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5 ways to avoid belly fat

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As we age, our metabolism isn’t like how it used to be. We find it difficult to burn calories and therefore they end up in areas of our bodies that were once lean.

If you’re one of the lucky few who has a figure-friendly metabolism, good for you. But for the rest of the population, belly fat might just as well be the public enemy number one.

No matter how health-conscious you try to be, there are just those adipose that seem to cling to you the more you want them to go away.

Here are a few tips to help you keep at bay those stubborn fats around your middle:

1. Stay away from sugar and sugar-sweetened drinks
Sugars are basically half glucose and half fructose. Our livers can only take a small amount of sugar to be metabolized by the body. Once overload happens, fat builds up and eventually our body becomes insulin-resistant. The substance sounds familiar because this is what diabetic patients inject to their system. Liquid sugar is more harmful as they contain calories and the brain just can’t seem to recognize them. Therefore, build up can also be a result.

2. Up protein intake
It is unknown to many, but protein is a macronutrient vital to losing weight. Basically, it reduces cravings by as much as 60%, making you reduce your food intake and therefore slimming down your belly. It also boosts metabolism and lets you loose around 80-100 calories. If you relapse to your old ways and seem to lax on your weight losing efforts, you won’t regain your weight like other people do.

3. Cut carbs
It is a common advice to trim down on the carbs if you want your belly to be flat as an iron. Low carb and low fat diets target fat in the belly, as well as fat found around organs and the liver. A minimum of 50g of carbs is advised per day. Any excess can cause fat build up.

4. Up viscous fiber
Soluble and viscous fiber is helpful for weight loss efforts. They bind water inside the digestive track, makes it as thick as gel. This sits in the gut, making you feel full and thus reducing your appetite. In one study, 14g of fiber targeted a 10% calorie burn. Over the span of four months, 4.5 lbs or 2kg was lost.

5. Exercise
Aerobic exercise is advised, instead of the spot exercise most people seem to be doing. One down side of spot exercise is that it isn’t as effective as we think it is. It isn’t helpful with reducing belly fat. Aerobic exercise on the other hand, reduces inflammation, lowers blood sugar levels and improves metabolism.

5 ways for introverts to recharge

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We often hear people tell us that we need time to go out, spend time with friends and simply unwind. This may be a good piece of advice if you’re an extrovert waiting to just let go of all your worries and have a good time. But for introverts, doing all these doesn’t do the trick for you. What’s even more sad is you get even more stressed because of all these! People, noise and activity seem to drain you of psychological energy. So after a long day at work, you want to just recharge and replenish your psyche.

But how else do you do that when you rarely want to go out?

Here’s a few tips to help introverts recharge and effectively unwind:

1. Books are effective escape
Fiction is a good way for introverts to unwind, especially in print. They don’t have as much stimulus as movies or TV shows have, so introverts don’t cringe when the scene escalates. They can go in their own pace, splurging in a good percentage of the book at any one time or just browsing a page or two in between tasks. They provide a good refuge as introverts try to regain their very valuable psychological energy.

2. Movies and TV shows are actually good company
If you’re looking for a minimal amount of stimulation from selected few people, then movie or TV shows could do the trick for you. Watching stories unfold as if you’re in the scene as a spectator could really distract you from all the people-exhaustion you feel. What’s even good is you can turn down the volume, unlike with real-life people.

3. Let go of the conventional
By this point, you should have let go of all your stereotypical idealism – that what works for everyone might one day work for you. A trip to the spa, a full-body massage, appointments for facials, hanging out at bars, stay-overs and the like rarely work for you, if at all. So you might want to finally let go of that hope, if not loosen up a bit. It won’t hurt to give it a try once in a while, but don’t force yourself to crave for it as much as everybody else does.

4. Look for what suits you
If you crave for that next crossword puzzle, sudoku or just a few pages’ progress in your novel while having breakfast every morning, then continue doing it. Crazy happy moods start in the morning or even before you to bed at night, and being an introvert that doesn’t happen often. So stick to activities that do that for you.

5. Have close intervals
In between recharging times, you should establish patterns of having them. And one simple trick is to keep them close to each other so you won’t use up what little you have left.

3 Important Things You Should Know About Your Home Electricals

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Understanding your home’s electric system isn’t too difficult a task, but we can never really be too sure of anything, especially when it comes to electricity as a whole. That being said, to avoid electrical hazards for your home or office, it is best to seek help from electrician services.

And to give you a head-start, here are a few lesser known things about your home’s electrical works that you should know:

1. Your home has a limit to its loading capacity.

While it is already obvious that residential homes and flats have a limited loading capacity, you may not know how much about your home’s loading volume and the overall power supply.

If you live in an HDB flat, there’s a good chance that your loading capacity is higher than 40 amperes. However, if your home’s capacity is lower than 40 amperes, you will need an HDB permit to install high-ampere power outlets for high-capacity equipment mainly so that you can lessen the risks brought by accidental electricity problems.

Even so, there could be a lot more reasons behind a power outage, and calling for a licensed electrician would be for the best.

2. There may be signs that you need to re-wire your home.

These signs should be fairly obvious, but you won’t be able to address them on your own. Enlisting the help of a good circuit testing firm from Singapore to connect and test electric wires would be the best for good measures. If you have concerns with power failure and ungrounded outlets and making significant home adjustments, it is always better to call a commercial electrical contractor, instead of doing it your own.

A cabling technician, though, should be called with matters regarding cable television and internet services. Always keep in mind that calling the right and certified electrical worker can be the only difference between a botched work and a successful electric repair.

The good news is that this often doesn’t apply to most HDB flats in Singapore, as the electric wiring is more standardized and up to code. Nevertheless, having your electrician install power point switches can also provide a bit more protection.

3. Calling an Electrical Service for Your Home or Office

Primarily, it is important to know the difference between wiremen and residential linemen. The former works to connect electrical wires indoors, while the latter works on power transmission lines outdoors. Just a good small thing to know so you won’t make a mistake when making a call.

It’s always a good idea to have a home electric handyman for complicated electrical works that you won’t be able to do on your own. For example, when it involves electrical wiring, electrical components, and other types of installation or repair problems. Also, having a 24 hour electrician ready in contact can also save you with problems that may happen in the dead of night.

Electrician services not only give you the quality work done by a licensed electrician, but also serves as an investment to make sure you are protected against any hazards or accidents that could potentially with a faulty electrical system.

Cool, Quirky Things You Can Try in Singapore Now

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Just when you think you’ve seen all the sights and sounds that Singapore has to offer, think again! Aside from the good food and drinks, shopping centers, and the nightlife, there’s always more ways to have fun while in the Lion City.

Here are a few cool things you can try right now:

1. Drone Racing
Drones are more than just for capturing fancy aerial shots – you can race them too! There are specialized racing drones to fulfil your long-time fantasies of flying a plane while being safely on the ground.

Unlike an actual plane, you can customize your drone with different parts, such as remote controllers, speed controllers, motors, propellers, and even special cases.

You can even join a drone flying meet-up to see what it’s like to fly one of them, or compete in a friendly match of whose drone flies the fastest.

2. 3D Printing
Who’s to say 3D printing is just for serious science? The possibilities of this tech are endless –from making your own toys, mock-ups, missing parts that you’ve been meaning to replace, to even works of art. Scanning services are available for those who want to convert object into 3D models before printing.

For as low as a hundred dollars a day, you can rent your own 3D printing machine. There are even free beginners’ classes to help you get started on how to use it.

3. Rock Climbing Pong
If you’re into stupid fun, then rock climbing pong is the sport for you. A game of virtual ping pong is projected onto a rock climbing wall that tracks you as you try to hit the virtual ball.

The Augmented Climbing Wall takes projected graphics and body tracking software to make interactive games that are more fun to play, and is suitable for all ages and skill levels.

4. Perfume Making
Feeling sweaty? Refresh yourself and make your own bespoke fragrance based on your personality.

Je t’aime Perfume uses oil extract from the Singaporean hybrid orchid, as well as over 400 top-quality ingredients flown from around the world used in high-end perfume making. Their workshop is located at the sleepy Goodman Art Center, the old campuses of LaSalle and SOTA.

Helpful Tips for Expats Moving to Singapore

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When moving abroad, it’s easy to assume that life will be better in your new home. However, as many serial expats can attest, all places have their own ups and downs – expenditures, weather, the environment, or even the culture of the people who both work and live there.

For those expats who need to make a decision about moving to the Lion City, here is a list of helpful tips made just for you:

Living and Transportation
There are many options for living, since more high-rise buildings are sprouting all over Singapore. However, because land and space are rare, rent is high especially in areas that are closer to the city center, as well as other good neighborhoods. Landed homes are just as expensive, if not more. Good deals might be in reach for expats willing to wait a while to get to the city center.

However, living far from the party shouldn’t be a cause for worry. Most Singaporeans don’t own cars because the convenience of owning them costs a fortune. They instead opt for the MRT or taxis, both of which are cheaper. This makes getting around in Singapore much easier, with more train lines expected to be built sometime within the next decade.

Weather
Dress lightly: compared to other colder tourist destinations, Singapore is consistently humid year round. Since the country is close to the equator, this means that temperatures can be from 22 degrees to 35 degrees Celsius. Haze from bush fires from neighboring Indonesia, usually Sumatra Island, can be experienced between July and October.
Instead of observing daylight saving time, its time zone adds an extra hour (GMT +8) for the typical zone for its geographical location.

Don’t forget to pack sunscreen – just in case.

Culture
Adjusting to any place’s culture will always take time. This is especially so if you’re seriously considering moving to Singapore, as Singaporeans use gesture and tone to communicate their feelings, rather than words. They would rather suggest than say something outright.

Silence is an important part of communication in Singapore. Quietness among Singaporeans is usually seen as shyness or being reserved, rather than being rude. When answering questions, pause for a moment as if you were considering the question.

As many citizens are of Chinese descent, there is a distinct emphasis on respecting elders, often called “uncle” or “auntie” despite them being strangers. Silence among them is considered a form of respect.
And of course, laws are strict, especially on littering.

How to Diffuse Awkward Social Situations in 4 Easy Steps

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Life is full of awkward moments, such as an uncomfortable silence, an elevator fart, or even a faux pas that you had no prior knowledge of until that very moment. But there’s good news: as awkward as some situations can get, they can be easily diffused. Here’s how:

1. Avoid the dead air.
Plan what you want to say in advance. Many studies show that it only takes up to four seconds of awkward silence to make you feel anxious throughout the rest of a conversation.

Once you know what you want or need to communicate, conversations can go more smoothly without the occasional interruption and prevent awkward silences from happening.

2. Crack a few jokes.
If you find yourself in more than ten seconds of unintentional awkward silence, a few lighthearted jokes might be able to break the ice and get the conversation rolling again.

But what if your joke was the reason for the uncomfortable silence in the first place?

The answer is simple – build on it. Once it’s been established that your joke wasn’t that funny, make another one based on that. However, this may take more time, so don’t push it too hard on the first try.

3. Be an active listener.
Active listening is a valuable skill that not enough people have honed, but you don’t have to be one of those people. Start by allowing the person a chance to process what you had just said.

Throughout the conversation, allow yourself to process what the other person is saying and offer clarifications on your points that may have been misunderstood. Unless that person becomes inappropriate, be willing to help that person process his/her emotions.

Be prepared for when the person you are conversing with is experiencing intense emotions, which could range from embarrassment, sadness, to anger.

4. Face the awkwardness head-on…
…because most of the awkwardness is simply inside your head. The good news is that the same could be said about the people in the same situation that you are also in, and once you recognize this, it will be easier to take charge of the situation.

If you accidentally insult someone (whether in person or online), a candid conversation carried in all honesty will be your saving grace. If you care about having that person around, apologize. If you don’t, that’s one less person you never wanted to be around with in the first place.

If ever you do have to end the conversation, you can avoid sounding rude by excusing yourself. Excusing yourself to go be somewhere, do something else, or talk to someone else is a polite way of ending it and serves as a clear signal for you to exit.

(Disclaimer: This list is compiled in no particular order.)

5 Holiday Decors You Can Use All Year Round

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One of the most looked forward activities during the holiday season is the traditional decking of halls. It’s a tradition that’s begged to be enjoyed with a cup of hot chocolate, while Christmas carols fill the background.
But somehow, it’s also a bittersweet practice, knowing that—after you’ve put up the decor and appreciate all its glory—you’ll have to disassemble everything and store them back into the basement until the next Christmas.
But, wait… who said you can only use your Christmas lights and giant candles on holidays? With a little creativity, you can use the following Christmas decor items to suit all seasons all year round.

1. String Lights
Those twinkling string lights you used to wrap around the Christmas tree can be repurposed to suit as home decor even after the holiday season. You can light up your headboard with it or fill up a mason jar to serve as a lighting table centrepiece.

2. Hurricane Glass
During the holidays, we usually put candles inside these glasses. After Christmas, replace candles with something more versatile, such as driftwood, colourful stones or even the string lights from your Christmas tree.

3. Decorative Branches
The braches you used to hang Christmas balls and ornaments can have another purpose. Use them to hold little trinkets like keys and photos. You can also put them in a large vase and place them near the doors, beside the TV or in any corner of your home.

4. White Candles
White candles are common during this time of the year, but they can also be appropriate for other occasions, such as the Halloween.

5. Hanging “Cheers” Banners
Whether yours is in gold or silver, you can reuse it as an additional decor to your parties. It would look perfect over a bar cart or a cocktail buffet table.

More Tips to Make Christmas Items Work throughout the Year
• Separate Greens and Reds
People instantly associate green and red with Christmas. For your holiday decor to work anytime of the year, separate these colors and sprinkle them tastefully around the house.

• Accessorize Smartly
Boxwood topiaries and wreaths are traditional holiday decor. Looking stellar with big red bow on Christmas, it looks just as pretty with linen accents after New Year.

• Change the Color
Got some excess Christmas candles? Spray paint its candle holders to match the season. You can always switch colors to make them look new again throughout the year.

• Repurpose Burnt Light Bulbs
Even burnt light bulbs from your Christmas lights can be repurposed to serve as a year-round decor. One way to reuse them is to transform them into colourful bowl fillers. Simply coat the bulbs with all-purpose glue and then dip them in glitter. Once dried, place them in a bowl to serve as coffee table centrepiece.

Get creative and save a bit of Christmas in your home all through the year with these unique decorating ideas.

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