources to help members of the trans community develop professional skills and find employment. Each box included a handwritten note and prestige beauty goodies to help them look and feel their absolute best. With over 200 boxes built, we were happy to provide self-care essentials to help boost confidence in individuals transitioning. The initiative was a great marriage between HUM and the LGBT community, given our shared emphasis on dignity, empowerment, and feeling beautiful from the inside out.
We’re all about adventure and new experiences, especially when it comes to wellness. We piqued curiosity in this activation by engaging in a gentle yoga practice led by Emily Cummings, followed by a soothing soundbath by Erika Othen. Some of our staffers were new to one or both of the wellness rituals. However, it’s safe to say that we’re all craving round two already.
As if the day weren’t joyous enough, our final segment took things to the next level. We kicked off the evening with a happy hour featuring HUM’s signature cocktails, followed by a gourmet chef’s meal. Some of us splashed in the pool, took a dip in the ocean, or simply relaxed in the shade. For those of us feeling indulgent, we opted into mini facials by OSEA and massages by Massage Rx. For deeper self-exploration, we received astrology and tarot readings. HUM Together ended with trivia led by our co-founders. Finally, we headed home with a swag bag full of beauty, nutrition, and wellness goodies.
Everyone ended the day sun-kissed, smiling, and above all, feeling truly valued.