This post combines the Art and Science of Calorie-burning. The common science behind how your body burns calories is more or less not in our control, but if we combine this known science with a few tricks then your metabolism can get a real boost.
How would you like to supercharge your metabolism and lose many more pounds per month?
How would you like to burn calories all day long, even when you’re working at your desk or resting?
We know you would be supercharged to know how this is where we can help you.
In this mega post we are going to teach you how to:
- Get fit and burn calories while you work at your desk
- Reduce the calories in cheese and other favorite foods
- Lose pounds even if you have a baby to look after
- Burn the most calories possible by super charging your workouts
- Use superfoods to heal a sluggish metabolism
- Sip your way to a leaner body
- Face holiday meals and buffets without fear
Yes! it’s true you can burn calories all around the clock by using the tips presented below.
Ready to feel the burn?
1. Replace Butter or Margarine
Butter and margarine have high saturated fat and trans fat content, their calorific values are also high. Luckily, you can be innovative and use the below heart friendly alternatives.
1. Olive Oil is a great savory substitute. Buy a flavored olive oil (like roasted garlic or red pepper), pour it into an air-tight tub, and refrigerate it overnight. The next day it will have a margarine-like consistency which can be spread on bread.
2. Vegan spreads like Hummus (made from chickpeas) and Tahini (sesame seed paste) are edible and delicious substitutes. These are available in packaged form in stores too.
3. For sugary-treats, replace butter with Apple Sauce, mashed bananas, or fruit puree
Find out more such interesting healthy food replacements here.
2. Reduce the Fat Content in Cheese
Well who doesn’t love cheese, we all do. But cheese is high in saturated fat with high calorie content. Consuming too much of cheese leads to sever health issues like blocked arteries and other heart diseases.
If you do not want to give up cheese completely, try to reduce the amount of fat in your cheese by selecting products that are made from skimmed milk, 1% milk, or 2% milk. These cheese provide all the flavor with a fraction of the fat.
If you’d rather have full fat cheese in a recipe, try heating it up in the microwave and then draining of the oil. The oil is liquefied, and getting rid of some or all of it will reduce the fat content in the cheese.
Finally, if you have the time and inclination, you can make you own low-fat cheese at home. Agreed, it’s a time-consuming task, but with some research and training it can turn into your new hobby. Also, try this awesome healthy recipe with your new fat-reduced cheese.
3. Drink Water to Suppress Your Appetite
Water is must for weight loss, in fact drinking more than enough water is vital for a healthy life. Water is key to keep your metabolism in a good condition. If you drink enough water you will not feel bloated, constipated and nutrients from food that you ate will be better absorbed by your body.
Here is a good trick to suppress your appetite: Drink a glass of water before every meal. This will help your stomach feel fuller, faster. Water can also take the edge of your hunger, since thirst is often mistaken for hunger by the body.
Note: Drinking water during your meal usually hampers your digestion as dilutes your stomach acids, so try to drink excess water 15-20 minutes before you eat. If you gulp down a bottle of water, you might see you are no more hungry.
4. Smoking and Drinking Make You Fatter – so QUIT
Do not mistake with the myth that smoking curbs hunger, which is far from true. While it might do that temporarily, nicotine actually act as a stimulant. Instead of relaxing you, it puts more stress on your body. This triggers the release of the stress hormone, Cortisol.
The more you produce this stress hormone, your body encourages to store fat around the midsection, a particularly unhealthy place for extra pounds to accumulate.
Likewise, drinking alcoholic beverages can contribute to fat storage. The sugar is alcohol causes your body to release insulin, rapidly dropping your blood glucose level and making you hungrier. Over time, insulin resistance can occur.
Additionally, your body retains water to avoid dehydration leading to bloating and fat belly.
5. Be Cynical about “Low-fat Replacements”
You might think that reduce-fat foods are an excellent choice for dieters, but think again! Sometimes it’s better to go with the full-fat versions of your favorite foods.
Why? Because when you remove fat from a food, you remove a lost of its flavor. To replace that flavor, food manufacturers add quite a bit of sugar. Just check the nutrition label on low-fat foods, and you might be surprised by how high the carb count is. The high number comes from the added sugar. (Try these low-carb recipes instead)
To qualify for a reduced fat label, a product must contain 25% less fat than original. That’s not a lot, Sometimes it makes more diet sense to stick with the original and fore-go the extra sugar.
6. If You Can’t Give up Fast Food – Order a Kid’s Meal
Fast food is a big no-no for many dieters. Most of it contains too much fat, sugar, sodium, and artificial flavor enhancers to be remotely healthy. Plus, the serving sizes can be ridiculously large. And, we agree.
However, if you really don’t want to give up on fast food, then there are healthy ways to indulge in fast foods. But only if it is consumed occasionally.
Just replace the fried stuff with grilled or roasted stuff. So, no fried chicken but roasted chicken. Instead of fried sandwiches, look for grilled options packed with lettuce, tomatoes, and low-fat condiments.
It’s also a good idea to order off of the kid’s menu. Not only are the portions smaller, but you‟ll often find healthier side options (like fruit, yogurt, and 2% milk) than those offered with regular meals. Plus, you might get a toy – so win win!
7. Be Smart When Eating Out
You don’t need to give up your favorite restaurants just because you’re on a diet. All you have to do is learn how to dine out the smart way.
First, skip the bread basket. It’s far too easy to overindulged, and bread is dense in carbs and calories. Second, look for entrées that feature grilled fish or chicken, with steamed vegetables on the side.
Avoid sauces made from butter or cream, and ignore the deep-fried foods altogether. Such splurges are fine for special occasions, but if you eat them more than once a week, you might stall your weight loss.
Finally, be aware that most restaurant portion sizes are out of control. You can fight this by splitting an entrée, ordering an appetizer instead of an entrée, or boxing up half of your meal before you dig in.
8. Spice Up to Burn Calories
Eating spicy food is a great way to control your weight. Even though this is not backed by science and research still this is a fact that if you want to control over eating, the simple way is to make it spicy.
Certain spices are known to speed up your calorie burning rate, and boosts metabolism by as much as 50% for couple of hours.
The faster your metabolism, the more calories you will burn.
9. Add Protein to Your Veggies
Well, veggies are great and you should add them as much as possible in your diet. But if you choose to eat only veggie sandwich then you are most likely consuming a chunk of carbs which will burn pretty soon and you will crave for more in no time.
Better add few slices of salami or some shredded chicken, to counter the carb. If you are vegan, add roasted tofu or hummus.
Proteins are great as they burn slowly and also keeps your hunger in check. Plus they will give you the feeling of being full.
If you still want a 100% veggie sandwich, add some heart-healthy fats like avocado slices, 2% cheese slices, or olive oil to keep you satisfied.
10. Eat “Negative” Calorie Foods
Negative calorie foods are foods which are very low in calories and the body requires more calories to burn them, leading to a calorie deficit.
Negative calorie foods are great for weight loss target. They are high in fiber and water content keeping you satiated longer. Some easily available calorie foods include:
11. Boost Thermogenesis
Thermogenic foods and supplements speed up body’s metabolism, making it burn fat faster.
Eating lean proteins along with cruciferous vegetables (such as Broccoli, Cabbage, Brussels Sprouts, etc.) has another interesting benefit. It takes the body more calories to burn these foods i.e., it boosts the body’s thermogenesis.
The benefits of eating more thermogenic food is almost similar to an hour long steady-state cardio.
12. Fight Pot-belly
Belly fat is a double-edged sword. It poses many health risks and makes you look ugly too. Control your carbs, as excess of carbs leads to bloating and leads to insulin resistance.
If you replace red meat with lean proteins, eat lots of fibrous fruits and vegetable then this simple change can reduce your belly to great extent. Additionally, stop eating carb based snacks, and replace it with healthy nuts like almonds, they are nutrient packed and will keep you full for longer duration.
Also, never be comfortable with a pot belly. It is the first sign of obesity and can often prove to be a point of no return. As soon as you see belly starting to bloat; take immediate action (such as fasting or exercise) to negate it.
13. Heal Your Metabolism
If you fail to lose weight even after multiple diets or keep putting on fat for no apparent reason, you might be struggling with genetically slow metabolism. Good news is you can boost it by making smart choices.
To gear up your slow metabolism, stop eating 3 large meals and eat small meals at small intervals. Always keep your calorie count under control because clearly your body can not process excess calories.
Note. Do not forget to drink plenty of water, it will keep your kidneys from becoming overburdened and prevent them from calling on to liver for help.
If your liver is doubling up as your filtration unit, then it is compromising on its primary function that is metabolizing fat. So, stay hydrated. 13 ways to boost your metabolism today!
14. The Fastest Way to Lose Weight is to FAST
Fasting is a great way to lose the water weight you carry around. Additionally, it is a proven way to cleanse your body of toxins and junk. Appropriate fasting can help in speeding up your metabolism and improve the health of your liver and kidneys.
There are multitude of fasting techniques that you might choose to employ such as intermittent fasting, juice fast, water fast etc. Pick the one that suits you most and do it for at least once a week or thrice a month.
Ancient monks and priests in eastern civilizations used fasting as a means to stay healthy and live long.
15. Refrain From Trans Fat
Trans Fat is everywhere, even in foods you won’t ever suspect. Trans Fat clogs your arteries and increases bad cholesterol. Trans fat is the homogeneous fat mostly found in hydrogenated oils like palm oil. Most snacks available in the market are made from cheap palm oil.
So the easiest way to reduce trans-fat consumption is to simply avoid all packed snacks. Read food labels carefully while buying packed foods and avoid any food that contains trans fat.
16. Cut Down on Desserts
Desserts are not only sugar loaded, they are very high in calories plus they are addictive. But we understand that giving up your favorite desserts completely can be hard. So, try to reduce their intake by reducing frequency and portion size.
Additionally, you may replace them with low-calorie desserts that taste just as well but don’t cause much harm.
17. When it Comes to Fruits – Go Low-glycemic
Along with vegetables, fruits are one of the healthiest foods you can eat. But some fruits are high in sugar and may lead to unprecedented glucose fluctuations, excessive hunger, and persistent sugar cravings.
To limit sugar intake, go for low-glycemic fruits. They contain extremely low sugar and don’t impact the production of insulin constraining hunger.
Following is the list of low to moderate glycemic fruits:
While, you are at it, try to avoid the following high glycemic fruits:
Apple also has moderate sugar but because it is high on fiber, it is a healthy choice.
18. “Sugar-free” and “Fat-free” Doesn’t Work
If you’re on a diet, it makes sense to eat sugar-free or fat-free foods, right? Wrong. These foods can prove to be just as bad for you as their regular counterparts.
Well, firstly let’s look at sugar-free foods. Food companies know that you are addicted to the sugary taste, so they replace the sugar content with artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, saccharine, or sucralose.
Well these chemicals might actually not have sugar but they taste so sweet that they trigger the body to produce insulin, a chemical that regulates blood glucose levels. But, since the food lacks sugar, the insulin is left to no use. So, it simply drives hunger and causes lethargy. Result? Higher appetite and a build-up of resistance to excess insulin eventually leading to diabetes.
A similar thing happens with “Fat-free” foods. To make sure that the foods don’t lose their taste, food companies replace the fat with extra sugar and Monosodium Glutamate (MSGs). The extra sugar and MSG can raise the body’s blood sugar to unhealthy levels. Additionally, such foods get processed very quickly by the body in the absence of fat, making you hungry again in short time.
19. Don’t Go Crazy At Buffets
All you can eat buffets are the nightmare for a person on diet. A dozen delicious options with unlimited quantities can be extremely tempting and more often than not leave you vulnerable to many extra calories.
Well you need not avoid the buffets if you can only make a few smart choices:
- Fill up on fruits and water before the buffet to reduce your appetite by half in a healthy way
- Skip the bread basket and head straight to the salad section. Only choose a low-calorie dressing.
- Follow it up with a small portion of broth-based soup to further reduce your appetite
- Focus on lean protein that too grilled or roasted. Avoid the fried or breaded sections.
- In dessert go for a half-cup of frozen yogurt. (Stay away from ice-cream or pastries)
20. The Power of Mini-Meals
Your metabolism is a machine created to classify food into energy and stored fat, and it is supposed to work all day long. But, by limiting the work to only three times (or meals) a day, you make the body work harder than usual. It creates spikes of high work followed by periods of low work, which can reduce its efficiency.
A better way to improve your metabolism is to have multiple mini-meals throughout the day. To improve the body’s metabolic efficiency, keep eating mini-meals every 2-3 hours.
Mini-meals, by definition, mean that you don’t fill yourself up entirely at every meal. Instead just eat enough to get you through the next couple of hours and then go again.
For maximum results, engage in some cardio exercise and plenty of water to keep liver in top form, and you’ve got yourself a masterful recipe for weight loss.
21. Build More Lean Muscles
The body needs protein to create and nourish lean muscles. These muscles burn calories when they are idle or at rest. So, the more lean muscle you have, the more calories you’ll burn.
However, vegans, especially women, miss out on this important building block of the body in their diet. So, make sure to add more protein in your diet. You can develop large amount of lean muscle without getting bulky!
22. Make Exercising Fun: Mix it Up
Exercising doesn’t have to be boring or require a large amount of effort, if only you can mix it up and try different forms every now and then. The good news is that there are plethora of options to choose from.
You may try some of the following high-calorie burning exercises are some of the most powerful exercises:
- Running at 8 miles per hour (986 calories per hour)
- Rollerblading (913 calories per hour)
- Tae Kwon Do or Jumping Rope (713 calories per hour)
- Stair Treadmill (657 calories per hour)
- Basketball, Jogging, or Singles Tennis (584 calories per hour)
- Punching a bag for (400 calories per hour)
- Football (550 calories per hour)
- Horseback riding (270 calories per hour)
- Jumping ropes (>700 calories per hour)
Note: The calculations are for a 150-160 pound person as per Mayo Clinic. If you weigh more, you will end up burning even more calories.
23. Do the 3-2-1 Workout
Running is possibly the best workout for the entire body. It requires no equipment, just a pair of running shoes and some open space and you are good to. For a 160 lbs individual, running at 12 kmph or 8 mph can help you burn around thousand calories within an hour. (check out how much calories you’ll burn here).
However, running for long stretches can be extremely difficult if you don’t have practice or simply the stamina. So, you can try the extremely effective 3-2-1 workout to burn as much calories while you steadily build up your stamina. In fact, you might burn more calories than simply running because the body gets used to the pace of workout after a while.
In the 3-2-1 workout, you are supposed to brisk walk for 3 minutes, then jog for 2 minutes, and then sprint for a minute. Repeat this cycle for at least 10 times to get maximum results.
The fluctuating workout rhythm will burn more calories while reducing the body’s stamina requirements by keeping it guessing and not allowing it to settle to a pace.
24. Say Namaste to Yoga
Want to get the combined benefits of stretching, meditation, and workout all clubbed in one form? Then try Yoga.
Starting the day with even 15 minutes of Yoga every morning can yield extremely beneficial results within a few weeks. It helps in improving the body’s metabolism, alleviate sore muscles, and helps in burning extra calories.
Begin your day with 5 mins of breathing yoga aasanas (to clear the mind and reduce stress) followed by 5 mins of stretching aasanas for the neck, back, shoulder, arms and legs. The last 5 minutes should be used to work more challenging aasanas that target fats at abdomen and lower body.
25. Use Confusion to Burn More Calories
The law of diminishing rewards kicks when you start exercising the same muscle group over and over. Your body gets accustomed to repeated exercise and it just doesn’t yield the same results. Thereby, it is important that you keep the body confused by regularly changing the muscle group you exercise each day to burn maximum calories.
For example, you may chose to work your arms on Mondays, legs on Wednesdays, and Core on Fridays with regular cardio in-between. This will not only allow your body to burn extra calories but also give your body extra time to develop and repair damaged tissues.
26. Include these Simple Exercises While Running Errands
Take a stock of all the time you spend stuck in traffic, waiting in queues at the grocery stories, and sitting at your desk? That’s a lot of time that could have been used for workout and weight loss instead. But, these are unavoidable circumstances and part and parcel of the modern urban life.
So, the next time you find yourself in these situations, do these simple exercises to make sure you keep burning calories throughout the day:
- When you’re sitting (e.g., while driving or at the desk): Sit up straight and clench your stomach until your belly-button is completely tucked-in. Hold this pose for 10 seconds and then release. Repeat as many times as you can.
- When you’re standing (e.e., waiting in lines or waiting for cabs): Stand straight and clench your glutes hard. It is a great exercise to tone your back. And, don’t worry no one will be able to figure out that you’re squeezing your butt. Hold the pose for at least 10 seconds and repeat as often as you can.
Increase the duration of the poses as you go along.
27. Know Your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR)
Knowing how much calories your body needs is critical when it comes to weight loss. People often go overboard with checking calories and either over-do or under-do their efforts that provide diminished results and can even lead to other health issues.
To check how much calories your body needs to lose, maintain or gain can be calculated using the following simple calculation:
- To lose weight: Eat 12 to 13 calories per pound of your body weight
- To maintain weight: Eat 15 to 16 calories per pound
- To gain weight: Eat 18 to 19 calories per pound.
Note: The figures might vary according to gender, age, medical conditions and activity level. You can try more elaborate BMR calculators online such as the IIFYM BMR Calculator.
28. Workout At The Target Heart Rate
To make sure you are getting maximum results from your workout, you need to ensure that you target the right heart-rate. According to the American Heart Association, your target heart-rate should be anywhere between 150-185% of your regular heart rate at steady state.
However, keeping a mathematical check especially when you’re working out is extremely difficult. Instead use the simple benchmark as mentioned below:
- If you can sing while you workout, you need to raise your pace
- If you can talk but with gasps, then you’re in good pace
- If you have to struggle to speak, you’re probably overdoing it
29. Burn Calories While You Work
Most of modern-day work requires people to sit at their desks staring at the computer screen for long hours which leads to very little workout. But, you can employ simple tricks to make sure you continue to burn calories even when you are sitting at your desk.
Next time you are working try these simple tricks:
- Stretch your arms, shoulders, and neck every hour while sitting. It can help you burn hundreds of calories throughout the day.
- Chew a gum and burn a dozen calories every hour.
- Fit a small exercise bike under your desk that allows you to burn a couple of hundred calories per hour.
- Work on a standing desk to burn at least a few hundred extra calories every day
30. Go Green-Tea
One of the most sought-after and popular weight loss methods is to replace your daily intake of coffee and cola beverages with green tea. Green tea is filled with anti-oxidants that eliminate toxins in the body and boosts your metabolism.
According to a study conducted by Swiss researches, simply drinking green tea 2-3 times a day can help you burn an extra 60 calories in the day!
Additionally, this will help you reduce the intake of sugar and calories from your regular beverages.