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SHAPE Shares: The Truth About Losing Weight


Gather 'round! It's time for yet another installation of our weekly roundup of funny, weird, or otherwise interesting health- and fitness-related stories. Here's what we're reading. Scroll below to check out the links, then tell us in the comments below or tweet us @Shape_Magazine: What are you reading this week?

1. An Australian trainer debunks those infuriating "before" and "after" photos. Inspired by a personal trainer named Andrew Dixon, who wanted to show people just how much marketing and work goes into producing those perfect "after" shots you see on the TV (check his experiment out on Huffington Post), Australian personal trainer Mel V, of Mel V's Fitness, decided to undergo her own transformation (photo above).

"Check out my transformation! It took me 15 minutes," Mel posted to Instagram. "Wanna know my secret? Well firstly I ditched the phonewallet (fwallet) cause that *** is lame, swapped my bather bottoms to black (cause they're a size bigger and black is slimming), smothered on some fake tan, clipped in my hair extensions, stood up a bit taller, sucked in my guts, popped my hip, threw in a skinny arm, stood a bit wider #boxgap, pulled my shoulders back and added a bit of a cheeky/I'm so proud of my results smile. Zoomed in on the before pic, zoomed out on the after and added a filter. Cause filters make everything awesome."

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2. The post-grad 15 is real. In case you weren't worried enough about the "Freshman 15," now all you college kids out there have to worry about the "post-grad 15," the weight you gain when you get your first office job. Luckily, with a few simple lifestyle tweaks, it's easy enough to combat. Check out POPSUGAR Fitness' tips for staying healthy, active, and sharp. As an added bonus, you'll probably feel happier and more productive too.

3. There's a new blood test that may make screening for ovarian cancer easier. Because ovarian cancer is often caught so late, it's one of the deadliest gynecological cancers to date. However, a large study that was recently done has found that annual blood tests of CA-125, a protein that's thought to be an indicator of ovarian cancer, might be effective at catching the cancer earlier. More testing is underway in the U.K., but in order for the U.S. Preventative Task Force to give the blood test a stamp of approval, it has to be linked to a decrease in deaths. Read more information about it here.

4. The celebrity post-baby body obsession is hurting women. Tabloids have been going crazy this week since Kate Middleton made her first public appearance since the birth of her son Prince George, with US Weekly reporting that "the small amount of pre-pregnancy weight she gained has just melted off!" Middleton is far from the only celebrity whose body has come under scrutiny recently. Check out this article by the editors at Yahoo! Shine that takes a more in-depth look at how our obsession with celebrity bodies may be hurting women.

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5. Cocaine is a hell of a drug. In case you weren't already aware of the harmful effects of repeated cocaine use, a new study done by researchers at UC San Francisco shows that just one use of cocaine can drastically affect your decision-making skills and alter your brain's memory wiring. Cocaine: Not even once.


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