The 6 Worst Things You Can Do To Your Body

Researchers in Australia just finished a six-year study that involved more than 230,000 people over the age of 45.  And they found there are six main things that put you at risk for an early death.

1.  Smoking.  People who smoked had a 94% higher mortality rate.  Meaning you’re 94% more likely to die early.

2.  Not getting enough exercise, 72%

3.  Sitting for more than seven hours a day.  You’re 33% more likely to die early.  And that’s even if you exercise.

4.  Sleeping more than nine hours a night.  It increases your chance of dying by 31%.  People who slept LESS than seven hours only increased their chance of dying early by 9%.

5.  Poor diet.  It increased people’s chances of dying by 11%.  But it goes up to 21% if you eat like crap AND drink too much.

6.  Drinking too much.  It increases your chances of dying by 8%.  But if you drink a lot AND smoke, it’s 180%.

People who did all six were over five times more likely to die over the course of the study than people who didn’t do any of them. 

What It Takes For A Joke To Really Make Us Laugh!

Scientists studying the brain mechanism responsible laughter and humor believe they’ve finally found the reason why some jokes make us laugh, and others don’t.

They say jokes that are direct and easy to follow are key ingredients for making people laugh.

 

Researchers (from Oxford University) studied the reaction of 55 undergraduates to 65 different jokes from an online compilation of the 101 funniest jokes of all time.

The majority of the jokes used in the study were produced by successful comedians. 
 
Some were one-liners, others were longer and more complex and a third of the jokes were factual with reasonably undemanding observations of idiosyncrasies in the world.

Subjects were told to rate the jokes on a scale from one (not funny) to four (very funny).

Students found jokes that involved two characters and up to five back-and-forth levels of something known as ‘intentionality’ between the comedian and the audience to be the funniest.

For example, an adult can comprehend up to five such levels of intentionality before losing the plot of a too-complex story. 

(Conversations that share facts normally involve only three such levels.   Greater brain power is needed when people discuss the social behavior of others, because it requires them to think and rethink themselves into the shoes of others.)

According to the study, the best jokes are thought to build on a set of expectations and have a punchline to update the knowledge of the listener in an unexpected way. 

Expectations that involve the thoughts or intentions of people other than the joke-teller or the audience, for example the characters in the joke, are harder to pin down. 

Our natural ability to handle only a limited number of mindstates comes into play.

However, these findings do not suggest that humor is defined by how clever a joke is, but suggests that there is a limit to how complex its content can be to still be considered funny.

‘Increasing the mentalizing complexity of the joke improves the perceived quality, but only up to a certain point: stand-up comedians cannot afford to tell intricate jokes that leave their audience feeling as if they’ve missed the punchline.’

CONCLUSION:

‘The task of professional comics is to elicit laughs as directly and as fast as possible. They generally do this most effectively when ensuring that they keep within the mental competence of the typical audience member.’ 

‘If they exceed these limits, the joke will not be perceived as funny.’

Proper Food Portions! (Just In Time!)

Experts say that most people don’t know what a proper portion of food should look like, and even healthy food contains calories that can add up.

A 2013 report looked at how portion sizes had changed over 20 years found that ready-meal portions for dishes such as lasagne had increased by as much as 50 percent. Plates and wine glasses keep getting bigger, too.


Here are some portion guidelines that anyone can do.


MEAT: PALM OF THE HAND- A serving of any meat should be the size of the palm of your hand (but not your fingers).


WHITE FISH: WHOLE HAND– For white fish, the portion can be the size of your hand when laid flat, including your fingers.


UNCOOKED SPINACH: TWO DOUBLE HANDFULS- You should have vegetables with every meal.


SMALL FRUITS: TWO CUPPED PALMS- A portion of small fruit such as berries (or larger fruit cut up in a fruit salad) is roughly what you can fit in your cupped hands.


VEGETABLES: CLENCHED FIST- Twice this amount of broccoli would technically count as two of your five a day, though variety is key.


UNCOOKED PASTA: CLENCHED FIST- Carbs, for energy and fiber, should make up just a quarter of your plate. A portion of uncooked rice is also the size of your fist. Any more than this will pile on calories from extra sauce, too.


NUTS: ONE PALM- A good portion is what you can hold in a cupped palm. ‘Try to eat nuts and seeds one by one’ to get the heart-healthy unsaturated fats, without too many calories.


POTATO: CLENCHED FIST- Baking potatoes can be twice as big as a regular potato, so think about sharing. It’s the same for sweet potatoes – but unlike white potatoes these would count as one of your five-a-day.


OILY FISH: PALM OF HAND- One portion a week would give you enough heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids in your diet.


BUTTER: THUMB TIP- Any fat – butter, oil, and spreads such as peanut butter should be a serving no bigger than a teaspoon or the size of the end of your thumb, from the knuckle to the tip of the nail, and no more than two or three portions a day.


CHOCOLATE: INDEX FINGER- A piece of chocolate the size of your index finger works out at around 100 calories, and this would be an appropriate treat.


CHEESE: TWO THUMBS- Cheese should be around the length and depth of both thumbs. That’s around 125 calories here, giving a third of your daily calcium.


CAKE: TWO FINGERS- A piece of cake should be the length and width of two fingers. This makes it around 185 calories – fine as a treat or snack.

Thanksgiving Traditions That Are Costly…and How To Avoid Them!

1. Hosting Thanksgiving at your place: The host is usually stuck paying for things like napkins, table cloths, decorations and most of the food. To help out your wallet rotate who hosts Thanksgiving with your family members.

 

2. Traveling: Driving or flying can add up each year especially if you are visiting out of state relatives. The solution could be to host next year’s Thanksgiving and see your relatives every other year.

 

3. Buying your cakes and pies: Pumpkin pie and pudding could be a Thanksgiving tradition but making your own cake or pie could be cheaper. If you don’t know how to bake ask relatives to bring their favorite dessert instead.

 

4. Going to the movies: The average price of a movie ticket is now $8.61. Renting a movie from Redbox or your local library is a much cheaper option. Netflix or Hulu are cheaper options as well.

 

5. Making too much food: This isn’t a problem if you don’t mind eating leftovers. However it’s  good idea to get an exact head count on how many people you’re hosting. Once you know how many guests you’ll have, don’t go overboard with the food.

Food Swaps To Save You Calories At Thanksgiving!

A study says the average American will consume 4,500 calories on Thanksgiving, with 3,000 calories coming from the turkey dinner alone. The other 1,500 calories can be blamed on hors d’oeuvres and boozy beverages.


Here are some food swaps that can help you save hundreds – or even thousands – of calories this year:


Swap dark meat for white meat

Dark turkey meat has nearly twice the fat of white turkey breast and about 40 percent more calories. Replacing three ounces of dark turkey meat.


Swap traditional mashed potatoes for a lighter recipe made with Greek yogurt

Mashed potatoes are a Thanksgiving staple, but traditional recipes include mounds of heavy cream and butter. Use  two percent milk, nonfat plain Greek yogurt, and only three tablespoons of butter to save over a hundred calories.


Swap Greek yogurt for sour cream when making dip

Using Greek yogurt in place of sour cream will save 38 calories per serving.


Swap traditional gravy for low-sodium gravy mix

One fourth a cup of traditional gravy made from turkey drippings, which has 131 calories and 9g of fat, can easily be swapped for one four a cup of prepared low-sodium gravy mix. That will save you 106 calories and 8g of fat.


Swap classic sweet potato casserole for a baked sweet potato

Sweet potatoes covered in marshmallows are another Thanksgiving favorite, but trading that for a small baked sweet potato topped with a teaspoon of brown sugar and chopped pecans will save you a whopping 420 calories.


Swap green bean casserole for sauteed green beans

One cup of traditional green bean casserole made with cream of mushroom soup and topped with fried onions has 235 calories and 15g of fat. Instead, saute a cup of green beans in one teaspoon of butter.


Swap traditional cornbread stuffing for a lighter recipe made with fat-free buttermilk

One cup of cornbread stuffing made with whole milk and butter has 470 calories and 17g of fat. One cup of the same stuffing prepared with fat-free buttermilk and half the butter of the traditional recipe only has 319 calories and 11g of fat.


Swap canned cranberry sauce for cranberry relish  

While one fourth a cup of canned cranberry sauce has 105 calories and 26g of sugar, one fourth a cup of raw cranberry relish has only 67 calories and 12g of sugar.


Swap pecan pie for pumpkin pie

Swapping one slice of pecan pie, which has 806 calories and 25g of fat, with one slice of pumpkin pie will save you a whopping 541 calories and 16g of fat.


Swap slice of apple pie à la mode with one baked apple topped with whipped cream

Warm apple pie topped with vanilla ice cream has about 448 calories and 19g of fat.

One baked apple made with one tablespoon brown sugar, one teaspoon of butter, cinnamon and a tablespoon of whipped cream.


Swap eggnog for apple cider

One cup of creamy eggnog has 223 calories and 11g of fat. Reach for a glass of apple cider, which only has 120 calories and zero fat per cup.   


Swap a glass of wine with a wine spritzer

Replacing your five ounce glass of red or white wine, with three ounces of wine topped with two ounces of club soda will save you 60 calories.

20 Ways To Stay Well This Winter

Here are 20 simple tricks to help you keep warm and stay well this winter:


1- Blink more or wear sunglasses. The colder the air, the less moisture it contains, which can mean dry eyes which could lead to inflammation.


2- Eat with your left hand at parties. Hands can carry illness-causing bacteria and bugs. Using a different hand to greet people and to eat reduces the chance of those bacteria being transferred to your mouth.


3- Say no to booze. Alcohol might make you feel warm at first because it causes warm blood to rush toward your skin, but you may end up feeling colder because this can take blood away from the internal organs, causing body temperature to drop.


4- Get a flu shot if you’re overweight. Obese people have been shown to be more likely to get flu and suffer complications.


5- Walk round the shopping center. A study says winter weather really can trigger joint pain. Staying active can help keep your joints warm.


6- Sit next to a lamp in the morning. A light therapy lamp, which mimics natural daylight, can help you to cope with the short winter days and lack of vitamin D.


7- Change seats on the bus. If someone close to you is coughing or sneezing, turn your head away for ten seconds while the air clears, and – if you’re on a bus or train – change seats if you can.

A sneeze can send 100,000 virus-containing droplets into the air – you only need one to 30 particles to be infected – and the cold virus can survive on a doorknob or TV control or handrail for 48 hours.


8- Stomp around to avoid falls. Ice and snow can be dangerous, with as many as 7,000 hospital admissions a year being due to people falling over on snow or ice. For the elderly, a serious fracture could be fatal.


9- Wear a scarf over your nose. Cold weather can make asthma symptoms worse. Not only will colds and flu inflame the airways, but cold air itself can irritate the airways, causing them to constrict, triggering coughing and wheezing.


10- Wash your pillowcase every week. This prevents germs from festering. They should be washed daily if you share a bed with someone who is under the weather.


11- Don’t drain the bath straight away. Studies show the flu virus lives longer when air is cold and dry. That can also aggravate skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.


12- Go to bed a little earlier. If you sleep for less than seven hours a night, you could be three times more likely to catch a cold than someone who gets eight hours.


13- Change your toothpaste. Teeth can be especially sensitive in winter months. Toothpaste for sensitive teeth works by ‘plugging’ the microscopic holes in the enamel.


14- Check your rash with an ice cube. Cold weather can trigger an outbreak of hives in some people.


15- Start using a mouth spray. If you’ve had to spend time with someone who has a cold, a product called ColdZyme could shorten the duration of your cold.


16- Have sex once or twice a week. A study found that people who have sex once or twice a week have 30 percent higher levels of cold-fighting chemicals than those who had sex more or less frequently.


17- Hose down your Christmas tree. It’s not just real fir Christmas trees that can be a problem if you’re prone to allergies. Getting a plastic tree out of storage can also trigger a blocked nose, streaming eyes, asthma or eczema.

 

 

If You Do Get Ill…


18- Gargle with echinacea. The herbal remedy echinacea can boost the immune system by stimulating the activity of white blood cells.


19- Eat chocolate for a cough. Many over-the-counter cough remedies are little more than sticky sugar syrup, but dark chocolate may perform the same function.


20- Rinse your nose to combat colds. You might be able to protect against cold bugs by using a saline nasal spray to moisten the lining of your nose.

Experts Bust Myths About Food!

Rob Hobson, a London-based nutritionist, claims there are many misconceptions around healthy diet. He’s sharing some information that he says separates science from hype.


1. All carbohydrates make you fat

Yes and no. Nutritionally, there is nothing fattening about complex carbs with a low GI, such as oats, whole-grain rice or whole-meal pasta. But what you choose to put on top of these foods will only add to their calorie count and potentially cause weight gain.


2. You shouldn’t eat after 7pm as food is stored as fat

The body doesn’t suddenly decide to turn food eaten after 7pm into fat. The amount of fat you lay down is determined by the excess amount of calories you eat during the day against those you use by staying active.


3. Bread causes bloating

Some people are sensitive to wheat, which may cause bloating. However, sensitivity is not that common and a wheat allergy is rare. It’s also thought that bloaters are more sensitive to the feeling of abdominal gas but don’t actually produce more of it.


4. Frequently eating small meals increases your metabolism and helps you lose weight

It’s true that your metabolism increases slightly as you eat, but not enough to cause any significant weight loss. Snacking does help dieters avoid hunger pangs but the only way to actively boost your metabolism is with regular exercise.


5. You need to include dairy foods in your diet to get enough calcium

Most people know how important calcium is for maintaining healthy bones but this doesn’t mean relying solely on dairy foods. Dark green veggies, almonds, tofu, fortified plant milks and ground spices also contain calcium.


6. Foods high in cholesterol can raise blood cholesterol, increasing risk of heart disease

We now know foods naturally high in cholesterol have very little impact on levels in the blood. However, those with diabetes or high cholesterol levels should still limit eating eggs and high-cholesterol foods to three times across the week.


7. Raw food diets are better for your health as they’re rich in enzymes essential for healthy digestion

Raw foods are highly nutritious, but there are also several antioxidants made more available in foods when cooked such as lycopene (found in red veggies) and beta-carotene (found in orange and dark green veggies).


8. It’s saturated fat in the diet that increases cholesterol and leads to heart disease

Research has suggested saturated fat intake may not be as strongly linked to heart disease as previously thought.

1990s Things That Are Making A Comeback!

Hydrox Cookies

Before Oreos, there were Hydrox cookies. First launched in 1908, the snack with vanilla cream filling sandwiched between two chocolate wafers was discontinued in 1999 until Ellia Kassoff, a Hydrox fan who grew up with them, took the trademark and decided to bring the long-lost cookies back.


Jelly Sandals
Remember when you felt like the coolest girl on the block with your jellies (along with Lisa Frank stickers)? Well, get ready to feel nostalgic when you slip your feet into the oh-so-familiar jelly sandals of the past. Now rendered in cool colors and platform heights, you can totally wear them with current trends.


Crystal Pepsi
The clear soda that only lasted a year after its debut in 1992 is set to make a comeback, according to a letter written by Pepsi sent to competitive eater Kevin Strahle.


JNCO
We are kind of cringing right now, to be honest. JNCO, the brand responsible for the extreme baggy denim trend of the ’90s, relaunched this fall thanks to a Chinese investor. Although the website shows a more modern range with smaller leg openings, they’re still pretty obnoxious. Pretty sure you can fit your laptop into the pocket.


French Toast Crunch
Cinnamon Toast Crunch’s long-lost sister made a return after its U.S. production stopped in 2006. Following numerous online petitions and fan pages, the mini cinnamon-and-maple-flavored toasts are back in our bowls.


Elastic Choker
The surge of ’90s fashion is not complete without the iconic black tattoo elastic choker necklace. A staple for cool grunge chicks during the decade, this accessory has recently been worn by celebs, bloggers and modern girls everywhere.


Surge
Following the Surge Movement led by loyal fans of the citrus soda, Coke brought back the bubbly drink and sold it exclusively on Amazon last year. Now, it is available in select states.


Denim Jacket
Retro denim jackets have officially made a comeback and are a staple in every fashionista’s closet. Opt for one of those cool embroidered patches for a true ’90s look.


Birkenstock Sandals
Once known as the ugly shoe, the Birkenstock sandal has become a fashion must-have in the last two years. Now offered in modern designs such as metallics, prints and bold colors, this minimalist footwear is the best thing to come back for moms. Now you can look chic without sacrificing comfort.


Tamagotchis
Remember when you always forgot to feed your digital adopted pet? Now your kids can relive those times with the new Tamagotchi Friends gadget in the same egg shape but now offered in various colorful designs.

The Dating Rules For Guys That Do (And Do Not!) Apply Today

Don’t lie on your dating profile

We have the tendency to fib, in general, and fluff our online dating profiles, but beginning a relationship where lies are already present means it is doomed from the start. The Internet can be a wild and crazy place filled with information about yourself, available for the world to see, meaning that it’s easy to get caught in a lie. The right person will love you for who you are and it’s wrong to start off any relationship with the assumption of a lie. It’s almost guaranteed it will go nowhere, and as they say, the truth always comes out in the end. Avoid the hurt and be true to yourself.

Do call

One of the most memorable and polite things you can do while dating, be it planning the first date or calling them afterward (which we’ll get to later), is using this ancient contraption called a phone — just make sure you use the voice/speaking part of it. Calling instead of texting is the right (and gentlemanly) thing to do. Girls may be put off initially, but women will cherish this. So many men forget about the power of their voice.

Do go out on an actual date

Dating in some weird way, feels ancient, especially with our generation succumbing to what is coined hookup-culture, in which dating exists in the form of hookups and sex, and then maybe if the sex is great, it will eventually turn into a relationship. Traditionally, it is the other way around. Getting to know someone is a very scary thing; having sex is the easy part. Break the pattern and go on an actual date (dinner, movies, etc.). This will absolutely make you stand out from the pack and leave a lasting impression.

Don’t drink too much

Please don’t do this. First dates are awkward and sometimes a little alcohol can ease your nerves, but don’t overdo it. It’s not impressive that you can drink like a fish. Limit your alcohol intake to two drinks max.

Don’t leave your phone out on the table

Unless there is a really important call that you’re waiting for or someone is about to go into labor (hopefully this has nothing directly to do with you), put your phone away. If you must keep it out, let your date know why. Nothing says rudeness or I’m-just-not-that-into-you like texting other people or answering emails while on a date.

Do treat her like a lady
 

No matter what your preconceived notions of your date are, as well as your expectations for after the date, be respectful and treat her like a lady. Most, if not all, women want romance. Hold the door for her, let her go first, and pull out her chair. Somewhere between the Internet boom and our Twitter addiction, our manners seemed to drift into the past. Make yourself stand out from the rest as a true gentleman.

Don’t split the first check

Modern women are independent and strong and don’t need a man to validate them in any way, but there is still something to be said about a man taking care of that first bill. Call me old-fashioned, but going dutch on a first date is a major turnoff. Understandably, things are different today, and dating is expensive, but do your best to try and cover the bill. Go somewhere where you can afford, even if it means just going for coffee (and there is nothing wrong with that!). It’s the traditionally gentlemanly thing to. Once in a relationship, working out the bills becomes a little bit easier.

Do call the next day (or that night)

In this instance, if you went on a date and didn’t get home too late, you can text her to tell her you had a nice time and ask her out again. Don’t wait more than two days to call and don’t ignore text messages. We’re all busy and have lives, but you are NEVER too busy to return a text that takes approximately two seconds to type. Even if it turns out you’re not interested, don’t be that guy that ignores people. Come on — you’re better than that!

What The 3 Most Common Dreams Mean

Remember any dreams from last night? Business Insider has compiled a list of the most common types of dreams and talks to a psychologist willing to take a stab at what’s going on. Some examples:


Out-of-control car: It suggests that, in the waking world, you feel like you’re not making progress toward a big goal, says the expert. He advises trying to be less controlling. “Relax your grip and allow your fundamental instincts” to take over.


Flying: This one suggests you’ve relieved yourself of a burden in the waking world.


Naked in public: Something in your life is “making you feel vulnerable and exposed.” The psychologist suggests opening up more to people, even if feels embarrassing.