Do you know how many extra calories you can burn with simple changes to your lifestyle? It turns out that you don’t have to go to the gym to burn more calories and lose weight. The little things you do during the day make a big difference in your metabolism. Use these tips to change your daily routine, boost your calorie burn and lose weight without exercise.
Use NEAT to Burn More Calories
If you want to burn more calories all day long, experts will tell you to increase your NEAT, or non-exercise activity thermogenesis. This is a fancy term for all of the movement you do that is not vigorous enough to be called a workout. According to researchers at the Mayo Clinic, NEAT could play a major role in whether or not you lose or gain weight. And it may affect your risk for obesity.
So, how many calories can your NEAT burn? It varies, but the number could be significant. According to one study, because everyone’s activity level is so different, calories burned from NEAT can vary from person to person by up to 2000 calories per day.
So how do you take advantage of this calorie-burning benefit? Start with these small changes or get creative and try some of your own ideas.
5 Ways to Burn Calories Without Exercise
1 Burn more calories at the office.
Having a sedentary job isn’t a direct cause of obesity, but sitting for extended periods could become a cause of weight gain in some people. The American Heart Association reported that “obese individuals appear to exhibit an innate tendency to be seated for 2.5 hours per day more than sedentary lean counterparts.” Researchers estimated that if obese individuals could adopt the NEAT habits of their lean counterparts, they could burn an additional 350 calories per day.
If you have a desk job, get up and move for at least 15 minutes every hour. Take a walk to the restroom, go to the water cooler, run an errand, take the stairs instead of the elevator or do your filing from a standing rather than seated position. Grab a few co-workers and make increasing your NEAT part of a healthy-office routine.
2 Burn more calories while you relax.
How many hours will you spend in front of the television tonight? You can burn extra calories by simply adding some light activity to your TV viewing and relaxation time. Fold laundry, dust furniture or sweep the floor while you watch television. Not only will the activity boost your caloric expenditure, but you will eat less in front of the television if your hands are busy.
You can even burn calories during other leisure activities. If you like to talk on the phone, walk around during your chat instead of sitting down. And try to limit entertainment-related computer time to 15-minute intervals.
3 Burn more calories with the kids.
Teaching your children to increase their daily activity may save them from weight gain in the future. And it will help you, too! If you want to slim down without exercise, find ways to increase your walking time during the day. Walk the kids to school or to the bus stop. If you drive them, choose a parking spot at the back of the lot and use those extra steps to chat with them about their day. And parents, if you are tempted to scold your kids for fidgeting, you might want to think twice. According to research published in the Journal of Clinical Nutrition, fidgeting is a common form of NEAT and can contribute to a healthy metabolism.
4 Burn more calories with daily chores.
According to the activity tracker at CalorieCount.com, household chores can burn a few hundred calories per hour. The actual number depends on your size and gender. For example, a petite woman burns about 160 calories per hour doing moderate chores while a larger man would burn substantially more. But who would have thought that sweeping your floor could cause weight loss? Grab a mop and do a complete housecleaning workout to burn calories and tidy up at the same time. Once the cleaning is done, there are always organizational tasks that can help you improve your energy balance. Organize your closet, unpack boxes or clean the garage to increase your NEAT.
5 Burn more calories at social events.
How many times have you entered a party in a friend’s home and scanned the room for a comfy place to sit? The next time you go to a party, burn extra calories by becoming more social. Choose to stand or circle the room and talk to as many party goers as possible. Offer to help in the kitchen, take a tour of the garden or greet guests at the door to stay active. You’ll be the life of the party and increase your NEAT at the same time.
If you’re not sure how NEAT can make a difference, use an activity monitor to get track your daily movement. These tools can provide a general estimate of your daily calories burned both at the gym and in your home or workplace.