Your next work event doesn’t have to be about being bored or getting drunk. Instead, make it a career opportunity by networking.

Attending a work event, whether it’s a team building exercise or the company picnic, can be brutal.

What do you say to everyone?

It can be boring and lame.

But what if you could use a work event to boost your own career prospects? At the very least, you can use this as a chance to get to know others at work and creating rewarding relationships.

Networking at a work event can be a good way to improve the situation in your company and boost your own opportunities.

Figure out what you want to accomplish.

The company picnic isn’t just a place to sit around and be bored. Your team building exercise shouldn’t be about gritting your teeth and getting through it. An office holiday party isn’t an excuse to get drunk.

All of these are events that allow you the chance to make a new connection or show yourself in a good light.

Figure out what you want to accomplish ahead of time. Do you want to spend a couple minutes speaking with the boss? Do you want to get to know someone in another business unit?

As you’re networking at a work event, concentrate on your objective and what you hope to gain from it. Getting to know someone in another area of the business might be useful if you want to make a lateral move. Face time with the boss is always a good thing.

Maybe you just want to show yourself a friendly and enthusiastic presence in the office — someone others speak well of.

Once you know what you hope to accomplish, you can create a game plan.

Work on rapport.

Networking at a work event is all about building relationships. You want to work on a rapport with others. You can’t just show up and then ask people for something.

Instead, take an opportunity to show interest in others and build a solid foundation.

In any networking situation, building rapport is important. However, it’s extra-important at a work event. You need to be able to call on your relationship with others later on.

Building these relationships can also help your career later. When you network, you get a chance to let others get to know you. If there is a promotion opportunity or some other chance to advance, you are more likely to come to mind if you have been building relationships.

Ask questions.

Ask good questions and glean insights. If you can get the other person talking, you can learn about them. And you also help them feel as though they have had a great conversation.

Think of some good, relevant questions to ask before the work event. Insightful questions go a long way toward impressing others. Show you are a good listener, willing to learn and ready to ask good questions, and you might be surprised at how much that can help you in the long run.

Don’t be too pushy, though.

One of the most difficult parts of networking at a work event is avoiding being too pushy. In some cases, your coworkers are just trying to relax.

So, even though you definitely want to do a bit of networking, don’t be too pushy about talking about work. No one wants to do a deep dive into next quarter’s projections at the summer picnic. Instead, keep your networking to somewhat light topics, or ask a more general question about where you think the company stands in relation to other firms in the industry.

Try to be engaging without being overbearing. The idea is to show yourself as open and insightful, but you also need to know when to have fun.

Offer help.

A key tenet of networking, no matter the situation, is offering help first. Rather than asking what others can do for you, try to figure out how you can help others.

Think about what you have to offer. How can you help someone else with a work project or assignment? Can you be an asset? Do you have a good idea that could provide special help to someone else?

Know what you have to offer, and then offer it. Take an interest in at-work struggles and then show how you can help solve the problem. It’s a way to be valuable, and show your interest in teamwork.

Later, others will want to help you and recommend you.

Be yourself.

Ah, the most cliché advice ever. But it’s true. It’s especially important to be yourself when networking at a work event. These are people who will find out pretty quickly if you’re faking something.

It’s always best to be yourself when you’re networking. You want to be the best version of yourself, of course, but you do still need to be yourself.

As you are genuine, you are more likely to make real connections that last your career — and can even enrich your life beyond work.

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Want better health? You may have to get off your lazy ass. The good news is that you might not have to get off it for very long.

I hate exercise.

I literally have to trick myself into it by being active in ways I don’t associate with exercise.

Unfortunately, it’s not always effective. I can’t make it to the pool each day. I don’t always make time for a bike ride. Getting to the mountains for a hike isn’t always feasible.

In a world where the research says, “Get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week, or a combination of moderate and vigorous activity,” it can feel like a serious endeavor to live healthy.

Generally, in order to make it work, the experts recommend spreading the workouts over a period of days. Exercise every day (or at least 30 minutes a day, five days a week), and you reap the benefits.

But what if you could stave off early death and a host of problems by exercising only two days a week?

Nice!

Thanks to science, you might be off the hook. At least for some of the time.

Health benefits from exercising one or two days a week

What if you don’t want to try to exercise each day?

Sure, you can break it up into 10 minutes sessions each day to feel better about the whole thing. But what if you don’t even want to do that?

But what if you don’t even want to do that?

According to a recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), it’s possible to get solid health benefits from cramming it all in on the weekend.

Here’s what one of the study’s authors, Associate Professor Emmanuel Stamatakis, said about the results:

It is very encouraging news that being physically active on just one or two occasions per week is associated with a lower risk of death, even among people who do some activity but don’t quite meet recommended exercise levels.

That’s right. Even if you don’t get up to that 150 minutes of moderate (or 75 minutes of vigorous) exercise, even just going for it one or two days a week can help reduce some of the health risks that come with a sedentary lifestyle.

Adopt the weekend warrior exercise lifestyle.

This takes the concept of minimum exercise to the next level. And it also makes it easier to follow the “trick yourself” method of exercise.

Think about it: I don’t have to try to exercise every day. If I just take half a Saturday, my son and I can ride bikes to the Greenbelt and then go for an exploratory walk. It’s perfect. That’s a nice combo of vigorous and moderate exercise.

And it does the job.

As a bonus, I get to enjoy quality time parenting my child and making good memories.

This is really easy during months when the weather is is pretty good. Yardwork. Picnics in the park. Hiking. Biking. Family basketball games in the driveway. Tennis. A day playing in the municipal pool.

It’s harder for me during winter because I’m not into skiing and snowshoeing. But a Sunday afternoon sledding with my son and his friends or a couple hours building a snow fort does the trick.

Hell, when my cousins come over to play Rock Band, I can get a couple hours of “moderate” activity just by jumping around like an idiot in the family room, pretending I can actually sing.

If you have a free Saturday or Sunday each week (or one other day during the week), you can engage in the minimum exercise you need to not die too early in one fell swoop.

Get some benefits with even more minimum exercise.

Is the prospect of giving up half a weekend day to exercise just as horrifying as exercising 30 minutes a day?

There are indications that the absolute minimum exercise you can do is a 10-minute walk each day. This is especially true if your life is mostly sedentary.

Going for a walk can be a good way to boost your cardiovascular health. If you can manage 10 minutes a day, it’s an upgrade. You won’t see the same results of doing 30 minutes a day (or powering through the weekend), but you can still see positive results that reduce the chance of dying horribly and dying early.

Plus, a side bonus of going for a 10-minute walk each day is that it can help you feel instantly better about life.

Just finding 10 minutes in your day to go for a walk can mean better emotional and mental health, as well as better physical health.

Don’t forget about your eating habits.

Of course, just doing the absolute minimum exercise alone isn’t going to save you from heart disease, diabetes, and any number of ailments.

If you’re serious about your health, you might also need to address your eating habits.

When you don’t up your exercise, you need to change what goes in, if you want to avoid some of the worst of the debilitating illnesses related to your daily habits.

That might mean switching to healthier foods, eating less crap, and generally paying attention to these things. When you make that move, you are more likely to get away with doing as little exercise as possible.

At one point, I managed to lose five pounds just be eating better. No extra exercise needed. Score!

Healthier habits = better quality of life.

In general, better health habits mean a better quality of life. Despite my hatred of exercise for the sake of exercise, I know that physical activity will help me feel better in the long run.

When I make sure to exercise every day (even if it’s only a 10-minute walk or a few minutes of yoga in the morning), limit the junk I eat, and get enough sleep, I feel better.

I make better decisions. I feel more energetic. I’m less grumpy with my son (and other people in my life). I get more done.

So, even if you only do the minimum exercise, make the effort to change things up with your other habits.

Baby steps toward a healthier overall lifestyle can have positive consequences, even if you never become a health nut.

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You’re a grown-ass adult. So why do your parents treat you like you’re still a kid? You need to set some boundaries ASAP.

Are you tired of your parents always butting in?

Do they ask prying questions? Tell you how you should be doing things? Insist that you should dump that loser boyfriend/girlfriend? Let you know that you’re doing it all wrong with your own kids?

You love your parents, but they seem to be popping in with surprising frequency at your home. And, my goodness, do they really have to guilt you into spending every holiday and every celebration with them?

There’s no reason for that business.

While you’ll always be your parents’ child, the fact of the matter is that you are also a grown-ass adult and you have your own life and your own values. Your parents shouldn’t be steamrolling you.

It’s time to establish boundaries. For the good of your relationship.

How it helps your relationship to establish boundaries.

You probably want to maintain a good relationship with your parents. If so, you need to establish boundaries. Stat.

Interestingly, boundaries in romantic relationships actually help the situation. That principle also applies to other, non-romantic relationships as well. Boundaries can help you feel safe.

Plus, think about how much you hate it when your parents are too pushy and interfering. Don’t you resent them a bit afterward? Are you reluctant to see or talk to them in the future? That’s not good for your relationship.

Establish boundaries that are healthy and that work, and you will be happier to interact with your parents and your relationship will improve. It’s important to understand this as you move forward.

Remember: you’re coming from a place of love and you want to strengthen the relationship.

Good relationships aren’t about being inseparable and being up in each other’s business all the time. All healthy relationships require space for individuals and room to be yourself and make choices.

Figure out your boundaries.

You can’t just rush in and tell your parents that you hate what they’re doing. Especially when you aren’t exactly sure what your boundaries are, or why you’re upset.

So, take some time to yourself. Think about what has been bothering you, and dig into why it’s been bothering you. What can you live with? What can’t you abide at all? What have you been arguing about?

This is about constant demands for time or things that you can’t or don’t want to give. Or perhaps it’s about constant discussions about topics you wish were off limits, like your S.O., how you parent your kids, or your weight.

It’s one thing for your parents to offer you a bit of advice and let it go. My own parents have expressed things to me in the past. However, my parents are awesome examples of how to give space to their adult children. They said their piece in a loving way, and, satisfied that they had fulfilled the dictates of conscience, never pushed the issue again.

Sometimes you need your parents’ input. So carefully think about the boundaries, and why you’re setting them. Once you have that down, you can draw the line.

Be clear about what’s off-limits.

If your parents consistently do things that you find intrusive, demanding, and inappropriate, you need to be clear about what’s off-limits.

“I’m sorry that you feel that way about [insert boo’s name here], but I really like our relationship. I won’t talk negatively about it or him/her, and I won’t tolerate you saying bad things, either.”

“I understand that you don’t like how I handle discipline, but our family is doing what works for us, and I’d appreciate you not telling my kids that I’m not doing it right.”

“I love talking to you, but I also need to be able to rest for work, so I’d appreciate it if we could limit call times to an hour.”

Express empathy, and be polite and calm. Let your parents know you care. You can even thank them.

“Oh, thank you for inviting us. However, we have other arrangements for that night. We’ll see you another time.”

If they keep pressing, you can say something like, “We enjoy spending time with you, but we also have other obligations. We appreciate invitations and hope we are always welcome. However, we also don’t want to feel guilty if we can’t make it. Please know we will come when we can.”

In most cases, when you establish boundaries this way, your parents will respect that. Unless they are totally toxic people. But that’s another problem.

Stick to your boundaries.

Of course, once you establish boundaries, you need to stick to them. That means you need to walk away if the line is being crossed.

This is easiest to do when you’re on the phone. If your parents are pressuring you to come to a family event, but you have already said you aren’t coming, and expressed that you don’t like the guilt trips, you can just say, “I’m sorry, but we’ve talked about this. I love you, and I need to go.” And then you hang up.

That phrase works for just about everything, whether you’ve said you don’t want to talk about your S.O., your parenting style, or your job prospects.

It’s harder in person because you have to say that and then either stare them down or leave the room. But stick to it. If you have to leave, do so. Eventually, your parents will get the hint and start respecting your boundaries.

This is especially true when you have kids. There are times I think my parents’ amazing restraint and boundary-respecting comes from the fact that they don’t want to do anything that would jeopardize their ability to see their grandchildren.

I don’t have to say anything to my parents, or threaten to withhold my son. They just assume that if they make things unpleasant for me, I’ll visit less — and that means less face time with their eldest grandchild.

You have to give, too.

When you establish boundaries, it’s important to give as well. Know what you are willing to give. Maybe instead of coming on Christmas, you share dessert on Christmas Eve.

My ex and I had a firm policy of not going anywhere on Christmas. So our holiday visits were made the week between Christmas and New Year. Interestingly, my son and I still spend Christmas with my ex — and we still spend the Christmas Day just us, and then go visit the ex-laws afterward.

Figure out how you can remain positive and give, even as you set up boundaries. This can include saying something like, “I love to talk to you, but talking every day is starting to impact my school work. Can we talk every Sunday morning?”

Offering positivity, love, and a compromise is a way to establish boundaries while still maintaining the relationship. Once you start doing that, your parents will start treating you more like an adult, and everyone will be happier.

What’s your biggest challenge when setting boundaries? Share your struggles or your tips that others can use in the #Adulting community on Facebook.

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Ugh. Life getting in the way of happiness again? Feel better ASAP when you use any of these life hacks to boost your mood and improve your life.

Have you felt kind of … blah … lately?

I know I have.

Spring doesn’t seem to want to make an appearance. I’ve got a lot on my plate. My teenager will soon be driving.

But all this negativity isn’t helping me. It’s not good for my mental state, and it’s not good for my quality of life or health.

So how do I bust out of this negatively?

The good news is it actually doesn’t take much. While a good vacation would be amazing, the reality is that I’m really not in a place where I can just drop everything and spend money on a trip to Hawaii. Instead, I’m going to have to life hack my way out of this one.

I learned a long time ago that feeling better about life can be as simple as an afternoon with a book or a brisk walk in the sunshine. If start to feel blah here are a few life hacks that can help you feel better about life almost immediately.

1. Help someone.

One of the best ways to break out of a funk is to help someone. Volunteer work has happiness benefits. You don’t even have to go so far as to spend an entire afternoon at the food pantry (although that’s not a bad way to spend a few hours). Just buying coffee for the person in line behind you, or helping your neighbor carry groceries can provide you with a bit of a mood boost.

2. Buy flowers.

Studies indicate that just looking at flowers can make you happier. I keep a plant near my desk. And, if someone doesn’t send me flowers, I go out and buy them myself. If you are feeling down, take a break and work in the flower garden or buy a bloom or two. It’s inexpensive, won’t lead to unnecessary clutter at home, and it will brighten your day.

3. Go for a walk.

In addition to flowers, this is one of my favorite go-to life hacks for feeling better almost instantly. Just getting up, stretching and walking up and down the stairs helps. But you get double happiness points if you get outside and walk in the sun.

4. Hug someone.

One of the best life hacks out there is hugging. Physical contact with others can help you feel better about life almost immediately. Cuddle with your kids. Get a massage from your S.O. Give a friend a hug.

But what if bae doesn’t like being touched or what if, like me, you’re single-ish? There’s a solution for that. I get a facial once a month, and manicures twice a month. Sure, I’m being paid to be touched, but it still improves my mood. Plus, I give my son a hug every morning before he leaves for school.

You can get that human interaction and feel better. Even introverts need to feel connected.

5. Listen to music.

Crank up the volume. Upbeat music can help you feel happy. When you listen to music you like, you get a mental break. Singing along can even increase the enjoyment. I love singing along to my favorite tunes — even if I’m not that great at it. If you’re looking for a release and an instant mood boost must is the way to go.

6. Hang out with happy people.

Who’s the happiest person you know? When you feel shitty, go find that person and hang out. Don’t complain at them. Just hang out and have fun. When you surround yourself with happy people, you are more likely to be happy. It’s one of the great life hacks.

7. Eat something healthy.

Full disclosure: I just ate three cookies. My son and I had a baking extravaganza and I sort of went for it. The downside to eat unhealthy food is the way it makes you feel afterward. Tame that sweet tooth.

A handful of nuts, an apple, or some carrot sticks can go a longer way toward helping you feel happy. Do your best to eat better in general. I’ve been slowly adding healthier food to my diet, and eating less junk.

Something healthy can perk you up immediately. And developing healthy eating habits can help you feel happier in general.

8. Smell something delicious.

One of my favorite life hacks for feeling better is to change the smells. Vanilla is one smell that many humans like — and that makes us happy to smell. (In fact, eating vanilla yogurt can help you feel better about life instantly.)

Figure out what smells make you smile, and then keep them on hand. I like citrus smells. They invigorate me. I also like lilacs smells. Plus, when you smell something, you are likely to take a deep breath. Just breathing deep can boost your mood. So take a deep breath and enjoy yourself.

9. Do something creative.

Whatever it is. Paint. Sketch. Get out the guitar. Write a poem. Sew. Creativity sparks something in us. It makes life instantly better. Just strumming aimlessly on the guitar until something different comes out provides me with a great deal of satisfaction.

I also enjoy coloring. I didn’t like coloring when I was a kid, but the advent of the adult coloring trend made me a believer. Just a few minutes with some colored pencils and a flower mandalas book can improve my mood immensely.

Let those creative juices flow and your life will be better immediately.

10. Take a social media break.

A growing body of research indicates that spending a lot of time on Facebook can make us feel bad.

How much time are you on social media?

Because it’s not just Facebook. We compare ourselves to others on Instagram, SnapChat, Twitter, and just about anyplace else. Spending a lot of time on social media takes us away from what we have, and gets us focusing on what we don’t have, or what we think we should have.

I deleted the Facebook app from my phone about two months ago. I love it. Now, instead of checking Facebook when I feel the urge to be on my phone, I do a 10-minute language lesson with Duolingo.

Take a social media break and feel instantly better.

Small things make a big difference.

These things seem small. And they are. That’s the beauty of it. These little life hacks can make a big difference. Doing them will help you feel good right now.

But doing them on a regular basis will help you build habits that can improve your life substantially.

What do you think? Do you have any life hacks for feeling better right now? Share in our Facebook community!

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Stress is sucking you dry and ruining your relationships. Reclaim your quality of life.

It’s so easy to get stressed out.

I get stressed sometimes just thinking about raising my son, trying not to lose my job, or making sure I have the freelance clients I need to keep a roof over our heads.

Relationships tend to stress me out as well.

We could be stressed out all the time if we let ourselves feel that way. Stress ruins your life if you aren’t careful.

I’ve tried to reduce the stress in my life as a result of my concerns about what it could be doing to me.

How stress ruins your life.

You might be surprised at how stress ruins your life. Here are some of the ways stress impacts you:

Physical health.

First of all, stress can impact your physical health. According to the American Heart Association, stress can contribute to ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome, and high blood pressure.

Part of the reason that stress can affect your physical health has to do with the fact that you often engage in in unhealthy behaviors when you’re stressed out.

Think about what you do to alleviate stress. I eat junk food a lot when I’m stressed. You might turn to smoking, drinking, or emotional eating. If you keep up with these behaviors they can have a long-term impact on your health.

Plus, there are indications that stress can even slow your efforts to lose weight and get healthy.

When stress drives you to unhealthy diet habits, diabetes, cancer, and heart attack can all be part of the picture.

Mental health.

Another way stress ruins your life is through mental health issues.

Stress can actually change the way your brain circuitry works, leading to changes in your mental health.

Not only that, but stress can lead to anxiety and depression. It can also contribute to emotional outbursts and difficulty keeping a lid on your anger.

I know that when I’m stressed I’m more likely to be angry or to lose sight of what’s important. Ongoing stress can put pressure on you mentally and affect your mental health in the long run.

Relationships.

While you’re thinking about how stress ruins your life physically and mentally, don’t forget about how all of this can impact your relationships.

I have to try really hard not to let stress interfere with my relationship with my son a lot of the time. When I’m stressed, I’m more likely to have shorter patience for my son’s foibles. I might even be upset and unhappy in a way that has nothing to do with my son — but still impacts him because he’s in the house.

Other relationships can suffer when you feel a lot of stress in your life. How you treat your S.O. or your parents can be impacted by your stress response. If you are constantly

If you are constantly mean to the people in your life because of stress, eventually they will pull away. Your relationships will suffer. You can’t have a good quality of life with your social fabric falling to pieces.

Work performance.

How well do you do at work when you are stressed out? It’s not just about your relationships with your coworkers and boss — although that’s important. It’s also about your actual performance.

If your stress and anxiety keep you up at night, you won’t be effective at work. You’ll make poor decisions, and you probably won’t give your best.

You don’t want this stress weighing you down and ruining things at your job.

Stress and quality of life.

That’s what it comes down to: quality of life.

All of the areas that stress impacts relate to quality of life. Your relationships at work, your home life, your health, and your mental state are all impacted by stress.

In some cases, stress can be good for you. The right kind of stress in limited doses can help you strive for what’s next and get you out of your comfort zone.

However, when you have a lot of stress, and there’s a lot of negativity because of it, it can ruin your life.

Keep stress from ruining your life.

Stress ruins your life when it’s not under control, so the key is to manage it in a way that allows you to stay on top of your relationships and avoid the health problems that can come with chronic stress.

Here are some ideas for reducing stress and keeping it from ruining your life:

  • Practice gratitude: Believe it or not, gratitude can help you reduce your stress levels. Practicing thankfulness in your daily life can help you cope with problems and reduce the chances that these problems will stress you out long-term.
  • Meditate: You don’t even have to meditate for very long. I know meditation helps me reduce my own stress. Take five minutes to sit quietly in the morning and focus on the present. You can also use meditation at night to clear your mind and let go of the day.
  • Take a break: When I’m tackling a tough assignment or feeling writer’s block, I take a break. If you can’t achieve a breakthrough, you strart to become stressed. Then your performance suffers, and you feel even more stressed. It’s a vicious cycle. Break the cycle. Take a break, do something relaxing and enjoyable. You might actually get what you need that way.
  • Exercise: A brisk walk can reduce stress and clear your mind. When I’m especially stressed, I like to go downstairs and work with the punching bag. This helps me get out my aggression and relieves some of my pent up anxiety and anger.
  • Nature: Even pictures of nature can help you calm down. Our brains appreciate nature and respond positively. Keeping plants near your workspace or taking a look out your window into your backyard can lift your spirits and help you relieve stress.

In the end, you can’t completely rid yourself of stress. But stress doesn’t have to ruin your life. Look for ways to relax and rejuvenate. Take the time for yourself. When you do this, you will find yourself happier and healthier.

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Dieting rarely works. In fact, chronic dieting can lead to bigger weight gain. Here’s how to alter your lifestyle to be healthier and happier.

So, you went on another diet. And that diet failed you.

Dieting is no fun and it gets less fun the older we get. The older we get, the smarter we need to be about dieting.

When I was in high school, I didn’t have to diet. When I was in college, eliminating cheese from my diet for a week got me back into shape. Today, that’s not nearly enough.

It’s even worse when you diet and gained weight anyway. How does that happen?

Cursed cortisol.

If you’re on a diet, you’re likely on a cardio routine. That means long bike rides, long walks, long runs, long times in a humid, body-sweat-infused exercise room with dozens of your weight loss peers.

This routine may have worked when we were kids, but during our adulting years, these same exercises increase our stress levels more than they used to do. Stress produces increased levels of cortisol in our bodies, which converts blood sugar into fat.

Ugh! Doesn’t cortisol know fat is the enemy of diets?

This is a bitch for us, but it helped our cavemen ancestors. Our cave brothers and sisters had to run long stretches because something was chasing them.

Today’s solution is to do aerobic exercise in moderation, preferably at lower heart-rate levels incorporated with anaerobic exercise.

If you diet and gained weight, it’s time to re-think your routine.

Stressful stress.

This same hypocritical hormone, cortisol, hypo-produces and goes into hypo-overdrive when we’re stressed about any and everything. Whether it’s work-stress, family-stress, relationship-stress, emotional stress, or stress-stress, we incur the same wrath from cortisol as when we run 10 miles to Ben & Jerry’s.

Anything that you do to reduce your stress levels will reduce the hypo-production of cortisol. Leave bad situations. Meditate. Adopt healthy exercises to relieve stress. Get yourself in nature.

A great way to knock all these out at once is to go for a hike in the woods, by the ocean, or in a park. Being in nature has been shown to reduce stress levels and acts as an active meditation.

Suspect sleep.

On the flip-side, lack of sleep produces extra serotonin. When we’re stressed or tired for any reason, we usually want to feel comfortable.

What’s the easiest and most satisfying way to feel comfortable? Eating comfort food!

The reason you want that breakfast donut, a plate of spaghetti, and dessert cake is because high-fat and high-carb food produce serotonin that makes us tired.

This should cause us to sleep more, except that white, processed sugars make it hard to fall asleep and lose pounds.

If you diet and gained weight anyway, take a look at your sleep schedule.

Processed poisons.

Natural sugars in whole foods, such as fruits and vegetables, include vitamins, minerals, protein, phytochemicals, and fiber, which are all good for you.

Processed sugars don’t have those benefits and provide no value other than gaining weight and keeping us awake.

The same goes for processed flour and, therefore, we should do our best to avoid both. 

The things we eat matter more than we think. Reduce the processed foods you eat, and turn more toward produce and whole grains. You’ll see better results, even without all the calorie counting.

Low-down, low-fat.

For most dieters, avoiding fat is as important as avoiding carbs. The problem is that fats, proteins, and high-fiber carbohydrates produce satiety hormones, such as corticotrophin and cholecystokinin, which make us feel full.

We eat more than we need to when we don’t feel full when we should. Therefore, include some fats in your diet. Healthy fats include nuts, olive oil, avocados, fatty fish and, yes, even dark chocolate – in moderation.

Pay attention to what kinds of things you’re eating. Not all calories are created equal. Just cutting calories might not be enough, especially if you diet and gained weight in the end.

Horrible hunger.

Likewise, when we feel too hungry too often, our bodies go into protection mode and store what food we do eat as fat. This helped our caveman brothers and sisters when food was scarce during the long, cold winter. Most of us today don’t suffer from a scarcity of food.

Our bodies love it if we eat six smaller meals a day rather than three meals a day. It’s especially important to eat breakfast, rather than starving all day and binge eating at night.

Binge weight watching.

Fits and starts of eating also cause us to binge eat. Because our brains think we’re starving, we’ll dive right into the first bowl or bag of food we see only to eat more than we should. It takes about 20 minutes for those satiety hormones mentioned above to reach our brains and tell us to slow you down or stop eating. Unfortunately for many, this is too little too late.

Again, eat six smaller meals throughout the day and you’ll be golden.

Feeling hungry doesn’t help anyone. If you diet and gained weight, even though you’re hungry all the time, your problem might be the hunger.

Magnificent muscle.

It’s possible that because you’re dieting and doing moderate levels of aerobic exercises that you’re also doing appropriate amounts of anaerobic exercises, like lifting weights, yoga, and pilates.

Muscle weighs more than fat, and bodies that weigh the same look better when their weight is more muscle than fat. So, gain more muscle and don’t worry about having too much. For most of us, that would be hard to do.

Try focusing on inches, rather than weight. If you are losing inches, but still gain weight, it might be muscle.

These are eight reasons WTF you may be gaining weight when you’re dieting. Some are good and some are bad. Now that you know what to look out for, manage your diet and exercise to never be sad.

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Loving your work isn’t reason enough to stick with a job. Sometimes you need to move on.

Do you love your job?

There are plenty of jobs that are rewarding. There’s no shame in your W-2 game.

But what if it’s time to move on, even if you love your job?

There are times when your awesome job just isn’t cutting it anymore. Sometimes you just need to move forward, no matter how much you enjoy what you’re doing.

You’re not learning and growing.

When you first started this job you love, it probably came with challenges.

Now, you know the ropes. You might be running on automatic.

While you can always learn from others, you might reach the point where your job no longer provides you regular opportunities to learn and grow.

Life isn’t just about working. Because our work is so often part of our identities, it makes sense that it should also help us progress. If you love your job, but you aren’t moving forward with it anymore, it might be time to start looking for a new challenge.

If you hope to stretch and grow, you can’t stick with the thing you’re comfortable with. So, no matter how much you like it, you might have outgrown it.

There’s nothing wrong with that. It just means it’s time to move on to the next thing.

You think you can make a big impact elsewhere.

Now that you’ve made a difference in your current job, it’s time to move on to another place where you can make a difference.

Many of us like to feel like our work is meaningful. We want purpose in our work.

You might love your job because it does offer a sense of purpose. But how much more meaning can you add in your current position? Have you made your impact, done good work, and feel good about the situation?

But maybe you think you can offer your skills elsewhere.

If you feel like you can make a difference in a new career or position, it’s time to move on.

There’s nothing wrong with moving from position to position, working to make an impact wherever you go. Once you feel like you’ve given all you can to one job, it might be time to go elsewhere and offer your talents and abilities to a new position.

You want to feel more empowered.

Maybe you love your job, but you feel like you can’t really make suggestions or use your skills to their full ability.

There are plenty of jobs where you can do meaningful work and use some of your skills. You can feel satisfied in these jobs and love what you do, for the most part.

But are you empowered to bring a unique spin to the position? Do you feel like you can use your full range of skills? The reality of the situation is that sometimes, even in good jobs, management isn’t interested in letting you bring your ideas to the table.

If you aren’t comfortable approaching your boss with new ideas, or if you don’t feel like you can take your skills to their full potential, you might need to move on.

Look for a company culture that encourages workers to share their skills and ideas. Look for a company that offers you the chance to take ownership of new projects and initiatives.

Finally, consider looking for a company that welcomes mistakes. Sometimes your ideas won’t pan out. But you need to feel comfortable making mistakes on occasion. We all have mis-hits, and feeling free to explore the possibilities is important.

Leave your job behind — even if you like it — once you realize you don’t feel empowered to try new things and potentially fail.

Better balance in your life.

Maybe you love your job, but it’s taking over your life.

That’s not a huge deal if you don’t have family or friends to clutter up the place. It also doesn’t matter if you have no interests outside your work.

But most of us have family and friends and other interests.

No matter how much you like your job, if it’s causing you to lose sight of everything else that makes life worthwhile, it might be time to find something else.

Look for a way to have better balance in your life. Look for a job that allows you to make a difference, while still incorporating other aspects of your life. You’ll feel much better about the situation, and still have work you love to do.

You’re ready for a new location.

Sometimes it’s not about your job. Sometimes it’s about where you live.

Even though I’m not totally psyched about living in my hometown, I do like that I feel like I can make a difference in local politics. At some point, though, I might feel like I’ve run my course in my current location.

I’ll want to move.

Maybe you are starting to feel the same. Maybe you need a change of pace. Maybe you want to move to a town that fits your style better. Perhaps you’re looking for a new challenge. Or maybe you think moving will mean a lower cost of living. And, of course, you might have a partner with an amazing new opportunity. Sometimes you move for someone else.

Whatever the reason, if you are ready to move to a new location, it doesn’t matter if you love your job. You might need to leave it behind in search of a new living situation.

You need more money.

It’s a hard truth: you need money to survive.

Even if you’re living simply, the job you love might not offer enough for you to live on.

You can work on a side hustle to make up the difference. If you really love your job and don’t want to quit just to make more money, a side gig can help.

However, in some cases, you might need to move on and find a better-paying job. Take the skills and experience you’ve acquired and look for a job that pays you enough to live on.

It’s possible to find good work that pays enough, even if you don’t love it quite as much.

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