Archive for the ‘In the News’

New Study: Living With Men Makes Women Fat

MORE PROOF OF BFB SYNDROME!: Saying “I do” or even living with a man may cause a larger waistline, according to a 10-year study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. WNBC’s Roseanne Colletti reports.

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WISE-GUY RULE: Don’t Be a Food Hound This Holiday

g-hth-091123-tday-meal-noonhmediumA recent piece on highlighted an issue that often comes up between BFBs and the ones that love them this time of year: What do you do when the person you care about most is eating lots of high-calorie, not-good-for-them foods over the holidays, especially if they have a health issue like heart disease or diabetes or are already tipping the scales toward an unhealthy weight? Do you say anything? Do you give them “the look” when they reach for a third serving of mashed potatoes or a fourth cookie or slice of pie?

No, no you do not. Bethany Thayer, a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association, made a few great points in the article and I agree with them all, especially this one:

“It’s really hard to watch the people you love do things you know may cause them discomfort, hurt them or even shorten their lives. Unfortunately, no matter how hard we try, we cannot control other people’s behavior, only our own.”

In chapter 9, Health-ify That Boy, I talk all about this issue and the very, very fine line that exists between nudging because you care and very destructive nagging. Whether it comes in the form of eye rolling, words, or the before-mentioned look, the only thing it’s going to do is cause fights and resentment between you both.

Especially during the holidays, if the man you love loves holiday goodies enough to pile on holiday pounds, plan a few active dates (ice skating, skiing, power shop the biggest mall in your area, cut down your own Christmas tree!), and then forget about it and focus on yourself. Try bringing a healthier option to the table (for instance, I always make mashed cauliflower at Thanksgiving so I can have mostly that and just enough mashed potatoes to feel satisfied), up your own activity to give yourself a burst of mood-upping endorphins, and remember that the best thing you can do is be a good example and take care of yourself. Then, focus on all the reasons why you love him and enjoy the holiday!



picture-1Hey, guys. Check out the piece I did for Women’s Health November 2009 issue, on newsstands now. 


Feel beastly when you’re pre-period? Pinpoint your symptoms, then follow our advice for fast relief. 
BY Jenna Bergen 

Go with the flow? For many of us, that’s a lot easier said than done. Roughly 80 percent of women report dealing with at least mild premenstrual symptoms. But killer cramps, belly bloat, and mood swings straight out of a Lifetime movie don’t have to rule your cycle. Whether PMS is a mild nuisance or a monthly torment, here’s how to get your life back. 

Continue Reading →

FAT CHAT: Lauren Conrad Has a Big Fat Boyfriend!

alg_lauren_conrad_shapeI need to get my book to LC! In the September issue of Shape, former Hills star Lauren Conrad revealed that in the beginning of her relationship with actor Kyle Howard, she gained more than a new best friend:

“I call it the ‘boyfriend layer’,” she says. “We were having more romantic dinners out, and I was exercising less.”

So how did the California girl reclaim her stunning bikini bod in time to make the magazine’s September cover?

By hitting the gym with her honey.

“I just ask Kyle, ‘You feel like working out?'” she says, adding that they spend most of their together time outside anyway.

“We like doing outdoor stuff: tennis, bike riding, kayaking, surfing, hiking,” she says. “It’s more fun than hitting the gym alone.”

Good for them for getting outside and moving more! What’s the last active thing you did with your honey? (And does anyone have Lauren’s address?) ;)


YBFB REVIEW: “… filled with brilliant ideas and strategies for how women can keep their bodies healthy fit, and safe from BFB’s destructive eating habits.”

blog023It never ceases to amaze me when I find out that someone new has picked up YBFB and connected with it and found it useful. So the other day when this writeup by Kaydeelynn from her blog The Last Ten popped up on my BlackBerry, I was, of course, smiling the rest of the afternoon and more excited than ever to get into my kitchen and try out a new turkey chili recipe (more on that soon!). She had lots of sweet things to say, and you can check out her thoughts on why YBFB got the thumbs up below. (My favorite line, because I think it sums up why you can embrace your makeup-loving, “tries on seven different outfits before choosing your favorite sundress anyway” side while still being super-smart, has to be: “Truly educational and truly girly. I highly recommend it.” Thanks, Kaydeelynn! So happy you liked it! Xoxo! Continue Reading →

YBFB REVIEW: “Loved this book and was immediately inspired to live healthier … Highly recommended for all women, whether you have a better half or no.”

picture-6I can’t tell you how happy I was to find this review by Eva G. on her blog, Knowledge Is Cool. It toally made my day! While writing YBFB, I can’t tell you how much I hoped people would relate to the book, and how much I wanted to find a way to talk about diet and fitness that would inspire women and couples to eat well and be well, without hitting any of the extremes. It’s about having fun, loving life, and making choices that make you feel good without overanalyzing food or, God forbid, “going on a diet!” But, anyway, Eva says it much better than me, so check out her thoughts below. Thank you so much, Eva! You totaly made my day! Xoxo!

Your Big Fat Boyfriend: by Jenna Bergen
The reason I picked up this book was because since I had quit smoking, I started gaining quite a bit of weight. Though it appears I have started to get my weight under control, I still wanted to discover ways to make healthy eating and exercise a sustainable part of my life. Surprisingly, this book might be the ONLY reference I’ll need. It was fantastic and one of my luckiest book picks ever. It was such a fulfilling read, no pun intended.

Normally I’d never sit down to read A) A self-help book or B) a diet book, but the weight gain from quitting smoking created the need to reach out. But wait – this is NOT a diet book, though it is a self-help title. The author, Jenna Bergen, does a great job of providing a ton of helpful, practical advise in a little, one-sitting book. Topics include ways to add nutrition to your diet, ways to get your boyfriend interested in different foods, calculating your dietary needs and getting exercise out of everyday, fun activities. Not once was Bergen preachy or bitchy. (I tried the “Bitch in the Kitch” series and wanted to gouge my eyes out.)

Also, it’s important to note that my boyfriend is not big and fat, quite the contrary. He is very lean, eats very well, and is in good shape. The book made me really introspective and I realized I was the Big Fat Boyfriend (BFB). I realized it was not HIM eating a ton of pizza with ranch dressing. Nor did he make me eat that enormous bacon, cheeseburger. He’s also not the one keeping me in bed when I should be up and at ’em, working out. You get the drift. This book is not about boyfriend bashing. I found the author really found a way to connect real life and the choices we have to make when part of a relationship.

Bergen keeps it really fun, lighthearted and simple all while inspiring you to eat better and get your but moving. Plus, I literally laughed out loud a couple of times. The writing is good, very to the point and Bergen wastes few words on rhetoric. It’s not the “starve yourself” option or the cut carb option or all the other diet-like crap that’s out there. It’s about identifying your specific problems, whether they be about eating or exercise, and taking specific, easy steps to make the change.

Loved this book and was immediately inspired to live healthier than I have been. Highly recommended for all women, whether you have a better half or no.


Australia Weighs In: Is Your Man Making You Fat?

0662840800Guess what? Down Under is full of diet disasters, too! I chatted with Emma Markezic for a piece that ran in the Sunday Telegraph this past week. Check out how the lovely ladies of Australia are dealing with their outback babes below:

YOUR partner doesn’t have to be overeating to be super-sizing your diet and your waistline. You know the story: boy meets girl, boy marries girl, girl starts packing on the pounds.

Only the weight creeps on so slowly, you don’t know it’s happening until one day you realise that pulling on your jeans has become a gruelling 20-minute ordeal.

You’re probably thinking the romantic dinners more than make up for the extra five kilos you’ve gained thanks to that yoga-saboteur you’re with. Well, it’s time to think again.

“Love doesn’t have to mean love handles,” says Jenna Bergen, author of Your Big Fat Boyfriend: How To Stay Thin When Dating A Diet Disaster (Hardie Grant).

And sometimes, the fat-enabling partner is the one you least suspect. “Some of the most dangerous big fat boyfriends are the super-fit guys who need a lot of energy and are constantly refuelling,” Bergen says.

“So even though you just ate dinner an hour ago, he’s ready for a snack or another meal and you end up eating with him.”

If you’re coupled up and fattening up, here are five ways Bergen says your man is adding baggage to your backside. Continue Reading →

Oxygen Magazine Reviews Your Big Fat Boyfriend

oxygenmag_website“Heeyyy, Miss Jennnn-aahhh, how you doin’?” My favorite Spinning instructor is beaming down at me as I do my best to finish off a round of leg raises on the incline bench. It’s only 6:35 a.m. on a Monday and Broderick, who’s just finished teaching class, has more energy than a certain sunglass-wearing pink bunny.

“Good,” I say, letting the medicine ball fall from feet. I sit up and can’t help but smile back. I only joined LA Fitness a few months ago and still can’t get over how quickly I made new gym friends.

“How’s your book doing?” Asks the man who personally started handing out my business card the day he found out my book hit shelves. “Jennifer said she just read about it in another magazine.”

“She did?”

“Yeah, she called me over the weekend, and said ‘Is that Jenna?’ and I said ‘Yep, that’s her. You’d be surprised how nice she cleans up.'”

“Do you know what magazine?” I ask, trying not to be hurt by the confirmation that my just-rolled-out-of-bed, shoved-my-hair-under-a-hat, I’m-wearing-a-ratty-tee-that-I’ve-had-since-high-school look is so un-glamorous that fellow gym-goers would actually question if I had the ability to put words on a page. Continue Reading →

YBFB Giveaway at Fit Bottomed Girls!

The adorable Jenn and Erin over at Fit Bottomed Girls read YBFB and had some great things to say about it—and now they’re giving away five free copies! So hop on over there and leave a comment for your chance to win. (But please, do come back and let me know what you think!) And before you go, here are some of my favorite comments—and my comments on my favorite comments! Thanks, Fit Bottomed Girls!

MizFit said… “Am I too old to read it? :) my husband still wants to drag me down the Ben and Jerry path where the trees are made of oreos.”

[Husbands are only BFBs with rings. Seriously. Soo many women have stoped me and said, “This is my life! But I have a Big Fat Husband!” Same rules apply! ]

Megan said… “This sounds like an awesome book. My boyfriend often gives me grossed out looks when I suggest trying a healthier alternative.”

[Oh, have I seen the face you’re talking about, lol. Like you offered him a root canal instead of a bite of your salad!]

The Decayed Gentlewoman said … “I’ve had this exact problem with a previous S.O., but my current boyfriend is very fit. The problem though, is that he’s trying to gain weight (b/c he’s really into weight lifting right now)- right when I was in the middle of a diet! Its so frustrating to watch him adding peanut butter to everything while I eat my salads. LOL.”

[Skinny/fit guys can be the biggest BFBs of all, simply because they’re eating more and more often. And studies show that simply seeing food can make a girl hungry!]

Brooke said… “Who wouldn’t love a light hearted dieting book?! it would be a nice change from the standard fare that is out there.”

[Thanks, Brooke! That was part of my hopes for the book—I wanted it to be a fun read as well as a cheerleader for women and couples to get healthy and fit without obsessing over calories!]

Lee said… “That workout first thing in the morning advice is something I’m going to start following. It makes sense that the chances of something coming up to derail a workout would only increase as the day goes by. This book sounds great to me. My husband has a hyper metabolism. Understanding that I can’t eat foods in the same amounts is something I have to be reminded about continuously.”

[Working out in the AM is the best way to make sure you actually do it. And trust me, it’s never easy for me to wake up—but once I’m home, showered, and on my way to work, I’m so happy I did it!]

AmyJo said… “I’d love to date a guy who WASN’T a dating disaster for once! Every guy I’ve ever been with has been addicted to fast food (either Taco Bell or McDonalds!) and I’ve had to work off the weight I gained with a guy every time! I definitely need this book :P”

[I hear ya, AmyJo! One of the women I interviewed for the book said that even after she and her fast-food-loving BFB broke up, she found herself swinging through the drive-thru solo—and she never ordered fast food before him. So it’s super common, but it doesn’t mean it has to happen with the next boy you meet, either! There are lots of ways around it!]

Renae said… “Oh my goodness!!! I totally want this book! I have dated guys (one of whom was a chef) that could shovel food down their throats with wild abandon and not gain an ounce! For awhile my eating habits would stay good. No seconds, only eating half of my portions at the restaurants, but before I even realized what was going on, I was slipping and eating more like them.”

[Renae, this is my story, too! Even though I was still working out and eating all of my yummy veggies, all of the bites here and nibbles there of his food started to add up over time. It is way too easy to gain a pound. It only takes 500 extra calories every day for a week!]

There are so many more wonderful comments and you can read them all here. And please, let me know what you think! I’d love to hear from you. Xoxo!

“YBFB Reads Like a Chick Lit Novel. But Diet Book It Is and a Very Useful One at That …”

Liz over at HealthBolt completely made my night! She’s a health professional by day and blogger by night, and I was so excited to come across her thoughts on the book. Here’s what she had to say:

As you might have already guessed from the title, Your Big Fat Boyfriend is not just another diet book. Written by Jenna Bergen, a freelance writer and yoga addict, it reads more like a click lit novel than a diet. But diet book it is and a very useful one at that …

It’s pretty much a given that once in a relationship, many women will pick up their partner’s unhealthy eating habits, resulting in weight gain. It sure doesn’t seem fair, but it’s true. …

But, as Jenna writes in her book Your Big Fat Boyfriend, ‘love doesn’t have to mean love handles’. Learning this the hard way (ie not being able to fit into her ‘skinny jeans’), Jenna has taken this topic in hand and created a very readable and often hilarious book full of anedotes and tips on how to stop the boyfriend from sabotaging (which of course he is not doing deliberately) your healthy eating habits.

Your Big Fat Boyfriend is full of tips for eating, exercising and living with a guy who thinks French fries are vegetables, can’t say no to all you can eat buffets, and must always have ice cream in the freezer. …

Definitely a book worth checking out, not just for it’s balanced diet advice, but also for the fitness and relationship tips as well.

Thank you so much, Liz! So glad you liked it! Hope you come by and check out the blog, too!