The 30 easiest ways to burn more calories:
- Reach for water before you reach for a snack. It’s the cheapest, safest appetite suppressant there is.
- Keep the cupboards bare. You’ll save both money and temptation. By cutting back on the amount of food choices you have around, there will be less impulse snacking.
- Do something inspiring. A cheap incentive is sticking a picture of a dress you’d really love to wear where it will motivate you. For those with a wild side, get your belly button pierced.
- Use spices liberally. Ginger, cayenne, jalapeno peppers and Tabasco sauce can boost your fat-burning ability by up to 25%, according to a researcher at Kyoto University in Japan.
- Sleep for weight loss. Getting enough sleep does more than keep you from eating for energy. The University of Chicago recently found that a woman’s metabolism rises 40% when she gets enough sleep.
- Be a smart shopper. Have a list when you go to the supermarket to prevent impulse purchases. For extra exercise, leave your cart at the end of each aisle and carry what you need back to it.
- Follow the pros’ lead. To get fit fast, models cut out the ABCs — alcohol, bread, and complex carbohydrates.
- Beat nighttime cravings. Researchers have found that dark rooms and the darkness of night make us more likely to overeat. Try scheduling your bedtime for an hour earlier. If you have a favorite program that you like to watch at night, tape it. Switch to brighter light bulbs for cheerier surroundings, you’ll be happier and less likely to binge.
- Always eat breakfast. It fuels you for the day and you’ll be less hungry at lunch.
- Snack right. A hard candy is only about 20 calories and can last up to twenty minutes. A 400-calorie ice cream cone never lasts more than ten minutes. Try these tasty treats that are less than 150 calories: two Oreo cookies, a McDonald’s Ice Cream Cone, a half cup of Italian Ice, a Starbucks Frappuccino Ice Cream Bar, Jell-o with whipped cream, angel food cake with strawberries, a Fudgsicle.
- Listen to feel-good music when you have the urge to binge. Researchers have found that it activates the same feel-good center of the brain that eating your favorite foods does.
- Don’t eat unless you’ve made a place setting.
- Drink green tea. A study conducted by the University of Switzerland discovered that drinking green tea increases the number of calories your body burns. Try to drink three cups a day.
- Concentrate on what you’re eating. Keep food out of sight while you’re watching TV, reading, studying or answering email.
- Get out. Try to spend twenty minutes a day sitting outside or taking a walk or, at the very least, sit by a sunny window. Sunlight helps to control food cravings.
- Eat healthy at the mall. Order a kid’s meal or a salad without heavy dressing. Have a yogurt for a quick pick-me-up.
- Get minty fresh. Brush your teeth and tongue with the best-tasting toothpaste you can find. Use mouthwash and breath mints to trick your taste buds.
- Watch your portions. Just because you’re given a certain portion doesn’t mean that amount is what your body needs. Eat only until you’re comfortably full. A little left on your plate each day adds up to a long-term decrease in calories.
- Give up one bad eating habit. For example, if you eat in front of the TV or in bed, move your meal to the kitchen table.
- Don’t be too hard on yourself. If you have a diet plan that’s too low in calories for your weight and energy level, you’ll slow down your metabolism as your body attempts to conserve calories. Don’t dip below 1,200 calories or aim for more than a one- to two- pound weight loss per week.
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
- Dance in your car. While you’re stuck in traffic, work your abs. Concentrate on your rib cage — pretend you’re an exotic dancer and swirl around. Not only will you see your waist whittle and your abs harden, you’ll release lower back tension.
- Buy a jump rope. It’s great exercise, and even more fun if you can remember all the rhymes you jumped to as a kid. You’ll get your heart rate up and work the muscles in your upper and lower body, especially the stomach if you contract your abs while jumping.
- Work your butt. When you’re in the car or standing in line, contract your buttocks for fifteen second intervals. Tighten your muscles as you breathe in and then breathe out and release. It not only firms your butt, but relieves stress.
- Act goofy. Even if you’re too busy for the gym, you can still do cardio. Put on a pair of socks and slide around the house like a skater. You’ll burn 150 calories in just ten minutes.
- Get some free weights. It’s all you need to start a strength-training regimen.
- Take two steps at a time when you climb stairs. Skipping a step will force your leg and buttocks muscles to extend and work harder. Plus, this movement releases endorphins that will make you feel great!
- Do yard work. Pull some weeds, dig holes and rake your lawn. Gardening just one hour can burn up to 500 calories.
- Rent or buy some exercise videos. It’s like having a health club in the privacy of your own room.
- Burn calories while doing housework. Do several chores at one time. For instance, make the bed, put laundry in the dryer, run upstairs to fold clean clothes and put them away. When you’re making the beds, keep your shoulders back and pretend you have a book on your head. While you’re dusting, roll up on the balls of your feet to work your calves.
Health and Happiness,