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The single best type of diet for overall health, according to nutritionists


hiker happiness joy strength fitness exercise mountain climber Aoraki National Park new zealand outside

In a world dominated by celebrity fad diets that range from the absurd, like Reese Witherspoon's alleged "baby-food diet," to the absurdly unaffordable, such as Gwyneth Paltrow's $200 "moon dust"-infused breakfast smoothie, the idea that there's a single best diet for improving your health might seem like snake oil.

But it isn't, at least according to existing research.

Several recent studies suggest that whether you're looking for weight loss or to improve your overall health, the best eating plans are based around vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. In its most recent report on the best eating plans, US News and World Report described vegetable-based ("plant-based") diets as "good for the environment, your heart, your weight, and your overall health." The Mediterranean diet, for example, has whole grains and vegetables as its focus but also includes a variety of healthy fats, like those from nuts, fish, avocados, and olive oil.

Those are some of the reasons that Cara Anselmo, a nutritionist and outpatient dietitian at New York's Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, advises her clients to ramp up their intake of plant-based foods while cutting back on red meat and refined carbohydrates like white bread.

To keep energy levels up and keep you full and healthy for the long term, your diet needs to feed more than your stomach, Anselmo tells Business Insider. It has to satiate your muscles, which crave protein; your digestive system, which runs at its best with fiber; and your tissues and bones, which work optimally when they're getting vitamins from food.

avocado smoked salmon blueberries healthy food meal bowl tomatoes lunchA plant-based diet accomplishes that goal by balancing whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and proteins and fats.

This balance is also key to keeping you full after a meal and energized throughout the day so you don't feel the need to overeat, Nichola Whitehead, a registered dietitian with a private practice in the UK, tells Business Insider.

"You need to have a balanced meal — things like whole grains, fiber, and vegetables — in order to sustain your blood sugar. Empty calories [like white bread or white rice] give a temporary fix," Whitehead says.

Plant-based, whole food diets tend to confer other benefits as well, like a reduced risk of certain diseases including heart disease, diabetes, and some types of cancer.

"When you look at overall dietary patterns it's a more whole foods, plant-based diet that tends to be healthier in terms of less disease risk," Anselmo says. "People get caught up in things like, 'Well, how much iron or Vitamin C does this have?' but the reality is that the whole foods are just going to naturally be higher in those things."

SEE ALSO: Americans have been making a huge diet mistake for 100 years — here's what they should do instead

DON'T MISS: Juice is the biggest con of your life, whether it's squeezed by hand or a $400 machine

Join the conversation about this story »

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The Obamas just shelled out $8.1 million for the DC mansion they've been renting since leaving the White House

19 simple social skills that will make you more likable


Chris Pratt signing autographs actor

Being likable is entirely under your control.

All it takes is the ability to pick up a few key social skills that build emotional intelligence.

To help you out, we sifted through the Quora thread "What are useful social skills that can be picked up quickly?," talked to an etiquette expert, and looked to some social psychology researchers.

Here are 19 simple ways to start crafting a "million-dollar personality" and become the most likable person in the room:

Kathleen Elkins and Natalie Walters contribute to an earlier version of this article.

SEE ALSO: 12 signs you desperately need a vacation from work

Keep eye contact

As Heidi Grant Halvorson explains in her book "No One Understands You And What To Do About It," the very first thing people will try to decide about you when they meet you is if they can trust you — and it's fairly hard to like someone if you don't trust them.

Their decision is made almost entirely unconsciously, and it usually comes down to how well you can balance conveying two things: warmth and competence.

"Above all else, really focus on what is being said to you — people need to feel that they have been heard, even when you can't give them what they are asking for or can't be of particular help," Halvorson writes. One simple way to show you're paying attention is to make eye contact and hold it.

"It is an idiotically simple thing, but it remains one of the most impactful life hacks around," writes Quora user Brad Porter.

Halvorson says that making eye contact is also an effective way to convey competence, and studies have shown that those who do so are consistently judged as more intelligent.

Start this habit immediately, says Porter. It requires no practice or special skill — just the commitment to meet someone's gaze and look them in the eye while conversing.


Don't underestimate the power of smiling, another simple and effective way to convey warmth.

Additionally, laugh and tell jokes, recommends Quora user Craig Fraser. People unconsciously mirror the body language of the person they're talking to. If you want to be likable, use positive body language and people will naturally return the favor.

Show enthusiasm

"Along with a smile, show some enthusiasm and energy, also known as charisma," suggests Rosalinda Oropeza Randall, an etiquette and civility expert and the author of "Don't Burp in the Boardroom.

"This not only draws people to you, but it is contagious," she says. "After spending time with you, people will walk away with a warm and fuzzy feeling, which most likely, they'll pass on to someone else."

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

The chef of the best restaurant in the world reveals his morning routine — complete with a big breakfast


Daniel Humm is the chef of the best restaurant in the world, Eleven Madison Park. He likes to start his day off with exercise and an assortment of breakfast foods. Following is a transcript of the video.

I'm Daniel Humm and I’m the chef and co-owner of Eleven Madison Park, The NoMad, and Made Nice. I really try to get some exercise in, in the morning. Maybe go for a run in the park or a bike ride or go to yoga class or something but just to kind of be in tune with myself because it's very physical what we do. We're on our feet all day long and I think the health is very important to me. And then maybe have a little breakfast but then the day is pretty full on. My favorite breakfast is probably scrambled eggs with ham and cheese and ... and some bagels and maybe some smashed avocado, and maybe some butters and jam and some cheese. That's probably what I love.

And then maybe have a little breakfast but then the day is pretty full on. My favorite breakfast is probably scrambled eggs with ham and cheese and ... and some bagels and maybe some smashed avocado, and maybe some butters and jam and some cheese. That's probably what I love.

Join the conversation about this story »

This company is taking over the world by selling celebrities bizarre patterned suits that go viral



A bright patterned suit with a matching patterned tie. Who in the world would wear that?

Many, as it turns out, including celebrities like Jimmy Kimmel, Tom Hanks in an SNL Halloween skit, and too many sports teams to list.

Half joke and half wry sartorial comment — but always worn with the tongue placed firmly in the cheek — Opposuits's garments have become a kind of revolution for men who don't take their wardrobe choices too seriously.

"We created something that is somewhere in between fashion and novelty. It's much cooler than a costume and it isn't fashion either," a Opposuits co-founder Jelle van der Zwet told Business Insider.

Let's be clear here: Opposuits' offerings are not for nine-to-five weekday warriors. And van der Zwet makes no bones about it.

"People are not working our stuff to work," he clarifies, adding that it's for those "who don't take themselves too seriously" yet "want to maintain a sense of style when they go to a party."

But the business behind it is no laughing matter. The dutch company behind it says it sells hundreds of thousands of suits a year, with growth doubling year over year. Each ensemble, which includes the jacket, pants, and tie all in the same pattern, retails for $99.


It all started in 2010 when three friends from the Netherlands backpacking through Vietnam got the idea to create bright orange suits for a Dutch holiday, King's Day. But it took until 2012 for the idea to fully manifest. They created 2,000 of the orange suits before the 2012 UEFA European Championship football (soccer) competition, which sold out in two weeks.

Looking to the UK and the 2012 Olympics in London, Opposuits went international for the first time. With different styles, like one with a Union Jack flag print, the suits made a similar splash.

A year and a half later, Opposuits expanded to America, which has since become its largest market in terms of revenue and product sold. The company now sells virtually worldwide, with distribution centers in the Netherlands, UK, Canada, US, and Australia.

"We knew that we had a very universal and international type of potential with the product that we were [selling]," van der Zwet said.


This appeal has enabled the suits to go viral. It seems every time a celebrity, group of friends at prom, wedding party, or sports team dons the suits, it becomes a viral news story.

"Organically the message and brand spreads itself very quickly because once someone has seen at a certain event or festival it's such a conversation starter that people would know about it right away," van der Zwet said.

He said that wears of the suits get so much attention, they stick business cards advertising the company in the pockets of the suits before shipping them to customers, amping up the word-of-mouth effect.

Opposuits's offerings are both seasonal and evergreen, and it sells "ugly Christmas suits" in department stores during the holiday season, and Halloween-themed costume stores in the Fall.

It expanded its offerings with licenses such as Star Wars, and soon Marvel superhero characters, which is an important distinction between Opposuits and the companies that have sprung up to imitate it.

Off the back of the success of the men's line, Opposuits also launched a women's line last year. A line of suits designed to fit children is forthcoming this year, which van der Zwet said he sees as another "wow moment" for the company.

SEE ALSO: Here's why buying your first suit isn't at hard as you think

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: This is what 'The Most Interesting Man in the World' is really like

Magpie is a tiny GPS tracker for kids, dogs, or luggage that will work anywhere in the world



Magpie is a new device with a simple goal: to help you find the things you lost. 

The GPS tracker is only about an inch in diameter and syncs with an Android or iOS app. It's waterproof, and it can be attached to everyday items — like keys, wallets, or laptops — or to a pet's collar or child's backpack. 

There are a lot of GPS trackers on the market, many of which are about the same size and have some of the same capabilities as Magpie. But what sets Magpie apart is its built-in SIM card. This means it has an unlimited range and can work anywhere there's a cellular network — 185 countries to be exact. 

Here's what it's like. 

SEE ALSO: This $530 tablet is better than a book or a sketchpad — it looks, feels, and acts just like paper

Magpie was conceived by four guys and is based out of New York City. Its goal is to create a cheap tracking device that works in every situation.

Magpie is backed by New York-based startup studio Human Ventures. The company launched its device on Kickstarter on May 30 and has already raised $45,851 (its goal was $10,000).

The device itself will be free. There's a $5 service fee to use the company's location-tracking services, so it'll cost you about $60 a year to power your Magpie. The company says pledging an initial $5 to Magpie's Kickstarter will get you the device.

The company says it expects to ship the first devices to backers in February 2018.

Magpie will come with both a keychain and a clip, so you can affix it to whatever items you want. It'll clip on to the outside of your suitcase...

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Online mortgage calculators don't give homeowners the full picture — here's what to use instead


young couple moving laptop

Let's face it: A little back-of-the-envelope math won't cut it when you're trying to buy a house.

Becoming a homeowner is a complicated process and a major financial commitment, and figuring out the true cost requires a good amount of research.

Many people will often turn to online mortgage calculators to determine what they can afford, but this tool comes with a few glaring limitations.

In fact, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) outlines two major problems with many mortgage calculators: they only consider the principal and interest payment and they are only as accurate as the information you provide.

Your principal payment is how much you owe on your loan and the interest rate is the additional amount the lender charges you for borrowing money. Together, this is your mortgage payment — but it's not the only monthly cost you'll incur.

You need to factor in property taxes, private mortgage insurance (PMI), homeowners insurance, utilities, and homeowner's association fees (if you expect to have them), to get an idea of what you'll be paying each month. Many mortgage calculators either don't estimate these costs accurately, relying on the user to enter the numbers themselves, or leave them out all together. There are also closing costs you're required to pay upfront, which can be up to 5% of the home purchase price.

Online real estate resource Zillow Group is trying to fix that problem. Last month, it launched Realestate.com, a new site geared toward millennials looking for their first home. Their new all-in monthly pricing tool enables you to see every possible monthly expense — and a breakdown of closing costs — for each property listed on its site.

Realestate.com monthly costs toolThat includes accounting for utilities, which are commonly left out of mortgage calculators, using location data available for each property.

According to Zillow Group's Consumer Trend Report, which was based off of a survey of a group of 13,000 homeowners, sellers, buyers, and renters, 39% of first-time homebuyers exceed their initial budget.

Jeremy Wacksman, CMO of Zillow Group, told Business Insider they created this tool to make budget a priority in the home-shopping process.

"We see nearly half of first-time homebuyers consider renting as well, so [this makes it so they're] really thinking of them side by side," Wacksman said. "As a renter, you're usually thinking of one cost per month."

One major advantage of the Realestate.com all-in monthly cost tool is that these estimates provide context to homes currently on the market. Rather than blindly looking at a listing price, an all-in monthly cost estimate gives a more accurate idea of affordability.

This doesn't help you much if the home you're looking to buy isn't on Zillow, though you may be able to compare it to something similar in the area.

Also, keep in mind that interest rates are highly personal and depend on your credit history, type of loan, income, debt, and specific lender. This tool populates with a default 3.79% interest rate, based on a 30-year fixed mortgage with a 20% down payment. But you can use CFPB's interest rate tool to input some of that information and get a more accurate rate to further customize your all-in monthly cost.

SEE ALSO: 21 of the most affordable zip codes to raise a family in the US

DON'T MISS: Everything you need to know about buying a home, in 7 steps

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: 4 lottery winners who lost it all

How to make 'cloud eggs' — Instagram's newest obsession


Instagram has changed the way we think about food. Food trends like Starbucks' Unicorn Frappuccino have people lining up to get the newest, prettiest food products, just for that photo opportunity. If you're looking for your next Instagram food post, look no further than the newest trend, "cloud eggs." Here's how to make them.

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Nobody wants this mansion near San Francisco's 'Billionaire Row' that's on sale for $29 million


2820 scott mansion san francisco for sale 3

For nine years, an enormous mansion in San Francisco has sat idly on the market.

Despite the lack of interest, its owners have added millions to the asking price.

2820 Scott Street is a seven-bedroom, 11-bathroom villa located in San Francisco's ritzy Cow Hollow neighborhood — within a stone's throw of "Billionaire's Row." A listing first popped up in 2008for $27.5 million. As time went by and real estate prices in San Francisco soared, the owners of 2820 Scott Street raised the asking price in order to keep up with the market.

For a whopping $29.5 million, this slice of Italian heaven could be all yours.

SEE ALSO: Go inside the most expensive home in San Francisco, a $40 million mansion on Billionaire's Row

San Francisco is known for its stunning Victorian-style homes.

What it's like to live inside one of the iconic "Painted Lady" homes in San Francisco »

2820 Scott Street is not one of them.

It's located just two blocks north of Broadway in the Pacific Heights neighborhood, which has been called "Billionaire's Row" for its concentration of old money and tech execs.

Take a tour of San Francisco's "Billionaire's Row" »

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

A vegan fast-casual chain you've never heard of is expanding nationwide — and that should scare legacy brands


veggie grill photos and review 4693

Steve Heeley, CEO of the healthy fast-casual chain Veggie Grill, is betting he can make vegan food not just palatable, but "craveable."

Founded in 2007, Veggie Grill serves burgers, sandwiches, and salads that have fewer calories than traditional fast-food — and happen to be vegan. The chain takes familiar foods, like buffalo wings and Caesar salad, and swaps out ingredients with plant-based substitutes. 

"There are certain perceptions around the word 'vegan.' It means you have to deny yourself or eat brown foods," Heeley, a vegan, tells Business Insider. Not so at Veggie Burger.

The company has 28 locations in California, Washington, and Oregon. Thanks to a new $22 million round of funding last fall, Heeley expects the company to double in size by 2020.

We stopped by a Veggie Grill location in San Jose, California, to see if it meets the hype.

SEE ALSO: We visited a fast-food chain that's like McDonald's for vegans

Don't let the name fool you. Veggie Grill is not necessarily going for the vegan crowd.

Vegans make up a small slice of the US population, about 2%. But the number of meat-eaters incorporating more plant-based foods into their diets, or "flexitarians," is rising.

Source: Science of Us 

So while the vegan population might not be large enough to sustain an upstart fast-casual chain amid competition from McDonald's and KFC, a growing number of millennials might.

Veggie Grill wants to make it fun and easy to eat like a vegan. The company swaps familiar ingredients for plant-based alternatives from startups like Kite Hill and Beyond Meat.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

We've been making a huge diet mistake for 100 years — here's what you should do instead


BI Graphics_The Secret History of Calories 2x1

  • A little-known Los Angeles physician named Lulu Hunt Peters played a major role in popularizing the use of calorie counting for weight loss.
  • Her 1918 book, "Diet and Health With a Key to the Calories," was the world's first best-selling diet book.
  • Despite the ubiquity of calories today, recent studies reveal that they are an imperfect measure of nutrition.
  • In recent years, there's been a positive trend away from focusing only on calories. Instead, experts are encouraging people to eat more real food — vegetables, grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats.

Standing before a room of women in Los Angeles, Lulu Hunt Peters wrote a word on a blackboard that she said held the keys to empowerment. It was a word most of her audience had never heard before. Peters insisted it was just as important as terms like "foot" and "yard," and that if they came to understand and use it, they would be serving their country and themselves.

The word was "calorie." It was 1917, and although the calorie had been used in chemistry circles for decades — and is often credited to scientists such as Wilbur Olin Atwater and Nicolas Clément — it was Peters who was responsible for popularizing the idea that all we need to become healthier is knowing how much energy is in our food and fervently cutting back the excess. But her teachings weren’t all academic. She also referred to overweight people as "fireless cookers" and accused them of hoarding the valuable wartime commodity of fat "in their own anatomy." Nevertheless, Peters' weight-loss program has become so popular that some experts worry it now eclipses more important aspects of nutrition.

Yet while Peters' concept of calories has managed to stick around for 100 years, few have heard her name. As one of a handful of female physicians in California at the turn of the 20th century, Peters occupied a tenuous role as a health authority. After initially opening up her own private practice, she struggled to feel satisfied with her career. It was only after America entered the first World War that Peters had the opportunity to find her voice — first as a leader of a local women's club and finally as America's most enduring diet guru.

'Hereafter, you are going to eat calories of food'

Lulu Peters was the picture of 1920s fashion. She wore her dark hair in the flapper style, bobbed and adorned with glittering headbands, and sported luxurious furs. Her ears were decorated with gleaming pearls. She wasn't rail thin, as the social mores of middle-class white America said she ought to be, but she was 70 pounds leaner than she had been when she'd graduated from medical school — a point she emphasized with pride in a pamphlet she sold for 25 cents and later turned into the world's first best-selling diet book.

lulu hunt peters 1923 press photo

When it came to the science of nutrition and weight loss, Peters was in many ways decades ahead of her time. While ads in local newspapers pushed women to try everything from smoking ("Reach for a Lucky instead of a sweet!") to wearing medicated rubber garments to lose weight, Peters was breaking down complex scientific concepts like metabolism into accessible ideas that could be used to slim down.

In 1910, when the average life expectancy was 49 years, most Americans had never heard of things like calories, proteins, or carbohydrates. Even the science of vitamins was a fledgling endeavor characterized by a great deal of pseudoscience. Through her newspaper columns and clubhouse talks, Peters introduced hundreds of people to these ideas, and even began to link unhealthy eating with specific diseases. She went so far as to recommend intermittent fasting for those struggling to lose weight, a topic that is only now beginning to emerge in the scientific literature.

reach for a lucky instead of a sweet

Still, it is what Peters taught her followers about calories that has endured the longest, that all you need to do to lose weight is consume fewer than you burn.

”Instead of saying one slice of bread, or a piece of pie, you will say 100 Calories of bread, 350 Calories of pie," she wrote in 1918. "Hereafter, you are going to eat calories of food."

'How dare you hoard fat when our nation needs it?'

In 1909, Peters was one of about a thousand women across the country to graduate as a doctor of medicine. War and its demand for medical workers had helped temporarily ease some of the barriers blocking women from entering universities, and in 1910 the percentage of women physicians was at an all-time high at 5%. Shortly after receiving her degree from the University of California, Peters got a job leading the Los Angeles County Hospital's pathology lab. Several years later, even as the percentage of women medical school graduates receded to below 3%, she secured a role as the chair of the public-health committee for the California women's club federation of Los Angeles, a position that a local newspaper described as having "more power than the entire city health office."

Still, she occupied a tenuous position in a society led by men. Even as a leading physician with two medical degrees, most of Peters' roles were unpaid, including a one-year stint with the American Red Cross in 1918 during World War I. Many of the public-health events she attended were derided in local newspapers as nothing more than "supper parties" for "female physicians." And these roles, which were already constrained by gender, were made even more exclusive by the fact that they were volunteer-only. Women who didn't have access to money — many of them women of color — were simply barred from participating. Those who did attend made a show of their wealth. With her high-society flapper fashion, Peters was no exception.

Whatever signs of excess she displayed when it came to clothing, however, Peters made up for in her approach to eating.

After having struggled with her weight for years early in her career, Peters lost 70 pounds by carefully restricting the amount of food she ate. Her diet was a seemingly logical extension of basic chemistry: If you want to "reduce," you need to put less energy into your body than it uses up. To do that, a unit of measure she'd applied frequently as a student of child nutrition at several Los Angeles hospitals, was key. She and her peers had relied upon calculating the caloric content of baby formula to ensure premature babies and other infants under their care were properly nourished. Now, the measure seemed an easy way to calculate the energy needs of adults.

As a leading member of the women's club federation, Peters became a diet guru, frequently sharing bits of her dieting wisdom with her fellow members. One day, shortly before leaving for her World War I service with the Red Cross, she delivered a talk about weight loss. In order for her audience to understand how she lost weight, she had to introduce them to the unit of measure at the foundation of her plan. The calorie, she explained, was a measure of what she called "food values."

"You should know and also use the word calorie as frequently, or more frequently, than you use the words foot, yard, quart, gallon, and so forth, as measures of length and liquids," Peters said.

santa_fe_hut_at_los_angeles_1918 1919_american_national_red_cross_collection_prints_and_photographs_library_of_congress_0

Losing weight wasn't merely about meeting societal expectations, though, at least in the way Peters chose to present it. Being severely overweight was also linked with chronic illnesses such as heart and kidney disease, she wrote. At the time, it was an idea that was just beginning to circulate among scientists. More important, Peters offered calorie counting as a moral, patriotic duty. Hungry troops at the front lines, Peters explained, needed the calories that women like her could do without. What was fat, she said, if not a high-energy resource that should be distributed to the soldiers abroad?

"In war time it is a crime to hoard food, and fines and imprisonment have followed the exposé of such practices," Peters wrote. "Yet there are hundreds of thousands of individuals all over America who are hoarding food, and that one of the most precious of all foods! They have vast amounts of this valuable commodity stored away in their own anatomy."

food rationing poster wwi

Peters even went so far as to describe the discomfort of dieting as a physical reminder of their American loyalty and an easier way to deal with rationing. If the food they didn't eat didn't go directly to the troops abroad, their leftovers could be used to feed their children: "That for every pang of hunger we feel we can have a double joy, that of knowing we are saving worse pangs in ... little children, and that of knowing that for every pang we feel we lose a pound."

It may have sounded like a noble goal at first, but Peters had taken the idea of calorie counting too far.

An imperfect science

In a world dominated by celebrity fad diets that range from the absurd, like Reese Witherspoon's alleged "baby-food diet," to the absurdly unaffordable, such as Gwyneth Paltrow's $200 "moon dust"-infused breakfast smoothie, calories can seem like the most scientific option for improving your health. But there is more guesswork involved in calorie calculations than you might think.

The current system of calorie counting on which our nutrition labels are based "provides only an estimate of the energy content of foods," Malden C. Nesheim, a professor of nutrition at Cornell University, said at a 2013 meeting of the international nonprofit Institute for Food Technologists.

Traditionally, scientists calculated the energy content of foods using a large piece of machinery called a bomb calorimeter. The process involved placing a sample of food into the device, burning it, and measuring how much the water in a surrounding container heated up. Since a Calorie raises the temperature of a liter of water by 1 degree Celsius, the calorie count would be found by calculating the change in the water's temperature multiplied by the water's volume. Today, we use a shortcut called the Atwater system, named after agricultural chemist Wilbur Olin Atwater.

bomb calorimeter

Atwater — who actually wanted to use his work in the 1890s to help poor people get the most calories for their money— determined the average number of calories in four main energy sources: carbs, fats, protein, and alcohol. Fats, he found, were the most energy-dense, being worth about 9 calories per gram, while proteins and carbs were roughly equal at about 4 calories per gram. Alcohol was worth about 7 calories per gram.

The Atwater system is how the calorie counts on nutrition labels have been determined by the US Department of Agriculture since 1988. Before that, they were done by hand. Using this method, you'd be able to determine that a slice of wheat bread with 3 grams of protein, 9 grams of carbs, and 1 gram of fat had roughly 60 calories.

Here's the problem: Not all of us process all foods the same way.

"It's definitely not just 'calories in and calories out' because two people could be [burning] more and consuming less and one person gains and one doesn't," says Cara Anselmo, a nutritionist and outpatient dietitian at New York's Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. "There are metabolic differences person to person."

These variations mean that each of us needs a different amount of energy from our food, and it can vary substantially by the day. One issue that the Atwater system will never account for, Anselmo says, is the delicate balance of hormones that guide everything from appetite to digestion. These hormones can be influenced a great deal by our previous history of weight loss or weight gain.

"We find that with people who lose a significant amount of weight, hormones play an important role too. So someone who's always been at 150 pounds can actually get away with eating more calories than someone who was at 250 pounds and lost 100 pounds. Your body is producing fewer of the hormones that make you feel full and more of the hormones that make you hungry," Anselmo says.

This means that Peters, who lost a substantial amount of weight before writing her best-selling diet book, might have had to limit her diet more than someone who had always weighed what she did.

Other factors that scientists are just beginning to understand also influence the number of calories we actually get from food.

In a large review of studies published in the Journal of Nutrition, Purdue University scientists found that whole tree nuts and peanuts have roughly 15% fewer calories than the figure calculated using the Atwater method. Although nuts are high in fat, the researchers found, a significant portion of those oils end up being secreted when we eat them. Another study published in the British Journal of Nutrition in 2012 came to a similar conclusion about pistachios, finding that they had about 5% fewer calories than originally assumed.

When calories aren't king

Let's say that at lunchtime you're given two options with the exact same number of calories. You can either have a ham sandwich, potato chips, and a can of soda or a salad and a whole-grain roll. Which would you choose?

You might be tempted to pick the sandwich and soda. After all, if they stack up the same in terms of calories, you might as well pick the one you can taste, right?

According to Peters and the many popular modern diets she influenced, the answer is yes. But it's not that simple. While counting calories can be a useful tool in a bigger toolkit for weight loss, it is not a perfect solution for healthy eating, especially when it's used in isolation.

Nichola Whitehead, a registered dietitian with a private practice in the UK, summarizes the problem this way: "While calories are important when it comes to losing, maintaining, or gaining weight, they are not the sole thing we should be focusing on when it comes to improving our health."

Take the following two daily meal plans, for example, both of which are about 2,000 calories:

BI Graphics_2000 calories in perspective

While they tally up to the same number of calories, the two plans are far from equal.

"Both of these would give you the same number of calories, but only one of them will leave you feeling satiated and satisfied and give you the energy you need," says Whitehead.

That's because the meal on the right doesn't provide what Whitehead calls "balance" — essentially the right mix of proteins, complex carbohydrates, and fruits and vegetables that your body needs to be properly fueled in the long term. From the frosted cereal at breakfast to the white-bread sandwich at lunch to the refined pasta at dinner, the meal plan on the right is based around refined carbohydrates, which the body breaks down quickly. That means they'll give you a short burst of energy and make you feel full for a few hours, but probably leave you hungry before your next meal.

"Empty calories only give a temporary fix," Whitehead says.

avocado smoked salmon blueberries healthy food meal bowl tomatoes lunch

To keep energy levels up and keep you full and healthy for the long term, your diet needs to feed more than your stomach. It has to satiate your muscles, which crave protein, your digestive system, which runs at its best with fiber, and your tissues and bones, which work optimally when they're getting vitamins from food.

How we got to now, from grapefruit diets to Weight Watchers

It wasn't until 1990 that calories made an appearance on the food we buy, and they weren't required by law until four years later.

Before that, there was simply no way to know for sure what was in the food you bought. Several years after Peters gave her calorie talk, Spam debuted as one of the first processed convenience foods. When World War II broke out, the easy-to-eat, no-spoil food was a hit among soldiers, and for the next 20 years, conflict, rather than craving, shaped the American palate. "In the universe of processed food," Anastacia Marx de Salcedo writes in "Combat-Ready Kitchen," "World War II was the Big Bang." The 1960s saw the invention of two more processed-food milestones: The first chicken nugget and high-fructose corn syrup.

Perhaps in response to these unhealthy eating trends, severe diet fads emerged for each decade from Peters' day to the present. In the 1930s, about a decade after Polish biochemist Casimir Funk first recommended people get enough of certain micronutrients called "vitamines" (later found in abundance in citrus fruits and veggies), the first grapefruit diet emerged, followed by a banana-and-skim-milk diet promoted by United Fruit, the planet's leading banana importer. Several decades later, Weight Watchers surged in popularity, and in the 1970s, women were encouraged to take sleeping pills whenever they felt hungry.

Throughout history, most of these diets were heavily marketed to women, something that's still true today. Nevertheless, in Peters' day, she claimed to see weight loss as a tool that she and other women could use to liberate themselves, or, in her words, to become more "efficient."

Today, neither the mantra of "calorie is king" nor the allure of fad diets appears to have won out in the global battle for our waistlines. In a hint that calories are here to stay, President Obama in 2010 introduced a piece of legislation requiring every large American restaurant chain to display calorie counts on their menus. Just last summer, singer Katy Perry claimed the "M Diet," otherwise known as eating only raw mushrooms for one meal a day for two weeks, helped her lose fat in select areas of her body. Nevertheless, there is a move toward eating a more well-rounded diet based on vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. It's a trend that dietitians and public-health experts say they're encouraged by.

eating healthy

Several recent studies suggest that whether you're looking for weight loss or to improve your health, the best eating plans are based around vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. These diets generally also include a variety of healthy fats, like those from nuts, fish, avocados, and olive oil. In its most report on the best eating plans, US News and World Report described vegetable-based ("plant-based") diets as "good for the environment, your heart, your weight, and your overall health."

This means that while we can certainly use calories as a tool to guide our eating choices, we shouldn't live like Lulu Peters, focusing solely on one number.

"Calories should be a tool for information, rather than a way to live your life," says Whitehead.

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A 24-year old got a mysterious disease where her body attacked her brain — and everyone thought it was in her mind


caroline walsh 2

There's a blank year in 25-year-old Caroline Walsh's once-spotless memory.

She's pieced parts together from stories her friends have told her and a collection of photos on Facebook. But she cannot remember the day it all began — when her father found her in the middle of a seizure, her body writhing on the floor. She also can't remember waking up with her hands tied to a hospital bed, begging her sister to help her escape, or the next day when she proclaimed she was the Zac Brown Band.

Instead, Walsh's first recollection of that time is of a recovery room filled with family and flowers. By then, her doctors had diagnosed her with a mysterious disease called autoimmune encephalitis, or AE for short. While there's lot we still don't know about the condition, experts believe it's part of a larger class of illnesses in which the body turns on itself.

In Walsh's case, the disease attacked her brain, setting off a chain reaction of symptoms that mimicked those of other mental illnesses like depression and schizophrenia. If treated properly and early enough, people with AE can make a near-complete recovery. But if they go undiagnosed or land in a psychiatric ward, they can die.

Something brewing

A stroll down a real street called Memory Lane in London leads you to the London Institute of Psychiatry, where J.A.N. "Nick" Corsellis sliced into the brains of three corpses and found the first evidence of AE.

Deep in the dense part of the brain called the limbic system, the normally lithe network of rubbery-smooth tissue had become puffy and inflamed. It was as if something had attacked it from within.

Most of the people these brains once belonged to had been diagnosed with cancer, then seemed to make a full recovery. But their personalities began to change. A partner or friend was usually the first to notice an odd shift in their behavior — usually a progressive increase in forgetfulness, though others experienced a sudden bout of mania or depression. A 58-year old bus driver found himself waking up most days not knowing where he was.

Corsellis saw inflammation in parts of the brain linked with memory and mood, but he couldn't explain what had caused the swelling that triggered the symptoms.

"The first question to arise ... is whether the assertion of a connection between carcinoma [cancer] and 'limbic encephalitis' is now justified, even if it cannot be explained,” he wrote in a 1968 paper in the journal Brain. It was first time the condition was mentioned in a scientific journal.

Walsh's symptoms became noticeable one day at work when she started repeating herself. She joked with a co-worker that she was coming down with early-onset Alzheimer's.

"I was just getting very confused all the time,” Walsh says.

The next week, more mysterious problems cropped up — Walsh had a knack for remembering names, but one day when she met up with some new friends, she introduced herself half a dozen times and struggled to commit anyone's name to memory.

"They'd say it and then a couple minutes later I'd have no clue what their name was or what we were even talking about," she says.

At the office the next day, things got worse. "My personality was just off. I thought it was work. I pulled my boss aside into a conference room and I started to cry, which was just not me," she says. When she wasn't feeling stressed and anxious, she felt depressed.

"Something was just brewing, I could feel it," she says.

When the body attacks itself

Our immune system is our body's defense against the outside world.

Most of the action is coordinated by white blood cells, which direct the lines of attack like football coaches, churning out antibodies that target the opponent for destruction.

white blood cellBut sometimes the process can go awry. In generating an immune response against a virus or other disease, the body can wind up up attacking itself — a larger class of illnesses known as autoimmune diseases.

It's as if "some wires get crossed," says Brenden Kelley, a neuroradiologist at Henry Ford hospital in Detroit who's part of the small community researching autoimmune encephalitis.

Sometimes, this abnormal response can be caused by a virus like the flu or a bacterial infection. Other times, certain types of cancer appear to be the source.

"In picking targets that match the cancer, the body may also pick targets that match places in your body that don't have cancer," says Kelley.

Knee deep in the water

Three months later, Walsh relocated to her childhood home outside of Boston, and saw two doctors who both incorrectly diagnosed her with the flu.

Then one morning around 4 a.m., as her dad, a Boston police officer, got ready for work, he heard a loud crash. He found his daughter on the ground, her limbs thrashing. He screamed her name, but she didn't respond.

The most common cause of the type of seizure that Walsh had that day — known as a grand mal seizure (literally "great sickness" in French) — is epilepsy. Other causes can include extremely low blood sugar, high fever, and stroke.

At the hospital, Walsh's doctors tested her extensively, doing multiple lumbar punctures or "spinal taps," a painful, dangerous procedure that involves collecting and analyzing the protective fluid surrounding her brain and spinal cord. In most cases, this is where doctors will first spot autoimmune encephalitis, Kelley says.

But sometimes, as in Walsh's case, the characteristic markers of inflammation are too subtle to draw a definite conclusion.

caroline walsh 1When Caroline's sister Alana arrived at the hospital, Caroline was lying motionless on her hospital bed under the harsh lighting. Her hands had been encased in heavily padded mitts that looked like boxing gloves, and were fastened to the railings on her bed to keep her from pulling out the IV tubes keeping her hydrated. She asked Alana to come closer so she could whisper something into her ear.

"You have to fight 'em, you have to get me out of here," said Caroline, motioning her head towards the nurses as she eyed them suspiciously.

When Alana asked her sister what she was talking about, Caroline explained that she'd been abducted while she was asleep and was now being held hostage at the hospital.

A few hours later, after drifting into the sleepy, dazed state she was in for much of her hospital stay, she woke with a jolt and proclaimed she was the country singer the Zac Brown Band. She started belting out her favorite song of his, a catchy tune about taking a break from reality called "Knee Deep."

"Gonna put the world away for a minute," she sang, getting louder with every verse. "Pretend I don't live in it."

When her family couldn't stop Caroline's crooning, Alana got up and closed the doors to her room in an attempt to keep her from waking up everyone on the ward. Caroline continued.

"Mind on a permanent vacation, the ocean is my only medication, wishin' my condition ain't ever gonna go away."

Over the next week, Walsh proceeded to seize more than a hundred times. Alana recalls that nearly every time she sat down to talk with her, Caroline would seize half a dozen times. They weren't massive seizures like the one that had landed her in the hospital, but small, barely perceptible ones.

"You'd know because her eyes would drift away and she'd stare in one spot, she was having little ones almost every minute," says Alana. "She was very shaky and confused; her heart rate was extremely high, and the doctors just seemed so confused by everything every time we talked to them, they were like she can't be going into these seizures all the time, it's just too much."

Eventually, the doctors decided to put her in a medically-induced coma.

Smoke from the fire

In children, infections like strep throat appear to be a trigger of AE. Susan Schulman, a pediatrician in New York, says she's seen hundreds of cases of a related condition, called PANS (pediatric acute-onset neuropsychiatric syndrome), in her patients. Her first case, in 1998, was a five-year old girl from Brooklyn who flew into a panic about keeping the clothes she wore on the Jewish holiday of Shabbat separate from her regular clothes.

"She was driving her mother crazy," Schulman says. At first, she believed the girl had childhood obsessive-compulsive disorder, but medication made the child's symptoms worse, and she returned to Schulman's office with more intense OCD symptoms and a nasty case of strep throat. Strangely, after Schulman treated the strep with antibiotics, the OCD symptoms vanished.

"I said you know what, that's odd," Schulman says.

caroline walsh 3Around the same time, an NIH pediatrician named Susan Swedo published an article in the American Journal of Psychiatry describing 50 cases of a phenomenon she called "pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorders associated with streptococcal infections." Schulman realized that the sudden psychiatric symptoms she had observed in her young patients — which ranged from OCD to rage and paranoia — were likely connected to their infections.

"I see infection as the match that lights the autoimmune reaction. The inflammation is the fire; the symptoms you see is the smoke coming out of the fire," Schulman says.

Autoimmune conditions that affect the brain only represent a fraction of all autoimmune diseases. Scientists have identified as many as 80 others, which range from type 1 diabetes, which develops when the body attacks its insulin-producing cells, to multiple sclerosis, psoriasis, and rheumatoid arthritis. More are being recognized each year.

Kelley and others at Henry Ford are currently researching autoimmune diseases that affect the brain. By working with scientists who specialize in the brain and the immune system, Kelley hopes to find out what these conditions have in common so the team can eventually figure out what causes them.

"A lot of these conditions are variants on the same theme," he says. 

In Walsh's case, "these are people who tend to not have a lot of other medical problems and then all of a sudden they feel like they're going crazy, they're losing themselves," Kelley says. "It tends to be very clear that something's not right, but precisely what's going on can be difficult to piece together."

Putting the pieces together

When Walsh woke up in her hospital room, she wasn't sure why she was there.

"I was like why are all these people in my room? Why is it decorated with all of these flowers?," she recalls.

A day or so before, a specialist had diagnosed Walsh with autoimmune encephalitis and started her on a regimen of powerful steroids, now considered one of the best treatments for the disease. The drugs began to reduce the inflammation in her brain. In Walsh's case, the affected area was her hippocampus, the region responsible for making and storing memories.

"I just remember I kept asking, 'What?' you know, 'Wait, why am I here?' and they would tell me, but I kept forgetting," she says.

caroline walsh 4In patients whose autoimmune encephalitis seems to be triggered by cancer (as opposed to Walsh’s, which may have been set off by the flu), the treatment focuses on treating or removing the cancer first. “When you remove the cancer, you remove the stimulus," Kelley says.

The treatment for autoimmune encephalitis can vary based on the trigger, but timing is always key. If doctors treat whatever is triggering the condition, many people with the disease can go on to lead fairly normal, full lives.

"It's a race against time in a way," Kelley says.

As Walsh began to regain her ability to remember, she realized she'd have to re-learn a lot of basic things.

"I remember going to get up to use the bathroom, and one of the nurses went to bring me a wheelchair and I was like, ‘Oh no I don't need that,'" says Walsh. "So then I just thought about standing and suddenly I just had no idea, I couldn't function to walk."

She regained those skills over the next 10 days at Spaulding Rehabilitation Center, the same place the survivors of the Boston Marathon bombing were brought after the attack. There, Walsh re-learned how to put one foot in front of the other and how to hold a spoon.

Walsh now works part-time as a nanny and volunteers with Spaulding and the Boston Boys and Girls Club. Instead of going back to sales, she plans to work with children in some capacity. She recently attended a Spaulding fundraising event with her sister, Alana, where she bumped into the physical therapist who helped her walk in a straight line for the first time.

"We were in our dresses and we were both dancing together," Walsh says, "and Alana was like, 'You know she taught you to walk again?'"

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One chart shows how Advil, Tylenol, and Aspirin stack up — and there's a clear winner


You probably have at least three kinds of painkillers in your bathroom medicine cabinet, but they're not all designed to treat the same types of discomfort. While some pain relievers are great at bringing down fevers, others, studies suggest, contain ingredients that are better for reducing the kind of painful swelling linked with muscle soreness or arthritis.

In addition, depending on your medical history and your diet, there may be certain over-the-counter medications that you should avoid. Still, in some cases, any of the medications below may treat all of your symptoms. However, studies suggest some may be better at treating specific types of discomfort. 

When to take each painkiller BI_Graphics

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Stunning photos show what it's like to live at the top of New York City



When it comes to real estate, location is almost everything. But in cities like New York, San Francisco, and Miami, buyers will also pay a premium for another feature: the view.

In Manhattan, the most coveted and costly view is of Central Park. With a median listing price of $3.79 million, homes with a view of the park carry a premium of 39.9%, according to Realtor.com.

Mike Tauber has been exploring these sights for 15 years as an interior and architecture photographer in New York City. He's photographed tens of thousands of homes and their views, and he recently collected them in a book called "Vista Manhattan: Views from New York City's Finest Residences."

Below, see nine stunning views captured by Tauber from penthouses across New York City. 

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Tauber is usually hired by real estate agents, architects, interior designers, or homeowners to photograph these spaces.

One of Tauber's favorite views comes from a $57 million penthouse at The Pierre. "It has a great perspective on Central Park where you can see people hanging out in Sheep Meadow in the foreground and then across the Upper West Side into New Jersey," Tauber said.

Source: StreetEasy

Tauber photographs luxury buildings that range in price. While this penthouse at 50 Sutton Place sold for $4.36 million in 2016 ...

Source: Streeteasy

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Here's what it's like to eat at the oldest restaurant in the world


Botin restaurant

Nestled in the heart of Madrid is one of Ernest Hemingway's favorite restaurants, Restaurante Sobrino de Botín.

First opened as an inn, the landmark eatery was founded in 1725 by French cook Jean Botín and his wife. It is the world's oldest restaurant, as officially recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records.Today, Botín is famed for its rustic Castilian cuisine, including succulent roast meats fired in an oven that's close to 300 years old. 

Keep scrolling to see what it's like to feast on whole suckling pig and delicious Spanish wine at the world's oldest restaurant.  

Brittany Fowler contributed reporting to an earlier version of this article.

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The restaurant's name was changed from Casa Botín to Sobrino de Botín ("nephew of Botín") when Mrs. Botín died and her nephew took over. It is now owned by the González family.

Botín has four floors and the air of a traditional Spanish tavern. There are three dining rooms: the bodega ("cellar"), the Castilla room, and the Felipe IV room.

The most famous dishes here are the cochinillo asado ("roast suckling pig") and the cordero asado ("roast lamb").

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Gal Gadot was five months pregnant during shooting of 'Wonder Woman'


Wonder Woman

Gal Gadot plays a superhero on the big screen in "Wonder Woman," but in some ways she was a real-life one while making the movie.

It turns out Gadot was pregnant through much of the filming of the box-office hit. In fact, when Gadot had to come back to do reshoots last November for the movie, some CGI magic had to be done to keep Gadot's baby bump off the screen.

According to Entertainment Weekly, Gadot was five months pregnant when she returned to London's Leavesden Studios to film an additional scene and the costume department had to cut a section out of the front of her costume and replace it with green cloth so her figure could be altered in postproduction.

“On close-up I looked very much like Wonder Woman,” Gadot said. “On wide shots I looked very funny, like Wonder Woman pregnant with Kermit the Frog.”

wonderwomanpattyjenkinsgalgadotwarnerbrosAccording to reports, "Wonder Woman" did not have many reshoot days, but there was one scene in particular director Patty Jenkins wanted something extra for after seeing a cut of the movie.

In a scene in which Diana Prince (Gadot) and Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) walk to the frontlines of World War I and have a serious talk about the horrors of war, Jenkins wanted to add something visually to the chat.

“That scene was just a slightly tense scene of them walking. I was like ‘I need her to see some brutality,’" Jenkins told The Hollywood Reporter. "So we added her seeing the horses being whipped. It was actually something that had been in the script originally.”

Jenkins told EW about Gadot being pregnant during shooting: “Now, at least, we will be able to tell her [new] daughter Maya that she’s in her mom’s stomach right then, in the middle of that battle scene.”

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How 24-year-old Palmer Luckey went from selling his VR startup to Facebook for $2 billion to building a virtual border wall for Trump


Palmer Luckey Oculus Rift founder Touch controllers

Palmer Luckey isn't your average 24-year-old. 

Luckey is the founder of Oculus VR, the virtual reality company that sold to Facebook for $2 billion in 2014. A year after the sale, Forbes estimated his net worth to be $700 million.

Luckey was quickly put on the path to greatness as the face of Facebook's fledgling VR business. He made frequent appearances at press events and conferences on behalf of Facebook and Oculus.

But less than three years later, Luckey no longer works for the VR company he helped build in his parents' garage. Luckey left Facebook and Oculus in March, only a few months after it was revealed that he funded an anti-Hillary Clinton meme group.

Now Luckey is secretly building surveillance and defense technology to be used along country borders and military bases, according to a report by The New York Times. And he’s already met with White House chief strategist Steve Bannon to discuss deploying the tech along the US border with Mexico.

Here's how Luckey went from tech darling to Facebook outcast:

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Luckey was born in Long Beach, California on September, 19, 1992. His father Donald was a car salesman and his mother, Julie, a stay-at-home mom who homeschooled Luckey and his three younger sisters.

As a child, Luckey loved to tinker with electronics, building his own computers or gaming devices.

Source: Popular Mechanics 

For a while, he became fascinated by lasers and burned a small blind-spot into one of his retinas while experimenting with them.

Source: Vanity Fair 

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Putin is selling his $1 million watch, and it's one of the rarest and most expensive in the world


Patek Philippe 5208P

Vladimir Putin won't be in Monaco for the Monaco Legend Auctions in July, but a piece of him will be.

The Russian president will be offering his Patek Philippe 5208P, a watch at the top of the storied Swiss brand's line.

The 5208P is an extremely complicated watch with features like a minute repeater (the watch will chime on demand when a button is pressed), a chronograph (a stopwatch), and a perpetual calendar, which takes leap years into account.

The watch is only sold to trusted clients of Patek (a.k.a. customers who buy a lot of their watches), and it retails for 980,000 Swiss Francs ($1 million), making it one of the most expensive watches at retail, according to Hodinkee.

It's unclear what year Putin's watch is from, as the documentation is not dated, but it appears that it was purchased in London.

In some respects, it's not surprising that Putin would be selling such a rare and expensive watch. He's a noted watch fan, appearing on many occasions with watch selections only an aficionado would choose. The cost of these watches are several times higher than his declared salary of an estimated $112,000 a year.

Some have doubted that this is actually Putin's watch as the accompanying documentation says. Though Patek retailers are told to print the real name of the new owner when it is delivered, there's no way to verify it. In addition, Putin's middle name is usually spelled with an "H" in English.

The auction for the watch does not yet have an estimate, though it's certain to be high.

Vladimir putin's watchVladimir putin's watch

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Motor-mouthed rapper Logic challenged the American Sign Language interpreter to keep up with a crazy fast freestyle — and she killed it


logic rapper

Logic's Sunday night performance at the Governors Ball music festival in New York City was something of a coming-out party for the 27-year-old rapper.

The show was one of his first since the May release of "Everbody," his anticipated followup to his 2015 hit "The Incredible True Story," and his first concert in New York since the release. Logic begins a major headlining tour with Joey Bada$$ and Big Lenbo next month.

While "Everybody" has received cautious praise and healthy criticism for its ambitious, but "heavy-handed" approach, Logic answered the critics with a tireless performance that put the focus where he always has: on giving back and connecting with his fans, who he calls the "Ratt Pack" (an acronym for "Real All The Time").

Logic spoke to the audience often, pointing out specific fans in the crowd who he recognized from past performances, and calling on no less than 10 young fans in the audience to hear their name, their age, and where they were from. That level of crowd work could seem stilted for another artist, but when it's someone who appears as good-hearted and earnest as Logic, you can't help but root for him.

And then he took the playfulness to another level, stepping down to introduce the American Sign Language interpreter for his show, Kat, and asking her if he could test the speed of her signing by freestyle rapping. She, of course, assented, and Logic showed off his impressive flow, all while Kat kept pace.

Here's a video of the moment:

He showed why he has such a rabid fanbase throughout the show, with energetic and heartfelt renditions of "Black SpiderMan," "1-800-273-8255" (the number for the National Suicide Prevention hotline), and "Anziety."

Logic ended the concert with a monologue about his struggles with anxiety and panic attacks and, seemingly, an answer to those knocks about his "heavy handedness."

"I want y'all to know that all of the music I make is for the people that truly appreciate it and care about it. It's not for the people who don't f—k with it or say it's this or that or whatever. That's subjective. This song is for everybody who needed it. I love you," he said, leaving more than a few audience members in tears.

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