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7 Easy Things You Can Do to Burn More Calories

Updated on May 9, 2017

One simple fact of life is that, if you want to lose weight, you have to burn calories. Unfortunately, not everyone has the time or ability to hit the gym for an hour a day five days a week. Even if you do have a chance to exercise you may not be getting the results you want as fast as you would like. Apart from eating healthier and exercising you would think that there is not a lot more that you could be doing. There are a few things that you can do that only take a couple of minutes a day to burn extra calories and instill healthier habits.

Park Far Away

Obviously, you are going to need to give yourself a few extra minutes, but it is entirely worth it. We live in a time when it seems like everyone is checking their wrists every few minutes to see if they have reached their steps. One way to make sure that you can get those steps in and burn extra calories is to park in the back of the lot wherever you go. Those extra steps will add up quickly, and you would be surprised at how many extra calories you will be burning every day. An added benefit is more fresh air and sun which are also important to our health. Also, if you are running late you will be forced to walk faster and in turn burn more calories.

Change Your Desk Habits

This is a bit of a blanket statement because there are a few ways you can do this depending on your workspace and rules. One of the most popular ways people are changing their desk habits is to switch out their old office chairs with an exercise ball. Sitting on these balls all day force you to keep your back and abdominal muscles flexed throughout the day which will continuously burn calories, but also improves posture.

Some experts believe that sitting, even on an exercise ball, is leading to adverse health effects. Another option that you may have is a standing desk. There is nothing incredibly different about this desk other than it is higher so you can use it while standing. Standing throughout the day causes the biggest muscles in your body to continue working and burning calories throughout the day as well as improving posture and blood flow.

If you have a maximum amount of flexibility with your desk situation you can even find exercise bikes and treadmills that have built in desk that allow you to workout while you work. There is no better way to burn calories than to exercise and being able to exercise and work at the same time is the perfect solution for many busy professionals.

Anytime Squats

A lot of time people just don't think about the fact that exercise can be done in mear seconds. Make it a habit to hit at least 100 squats a day by doing ten at a time. Alone in the elevator? 100 squats. Get up to get a drink? 100 squats. You get the idea. This isn't enough exercise at one time to work up a sweat, but it is going to register with your legs by the end of the day. You may find yourself feeling sore the first week you do this. This isn't a replacement for a full workout, but it is a nice calorie burning boost throughout the day.

Take the Stairs

This is an oldy but a goodie when it comes to burning extra calories. The thing is that it is more relevant now than it was when the idea became novel in the 90s. We live a time when gyms have escalators outside of them, and people would rather wait a few minutes for the next elevator than to take the stairs to their destination. Taking the stairs does some wonderful things for your body including burning calories, working those muscles, and even strengthening the cardiovascular system. Just taking the stairs to work every day could make a huge difference in your physic depending on what floor you work on. It doesn't only have to be at the office either, take more trips to the laundry room and back to hit those steps more often.

Sleep Cold

Burning calories while you sleep sounds like a dream right? Wrong! The truth is that we are always burning some calories even when we are sleeping. Some studies suggest that we burn more calories while we are asleep than we do when we are laying in bed awake thanks to the brain's activity during the REM cycle. Though like much science, the answers aren't clear cut here, there is a theory that sleeping in a cooler room will help you to burn more calories while you sleep. The idea

The idea behind this theory is that sleeping in a cooler room, let's say mid-60s Fahrenheit forces your body to work harder to increase your internal temperature. To do that, it needs to burn extra calories. Though this isn't a substitute for regular exercise, it could help the cause.

Spice Up Your Diet

This is another one that doesn't have a definitive answer, but it doesn't hurt to try. There have been studies that show that eating spicy foods will boost your metabolism and burn more calories. Almost every study agrees that spicier foods will burn more calories, what is in dispute is how long and how many extra calories are burned. The reigning theory is that eating spicier foods like curry and peppers will burn calories for a few hours after you eat them, but you are not looking at a massive overall change. Another study suggests that your body can get used to this metabolic tampering over time and it will burn even fewer calories.

Why add this to the list then? Like many other strategies on this list, it is not a replacement for exercise, and it doesn't hurt to try everything you can to boost the calorie burn. More importantly, peppers have plenty of other health benefits including vitamins and antioxidants that help your body run properly so even if you are not getting the intended calorie burn you are still helping yourself out.


A behavior that was once deemed troublesome is slowly becoming celebrated. As anyone with a junior high student right now and they will tell you that they are already sick of fidget spinners. Some people come by fidgeting naturally while others have to be taught.

I am a natural fidgeter so I have a few examples of how you can adapt or learn to burn more calories. One of the many things that I do, is to bounce my foot up and down constantly when I am sitting. It is a nervous tick of mine, but if it is something that you can train yourself to do you will definitley burn more calories per hour. Another thing I do is "play drums" with my thumb on my knee; not always appropriate, but if you are by yourself it is a great way to fidget away some extra calories.

None of these things are a replacement for regular exercise. Regular exercise builds muscle which will continuously burn calories throughout the day. The more muscle you have, the more calories that you will burn even when you are at rest. Adding in any or all of these seven tricks will help to burn just a little extra every day. Don't forget that the conventional wisdom is that to burn one pound of fat you must burn an additional 3,500 above the number of calories you take in.


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