Our experts answer reader questions about dropping the last 10 pounds—or more.
Question: I've heard that lifting weights helps the body burn calories even when you're not active. True or false? — Reiko
Answer: That's true. A lot of women prioritize cardio because they want to lose fat, but that burns calories only while you're exercising; as soon as you stop, you're no longer burning as much. Instead, lifting weights revs up your metabolism, so you'll continue burning calories for a few hours after your workout. And don't worry about bulking up; women don't have enough testosterone for that. But you will get leaner!
— Trudie German, certified personal trainer and owner of bodyenvy.ca, Toronto
Question: Is it possible I'm meant to be this big? I've been about the same size all my adult life, give or take a dress size. My mom and my sister are both size 14, and so were my grandmas. Maybe it's genetics? — Anne
Answer: Your genes do play a role, but it's more important to remember that size isn't really a good measure of health. If you're active, feeling good and sleeping and eating well, you probably don't have to worry. According to the World Health Organization, obesity is defined as "abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that may impair health." Of course, as you get heavier, there's a greater likelihood your health could be negatively impacted. But it's impossible for me to tell just by having you step on a scale; I have to do all sorts of tests to see if your weight really is affecting your health.
— Dr. Arya Sharma, founder of the Canadian Obesity Network and professor at the University of Alberta
Question: I'm injured and I can't work out. Is it still possible to lose weight? (Even if I'm eating my feelings about not being able to exercise?) — Katie
Answer: It's certainly possible! In fact, what you eat has more of an impact on your weight than exercise. You won't be able to work off extra calories, so be particularly mindful of other factors that influence weight, too, by getting enough sleep, finding ways to manage stress and choosing healthy whole foods in appropriate portions. And try these tricks: Serve vegetables family-style so they're within easy reach, but keep richer foods on the stovetop; use a smaller plate; and focus on your food—you're more likely to overindulge if you're distracted, so try not to eat in front of the TV, in the car or at your desk at work. Lastly, don't deny your hunger; eventually, it will backfire and you'll find yourself overeating or grabbing a convenient but unhealthy snack. People often think they have to cut back on food if they're going to lose weight, but I counsel my clients to eat more during the day. The idea isn't to willpower your way to weight loss; it's to make sustainable changes.
— Casey Berglund, registered dietitian and owner of worthyandwell.com, Calgary
This reversible cowl will keep you super warm on those cold, winter days.
The Whistler Cowl is a stunning accessory that looks beautiful on everyone. The cowl has a cabled stitch pattern and is completely reversible. It is knit in Mezcla de Lujo yarn – a luxurious worsted weight yarn made of 70% merino wool and 30% cashmere. This cowl was originally created as a gift, and it is an extra-special way to show someone you care.
The Whistler Cowl is of intermediate difficulty, and it is a great opportunity to learn a new stitch pattern. The reversible cable stitch is created by alternating knit and purl stitches (as you do to create the rib stitch) and then crossing the stitches over one another (as you do to create one-sided cable stitches). While you may find the stitch pattern tricky at first, the remarkable results are more than worth the effort.
Note: We used a modified 3 needle bind off technique for the finishing on our sample. If you prefer an easier version, simply cast-on right away with your working yarn and end by seaming the cast on edge to the cast off edge.
Note about the yarn: Mezcla De Lujo is available through Americo Original online and at select yarn stores. You can substitute with Americo’s Superwash Merino, Pluma, Alpaca Worsted, Worsted Merino or with any suitable heavy DK or Worsted weight yarns in your stash.
Measurements: Circumference: 52" (132 cm) x Depth: 8" (20 cm)
22 stitches and rows = 4 inches (10 cm) in pattern using 5.5 mm (US 9) size needles or size needed to achieve gauge.
K, k: Knit
P, p: Purl
//M// Denotes a stitch marker on the needle
RS Right Side of work or right side of fabric
WS Wrong side of work
CN Cable needle
LC Left cross cable; slip stitches to a cable needle and hold in front
RC Right cross cable; slip stitches to a cable needle and hold in back
Reversible Ribbed Cable Stitch Pattern: (multiples of 24)
12-st LC: slip 6 stitches from left needle to a cable needle and hold in FRONT, (k1, p1) 3 times, work sts from cn as follows; (k1, p1) 3 times.
12-st RC: slip 6 stitches from left needle to a cable needle and hold in BACK, (k1, p1) 3 times, work sts from cn as follows; (k1, p1) 3 times
Before you begin:
NOTE: We used a modified 3 needle bind off technique for the finishing on our sample. If you prefer an easier version, simply cast-on right away with your working yarn and end by seaming the cast on edge to the cast off edge.
For the modified 3-needle bind off technique: using a scrap piece of yarn in a contrasting colour and 5.5 mm (US 9) size needles, cast on 72 stitches. Change to your main colour and work to the end but leave your stitches on the needle.
Unpick the provisional scrap yarn from the cast on edge, placing the stitches on a spare needle. Join the cast on edge to the cast off edge using a 3-needle bind off: www.knittinghelp.com/videos/binding-off
Using 5.5 mm (US 9) needles, cast on 72 stitches.
Rows 1-2: *k1, p1; repeat from * to end.
Row 3: *12-st LC, (k1, p1) 6 times; rep from * to end
Rows 4-8: *k1, p1; repeat from * to end.
Row 9: *(k1, p1) 6 times, 12-st RC; rep from * to end
Rows 10-12: *(k1, p1); repeat from * to end of row.
Repeat rows 1-12 for 25 repeats.
Cast off depending on your chosen cast on method. Sew in ends and enjoy your beautiful new cowl!
Americo Original is a Canadian yarn company and online knitting shop with its own line of quality yarns, knitwear patterns and accessories. Americo’s yarns are made exclusively in the Andean highlands of South America, using only natural fibres, including luxurious wool, llama, alpaca, cotton, linen, silk and cashmere. Americo and its in-house design lab are based in Toronto, offering international shipping from its online store: americo.ca/shop.
Salt and Pepper Steak Rub
Photography by Ryan Brook Image by: Salt and Pepper Steak Rub <br /> Photography by Ryan Brook
Canadian Living's home and garden director shows off her curves in a body con dress.
Photography by Carlyle Routh. Hair by Jukka/Davines/Plutino Group. Makeup by Jodi Urichuk/Bite Beauty/Plutino Group.
Have you ever flirted with the idea of trying a daring style but weren't quite sure how to pull it off? We found six women who were intrigued by a trend they usually avoid, then we gave them the support and style advice to help them make it their own. Here, Canadian Living's home and garden director, Sarah Gunn, steps out in a body con dress.
Much like Sarah's decor esthetic, sunny hues and pretty pastels are her wardrobe mainstays, along with ladylike fit-and-flare frocks. But there's one item of clothing Sarah has always admired on other women yet hasn't slipped into herself: a body-conscious dress. "I have curves—some in the right places and some not—and I'm not sure how to enhance the good ones and hide the bad ones in a formfitting style," says Sarah.
Karl Lagerfeld dress, $189, thebay.com. Earrings, bracelets, ring and shoes, bananarepublic.ca. Clutch, coach.com.
The first step to feeling confident in a body-hugging dress is a good foundation, a.k.a. undergarments. Sarah donned a Shapeez Tankee slip ($125, shapeez.com), an all-in-one bra, slip and shaper that helps eliminate visible bra lines and back bulges while slimming the waist and the stomach. When it comes to choosing a fitted dress, keep it sophisticated; we selected a style with elbow length sleeves and a high neckline, allowing Sarah's silhouette and her legs to be highlighted. Finally, the dress features black panels on the sides, which ever so slightly cinch the waist, helping to create the illusion of a more defined midriff.
Shop the trend:
Floral dress, $80, express.com
Zippered dress, $420, marc-cain.com
Scuba dress, $100, reitmans.com
Aspen dress, $129, bebe.com
Body con dress, $140, lechateau.com
Felicity & Coco dress, $137, nordstrom.com
Dex dress, $79, thebay.com
Dress, $210, armaniexchange.com
Franca sweater dress, $178, guess.ca
Body con dress, $50, dynamiteclothing.com