Burning calories can seem like a time-consuming enterprise. Most people assume they need to set aside an hour or two of their day, go to a gym, do a workout and pay money for the privilege. But there are plenty of free, easy ways to burn calories by simply dropping a few habits, and adopting a few new ones. Incorporate a handful of these eleven suggestions into your daily routine, and you might burn hundreds of extra calories.
Dehaydration causes your metabolic rate to drop. By sipping water continuously throughout the day, you can increase your metabolic rate by around 30%. The old recommendation of eight 8-ounce glasses per day – roughly 1.9 liters – is about right.
Take Vitamin D
One study, published in the British Journal of Nutrition, found that women with a vitamin D deficiency lost weight more slowly. Vitamin D is essential to the body’s absorption of calcium, bone development and neuromuscular functioning and some experts advise a daily intake of 2,000 milligrams. It can be found in fish, eggs and mushrooms. It’s also found in pork products like ham and salami – although these products should always be eaten in moderation if you’re trying to lose weight.
Get more sleep
Counting calories can be helpful, but getting more sleep can really help boost your metabolism, as fewer than four hours of sleep each night slows the metabolism down over time. Most experts suggest getting around eight hours of sleep every night.
Ever noticed how people with lots of nervous energy are often slim? If you’re wondering how to burn calories fast with minimal effort, moving around where you sit is one of the easiest ways to do it. Drumming your fingers, tapping your feet, squirming in your seat – it’s all an expulsion of energy that can help in the fight to burn more calories. Walking faster is another great way to maximize the benefit of activities you’re doing anyway.
Chew sugar-free gum
You can score a double whammy and burn a few calories by giving your jaw a work out and avoiding listless snacking at the same time. But keep it sugar-free, as sugar stores itself in the body as fat, and only makes you crave more.
When you’re counting calories, laughter really is the best medicine. Just ten minutes of laughter a day can burn as many as 50 calories, so try to be good-humored and surround yourself with funny people.
Improve your eating habits
Another bad habit that can spell disaster for your metabolism, eating late at night makes digestion that much more work, and can interrupt an otherwise good night’s sleep. Nocturnal snackers are also liable to skip breakfast, which throws their metabolic rate further out of whack. If possible, try to finish your last meal of the day a few hours before going to bed, and don’t miss the first meal of the day at all. It’s also important to spread your calorie intake across the day. Eat little and often so you don’t consume too much in one sitting.
Fill up on fiber
The key to not being hungry is to eat the right foods at the right time, giving you slow-burning energy in between eating. Foods that are high in fiber and low in carbohydrates take longer to digest than other foods, which means you feel more full for longer and are less likely to snack. Healthy, high-fiber vegetables include broccoli, spinach and cauliflower.
Develop a routine
Set yourself a series of timeslots throughout the day when you will move around. Consciously going for a walk on the hour every hour (even for a few minutes round the office) will soon become part of your lifestyle, and could help you burn another hundred calories each day.
Take the scenic route
When making the daily trek to work, most people find the most direct route from A to B and never diverge from it. Instead, find a longer way and you might add a few more minutes to your journey, but you’ll burn more calories.
Follow a physician-assisted plan
For all of the easy ways to burn calories that can be incorporated into your daily routine, some people will benefit most from the advice of trained weight loss physicians. If you’re serious about a healthier future, a tailored diet plan such as those offered by the Center for Medical Weight Loss might be your best bet. The Center’s health professionals will show you easy ways to lose weight to help you achieve your personal girls.
According to studies published in the American Journal of Medicine, the average client who participates in the Center’s medical weight loss program loses 11.1 percent of their total body weight in the first 12 weeks. Even better, nearly all clients keep those extra pounds off for one year or more! Read testimonials of successful weight loss, and enter your info in the box at top right to locate a Center in your neighborhood. Special introductory offers are available for first-time clients in most locations, so be sure to ask!