after 5 years of wavering. Here’s how.

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I’d been working out on-and-off for five years. I’d train religiously, vigorously for a few months, and then abruptly stop. Like a rainstorm that ends as suddenly as it begins.

A couple of months later, I’d decide to resume training, manage to persevere for a brief while, but inevitably abandon it again. Citing boredom, weariness, busyness, or deficiency of results as reasons, I let this cycle — enthusiastic bouts of training followed by lethargic stretches of inactivity — endure for five years.

But I knew that consistency and progress intertwined. …

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5 unhelpful myths debunked so you can make the most out of calorie restriction.

Calorie restriction is a nutritional approach that cuts daily caloric intake to less than typical, usually by 10–25%, while consuming adequate nutrients to avoid malnutrition.

Calories measure the amount of energy people derive from foods and drinks to live and function. Each gram of carbohydrate or protein packs four calories, while a gram of fat holds nine.

Calorie restriction is not only a wildly popular method for weight loss but also an effective strategy to live healthier and longer. To get the most out of it, steer clear of the following widespread misconceptions.

Myth #1: Calorie restriction is only for those who seek fat-loss

On the contrary, calorie restriction offers a…

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Psychologists reveal discarding safety behaviors is essential to conquer social anxiety.

Tara is a high-performing marketing analyst, on the hunt for a new job. She walks into a networking event for marketing professionals. As a socially anxious person, this is her worst nightmare.

She repeatedly smooths her shirt and adjusts her hair, anxious about appearing unkempt. Tensed she’ll blank and forget how to form sentences, she clutches her cue cards tightly in her fist.

She laps up a few glasses of champagne to calm her nerves. When she reluctantly interacts with people, she talks rapidly, afraid of boring them.

These actions are Tara’s “safety behaviors.”

Safety behaviors

Safety behaviors, such as talking fast…

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Research reveals happiness is highly hereditary.

Do you know cheerful and bubbly people who are always willing to try new things and be in novel situations? Pleased with their lives and optimistic about the future? Perhaps you are one of them.

On the flip side, do you know people who are usually somber, cynical about their abilities and the future?

Ever wonder why their thoughts, attitudes, and emotions vary so much?

Psychologists have the answer.

Subjective well-being

Subjective well-being is the scientific term for happiness and life satisfaction, defined as “people’s cognitive and affective evaluations” — thoughts and feelings — about their lives.

A person with high subjective…

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Debunking the cultural belief that TV is ‘a waste of time.’

Watching compelling television content, combined with engagement and reflection, can enrich our lives.

I’m not referring to educational shows. But to TV shows that are crafted to be entertaining, and yet expose audiences to moving ideas, issues that plague societies, or unite people from different walks of life.

The quality of TV series has soared in the last two decades, with a simultaneous surge in access — caused partly by the advent of online streaming services.

It’s ingrained in our culture that watching TV is an enormous waste of time (bound to turn you into a zombie or couch potato)…

Hint: It wasn’t by sheer self-control.

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Last year, I was consuming over 36 grams, or 9 teaspoons, of added sugar a day. Now I consume only 3–4 grams, one teaspoon, on average — as I have for the last four months.

It has not been a herculean effort of self-control and deprivation.

Instead, I altered a few habits, deepened my awareness of what I was ingesting, and discovered delicious alternatives for sugary foods.

Consuming added sugar is a risky business; it contributes to obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer. …

Added sugar — an escapable risk

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The WHO recommends that we reduce our added sugar intake every day to less than 10% of our daily calorie intake, and shave it to less than 5% for additional health benefits.

The following are nutritious yet gratifying alternatives for sugary foods and drinks.

1. Swap flavored yogurt for plain yogurt with toppings.

A major source of added sugar in our diets, sweetened yogurt can have up to 20% sugar content.

Pick plain greek yogurt, and throw in diced berries, peaches, or desiccated-coconut flakes for flavor. Berries are superfoods that have low natural sugar content.

2. Trade breakfast cereal for additive-free, homemade granola.

Coat rolled-oats, chopped-walnuts, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, dried cranberries, and ground cinnamon with beaten…

Calorie restriction can help you live healthier and longer

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Calorie restriction, reducing daily caloric intake while maintaining proper nutrition, drives fat loss and boosts heart health. Increasingly, data indicates that moderate calorie restriction without malnutrition protects against obesity, type 2 diabetes, inflammation, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and metabolic risk factors associated with cancer.

While the underlying mechanisms are still unknown, calorie restriction is known to extend life-span.

But maintaining a calorie deficit can spur hunger. We can either ignore this hunger by wielding our willpower or succumb to it by snacking. …

4 quick fixes to cure adverb misuse

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Novelist Stephen King makes his disdain for adverbs plain in “On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft,” where he writes, “I believe the road to hell is paved with adverbs and I will shout it from the rooftops.” He’s not the only one — scores of authors and English teachers advise eliminating adverbs for crisp, forceful writing.

But is it so black and white? After all, the adverb is one of the major form-classes in a language. King admonishes their usage, yet uses a whole bunch of them in his novel.

Adverbs are often unnecessary. But writers’ adverb misuse doesn’t…

5 practical questions to determine if your job is good enough for you

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I recently quit my FinTech job because it didn’t appease my hunger to learn and squandered my potential — or so I thought, anyway. But it’s not that simple; we can create learning opportunities anywhere, even find meaning in disagreeable tasks. So what drove me to quit? And why should you?

I agonized in indecision for months, until I came up with five probing questions to mull over — the responses to which squashed my uncertainty. The same questions can help you determine if your job is worthwhile, particularly if you’ve repeatedly thought about quitting without reaching a definitive decision.

Sudiksha Dhoot

I love stories—in prose, films, & TV. In search of my ikigai & chic blue-light glasses. Can’t get enough of: ramen & fashion

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