Monday, February 27, 2012

10 Easy Ways to Burn 500 Extra Calories a Day

There are 3,500 calories in a pound. Burning or cutting out an extra 500 calories a day can give you a pound of week of weight loss, and this could be on top of what you're already putting in with your exercise! Here are some simple ways that don't take much extra thought to help accelerate your goals.

  1. Hold off on seconds. At least for about twenty minutes after you've eaten, if you're still feeling hungry, give your body just a few extra minutes to register that feeling of fullness. This is one that I'm guilty of a little too often, and giving myself a few minutes to sit or watch television would probably give my body the extra time it needs to settle and begin to digest.
  2. Fidget. Studies have shown that people who fidget can burn an extra 200-300 calories a day. So tap your foot, fingers, and move around just a little more!
  3. Have eggs in the morning. Eggs are a nearly whole and perfect food. The hunger-fighting protein in the eggs should keep you from indulging in a mid-morning snack.
  4. Make simple swaps. If you're trying to eat healthy but you still want your slightly less healthy favorites consider swapping them out for something similar. Like eggs for egg whites, bagels for English muffins, or whole wheat pasta instead of regular.
  5. Walk and talk. Whenever I talk to someone on the phone I make a point to move around if possible. A little extra walking throughout the day can burn about 200 calories.
  6. Get your sleep. When you don't get enough sleep your body triggers the production of grehlin, which is the hormone that makes us hungry. Studies show that people who get less than six hours of sleep consume an extra 300 calories a day!
  7. Watch your toppings. You may think you are making a healthy choice with something like a salad, but be careful what you put on it. Croutons, creamy dressings, cheeses, and other toppings can quickly give your salad more calories than a cheeseburger! Using simple dressings like a balsamic vinaigrette will keep your choice a healthy one.
  8. Downsize your plates. Now I'm not sure if this one works or not. I do generally eat on smaller plates, but I also eat several small meals a day as opposed to a few larger ones. However, the visual of seeing a fuller smaller plate instead of a less full larger one will stimulate your visual sense to think you are eating more than you are actually, causing you to feel fuller with less food.
  9. Make dessert an event. This is one that I definitely do often. When I am going to have a treat I prepare it nicely and put it onto a nice plate to sit down and enjoy. Instead of eating it standing in the kitchen or quickly without a plate or bowl. Making the dessert more like a mini-meal will make you feel more satisfied by the treat. This is a lot like what they do in restaurants, which is why most people don't finish their restaurant desserts.
  10. Stand and work. This is another one that I have been doing a lot of. As a student I get a lot of homework and sitting for hours on end to work is not ideal. So I created a little workspace in my dining area on a counter that is a good height for me to work on. Standing can burn up to an extra 500 calories a day versus the same time you would have spent sitting.

Do you do little things throughout your day to get a bit of an extra burn? Let me know in the comments if you have anything you would add to this list.


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