How To Plan Your Diet

10 Free and Easy Ways to Burn Calories

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I don’t know about you, but I’d love to wave a magic wand and instantly burn off unwanted calories instead of thinking about how I’ll have to spend hours exercising in order to lose weight. However we can all burn calories every day from unexpected activities. By making some small changes to our everyday habits we can increase our metabolic rate which in turn will help us lose weight more quickly by burning those calories.

Shopping (Yes, Really!)

One of the most unexpected ways to burn off over 100 calories is to push your supermarket shopping trolley through the food isles for over half an hour. The more you put into your trolley, the heavier it gets and that helps you lose even more calories. If you use your car to shop, make this activity help you lose even more calories by parking your car in the furthest spot you can from the store.

Keep Moving

Sedentary people burn about one-third less calories per day.  If we simply take each and every opportunity to keep moving, each of our movements will add up over the day to help us lose those calories. The trick here is to continue to move, which can be easier said than done if your job is sitting or standing for most of the day. I work in an office for example, and most of my time is spent sitting in front of my computer. I have to make a concerted effort to ensure that I stand up and walk around and exercise.

I also practice the following;-

a) If the ‘phone rings I always stand up and pace backwards and forwards whilst speaking

b) I change my position frequently and constantly move my head from side to side and tap my feet

c) I always use the restroom furthest away which in my case also happens to be up a flight of  stairs

Eat More Protein

Protein requires a more complex chemical breakdown by your body in order to be digested and used as fuel. For example, 100 calories of protein may take up to 30 calories to process.   Protein also takes longer to digest and helps to stabilize blood sugar for longer periods of time and this can help you to not overeat later in the day.  Eating a portion of protein at every meal and as part of your snacks throughout the day, this will increase the total number of calories you burn each day.

Go Outdoors

I know that this time of year, no one is thinking about their garden; however this is a great place to lose those calories.  If you are a keen gardener you could look to lose nearly 500 calories by digging in the vegetable patch for an hour and if you mow your lawn for only ½ an hour you would be burning over 100 calories. Another outdoor activity would be washing and cleaning the car. This is something that needs doing whatever the time of year and it can take up to two hours to clean inside and out during which time you could have lost upwards of 500 calories.

Drink More Cold Water

Evidence shows that your body might expend more calories trying to raise cold water to the temperature of your body than hot beverages and overall being well hydrated will help your body’s metabolic processes burn quicker. Spice up your mealtimes Eating hot spices is good for us in so many ways. Just half a teaspoon of cinnamon per day can help boost metabolism and keep blood sugar levels in check. If you don’t like the thought of cinnamon in your morning cup of coffee, spice it up with cayenne instead or use crushed red pepper or wasabi.

Personal Hygiene

Have you ever thought about using your personal hygiene time to lose calories? Yes, it can be done.  In fact, brushing your teeth for two minutes will burn around 6 calories.  If you also use this time to exercise then you could burn up to an extra 20 calories. I’m not talking about push ups but something as simple as pacing up and down or standing on one leg and swinging the other one backwards and forwards.

Eat Little and Often

It is now known that eating smaller meals every 2 to 4 hours will keep your metabolism burning faster than if you eat larger, less frequent meals. When you eat small amounts often, your body is constantly working to digest and absorb food which requires energy so your body uses more calories in order to do this.

Exercise with Weights

If part of your morning routine is a quick work out, then you should incorporate lifting weights. Training with weights boosts your metabolism in a number of ways. By lifting weights you will build muscle tissue and as muscle tissue is metabolically active, it requires calories even when at rest and so it helps to increase fat-burning enzymes in your body.  You don’t need to have heavy weights to do this. You could use canned food as your weights or bags of sugar.

Have a good night’s sleep

After all your calorie burning activities, you’ll need to get a good night’s sleep. The average time we spend asleep is around eight hours and during this time you are still burning over 400 calories per hour.

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4 Comments

  1. Most of this actlrie was really good and interesting. However, it is quite misleading in that you never mention the calories that you body burns as you basal metabolic rate: it is important to note that you will lose weight as long as you eat less than the calories burned through both your BMR AND your additional activities. So, it is inaccurate to say people don’t lose weight doing pilates because Not many people eat less than 338 calories a day . The question is whether you eat less calories than your BMR plus the 338 cals burned at pilates, which for most people is as much as 1600-2000 cals a day.

  2. Hi Katie

    Great article and a really refreshing, alternative (and realistic) way at losing weight and dieting. Whilst I’m not fat as such, I would like to shed just a few pounds of weight (who doesn’t?) and believe it is also important NOT to put weight on in the first place, which might be easier than trying to lose excess weight.

    I believe this article and your site (which is excellent) is very useful to help you both lose weight and prevent gaining weight (through fat, not muscle) with a healthier change in lifestyle as you prescribe. I also therefore believe your site is of benefit to a much wider audience!

    Keep up the very good work – it’s much appreciated. Thanks.

    • Thank you for your kind words Mike. It’s great to get some honest feedback from my readers. I’m a great believer in prevention rather than the ‘cure’ and by just reviewing our everyday lifestyles, we can pin point the areas we need to focus on. Whilst many people try diet after diet, lose weight and regain weight, the best way forward is to change the yo-yo dieting to that of a healthier lifestyle. We know that it’s better for our bodies not to feed it full of fattening foods one week and starve it the next.

      I hope you contine to enjoy the website and I’m really pleased that it has been of help to you.

      Katie

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