If you want to lose weight, knowing how many calories are going into your body is only half the battle. You also want to know how to shift them.
And if you can master burning calories as part of your everyday routine, even better!
Understanding Calories and how to torch them
This is Part 2 of our feature on 40 Tips for Burning Calories in Daily Life. Here we give you some additional metabolism boosting ideas (tips 21-40).
If you missed Part 1, you can read it here.
21. Go Shopping
It may sound too good to be true, but a decent trot around the shopping mall or up and down the High Street is a great way of burning calories. Research shows that 2 hours of dedicated shopping can shift as much as 400 calories.
22. Ditch the Trolley
And whilst we’re at the shops, don’t grab a trolley when you walk through the door unless you really can’t carry everything. You could get rid of another 100 calories by using a basket for a 30 minute run to the supermarket.
23. Turn Up the Music
This works best with up tempo tracks, so get out your favourite high-energy dance numbers! If you listen to music with a quick beat, you will start to sync with it and move faster. And if you move faster, you burn more calories. Simple.
24. Swing Your Arms
When you walk around – even if it’s just trotting across the lounge room to make a cup of coffee – swing your arms. The more of your body that you move, the more calories you ditch.
25. Snack Before You Drink
For many of us, alcohol is a gateway drug for all kinds of unwise behaviour, including over-eating. Be honest. How often have you come home from a few drinks and promptly eaten all the next day’s left-overs without even thinking about it? If you eat something high in protein before you head out the door, there is a less of chance of you impulse eating later.
26. Spread the Love
Apparently, an hour of sex can burn up to 300 calories. What more incentive do you need?!
27. Avoid Sugar
Obvious, I know. But do you know why?
Well, when you eat anything containing sugar, your body releases insulin. This insulin moves sugar to your cells to be used as energy, but if you don’t need that energy at the time, it will be stored as fat.
28. Pack a Healthy Snack
Make sure you always pop something healthy in your bag or pocket when you head out the door – nuts, fruit or a low-calorie treat are ideal. It will stop you from grabbing junk from the cafe or vending machine if hunger strikes later – and save you money as well!
29. Skip the Snacks
This is related to the previous point. Many workplaces have vending machines or cafeterias that stock plenty of junk food and chocolate bars, but did you know that most chocolate or candy bars carry at least 100 calories?
30. Eat Fibre Rich Foods
Low-carb, high fibre foods make your body work harder and take longer to digest than their low-fibre cousins. This means that you feel full for longer and are less likely to head back to the fridge for more food after only a couple of hours, or to the vending machine for a bag of chips. Foods like broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus and spinach are all ideal.
31. Don’t Peel
Leading on from the point above, the skin on fruit and vegetable is full of fibre and fibre fills you up in a good way. Also, the highest concentration of nutrients in many veggies and fruits are just under the skin, so peeling them actually gets rid of a lot of their best bits. If you don’t believe me, see here.
32. Try Oolong
Oolong tea is tasty, but also appears to help with burning calories. Research shows that consuming oolong tea can raise metabolic activity by as much as 10%.
33. Play with the Kids
There is a two-fold win with this one. By playing and doing physical activities with your kids you are keeping them fit and hopefully helping them to avoid future weight gain issues. And obviously, it’s a great way for you to tame those excess calories at the same time. Use the time playing to talk to them about their day and you’ll be parenting on all cylinders!
34. Rise Up
Rise up onto your toes and then lower to the ground again. This bobbing up and down doesn’t take make effort, can be done anywhere and burns a few calories each time you do it.
35. Sit Up Straight
Yep. Your Mum was right! Slouching takes no effort and is easy, but sitting up straight requires engaging your abdominal muscles and that results in burning calories – as well as improving your posture.
Any movement, even fidgeting, eats into those extra calories. Whether you tap your feet, twirl your hair or knock your pen against your teeth, a day’s worth of dedicated fidgeting can burn 300 calories that you wouldn’t shift if you sat still.
37. Be Active at Social Events
Don’t automatically look for a chair to sit on as soon as you arrive at a party? Stand about (the kitchen is a great location!) or walk the room and release your social butterfly. You’ll be burning calories whilst making new friends.
38. The Good Oil
Take a look at your diet and replace some of the animal fats and oils, like sunflower oil, that you consume with healthier medium-chain fatty acids like macadamia and coconut oils. And don’t forget that some oils and fats – in particular essential fatty acids – are actually really good for you, so maybe try to incorporate those into your diet. For more information on good oils, see here.
39. Get Lean
Studies have shown that the more lean muscle you have, the easier burning calories becomes. How do you get more lean muscle? Well, one way is through weight (resistance) training, so maybe put a session into your fitness routine if you haven’t already.
40. Exercise Portion Control
Most of us eat more than we need to each day, purely because the food is there and we put it on our plate. Try reducing what you eat by simply exerting a bit of control and not piling your plate high at each mealtime. Nutrient-rich foods in smaller quantities will help you in burning calories and achieving your ideal weight.
If you struggle with limiting your food intake then take a look at portion control plates. Many healthy eaters have reported success in controlling both appetite and portions with the help of these nifty dishes.
To read Part 1 of our feature on 40 Tips for Burning Calories in Daily Life, you can click here.