There’s too much Internet—with wonders like photos of the things veggies do when we’re not looking—and too little time. That’s why we curate a list of the best of the best (a.k.a. “the Greatist”) things we’ve come across on the Web this week. In other words, it’s the stuff we’d email/gchat/tweet/text you immediately if we were besties. While we’ll never stop striving to bring our readers amazing content on a daily basis, we know not all the best stuff comes from us.
This is almost as bad as learning the truth about Santa. It turns out cardio machines and fitness trackers aren’t very accurate at estimating the number of calories we burn during a workout. The worst offender: the elliptical—it overestimates calories burned by more than 40 percent! When you stop to think about it, the fact that fitness machines are so inaccurate makes sense. Most machines only account for weight and age, negating dozens of other factors (like body fat percentage and body temperature) that affect how many calories we burn.
2. How the Tudors Invented Breakfast (History Extra)
Thinking of a world without breakfast (and all of the pancakes and waffles—and yes, even green smoothies) makes us sad. But such a time did exist. You just have to dial the historical clocks back to the 1500s. Our friends over at History Extra do the heavy lifting of finding exactly when and why we started eating breakfast—it happens to have a lot to do with working for the man.
3. Why Beef Jerky, the Manly, Protein-Packed Snack, Has Become So Damn Popular (The Washington Post)
A decade ago you could barely find beef jerky outside of the gas station and the checkout line at the grocery store—and it tasted gross. Now we have artisanal beef (and turkey) jerky in flavors like honey rosemary and balsamic blackberry. (Krave, the company leading the indie jerky movement, was bought this week by Hershey’s for a reported $300 million!) The Washington Post did a deep dive to explain why we’re so obsessed (hint: our protein-heavy diets play a big role).
Sometimes it feels like the only way to actually achieve your weight loss goal is to go cold turkey—cutting carbs, sugar, and alcohol. But we’re human, so eventually we have a glass of wine or ice cream, and we then proceed to beat ourselves up over falling off the bandwagon (again). Research has found that having more compassionate thoughts about weight loss—knowing that it’s actually OK to have a slice of cake once in awhile even when you’re on a diet—leads to making healthier decisions in the long run. So, yes, you have permission to have those Girl Scout cookies you’ve been eyeing.
5. Can This Treatment Help Me? There’s a Statistic for That (The New York Times)
When we get doctor’s orders to take a specific medicine or switch our diet, we listen up. But we’ve never thought to look at the data behind these recommendations. Luckily, our friends at The Upshot blog have dug through the medical data and found some startling information (like the relatively low chance that aspirin will be the thing that prevents you from having a heart attack). And best of all: they’ve put together their findings in a set of super snazzy charts.