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Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Cyril Connolly

"Those whom the Gods would destroy, they first call promising."

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Sir Richard Steele

"Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body."

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Sir Frederick G. Banting

"No one has ever had an idea in a dress suit."

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Christopher Morley

"My theology, briefly, is that the universe was dictated but not signed."

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Henry Moore

"I think in terms of the day's resolutions, not the years'."

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How to Have the Dreams You Want

Dreams can have a powerful effect on our waking lives. They reflect our hopes and fears about the future and even help us revisit our pasts. Whether you want to learn how to lucid dream (i.e. actively control and be aware of your dreams while sleeping) or you simply want to learn how to have more pleasant dreams, there are a number of things you can do throughout the day and before you go to bed to have the dreams you want. If you want to know how to control your dreams, see Step 1 to get started.


Having More Pleasant Dreams

  1. Go to bed earlier. A sleep study conducted in 2011 for the journal Sleep and Biological Rhythms concluded that university students who stayed up later tended to have more unpleasant dreams than those who hit the sack earlier. If you want your dreams to be more pleasant, then try going to bed at least an hour earlier every night and see if that has a positive impact on your dreams.[1]

    • One potential explanation for this finding is that the stress hormone cortisol is released in the early morning, a time in which the night-owls were likely in REM (Rapid Eye Movement), or dream, sleep.[2]

  2. Control your diet. Nightmares can be triggered by a variety of things, including late-night snacking, alcohol, caffeine, or cigarettes.[3] If you have persistent nightmares, then consider cutting out these substances, and don't eat for two to three hours before you go to sleep. This will give you enough time to digest your food and will lead to a more restful sleep.

    • If you're serious about having deeper and more pleasant dreams, then you should avoid the caffeine after about noon. You may feel that you need the extra energy, but it'll make it harder for you to fall asleep.

    • Though you may think that a glass of wine before bed will help you fall asleep, it will actually lead you to have a less restful sleep. And if your sleep is lest restful and you want to actually control your dreams, then this will make it harder to do.

  3. Tackle stress. Oftentimes, negative dreams are a reflection of the stress or anxiety we are experiencing in our everyday lives.[4] Try not to dwell on these things while you are laying in bed trying to fall asleep. Instead, take a moment to clear your head and think of positive things. The more you focus on having a less stressful outer life, the more calm your inner life and your dreams will be.

    • Getting regular exercise can help you ease stress levels, have better dreams, and get to sleep faster.[5] Don't exercise too close to bedtime, however, as this can keep you up.

  4. Have a more relaxing bedtime routine. It's important to ease into sleep and to have a relaxation routine, such as drinking herbal tea or reading a book, before you fall sleep so that your dreams are less likely to be scary or disturbing. Find whatever works best for helping you fall asleep and stick to the pattern you have developed. Try to push any stressful or painful thoughts from your mind as you ease into sleep.

    • Avoid watching violent, scary, or otherwise stressful movies and television shows before going to bed, as these can cause nightmares.[6]

    • If you want a more restful sleep, turn off all visual stimuli at least half an hour to an hour before bed. That means no phones, no TV, no computer, and nothing else that will make it harder for you to turn your mind off and to have a more restful sleep.

  5. Put roses in your bedroom. Scientists conducted a dream study in which women were exposed to the scent of roses throughout the night for 30 nights, and reported having more pleasant dreams than usual.[7] It is believed that the scent elicits positive emotions, which in turn make dreams more pleasant.

    • You can also use rose-scented oils, body lotions, or candles. Be sure to blow out the candles before going to sleep, however, to prevent fires.

Preparing for Lucid Dreaming During the Day

  1. Get enough sleep. Dreams occur during REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep, a phase of the sleep cycle.[8] If you are not sleeping enough, or frequently wake up throughout the night, your REM cycles may be getting interrupted. You need to make sure to get between 7-9 hours of sleep on a regular basis and to go to bed around the same time every night so your mind and body know what to expect.

  2. Pay attention to your dreams. Many people believe that learning how to notice and remember your dreams is the first step to achieving lucid dreams.[9] Before you go to bed, remind yourself that you plan on waking up and fully recalling your dreams. This will eventually train your subconscious to pay better attention to your dreams. Here are some ways to better remember your dreams:

    • Upon waking up, ask yourself what you dreamt. Don't get out of bed immediately, or it'll be harder to remember what happened. Instead, stay in bed and focus on the details of the dreams.[10] Part of the reason people "forget" their dreams is because they wake up and immediately begin thinking about other things. Get in the habit of asking yourself this question every single morning.

    • Write down your dreams. Do this immediately after you wake up, and keep a journal and pen at your bedside so that you can quickly write down your dreams before you forget them. This will also help you notice your dream patterns over time.[11]

  3. Perform reality checks while you're dreaming and throughout the day. Reality checks are tests that you can perform, both while dreaming and while awake, that help you differentiate between the real world and the dream world. Successfully performing a reality check while asleep can help you trigger a lucid dream, as your dream self becomes aware of its state. Try the following reality check tests:[12] [13]

    • Try to fly. Obviously, this will only work in a dream. [14]

    • Look at your reflection in the mirror. If your reflection is distorted, blurry, or not there, then you are probably dreaming.[15]

    • Try to read a clock. The image will be too blurry to read in a dream. [16]

    • Flick the light switches on and off. Light switches do not work in the dream world. Also, see if you can turn the lights on and off with your mind. If you can, then you know you're dreaming.

    • Look at your hands. Check to see if they look normal from close-up. If you're dreaming, then you might have less or more fingers than normal.

    • Try using an electronic device. Computers and telephones do not work properly in dreams.

    • Look in a mirror. See if you look different.

    • See if you can "breathe" while closing your mouth and nose. If you can, then you're dreaming.

    • Try to put an item, such as a pencil, through your hand, (the palm). If you are dreaming, the pencil will either go through inexplicably or hang in the air around your hand. If you aren't you'll get a graphite mark on your hand.

  4. Look for dream signs. As you get in the habit of recording your dreams, start looking for signs that you're really dreaming. It could be a recurring image, like an island you have never seen before in real life, or a recurring event, such as loosing your teeth or getting so dizzy you can't move. Look for patterns that let you know that you're really dreaming and then write these down. Knowing these signs can help you be more aware of the fact that you're dreaming because you'll be able to recognize them more easily.

    • Once you recognize one of the dream signs in your dream, you can tell yourself that you are, in fact, dreaming.

  5. Play video games. One psychologist believes that video games familiarize people with operating in an alternating reality and viewing oneself from outside one's own body, skills that translate into the dream world.[17] Her research concluded that people who played video games were more likely to experience lucid dreams, and were better at controlling them.[18]

    • Don't play violent video games before going to bed, as these can provoke nightmares. Make sure you stop playing them at least an hour before bed, if you want to try this technique.

  6. Eat foods that are rich in melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone that is commonly found in plants, animals, and microbes. Melatonin is a powerful antioxidant and has also been shown to boost REM sleep and to make dreams more vivid. Others also say that melatonin can help people fall asleep faster. If you want to be able to dream more vividly, fall asleep more deeply, and therefore, to have more control of your dreams, then you should eat some of the following melatonin-rich foods:[19]

    • Cherries

    • Oats

    • Almonds

    • Sunflower seeds

    • Flax seeds

    • Radishes

    • Rice

    • Tomatoes

    • Bananas

    • White mustard

    • Black mustard

  7. Ask yourself if you're dreaming throughout the day. As you go about your day, whether you're sitting in class or checking the mail, make a habit of asking yourself, "Am I dreaming?" If you do this regularly, then it'll make it more likely for you to ask yourself if you're dreaming when you're actually having a dream. And if you do this, then you'll be able to realize that you are dreaming and to take control of your dreams, choosing whatever you want to happen.

    • Asking yourself whether you're dreaming or not can heighten your alertness, which will also make you more likely to lucid dream.

Preparing for Lucid Dreaming Before Bed

  1. Meditate before going to bed. Being able to lucid dream requires that you be fully self-aware and undistracted by thoughts that relate to your waking life. While you are laying in bed trying to fall asleep, clear your head of distracting thoughts, and focus all of your attention on the fact that you are falling asleep and about to enter a dream state.

    • Meditation will also help you clear your mind of all of the negativity that will keep you from having a restful sleep.

  2. Visualize your lucid dream. Before you go to bed, decide what you want to dream about.[20] Paint a vivid image of your surroundings, and be sure to include details like sites, sounds, and smells. Put yourself in the scene, and try moving around within it.

    • Pay attention to the sensations of breathing and walking around in this dreamscape. Though you are not yet dreaming, tell yourself "I'm in a dream." Continue this visualization technique until you have fallen asleep.

    • Choose your ideal location for optimal results.

  3. Leave dream signs at your bedside. Leave a photo, a symbol, or even a blank piece of paper at your bedside before you fall into sleep. Take something that represents the thing you want to dream about and leave it out before you go to bed so that it can help you transition into the dream you want to have. If you want to dream about a certain person, have that person's picture out near you. If you're an artist who is struggling to find a subject, leave a blank canvas at your bedside.

    • Taking this measure can prime you to dream about the things you want to dream about because it will plant the kernel of these things in your mind before you go to sleep.

  4. Prepare yourself to control your dreams before you go to bed. As you lie in bed and get ready for sleep, tell yourself something as simple as, "Tonight, when I dream, I want to realize I'm dreaming." Repeat this to yourself a few times and really focus on making it happen. This will help you get in the mindset you need to be in to recognize that you're dreaming.

  5. Sleep in complete darkness. If you really want to control your dreams, then you should sleep in complete darkness, or as close to complete darkness as you can. Sleeping in darkness keeps your melatonin levels high and promotes better dreaming and better dream recall. Ideally, there should be no difference between the darkness you see when you open your eyes in bed and when you close them. Avoid any dim lights, windows that cast a lot of light, or other elements that will keep you from being in the darkest environment possible.[21]

  6. Try the MILD technique. Stephen LaBerge of Stanford University, who founded the Lucidity Institute, created a technique known as MILD (Mnemonic Induction of Lucid Dreams) which has been called one of the most effective techniques for inducing lucid dreaming. Here is what you have to do:[22]

    • When you go to bed at night, tell yourself that you will remember your dreams.

    • Focus on realizing when you're dreaming, and also on remembering that it is a dream.

    • Imagine what you want to do during that dream, whether it's flying or dancing.

    • Repeat the last two steps of realizing when you're dreaming and reentering a dream until you actually fall asleep.

    • Continue using this technique until you are able to make yourself have lucid dreams.

  7. Make your nightmares go away. Though it can be difficult to control your dreams and make your nightmares go away, one thing you can try is to visualize an alternate ending to the nightmare. If you always dream about a scary man in your home, imagine yourself warding him off, or imagine him just leaving on his own. Whatever the scary dream may be, find a way to imagine it so that you come out as a victor and that the nightmare goes away.[23]

    • If you think about this intensely enough, write it down, and even say it aloud, then you may be able to reprogram the way your mind approaches the dream.

Controlling Your Dreams

  1. Begin to control your dreams in small ways once you realize you are dreaming. Once you've done a reality check and realize that you really are dreaming, try to stay calm and not get too excited about the fact that you're dreaming. If you do this, then it's likely that you'll wake up. Instead, stay calm and immersed in the world of your dreams, and start to control small things before you build up toward something more elaborate.

    • You can start carefully trying to change the scenery or just to move through the space of your dream. You can start to touch things, and attempt to make small objects appear or disappear.

  2. Take more control over your dreams. Once you're comfortably lucid dreaming and feel like you have a fair amount of control over your dreams, you can start to aim a bit higher when you try to control your dreams. You can make yourself fly, summon people, change the scenery completely, trying to return to a place from your childhood or even to travel through time. As you get more and more used to lucid dreaming, you'll be able to have the dreams you want more regularly.

    • When you wake up, remember to record the dream. Mark the point at which you realized you were lucid dreaming, and write down all of the things you were and were not able to do. If there's something you are never able to do when you're lucid dreaming, such as flying, then ask yourself what's holding you back.

  3. Periodically remind yourself that you are dreaming. Once you're dreaming and have recognized that you're in a dream, you should tell yourself that you're dreaming every so often. If you don't do this, then you may forget that you are actually dreaming, and you won't feel as in control of everything that is happening. If you keep reminding yourself that you are dreaming, then you will feel more capable of changing and controlling your dream situation.

  4. Make yourself fly. One thing you can try to do when you're lucid dreaming is to fly. You may not be able to fly at first, but you can build yourself up to get there. You can tell yourself, "Okay, now I'm going to fly," to make yourself get into the mindset of being ready to fly. You can start hopping around, jumping up and down, and moving your body in an upwards motion before you fully fly. Once you're more comfortable doing this, you'll be able to start hovering above the ground until you're flying.

    • As you're flying, don't be down on yourself or doubt what is possible. If you're filled with doubt, then you won't be able to truly fly. If you find yourself lowering, try taking a big hop or a jump and then take off again.

  5. Summon a dream object. You may also want to summon an object or something you really want to play with or hold in your hand. If you want to do this, then you have to be creative about how it can be possible. Maybe you want a delicious cake. Well, then first you should imagine that you're in a kitchen or a restaurant so that the cake can be brought out. If you're just thinking of the cake too hard, then it may not come to you, but if you create an environment that will make the cake more likely, then it will be in your hands.

  6. Change the scenery. You can also change the scenery in your dream if you try hard enough. Once you know you're dreaming, you can try to imagine opening a door that will lead you to your dream place, or you can slowly add parts of the scene to your scenario until you have the scenery you want. If you're trying to remember a childhood home, start by summoning your favorite tree in the backyard, then the back porch, then your back door, and so on, until you have created the world you want.[24]

    • It can help to have an image or a photo of the scenery you're looking for at your bedside before you go to bed. Make sure it's one of the last things you look at, so your mind is more ready for the adventure.

  7. Travel through time. Some people are able to travel through time in their dreams. You can imagine yourself getting into your own personal time machine or opening a door to a new world. If one thing isn't working, try another. You can even tell yourself, "Now I'm going to travel through time" and focus on making it happen without forcing it too much. It helps if you go to bed while thinking of the time in your life that you'd like to return to.[25]


  • Completely focus on what you want to dream, not on sleeping. With this you forget about having to sleep and fall asleep naturally without trying.

  • If you're in a relaxed state, you will know your body is trying to get you to sleep when you start to feel itchy and fidgety. So try and ignore these signals and stay still, keep your eyes closed and your thoughts. With practice, you may be able to reach the state between sleep and non sleep, which will then allow a lucid dream.

  • Some people have a natural tendency toward lucid dreaming, and can achieve this state with little or no practice. Others may have to work harder to see results, so give yourself time.

  • Usually if you think something terrible your dream will be unpleasant. Try and dream a peaceful dream.

  • When you are in a state in which you are aware, and if you feel that you're starting to lose lucidity, try rubbing your hands or spinning around.

  • Perform reality checks on a daily basis, and do them throughout the day in your waking life so that you can train your subconscious mind to do them while dreaming.

  • Perform lucid dreaming techniques on a regular basis. It may take years for you to master the art of lucid dreaming, so give it time.

Related wikiHows

Sources and Citations

Cite error: <ref> tags exist, but no <references/> tag was found

from How to of the Day http://ift.tt/1cC3csm

via Peter

29 Reactions To New Year's Eve Situations

Animals get it.

When you're getting ready and know you look awesome.

When you're getting ready and know you look awesome.


When you see your friends and they look awesome too.

When you see your friends and they look awesome too.


When someone starts bragging about their New Years resolution.

When someone starts bragging about their New Years resolution.


When the first glass of champagne comes out and you're trying to act cool.

When the first glass of champagne comes out and you're trying to act cool.


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from BuzzFeed - Animals http://ift.tt/1B5Ie18

Created by Peter

39 Pictures That Will Give You Faith In The World For 2015

Sometimes you need a little cute to get through.

This seeing eye puppy who hasn't grown into his harness yet.

This seeing eye puppy who hasn't grown into his harness yet.


This cat who accompanies his human whenever he goes for a stroll.

This cat who accompanies his human whenever he goes for a stroll.



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from BuzzFeed - Animals http://ift.tt/1AbC66f

Created by Peter

The 30 Most Important Cats Of 2014

In a difficult year, these were the cats that inspired us; these were the cats that urged us on. These were the cats that changed our lives.

"Turn Down For What" Cats

Whatever you turned down for in this trying year – whether it was grace, forgiveness, the tender caress of a loved one, or because there was nothing good on Netflix – these kittens were right there with you, bobbing their majestic heads in time with the rhythm of your dreams.


Secret Agent Cat

"Mr. Purrbachev, CLIMB DOWN THIS WALL!"

- Timely Ronald Reagan reference about this cat

Secret Agent Cat


The Cat Who Figured Out How To Hammock

So many critics have pointed out that 2014 was a precarious hammock of a year that it hardly bears repeating, but those happy few who survived the year's ravages by calling upon the fluffy white cat that is perseverence will see the wisdom in this beautiful video.


Butterfly-Befriending Cat

“I almost wish we were butterflies and liv'd but three summer days – three such days with you I could fill with more delight than fifty common years could ever contain.”

- John Keats, in one of his many letters to this cat

Butterfly-Befriending Cat


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Created by Peter

What Does Your Favorite Dog Say About Your 2015 Future?

What better way to predict the new year than with the cutest ever animals?

from BuzzFeed - Animals http://ift.tt/1xginlX

Created by Peter

How to Open a Champagne Bottle with a Sword

Amaze everyone at your next social function with le sabrage, or opening a bottle of champagne (or any sparkling wine) with a sword. Napoleon's officers did it––now you can, too! Teaching yourself to "behead" a bottle of champagne isn't hard, but takes a little practice (and a case or two of cheap bubbly) to perfect.


  1. Obtain a bottle of chilled champagne that has not been shaken. It is best if the bottle has chilled in a cold refrigerator overnight. Some people additionally advise chilling the neck of the bottle in an ice-water bucket just before sabering.

  2. Wipe away any moisture on the bottle with a napkin. Remove the foil from the top of the bottle. Unwrap and remove the wire cage from the bottle. Alternatively, to avoid the risk of the cork getting pushed out on its own prior to sabrage, loosen the wire cage and raise it up to the next level, then tighten it back down on the upper flanged end of the bottle.

  3. Locate one of the seams on the bottle. This is where the two halves of the bottle join together.

  4. Hold the bottle firmly and at a 30 to 45 degree angle upwards (pointed in a safe direction).

  5. Lay the sword against the bottle. Put the back side of the sword (the blunt, non-cutting edge) towards the cork, as shown in the pictures. Move the sword to the base of the neck, still keeping it flat against the bottle.

  6. Slide the sword slowly and gently along the bottle back to the lip. This is to get a feel for the movement you will need to execute. Go back and forth lightly until you feel comfortable holding the sword to the bottle with this motion.

  7. Firmly and quickly slide the knife down the vertical seam (the cleanest break will occur at the seam intersection), towards the lip that holds the cork. This should be one firm, continuous movement. Weak, unsure attempts often result in simply ricocheting off the top of the bottle. With the correct amount of pressure and the blade properly positioned (flat and on the seam), the lip of the bottle (a little glass ring) and the cork within should cleanly break off (as shown in the picture) and go flying.

  8. Finished.



  • The backyard is a good place to do this trick as long as you pick up your cork (and bottle neck) before you mow.

  • You can find "Champagne Swords" on the Internet. If you can't get your hands on a sword, a large kitchen knife or a solid butcher's knife can do the trick. Use a knife with a flat profile (parallel sides).

  • This trick typically takes half to a full a case to master. Plan on making at least a $30 investment to learn (6 x $5 bottles). Practice with inexpensive, corked sparkling wine. However, some inexpensive bottles are cheaply made from inferior glass, which can lead to a higher rate of breakage and are therefore riskier to work with. Gizmodo noted that French and Spanish bottles seem to break more cleanly than American ones.[1]


  • The "beheaded" portion of the bottle has a very sharp glass edge. Be very careful picking it up.

  • If you'd love to include Champagne sabering in your next event but you're too afraid to give it a go, there are official Champagne sabering experts who can be hired for your event. Look for a person who is officially trained by the "La Confrerie du Sabre d'Or". This person may even be able to show you how to do it, if preferred.

  • Throw away any incorrectly beheaded bottles. Do not drink from any bottles that break messily. A correctly beheaded bottle has a single, clean break (which is still sharp, but not shattered).

  • Screw-top sparkling wine (like Andre brand) will not work.

  • Non-carbonated wine will not work. The pressure inside the bottle is part of what makes this work.

  • Even if you correctly behead the bottle, make sure to pour out a little of the champagne before serving it just in case there are any little slivers of glass .

  • This party trick is impressive––use it for a wedding reception, New Year's Eve, a special birthday, etc. as part of the ceremonial activities.

  • If your first try doesn't work, be aware that the agitation of the first swipe will cause the wine to "spew" more when you are successful. Multiple attempts to behead a bottle will contribute to a messy break (and an undrinkable bottle).

Things You'll Need

  • A well-chilled bottle of Champagne or sparkling wine sealed with a cork

  • A large knife or sword that has a squared back edge

  • Ample space to send the cork and bottle neck flying (6-10 feet/1.8-3 meters)

Related wikiHows

Sources and Citations

  • http://ift.tt/1B4tI9N VideoJug.com Instructional Video - Source of information and some of the images. Shared with permission.

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via Peter

24 Cats Who Are Nailing Their Sweater Game

Sweaters are like a constant cuddle!

"My style is casual and comfortable!"


"Do sweaters make you feel pensive, too?"


"I like that sweaters let me express my true self."


"Next. Level. Cozy."


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17 Animals Who Have Already Broken Their New Years Resolutions

Keeping resolutions is tough, but shouldn’t you at least make it to the New Year before you give up completely? Clearly, no one gave these animal friends the pep talk they needed.

This monkey gave up sugar.

This monkey gave up sugar.


i.imgur.com / Via Reddit/r/animals

These birds resolved to stay off chicken-flavored dog food because they know how incredibly creepy it is that they eat it.

These birds resolved to stay off chicken-flavored dog food because they know how incredibly creepy it is that they eat it.


i.imgur.com / Via reddit.com

This yak swore off chewing tobacco.

This yak swore off chewing tobacco.


behance.net / Via Tumblr

This bear resolved to get up and go to the gym this year.

This bear resolved to get up and go to the gym this year.


bcferriesvacations.com / Via reddit.com

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from BuzzFeed - Animals http://ift.tt/1vsVs1v

Created by Peter

How to Eat Healthy

Eating healthy is crucial to maintaining good health. Fortunately, it's easier than it sounds. Arm yourself with knowledge and you're halfway there. If you think of eating healthy not as a sacrifice, but more as an opportunity for self-improvement, you're almost at the finish line. You don't need someone to tell you the numerous health benefits that putting away the donuts and hamburgers will get you. You want someone to show you how it's done. Here's a glimpse.


Choosing a Healthy Diet

  1. Choose the right carbohydrates. Simple carbs, like sugar and flour, are quickly absorbed by the body's digestive system. This causes a kind of carb overload, and your body releases huge amounts of insulin to combat the overload. Eat these in moderation. Complex carbs, on the other hand, are slowly digested by the body. They include whole-grain flour, hearty vegetables, oats, and unprocessed grains like brown rice. These foods are usually higher in vitamins and other nutrients that are beneficial to the body, and they are higher in fiber (which keeps your digestive system running smoothly).

    • Consider eating leafy greens like kale, collard greens, mustard greens, and Swiss chard. They are packed with nutrients and will fill you up very quickly. A simple sauté with olive oil, garlic, a little salt and pepper and you have a surprisingly tasty meal that is very nutritious.

    • Choose wheat (brown) bread instead of white bread and whole wheat pasta instead of "normal" pasta. Processed carbohydrates such as those found in white bread are harder to draw nutrients from, and therefore constitute empty calories. Plain oat meal is also very healthy for you.

  2. Eat lean, mean protein. Aim to get between 10% and 35% of your daily calories from protein.[1] Protein helps you build muscle and gives you lasting energy throughout the day. Some examples of healthy proteins include:

    • Lean fish such as flounder, sole, cod, bass, perch, and halibut.

    • Lean poultry such as chicken or duck breast.

    • Legumes like beans and soy products (e.g. edamame and tofu).

    • Nuts like cashews.

  3. Know the difference between good fat and bad fat. You need to consume fat for your body to function correctly. However, it's important to choose the right kinds of fats. Here's a quick primer.

    • Monounsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids are good fats, which you should try to consume regularly. They help lower the "bad cholesterol" in your body by raising "good cholesterol". Foods that are high in fatty acids are olive oil, nuts, fish oil, and various seed oils. Adding these "good" fats to your weekly diet can lower your cholesterol and reduce your risk of heart disease.

    • Avoid trans fats and saturated fats. Trans fats are a form of unsaturated fat commonly found in processed foods, and consuming them raises your risk of heart disease. Read the labels of what you eat, and look for "hydrogenated" anything on the ingredient list.

  4. Stock up on superfoods. So-called superfoods may have a misleading title, but some truly are a cut above. Superfoods may have the ability to fight heart disease, stave off cancer, lower cholesterol, and even boost your mood.[2] Here are just a few of them:

    • Blueberries. Blueberries may facilitate brain health.[3] If you don't have access to blueberries, try fresh berries, raspberries, or cranberries.

    • Algae. It may not sound appetizing, but then again when you read the list of health benefits you may think again. Rich in vitamins, minerals, and amino acids, as well as beneficial in managing natural flora in the gut.[4]

    • Salmon. Another creature of the sea makes the list, and for good reason. Salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, a good type of fat. Omega-3 fats are good for blood pressure, brain function, and heart health.[5]

  5. Watch your salt intake.[6] Although humans need salt in moderation, too much salt can lead to high blood pressure, osteoporosis, and excessive stomach acid.[7] Use salt sparingly, and always check labels on food for the "reduced sodium" option if it's available.

  6. Practice moderation. Don't over-consume any one food or type of food. Instead, try to vary your diet so that you eat a little bit of everything in a moderate amount.

    • Some people might be great at giving up meat, sugar, alcohol, or other foods. However, most of us are likely to give it up for awhile, then break down and binge. Avoid this deprivation-binge cycle by allowing yourself to have small "cheats". For instance, if you want to eat less sugar, allow yourself to eat one dessert each Friday night and abstain for the rest of the week. Having a break to look forward to can help you power through the other days.

Making Easy but Healthy Decisions

  1. Drink plenty of water. Staying hydrated with basic H2O is an easy and dramatic way to improve your health and shed pounds, all while helping you feel full. Drink water during and after meals to aid digestion, and try to consume between 2 and 3 liters per day.[8] [9]

    • If you feel like snacking, try drinking a full glass of water first. Some people confuse thirst for hunger, and eat a 400- or 500-calorie snack when a glass of water would have helped them feel satiated. If you're still hungry 15 minutes after your drink, then it's time for a snack.

  2. Avoid soft drinks, juices, sports and energy drinks, as well as other products containing artificial sweeteners. Giving up sugary drinks is one of the easiest ways you can instantly improve your diet and become healthier. A can of coke adds 139 extra calories to your diet.[10] A glass of grape juice will set you back even more. Try drinking water only to improve and aid digestion. [11] A white chocolate creme frappuccino has a whopping 500 calories.[12] While it's okay to treat yourself to these and other drinks every once in a while, it's not a good idea to make them a regular part of your diet.

  3. Participate in Meatless Mondays. Meatless Monday is an international campaign that encourages people to give up eating meat one day per week. Eating less meat can have several health benefits, as most people already have enough protein in their diets. [13] In fact, vegetarians and vegans weigh less than meat-eaters, and live longer on average.[14] [15]

  4. Stay away from fast food. We all know fast food is bad for our health. Yet it continues to remain a weekly staple for too many people. For one, fast food is often fried, processed, and excessively salty. Add soft drinks and fries and your meal could easily burn through half of your suggested caloric intake for the day. To add insult to injury, much of the fat contained in fast food is trans fat, the worst kind of fat.[16]

  5. Drink one glass of wine or beer occasionally, but be wary of more. Adults who drink a glass of wine or beer with their meal report numerous health benefits, including improved memory function, reduced bacterial infection, and even boosted estrogen levels.[17] Unfortunately, what may be good in small doses can be destructive in larger doses. Any more than two drinks of alcohol per day is probably detrimental to your health.[18]

    • Red wine, in particular, contains a polyphenol called resveratrol that scientists believe is particularly heart-healthy. Resveratrol works by improving the function of blood vessels in the heart and curbing the amount of "bad" cholesterol in your body.[19]

    • Are you pregnant and worried about drinking? While it's normal for expectant mothers to abstain from alcohol, scientists say that it's perfectly harmless to drink one glass of wine a day.[20]

Changing Your Mindset

  1. Adopt a healthy attitude towards food. Take a hard look at your eating habits. Do you eat more when you feel stressed?[21] Do you withhold food from yourself in order to feel like you're in control? Try to evaluate whether you have an unhealthy emotional attachment to food. If you do, here are a few steps to consider:

    • Find a healthier replacement. If you find that you tend to gorge on unhealthy foods when you're stressed, find a substitute activity — for instance, you could instead go for a walk, take a long bath, or call a trusted friend for a chat. Whatever you choose, it should be something that helps you decompress so that you no longer feel the need to binge.

    • See food as sustenance. A lot of Western culture is rife with messages that food is for entertainment or for relieving boredom. Break yourself of this cognitive habit by consciously evaluating food in terms of what it can do to keep your body healthy. Ask yourself if what you're about to put in your mouth is good for you, and if it will help your body function as it was designed to.

    • Consult a medical professional. Eating disorders are classified as mental illnesses, and you can't always just talk yourself into stopping destructive behaviors. [22] If you suspect that you have an eating disorder (whether it's over- or under-eating), ask your general practitioner to refer you to the appropriate care.

  2. Determine how many calories your body needs to function each day. This number can vary widely, depending upon your metabolism and how physically active you are. As a rule, the more muscle mass you have, the more calories you need to consume to function properly. Otherwise, your body will start breaking down muscle tissue for energy.

    • If you're the kind of person who puts on 10 pounds just smelling a slice of pizza, then your daily caloric intake should stay around 2000 calories for men, and 1500 calories for women. Your body mass also plays a part in this — more calories are suitable for naturally bigger people, and fewer calories for smaller people.

    • If you're the kind of person who can eat without putting on a pound, or you're physically active, you may want to increase your daily caloric intake by 1000-2000 calories, a little less for women.

  3. Don't skip breakfast. Many people do this because they think they can drop pound, or they just don't feel hungry first thing in the morning. Although the scientific evidence is still inconclusive[23] [24] [25] , there are several reasons why you might not want to skip what many people believe is the "most important meal of the day".

    • Eating breakfast gets your metabolism going and keeps it active throughout the morning. Skipping breakfast may kick off the "starvation response" in some people. Your brain says "There is no food! It has been hours! It must be a famine!" The next time you eat, the body stores as much fat as it possibly can.[26]

    • Furthermore, skipping breakfast might leave you famished by lunch, causing you to binge as a way to compensate.

    • A small breakfast is better than no breakfast. If you don't feel up to a full meal, at least drink some water and eat a piece of fruit, a granola bar, or a piece of toast. Get more nutritious bang for your buck by eating a breakfast smoothie.

    • On the other hand, a technique called "intermittent fasting" has been shown to contribute to more rapid weight loss with possibly other health benefits. The effect, however, may vary from individual to individual. [27] However, it may not be a good idea to skip breakfast the day of an important exam, job interview, or other critical event as you may be distracted by your hunger or not have enough energy to perform up to your potential.

  4. Eat slowly. Have you ever gorged on a huge meal and felt fine immediately after, but felt like exploding 15 minutes later? This happens because it takes some time for your stomach to tell your brain that it's full. Circumvent the problem by consuming your food slower. That way, by the time you get the message and start feeling satisfied, you haven't consumed too much extra food.

    • Slow yourself down by waiting 5 or 10 minutes between each course. Chew each bite of food 20 to 30 times before swallowing.

    • Drink a full glass of water throughout your meal. Stopping for sips will slow your eating, as well as helping you feel fuller.

  5. Eat five times per day. You may consider eating three meals per day (breakfast, lunch and dinner), with two snacks in between. Doing this allows you to eat slightly less at your meals, giving your body a more manageable amount of food to digest, and keeps your blood sugar steadier throughout the day because you're not going six hours at a stretch without eating.


  • Never go on an EXTREME DIET!!!! You NEVER want to come to the point where you can't drink any specific liquids or you have to stay away from things that are actually nutritious for you. If you feel you have more questions or you think you or a family member/friend might be going through this, make sure to contact your doctor or talk to people close to you.



  • Consider eating fruit and vegetable salads instead of fast foods.

  • Carry water with you at all times. Try to drink water in place of soft drinks and other flavored beverages. A good rule of thumb is to drink half your body weight in ounces per day.

  • Try to lower your junk food consumption little by little and in a month or so you will frown upon junk foods!

  • Eat before you shop so you can focus on your grocery list without having any unnecessary cravings.

  • Make sure there isn't a lot of unhealthy food in your house that can tempt you. Give or throw away the foods you shouldn't eat. You can't eat what you don't have! And don't buy those thrown away again!

  • Non-fat yogurt can make a great snack, and its healthy bacteria can help with various stomach problems.

  • Cravings for junk food usually stop after about 2 weeks of eating healthy.

  • When you think you're craving for unhealthy foods, it may mean your body needs something with nutrients and vitamins, so eat healthier alternatives like fruits or vegetables to stop that unhealthy craving.

  • Try chewing more. This will give your body more time to digest the food and absorb nutrients.

  • With labels such as "fat free" or "sugar free" there are more chemicals. Most of the time, the simpler the ingredients list, the healthier the food is. For example, juicing your own orange juice is always healthier than store bought orange juice. Even if its labeled fat free on the container. If you make your juice at home, you know exactly what is in your juice and not relying on a label to be truthful.

  • Have patience. You won't see a drastic drop in your cholesterol level or weight or increase in your energy level immediately. You need to give the changes in diet some time to kick in. You may start to notice changes a couple weeks later.

  • If you are in school then always eat a healthy breakfast before going to school

  • Try not to buy so much junk food because you will feel tempted to eat it.

  • Even though eating healthy is good for you, it is a quite a bit harder. Avoid starving yourself w calories. If you want to gain weight for a football team or some such reason, you are going to choose food with lots of calories. However, too many calories, not enough exercise, and eating too much at one time, can make you fat.

  • Drink water instead of soft drinks or alcohol.

  • Take time to change your diet. For example try switching from chocolate dessert to a heather choice. Then try something else.

Related wikiHows

Sources and Citations

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