The Checkup: Trying to Slash Belly Fat? Start By Doing This

• We’ve got a pretty good reason for you to press snooze tomorrow morning (you’re welcome): According to dietitian Rebecca Mohning, when it comes to ditching unwanted belly fat, improving your sleep habits and reducing stress should should be the first places you start, as cortisol (that’s the stress hormone) has a whole lot to do with belly fat. In her words, in the fat against belly fat, “If you’re exhausted, it’s better to sleep the extra 40 minutes than to exercise.” You heard the woman! [Washington Post]

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The Checkup: How to Stay Energized All Day (Without Downing Buckets of Coffee)

• Fall is a comin’. And while I am overjoyed about the changing leaves and the lack of strangers’ perspiration dripping onto me on the subway, I am bummed that the sunshine-filled days will soon be getting a whole lot shorter. If you’re anticipating a dip in energy, take note of these caffeine-free tricks to stay energized throughout the day. [Women’s Health]

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The Checkup: Tiny Tweaks That Set You Up for Big Weight-Loss Success

• Get ready to let out a big sigh of relief: If you’re looking to lose weight, you don’t necessarily need to makeover your entire life. Making tiny tweaks — think: reorganizing your fridge, standing up straight instead of slouching (guilty), and tackling your workouts with workout buddies instead of sweating solo — can pay off big when it comes to weight loss, according to exercise scientist Ellington Darden. [Women’s Health]

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The Checkup: How to Tell If Your Breath Stinks

Bad breath happens. If you’re worried it might be happening in your mouth right this very second, breathing into your hand and sniffing won’t give you a definitive answer. Apparently, the best way to tell is your breath is smelling funky is to use a spoon to scrap your tongue, let it dry for a few seconds, then smell. Weird? Yes. Effective? Also yes. [Refinery29]

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The Checkup: Trying to Lose Weight? Do These 6 Things Before Lunch 

• Earlier, I saw a headline that read something along the lines of “20 Things to Do to Have a Healthy Night.” I thought to myself, twenty things to do just so I can go to bed? Pass. But six things — six things seems manageable enough. And if you’re trying to lose weight, checking these six tasks off your to-do list in the hours leading up to lunch is a simple way to up your weight-loss game. [Men’s Health]

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The Checkup: The Simple Trick Dietitians Swear By to Avoid Overeating 

• Raise your hand if, come lunchtime, you’re ready to shovel your entire tupperware of quinoa salad into your face in one forkful? Same. But dietitians suggest you take a different approach to ensure you don’t feel uncomfortably full and bloated for the next few hours: Halfway through your meal, take a 10-minute break. Then, after your body has had a bit of time to start digesting your meal, decide whether you are still hungry for the rest. [POPSUGAR Fitness]

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The Checkup: The Unexpected Meal to Add to Your Post-Workout Routine

• Confession: Homemade fried rice is one of my favorite lazy-night meals. And even though I always pack it with tons of veggies, I still think of the dish as somewhat of a guilty pleasure. After all, when it comes down to it, it’s fried rice. But according to nutrition experts, a brown-rice rendition actually makes for a great recovery meal after a tough workout, thanks to the combo of soy sauce (it provides a needed dose of sodium), egg (hello, protein), veggies and rice (both provide healthy carbs and dietary fiber). So if you’ve got some leftover brown rice in the fridge from your most recent delivery night, you know what to do with it. [Outside]

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The Checkup: The Trick to Cut Calories Every Single Time You Order Delivery

• We’ve all been there: You’ve been working away at your desk, incredibly focused, when all of a sudden your stomach lets out a big growl and you realize and you realize you need to eat — like, now.  You quickly call up your favorite delivery joint and order the most drool-inducing, satisfying meal you can think of. But newsflash: You should be ordering way earlier. A recent study suggests that ordering food at least an hour before you’re usually hungry could help you save in the calories department. [Futurity] Read more »

The Checkup: The Unexpected Food That’s Packed With Post-Workout Powers

• Sometimes, when my family eats out, a plate will be garnished with a flower and my mom will swallow it right down with the rest of her meal. “Mom, it’s for decoration, you don’t eat it … ” we all say. But perhaps she’s onto something. (Mom’s are always right, aren’t they?) Perhaps flowers are more than a beautiful decoration. According to science, edible flowers offer a whole host of health benefits including some serious post-workout anti-inflammatory powers. [Runner’s World] Read more »

The Checkup: The Gym Machines You Should Stop Wasting Your Time On

• Choosing a gym machine over free weights can seem like the logical choice when pumping iron at the gym. Why would you want to venture into the unknown dumbbell territory when you could stick to an exercise you are absolutely, 100-percent sure you are doing correctly? (Shoutout to those little illustrations on the side of the machines!) But turns out, these particular gym machines are wastes of time, according to fitness pros. [SELF]

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