What We’re Gifting the Men in Our Lives This Year

Is it just me, or are men impossible to buy for? For my sister, mom, and girl friends, dainty jewelry, cozy accessories, and trendy skincare are all safe bets. But for men? They really are from Mars (at least when it comes to gifting). After all, what do you buy for the man who already has enough shaving kits to last him for years, owns more ties than he would ever wear, and uses the same leather wallet (no matter how many new ones you get him)? Not to worry, Everygirls. This year, we’ve rounded up the best gifts to give the brothers, significant others, and Everydads out there. Shop our picks for all the men in your life that are as fun, unique, and irreplaceable as they are.

 

Vida

Protective Mask

The ultimate 2020 gift: functional, comfortable, and subtly stylish. 12 colors available.

Shop it now

Truff

Black Truffle Infused Hot Sauce

For the foodie in your life who pours hot sauce on everything, Truff is the ultimate gourmet sauce for any dish. Loaded with black truffle, chili peppers, and agave nectar, he’ll never go back to Tabasco.

Shop it now

Patagonia

Quarter-Zip Fleece Pullover

Every man who loves the outdoors needs a Patagonia fleece, right!? We love this one because lightweight recycled microfleece warms up this versatile pullover for an incredibly warm essential. 5 colors available.

Shop it now

The School of Life

100 Questions (Family Edition)

Give the family man in your life the ultimate gift of quality time. Full of conversation-sparking questions for the whole family, this game will be the gift that keeps on giving.

Shop it now

Vuori

Ponto Joggers

Because who wouldn’t want comfort for Christmas? Soft tech fabric means performance comfort in these smart joggers he’ll never want to take off.

5 colors available

Shop it now

UGG

Ascot Slipper

If the men in your life love comfort but prefer the feel of shoes, these Ascot Slippers are classic, versatile, and incredibly soft. 6 colors available.

Shop it now

Honest John

Bitter Sampler Set

The amateur bartender in your life will love this sampling of homemade bitters with flavors like lavender, orange, black walnut, and grapefruit. He’ll be able to find his favorite (without over-committing), and will love experimenting.

Shop it now

Emmanuel Acho

Uncomfortable Conversations with Black Men

For a thoughtful and important read, look no further than Emmanuel Acho’s compassionate (yet urgent) guide to the truths Americans need to know to address systemic racism. What gift could be more meaningful?

Shop it now

HYGGE GAMES

Top of Mind Trivia Game

For the smarty pants that likes to show off their knowledge, this fun game makes trivia night a little more interesting with its fun twist on the classic game.

Shop it now

Personalized Whiskey Decanter

What to get the man who has everything? Well, a personalized whiskey decanter, of course! He’ll not only love knowing his whiskey of choice is kept in the best possible condition, but will love showing off the decanter on his bar cart.

Shop it now

Ping Pong Set for Any Table

Maybe he was a tennis table champ in college or maybe he just loves a good rally, but this easy set has everything you need to turn any table into an awesome ping pong tournament.

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“Cool Dad” Hat

Because we all know a cool dad (or at least, a dad who thinks he’s cool!), gift to the dad in your life who would wear the title with pride.

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Maapilim

Hand Sanitizer

The perfect stocking stuffer in 2020? Hand sanitizer. The men in your life will love the masculine design, convenient size, and moisturizing formula.

Shop it now

Madewell

The Canvas Transport Carryall Tote Bag

For the traveler who loves a weekend getaway, this sturdy tote is the perfect size for carrying all their necessities, with fabric that’s strong enough to hold even the heaviest hiking boots or tech equipment.

3 colors available

Shop it now

Anson Belt & Buckle

Build Your Men’s Box Set

If you’re looking for a more customizable gift for the men in your life, look no further than this gift box set. You select belt width, straps, and buckles so not only can you mix and match what you think will look best on him, but he can mix and match from what you pick for him. Coolest. Accessory. Ever.

Shop it now

CB2

Walnut Record Frame

The music-lover in your life is going to geek out over getting to hang their favorite albums on the wall like art. Bonus points for gifting with their favorite album already framed (like your dad’s favorite Frank Sinatra track or your husband’s favorite album from when he was a kid).

5 colors available

Shop it now

Theragun

Deep Tissue Muscle Treatment Massage Gun

As the perfect way to spoil the gym rat in your life, the Theragun is a simplified smart percussive therapy device to ease discomfort, soothe tightness and tension, and recover faster. It’s the gift he’ll actually use.

Shop it now

Amazon Smart Plug

Is it just the men I know, or do guys have a weird obsession with making everything more… techy? The Amazon Smart Plug works with Alexa to add voice control to any outlet, which means you can schedule lights, fans, and appliances to turn on and off automatically, or control them remotely while you’re away. Yes, the tech nerd in your life will swear it’s the best gift ever.

Shop it now

Etsy | Bang Tidy Wedding

BBQ Apron for Men

Do you know someone who’s a master on the grill, a fan of “The Godfather,” and loves a good dad joke? We’ve found the perfect gift for him. This BBQ Apron will surely be a favorite for years to come.

Shop it now

Target

hims Everyday Moisturizer

When it comes to holiday gifts for my dad and brother, I take this prime opportunity to get them what I want them to have (what, like they need another wallet?). This year, I’m tricking them into taking better care of their skin with high-quality skincare products meant for men.

Shop it now

Kendrick Lamar

Black Panther The Album

For the hip R&B lover in your life, give them the gift of music with this classic from Kendrick Lamar. He’ll love listening, but he’ll also love displaying it instead of downloading it (old-school style!).

Shop it now

L.L.Bean

Men’s Scotch Plaid Flannel Pajamas

Get your significant other, dad, or brother pajamas that they’ll actually wear (and never want to take off!). These cotton flannel pajamas bring softness and comfort to cold nights and lazy afternoons (and will look pretty cute in Christmas photos!).

3 colors available

Shop it now

East Dane

Clue Vintage Bookshelf Edition

For the guy with the old soul, this vintage version of Clue is disguised to look like a book (so finding it in the bookshelf is part of the game!). It will look just as good sitting out on his coffee table as it will opened and ready to play.

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JONES BAR-B-Q

Sweet & Tangy Barbecue Sauce

Another foodie gift that any man would love. The Jones family has made their sauce from scratch daily for decades, so you know it’s going to be good. Support this small, Black-owned business while smothering your favorite recipes in the delicious secret recipe of the Sweet and Tangy BBQ Sauce. Is your mouth watering, because mine is!

Shop it now

Allbirds

Wool Runner Shoe

Style meets comfort with these water-repellent, durable, and ethically sourced sneaker he’ll want to wear everywhere. 12 colors available.

Shop it now

Tie Bar

The Essentials Box Navy Gift Set

Whether he’s a snappy dresser or takes pride in his work uniform (even if it’s a work-from-home uniform), The Essentials Box is the perfect gift for any fashion aficionado. Complete with four ties, three pocket squares, two pairs of socks, classic tie bars, and one pair of collar stays, it comes complete with everything he needs for sharp dressing.

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Author: Kate Howells

Space Is Cool as Fuck Hardcover Book

For the science nerd, “Big Bang Theory” fan, or all-around cool guy, this coffee table book takes all the coolest bits of science and fuses them together. Featuring more than 100 artworks by international young artists and an illuminating interview with everyone’s favorite TV scientist, Bill Nye the Science Guy, it’s the perfect gift for the young, hip, or science-obsessed man in your life.

Shop it now

Madewell

Pinch Provisions Travel Kit

The man who travels for work (or just has a lot of wanderlust) deserves a comprehensive kit of every essential they need, because the last thing they should have to think about is packing dental floss or earbuds. Complete with everything you could need while traveling (from wrinkle remover to a pill container), the traveler in your life will be eternally grateful.

Shop it now

Madewell

Crewneck Sweatshirt

Give him the gift of cozy comfort with this soft fabric that’s a blend of organic cotton and recycled poly for the stylish guy in your life who cares about sustainability.

3 colors available

Shop it now

Spikeball

Roundnet with 3 Balls and Backpack

For the guy who’s a kid at heart, opt for this sports set that’s easy to play and easy to set up. He’ll have a blast trying to beat you at this addictive game (but will probably lose, right?).

Shop it now

Mark Godfrey, Zoé Whitley, and Linda Goode Bryant

Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power Hardcover Book

Whether they’re art fans or history lovers, the men in your life will love this exploration of African American art in the era of Malcolm X and the Black Panthers. The coolest part? The book brings to light previously neglected histories of 20th-century Black artists, so they’ll get to learn what their high school history class didn’t teach them (but should have!).

Shop it now

ICE MULE

Coolers Classic Mini Cooler

For the man who loves tailgating or camping (but probably both), get him a cooler that’s durable, hands-free, roomy, and high-tech.

3 colors available

Shop it now

Mark & Graham

Tech Folio

The man who has everything probably doesn’t have a stylish case to SORT everything. This vegan leather tech folio keeps everyday essentials organized with plenty of slots, pockets, and zippers to sort it all. Plus, it’s customizable for the classy man who loves a monogram.

4 colors available

Shop it now

Jim Gray

Talking to GOATs: The Moments You Remember and the Stories You Never Heard

Whether he’s a die-hard sports fan or just an over-achiever, “Talking to GOATS” is a must-read. Featuring numerous world-class athletes and leaders, the reader scores a coveted all-access pass to the best interviews, games, plays, and people in history.

Shop it now

Polaroid

Instant Camera

Whether he’s an aspiring photographer or just plain nostalgic, a Polaroid camera will be a fun way to unleash his artistic side and capture memories in a more meaningful way than his iPhone camera.

Shop it now

Gentlemen’s Hardware

9-in-1 Wilderness Multi-Tool

You know that uncle or grandpa who always has a pocket knife on them? Well, it’s time you upgrade their handy tools for a much more useful one. This 9-in-1 Wilderness Multi-Tool is meant for camping, but can be used in everyday life tool.

Shop it now

J.Crew

Cotton Poplin Shirt

Sure, a button-up is a go-to gift for men, but it’s for good reason. This stylish, perfectly tailored, comfortable cotton shirt is perfect for the office, a night out, or a relaxed day at home: you know it will be a gift he’ll actually use.

12 colors available

Shop it now

DeskCycle

Under-Desk Elliptical

Maybe he’s obsessed with getting in his steps or maybe he needs to be better about exercise, but just doesn’t have the time. Either way, this genius under-desk elliptical provides the answer. Burn calories, boost energy levels, reduce stress, and increase productivity with this subtle elliptical that fits under any desk.

Shop it now

Pottery Barn

Ben Hogan Golf Leather Book

If the golf-lover in your life already has every club, ball, and golf accessory available, opt for this classic book he’ll want to display on his coffee table, bookshelf, or in his office. Complete with drawings and diagrams to improve stance, grip, swing, etc., this leather-bound book offers game-changing tips for a gift that will be a hole-in-one (get it!?).

Shop it now

EIR NYC

Winter Games Kit

For the man who loves to ski, rock climb, or just spends a lot of time outdoors, this winter-weather essentials kit comes with five full-size skin-care miracles made for high altitudes, harsh climates, and cold, dry air. This unique set is the perfect gift for anyone who loves being outdoors, even in cold weather.

Shop it now

Aaron Franklin and Jordan Mackay

The Franklin Barbecue Collection

Any meat-lover or barbecue fan would drool over this collection of the best advice on truly great barbecue and mind-blowing steak. From brisket to steak, it’s basically everything you would ever want to know about meat.

Shop it now

 

The post What We’re Gifting the Men in Our Lives This Year appeared first on The Everygirl.

How to Style Your Festive Red Sweater for the Holidays

When it comes to a festive wardrobe, there is nothing as quintessentially holiday-appropriate as a red sweater.

Paired with basically anything, a red sweater can transform an outfit from a winter look to one that feels cheery and in the spirit of the holidays. Office Zoom party? Red sweater. Drinking hot cocoa and watching a Christmas movie? Red sweater. Opening presents on Christmas morning? Red sweater.

There’s nothing like finding new ways to wear something you already have, and today, we’re giving you six new ideas for how to wear your go-to red sweater this holiday season—with everything from a skirt to comfy, knit pants. The holidays are here, and it’s time to bring the spirit to our wardrobes.

 

1. With corduroy pants

sweater / pants / bow / boots / bag

 

2. With mom jeans

mom jeans / coat / bag / loafers / sweater

 

3. With a midi skirt

skirt / sweater / belt / booties / bag

 

4. With leather pants

pants / sweater / bag / mules / earrings

 

5.

pants / slippers / necklace / sweater

 

6. With a plaid skirt

skirt / sweater / boots / earrings

 

Shop our favorite red sweaters

 

Eloquii

Button Neck Sweater

Shop it now

Halogen

Crewneck Cashmere Sweater

Currently 40% off

Shop it now

Abercrombie & Fitch

Cropped Bobble Cardigan

Shop it now

& Other Stories

Cropped Sweater

Shop it now

A New Day

Turtleneck Cable Knit Sweater

Shop it now

Brave Soul

Kansas V-Neck Sweater

Shop it now

Wild Fable

Crewneck Pullover Sweater

Shop it now

Wild Fable

Puff Sleeve Crewneck Sweater

Shop it now

 

The post How to Style Your Festive Red Sweater for the Holidays appeared first on The Everygirl.

6 Things My Therapist Taught Me About Relationships

You probably wouldn’t know by my shining personality, absolutely glowing cheekbones, and constant discussion of the men and women fawning at my feet to date me, but I unequivocally suck at relationships! (Perhaps my temerity is the exact reason I have this issue, who knows!) 

A month ago, I met someone, literally thought I met “THE ONE,” and then he lied and said he was in the CIA and had to leave the state immediately. And then I spiraled… for quite a while. Through it all, I realized I finally had to do something about my issues finding, keeping, and nourishing the relationships in my life (and I’m not just talking about significant others—friendships are the most important relationship, and I could use some work there too). I made a virtual therapy appointment a day later, attended a workshop or two, and reached into my notebooks from therapists past to help myself. Through it all, I learned that addressing relationships in therapy is a really easy way to burn through an hour of time, and I’m sharing the top tips I’ve learned and am implementing into my life—both in dating and when I meet someone.

 

1. It’s OK to be upset when a relationship—no matter how long—ends

I go through a constant cycle of being sad that someone ghosted me or someone I went on a few dates with decided to end it, followed by judging myself for being sad about it, and then my sadness turns to frustration, and next thing I know, I’m just a big old mess. My therapist gave me the go-ahead to stop judging myself. Whether a relationship was one or 100 days, it’s upsetting to lose someone you pictured in your future in any capacity. Allow yourself some time to be sad, and it’ll be eons easier to actually get over it versus bottling it up.

 

2. The end of a relationship is not a “failure”

It’s easy to immediately ask “What did I do wrong?” when a relationship is over. You blame yourself, likely for things big and small. I am a big black and white thinker, so when someone breaks up with me or ghosts me, I tend to immediately assume the worst and proceed as if I ruined everything. You either liked me, or you didn’t; there’s no in between. My therapist explained that relationships aren’t so linear and that they’re impossible to fail at because they’re also impossible to win. You never feel like you’re “winning” in your relationship because relationships often feel like a moving target. You’re always working together and growing—even 90-year-old couples say they’re still learning about each other. 

Instead, she instructed me to remember that all relationships, like people, have positives and negatives. If it were all positives, we’d be pretty damn bored, right? By focusing on how my relationships are constantly ebbing and flowing between the positive and negative attributes, it’s easier to recognize the very easy ways in which a relationship can just not be a fit for you and the other person. 

This is also a great tip to employ when in a relationship. If you find yourself feeling insecure about where you stand with your significant other, picking fights (we’ve all been there), or people-pleasing, taking a step back to understand that a relationship isn’t some perfect entity, nor is it a game you can win or lose, might impact how you see the other person.

 

If you find yourself feeling insecure about where you stand with your significant other, picking fights, or people-pleasing, taking a step back to understand that a relationship isn’t some perfect entity, nor is it a game you can win or lose, might impact how you see the other person.

 

3. Early sexual chemistry doesn’t always mean they’re “the one”

Finding someone who immediately understands you and gets every part of you is, unfortunately, a little difficult, so many of us (me! me! me!) turn to sexual chemistry at the beginning of a relationship to determine if that person is right for you. If the sex is great and we vibe with each other that way, I typically feel like it’s a match. However, that’s not always true. And of course, we can have good sex with people who aren’t good for us; I never doubt that. But it’s when you look past all of the red flags and issues popping to the surface because the sexual chemistry is there when it becomes a problem. 

Through therapy and a few workshops, I’ve really honed in on how to make sex a positive part of a relationship versus a determinator in how likely I am to enjoy someone’s company. It’s still important for me to be with someone who has a similar sex drive to me and who meshes with me in that manner, but I am aware now that this can’t be the only thing keeping me with someone. If every other flag is glaring in the brightest red you’ve ever seen, that likely isn’t a relationship you want to pursue. 

 

4. Going back to your ex is out of comfort—not because the sex is “so good”

We make excuses over and over again about why we choose to hook up with our ex again or see them after a breakup. New things and people are uncomfortable, so we choose partners who remind us of past relationships and old wounds, even from childhood. This isn’t weird, and it doesn’t make you “screwed up”–it’s human nature to be attracted to things that we’re already familiar with. 

The #1 thing I’ve learned in this is to be conscious of it and recognize it to help me choose people in the future who don’t mirror those qualities. I don’t want to date someone who gaslights me, so I’m going to look for a partner who validates what I have to say. I didn’t enjoy when my previous partner couldn’t take my sense of humor, so my next relationship will be fun and lighthearted because I recognize that I missed that element before. It is a hard process to think through, especially if you’re looking back on an abusive relationship, but thinking of a future with someone better is exciting and hopeful.

 

5. It’s human nature to feel loneliness and to want a partner

Listen, I don’t need a partner in my life to feel good. I don’t need someone to take me to dinner or tell me about their day or watch a new show with me. But… when I let myself feel it, I know it’s something I yearn for. But I judge myself for that and worry that it seems desperate and dependent to feel lonely sometimes and to wish I had a partner (which is often a feeling I have at the end of a relationship too). These patterns of thought, my therapist described, are rooted in limiting beliefs that wanting a partner makes me weak and that “want” gets confused with “need.” She explained that feeling lonely and wishing you had a significant other is something every single person feels. It’s an innately human feeling to want to feel loved and express love to others. Understanding this has given me a lot of tools for acceptance: accepting that I am human and desire to be loved and love and that I enjoy the various perks and activities that go along with being in a relationship. 

 

Feeling lonely and wishing you had a significant other is something every single person feels. It’s an innately human feeling to want to feel loved and express love to others.

 

6. Be vulnerable with a partner—but take your time

Just because you open up to someone right away or they do the same for you doesn’t mean the relationship is set on the right course. Opening up takes time. While there are whirlwind, fast romances that bond quickly and stay together forever, if you notice that you’re a fast-mover in relationships, it might be a good idea to try a slow burn every now and then. A relationship that takes its time might be just what you need to build trust and companionship with someone if you’re used to moving quickly to get to all the good parts as soon as possible. Instead, make all the monotonous parts of first dates and awkward hugs and witty texting banter something you enjoy rather than something you dread. 

Contrarily, opening up to someone isn’t weak. Vulnerability is a strength (thanks Brene Brown, my queen), and a strong relationship requires it. So, don’t think that because you told your significant other about a childhood trauma or that you’re feeling insecure about something that they’re going to end the relationship because they’re “seeing the real you.” Being able to open up to each other every now and then should be something that bonds you and makes you grow, both as a couple and as people. (And if they do break up with you over something like that, well, it doesn’t seem like really a loss.) 

 

The post 6 Things My Therapist Taught Me About Relationships appeared first on The Everygirl.

8 Tips for Avoiding Holiday Weight Gain that Actually Work

Every holiday season, you see the same kinds of articles make the rounds: 

“How to avoid holiday weight gain” 

“How to keep off the pounds this Thanksgiving”

“20 tips to avoid weight gain during the holidays”

Each article follows the same stock format, sharing stats about how many pounds of weight you gain between Thanksgiving and New Years, and then giving you a long list of hackneyed weight loss tips like “ditch the added sugar,” or “chew your food slowly,” or “drink water before meals.” 

It’s not that the stats are wrong or the tips are useless, but at this point, you probably know that eating more calories than you burn is the root cause of weight gain, and the only way to not gain weight is to not eat so much. 

Of course, during the Holidays, this is easier said than done. 

You’re surrounded by a cornucopia of delicious, calorie-dense food and separated from your normal routine, which makes it remarkably easy to overeat.

So, what should you do about it? 

What’s the “hack” for avoiding weight gain over the holidays? 

It’s this: accept that you’ll probably gain a little weight, use some simple strategies to limit the damage while still enjoying your meals, and lose the weight after the holidays with proper dieting.

That’s it. 

Before we get to these strategies, though, let’s examine the whole idea of holiday weight gain in more detail. 

Oh and if you like this episode and want to get notified when a new one goes live, head on over to Spotify, iTunes, Stitcher, YouTube, Soundcloud, Podbean, or Google Play and subscribe.

Lastly, if you want to support the show, please drop a quick review of it over on iTunes. It really helps!

Timestamps:

11:08 – Expect to gain some weight and to lose it again quickly.

14:18 – Focus on things other than food.

15:32 – Create a calorie buffer before big meals 

22:54 – Eat big meals and limit your snacking.

26:30 – Eat lots of protein throughout the holidays, especially on the feast days.

29:07 – Stay active 

33:52 – Bring healthy-ish food to the party

35:26 – If you do gain some fat, follow a meal plan to lose it. 

Mentioned on the show: 

Shop Legion Supplements Here

Protein bars

What did you think of this episode? Have anything else to share? Let me know in the comments below!

The post 8 Tips for Avoiding Holiday Weight Gain that Actually Work appeared first on Legion Athletics.

How to Enjoy the Holidays When You Struggle with Food

Let me start this with the proclamation that I LOVE food. I love coming up with a menu and inviting people over — adding my name to a spreadsheet of what I’ll bring to a potluck is riveting. Searching Pinterest (and The Everygirl!) for a recipe gets me so excited. I look forward to gathering around the table, munching on whatever finger food we have, and catching up with friends or family.

However, my thought process around food wasn’t always this positive, and every Christmas, I get anxious for the multiple food-related gatherings I’ll attend. For those who struggle with disordered eating, are in recovery, or have a negative relationship with food, holiday events that revolve around a buffet table are less than ideal. Along with the actual physical presence of food, it is always a topic of discussion.

If food-related gatherings at the holidays are stressful for you, you’re not alone. Here, I’m giving you the rundown on how I’ve changed my mindset and started loving these events for what they are: quality time with loved ones.

 

Remind your family and friends of etiquette

Every year, I remind my family that this is a hard time for me and my eating disorder. I let them know that comments such as “I’m going to have to run this all off tomorrow!” or “I didn’t eat all day for this!” are triggering and upsetting to me.

I also remind them to watch how they speak about food like referring to certain foods as “good” or “bad.” Those who have never suffered from disordered eating rarely understand the negativity of giving foods an emotion or quality.

Additionally, I let everyone know that my body and eating habits aren’t up for discussion. I’m talking a “you’ve lost/gained weight!” comment from my uncle I haven’t seen in months, a “there is too much/not enough food on your plate!” from my grandma, and a “are you sure you want a second helping?” from a friend. While these comments are almost always good-natured, they are frustrating and irrelevant to someone else’s (or my own) experience at this event. Let these people know that these comments make things more difficult for you, and if they’re supportive, they’ll be more than happy to oblige.

 

Make your own plate

As nice as it can be, don’t let others decide the size of your plate or what you put on it. If you want to eat a larger helping than what someone else deems appropriate, go ahead, but if you’re not feeling so great that night, you can eat less than others. Starting small can sometimes ease the tension, just as some people might be in a different place and can handle a larger portion. Go with your gut (literally!).

 

Create your own gatherings that don’t involve a meal

Not every event has to involve a five-course dinner. Ask your friends or family to go ice skating (my personal fave seasonal activity) or see a new movie (there are so many good ones out right now!). Start new traditions that don’t include everyone bringing a dish and sitting around a table of food for hours.

 

Source: Daeun Kim | Unsplash

 

Ask friends or family to put away the scale

If you’re traveling somewhere, they might keep a scale in their bathroom. This can be tempting and scary, especially before or after eating a meal. Ask this family to put that scale in a closet or out of view of any of the guests. It can seem weird, but you’ll feel so much more comfortable every time you go to check your makeup to not see that scale. (Another attempt from me here to get everyone to throw out their scales!!).

 

Start non-food related conversations

It can be easy to sit around the table only talking about and focusing on what you’re eating. Instead, try to start conversations about what you’re grateful for, your favorite holiday movies, what you’re excited for in 2019, or a cool article you read recently.

 

Dress for comfort

Here at The Everygirl, we obviously love fashion — the holiday party outfits are basically the best part! While finding the cutest, most Instagrammable outfit is obviously on the agenda, make sure it’s comfortable and something you feel confident in. You can’t deny that when you look the part, you feel it. Having some confidence in yourself can change the entire outlook of the day and make you feel better about going into a tough situation.

Also, as a beauty lover, I can’t help but spend hours in front of the mirror before an event. While that’s insanity for some people, it calms me down, and I feel like a million bucks all night.

 

Source: Brooke Lark | Unsplash

 

Practice compassion with yourself

This is stressful! If you aren’t able to talk to everyone at the party or be entertaining, don’t put yourself down. Allow yourself some time on your own to process your thoughts and be there for yourself. Take some time to sit down away from the kitchen or talk with a close friend or family member who will get your mind off of it. There’s no need to push yourself to do something that will make this experience harder for you.

 

Indulge in self-care

My issues with food have always stemmed from a place of perfectionism, and this is a common trait. I always give myself time for self-care before and after events with food that make me uncomfortable. Beforehand, maybe I’ll spend a long time doing my makeup (something that relaxes me!) or write in a journal. After, I might go for a walk or watch an episode of a funny show on Netflix (I recommend Grace and Frankie always!).

 

Let us know — how do you cope with food gatherings during the holidays? Do you have any tricks for shifting the focus from food to quality time at these events?

 

This story was originally published on December 12, 2018.

 

The post How to Enjoy the Holidays When You Struggle with Food appeared first on The Everygirl.

Your Business Marketing Strategy Based on Your Enneagram

Watching your business grow based on the steps and tactics you’ve implemented along the way is one of the best parts of being a business owner. Whether your blog just hit its page view goal for the month, you made a sale on your website, or you got a referral from a client, you’ve done it! But how can we keep pushing those goals further, make more money, and explore your passions even further? 

By using your website to its full potential! We’re big fans of Squarespace for all your website needs, and their various options and features make it so easy to keep pushing and trying new things. But it can be challenging to try new things if you’re unsure of the result (perfectionism is a curse sometimes!), and when it seems like you’re overflowing with options and business plans abound, the decision fatigue sets in, and then you ultimately do nothing. To get out of that rut, we’re figuring out which new marketing strategy you should implement based on your type of our favorite personality test, the Enneagram (it’s all about personality, rather than birthdays or charts). Grab your notebook and a pen, and start taking notes!

 

Start your free Squarespace trial today (no credit card required) and use code ‘EVERYGIRL’ for 10% off when you’re ready to publish your website.

 

Grow Your Email List

Email is a powerful tool to keep in your back pocket. I mean, how many times a day do you check your own email? How often do you ooh and ah over a product, service, or link you found in a newsletter? Ones know the power of their words, and they’re often very intentional and strong. But they have a tendency to get caught up in all the little details and nuances, which can cause them to self-sabotage through perfectionism. Make it easy on yourself by using Squarespace’s built-in email campaigns, which pull directly from your site so your logo, products, and social links are there waiting for you.

When building out your emails, include lead generators and clickable content to keep your audience engaged and encourage new signups. Try free downloads, short mini courses, checklists, exclusive blog posts, product discounts, and more! 

READ: 8 Things You Should Do Before Hitting Send on That Email

 

Repurpose Old Content

Twos are friendly and smooth (charming at best), and they let that come through their content and business. You’ve spent so much time and effort on your website, so don’t let old posts and pages fall to the wayside as time goes on. As your audience grows, you want to make sure they’re able to access all of your content. Update popular posts from the past with new keywords and extra content and links. Write a post about work-from-home tips last summer? Add more photos and relevant topics and post again. This is also a good time to revisit previous projects and breathe new life into them. If you spent a lot of time on something at one point, keep repurposing it for your audience!

Create a content schedule using all of these reposts. Squarespace allows you to schedule posts in advance, so you can build out your content calendar for the weeks and months ahead. Take note of what types of content perform best based on the day of the week and time to help you keep your audience engaged and increase your click rate. 

 

 

Use Email Automation

Threes are excited when they can automate and streamline a process, and email is a great option that will save you ample time when you’re in the zone. 

We love the automations within Squarespace email campaigns that allow you to keep your site top of mind without having to send an individual email every time. Have an online store? Set up an automation that will email new customers a few days after their initial purchase, offering a discount code. A surefire way to turn first customers into repeat customers. Have a blog? Send out an automatic welcome email to new subscribers featuring some of your most-loved blog posts. The best part about creating these automations is that you can “set it and forget it.” A little work upfront and you can reap the rewards for months to come. 

 

READ: 6 Email Marketing Hacks to Double Your Traffic and Sales

 

Dive into Hashtags

Fours are creatively-driven, so they love sharing their projects, products, and more on social media. Want to show your masterpieces to more people? Get acquainted with hashtags. On Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, hashtags are a great way to group content and show it to as many people as possible. Search through the hashtags your audience is following and create a list that you can add to your own posts.

It also might be a good idea to create your own hashtags to group your content and encourage your audience to share their own similar images and posts! Try keeping sets of hashtags in a note on your phone, based on different content you post. That way no matter what you’re posting, you’re maximizing the number of people who will see it. 

 

 

Explore New Features

A five never lets a rock go unturned. They want to try and research everything they can, and it’s a big factor in their success—they get results! To keep your marketing strategy up to date, you’ll want to keep that same energy and make sure you’re trying every feature on the social platforms you use. Try Instagram Live, Reels, and IGTV, or Facebook Live and Stories. Did you know you can make “Pinterest Stories” too? Not only will these help the algorithms of these sites to show your content to more people, but your audiences might see a new side of your business, a product from a different angle, more of your personality, and more.

We love Squarespace’s tool, Unfold, that helps you create beautiful Instagram Stories, straight from your phone. 

READ: Work Smarter: 15 Ways to Improve Your Website and Business

 

Create A Stellar “About” Page

Sixes have a really strong handle on who they are, so they’re not likely to publish and work on projects they’re unsure about. But they aren’t always so good at talking themselves up! Make it a point to add a little extra bit of you to your business with a really solid about page on your website. Tell potential customers about your favorite movie, or how you got your start in your business. Explain why your product or service is unique. Readers and customers will be more willing to engage with your blog, site, or shop if they feel like they know you. Add photos, quick FAQ type questions, what you’re loving lately, and more. 

Not sure about where to start? Think about your story. Why did you start your blog or business? Share a bit about where you started and where you are now. Bring readers on the journey with you! 

Read: Why You Need a Website for Your Small Business

 

Go Behind-the-Scenes

People love your personality, seven! Part of the fun of being a business owner is all the behind-the-scenes stuff you get to do, and your readers and customers want to see all of that too. Give people an insight into your day-to-day: how you package orders, what your office looks like, your favorite office music to play, what your favorite products are. Give your brand a personality—and if a seven can do anything, it’s show their personality! 

To keep up with your branding, make your personality really matches the aesthetic of the brand. If you’re an outgoing and lively person, a black-and-white website filled with basic serif fonts won’t correlate. The good news? With Squarespace, there’s no need to have any experience coding or designing either—you can easily match your brand’s aesthetic without spending hours upon hours toying around with the design. Choose from Squarespace’s robust library of templates, fonts, stock images, and more to ensure your site reflects your personality and business mission.

 

 

READ: 8 Ways to Make Your Website Stand Out

 

 

Upgrade Your SEO

Eights love a good project, and optimizing your entire site for SEO is the perfect weekend activity to get your blog and/or business in tip-top shape. Do some research on what your audience is searching and what keywords are best to include to attract even more site visitors. Get specific in your data about when people are clicking on your site, what pages they’re reading the most, what device they’re reading on, what they’re commenting on—seriously, go deep into the data. Then, build your marketing strategy on that. It’s basically the most magical set-up an eight could ask for. 

Not a whiz with SEO? No worries. Squarespace builds SEO optimization right into its templates, so you don’t have to take an SEO course to understand exactly what to do. Steps such as automatically creating mobile versions of all of your pages that load quickly make it easy on you but efficient and effective for your business plan. Squarespace also includes free SSL certificates to notify search engines that your site is legit, so you’ll show up in more searches. We also love that Squarespace has built-in Google Analytics integration so you can easily track all of your stats and goals.

READ: Ready to Publish Your Website? Read This SEO Checklist First

 


Squarespace’s SEO Checklist

Try Promoting Social Content

Nines, you create content that deserves to be seen! Nines are usually the shyest of the Enneagram types, so they usually need a little boost of confidence every once in a while to keep their business thriving. And the same could be said about their content. Sometimes, you just need a little boost to get it seen by the right person to convert to sales, and a great way to do that is through promoting your Pinterest pins and Instagram and Facebook posts. This can be pretty low budget (anywhere from $5-15), but could boost your traffic immensely. This might help you gain new followers, sales, website clicks, and more.

 

Ready to share your vision or business with the world? Start your free Squarespace trial today (no credit card required) and use code ‘EVERYGIRL’ for 10% off when you’re ready to publish your website.

 

 

This post is sponsored by Squarespace, but all of the opinions within are those of The Everygirl editorial board.

 

The post Your Business Marketing Strategy Based on Your Enneagram appeared first on The Everygirl.

Your Guide to Winter 2020’s Best Fashion Trends

If 2020 did anything to our mentality when it comes to our wardrobes, it put what good clothes mean to us into perspective. When we’re sitting at home for months on end dreaming about a life outside of sweatpants, it’s easy to see how much our clothes do for our identity in a precedented world; our fashion choices are both an expression of ourselves and a part of who we are, whether we normally realize it or not.

Whether or not you opted to wear any non-sweatpants this year, you probably felt an ache for a former version of you that strolled into the office in the morning in clothes that made you feel your best, rather than keeping a revolving door of sweatshirts at the ready. But regardless of whether or not fashion weeks are happening or we’re leaving the house, fashion still exists, and a new season is here to show us what it has to offer. These are the trends we have our eyes on for winter 2020 (bonus: the majority of them are quarantine-approved).

 

’70s-Inspired 

Source: Janelle Marie Lloyd | @waityouneedthis

If you’ve been on any store’s website over the past few months, you might’ve noticed some prints and colors that remind you of your grandma’s old living room wallpaper, but the patterns and olive and deep orange tones are paying homage to the ’70s, a trend that’s more prevalent than ever this season. It might be time to dig through your mom’s old clothes that she was never able to part with.

MANGO

Paisley Print Dress

Shop it now

Topshop

Satin Flare Trousers

Shop it now

ASOS

Mixed Paisley Blouse

Shop it now

H&M

Floral Turtleneck Top

6 colors available

Shop it now

H&M

Beige Checked Skirt

3 colors available

Shop it now

H&M+

Black Plaid Shirt Dress

Shop it now

 

 

Oversized Puffers

Source: @lydiajanetomlinson

Gone are the days that having a giant winter coat on is a fashion faux pas; this year, the bigger, the better. Make a statement with a puffer in an oversized fit, out-of-the-box color, or fun texture.

ELOQUII

Faux Leather Puff Coat

Shop it now

H&M

Oversized Puffed Jacket

4 colors available

Shop it now

ASOS Design Curve

Oversized Hooded Puffer Jacket

Shop it now

Abercrombie & Fitch

Faux Fur Mini Puffer

10+ colors available

Shop it now

Champion

Reverse Weave Quilted Puffer Jacket

2 colors available

Shop it now

 

 

Leather pants

Source: @alyssa.lenore

By now, you’ve probably gotten the gist that leather everything is in this year, with pants making it to the top of the list. This is a trend that you can get wear out of for years to come; there’s hardly anything chicer than a good pair of leather pants in the winter. To feel more 2020 and less Sandy in Grease, opt for a trouser fit rather than a skinny one.

ASOS

Tapered Leather Pants

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H&M

Faux Leather Pants

Shop it now

BLANKNYC

Faux Leather Jogger Pants

Shop it now

MANGO

Straight Leg Leather Trouser

Shop it now

 

 

Chunky boots

Source: @nadiaanya__

In a shockingly practical twist, winter’s biggest boot trend are a kind that can withstand any kind of weather. Just about every retailer is stocked with options in every color and variation you can imagine, so all that’s left for you to do is pick which ones you like the most. Don’t feel weary about your ability to rock them; paired with something even as simple as jeans and a sweater, they basically style themselves.

BP.

Cait Platform Chelsea Boot

2 colors available

Shop it now

Blondo

Cayla Waterproof Chelsea Boot

Shop it now

Marc Fisher

Pirro Chelsea Boot

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Sam Edelman

Laguna Waterproof Chelsea Boot

Shop it now

Madewell

Ivy Chelsea Boot

Shop it now

 

 

Cardigans

Source: @mylittlebooktique

You’ve probably seen every fashion Instagrammer you know rock a cardigan or two this fall, and they aren’t going anywhere come winter; from tiny, cropped options to slouchy, chunkier ones, the cardigan is the knitwear of the season.

 

 

Quilting

Source: @jnaydaily

Quilting details on everything from sweaters to jackets to bags will be leaving us with a little extra detail to admire on our winter 2020 pieces, and given the homey, cozy feels it exudes, it feels all too appropriate for this year.

Madewell

Quilted Sweater Jacket

Shop it now

Asos

Quilted Floral Bomber Jacket

Shop it now

MANGO

Quilted Jacket

Shop it now

H&M

Quilted Shirt Jacket

Shop it now

H&M

Quilted Jacket

2 colors available

Shop it now

 

 

Sweater vests

Source: @thesilvermermaidxo

If you told us we’d be excited about wearing sweater vests come 2020, well, it wouldn’t be the most shocking part of the year, but it would be up there. Layer the preppy piece over a white button-up or patterned blouse to pull it off seamlessly.

H&M

Cable-Knit Sweater Vest

Shop it now

Native Youth Plus

Oversized Sweater Vest

Shop it now

MANGO

Slit Knit Top

2 colors available

Shop it now

ASOS

Houndstooth Knit Sweater Vest

Shop it now

 

 

The post Your Guide to Winter 2020’s Best Fashion Trends appeared first on The Everygirl.

What’s the Best Time of Day to Lift Weights? What 35 Studies Say

Key Takeaways

  1. Although most people are slightly stronger in the evening than in the morning, the differences are small and mostly disappear after several weeks of morning workouts.
  2. Research shows that you should probably train at whatever time you prefer—if you’re a morning person, train in the morning; if you’re an evening person, train in the evening.
  3. If you currently lift weights in the evening and would like to start lifting weights in the morning, keep reading to learn seven strategies for making your morning workouts more productive.

What’s the best time of day to lift weights? 

Search for an answer to that question online and you’ll learn that there are basically two schools of thought on this issue:

  1. It’s best to train in the late afternoon or evening.
  2. It doesn’t much matter when you train.

Proponents of the first position point to studies that show athletes perform better later in the day and claim that if you do the same, you’ll be able to use heavier weights in your workouts and gain more muscle and strength as a result.

Advocates of the second position claim that although most people have better workouts in the evening, your body can also adjust to morning workouts over time, nullifying any benefits of training in the evening. 

Who’s right? 

Is training in the latter half of the day really superior to training in the first half? And if so, is the difference enough to matter? 

Or, can you get equally good results regardless of what time you train? 

Keep reading to learn what science says.

    Table of Contents

  • Workout Times and Circadian Rhythms
  • The Sleep-Wake Cycle
  • The Body-Temperature Cycle
  • The Testosterone Cycle
  • How Your Workout Timing Affects Strength and Muscle Gain
  • How to Make Morning Training Work for You
  • The Bottom Line on the Best Time of Day to Lift Weights

Workout Times and Circadian Rhythms


is it better to workout in the morning or evening to gain muscle


Before you can determine what the “best” time of day is to work out, you first have to understand the concept of circadian rhythms.

Your circadian rhythm, often referred to as your “biological clock,” is a collection of physiological processes that repeat roughly every 24 hours and regulate myriad different functions in the body including sleep, eating habits, hunger, digestion, bowel movements, body temperature, and hormone levels. 

One of the most obvious examples of a bodily process that follows a circadian rhythm is your sleep-wake cycle. If you’re like most people, you wake up sometime between 6 and 8 a.m., stay awake for around 16 hours, and then go to bed sometime between 10 p.m. and midnight. 

A more accurate term for these processes would be circadian rhythms, since your body has many different internal “schedules” running at different times. 

As you can imagine, many of these processes also have a significant impact on your athletic performance. 

The circadian rhythms that have the biggest impact on your workouts are:

  • The sleep-wake cycle
  • The body-temperature cycle
  • The testosterone cycle

Let’s take a look at each of these in more detail.

The Sleep-Wake Cycle

One of the countless ways we humans differ from one another is our individual preference for what time we like to go to sleep and wake up, also known as our chronotype.

There are “early birds” who like to wake up and go to bed early, and “night owls” who like to stay up and wake up late, although the vast majority of us fall somewhere between these two extremes.

While it’s possible to change your chronotype over time (learning to wake up early despite being a night owl and vice versa), studies show that matching your chronotype to your daily exercise routine can improve your performance.

For example, research shows that elite athletes tend to pursue and excel in sports that match their chronotype. 

People who are night owls may be more inclined to take part in track and field events, swimming, and gymnastics—sports where competitions typically occur in the afternoon and evening. People who are early birds may be more inclined to pursue triathlon, long-distance running, and other sports where competitions typically occur in the morning. 

More evidence of the benefits of matching your chronotype to workouts comes from a study conducted by scientists at the Martha Jefferson Hospital Sleep Medicine Center. The researchers found that baseball players who were early birds had higher batting averages than night owls in early games (before 2 p.m.), while night owls had higher batting averages than early birds during evening games (after 8 p.m.).

Summary: If you’re a morning person, you’ll likely perform better when exercising in the morning or early afternoon. If you’re an evening person, you’ll likely perform better when exercising in the late afternoon or evening.

The Body-Temperature Cycle

Core body temperature is the temperature of your internal organs (usually your liver). 

Many biological systems are sensitive to variations in your core temperature, so your body goes to great lengths to keep it in a narrow range of 97.7 to 101.3 °F (36.5 to 38.5 ℃).  

Most of the systems involved in exercise—your musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, and nervous systems—function optimally when your core temperature is a little higher than normal. This is because a higher core temperature improves:

  • The speed at which electrical impulses move through your nerves
  • Your ability to use glucose for energy and replenish glycogen stores
  • Blood flow within your muscles
  • Your muscular strength

For most people, core temperature is lowest at night, rises upon waking, and reaches its peak in the evening. In theory, this means training later in the day should lead to more productive workouts and thus better strength and muscle gain.

This may partly explain why research shows people tend to perform better later in the day, and why sporting records tend to be broken in the late afternoon and early evening.

That said, even if training in the evening does slightly improve your performance, this doesn’t necessarily mean this translates into more strength and muscle gain (keep reading to learn why).

Summary: Your body temperature tends to be higher in the evening than in the morning, and this may improve athletic performance.

The Testosterone Cycle

If you ask the average gym-goer what’s the biggest hormonal driver of muscle growth, they would probably answer “testosterone.”

And it would be hard to argue.

Testosterone is the primary “anabolic” hormone (meaning it builds substances up, including muscle) in the human body.

You may have heard that testosterone peaks in the morning and drops at the end of the day, and worry that training in a lower-T environment could decrease how much muscle and strength you gain.

While it’s true that testosterone reaches its lowest point in the evening, research shows that strength training in the evening actually produces a larger increase in testosterone levels than strength training in the morning. 

This fact becomes even more important when you consider the daily rhythms of another important hormone: cortisol.

Cortisol is a “catabolic” hormone, which means it breaks substances down, including muscle and fat. Like testosterone, resting cortisol levels are highest in the morning, before waking, and progressively decline as the day goes on, reaching a low point in the evening.

Read: The Science of Stress, Cortisol, and Weight Loss 

Also like testosterone, cortisol levels spike during and immediately after lifting weights. When you train in the evening, though, this spike in cortisol tends to be lower and disappears faster than if you train in the morning.

Since maintaining a high ratio of testosterone to cortisol is preferable if you want to maximize muscle growth, many researchers have theorized that training in the afternoon or evening, (when the ratio of testosterone to cortisol is at its best) might provide a more anabolic environment for gaining muscle and strength.

As you’ll learn in a moment, though, this theory hasn’t panned out in practice.

Summary: Testosterone and cortisol levels are (hypothetically) more conducive to muscle growth in the evening, although this remains to be proven.

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How Your Workout Timing Affects Strength and Muscle Gain


best time to lift weights for fat loss


On the whole, most studies show that you’ll gain muscle and strength slightly faster if you train in the afternoon or evening than if you train in the morning. 

For example, research conducted by scientists at The College of William and Mary looked at how training at different times of day affected the athletic performance of ten healthy, untrained men. The researchers had the men do a workout that involved 3 sets of 5 reps and a 1 set of 50 reps on an isometric leg extension and curl machine. 

Each person repeated the workout a total of four times—at 8 a.m., 12 p.m., 4 p.m., and 8 p.m.—and they were able to produce slightly more force with their leg muscles at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. than they were at 8 a.m. and 12 p.m.

Two other studies—one conducted by scientists at the University of Bourgogne and the other at the University of Jyväskylä—also found that the subject’s quadriceps muscles were stronger in the evening than in the morning.

Other research has found much the same thing when it comes to muscle growth. 

For example, a study conducted by scientists at the University of Jyväskylä split 52 untrained men between the ages of 26 and 37 years old into two groups: 

  1. A group that lifted weights in the morning.
  2. A group that lifted weights in the evening. 

All of the participants trained twice per week for 12 weeks and about 3 times per week for the final 12 weeks of the study, for a total of 24 weeks of training. The weightlifting program involved a combination of circuit training, moderate-weight, high-rep hypertrophy training, and heavy-weight, low-rep strength training, and the workouts involved a variety of upper- and lower-body exercises.

Read: The 12 Best Science-Based Strength Training Programs for Gaining Muscle and Strength

The researchers measured the participants’ leg press one-rep max, peak isometric strength on a leg extension machine, and used ultrasound scans to measure their quadriceps muscle size.

The result? 

Both groups improved their strength equally, but the group that lifted weights in the evening gained slightly more muscle mass than the group that lifted weights in the morning. The researchers also found that the difference in muscle growth between the two groups only became apparent halfway through the study, indicating it may take up to three months or more for any benefits of evening training to become apparent. 

This jives with a previous study conducted by scientists at the University of Jyväskylä, which had subjects follow a 10-week strength training program, with one group training in the morning (between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m.) and the other training in the afternoon (between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.).

At the end of the study, the researchers found that people training in the morning increased their quad muscle mass by about 2.7% and those training in the afternoon by 3.5%. This measly 0.8% difference wasn’t statistically significant, but it may just take more than a few weeks for the benefits of training in the evening to accrue.  

Another unpublished study from the same university found more significant results. In this case, they found that men who trained in the evening increased their quad muscle mass by 3.21% after 10 weeks, while men who trained in the morning only increased it by 0.64%.

At this point you’re probably thinking, training in the evening is clearly superior to training in the morning, right?  

And, as a corollary, training in the morning must put you at a disadvantage when it comes to gaining muscle and strength, yes? 

Not exactly.

As you now know, most studies show that people are usually weaker in the morning than in the evening. That said, new research shows that if you consistently train in the morning, this handicap disappears over time. Specifically, if you switch from training in the evening to training in the morning, you can expect your strength to dip about 5 to 10% at first, but it should return to normal after about a month or so.

What’s more, your personal preferences play a major role in determining your workout performance. If you prefer working out in the morning to working out in the evening, that may be the better choice, even if Science™ says it isn’t “optimal.”

At least, that’s what a recent study conducted by scientists at Samford University suggests.

In this study, researchers asked 12 college-aged men with an average of 6 years of weightlifting experience each to come to the lab on 3 separate occasions.

On the first visit, the researchers had the men perform a bench press one-rep max test and answer two questions to determine their preferred training time: 

  1. “If you were entirely free to plan your day with no other time commitments, what time of day would you prefer to exercise?”
  2. “What time of day would you choose to exercise if you wanted to perform your best?”

For both questions, the only answers the participants could give were “a.m. or “p.m.,” and to be included in the following stages of the study, participants had to give the same answer to both questions. 

On the second and third visits, the participants did a weightlifting workout in the morning at 8 a.m. on one visit and in the afternoon at 4 p.m. on the other visit.

The first thing the researchers did in both sessions assessed the participants’ motivation to train using a visual analogue scale (the participants indicated how motivated they felt to train on a scale from 0 to 100). 

After that, the participants performed two sets of two reps on the bench press at 75% of their one-rep max with 5 minutes of rest between sets. Although both sets were recorded, only the set with the fastest velocity was included in the results. (A faster weightlifting velocity is a sign that the participants felt less fatigued and more vigorous).

Finally, the participants took one more 5-minute rest, before performing a set of bench press to failure with 75% of their one-rep max. Once that set was complete, the researchers assessed how hard the participants felt the session had been using an RPE scale.

The researchers found that the participants performed the same number of reps on their last set regardless of what time of day they trained, but the speed at which they lifted was slightly faster in the afternoon.

More importantly, however, they found that when the participants trained at their preferred time of day they were more motivated to work out and felt the workouts were easier. This was particularly evident in people who preferred to train in the evening, but who had to train in the morning for the study. (That is, night owls had a harder time adapting to morning workouts than early birds did adapting to evening workouts). 

The key takeaway from this study is that although there might be some small benefit to training in the evening, it’s minor, and probably less important than training at your preferred time of day.

And what of those claims that training in the evening optimizes your hormones for building muscle? 

Well, research shows that’s mostly a bunch of bull dust. 

Although training when the ratio of testosterone to cortisol is at its highest sounds beneficial, several pieces of research suggest it has little to no effect on strength or muscle growth.

For example, one study conducted by researchers at the University of the West of Scotland had 17 untrained male students report to the lab at 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., and perform a 5-meter sprint test and a squat one-rep max test on each visit.

To assess their levels of testosterone and cortisol, participants gave three separate saliva samples: one immediately prior to testing, another 5 minutes after testing, and one more an hour after testing.

The results showed that there was no correlation between sprint performance, squat one-rep max strength, and testosterone or cortisol levels. (As with most other studies on this topic, though, the researchers did find that both sprint and squat performance were slightly better in the evening).

So where does that leave us?

All else being equal, you’ll probably gain muscle and strength slightly faster if you lift weights in the afternoon or evening. 

That said, if you prefer lifting weights in the morning or that suits your schedule better, your body will adjust after a month or so, and you probably won’t be at much of any disadvantage. 

Remember that the most important factor in gaining muscle and strength is consistency, and if training in the morning helps you stick to your workout, then that will give you better results.

Think of it this way: 

  • If you had to choose between training in the evening, knowing that you’d probably miss one or two workouts per month due to scheduling conflicts; or training in the morning and knowing that you’d complete every workout, you’d be better off training in the morning. 
  • If you prefer training in the morning to training in the evening, then you’ll probably get better results training in the morning regardless of what most studies show.
  • If you don’t have a strong preference for morning or evening training, and you know you can consistently train in the evening, then that would be a slightly better choice than training in the morning.

Summary: Most people are able to lift slightly more weight in the evening than in the morning, though the difference is relatively small and tends to disappear over time (your body adapts to morning workouts).

How to Make Morning Training Work for You


best time for gym to lose weight


If you currently train in the morning and you want to train in the evening, you don’t need to worry about any special strategies to make the transition work—just start showing up at the gym in the evening. 

That said, if you currently take a pre-workout supplement before training, you may want to switch to a caffeine-free pre-workout if you start training in the evening.

If you currently train in the evening and want to start training in the morning, though, there are a few techniques that will make the switch less bothersome. 

Here are seven strategies to help you adapt to morning workouts: 

1. Go to bed earlier and wake up earlier.

If you want to start waking up earlier, you first have to start going to bed earlier to ensure you get sufficient sleep every night (7 to 9 hours for most people).  

Aside from simply going to bed earlier, it’s also wise to create a pre-bed routine to help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep through the night. Taking a sleep aid supplement that contains melatonin, like Lunar, can help too, especially during the first few weeks as your body adjusts to your new sleep schedule. 

Finally, make sure you stick to your new sleep-wake schedule every day. Sleeping in on weekends or days you don’t train will interfere with your new sleep schedule and make it harder to wake up on the days you want to train in the morning. 

2. Try to wake up at least an hour before you lift weights.

Rolling out of bed like a log off a truck and dragging yourself straight to the gym is probably going to reduce your workout performance, even if you can (somewhat) get used to it. 

Although it may seem counterintuitive, getting up slightly earlier to allow yourself time to shake off the cobwebs can help you have more productive workouts. Plus, it provides time for the caffeine from your coffee or pre-workout supplement to kick in. Speaking of pre-workouts . . . 

3. Take a pre-workout supplement or drink coffee upon waking.

Research shows that caffeine improves strength, muscle endurance, and anaerobic performance. Most importantly, though, it’s been shown to reverse the “morning weakness” experienced by many people who start lifting weights in the early hours. 

If you’re not a fan of coffee, have a serving of a pre-workout that contains caffeine, like Pulse—it’ll increase your energy levels, improve your mood, and sharpen your mental focus.

4. Eat some protein and/or carbs 30 to 60 minutes before training. 

Eating around 30 grams of both protein and carbs prior to training will help you perform better and recover faster than if you hit the gym on an empty stomach. 

If you prefer to train fasted, taking some HMB or around 10 grams of whey protein mixed with water 15 to 30 minutes before your workout will help to negate any potential muscle loss caused by fasted training.

5. Do a thorough warm-up

As we’ve already discussed, one of the reasons people tend to perform better in the afternoon or evening is their core body temperature is higher than it is in the morning. 

You can quickly raise your core body temperature, though, by doing a thorough warm-up before your morning workouts. A simple way to do this is to do 5 to 10 minutes of cardio before you start lifting weights—just enough to break a sweat, but not enough to fatigue you. 

Create a morning routine that you look forward to.

If getting up early feels like self-flagellation, creating a morning ritual that you look forward to can help take the edge off.

Here are a few ideas: 

  • Listen to your favorite songs, podcasts, audiobooks, or radio shows
  • Read a great book (or Legion articles ;))
  • Get ahead on some of your work
  • Prepare healthy meals for the day
  • Practice journaling

7. Consider doing one-rep max tests in the afternoon or evening.

Even if you do the majority of your training in the morning, you’ll still probably be a bit stronger in the afternoon or evening. Thus, if you want to lift as much weight as possible, as when you’re doing a one-rep max or rep-max test, it’s best to lift in the afternoon or evening. 

The Bottom Line on the Best Time of Day to Lift Weights

Remember that consistency is the keystone of building a great physique—the “optimal” time to lift weights is whenever you can reliably do so, whether that’s the evening, mid-afternoon, or early morning. 

If you don’t much care when you train or you can reliably go in the morning or evening, though, you may be able to lift a little more weight or squeeze out an extra rep or two if you train in the evening. 

If you currently train in the evening and would like to start training in the morning, your strength will probably skid a little at first, but it should rebound after your body adapts to your new schedule. 

If you’d like to switch from training in the evening to morning, here are seven strategies to help:

  1. Go to bed earlier and wake up earlier.
  2. Try to wake up at least an hour before you lift weights.
  3. Take a pre-workout supplement or drink coffee upon waking (I recommend Pulse)
  4. Eat some protein and/or carbs 30 to 60 minutes before training. 
  5. Do a thorough warm-up. 
  6. Create a morning routine that you look forward to.
  7. Consider doing one-rep max tests in the afternoon or evening.

If you liked this article, please share it on Facebook, Twitter, or wherever you like to hang out online! 🙂

What’s your take on the best time of day to lift weights? Have anything else to share? Let me know in the comments below!

The post What’s the Best Time of Day to Lift Weights? What 35 Studies Say appeared first on Legion Athletics.

9 Festive Holiday Nail Colors to Try

We’ve made DIY hair treatments, we’ve started retinol, and we’ve even put masks on our feet. 2020 has been a year filled with self-care, but sometimes you just have to take it back to basics, and for many of us, that’s painting our nails at home. An at-home manicure isn’t the most glamorous of treats to yourself (especially if you’re used to the magic of a nail salon—after this year, I will never take that luxury for granted!), but the end result is enough to make us happy for a few days. 

To be honest though, I’d be lying if I said a holiday-themed manicure is exactly “self-care”; to me, it’s a way to get festive and feel in the holiday spirit. TBH, I’d say beauty and fashion is probably the best way to get in the spirit (other than Dash + Lily, which is my favorite show in the world right now). But what more could we need than holiday cheer and self-care right now? (Not much!) 

Whichever reason you’re trying a new nail color this season, here are a few shades to try this year—because there’s more to a festive look than your beloved red nails. 

 

1. Oxblood

source: @oliveandjune

Pear Nova Nail Polish in Rub My Temples

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Olive and June Nail Polish in Obsessed

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2. Star Nail Art

source: @overglowedit

Essie Nail Polish in Topless and Barefoot

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Nails Inc Seeing Stars Nail Duo

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3. Metallic French

source: @betina_goldstein

Cirque Colors in Reflektor

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Holo Taco Nail Polish in Rainbow Snow

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4. Cranberry

source: @essie

Essie Nail Polish in Swing Of Things

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Cote Nail Polish in No. 36

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5. Light Blue

source: @essie

OP Nail Lacquer in Kanpai Opi

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Sally Hansen Xtreme Nail Polish in White On

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OPI Nail Lacquer in It’s A Boy!

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6. Cherry Red

source: @mischobeauty

Mischo Beauty Nail Lacquer in Front Row

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Lights Lacquer in Cherry Jelly

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7. Glitter

… but make it 2020 and not middle school with a good top coat and groomed, filed nails! 

source: @oliveandjune

Olive and June Nail Polish in Exclamation Point

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Sephora Collection Mini Nail Polish in Gold Fever

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8. Metallic Red

source: @holotaco

Liquid Glass Lacquer in Sexy in Silk

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Holo Taco Nail Polish in Red Licorice

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9. Evergreen

source: @emmaheartssnails

Essie Nail Polish in Off Tropic

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Dazzle Dry Nail Lacquer in Forest Queen

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The post 9 Festive Holiday Nail Colors to Try appeared first on The Everygirl.

9 Sneaky Ways to Save Money During the Week

Does anyone else think saving money is kind of addicting? Don’t get me wrong—I spend it too. Much as I wish it was otherwise, I find my hard-earned dough has the unnerving ability to disappear in the blink of an eye, usually when the travel bug hits. What can I say? I’m a sucker for a good adventure.

On the flip side, or perhaps because of my penchant for getaways, I’ve become just a little obsessed with finding new ways to save money. Some moves are obvious: budgets, CDs with high-yield interest rates, and what not. Others, however, I like to think of as sneaky money moves (s/o to my girl Cardi B). Before you ask, no, I’m not hoarding money under any tables like I did during Monopoly games as a kid. Instead, I’m doing my research and figuring out under-the-radar techniques to pinch pennies wherever I can. While these steps might not amount to huge savings, they do lessen living costs and, little by little, build up bank accounts. Every cent counts in the long haul, right?

 

1. Save pennies at the pump

I’m not exaggerating when I say pennies here. Depending on the day, sometimes all I get are pennies back on my gas purchase. Other times, however, I can earn more than a dollar back at the pump. The secret? It’s all thanks to Checkout 51. If you’re not using the coupon app yet, I highly recommend downloading it. While the app is great for grocery shopping (I’ll get to that in a second), it’s also a sneaky tool for lowering your gas receipts.

So what’s the catch? Checkout 51 cashback discounts aren’t available at every gas station. For instance, the pump closest to where I live doesn’t participate. The one on my way to work, however, does. Because of this, I’ve taken to planning my fill-ups to coincide with my drive to the office. Before I leave home, I upload the offer to my account (a required step), then fill’er up at the gas station. Later that day, I snap a picture of my receipt for the app, then wait for my cashback savings to apply to my account. Ba da bing! Money back for me.

 

2. Become a coupon queen

No, you don’t have to go all Extreme Couponing to save big at the grocery store. All it really takes are a few easy-to-use apps to score deals on the groceries you buy anyway. First things first, take a minute to see if the grocery store near you has its own app. For example, I usually go to Stop & Shop, so I always use the store’s app to load discounts to my card (related: get a supermarket card!) and show the cashier my account barcode right on my phone. Through the Stop & Shop app, I also receive personalized coupons based on my frequent purchases (I get a lot of yogurt deals) and keep track of how many gas points I have for the Stop & Shop gas program (again, get a supermarket card!).

Beyond the basic supermarket app, other favorites include Checkout 51 and Fetch Rewards. While all are similar, they each have unique pros that make having them all worthwhile. With Checkout 51, the coupon selection isn’t huge, but it can pay off well. Chobani yogurt is a recurring deal on the app, so I make the most of it whenever I can. Depending on the day, I can get a dollar or two back just from buying yogurt. As for Fetch Rewards, it’s all about points. Instead of loading specific deals, all you need to do is scan your receipt and let the app do the rest.

 

3. Drop the gym membership

Towards the end of college, one of the first things I vowed to myself was that I’d never pay for a gym membership. Now, I’m not in any way saying gyms are bad or a waste of time, because they’re not. What they are, however, is expensive. Based on my lifestyle, I knew that I never actually needed to pay for a membership when I could easily take advantage of free resources instead. And I did.

When I worked abroad for a year after graduation, I relied exclusively upon running and Youtube fitness videos to stay in shape. I still do, although I’ve also added Shape’s fitness challenges to the mix. Is running not in the cards for you? Nowadays, Youtube has every type of workout under the sun, including my favorites by Fitness Blender and POPSUGAR. Not only do both channels offer routines with and without equipment, but they’re approachable for individuals of all fitness levels. And yes, I can say first-hand that they definitely do make you sweat.

 

4. Cook one new recipe per week

You might be reading this one and saying to yourself, “Um, I already cook at home.” Nice! Sweet! You go, Everygirl! But when’s the last time you cooked something new? On the flip side, when’s the last time you ate out or ordered takeout? If the answer to the latter is anything along the lines of “way too often,” then it’s time to get cooking. 

I know you probably know that cooking at home is less expensive than eating out all the time. The sneaky part of this tip is that it’s not just about saving a few bucks by skipping Seamless, but also about creating a gradual lifestyle change. See, when you get in the habit of picking out a new recipe every week or two, you win twice. On the one hand, you get to try a new-to-you dish and improve your skills in the kitchen. On the other, you commit to regularly forgoing dinner out in order to save money and work your creative muscles. And who knows? You just may love it.

 

5. Make coffee at home

This one’s for you, Starbucks lovers (also, I’m sorry, but you’ll thank me later). Depending on where you live, a standard cup of drip coffee can run anywhere from an affordable $1.50 to a cringeworthy $5 and above. I don’t know about you, but $3 a day—and $15 per workweek—is a gut punch to my wallet. To avoid the temptation of stopping into any of the two Starbucks or four Dunkins on my way to work (yes, I counted), I’ve made a commitment to only brew coffee at home. I can’t operate without java in the morning, so this is actually instant gratification for me, since it means I don’t have to suffer through getting ready sans-caffeine. Three scoops and eight minutes after hitting the start button, I’m happily sipping on my preferred medium roast, hazelnut blend. 

Want to make coffee at home even easier? With auto-timers, you can set your coffee to brew at a certain hour every day. In the warmer months, you could also brew a huge pot on Sunday and turn it into iced coffee to sip during the week. 

 

6. Get a library card—and actually use it

Unlike platinum highlights and Tamagotchis, library cards are one childhood memento you want to keep with you into adulthood. In case it’s been a minute since you last stepped foot into your local library, consider the fact that library cards grant access to so much more than books. Depending on the library closest to you, signing up for a member card might mean just getting access to hundreds, if not thousands, of new-to-you reads (which sounds pretty wonderful, tbh). On the other hand, it might also mean gaining admittance to everything from career prep programs and language courses to movies and music. And did I mention it’s all free?

P.S. Your local library isn’t the only place to sign up for a card. For college alums, many universities offer library access to books and databases for graduates and students alike. Check with your school’s alumni services to confirm.

 

7. Carpool with friends or take public transportation at least one day a week

Depending on where you live or what your work setup is like, commuting solo might be the path of least resistance. If you want to get serious about saving, though, carpooling and public transportation are the way to go. Make either option more doable by introducing one or the other to your routine on a set day per week. Perhaps you know your cubicle buddy lives in the next town over from you and drives by your place on the way to work. Why not ask him or her to alternate driving duty with you every Friday? Not only will carpooling save you gas money in the short-term, but it can also extend the life of your ride and decrease pollution.

If carpooling is not feasible or realistic (in other words, if you live in a big city), public transportation is a saving grace. Instead of relying upon your own car or an Uber to get you to the office, consider taking the local bus or subway to work instead. For the price of a single ride, you may have to sacrifice a few minutes of your morning routine, but you’ll score big on gas or Lyft fee savings. Plus, public transportation is an easy way to make your daily commute just a teensy bit greener.

 

8. Shop for makeup at the drugstore

As much as it pains me to say it, sometimes skipping that Sephora order is a good idea. If you think about it, many “must-have” makeup items aren’t really essential at all. Case in point: mascara. I can’t tell you how often I’ve been suckered into purchasing a prestige mascara just because I was a fan of the brand (looking at you, Lancome Hypônse Drama) or I fell for the packaging. Yet when it came down to testing each tube, I found I loved them about as much as I loved the versions from the drugstore. 

All in all, for frequent repurchases like mascara, eyeliner, and lipstick, it’s much more affordable to pick them up at the drugstore instead. With cheaper prices and membership discounts, drugstores offer all the go-to products for a fraction of the prices found at department store counters. And if we’re being honest, we all know the CoverGirl LashBlast Volume Mascara is never not a good thing to have in your makeup stash.

 

9. Look at leftovers like gold (because they are)

If you’re trying to save dough and you’re not all aboard the leftover bandwagon, it’s time to hop on and never look back. You see, leftovers are, if not a full meal in and of themselves, the start of something delicious. To make leftovers work for me, I love purposefully making extra of whatever I’m cooking for dinner so that I can pack it up in my container of choice for lunch the next day. While this is a major boon when it comes to lunch prep in the morning (simply grab the container and go), it’s also a sneaky way for me to curb my takeout expenses. If I know I already have a perfectly scrumptious portion of food waiting for me in the office fridge, I’m far less likely to place a pickup order than I would be if I threw together a sad desk lunch that morning. (Let me tell you, a can of microwaveable soup gets old real fast.)

 

What everyday savings techniques do you practice?

The post 9 Sneaky Ways to Save Money During the Week appeared first on The Everygirl.