Wednesday, July 29, 2020

A Woman Consumes over 4 lbs of Lipstick in Her Lifetime

A Woman Consumes over 4 lbs of Lipstick in Her Lifetime

A woman may ingest more than four pounds of lipstick in her lifetime - even more if she wears it every day. Mainstream lipsticks are composed of synthetic oils, petroleum waxes and artificial colours. Coal tar dye colours are common allergens and also carcinogenic. Lipsticks also contain amyldimethylamino benzoic acid, ricinoleic acid, fragrance, ester gums and lanolin. Some dyes can cause photosensitivity and dermatitis.

Four to nine pounds of lipstick in a lifetime. According to a report in Glamour magazine, the average woman consumes four to nine pounds of lipstick in her lifetime.

 For Healthy Vegan Lip Products, Visit:

Get a Travel Size trial kit from LIP INK® or Waxless Vegan Lip balms

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

The Best Eyeliner Color for Your Eyes

The Best Eyeliner Color for Your Eyes

OK, so which eyeliner color is best for your eyes?

As a makeup artist, I am often asked this question. So today,  I’m going to help you find out which eyeliner to wear to rock your eye color!

Let me first say that I don’t believe in any strict rules for what you can and can’t wear. I believe that the most important thing is that you feel confident in whatever makeup choices you make.

However,  there are definitely certain shades of eyeliner that will enhance your individual eye color more than others. Today I’m going to share those choices with you. I hope these makeup tips will help you find the best eyeliner color for your eyes.

To get started, let’s think about the basics of color theory, and how that might relate to choosing eye liner colors. Below is a picture of the traditional artists’ color wheel, which is a representation of how colors appear in relation to each other.

The Color Wheel

Colors that lie directly near each other on the color wheel (orange and red for example) are called analogous. When used together, analogous colors create a combination of colors that are visually harmonious.

Complementary colors are those which lie opposite each other on the color wheel (yellow and purple for example). 

Pairing complementary colors together create the most striking color combinations. This is because of the dramatic visual contrast of the colors when placed next to each other. 

Think of how dramatic red and green look together, orange and blue, and so forth. Advertisers often use complementary colors for their products to get your attention. 

If you are thinking, this is great art theory and all, but where are the makeup tips, then stick with me here… 

Because here is the secret. 

Makeup artists use color theory to work with your skin and eye colors to bring more attention to your features and enhance them. 

To apply color theory when choosing an eyeliner, first establish where your eye color would lie on the color wheel. As our eyes have many different colors within them, choose the most dominant color in your eye to begin with.
Then find the opposite, complementary color on the color wheel, and choose this as your eyeliner color.

Wearing a complementary eyeliner color will bring out the color of your eyes more than other shades because of the striking visual contrast.

The Best Eyeliner Color for Green Eyes

 Here is a picture of a model with green eyes wearing three different eyeliner colors:

In the first photo, the model is wearing black eyeliner. Black eyeliner is dramatic because of its intensity, but it really does nothing to enhance eye color

In the second photo I have added green eyeliner to the model instead. There is nothing wrong with this choice, it’s just a softer look. Wearing eyeliner near the same color as your eyes just blends in more.

To really enhance green eyes, we need to use the complementary color of red. And since true red is not a very popular eyeliner color, we choose an eyeliner from the same red-violet color family instead.

The third photo shows a wine-colored eyeliner on the model. And because of its warm, red-violet undertone, the eyeliner provides the most contrast to her eyes.

This enhances her eye color more than the first two choices. Therefore, the best eyeliner color for green eyes is red violet.

The Best Eyeliner Color for Blue Eyes

Here is the same dynamic when working with blue eyes:

The first two photos are shown with the model wearing black eyeliner and then blue eyeliner. The third is of the model wearing a warm brown eyeliner.

As the complementary color for blue would be orange, choosing a brown eyeliner with a warm orange-brown undertone will bring out her blue eyes the most.

So, the best eyeliner color for blue eyes is warm brown.

The Best Eyeliner Color for Brown Eyes

To enhance brown eyes, we need to choose the closest color to brown on the color wheel, which would be gold. To contrast gold, I chose a violet eyeliner as the third color below, comparing with black and brown eyeliners again:

As you can see, the violet eyeliner draws the most attention to the model’s eye color. Because of this, the best eyeliner color for brown eyes is violet.

The Best Eyeliner Color for Hazel Eyes

I saved hazel eyes for last because there are so many different shades of hazel eyes. Some people have hazel green eyes, some hazel gold eyes and so forth.

For hazel eyes, pick one of the colors in your eyes that is either the most dominant, or one that you would like to enhance. Then, you can use the tips above to bring out that color.

So, for example, if you have hazel green eyes, then you would use a red-violet eyeliner to bring out the green. But if you want to enhance the gold in your eyes, then you would choose a violet or blue eyeliner.

A great way to test out new eyeliner looks is by using the Marie Claire Virtual Hairstyle and Makeup Makeover tool. I highly recommend this program because you can upload your own picture to the site. Then you can try out different makeup looks without having to purchase any cosmetics first.

This is just the beginning of an exploration into color theory and how it applies to choosing your makeup colors. I hope these tips give you a starting point and will help you find the best eyeliner color for your eyes.

Monday, July 13, 2020

How to Eat Healthy on a Budget

How to Eat Healthy on a Budget
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when you consider changing your diet. It can help to focus on making one small change at a time. Don’t try to overhaul your family’s eating habits all at once — this is a recipe for failure. Instead, change one habit, food, or purchase a week and see how it goes.

1. Eat More Fruits and Vegetables
According to the Centers for Disease Control, only 1 in 10 Americans eat the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables. Eating more fruits and vegetables is an essential part of a healthy diet.

The amount of fruits and vegetables you need depends on your age, sex, and physical activity level. However, the USDA recommends that adults need 1 to 2 cups of fruit per day and 1 to 3 cups of vegetables.

There are many ways you can up your fruit and vegetable consumption.

Snack More
Slip in more fruits and vegetables during the day by eating them as snacks. Instead of pulling out a bag of chips, eat some carrots, fresh broccoli with low-fat ranch dressing, or an apple.

Drink Your Veggies
Vegetable drinks, such as V8, provide two full servings of vegetables in every 11-ounce can. Drinking a can a day is an easy way to increase your veggie intake. If the taste of V8 doesn’t appeal to you, try adding some Tabasco sauce to spice it up.

V8 is more expensive than regular tomato juice, so wait for it to go on sale and stock up when it does, or look for coupons. You can also sometimes find lower prices online through Amazon or Walmart, or at warehouse stores like Costco.

Buy In-Season
In-season produce is less expensive than food that’s grown somewhere else and then shipped to the store. Epicurious has a useful map that shows in-season fruits and vegetables in your area. Refer to it before you head to the store.

Use Frozen Produce
According to a report by NPR, frozen fruits and vegetables are just as healthy as fresh produce. They also have a much longer shelf-life, which is a huge benefit for busy families who don’t have time to make frequent trips to the store to buy fresh produce.

Another benefit is that frozen fruits and vegetables often go on sale. If you invest in a stand-alone freezer, you can stock up on frozen items when they go on sale and save even more.

You can also save money if you balance fresh and frozen produce around the seasons. For instance, it’s often less expensive to eat fresh produce in the summer because it’s in-season, and some stores source these foods from local farms. It’s usually cheaper to eat frozen vegetables in the winter because much of the fresh produce that’s in stock has to be shipped in from warmer climates.

Pro tip: You can also plan your meals ahead and freeze enough for the entire month. MyFreezEasy will give you meal plans and show you how to successfully cut meal prep time and cost.

Shop at a Farmers Market
Search for fruits and vegetables at farmers markets. Typically, prices at farmers markets are lower than what you’d pay at the grocery store, but not always. Plus, locally grown produce is often healthier because it’s fresh and often organic.

You can find many unusual items at farmers markets that you can’t find in regular stores, like wasabi radishes or kohlrabi. Trying new fruits and vegetables is fun and can make eating healthy more interesting.

To save money, try shopping at the farmers market during the last 15 to 30 minutes before they close. Many vendors will be willing to sell unsold food at a discount simply so they don’t have to take it back home or risk it going to waste.

You can also use companies like Farm Fresh To You to have organic fruits and vegetables shipped to your door any time of the year. You can save $10 off your first four boxes when you use code EATFRESH40.

2. Eat More Whole Grains
According to the USDA, any food made with oats, cornmeal, wheat, rice, barley, or other cereal grain is considered a grain product. And grains are divided into two categories: refined grains and whole grains.

Refined grains are milled to remove the bran, germ, and endosperm. Milling gives the product a finer texture, but removing the bran and germ means the product has less fiber, iron, and B vitamins. Some examples of refined grains include:

-White rice
-White flour products such as breads and pastries
-Regular pasta

Whole grains are the complete grain, which includes the bran and germ. Whole grains are a great source of fiber, and they contain many other nutrients absent in refined grains. Some examples of whole grains include:

-Wild rice
-Brown rice
-Bulgar wheat
-Whole or rolled oats
-Whole wheat
-Whole-grain barley
-Whole-grain sorghum
-Whole-grain corn
-Whole rye

According to the Mayo Clinic, eating whole grains lowers your risk of heart disease. Whole grains are full of fiber, which helps keep your digestive system healthy and moving, and they expand once inside your stomach to help you feel full. The USDA recommends that each person consumes 3 to 8 ounces of grains every day, 50% of which should be whole grains.

Make Easy Switches
There are many ways to work more whole grains into your diet. For example:

-Instead of white rice, buy brown rice
-Instead of white bread, purchase whole grain bread
-Instead of regular pasta, try whole-grain pasta
-When making pancakes or bread, substitute 50% of the white flour with whole-wheat flour
-Use old-fashioned oats instead of quick one-minute oats for your morning oatmeal
-Buy whole-grain crackers instead of white flour crackers
-Make homemade popcorn

Buy In Bulk
Many supermarkets sell whole grains in bulk, and these can be significantly cheaper than buying them bagged. Next time you’re at the store, compare the price of a prepackaged whole-grain, such as oats, to the bulk variety to see how much you can save.

Pro tip: Before you head to the grocery store, make sure you download the Ibotta or Fetch Rewards app. With these, you’ll be able to scan your grocery receipt and earn cash back.

3. Eat Healthier Proteins
The World Economic Forum reports that Americans eat more meat than any other country in the world. Many people love sitting down to a steak dinner or biting into a juicy hamburger. However, these protein sources are not only unhealthy, but they’re also expensive.

According to the American Heart Association, red meat (from beef, pork, and lamb) has more saturated fat than chicken, fish, and vegetable proteins. And our meat comes at a premium price that only keeps rising. According to CNBC, April 2020 grocery store prices rose 2.6%, the highest increase since February 1974. This jump was led mostly by the price increase in meats, poultry, fish, and eggs, which rose 4.3%, in large part due to panic-buying and supply disruptions from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The amount of protein you need varies depending on your age, sex, and activity level. And, you need less protein than you probably think. The USDA states that the average adult needs just 2 to 6.5 ounces of protein each day, or, according to Harvard Health, you need 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. See this protein calculator to figure out how much protein you need based on your age, sex, height, weight, and activity level.

While most Americans get enough protein each day, the USDA states that we need to choose leaner, healthier proteins, such as those found in fish, chicken, beans, dairy, and whole grains.

Protein hides in a lot of places you might not expect. For example:

-1 cup of milk: 8 grams of protein
-1 cup of dried beans: 16 grams of protein
-2 tablespoons of peanut butter: 8 grams of protein
-2 slices of whole-grain bread: 8 grams of protein
-1 ounce of walnuts: 4 grams of protein
-1/2 cup of cottage cheese: 16 grams of protein
-1 cup of tofu: 16 grams of protein
-5 ounces of Greek yogurt: 15 grams of protein
-1 cup of chicken: 38 grams of protein
-3 ounces of cod: 19 grams of protein

There are plenty of ways to sneak some cheaper, meatless protein into your diet and increase your daily total. You can also save money with these tips.

Go Whole
The more processed your meat is, the more expensive it’s going to be. A practical way to save money is to buy whole meats and trim them yourself.

For example, according to the USDA’s Retail Price Spreads, one pound of boneless chicken breasts cost $3.15, while a whole chicken costs $1.57 per pound. You could find an easy roast chicken recipe and have dinner on the table for half the price.

Learn What’s Lean
According to the USDA, the leanest cuts of beef are round steaks, roasts (which include eye of round, top round, bottom round, and round tip), top sirloin, and chuck shoulder. The leanest cuts of pork include pork tenderloin, tenderloin, ham, and center loin.

Check your grocery store’s sale flyer every week to see if any of these cuts are on sale.

Eat Tuna
Tuna is a good source of lean protein, and it costs less per ounce than many other meats. You can often save even more if you purchase canned tuna in bulk.

Eat More Beans and Legumes
Beans and legumes are affordable and high in protein. There are plenty of ways to incorporate more beans into your diet.

Add black beans or chickpeas to a salad.
Cook a great vegetarian chili recipe once a week.
Make black bean burgers instead of hamburgers. Pioneer Woman has a great recipe that’s delicious, cheap, and straightforward to make.
Grab your slow cooker and make some mean black bean enchiladas.
Roast chickpeas in the oven. These are an excellent replacement for chips.
For more ideas on incorporating non-meat protein into your diet, invest in a vegetarian or vegan cookbook or borrow one from the library. The classic “Veganomicon” by Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero is a great choice because most recipes are approachable and use ingredients found in most supermarkets. If you have an Instant Pot, “The Vegan Instant Pot Cookbook” by Nisha Vora offers ethnic variety and plenty of delicious, approachable recipes.

Get Out Your Slow Cooker
Your slow cooker can be an invaluable companion in the kitchen because it allows you to turn inexpensive cuts of meat, like roasts and sirloins, into delicious and healthy meals for your family. You can also purchase less meat and stretch it farther by adding more beans, vegetables, and rice.

There are plenty of easy slow cooker recipes that will help you save money and eat a healthier diet.

4. Make Homemade Sauces
It’s relatively easy and affordable to make homemade dips, sauces, salad dressings, soups, and spreads for wraps and sandwiches. When you make these items at home, you can reduce or eliminate the sodium and fat and cut the calories found in prepackaged products.

Homemade sauces and dips are inexpensive to make, and they add spice to your healthy eating plan. When you make these items as you need them, they’re fresh and better tasting. It might also help you reduce food waste because you’ll only make as much as you need or as much as you can eat within a few days.

5. Make Homemade Popcorn
This popular whole-grain snack is low in calories, high in fiber, and cheap. The loose kernels cost much less than bagged popcorn, and buying them enables you to skip the extra calories from the butter as well as the high salt content of prepackaged popcorn.

Making stove-top popcorn at home is easy and fun. My family and I use coconut oil and sea salt on our popcorn at home, and it’s far more delicious than any popcorn I’ve purchased in a bag. Try this recipe from popular food blogger Cookie + Kate to start making stove-top popcorn.

6. Make Homemade Granola
Granola is full of heart-healthy whole grains and plenty of nuts and dried fruits, which makes it a perfect breakfast or snack.

Store-bought granola is incredibly expensive, and most of the time it’s loaded with plenty of added sugar. Fortunately, it’s easy and inexpensive to make granola at home. You can also customize the recipe to reduce your sugar intake and add whatever nuts and dried fruits you like. Most of the time, you can make granola using ingredients you already have in your pantry.

Cookie + Kate’s Healthy Granola Recipe is one of the best, and there are dozens of ways to customize it. You can change out the nuts, nix or mix the sweeteners, swap the dried fruits, change up the spices, and even add extras like chocolate chips or toasted coconut. Once you see how easy and affordable it is to make homemade granola, you’ll never go back to buying it in a bag.

Tips for Making Healthier Restaurant Choices
Everyone needs a break from cooking at home, and it’s fun to go out to eat with family and friends. However, the food you eat at restaurants is often higher in calories, sodium, and saturated fats. It’s also more expensive than what you’d pay to cook the same meal at home.

However, eating out is a treat. There are ways to save money and make healthier choices when you visit a restaurant.

1. Eat Before You Go Out
Before meeting friends or family at a restaurant, have a healthy snack at home. You can stave off cravings and reduce hunger by eating an apple or a banana 30 minutes before you leave.

This tip also works well during the holiday season, when food-laden parties are scheduled every week.

2. Do Your Homework on Restaurant Options
Most restaurants have their menu readily available online, and some even have nutrition charts posted on their websites. You can also call the restaurant and ask if they have healthy or low-fat meals available.

Depending on the restaurant’s size and popularity, you may find online reviews with healthy meal suggestions. Two great websites to review include Yelp and Zomato.

Restaurant and fast food meals often contain high amounts of fat, salt, and calories. Even when restaurants reveal calorie counts for meals, USA Today reports that they often underestimate them by as much as 20%.

3. Look for a Healthy or Smaller-Portion Section on the Menu
Most restaurants have added a special section to their menus that makes finding healthy choices easier than ever. If the menu doesn’t highlight heart-healthy or low-fat options, order grilled chicken or broiled fish, and avoid fried foods and cream-based salad dressings, sauces, and soups. Your server can provide more details about healthy options on the menu.

You can also ask for a child-sized portion at many restaurants. Some restaurants, including Olive Garden, allow diners to order a lunch portion for dinner. Most restaurants offer oversized portions, so order a lunch-sized portion or a children’s meal to save money and stay on track with your healthy eating plan.

You can also save calories and money by dividing the food at a restaurant. Ask for a to-go box, and divide the food into two portions before you eat. This ensures you won’t overindulge and that you have leftovers for lunch the following day. Decline the server’s offer of a bread basket, and fill up on salad instead.

4. Go to Independently Owned Restaurants
Restaurant chains such as Denny’s, Chili’s, and Applebee’s often serve gigantic portions. You can get reasonably sized meals at smaller, independently-run restaurants. You might get a healthier meal since many smaller restaurants, especially those in bigger cities, source fresh produce locally.

Because many of the smaller restaurants use fresh, local produce, the food often tastes better. Larger chains often don’t go through the trouble and expense to source food locally. Instead, they may use lower-quality ingredients and rely on salt and fat to improve the taste of the food.

5. Practice Moderation
Restaurants often serve you more food than you need. Try to practice moderation whenever you dine out, and don’t feel pressured to eat everything. Resist bread, soup, and dessert, and eat more salad instead.

Ask your server if they can cook your meal with oil instead of butter. Try substituting french fries with a dish of fruit or a salad.

6. Try Mediterranean Restaurants
Mediterranean restaurants are a budget-conscious dieter’s best friend. Hummus, tabbouleh, whole-wheat pita bread, Greek salads, chicken kebabs, and rice are delicious, heart-healthy standard fare.

The food is high in protein and inexpensive, especially if you order appetizer portions instead of full meals. Always verify calorie counts online or in a restaurant before ordering your meal.

Final Word
Many people are looking for ways to eat healthy on a budget. Although eating healthy can be more expensive than buying less-healthy, prepackaged food, there are plenty of ways to cut costs and stick to your grocery budget.

An added benefit to healthy eating is that it can boost your immune system and give you more energy.

What healthy foods are you cooking and eating at home right now?

Monday, July 6, 2020

13 Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Workout

13 Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Workout

According to research, no one hits the gym hoping for so-so results. You go in wanting to get 100% out of every rep, run and hard-earned bead of sweat. Fortunately for you, scientists and researchers want the same thing. Here, 13 incredibly efficient strategies, courtesy of the latest research, to get the biggest benefit out of every one of your workouts.

1. Lift Weights
“If you just do cardio, you’re sabotaging yourself,” says Jacob Wilson, PhD., certified strength and conditioning specialist and associate editor of the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. “Your metabolism will actually go down, making weight loss more difficult. Resistance training, however, builds muscle to increase your metabolic rate.” That explains why, in one Harvard School of Public Health study of 10,500 adults, those who spent 20 minutes a day weight training gained less abdominal fat over the course of 12 years (compared to those who spent the same amount of time performing cardio).

2. Listen to Music
Everyone knows that your favorite tunes can fire you up for a workout, but in one Indian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology of 30 men and women, people who listened to music (especially slow music) after their workout recovered faster than did those who went sans tunes. “Music boosts the body’s levels of serotonin and dopamine, hormones that are known to foster recovery,” says Perkins . Try listening to a few of your favorite, most relaxing tracks as soon as you finish your workout. It will help your blood pressure and heart rate get back to normal and recovery happen ASAP.

3. Swap Stretching for a Dynamic Warm-Up
Don’t stretch in vain. In one Austin State University study, people who warmed up with light leg extensions and squats were able to squat with 8.36% more weight during their workout than if they had performed typical “bend and hold” stretches. Their lower bodies were also 22.7% more stable. “Think of a rubber band,” says Wilson. “If you stretch it around a lot and then pull it back to shoot it, it’s not going to go as far. The same thing happens with your muscles and tendons.” However, dynamic body-weight moves—ones that mimic the workout you’re about to perform—increase blood flow and improve your range of motion without compromising your muscles’ and tendons’ elastic properties. So for instance, if you’re about to go for a run, it’s a good idea to move through about five to 10 minutes of lunges, knee raises and leg swings before hitting the treadmill.

4. Preface Your Workout With Carbs
You might think of carb-loading as something you do to run a better marathon. But eating carbs before your workout can also help you during those intervals, according to 2013 research published in Sports Medicine. “Carbs are your body’s primary fuel for any high-intensity workout, and when your body is fueled, your body is going to put forth a better effort and get a better value, both in terms of caloric expenditure and muscle growth, than it would if you were in fasted state,” says Wilson. So even if you like your morning workouts, make sure to eat some toast or oatmeal before you head out of the door.

5. Do Intervals
Minute per minute, high-intensity intervals—periods of all-out effort interspersed with short, low-intensity “breaks”—come with more cardiovascular and fat-loss benefits than any other workout, says Wall. For instance, in one study from Human Performance Laboratory at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, people who performed a 20-minute interval workout with exercises including push-ups, burpees, squats and lunges burned an average of 15 calories per minute—nearly twice as many as during long runs. To burn similar calories, follow the workout’s protocol: Perform as many reps as possible for 20 seconds, rest for 10 seconds and repeat for a total of four minutes. Rest one minute, then repeat for a total of four rounds.

6. Drink Water
Losing just 2% of your body weight in fluids—some gym-goers sweat out 6 to 10%—can make your workout feel harder, reduce your exercise performance and reduce your body’s ability to recover after you leave the gym, according to a review from the University of North Carolina. Unfortunately, “we find that many people are dehydrated when they show up to the gym,” says Amanda Carlson-Phillips, M.S., R.D., vice president of nutrition and research at EXOS. She recommends everyone drink ½ to 1 ounce of water per pound of body-weight per day. To make sure you’re drinking enough water during your workout to replace any fluids you lose, weigh yourself both before and after a sweat session, says Carlson-Phillips. You shouldn’t be losing more than 2% of your body-weight.

7. Use Free Weights
Weight machines are great for helping gym newbies learn correct form, but once you’ve got it down, it’s time to move to free weights. Exercises using free weights like dumbbells, kettle-bells and barbells lead to greater hormonal responses compared to similar exercises performed on exercise machines, according to a 2014 Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research study. That’s largely because free-weight exercises tap a wider range of muscles. “Whenever you have to move a free weight and you don’t have anything guiding or supporting you like a machine, all of your synergistic muscles have to fire to help you,” says Holly Perkins, certified strength and conditioning specialist, author of

8. Get a Better Night’s Sleep
Quality shut-eye is vital to getting the most out of your time spent in the gym. And that goes for every night of the week. According to one 2015 Sports Medicine review, poor sleep hinders not only your exercise performance (and the number of calories you burn), but also your body’s ability to come back stronger after every workout. “Sleep drives the hormonal shifts that promote the body’s recovery to exercise,” says Carlson-Phillips. Without appropriate sleep, symptoms of over-training, including fitness plateaus, set in. Aim for seven to nine hours of sleep every single night.

9. Indulge in a Massage
That post-workout massage does more than just feel good. According to research from McMaster University in Canada, it influences genes in your muscle cells to decrease inflammation and increase their number of mitochondria, which help power exercise and recovery. It’s important to remember that your muscles don’t get fitter during your workout; they do so between your workouts as they recover and adapt to exercise, says exercise physiologist Anthony Wall, M.S., director of professional education for the American Council on Exercise. “Massage helps this process along.”

10. Drink Chocolate Milk
A recent Journal of Exercise Physiology study found that cyclists who drank low-fat chocolate milk after their workouts recovered just as well as those who drank commercial recovery beverages. That’s largely due to its 4:1 ratio of carbs to protein. The protein stimulates muscle repair, while carbohydrates replete your energy stores and even help protein get into your muscles, says Carlson-Phillips . After high-intensity or long duration workouts, try drinking a glass as soon after your workout as you can.

11. Switch Things Up
It won’t just keep you from getting bored. In a 2015 East Tennessee State University study, exercisers who performed both deep and full squats reaped greater fitness gains than those who performed only deep squats. The same holds true for any exercise variation. Performing multiple variations of an exercise changes the muscles recruited and the amount of weight you can lift, leading to greater gains than if you did the same exact movement month after month, says Wilson. While you can include multiple variations of the same exercise in a single workout (like planks and planks with one leg raised), changing those variations every month will also keep your body guessing.

12. Get a Cardio Buddy
In one Annals of Behavioral Medicine study, cyclists who exercised with a partner pedaled almost twice as long as those who rode solo. Having someone else around pushes you to perform at your best and even makes workouts feel less difficult, says Perkins . The results: You can exercise longer and harder and get more out of every trip to the gym.

13. Eat Protein Before Bed
Protein helps your muscles build back up after a workout, and for optimal fitness results, that shouldn’t stop when you’re snoozing. Luckily, research from Maastricht University in the Netherlands shows that a nighttime snack rich in casein, a slow-digesting protein, keeps amino acid and muscle protein synthesis rates elevated all throughout the night. To get the casein protein you need, Carlson-Phillips recommends eating Greek yogurt or cottage cheese after your workouts and before you turn in for the night.