Saturday, August 20, 2016

Can Schizophrenia Look Like Depression?

What Is Schizophrenia?

It’s a serious mental illness that can be disabling without care. About 1% of Americans have it. People with the condition may hear voices, see imaginary sights, or believe other people control their thoughts. These sensations can frighten the person and lead to erratic behavior. Although there is no cure, treatment can usually manage the most serious symptoms. It is not the same as multiple personality disorder.

What Are the Symptoms?

They include:

Hallucinations: hearing or seeing imaginary things
Delusions: wildly false beliefs
Paranoia: the fear that others are plotting against you

Some signs, such as lack of enjoyment in everyday life and withdrawal from social activities, may mimic depression.

How It Affects Thoughts

People with schizophrenia may have trouble organizing their thoughts or making logical connections. They may feel like the mind is racing from one unrelated thought to another. Sometimes they have "thought withdrawal," a feeling that thoughts are removed from their head, or "thought blocking," when someone's flow of thinking suddenly gets interrupted.

Effects on Behavior

The disease has a major impact in many ways. People may talk and not make sense, or they make up words. They may be agitated or show no expression. Many have trouble keeping themselves or their homes clean. Some repeat behaviors, such as pacing. Despite myths, the risk of violence against others is small.

Who Gets Schizophrenia?

Anyone can. It’s equally common among men and women and among ethnic groups. Symptoms usually start between ages 16 and 30. It tends to begin earlier in men than in women. Schizophrenia rarely starts during childhood or after age 45. People with schizophrenia or other psychotic disorders in their family may be more likely to get it.

What Causes It?

Scientists don’t know the cause. A person’s genes, experiences, and setting may all be involved. Theories include how active and how well certain areas of the brain work, as well as problems with brain chemicals such as dopamine and glutamate. There may be structural differences, too, like loss of nerve cells that result in larger fluid-filled cavities or "ventricles” in the brain.

How Doctors Diagnose It

There are no lab tests to find schizophrenia, so doctors usually base a diagnosis on a person’s history and symptoms. They will first rule out other medical causes. In teens, a combination of family history and certain behaviors can help predict the start of schizophrenia. These behaviors include withdrawing from social groups and expressing unusual suspicions, but that’s not enough for a diagnosis.

Medicines That Treat It

Prescription drugs can reduce symptoms such as abnormal thinking, hallucinations, and delusions. Some people have troubling side effects, including tremors and gaining lots of weight. Drugs may also interfere with other medicines or supplements. But in most cases, medication is a must to treat schizophrenia.

The Role of Therapy

Counseling can help people develop better ways to recognize and handle their problem behaviors and thoughts, and improve how they relate to others. In cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), people learn to test the reality of their thoughts and better manage symptoms. Other forms of therapy aim to improve self-care, communication, and relationship skills.

Navigating the World

Rehabilitation programs for schizophrenia teach people how to do everyday things, like use public transportation, manage money, shop for groceries, or find and keep a job. These programs work best when someone receives proper medications and also gets therapy.

Staying on the Plan

People with schizophrenia sometimes quit their medications because of side effects or not understanding their illness. This raises the risk of serious symptoms returning, which can lead to a psychotic episode (in which someone loses touch with reality). Regular counseling can help people stick with their treatment and avoid a relapse or the need for hospitalization.

Challenges at Work

People with schizophrenia often have trouble finding or keeping a job. This is partly because the disease affects thinking, concentration, and communication. But it also stems from the fact that symptoms start in young adulthood, when many people are starting their careers. Vocational training can help people develop practical job skills.

When a Loved One Has It

Relationships can be rocky for people with schizophrenia. Their unusual thoughts and behaviors may keep friends, co-workers, and family members away. Treatment can help. One form of therapy focuses on forming and nurturing relationships. If you are close to someone who has schizophrenia, you may want to join a support group or get counseling yourself, so you can get support and learn more about what they are going through.

Alcohol, Drugs Are a Risk

People with schizophrenia are much more likely than other people to abuse alcohol or illicit drugs. Some substances, including marijuana and cocaine, can make symptoms worse. Drug abuse also interferes with treatments for schizophrenia. If you know someone who’s dealing with that, look for substance abuse programs designed for people with schizophrenia.

Discuss Before Pregnancy

Women with schizophrenia who plan to get pregnant should talk with their doctors to make sure that their medications are OK to take during pregnancy. Studies of schizophrenia drug safety during pregnancy are encouraging. But although there are no definitive links between medications for schizophrenia and birth defects or serious pregnancy complications, it’s important to talk about it with your doctor first.

When It’s a Relative

It can be hard to convince someone with schizophrenia to get help. Treatment often begins when a psychotic episode results in a hospital stay. Once the person is stabilized, family members can do these things to help prevent a relapse:

o Encourage the person to stay on medication
o Go with them to their follow-up appointments
o Be supportive and respectful

Where to Learn More

To learn more about schizophrenia, contact the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) or the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). NAMI can put you in touch with local support groups for patients and their families.

The Meat You Eat: What's Good for You?


It gets a bad rap. While it can be unhealthy to eat too much fatty red meat, lean red meat doesn't raise your cholesterol and contains nutrients like protein, vitamin B12, iron, niacin, and zinc. Beef tenderloin is a lean, delicious -- and healthy -- way to go.


Like beef, lamb is a good source of protein, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B12, niacin, zinc, and iron. Irish lamb stew, full of healthy vegetables and lean cuts of lamb, is a great meal to share with friends.


This is one of the leanest red meats, which makes it healthier from the start. But there's more: Compared to beef with the same fat content, bison doesn't make as many of the fatty plaques that can clog your arteries and lead to heart disease.


This isn't on many menus in the U.S., but three-quarters of the world eats it. It has far less fat and calories than other red meats, and has plenty of vitamins and nutrients. It also has very little saturated fat -- even less than chicken. An Indian goat curry might be a good way to get familiar with it.


It's far lower in saturated fat -- the most harmful kind -- than most red meat. A 3-ounce serving has 25 grams of protein along with essential amino acids, iron, and niacin. These help with cell growth and metabolism. Roast a whole bird and serve it with a simple green salad.


Like chicken, turkey has all nine essential amino acids (which is called a complete protein). It's also lower in saturated fat than most red meat. But Thanksgiving hosts learn every year how hard it can be to prepare this poultry well. Try putting it in an outdoor smoker for several hours until the meat is tender.


Liver, particularly beef liver, is one of the most nutritious meats you can eat. It's a great source of high-quality protein; vitamins A, B12, B6; folic acid; iron; zinc; and essential amino acids. How about some beef liver pate paired with a nice glass of red wine?


Lean pork is every bit as good for your body as lean beef and chicken. In one study, substituting lean pork for beef and chicken led to less body fat and better heart health. For a spicy take, try ancho-rubbed pork tenderloin. It's lean, flavorful, and perfect for grilling.

How Grudges Hurt Your Health

By Joanna McParland

According to a new study, people are more sensitive to pain when they feel a sense of injustice.

We all experience the ups and downs of life sometimes. We might be treated badly by others or miss out on something we think we deserve, like a promotion at work. This can make us feel wronged, but we tend to get over it—or so you might think. In recent years, researchers have shown that carrying a sense of injustice or unfairness about something, particularly over a prolonged period, can have an adverse effect on our health. In particular, it can make painful conditions worse.
The classic case is where a person incurs a painful injury and blames someone—a car crash victim aggrieved at a reckless driver, for example, or a worker blaming their employer for an accident on the shop floor.
The victim’s sense of injustice needn’t stem from the accident itself, either. It might come from how they are treated afterwards by the likes of health professionals, insurance representatives, or unsupportive family members.
Whether we are talking back damage, arthritis, whiplash, or another source of pain, there are clear associations between perceived injustice and aggravated pain, not to mention disability and emotional distress. It can greatly affect the victim’s life and interfere with their recovery and return to work.
In a new study that I’ve co-authored, we suggest that the injustice doesn’t even need to be linked to the pain itself to affect how the person experiences it. We asked 114 healthy students to put their hand in cold water until it became too painful, like handling a snowball. They had to rate how much pain they had felt during the task and their current level of anxiety.
We then interviewed some of them about something unfair that had happened in their lives, such as unfair rules, poor treatment by family or friends, or increased workload.
After the interviews, all participants had to complete the cold water task for a second time and rate their pain and anxiety again. It turned out that they felt greater pain and became more anxious after they had recalled the injustice.

Belief in a just world

So why this link between perceived injustice and pain? The evidence so far suggests it has something to do with how a sense of injustice affects our thoughts and emotions. It might lead people to ruminate on their suffering, resulting in physical and emotional distress. It can also make people angry, which may trigger a series of bodily responses that can ultimately worsen the pain.
We don’t yet know enough about whether everyone perceives injustice in the same way, and what kinds of people are most likely to be affected. But one thing we do know is relevant is how much the sufferer cares about justice.
Those people most passionate about justice are the ones who need to believe in a world where each person gets what they deserve, good or bad. This makes them the most vulnerable to the undeserved suffering at the core of an injustice. And sure enough, when faced with an injustice, these “strong just-world believers” report more pain and display more of the behavior linked with pain than those with a weaker belief in a just world.
Having said that, when these just-world believers experience pain but are not harboring any grievances, they may actually come out better than other groups. This could be because their belief helps to provide meaning in their world, acting as a buffer against pain and the accompanying distress. I should stress that this point needs more investigation, however, since the findings to date have been inconsistent.

The way forward

Why do these insights matter? Knowing that perceived injustice affects pain means you can potentially do something about it. Making a difference to sufferers is likely to be challenging, however, not least because perceived injustices arise for so many different reasons.
Much has yet to be learned about how to clinically treat or manage a person’s sense of injustice when they have pain. This helps to explain why there is not yet a systematic method for treating these people. More research into how injustice affects pain will undoubtedly help, particularly in relation to the effect of specific kinds of injustice. The hope is that in years to come, we can use these insights to reduce sufferers’ pain and improve their quality of life in the process.

Daily Inspirational Quote for August 20, 2016

“Yesterday is not ours to recover, but tomorrow is ours to win or lose.”

Aha, I get it! Once yesterday has gone it’s gone right? It may not have been such a great day for us so perhaps we are very relieved to see it go. Tomorrow, however, is another brand new opportunity for us to make it a great day by what we do and how we behave. Aren’t we blessed to have a new day to look forward to so let’s not waste it and plan to do our utmost to make it a winning day, and the next day, and the next………..


10 Tips for Effective Communication

--by Liz Kingsnorth

LIZ KINGSNORTH explores the ways we can improve our relationships with others at home, at work and with friends, by improving the way we communicate.

1. An intention for connection.

Aim for a respectful and compassionate quality of connection, so that everyone can express themselves, be heard and understood. Trust that the connection is more important and more nourishing than being right, or even just having your say. Connection means to try to be open and stay in touch with what matters to the other person – and to yourself – in each present moment.

2. Listen more than you speak.

We have two ears and one mouth – a reminder of what is important! Listening is key to a healthy relationship. Often we are only half listening, waiting for our chance to speak, wanting to make our point. When our attention is with our own thoughts, we are not listening. Listening means to enter into the world of the other person, to intend to understand them, even if we disagree with what they are saying.

3. Understand the other person first.

When another person feels you understand them, they are far more likely to be open to understanding you. Willingness to understand involves generosity, respect, self-control, compassion and patience. Be ‘curious instead of furious’ about how others are different from you.

4. Understand needs, wishes and values.

Everything people say and do expresses an underlying need, longing or value. We can learn to identify and ‘hear’ these needs, even when they are not expressed explicitly. Because all human beings share these needs, they are our magic key to unlocking mutual understanding. For example, if someone says, “You are so selfish, you never do anything to help at home,” they are indirectly expressing a longing for consideration and support, but it is coming out as blame and judgment. If we can empathise rather than react, we will connect and the person will feel understood.

65. Begin with empathy.

Refrain from:
Immediately telling your own similar story
Interrogating with lots of data-type questions
Interpreting the other’s experience
 Giving advice
 One-upping e.g. “if you think that’s bad wait till you hear about what happened to me!”
Dismissing the person’s feelings e.g. “Oh don’t be angry.”
Dismissing the person’s experience, or telling the person that this experience is actually good for them!
Generally people appreciate receiving empathy more than anything else.

16. Take responsibility for your  feelings.

What someone else says or does is not the cause for how we feel, it is the trigger. Our feelings are stimulated by what’s happening. For example, if someone does not do what they say they will do, we might tell them, “You make me so angry, you are so unreliable!” This inflammatory accusation could be rephrased as, “I feel frustrated because it’s important to me that we keep to agreements we have made.”

47. Make requests that are practical, specific and positive.

Make requests that will help fulfil our needs. This stops us just complaining, and allows the situation to change. Don’t ask things of others that are too vague or too big, or are expressed as a negative request, e.g. “Stop making so much noise.” Be positive and specific, e.g. “I am working. Can you please use the headphones while playing video games?”

58. Use accurate, neutral descriptions.

When we are upset, we often interpret what has happened, using judgmental language, rather than accurately describing what has triggered us. This can get us into a fight immediately! For example, instead of simply stating, “You didn’t call me,” we might interpret and then accuse, “You don’t care about me!” First describe the situation in a neutral, accurate way, free of judgments or blame. Then the communication can continue with sharing feelings, needs and requests. For example, instead of saying, “That’s a really stupid idea!” you might say, “If we all go to a movie which ends at midnight [neutral description], I’m worried [feeling], because the children need to get a full night’s sleep [need]. Can we go to the 2 p.m. show instead [specific request]?”

39. Be willing to hear “No”.

Even with these guidelines, our carefully expressed requests might still elicit a “No” from the other person. Why would this upset us? Is it that our request was actually a demand that we expect the other person to fulfil? We have a choice in how we hear that “No”. It could be that something else is important to the other person; that they had a different need or value alive in that moment. Maybe the “No” is their request for something else to happen. And then we are into the dance of giving and bending! “No” is not as threatening as we might imagine.

210. Ways we communicate other than words.

Everything that is in our heart and mind is expressed through our body, our facial expressions, the tone of our voice, and the vibrations that emanate from us. All these are intuitively picked up and understood by others. Are our words in harmony with these subtler elements? We are manifesting our consciousness at every moment. To have connection, understanding and harmony in our relationships, we need to nourish those aspects deeply within ourselves.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Daily Inspirational Quote for August 19, 2016

“Positive thinking is better than negative nothing.”

Personally, I have always been a great believer in positive thinking. It just makes perfect sense to me. What’s the alternative? Always thinking negatively or fearing the worst prevents us from exploring and perhaps succeeding at the opportunities or relationships presented to us in life. Surely it’s more to our advantage to think “ok, I’m not too sure about this but I will give it a go and see what happens” than to be negative, opt out, and the opportunity is lost forever so you’ll never know what might have been? I’d rather take the former option, what about you?


When the Boss Flunked

"Bob stood up and read his evaluation out loud. It was not pretty. There were lots of problems and weaknesses that his team had identified. He had basically flunked. As the 100 top leaders sat there, listening to Bob read his report, the place was absolutely quiet." This article shares the riveting story of what happened when the leader of a successful company failed his 360 degree evaluation. It just might change your ideas of what true power really is.

--by Aryae Coopersmith

I recently came across an excerpt from the “The Power Paradox” by Dacher Keltner. The paradox, he says, is that whenever any of us find ourselves in a position of leadership, a position where we can make a positive difference for others, “the very experience of having power and privilege [can lead] us to behave, in our worst moments, like impulsive, out-of-control sociopaths.” The way out of the paradox, he says, is using “power that is given to us by others...”

Reflecting on this, I shared the following story at that week’s Awakin Circle I attend in the bay area:
In the early 1990s I was excited to land a job as a principal with a prestigious training and consulting firm in Silicon Valley. We delivered leadership programs to management teams in business and government. We were excited about our work and thought of ourselves as having two agendas. The explicit, obvious one: to help organizations accomplish their mission by improving leadership. The hidden agenda, the one that really motivated us: for people at all levels to transform the way they viewed themselves as leaders, interacted with others, and got things done.

One of my first clients was a nuclear weapons lab.

This was a time, right after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of the Cold War, when a lot was changing on the world scene, and a lot was being reevaluated, including America’s defense posture. In the optimism of those times, it seemed that the nuclear arms race might be over. And without an arms race to keep it in business, what was a nuclear weapons lab to do?

The management team had started meeting to try to come up with a strategy. How could they redeploy their people and their teams – all those scientists and engineers and mathematicians – to shift away from developing nuclear weapons to developing other things, like useful commercial products?

The head of the lab, I'll call him Bob, was determined to bring about the needed change. The lab, which was affiliated with the Department of Energy and the Defense Department, was a place where managers were used to giving orders, and expecting people to follow them. So Bob issued the orders that everyone needed to start thinking differently, to get entrepreneurial and to get creative. And guess what? It didn't work!

So Bob called us in to help them think about a different way to do leadership.

We came in and tried a few experiments. One of them was that every manager, every executive, every leader had to have a 360 degree evaluation. Everyone who reported to them, as well as their colleagues and peers, would evaluate them as leaders. Each manager would then receive his or her combined evaluation. And Bob’s team would also evaluate him.

After this was done, they gathered the whole team together -- it was about 100 of the top leaders of one of America's nuclear labs.

Bob stood up and read his evaluation out loud. It was not pretty. There were lots of problems and weaknesses that his team had identified. He had basically flunked. As the 100 top leaders sat there, listening to Bob read his report, the place was absolutely quiet.

Then Bob said, "I'm going to post this outside my office. Then I’ll be getting to work on following these recommendations and changing how I lead. In three months I’ll be asking my direct reports to evaluate me again, and I’ll also post those results, so you can see my progress.”

He continued, “In these times of change, the only way that this organization, and our jobs, have a chance of surviving, is that we need to make some big changes, quickly. You’ve just seen my personal plan for change. Now I look forward to seeing yours.”

Then Bob walked out of the room. No one said a word.

During the next week every manager in the lab posted their own results outside their doors. You could see people stopping in the hall in front of doorways, curious, reading the managers’ evaluations. And the word was out: everyone had decided individually that they, like Bob, would go through the exercise again in another three months.

Something invisible, but very big, was changing. The power to get things done, which used to be top-down, was becoming “power that is given to us by others.” This power was available to everyone. People started wandering out of their offices, talking to each other, laughing more, having fun dreaming up wild and crazy ideas.

Over the course of the next 18 months the lab applied for, and was granted, a record number of patents. They were in areas such as systems for monitoring climate change, energy-efficient mass transportation, life-saving medical device technology.

The transformation in power and leadership in the lab had opened the gates for transforming what its talented members were able to design: from systems that destroy life, to systems that enhance it.

Aryae Coopersmith is the author of Holy Beggars: A Journey from Haight Street to Jerusalem, and the founder of  One World Lights (OWL), a community of global citizens with the shared vision of people everywhere supporting a course change for humanity by supporting each other.   

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Why Isn't Everyone on This Diet?

What DASH Can Do for You

The DASH Diet can help lower your blood pressure and cholesterol levels, which is good for your heart. In fact, DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, or high blood pressure. Even if you don’t have high blood pressure, the DASH Diet is worth a look. It may help you lose weight because it’s a healthier way of eating. You won’t feel deprived. You’ll have lots of vegetables, fruits, and low-fat dairy products while cutting back on fats, cholesterol, and sweets.

Cut the Salt

Too much salt causes fluids to build up in your body. This puts extra pressure on your heart. On DASH, you’ll lower your sodium to either 2,300 or 1,500 milligrams a day, depending on your health, age, race, and any medical conditions. Here are some ways to cut back:

o Choose low- or no-sodium foods and condiments.
o Watch foods that are cured, smoked, or pickled.
o Limit processed foods. They're often high in sodium.

Get Your Grains

Eating whole grains like whole wheat breads, brown rice, whole grain cereals, oatmeal, whole wheat pasta, and popcorn is a good way to get fiber. Some fiber helps lower your cholesterol and also keeps you feeling full longer. For a diet of 2,000 calories per day: Eat six to eight servings a day. One serving is a slice of bread, 1 ounce of dry cereal, or ½ cup of cooked whole wheat pasta, rice, or oatmeal (about the size of half a baseball).

Load Your Plate With Vegetables

Vegetables give you fiber, vitamins, and minerals. They don't have a lot of calories or fat -- a good recipe for controlling blood pressure. Have four to five servings of vegetables a day. That’s 1/2 cup of cooked or raw vegetables, 1 cup of raw leafy vegetables, or 1/2 cup of vegetable juice for each serving. Iffy about veggies? Start by adding a salad at lunch and dinner.

Don't Forget Fruit

Fruits offer lots of fiber and vitamins that are good for your heart. Many also have potassium and magnesium, which lower blood pressure. Have four to five servings of fruit every day. One serving is a medium apple or orange, or 1/2 cup of frozen, fresh, or canned fruit. One-half cup of fruit juice or 1/4 cup of dried fruit also counts as a serving. Try adding bananas or berries to your breakfast cereal or have fruit for dessert.

Have Some Yogurt

Low- and no-fat dairy foods are good sources of calcium and protein, which can help maintain a healthy blood pressure. Try to get three servings of dairy every day. Choose skim or 1% milk, buttermilk, and low- or no-fat cheeses and yogurt. Frozen low-fat yogurt is OK, too. One serving equals 1 cup of yogurt or milk, or 1 1/2 ounces of cheese -- about the size of three dice.

Go for Lean Meats and Fish

You can still eat meat. Just make sure it’s lean. Meats are good sources of protein and magnesium. Skinless chicken and fish are also on the menu. Limit your servings to six or fewer a day. A serving is 1 ounce of cooked meat, fish, or poultry, or one egg. A good rule is to have no more than 3 ounces of meat at a meal -- the size of an iPhone. Limit egg yolks to no more than four in a week.

Add Nuts and Legumes

Nuts, legumes, and seeds are rich in magnesium, protein, and fiber. Walnuts are full of omega-3 fatty acids, which may help lower your risk of heart disease. Enjoy as many as five servings of these foods each week. That’s 1/3 cup of nuts, 2 tablespoons of seeds, or a 1/2 cup of cooked dried beans or peas in each serving. Grab a handful of seeds or nuts as a snack. Or add beans to your salads or soups.

Cut Back on Fats and Oils

Eating too many fats can cause high cholesterol and heart disease. With DASH, you’ll limit fats and oils to two to three servings a day. A serving is 1 teaspoon of margarine or vegetable oil, 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise, or 2 tablespoons of low-fat salad dressing. When cooking, use vegetable oils like olive or canola instead of butter.

Watch the Sweets

You don't have to skip all sweets. But you should try to have five or fewer servings a week. That’s 1 tablespoon of sugar or jam, 1 cup of lemonade, or 1/2 cup of sorbet at a time. Choose sweets that are low in fat, such as gelatin, hard candy, or maple syrup. Instead of high-fat desserts, try having fresh fruit over low-fat ice cream.

Get Enough Potassium

Potassium is another important part of the DASH diet. Getting enough of this mineral may help lower your blood pressure. It's best to get potassium from food instead of supplements. Aim for 4,700 milligrams (mg) a day. Try these potassium-rich foods:

o Potato: 926 mg
o Sweet potato: 540 mg
o Banana: 420 mg
o Avocado (1/2): 345 mg
o Cooked spinach (1/2 cup): 290 mg

10 High-Fiber Foods You Should Be Eating

Get More Fiber

You don’t have to eat a bag of Grandma’s prunes. Leafy greens, whole grains, nuts, and beans are all good for keeping away the fat that stays deep in your belly. That’s called visceral fat, and it’s the most dangerous kind because it can wrap around major organs, including your liver, pancreas, and kidneys.

Get More Fat

Seriously. When it comes to fat vs. carbs, believe it or not, fat may be the better choice for your belly. Studies show that when fat calories replace carbohydrate calories in a balanced weight-loss diet, people gain less fat around the middle. And that’s the worst place to carry it. A woman who has a waist of more than 35 inches or a man who has one of more than 40 is at greater risk of a heart attack, a stroke, or possibly even certain types of cancer.

Stop Trying to Outrun It

Still trying to “burn off” that belly fat by pounding the pavement hour upon hour? Research shows that a few quick bursts of high-intensity exercise -- a 30-second sprint or intense pull-up set -- may be more effective, not to mention easier to fit into your schedule.

Sleep: the Goldilocks Formula

When it comes to weight gain, shut-eye is a bit like porridge: Too little -- less than 5 hours -- can increase belly fat. But too much -- more than 8 hours -- can do that, too. “Just right” seems to be around 6 or 7 hours.

Forget a ‘Quick Fix’

If you think cosmetic surgery can undo the negative effects of belly fat, think again. Liposuction doesn’t reach inside the abdominal wall, so it can’t get rid of harmful visceral belly fat.

Keep Calm

Are you stressed out? That can make you eat more fat and sugar, and unleash the “stress hormone” cortisol, which can boost belly fat. Stress also can make you sleep less, exercise less, and drink more alcohol -- which can add belly fat, too. A great reason to take a deep breath, unwind, and relax.

Don’t Smoke

As if you need another reason to quit. Lighting up makes you more likely to store fat in your belly, rather than your hips and thighs. And that’s bad. Oh, and it’s also a cause of diabetes. And cancer. And heart disease. And lung disease. And … you get the idea.

Lift Weights

Think about hitting the gym instead of the trail. In one study, healthy middle-aged men who did 20 minutes of daily weight training gained less abdominal fat than men who spent the same time doing aerobic exercises, such as biking. So lift something heavy. And 12-ounce curls at your local drinking establishment do not qualify.