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--- On Sun, 25/12/11, Sonya Khan <khansonya95@yahoo.co.uk> wrote:

From: Sonya Khan <khansonya95@yahoo.co.uk>
Subject: «*» RUKHSANA«*» FLOWERS FOR YOU
To: "hindi_jokes@yahoogroups.com" <hindi_jokes@yahoogroups.com>, "HAVE-A-HEART@yahoogroups.com" <HAVE-A-HEART@yahoogroups.com>, "rukhsana@yahoogroups.com" <rukhsana@yahoogroups.com>, "ShaanSe_Group@yahoogroups.com" <ShaanSe_Group@yahoogroups.com>, "salam subha" <salam-e-subha@yahoogroups.com>, "onlycuteangels@yahoogroups.com" <onlycuteangels@yahoogroups.com>
Cc: "Yaadein_Meri@yahoogroups.com" <Yaadein_Meri@yahoogroups.com>, "Community_portal@yahoogroups.com" <Community_portal@yahoogroups.com>, "dil_ki_dunyaa@yahoogroups.com" <dil_ki_dunyaa@yahoogroups.com>, "Loveever_Groups@yahoogroups.com" <Loveever_Groups@yahoogroups.com>, "the khi" <The-Karachi-World@yahoogroups.com>, "kute_group@yahoogroups.com" <kute_group@yahoogroups.com>, "kool-karachi@yahoogroups.com" <kool-karachi@yahoogroups.com>
Date: Sunday, 25 December, 2011, 9:22 PM



 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


 





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Know Your Network, Lesson 2: Understanding Your Router's Admin Page

In the first lesson of our networking night school, we looked at the basics of router hardware. Today we're going to start setting things up.

The goal here is to get the most important things set up and then explain all the other details you ought to know. You may not use every section in your router's admin page, but understanding the features will help. We're going to use the DD-WRT router firmware in our examples—since it's a Lifehacker favorite available for many routers—but we'll explain how each topic applies to whatever router you have. Your router may not have every feature we talk about today, but if you're still considering which router to buy you may want to take the contents of these lessons into consideration.

Note: In future lessons we'll cover some of the more exciting and complex things you can do with your router, but first this episode just focuses on the basics.


Naming Your Router

While it may seem trivial, there are actually a few things you need to know about naming your router. To start, the name of your router and wireless network are different. Naming your wireless network is really naming the service set identifier (SSID) that the router broadcasts and you select on your computer when you want to connect. The name of your router, however, is how it is identified to other devices on the network. In most cases, this name is much less important than what you choose for your SSID.

Choosing your SSID can be important, however. Leaving it as the default can lead to confusion with other networks, so it's important to pick something specific to you. You can even choose a name that's the first half of a phrase so it's easier for you to remember. This is, of course, somewhat less secure. Clever names can even discourage people from trying to use your network (e.g. "c:\virus.exe") or even communicate a message (e.g. "SexIsTooLoud"). Change it to whatever suits your purposes, but do make sure you change it.

Basic Wi-Fi Configuration and Security

There are a few things you need to do when configuring your Wi-Fi and they're all very simple. First, you need to make a few basic setup decisions. Generally you'll find these settings in the Wireless tab on your router's admin page. This is the case in DD-WRT and on Linksys routers. For Dlink routers, it's generally in the Setup section under the Wireless Settings subheading. Netgear also calls it Wireless Settings, and Belkin tends to stick it under a Wireless header but label it Channel and SSID. There are a lot of router brands out there so we can't go over every naming convention, but as you can see they're pretty similar. You're basically looking for the word "wireless" and "setup" and/or "settings" in some combination.

Once you're there, the first thing you want to do is choose your SSID as we discussed in the section above. Choosing a wireless channel is also important, but we're going to talk about that in depth in the next lesson. The goal is to pick the channel with the least interference, and since the default channel is 6 for most routers you're likely to run into more interference on that channel. Feel free to pick another one for now, or just stick with the default and see how things run. If you're not getting the quality signal you'd hoped for, we'll talk about what you can do to about it in the next lesson.

Next you may need to choose a broadcast mode. In most cases you'll be working with a router that broadcasts both 802.11g and 802.11n, if not also others as well. As we discussed yesterday, mixed mode is going to reduce your speeds somewhat. If you really want to maximize throughput, broadcasting only 802.11n is your best bet. If you need backwards compatibility with 802.11g, however, you'll need to choose mixed mode.

Next, hop on over to the Security section of your wireless settings. Most routers will separate these settings from your basic channel and SSID setup, but some keep them together. If you look for a section with a label approximating "wireless security" you should find what you're looking for. When you do, this is where you can enter a password. Generally WEP is easier to crack, so using WPA2 (or WPA if WPA2 is not an option) is a better choice. You also can choose a more complex password when using WPA2. One thing to note is that some Wi-Fi cards (in your computers) will have trouble connecting to a WPA2-secured network via 802.11n when you don't support multiple WPA2 algorithms. If you find that you or visitors have difficulty connecting via 802.11n, be sure to set your WPA2 algorithms to both AES and TKIP. This is usually represented as "AES+TKIP" or something similar.

You don't need to mess around with much else beyond that to get your Wi-Fi up and running securely. While there are a few more advanced options worth looking at, too, we'll cover those in tomorrow's lesson.

Security Settings

Setting a Wi-Fi password isn't the only security you're going to have on your router, and generally various security settings will be split up into different sections. For example, password-protecting your router's admin page will generally be in the Administration section and some things like MAC Address Filtering like to find themselves in no consistant location between the various brands of routers. Often times you'll have to go looking around for what you want to find, but generally you'll also find a few things clumped together. They often deal with your router's firewall.

The firewall is the greatest challenge to any Hollywood actor playing a hacker in a film, but in reality it's not that big of a deal. Basically, you receive many network transmissions you're not aware of because your router's firewall is blocking them from getting through to you. It has a set of rules that allows certain kinds of data to reach you while blocking others that you presumably don't want. A semipermeable membrane is likely a better metaphor, but it's not quite as exciting or dramatic as firewall.

For the most part, the default firewall settings should be just fine for most people, but you should know that can less or more types of data if you choose. For example, you can filter out things like cookies and Java applets. You'll find that most routers are already filtering anonymous ping requests, which you may want to disable. It's also a good page to look at for troubleshooting purposes, as sometimes settings in your firewall will prevent certain applications from working properly as they require communicating outside of your local area network (LAN). If you're trying to debug a problem, temporarily disabling filters and/or features on your firewall can help you do so. Most of the time, however, you can just leave things as they are.

NAT and QoS

NAT stands for network address translation and QoS stands for quality of service. As NAT and port forwarding are related, you'll generally find them together. Sometimes port forwarding is also known as Virtual Servers in some routers. QoS is often paired with these features as well but not always.

So what do they do? Let's start with NAT and port forwarding. You're probably aware that you have local IP addresses that differ from the IP addresses out on the internet. On your local network, they usually look like 192.168.x.x or 10.0.x.x but they can essentially be anything because they're local. NAT is what translates the outside IP addresses to your local network so you can interact with people as far as the wide internet can take you. Port forwarding relates to this because, by default, nobody on the outside can access your local machines. You can use port forwarding, however, to open up certain ports for certain machines on the network. For example, if one computer has a web server and another has an FTP server, you could open up ports for both of those services so people could access them from outside of your local network. If this is new to you and a little confusing, don't worry—we're going to cover this in a lot of depth in the next lesson.

QoS is designed to keep your network's bandwidth evenly distribute, and it's something we've previously covered. Basically, the idea is that certain users and/or applications may hog the bandwidth on your network and from your connection to the internet, but QoS will let you define rules to let you throttle users and services when they are using too much. This allows for the network to run more smoothly in general and can help the router from getting so bogged down that you need to manually restart it. QoS isn't available on all routers, but it's becoming more and more common. If you use custom firmware like DD-WRT it'll be there when you need it.

Administration and Status

Your router generally has two sections that go by the same name with pretty much every router on the market: Administration and Status. Administration is where you add a password to your router's admin section, choose whether or not the router admin pages can be accessed outside of your local network, and also accomplish tasks like settings backup and firmware upgrades. The Status section will give you information about your router, such as its current wide area network (WAN) IP address, the computers that are connected to it, and more. This is also where you can check your router's logs. Generally you won't need to spend much time in either of these sections, but knowing what they do and what's inside can be particularly helpful.

Various Router Services

Your router may have a section called Services, Tools, Advanced, or something that isn't particularly descriptive. This section will often let you set up things like a VPN, turn on advanced options like SSH, and enable or disable the system log (although you'll usually find that in the Status section, too). We'll cover these items more later, but if you're looking for anything that doesn't seem to fit in the available categories you'll generally find it in your Services/Tools/Advanced tab.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Know Your Network: The Complete Guide

We spent last week learning all about your home network, your routers, and all the cool things you can do with them. Here's the complete guide that will teach you how to pick out the best network hardware, get to know it better, make it perform at its best, and access just about anything on your network from practically anywhere in the world.

 



Know Your Network, Lesson 1: Router Hardware 101

Home networking is something we all have to deal with, but it can be confusing as heck. This week, we're going to turn you into a networking wizard, starting with getting to know the most important device on your network: the router.

Router Basics

Your router is the glue that holds your home network together. It connects all your computers to one another, either through Ethernet cables or a wireless connection. A router is different than a modem: your modem connects you to the internet, while your router connects your computers to one another. When you hook up your router to the modem, however, you're then able to share that internet connection with all of the computers on your network. Sometimes modems will come with routers built-in, but this isn't always the case.

Devices that connect to your router—that is, the computers, tablets, smartphones, DVRs, game systems, and so on—are called clients. Each client on the network is given an IP address, which helps your router direct traffic. Clients within the network get a local IP address, while your modem gets a global IP address. Global IP addresses are like street addresses, while local IP addresses are like apartment numbers: one lets you find the building in relation to the rest of the world, while the other lets you find the specific location within the complex. These addresses make sure the right information from the outside world gets to the right computer on your network.

Routers have a number of different features, so we'll go through some of the most common router specs and how they affect your home network.

Wired vs Wireless

You'll want to hardwire any computer that doesn't need to move around, like a desktop, since wired connections are fast, reliable, and cheap. They're far from ideal for devices you pick up and move around, though, like laptops, so for those we use a wireless connection (commonly known as Wi-Fi). Wi-Fi is more than adequate for simple web browsing, though wired connections are ideal if you're transferring big files, gaming, video chatting, or streaming video.

Most people have a mix of wired and wireless devices on their network, so most of our discussion today will be focused on wireless routers. Since wireless routers allow for both wired and wireless connections, you can wire up when necessary, and connect over Wi-Fi everywhere else.

Wireless Throughput

Throughput is the speed at which a router can transfer data. The transfer speed of your wireless connection is dependent on the wireless standard it uses. The most common standards today are 802.11g and 802.11n (also known as "wireless G" and "wireless N", respectively). Wireless N is faster than wireless G, though routers that support wireless N are also more expensive. Most new devices—like smartphones and laptops—support the faster wireless N.

Your router isn't the only thing that determines wireless speed: you also need the correct kind of wireless card in your computer. If you have an older laptop, it might have an older wireless G card inside, meaning it can't take advantage of wireless N speeds. If you have a mix of N- and G-capable computers, you can turn on a wireless N feature called "mixed mode", which will let you use both on the same network. You'll get faster speeds on the wireless N clients and slower speeds on the wireless G clients. Some claim, however, that running both N and G devices on the same network can lower speeds across the network, even between a wireless N router and wireless N computer. So if you want the fastest possible speeds, you'll probably want all wireless N devices on that network.

Wired Throughput

The wired half of your router will come in one of two speeds: 10/100 Mbps and 10/100/1000 Mbps (also known as "gigabit"). 10/100 routers are cheaper, but won't transfer data between computers as quickly as gigabit routers will. If you're only using your router to connect to the internet, 10/100 is fine, since your internet connection is probably slower than 100Mbps, meaning you wouldn't be able to actually take advantage of the router's full speed. If you're transferring data between computers, however, you'll want to go with a gigabit router, since it'll transfer that data much faster than a 10/100 model.

Range

Wireless routers can only reach so far. If you have a big house and have the router on one side, you might not be able to access the network from the other side of the house. Your range, like your speed, is determined by the wireless standard you use. Wireless N has a longer range than wireless G, so if range is important you'll want to use wireless N.

That said, there are many other ways to connect to your network from afar. Wireless extenders (also called wireless repeaters) are products you can buy that do exactly what they say—extend your network further. Alternatively, you can buy a powerline adapter, which lets you use your home's electrical wiring to hook a faraway device up to your router with an Ethernet cable (and thus get a faster connection than wireless would allow for).

Number of Ports

Routers have two types of ports in the back: LAN ports and WAN ports. Your WAN port hooks up to your modem (which, again, is what connects to the internet), while the LAN ports hook up to your computers and other clients. Most routers have one WAN port, but you'll need as many LAN ports as you have wired devices. If you have more wired devices than can fit on a router, you can plug them all in using a wired switch. A switch is like a power strip for your router: it lets you plug in more devices than the router originally allowed. Photo by Ari Zoldan.

Number of Bands

Wireless routers broadcast on a radio band, and many new wireless N routers can broadcast on two bands. These are called, appropriately, dual band routers. Older routers and computers operate on a 2.4Ghz band only, while dual-band routers allow for both the 2.4Ghz band and a 5Ghz band. The 5Ghz band is great because it has less interference, since tons of other devices—from other networks to Bluetooth to cordless phones to microwaves—operate on the 2.4Ghz band.

The main downside of the 5Ghz band is that, since it uses a higher frequency, it isn't as good at penetrating walls. As such, if you run your router in 5Ghz mode, you might have a shorter range than if you ran it in 2.4Ghz mode. In addition, some older devices don't support 5Ghz. The solution to this problem is to use a simultaneous dual-band router, which can broadcast on both bands at once.

Wireless Security

Unless you don't mind strangers eating your bandwidth and potentially accessing your networked files, you should always protect your wireless network with a password. WPA2 is currently the most secure type of wireless encryption, so make sure you use WPA2 if you can. Some old wireless devices won't support WPA, in which case you'll have use the less secure WEP instead. Basically every device made in the last four years support WPA2 encryption.

If you're planning to use your router for a small business, you might want to look for a router with the "guest network" feature, which allows other people to access the internet without giving them full access to your computers and sensitive data.

Hackability

Hardware specs like these are important, but routers also come with a lot of software and firmware features, like DHCP reservations, Quality of Service, or firewalls that can make managing your network easier. However, the more of these features a router has, the more expensive it's likely to be.

If you're comfortable with flashing a new firmware on your router, you're better off getting one that's compatible with a third-party firmware like DD-WRT or Tomato. Make sure your router is on DD-WRT's list of supported devices or Tomato's list of supported devices if you want to go this route.

When It Comes Time to Buy a New Router

If you have a particularly old router, you may read a lot of the above information and decide it's time to upgrade. Be sure to check out our guide to buying a Wi-Fi router, and take all the above information into account as you shop: for example, if you need your network to reach long distances, make sure you get a simultaneous dual-band router for maximum range.

A note on user reviews: unlike most technology, reviews for wireless routers are not to be trusted. Most routers have a mix of 5-star "works perfectly" reviews and one star "totally sucks" reviews, and it's because everyone's home is different. There are so many other factors that go into network quality, like the walls, interference from other devices, and so on that you can't really extrapolate much from a given person's experience. The best thing to do is evaluate your needs, buy a router from a trusted brand that fits those needs, and return it if it doesn't work for you.


Understanding your router is merely the first step in the process, but it's an important one. In the next few lessons, we'll be talking about some of the software and firmware features of your router (like the aforementioned DHCP reservations and Quality of Service) and how they can make your network as fast and reliable as possible.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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What Sugar Actually Does to Your Brain and Body

We consume an enormous amount of sugar, whether consciously or not, but it's a largely misunderstood substance. There are different kinds and different ways your body processes them all. Some consider it poison and others believe it's the sweetest thing on earth. Here's a look at the different forms of sugar, the various ways they affect you, and how they play a role in healthy—and unhealthy—diets.

Of course, if you already know how sugar works and how your body uses it, feel free to skip down to the final section about healthier sugar consumption.

The Different Types of Sugar

There are too many types of sugar (and, of course, sugar substitutes) to tackle in a high-level overview like this one, so we're really only going to look at the two (and a half) that you regularly encounter: glucose and fructose.

Glucose

What Sugar Actually Does to Your Brain and BodyGlucose is a simple sugar that your body likes. Your cells use it as a primary source of energy, so when you consume glucose, it's actually helpful. When it's transported into the body, it stimulates the pancreas to produce insulin. Your brain notices this increase, understands that it's busy metabolizing what you just ate, and tells you that you're less hungry. The important thing to note here is that when you consume glucose, your brain knows to tell you to stop eating when you've had enough.

But glucose isn't perfect. There are many processes involved when you consume glucose, but one that occurs in your liver produces something called very low density lipoprotein (or VLDL). You don't want VLDL. It causes problems (like cardiovascular disease). Fortunately, only about 1 out of 24 calories from glucose that are processed by the liver turn into VLDL. If glucose were the only thing you ate that produced VLDL, it would be a non-issue.

Sucrose and High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)

What Sugar Actually Does to Your Brain and BodyFor our purposes, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and sucrose are the same thing because they're both highly sweet and they both contain a large amount of fructose. Sucrose is 50% fructose and HFCS is 55% fructose (which is high compared to normal corn syrup, but pretty normal when compared to cane sugar). The remainder of each is glucose, which we discussed above. In most cases, fructose is bad for you because of how it's processed by the body. Fructose can only be metabolized by the liver, which is not a good thing. This means a greater number of calories—about three times more than glucose—are going through liver processes and that results in a much higher production of VLDL (the bad cholestoral mentioned earlier) and fat. It also results in a higher production of uric acid and a lot of other things you don't want, which is believed to lead to fun stuff like hypertension and high blood pressure.

On top of that, fructose consumption negatively changes the way your brain recognizes your consumption. This is because your brain resists leptin, the protein that's vital for regulating energy intake and expenditure (which includes your keeping your appetite in check and your metabolism working efficiently). As a result, you keep eating without necessarily realizing you're full. For example, a soda containing high amounts of fructose (which is most non-diet sodas) will do little to make you think you're full even though you're taking in large amounts of calories. Your brain doesn't get the message that you really consumed much of anything and so it still thinks you're still hungry. This is a very, very basic look at part of how fructose is processed and doesn't even touch upon many of its other problems, but identifies the issue most people care about: fat production.

This isn't to say fructose is all bad. It does have a practical purpose. If you're a professional athlete, for example, it can actually be helpful. HFCS actually repletes your glycogen supply faster, which is useful when you're burning it off, so the use of HFCS in sports drinks actually has a practical purpose for those who can quickly burn it off. It's not so helpful for those of us whose life focus is not physical activity—unless we find ourselves in a situation where we need fast energy that we're going to quickly burn off.

Processed vs. Unprocessed Foods

What Sugar Actually Does to Your Brain and BodyFruit contains fructose, but as any food pyramid or suggested intake ratios will tell you, fruit is okay. How is that possible if fructose is almost always bad? This is because fruit, in its natural form, contains fiber. Fructose doesn't provide a satiety alert to let your brain know to tell you to stop eating, but fiber does this to a high degree. This is why you can eat fruit—despite the fructose content—without experiencing the same problems as, say, drinking a sugary soda. This is why fruit can actually be beneficial. The same goes for processed sugar. Sugar doesn't exist naturally as sparkly white crystals, but as a really tough stick called sugar cane. It isn't until you process the sugar can that you lose all the fiber it contains. Without the fiber, you only have the tasty but problematic part of the original food. That's why processed sugars can cause problems.

So why not keep the fiber (or at least some of it)? Because when you process food, you're not processing it for the purpose of eating immediately. Instead you're processing it to ship all over the country, or even the world. To do this, you obviously can't let the food expire or it will be useless when it arrives. Because fiber causes the food to go bad much faster, it needs to be removed.

Additionally, many processed foods are even worse off because of their low fat content. Sure, low fat content sounds good, but just because you eat fat doesn't mean you retain it. Your body can efficiently process and excreted fat, so fat intake isn't a huge issue by default. Nonetheless, the past 40 years brought us a low-fat craze. Fresh food can still taste good without a higher fat content, but processing low-fat food makes it taste like crap. Companies understand this, and so they add a bunch of sugar (and often salt) to fix that problem. This process essentially exchanges fat your body can actually use for fructose-produced fat that it cannot.

These are the main reasons why processed food is often an enemy if you want to stay healthy. This isn't always the case, but it is far more likely than not. Check the sugar content on the back of every package of processed food you own or see at the grocery store and you'll see it for yourself.

Healthier Sugar Consumption

Okay, so some sugar isn't really bad for you but some sugar, like fructose in high amounts, is unhealthy. Since fructose is plentiful in many processed foods, how can you eat better and still enjoy the sweet things you like? What follows are some suggestions. Some require a bit of sacrifice and will be difficult—but more effective—and others are easy enough for anyone to incorporate in his or her diet. If you want to try and curb your sugar intake, be reasonable about what you can accomplish. Failure is a lot more likely if you try to pack in large amounts of change at once . When you cut back on anything slowly, it feels much easier and is more likely to stick.

Stop Drinking Sugared Beverages

What Sugar Actually Does to Your Brain and BodyOf anything you can do, this is the most important. Fructose-heavy soda is remarkably problematic because, for reasons discussed above, you can keep drinking it while your body isn't recognizing your sugar intake—so your body remains hungry. On top of that, a lot of soda (Coke is a great example) contains high amounts of sodium. Why would you want salt in your soda? You wouldn't, but it makes you thirsty and prompts you to buy more soda to drink, so it's great for the companies that make it. It also makes you pee (as does caffeine if your soda has that) so you'll feel the need to drink more as well. This is masked by simply adding more fructose to the drink, which is another obvious problem.

All of that is bad, but what makes it so important to stop drinking soda is that you get absolutely nothing else with it. While other sugary items—such as a slice of cake or a donut—are no shining examples of nutrition, they at least contain some nutrients that will help to alert your brain that you're actually eating. Fructose-heavy soda won't do this, so it's best to just cut it out entirely. This is the hardest thing but the most important. Cutting it out will make it easier to stop eating too much sugar (or anything, really), because you'll be taking in far fewer calories that will go unnoticed by your brain.

What can you drink without issue? Water.

This may sound horrible to some people, but pretty much every other drink you can buy is a processed drink. This isn't to say you can never have another sugared beverage again, but the more you drink them the harder it will be to control your appetite. If you want to incorporate sugared drinks and alcoholic beverages into your diet, try consuming them 20 minutes after you've eaten. You can use this same trick for desserts. (More on this in a minute.)

Eat Fiber with Your Sugar

What Sugar Actually Does to Your Brain and BodyAs previously mentioned in the section about processed and unprocessed foods, fiber is very necessary in curbing sugar intake. It does what fructose can't do, and that's alert you that you've consumed calories and you don't need to eat anymore. Basically, fiber and fructose need to work together. Fiber is fructose's unattractive but brilliant friend. Fructose makes up for fiber's lack of sweetness while fiber makes up for fructose's uselessness.

So how do you eat fiber with your fructose? Don't eat processed foods. Get your fructose from fruit or other sources that contain built-in fiber.

Avoid Processed Foods with High Amounts of Sugar

Cooking your own meals from unprocessed foods is almost always going to be a better option, but our busy lives make that difficult to accomplish for every single meal we eat. While avoiding processed foods altogether is a nice thought, it's not very realistic. If you're going to eat something processed, be sure to check the label for sugar content. If it is not a dessert food and the sugar count isn't negligible, you should probably avoid it. If it contains HFCS early on in the ingredient list (or at all, really), you should probably avoid it. Buy whole wheat breads that are actually whole wheat. Avoid pre-packaged dinners whenever you can. Buy foods with more fiber. They're likely to expire faster, which means more frequent trips to the grocery store, but that's a pretty minor sacrifice to make.

Keep Sugar Products Out of the House

What Sugar Actually Does to Your Brain and BodyIf you like dessert, don't keep it at home. This is obvious, but it's also one of the most effective options (you can't eat something you don't have). If you really want it, make yourself do a little work. Have dinner, and if you have a craving for dessert afterwards then go out and get some. Chances are it won't take more than 20 minutes for that craving to die, as you'll fill up and won't want to eat anything else. In the event it doesn't, go out and buy a reasonably-sized dessert. As long as you're not inclined to do this regularly, prolonging the decision to eat dessert should help you out.

Don't Cut It Out Entirely

If you're currently eating quite a bit of sugar, or you really like it, cutting it out entirely is a bad idea. Not only is comfort food possibly good for your mental health, but it's also believed that you can develop a dependency to sweet foods. As an experiment I cut out sugar for a month before writing this post. While the physical cravings were easy to curb, the psychological ones were much more challenging. Angela Pirisi, writing for Psychology Today, points to a study conducted by psychologist Dr. Bart Hoebel, who believes sugar creates an actual dependency:

Laboratory experiments with rats showed that signs of sugar dependence developed over the course of 10 days. This suggests that it does not take long before the starve-binge behavior catches up with animals, making them dependent. There is something about this combination of heightened opioid and dopamine responses in the brain that leads to dependency. Without these neurotransmitters, the animal begins to feel anxious and wants to eat sweet food again.

Artificial sweeteners didn't change the dependence, leading Hoebel to believe that the sweetness was the main factor and not the calories. While the study couldn't identify why these cravings exist, it could identify a dependency. If you're cutting down on sugar, take it slowly.

Get Moving

What Sugar Actually Does to Your Brain and BodyYour metabolism pretty much goes in the toilet when you don't move around at all, making sitting the harbinger of death. We're big on standing desks, which, for starters, helps your burn far more calories than sitting. It's just good for you all-around. As with any level of physical activity, from standing to walking to running, calorie burn is a poor focus to have. Going for a 20-minute run is about equal to two thin mint cookies (unless you're really fast, in which case you might get a third cookie). Burning off a fast food meal would require exercising for most of your day. It's just not feasible for anyone. Physical activity helps because it reduces stress (which reduces appetite) and improves the way your metabolism functions (so less fat is produced when processed by your body). These things are much more important than calorie burn.

What Sugar Actually Does to Your Brain and BodyStanding up is a good way to negate the effects of sitting down but you might not be able to do it all the time. If you can't, make sure you get up and walk around at least every 30 minutes. If you just don't want to stand up while you work, try doing it for only an hour a day. It's a short amount of time and is better than nothing. Regardless of how much you sit, keep track of the time and try to engage in physical activity—even if it's as mild as walking around—for as close to that amount of time as possible. Go for walks (or walk instead of drive), play a sport, exercise, clean the house, or do anything that keeps you moving around. Generally the entertainment you consume while sitting (television and movies) can still be consumed while you're standing or moving around. This may not be your ideal situation, but it's a good way to increase your physical activity without giving up a normally sedentary activity you enjoy.


Like with anything, sugar isn't all that bad for you in moderation. The problem with sugar these days is that there's a lot more of it in everything and it's in practically everything. So long as you pay attention to what you're eating and you don't overdo it, sugar can be a pleasant part of your life few to no issues. The important thing is that you know what you're consuming and make good choices as a result. The answer to this problem isn't groundbreaking, but just a matter of paying attention.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WARM REGARDS,

Akhtar khatri
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