Fat Loss 

Are You Making These Common Squat Mistakes?

It’s human to err. You, myself and everyone around has made mistakes. And mistakes tend to surface while squatting too. Squatting is among the most rigorous and effective workouts for the low… Source by devolicious69

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Fat Loss 

Workout Mistakes That Sabotage Results. When you're not getting the fat loss…

Workout Mistakes That Sabotage Results. When you're not getting the fat loss or muscle gains you're seeking, it may be time to reevaluate your approach. See Source by quietcorneryour

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This Is Exactly What You Need to Eat For Breakfast to Lose Weight

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Did you know you can use the first meal of the day as a tool to lose weight? Want to know how? We’ve enlisted the expertise of two nutritionists — Stephanie Clarke, RD, and Willow Jarosh, RD, of C&J Nutrition — to share the perfect equation for how to make a scrumptious and satisfying breakfast that will help you lose weight. Follow their advice below to start seeing results.

Calories

Aim for a range between 300 and 400 calories. If you’re trying to lose weight, stick with the 300 to 350 range, and if you’re trying to maintain weight, especially if you’re working out, shoot closer to 350 to 400 calories.

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Carbs

About 45 to 55 percent of your breakfast calories should be devoted to carbs, which is about 40 to 55 grams of carbs. Skip sugary and overly processed foods or those made with enriched white flour, and choose whole grains, fruits, and veggies.

Protein

About 15 to 20 percent of your breakfast calorie amount should be protein, which works out to about 13 to 20 grams. Getting enough protein at breakfast is important for keeping you satisfied throughout the morning. And studies have shown that getting at least 20 grams of protein at breakfast may help you lose weight as well. Eggs, dairy products, soy milk, protein powder in smoothies, nuts and seeds, and whole grains are great sources of protein.

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Fats

Shoot for about 10 to 15 grams, which is about 30 to 35 percent of your total breakfast calories. Instead of saturated fats like bacon and cheese, go for monounsaturated fats (MUFAs) like olive oil, nuts and seeds and the butters made from them, and avocado.

Fiber

Aim for about 25 percent of your recommended daily total of 25 grams per day. That works out to about six grams, but it’s OK to go above that, as long as it doesn’t bother your digestive system. Berries, pears, apples, greens and other veggies, nuts, seeds, and whole grains can help you reach that goal.

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Sugars

If you follow the equation for carbs above, then you won’t have to worry about going overboard on sugars, especially if you’re eating a combination of foods like fruits, whole grains, and dairy products. But for a ballpark number to keep in mind, stick to 36 grams or fewer. And when it comes to added sugar, try not to exceed six grams — that’s about 1.5 teaspoons’ worth of any sweetener (white sugar, brown sugar, maple syrup, honey, or agave).

Timing

Ideally you should eat breakfast within 30 to 60 minutes of waking up. If you’re not keen on eating anything big first thing, split this meal up into two parts, having something light close to waking up and the other half about an hour and a half later. This also works well if you’re a morning exerciser and prefer not to have a full stomach while you work out. If you’re exercising, you can aim to have the more carbohydrate-based portion of your breakfast (fruit, toast, etc.) prior to working out and the more protein-centric portion afterward.

A Few Examples of Perfect Breakfasts

Steel Cut Oats With Fruit and Nuts: Steel cut oats not only have more fiber than an equal amount of rolled oats, but they also have more protein since you’re eating more of the original grain. Cook one-half cup steel cut oats in a mixture of one-half cup water and one-half cup unsweetened soy milk. Top with one-half cup blueberries, one tablespoon chopped walnuts, and one teaspoon drizzle of maple syrup.
Calories: 328
Total fat: 9.7 grams
Saturated fat: 1 gram
Carbs: 51.1 grams
Fiber: 7.2 grams
Sugars: 16.6 grams
Protein: 11.8 grams


Mexi-Egg Wrap: Scramble one egg and one egg white with two tablespoons black beans, one-quarter cup chopped tomato, and two tablespoons onion, until eggs are set. Stir in one cup spinach. Fill a nine-inch whole-wheat tortilla with the egg mixture and top with one-quarter of an avocado, cubed, and one tablespoon salsa. Add salt, pepper, cumin, and chili powder to taste.
Calories: 345
Total fat: 15.7 grams
Saturated fat: 3.5 grams
Carbs: 36.8 grams
Fiber 9.7 grams
Sugars: 3.2 grams
Protein: 17.4 grams


Smoothie and a Hard-Boiled Egg: Pair a carrot cake smoothie made with two medium carrots, half a frozen banana, two cups spinach, one cup unsweetened soy milk (you can use almond), half a scoop plant-based protein powder, one-eighth cup golden raisins, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. This is easy to split — have half of the smoothie before your workout, then have the rest plus the egg after the workout.
Calories: 368
Total fat: 12.6 grams
Saturated fat: 5.1 grams
Carbs: 49.5 grams
Fiber: 9.4 grams
Sugars: 25.5 grams
Protein: 25.4 grams

Breakfast Mistakes to Avoid

Skipping out: When you sleep, your body slows down while you’re not eating. So when you wake up, if you don’t break the fast (yup, that’s where the name comes from), your body will burn calories slowly. To jump-start your metabolism and get your body burning calories, you need to eat. Not fueling up also deprives your brain of glucose, which is why you feel foggy-headed and cranky. Think of breakfast as an opportunity to get your fill of valuable nutrients such as calcium, iron, and vitamin C.
Skimping: You know skipping breakfast entirely is a no-no, but not eating enough will also backfire. It’ll leave you feeling hungry soon after eating, which will cause you to need more food and can translate to more calories consumed over the course of the entire day. Stick to the formula above, and you’ll not only feel satisfied longer, but you’ll also have more energy for the workouts that can make you drop pounds even faster.
Imbalanced meal: Leaving out a key component of the breakfast formula such as avoiding all carbs or going too heavy, such as having an all-protein meal, means you’re not going to get enough satisfaction or nutrition from this first meal. Following the formula above will allow you to eat a balanced meal while also helping you see weight-loss results.

Looking to lose weight during other times of the day? Here’s what to eat for lunch, what to eat at snack time, and what to eat at dinner to lose weight.

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Health and fitness with Tiffiny Hall

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The place to come for fitness, weight loss, supplement, and just awesome health info.

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KIck-start the New Year with some fresh inspiration from our January 2017 cover model Tiffiny Hall. We chat to her about all things health, fitness and motivation.

ON THE MEANING OF FITNESS:

The meaning of fitness for me is, well, fitness with meaning. You have to train with purpose. W eight loss and changing body shape isn’t enough because weight comes and goes and body parts come in and out of fashion, like round bums. The deeper the meaning, the more powerful the motivation. For me, I train to be healthy, to live longer, to be the best I can be for my husband, to keep mentally and emotionally well and balanced and now that I’m at the age where I’m starting to think about kids, I’m training to be fit for pregnancy.

ON HEALTH AND FITNESS MISTAKES

I’ve tried every fad diet out there. I’ve experimented on my body in so many ways, always seeking the magic fix that I could pass on to my students or clients, but diet after diet, I was always let down. Nothing works, except hard work. All my years in health and fitness tell me the key is to train the mind and the mind will train the body. Trying to remedy the body first never works, or it may work but only short term. I see so many women hating themselves, hating themselves slimmer, punishing themselves, feeling guilty. I’ve learned that you can’t hate yourself healthy, you have to love yourself healthier. Self-love is sustainable, self-loathing is not. It’s only when I began to truly accept myself, respect myself and ditch the diets that I’ve found consistency, balance and inner harmony. That’s why I love the kiss and the hug, and created TIFFXO. Embracing self-love will heal and transform you. It’s about throwing out the all-or-nothing attitude, and the toxic thought patterns of ‘I’ll be happy when I reach…’, ‘I don’t deserve this’. Learn to give yourself a cuddle, forgive and move forward.

ON FITNESS/HEALTH/NUTRITION MYTHS

Food fashion, fads, myths – I’ve just had it with them! My clients always say to me, “But I’ve tried everything.”

My response is always, “Have you tried one thing consistently, for 30 days?”

There is no magic. The magic is in you. Own your power, eat well, train consistently and have fun doing it and learn to zen. If you do this every day, your body will thank you and be in the best shape of its life! You are the gift to your body. We have to stop seeking outward illusions and realise that the power is in us.

ON WORKOUT MOTIVATION

There are tricks that can help us find our mojo, but what makes motivation stick is creating a habit, just like taking a shower or a good probiotic every single day. Some days you feel it – hell, yeah! Some days you don’t – ah, well it has to be done anyway because you know you will feel phenomenal afterwards, and nobody has ever regretted a healthy meal or a workout. So for 30 days stick to something, give it meaning, make it realistic and be disciplined (sorry to use that boring word but it really does work). Motivation will get you there, but habits keep you going. I train every single day in some way, be it a stretch session or taekwondo, HIIT or tone…every day I move because I feel emotionally and mentally better for it.

Read Tiffiny’s full cover story in the January 2017 edition of Women’s Health and Fitness Magazine.

In need of some more inspiraiton? Head to our motivational section for more. 

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We Tried Cricket Chocolate Chip Cookies So You Don’t Have To

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CRICKET cookies. Yes, you read that right. Entomophagy is by no means a new practice to those of other countries, but the eating of insects is quickly gaining momentum in the Western world. They say it’s the future of low-fat, high-protein cooking. Plus, you eat the whole thing. Sustainable much?

Get this: Just 100 grams of cricket contains a whopping 12.9 grams of protein. Ounce for ounce, you get nearly twice the protein of beef. They’re also a complete protein, which means they contain all nine of the essential amino acids. It’s hard to argue with stats like that.

Still not convinced? We figured. We know these critter cookies aren’t for the faint of heart, so that’s why we gave them a try for you.

RELATED: DIY Breakfast Tarts

On one recent, fateful day in our food studios here in Birmingham, Alabama, we developed and taste-tested a recipe for chocolate chip cookies that included 2 cups of cricket flour. “Oh, whew, cricket flour. That’s not so bad,” you say? Well, we also tossed in an additional 1/2 cup of dry, roasted whole crickets with the chocolate chips just for the fun of it. So. Fun.

After shooting the video and baking the cookies, it was time to ensue the taste test. Our team of pro chefs and bakers gathered around the large tasting table and stared at the plate of bug cookies piled high in the center. The conversation went something like this:

“Yeah, these are Fear Factor cookies right here.”

“Come on guys, be brave and grab a good one. You want to see some real crickets in there.”


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RELATED: The Top 10 Newbie Cooking Mistakes

(Everyone grabs a cookie)

“I don’t think I got enough cricket.”

“No, no…the less body parts the better.”

“I want to really taste the cricket. I need more cricket.” (Grabs a different cookie)

 “That one’s a whole abdomen. Uh, yep. That’s a cricket family.”

(Counting to 3, they all take a bite simultaneously.)

“I think I can feel legs between my teeth.”

“It’s just like walnuts. Little crunch. Definitely crispy.”

“I can basically feel it, like, moving in my mouth. Hmm. It’s pretty nice.”

“Honestly, these are pretty good. They taste like normal chocolate chip cookies with a nutty undertone.”

“Just okay. They taste kind of grainy. Is that the crickets?”

“I think it’s good.”

“They taste very earthy and nutty, just like what you’d expect from a wheat flour chocolate chip cookie. I could have done without the addition of the dry, roasted crickets.”

(More thoughts later on…)

“If you just grabbed the cookie and didn’t know what it was, you honestly wouldn’t know.”

“Not the best chocolate chip cookie I’ve ever had.”

“I took them home to my 12-year-old son, and he ate it because he’s adventurous and loves trying new things. He thought they were fun. My 8-year-old daughter also tried it. She didn’t spit it out.”

“I wasn’t worried about the bugs. I knew I was about to eat a cricket cookie, so the bugs didn’t freak me out.”

Overall? Our editors actually gave these cricket cookies a thumbs up. Check out the video from the official tasting.

This article originally appeared on MyRecipes.com.

Also check out healthywithjodi.com

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5 Powerful Mantras to Help You Quiet Anxiety, Beat Self-Doubt, Manage Stress, and More

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What if you could stop worrying (or feel more confident, or less stressed) with just a few simple words? That's the premise behind Habit Changers ($22, amazon.com), a powerful little book filled with one-line mantras meant to help you reprogram your brain.

Inspired by a Tibetan Buddhist mind training practice called Lojong, author and executive coach M.J. Ryan has been using simple slogans with her clients to interrupt the habitual thought processes that hold them back. The mantras work, she writes, because they override the brain's automatic response, "help you become consciously aware of what you're doing—and serve as a reminder of what it is that you want to do." 

Below are five of these simple but profound phrases. Choose the mantras that resonate most with you, and recite as needed.

To gather courage: “Handshake your fear”

Whether you’re generally anxious or find yourself afraid in particular circumstances—like public speaking or when expressing opinions to important stakeholders at work—fear can be debilitating. Not only can it keep you from realizing your goals, but it can also prevent you from simply enjoying your day to day life. I know because I was ruled by fear for decades—and I’m not alone.

This is an issue many people talk to me about. Part of the problem is that in Western culture fear is something we’re generally taught to ignore or suppress; when we can’t, we get even more overwhelmed.

The Buddhists have a different approach. They suggest you befriend your fear, turn toward it as you would toward someone you loved who was feeling afraid: “Oh, you poor thing, I see you are afraid. You’re not alone. I’m right here with you.”

In saying this you give your fear attention, neither ignoring it nor making more out of it than there is. It sounds backward, but oftentimes, paying attention to a feeling can make it lessen or even disappear. These words can also help you to see that you’re more than your fear. Yes, there is the scared person inside you. But there is also the bold, wise part of you. Getting in touch with that wiser, braver self helps you act from confidence rather than fear—act not out of fear but in spite of it.

RELATED: Self-Compassion: The New Secret to Being Slim, Fit, and  Happy for Life

To find confidence: "Undistort the distortion"

This is an idea that Sheryl Sandberg wrote about in Lean In, and it’s based on the fact that, according to many studies across a wide range of disciplines, women are plagued by much lower self-confidence than men. This unfortunate phenomenon shows up in various ways. For instance, women consistently judge their performance as worse than it actually is, while men judge their performance as better than it is. And when it comes time to apply for a job, women don’t feel qualified enough to apply unless they match 100% of the criteria, while men through their hats into the ring if there is a 50% match.

Even when we understand this phenomenon is social, not personal, it can be very hard to change. In writing about it, Sandberg noted about herself, “I learned over time that while it was hard to shake feelings of self-doubt, I could understand that there was a distortion. … I learned to undistort the distortion.”

The words jumped off the page at me as fodder for a wonderful habit changer. Since then, women I’ve worked with have used it to recognize when they’re doubting themselves and to act in spite of their self-doubt, knowing that if they waited until they felt self-confident, they would wait forever. As one woman who used it to start her own business put it, “It helps me remember by feeling of unworthiness is a lie so I don’t have to listen to it as much.”

RELATED: 8 Promises Every Woman Should Make to Herself

To manage stress: "This is only a paper tiger"

When you’re stressed out about something, it can feel a bit like a ravenous tiger is about to devour you, right? The problem seems overwhelmingly daunting and you don’t see how you can are possibly going to cope. But there is a way out—recognizing that what you are facing is only a paper tiger, not a real one.

This doesn’t mean that there isn’t a problem, just that it’s not one that threatens your life. Neuropsychologist Rick Hanson created this metaphor to illustrate the fact that the stress response was designed to save you from physical danger—like a tiger chasing you. But your amygdala, which is where the stress responsive originates, can’t differentiate between a tiger and a traffic jam. So it responds as if a tiger were after you when you’re only stuck in line, experiencing a flight delay, or anticipating an important presentation.

Using this habit changer whenever you are stressed reminds your body/mind you’re not in mortal danger so you can clam down and figure out how to deal with that line, delay, or presentation. “This habit changer has been a life saver,” one stressed-out client said to me recently.  “It’s made it possible for me to stop, figure out if there even is a problem, solve it when needed, and then proceed with my day more calmly.”

RELATED: 25 Surprising Ways Stress Can Hurt Your Health

To quiet anxiety: “Don’t go in your mind where your body is not”

Do you constantly worry about all the terrible thing that might happen? Many of us torture ourselves with this brand of magical thinking: If I worry now, it will help keep the bad thing away.

Actually all you do is make yourself miserable now as you focus on the prospect of misfortune and the unhappiness you will feel if it occurs, which it usually doesn’t! If you’re a chronic worrier, try this habit changer, which comes courtesy of an English-as-a-second-language client of mine.

I was working with her to stop worrying about all the possible future catastrophes that could befall her and suggested that she say to herself, I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.  Soon after that we came to the end of her coaching engagement and she moved on to an overseas work assignment. A couple years later, she called me out of the blue to say how helpful it had been to learn to “not go in her mind where her body is not.” It had completely eliminated her worrying.

I was so delighted with her translation that now I give it to all my worriers. Use it to remind yourself that all worries are in the future and likely will not come to pass. You’re not there yet—it’s all happening in your mind. And if some terrible thing does indeed happen, you can deal with when it arrives.

RELATED: 19 Natural Remedies for Anxiety

To summon strength: "Look how far I’ve come”

This is a strategy long-distance runners use to resist the temptation to give up when they’re tired or in pain. Scientists call it the horizon effect. Rather than focusing on how far they still have to go, they encourage themselves to keep at it based on the progress they’ve already made.

When I have clients with a tendency to focus on their mistakes when they’re learning a new behavior, I give them this habit changer to help them cultivate the resilience to keep at it. Because of the brain’s tendency to be Velcro for the negative and Teflon for the positive, as Rick Hanson describes our inborn negativity bias, when people encounter a minor setback, they often lose sight of the progress they’ve made.

I’ll never forget the client who called me to say she was a “total failure” at managing her anger because she’d stomped down the hall after a meeting. She was ready to give up on her anger-management efforts altogether. I reminded her that it was the first time she’d lost her temper in three months, whereas before it had been a weekly occurrence. Once she adopted this habit changer, it helped her stick to the techniques she’d found useful. Plus it helped her get back on the horse when she messed up, because she was able to see it as just an occasional slip-up rather than a fundamental failure. Use this mantra when you need help sticking to whatever it is you’re’ working on.

Adapted from Habit Changers: 81 Game-Changing Mantras to Mindfully Realize Your Goals by M.J. Ryan, available from Crown Business/Crown Publishing Group.

 

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12 Horrifying True Stories of Doctors Behaving Badly

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A lot of the time, doctors say and do just the right thing and we leave happy. This story is about the other times—the ones when a highly-trained MD blurts out something so rude, cruel, clueless, or shocking you want to send them back to Bedside Manner 101. My personal favorite WTF moment was when I went to a very young gynecologist complaining of a urinary tract infection and she said, "I'd expect this more from my patients in their 20s who are still having lots of sex."

Okay, Dr. Gross-Stereotyper! Who doesn't, incidentally, know much about UTIs! 

Then there was the moment, mid C-section with son #2, when I overheard my OB instruct his student, "You have to be very careful not to nick the bladder or bowel." Yes, please! Good thing I had an epidural in me or I would have leapt right off the table.

Awkward as they were, though, my exchanges were nothing compared with these tales of physicians with absolutely no filter:

RELATED: 8 Health Mistakes Nurses Warn Their Friends About

Jo, 48, Brooklyn, NY

"When I told my Ob/Gyn (who I had been going to for years) that was I thinking of becoming a single mother he said, 'You will never date again, no man would want you.' And he said that I should take the money I had saved and 'buy a condo in South Carolina.' I didn’t stay long enough in his office to ask, 'Why South Carolina!?'"

Marian, 26, San Diego, CA

"When he was working on a filling, my (former) dentist said, 'Oops.' I think there are certain people who must remove words like 'Oops' from their vocabularies: surgeons, OB/GYNs, bridge engineers. Dentists, who literally work inside your face, fall into that category."

Elisa, 49, Mamaroneck, NY

"August, 2000, I was newly pregnant after many, many months of trying. I started bleeding. The ob/gyn on call, who was not one of my regular doctors, said to me, 'Well, if you're going to lose it, you're going to lose it.' I was hysterical. An hour later, my gastroenterologist (I have ulcerative colitis) returned my call. He calmed me down, and sure enough the baby was fine."

Laura, 31, Astoria, NY

"When my primary care doctor was unavailable, I went to another doctor in her practice. I thought I was having a heart problem (thankfully, it turned out to be a pulled sternum and exercise-induced asthma). Instead of reassuring me that my scary symptoms weren't too serious, the doctor spent an hour telling me about how she could have been an Olympic-level runner, but then became a doctor, and that she went to Harvard. I stopped listening. The brags were the opposite of good bedside manner … more like good BRAGside manner."

RELATED: The Most Annoying Things People Do at the Gym and on the Trail (According to Us)

Nicole, 23, New York, NY

"When I was getting my first ever gyno exam at age 21, I winced at the pain of her inserting the speculum, and she scoffed and said, 'Oh stop, it’s no bigger than your boyfriend.'"

Jay, 45, Carrollton, VA

"A doctor told that my heart beats too fast. He said everyone's heart has a finite number of beats and that I was fine but I was going to use my beats up faster than most other people. I believe that was the day my anxiety needed to be medicated."

Lindsey, 23, Philadelphia, PA

"When I was about 13, I had a strange rash on my arm. My mom took me to the (male) pediatrician and he was unsure what it was. He asked if I was on my period, which I was and he replied, 'Oh, well I guess it could be Toxic Shock Syndrome, but what do I know? I’m not a girl!' I couldn't believe he could be so sexist and also trivialize a serious health problem.”

Melissa, 45, San Francisco, CA

"Mid root canal, I heard the oral surgeon curse loudly enough for me to take my earbuds out, just in time to hear her say, 'I can't believe I just did that! Well, we can fix it, I guess."

RELATED: 8 Things ER Docs Refuse to Have in Their Homes

Sara, 51, New York, NY

"I have deformed, arthritic hips and went to a very famous holistically-oriented doctor to see if there was anything I could do instead of surgery. He swiftly handed me a script for 90 Oxycontin with refills. 'I don't think I need a drug addiction on top of my other problems,' I told him. 'Oh you won't get addicted,' he pshawed. This was years ago, but I don't think he ever read a newspaper."

Cathy, 39, Seattle, WA

"I was undergoing fertility treatments and feeling really hormonal from the drugs. When I told my doctor, he said, 'I think you need to get out of the house more. Why don't you get a job at the mall?' As if working at Cinnabon was the answer."

Sue, 49, Lenox, MA

"After a doctor started to perform a minor surgical procedure on me in her office, she said—after SHE was not able to control my bleeding—'You're making a mess!' And she finished with 'You might need to stay and clean up your mess.' I later found that she was let go from her previous practice for poor bedside manner."

Maureen, 37, Locust Valley, NY

"My tooth cracked. The dentist asked what caused it. I said, 'Unfortunately, I enjoy 8 blow pops a day." And he said, 'Good practice, eh?' What a creep!"

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You May Need to Replace Your Sunglasses More Often Than You Think

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Even if you love your current sunglasses, you still might need a new pair of shades. It seems sunglasses’ UV protection may deteriorate over time, and current industry tests are not sufficient for determining how long it’s safe to wear them, according to a study from Brazil.

Most Brazilians wear the same pair every day for about two years, the study notes, yet it has not been proven that lenses maintain the same level of protection after that type of exposure to ultraviolet radiation. The findings may have implications for the sunglass industry in the United States, as well. There is no current recommendation for when, exactly, people should retire their old pairs—and protecting eyes from the sun is important anywhere in the world, as UV exposure can lead to cataracts, retina damage, and other long-term eye problems and vision loss.

The new research focuses on Brazil’s system for classifying sunglasses by category, based on lens darkness and the level of UV protection offered. To be certified in one of these categories, lenses must pass a test in which they are exposed to a 450-watt sun simulator lamp for 50 hours at a distance of 30 centimeters. This is equal to two full days of average summer sun exposure, or four days of average winter sun exposure, the study authors write. However, because of Brazil’s proximity to the equator, the sun there is stronger than average. So in actuality, this test is only equivalent to 23.5 hours of sun exposure in the city of São Paulo, for example.

A previous survey found that Brazilians wear their sunglasses for an average of two hours a day for two years straight. The aging tests, the authors argue, should also be revised to reflect this.

RELATED: The Best Sunglasses for Healthy Eyes

In order to represent average consumer use throughout the country, they calculate that both the time and distance of exposure in the sun-simulator test needs to change to 134.6 hours at 5 centimeters. These calculations are specific to Brazil, the authors say, but may also be helpful for other countries at similar latitudes. (Other countries around the world have similar requirements for sunglasses.)

“It's still too soon to confirm that UV protection deteriorates over sun exposure,” study author Liliane Ventura, PhD, a professor at the University of São Paulo, wrote in an email. “If the aging test performed by sun simulator with current exposure parameters is not revised, then there are no means to guarantee that UV protection does not change over time.”

The report, published in Biomedical Engineering OnLine, suggests that in addition to UV protection, lenses’ shatterproof qualities may degrade as well.

Although the same aging standards are not used in the United States, Jeff Pettey, MD, clinical spokesperson for the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), says that the new research does make important points that could be relevant to Americans.

RELATED: 6 Mistakes You're Making With Your Contacts

“They’re suggesting that the way the industry currently tests sunglasses may not be adequate,” says Dr. Pettey. “There’s a lot we may be unaware of that happens over time—so while there is no official recommendation right now, it might make sense to consider looking for a new pair if you’ve worn the same ones regularly for a couple of years.”

If you’re really curious about whether it’s still safe to wear a pair of old favorites, adds Dr. Pettey, many eyeglass retailers can test lenses’ UV protection levels.

Until more is known, consumers can protect themselves by making sure they buy good glasses in the first place, by purchasing lenses that are labeled "100% UV protection" or "UV400." Most pairs sold in the United States offer this level of protection, Dr. Pettey says, but it’s still a good idea to confirm before purchasing. (According to a 2014 AAO survey, almost half of people shopping for sunglasses don’t think to check for this language.)

Don’t take into account factors like cost, polarization, lens color or darkness, either; these don’t necessarily make a difference in UV blockage. “Even clear lenses you’d wear with a prescription can have protection, as well; it’s not necessarily about how dark they are," says Dr. Pettey.

RELATED: 9 Worst Eye Care Mistakes You're Making

Size and fit, however, do matter. “Bigger is better if you’re outdoors doing activities for longer periods of time,” Dr. Pettey says. “If you’re skiing or out on the ocean and getting reflected UV light from all directions, larger wrap-around eyewear will certainly offer more protection.”

Ventura says that while there’s no way to know how often sunglasses should be replaced, she does recommend against buying them from locations where they’ve already been exposed to sunlight—from an outdoor stand on the boardwalk or beach, for example.

For now, Ventura and her team are conducting further tests on how sunglass lenses hold up over time, and hopes to report more definitive findings in the near future. “We are willing (and have proposed an effective method) to know how long UV protection lasts,” she says. “It's a wake-up call for the sunglasses standards to be revised.”

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6 Mistakes You're Making With Your Contacts

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Proper contact lens hygiene is nothing to roll your eyes at: A new government report warns that bad habits (like wearing your lenses to bed) can lead to eye infections and possibly permanent injuries. 

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) examined more than 1,000 cases of contact lens-related infections reported to a federal database over the last decade, and found that nearly 1 in 5 of those infections resulted in eye damage—either a decline in vision, a scarred cornea, or the need for a corneal transplant. Yikes.

But the agency also found that by simply using your contacts the way you're supposed to, you can protect your peepers: About 25% of the reported cases involved behaviors known to put a person at greater risk of eye infection.

“Contact lenses are a safe and effective form of vision correction when worn and cared for as recommended,” said Michael Beach, PhD, director of the CDC’s Healthy Water Program, in a press release about the survey. “However, improper wear and care of contact lenses can cause eye infections that sometimes lead to serious, long-term damage.” 

Below, seven mistakes you might be making, and what to do instead.

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You sleep in your contacts

The enzymes and antibodies that protect the surface of your eyes require oxygen to fight off germs. When your eyes are closed at night, the air supply is reduced; wear your contacts to bed and there's even less oxygen available. The bottom line: When the PJs come on, the contacts should come out.

You handle your lenses with dirty fingers

To avoid transferring oil, dirt, and bacteria to your eyes (ew), clean your hands before you clean your contacts.

You're not rubbing your contacts

Even if you use a ‘no-rub’ contact solution, it's still a good idea: Give your lenses a rub in your (well-cleaned) palm to remove germs and protein buildup.

You don't change your solution daily

As Reena Garg, MD, an assistant professor of ophthalmology at the Icahn School of Medicine in New York City, told Health in a prior interview, "That's like doing your laundry in dirty water." According to the CDC, you should always use fresh multipurpose saline solution (never water!), and don't mix old saline solution with new in your contact case. In fact, you should empty the case after putting in your contacts, rinse it with fresh saline, dry it with a fresh, clean tissue and store it upside down on a clean tissue (with the lids off), until you are ready to use it again.

RELATED: 9 Worst Eye Care Mistakes You're Making

You shower and swim with your contacts in

The CDC advises keeping your lenses away from water (including pool water) to avoid a rare but potentially blinding infection caused by an amoeba called Acanthamoeba, as well as other types of infections. Bacteria and parasites in water can get caught under your lenses. If you're a swimmer, you may want to invest in prescription goggles. 

You leave your lenses in too long

When you're at home and on weekends, give your eyes a break and wear your glasses, says Berkeley, Michigan-based ophthalmologist Steven Shanbom, MD. In a prior interview with Health, he recommended that lens wearers keep their contacts in for no more than 12-14 hours a day.

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