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My friend Christine had been trying to lose those last 10 pounds for months, but to no avail. Despite my regular invitations for her to come to the gym with me, she always declined. One Saturday afternoon, she finally agreed to try it out, but on one condition: no weights.

''Why not?'' I asked, a bit confused. ''I love the way my arms look. Lifting weights is the best thing I've ever done for my body.''

It had initially taken me a while to get into lifting weights, but within a few weeks of regular strength training, I had watched my arms become more firm and toned than they had ever been. Thanks to strength training, I was so proud of my body, and I couldn't understand why someone wouldn't want to give it a shot.

Christine shook her head. ''I don't want to use weights. My arms are big enough already, and I don't want to look like a man.''

I was quick to tell Christine that her fear was unfounded. Weight training, even just twice a week for 20 minutes at a time, is an important part of a well-rounded fitness regime for both men and women. While some of the benefits of strength training are obvious (improved muscle tone and strength), working out with weights also helps in more subtle ways, such as fighting the aging process by maintaining lean muscle tissue. And women who regularly exercise with free weights and machines have higher self-esteem and an improved immune system, meaning they get sick less often. Weight training also reduces blood pressure, fights arthritis, strengthens bones, and helps the body process sugar more efficiently, thereby reducing the risk of diabetes.

Read more: Why Women Don't Lift Weights--But Should

These days, it seems that everyone is stressed. We all have too much to do and too little time to do it. Times are tough, money is tight, and deadlines are imminent.

What happens when you're stressed? You tend to eat more, sleep less, skip the gym and feel rundown. Additionally, stress is linked to a number of illnesses, such as heart disease, high blood pressure and an increased risk for cancer.

Read more: Beat Stress, Weigh Less

Conduct a quick Google search, and you'll find miraculous claims about a tropical fat that has become increasingly popular among health-conscious consumers in recent years: coconut oil. Health claims about the oil's ability to help you burn fat, boost your memory, improve your heart health—and even prevent sunburn—abound. Many trusted talk-show hosts and ''wellness experts'' have touted coconut oil as nature's ''miracle'' food.

In contrast, many other health and nutrition experts disagree. Coconut oil has long been on the list of ''unhealthy'' fats due to its high saturated fat content.

So, whom should you believe?

Before you twist off the lid on a new jar, here are the real, unbiased—and research-supported—facts about coconut oil.

In a (Coco)nut Shell: The Condensed Story of Coconut Oil

Read more: The Truth about Coconut Oil

The body dissipates heat 4 ways:

Conduction – heat transfer from one solid object to another. The transfer is always from the warmer object to the cooler object.

Radiation – the loss of heat in the form of infrared rays

Convection – heat transfer from the body to the surrounding air. Air temperature must be cooler than skin temperature in order for this to occur. Wind is a good example.

Evaporation – sweat from the skin results in heat loss by the body.*

If the body isn't accustomed to warm weather exercises, it takes approximately 10-14 days of exercise in those conditions in order to fully acclimate yourself.

Your body's "temperature regulation center," called the hypothalamus, adjusts during this period. Changes during this period include sweat rate increases, sweating begins earlier, better distribution of sweat over the whole body, sweat becomes hypotonic (less salty), and blood volume increases.

Read more: Tips for Exercising in Heat

Balanced breakfast? Check

Mid-morning snack? Check

Healthy lunch with your co-workers? Check

Passing up your friend's homemade cookies? Check

Coming home in the evening and going on a feeding frenzy? CHECK!!

Does this sound like the bulk of your days? You're in control, everything is going fine - until you come home starving at night and eat a large dinner, say yes to dessert (and seconds) and finish off a bag of chips before bed. What gives?

Read more: Is Evening Eating Destroying Your Weight Loss Efforts?

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