The most basic way to lose weight is to slash calories. But how many do you really have to cut or burn to see results? It’s simple: You can drop a pound a week by trimming 500 calories each day. If burning more calories is something you’re interested in doing, there are a handful of ways to energize your day. This can help you burn a few more calories than you normally would, and keep you fit all the time.
Move your body
Movement is critical. This trick may seem obvious, but when you have a ton of work to grind out at your desk, it’s easy to forget to get up and get moving. Being sedentary compresses your spines, stiffens your ligaments and joints, and tightens your muscles.
Sitting too much slows your metabolism, even if you’re exercising regularly. An easy fix is to stretch, stroll, and fidget throughout the day. If you take advantage of every opportunity to walk and climb stairs, it can make a big difference. Try striding around your house or office when you’re on the phone, standing up at your desk whenever you can, and walking to your coworker’s cube instead of e-mailing.
Plus, moving around, even just a little bit, will help you burn more calories throughout your day. Here is a great way to remember to get up and get some exercise – set your phone to beep every hour or so to remind you to move around. Use these moments to go to the bathroom, take a meeting, or step out to grab some lunch.
Staying hydrated is important for a lot of reasons, and one of those reasons is that it helps keep your metabolism working properly. A healthy metabolism is essential if you’re trying to lose weight and burn calories. Keep a water bottle at your desk to fill up on throughout the day and getting up to refill your bottle will get you moving, too.
Rehydrating in the morning may also keep you from eating too much throughout the day. Morning dehydration can often be understood as hunger, so drink 2 to 3 glasses of water before eating in the morning.
Exercise more often
Working out is the number-one way to burn more calories. Do three days of aerobic activity and two days of weight lifting. Aerobic intervals will help you maximize your burn, doubling the number of calories you torch during a workout. Intervals also keep your metabolic rate higher than a steady-pace routine does for as long as an hour after you stop exercising.
The ideal metabolism-boosting interval routine is to “go hard for a couple of minutes, then take it down to an easier pace for a minute or two, and keep alternating like that throughout your workout. To many women steer clear of weight machines, fearing that they’ll bulk up.
Add five pounds of muscle to your body and you can zap as many as 600 calories an hour during your workout. Be sure to choose a weight-lifting routine that targets your core, legs, arms, chest, and shoulders; challenging numerous muscles will help your body function like a calorie-burning machine.
Use your arms
If you watch people while they’re walking, they’re arms are usually just hanging at their torso, not moving at all (or they are holding a phone and texting.) This is a missed opportunity, simply moving your arms a bit more while walking will help you burn a few more calories because you’re engaging more muscles.
You can increase your arms natural sway, or lift your arms up over your head or out laterally to your sides. Do whatever makes you feel comfortable.
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