Quick Hits

We all know that to drop pounds, you have to burn more calories than you take in. Unfortunately, that can backfire if you cut calories too much or for too long and your body goes into energy conservation mode, slowing down how fast it burns calories. But a new study from Australia may have figured out a way to keep the metabolism going strong while dieting. The secret? Taking a break from it every couple weeks.

Researchers from the University of Tasmania found that men in their study who dieted for 16 weeks straight lost less weight overall – 20 pounds compared to 31 – than the ones who dieted for two weeks and took two weeks off. The part-time dieters also kept more weight off long-term – six months after the diets ended, they maintained the most total weight loss, 24 pounds versus about seven.

So why did the on-again, off-again diet work so well? Researchers think it because of something called adaptive thermogenesis, which lowers someone’s metabolism when their caloric intake is cut. And so keeping the calorie restriction to two weeks kept that from happening and participants kept burning more calories.

We should point out that even during the dieters’ two weeks off, they didn’t just eat anything they felt like. They still counted calories and ate what they needed to maintain a stable weight. So if you try it, you can’t spend two weeks eating cake, doughnuts, and fries and expect the same results. But we’re all for less dieting and more results.

Source: Food and Wine

Want a quick way to cut off junk food cravings? According to mental-health nutrition expert Dr. Leslie Korn, all you need to do is eat a raisin, really, really slowly. She claims that spending several minutes consuming a single dried fruit can help us short-circuit the munchies.

So you can’t just gobble down the raisin and instantly feel like you no longer want that doughnut in the break room. Here are the steps to Korn’s process:

  • Pick up the raisin and pay attention to its wrinkles and lines.
  • Smell the dried fruit and notice how your body feels. Is your mouth watering?
  • Put the raisin in your mouth and spin it around, letting your tongue feel its surface.
  • Then slowly chew it, while observing its texture and flavor.
  • Swallow and stay still, thinking of the raisin making its way to your stomach
  • Lastly, ask yourself: “What does my body really need?”

But why does this work? Korn says it uses our awareness and our ability to exert control over our “automatic” reactions. She explains that this style of raisin eating spurs a chemical relaxation response with a technical name: parasympathetic dominance.

The important part is that this technique should help override the impulse to eat a whole bag of chips when you’re stressed out. And Korn says it doesn’t even have to be a raisin, it could be a bite of almost anything. So there’s no reason that small bite can’t be chocolate, right?

Source: New York Post

Hatchimals were the hottest toy for Christmas last year.  The newest incarnation of the toy “Hatchimals Surprise” is expected to be just as big, and is already available for pre-order.  Details about this year’s critters haven’t been announced yet, with the company only saying they’ll have “new eggs, a new hatching process, [and] a new species.” Oh and they don't come cheap...Hatchimals range in price from $69.99 to $79.99!

Source: Money

A new survey finds that 78% of people believe there should be some dress standards for teens at school.  94% of parents of teen girls, and 89% of overall respondents, say dress codes are confusing.  Most people support the idea of dress codes in the workplace, with 35% of people saying they’ve felt uncomfortable about a co-worker’s attire.  But there are reasons folks don’t like dress codes in the workplace, with temperature being the biggest issue. Reasons to hate workplace dress codes include:

  • It makes me feel uncomfortably hot or cold (51%)
  • It forces me to spend more money on clothes (33%)
  • It limits my comfort and makes me less productive (29%)
  • It limits my freedom to express myself (22%)
  • It targets my gender in unfair ways (13%) 

Source: Today

If you’ve ever wished there was a way to play matchmaker for your Facebook friends, a new Matchmaker app is here to help make it happen. It comes from the folks at the dating app Hinge and it allows you to meddle in the love lives of your Facebook friends who are already using the app.

Here’s how it works: once you download the app, you can see your Facebook friends who are currently cruising for love on Hinge. That’s a little creepy for those who want to keep their private lives private, but they can opt out of this feature if they want to. Otherwise, their nosy friends can help them make love connections.

And there are a few different ways this app can help you set your buddies up. You can have Matchmaker suggest couples for you to approve, you can choose a friend to find dates for, or you can pick a couple and connect them. As the matchmaker, you can send an icebreaker message to get things going. But they have to take it from there.

This app sounds like a lot of fun for the friends who want to help hook their friends up, but for the unsuspecting Hinge users who have no idea this Matchmaker app exists, it could be a drag. So if you’re using Hinge and don’t want everyone you’re Facebook friends with to be able to peek into your love life, you might want to opt out before your ex or your boss has the chance.

Source: Mashable

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