The Early Bird Special Just Got Even Earlier!

New research says if we’re watching our weight, dinner should be at 2PM!

The study was conducted by Louisiana State University – they were testing the effects of fasting at night. They had two groups of people eating the same number of calories… one group could eat for half the day – 8am to 8pm. The other group had to consume all their calories in half that time… between 8am and 2pm… and then fast for the next 18 hours.

The result?

The group that stopped eating at 2pm and fasted for 18 hours burned more calories, and had an easier time controlling their hunger throughout the day.

So if you’re trying to lose weight and manage your appetite, try eating all your daily calories between 8am and 2pm. Without changing anything you’re eating – only the TIME when you’re eating. The experts say you will seriously move the scale.

And listen, I know that’s no fun on the weekends when we all want to have a couple of social dinners. So, just implement the Louisiana State “fast” Monday through Friday. And you’ll still reshape your body in no time.

Feeling Tired? Go Camping!

If you feel groggy and brain-foggy every morning, your biological clock might be out of whack.

The solution: Go camping! It can reset your internal clock in just 2 days.

Dr. Kenneth Wright is director of the Sleep Laboratory at the University of Colorado, Boulder. And he says we’re biologically wired to go to bed about 2 hours earlier than we typically do… because we’re artificially extending daylight hours with indoor lights, and glowing smartphones, computers and TVs. Which throws off our body clock, disrupts our sleep, and leaves us drowsy in the morning.

But a recent study found that a camping trip reset the biological clocks of study volunteers. Within a couple of days, they were falling asleep and waking up two-and-a-half hours earlier than normal. Plus, levels of the sleep hormone melatonin began to spike right after sundown – bringing their sleep-wake schedule more in line with natural daylight and darkness.

In fact, even camping for a weekend raised people’s melatonin levels by 69%.

It’s all about doing what farmers normally do: Up with the sunrise, and head for bed at sunset.

Sharing A Hobby With Your Partner

If you want your relationship to last, get a hobby, and explore it together!

That advice comes from psychologist Dr. Diana Kirschner. She says a lot of research shows that shared activities tend to make couples happier.

First, because they bring newness to a relationship, and keep boredom from setting in. Plus, new experiences activate the brain’s reward system, so we’re flooded with chemicals that promote bonding.

And Dr. Kirschner says your relationship can get a boost from just about any activity. For example: One of her counseling patients agreed to take up beekeeping with his wife. He says he was nervous about owning 24-thousand bees. But after he and his wife set up the hives in their yard, and extracted honey for the first time, he says he felt amazed at what they’d accomplished. Plus, it gave the couple something to talk and laugh about, while creating new memories together.

Just one thing: Dr. Kirschner says to get the biggest boost from a shared hobby, it needs to be one you both enjoy. Because if you enjoy bowling, for example – but your partner can only roll gutter balls – then resentment is going to build up, which can trigger distance in the relationship.

That’s why Dr. Kirschner recommends trying something that’s new to both of you.

But if you do try to introduce your partner to your favorite hobby, she says introduce it to them slowly, and praise your partner for making the effort. Just remember: The point isn’t to convert your partner into a master fisherman, or a sewing champion. It’s more about spending time together, and bringing your relationship closer.

Are Everyday Tasks Making Us Dumber?

Some of the things we do daily are NOT helping us stay mentally sharp. In fact, although it may sound harsh, scientists say, these things are actually making us dumber! That’s according to Nicholas Carr, who wrote the book The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains, which was a Pulitzer Prize finalist. So, here’s what’s dumbing us down:

  • Email! University of California researchers found that constantly checking email stresses us out, and reduces our ability to concentrate. The good news is: All we have to do to get smarter is to cut back. Because test subjects who limited their emailing to, say, a couple of specific times a day had lower blood pressure and better memory recall.

  • Eating sugar. We ingest about 35 pounds of high-fructose corn syrup a year. And researchers at UCLA say that steady sugar consumption slows the brain, and reduces memory and our ability to learn in as little as six weeks.

  • Our smartphones, which allow chronic, relentless multitasking. Brain expert Dr. Sandy Chapman says our phones keep us permanently distracted and that means we’re less able to absorb what we see, hear, and read.

  • We’re only as smart as the TV we watch. A study found that people did worse on tests after reading a story about a stupid person. Researchers concluded that, what we consume mentally, directly affects our behavior. Which means, watching mindless shows may be wasting away our brainpower.

  • City living. A huge experiment at the University of Michigan found that people who walked through the city had learning problems, poor focus, and worse memory, compared to those who walked through a park. It’s partly because of increasing distractions, like traffic, lights and sirens. And partly due to air pollution from car exhaust, secondhand smoke, and factory emissions. Researchers at Columbia University found that the more air pollution children are exposed to, the lower their IQs.

How To Answer Tricky First Date Questions!

Hey guys, ever wonder why some first dates go horribly wrong before dinner even starts? Experts say it’s because women ask some tricky questions so they can learn more about you. But what they learn may completely turn them off! So, don’t blow it. Here are some critical first-date questions, and how to answer them:

  • “What are we doing tonight?” Experts say this question gives women the first hint of your interest level. Because if you answer, “I dunno, what do you want to do?” – you may think you’re accommodating her by letting her decide. But what she hears is that you don’t care enough to make a plan! So, make a plan. In fact, make TWO! Experts say give your date a choice between two options, including something traditional, like dinner – and something more adventurous, like a wall-climbing lesson!
  • “What do you do for work?” This may sound like an attempt to assess your income level, but experts say it’s really how women assess your values! That’s because your job says something about your ambition, drive, and intelligence. And women use those traits to guess your potential for commitment. In other words, they’ll be more impressed to hear you say you have a job you love – no matter how much or little you earn – than to hear that you’re always jumping from job-to-job, chasing bigger paychecks.
  • “What’s your type?” Experts say that when a woman asks this, she’s trying to gauge your compatibility. Because if you tell her that she’s your perfect type, she’s going to think she’s just like every other woman you’ve dated – and not very special. And if you reel off a list of “likes” and “dislikes,” you’re going to come across as too picky! That’s why experts say it’s better to focus on key interests you want to share with a partner, while leaving some room for flexibility. So you might say, “I’m looking for someone who likes being active, because it’s a big part of my life. And it would be cool if she could introduce me to some new sports I haven’t tried.”
  • “Wanna split the bill?” According to a new survey, most women will offer to pay on a first date, but half say they’d be “annoyed” if you accepted their offer. Experts say it’s because paying the bill shows that you’re willing to invest in the relationship! So, even if your date argues, say something like this: “No, I’ll get this one, and you can get the next.” That way, she’s thinking less about the bill, and more about the second date.

Change Your Body, Change Your Mood!

If you’re not happy with the way you’re feeling, just change the expression on your face. Or move your body into a new position. That’s the recommendation from psychiatry pioneer Dr. Martin Grotjahn, who said the simplest body language changes can affect our mood. It’s a form of embodied cognition – in which your body movement informs your brain. For example:

If you’re sleepy, open your eyes wide – and you’ll feel more awake.

If you’re disorganized and your body movements are erratic, you won’t be able to think clearly. So, slow down and make deliberate movements. You’ll be able to think better.

And, the next time you’re worried and stressed out – swing your arms. When we’re worried or anxious, we tend to close up – and tighten up – physically. We’ll cross our arms, slouch or curl up in a ball. It’s a natural reaction that a lot of animals have – because it’s protective; we’re literally protecting our vital organs. But to break out of that mindset, open up your body and swing your arms. By forcing yourself to adopt carefree body language, your brain gets the message that there’s nothing to fear. As a result, you’ll start pumping out calming alpha brain waves – and it’ll take less than 30 seconds to feel better.

Do Our Dogs Recognize Our Faces?

Your dog is always thrilled to see you. But is he excited because he recognizes your face? Probably not. Because, unlike humans, dogs aren’t wired to focus on faces. Instead, they’re wired to get all the information they need from our entire being… including our body shape, body language, and aroma.

To see what sparked a dog’s interest, scientists at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine trained pets to sit inside an MRI machine. Then, the dogs watched a series of images featuring random human faces – including their owner’s face, plus familiar and unfamiliar dogs – all while their brains were being scanned.

The result: When the dogs saw a human face or head, there was virtually no change in the visual area of their brain, regardless of whether it was the dog’s owner or a stranger. The only time a dog’s visual brain activity spiked was when they saw another dog. Because a dog can instantly tell another dog’s mood by the position of their ears. But they can’t do that with humans; they need additional cues.

But your dog definitely DOES recognize you. By your smell, the sound of your voice, your walk, your emotions – and your face. Which means, your dog loves ALL of you – not just your pretty face.

Are Your Lunch Habits Hurting Your Health?

These days, more of us are eating lunch at our desks – or skipping lunch altogether. And that’s bad for our health. Here’s why – and how to make your lunch hour count – courtesy of occupational health expert Dr. Chris Cunningham:

We need to take periodic breaks from the stresses of work. That gives our brain and body time to relax, de-stress and to restore our energy reserves. That helps us feel refreshed and refocused for the rest of the workday. Dr. Cunningham says it takes anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour to feel refreshed. But if you skip your midday-break, it’ll take twice that long to unwind at the end of the day.

Our brains like new experiences. Sitting in the same spot all day bores our brain, which lowers mood and productivity, and hurts our physical health. So, try a change of scene – even if you just walk to the cafeteria, or sit outside under a tree to eat your sandwich. Studies show that ditching personal electronics and being “in the moment” can be a huge relief. And it will help keep your brain from overreacting to stress in the afternoon.

Desk dining can make you antisocial. Studies show that people with larger social circles tend to live longer, healthier lives. But you can’t make friends at work if you always eat at your desk. So, take a moment to chat in the break room, or join your coworkers for lunch. And take a real break by talking about anything but work.

Enjoy your food. Slowing down enough to use all your senses can be relaxing all by itself. In a recent study, ER doctors found everything about their job stressful and draining – except lunch. They said a lunch break was tremendously valuable because it was a total change of pace, and helped them feel renewed and relaxed when it was time to clock back in.

What Homebuyers & Owners Want Now!

What features do homebuyers want these days? Here’s the latest list from the National Association of Realtors – and the National Association of Home Builders.

Coming in at #1: More than anything else, homeowners want a laundry room! People want somewhere to stack all the clean laundry until it finally gets put away. It keeps the mess out of living spaces. That’s why 91% of homebuyers want a separate laundry room.

The next most important feature to homebuyers is: A patio. In today’s housing market, outdoor living spaces have become the most coveted outdoor home feature.
It offers living space without the cost of a large-scale home addition. 87% of homebuyers want a patio.

And here’s something that surprised me… 85% of homebuyers want ceiling fans! That’s because energy-efficient ceiling fans can also help lower cooling costs. Ceiling fans create a wind-chill effect that helps cool the people sitting in a room by 4 degrees.

A few other things that made the top 10 list of what homebuyers want: Exterior lighting, a walk-in pantry, and garage storage space.