Your Best Body

Want to keep your appetite in check? Start running. Even though exercise often makes us hungrier, certain types of workouts appear to increase hormones that cue us stop eating once our bodies have enough fuel. A study done at the University of Wyoming last year found that after walking, women overate, consuming more calories than they had burned.

Stress fractures are one of the most common injures in ballet dancers. Keep your bones strong—don’t smoke. A new study published in the Journal of Adolescent Health reports that even low or irregular amounts of smoking during girls' teenage years lowers their bone density. Adolescence is a critical time for bone growth: As much as 50 percent of your lifetime bone accrual happens during these years.

Between Nutcracker and holiday madness, it's all too easy to wear your body down and become vulnerable to colds. The moment we start sneezing, most of us instinctively reach for a glass of orange juice. A better bet? Grab a kiwi! One cup of the fruit has 273 percent of your daily vitamin C. And with 5 grams of fiber and only 100 calories, it's waistline-friendly, too.

Wish your pointe shoes were slightly less painful? Get more sleep! A recent study found that when people stayed in bed for at least 10 hours a night, by the fourth day they experienced a 25 percent decrease in pain sensitivity. Researchers think this happens because we have more pain receptors in our blood system when we're exhausted. How's that for an excuse to sleep in?

Love fruit smoothies? If you drink one to keep you going through a long day of dance, make sure it’s nice and thick. Recent research at the University of Sussex has shown that thicker drinks not only make you feel fuller more quickly, but they also keep you satiated for a longer period of time. In fact, the quality of food texture has a greater impact on your sense of fullness than either creaminess or calorie content. Next time you make a smoothie, add thick frozen fruits, like bananas or mangoes, or even fiber-rich thickeners like tara gum or spinach. You’ll feel satisfied for hours!

Forget about growing chia "pets"—that was for the 80s. Instead, sprinkle some chia onto your breakfast. As a recent article in The New York Times points out, these little seeds have recently made a comeback as a trendy health item. The nutritional buzz is more than just hype: Chia is loaded with fiber and calcium, and even offers some protein. Mostly though, it's a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, especially when eaten ground, rather than whole.

Love Thanksgiving but not the love handles that come with it? Finish your feast this Thursday with some black tea. A study in the journal Nutrition suggests that black tea may prevent your body from absorbing fat from food. The one caveat is that you have to drink it plain; milk may inhibit the fat-fighting effect.

There are so many fantastically unhealthy “health” products out there. Granola, fat-free salad dressings, yogurt that comes loaded with corn syrup. Japan just came out with the latest diet illusion: fat-blocking Pepsi Special. Yes, you read that right. The new product includes wheat dextrin, a soluble fiber that moves food through your system so quickly you can’t absorb as much fat as you usually would.

Want to keep your inner cookie monster in check this holiday season? Don't deny yourself treats—just cut them up into smaller bites so you don't go overboard. A recent study at Arizona State University found that the optical illusion of cutting up a bagel into four pieces made test subjects feel fuller; those given a quartered bagel ate less bagel, and ate less at a complimentary lunch afterwards. Fewer calories now, fewer calories later: win-win.

Are you an energy drink fiend? You might want to think twice before getting your next fix. On Monday, the FDA announced that it was investigating five deaths and a heart attack that were allegedly caused by caffeine toxicity after drinking Monster Energy.