With the new year comes an influx of resolutions to lose weight, along with the often unachievable diets to help you reach your goals.
But while we all start out with the best intentions, rarely are such approaches successful.
However if you’re keen to focus on your health, perhaps a much smarter way of thinking about weight control is to consider the ways in which we can burn more calories on a daily basis.
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Weight gain in recent times often comes not because we are eating more, but we are moving a whole lot less.
So to help turn this around in 2019, here are some easy ways to boost your daily calorie burn by as much as 500 calories each day.
Invest in a standing desk
For many of us, long gone are the days when we work 9-5pm. Longer days at work, with much time spent sitting, means that we are burning fewer and fewer calories. If you consider that simply standing for some of your working day can burn as much as 50 extra calories per hour, investing in a standing desk is an easy way to burn hundreds of extra calories each week. You do not need to stand all of the time, but even 20 minutes each hour at work will really add up over time.
Switch to walking catch-ups
It may be a regular meeting that you take at work, or swapping your coffee date with a friend to a walk and coffee date, but scheduling active catch-ups is an easy way to factor more movement into your regular day minus the stress of adding in extra exercise.
Just a 20-minute walk will boost your calorie burn by at least 100 calories. If walking meetings are not your thing, committing to getting out each lunchtime and moving for at least 20 minutes is a good starting point.
Boost your protein intake at each meal
Compared to high fat and high carbohydrate foods, foods high in protein such as lean meat, eggs, fish and dairy foods require more calories to digest per equal volume of food. This means that you will burn more calories eating a piece of chicken breast and salad than you would a ham and cheese toasted sandwich.
For this reason basing each of your meals and snacks around whole, protein-rich foods will contribute to an estimated extra calorie burn of 20-30 calories per meal or up to 100-120 extra calories per day in total.
Give your heart rate a boost early
Exercising at high intensity is one of the easiest ways to give your metabolic rate, or the number of calories the body burns each day, a boost. You may have noticed that when you hit the gym early, you are much hungrier for the remainder of the day. This is a sign that your metabolism has been given a boost. As such, starting each day with a short burst of high intensity activity is an easy way to boost your daily calorie burning potential. Think 10-15 minutes of skipping, a few stair runs or a 20-30 interval run/walking session at the local gym or park to kickstart your day.
Drink cold water
Just as the body burns more energy keeping the body temperature stable in cold conditions, so too does it have to work harder when we expose it to cold liquids and foods. One study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism found that participants who consumed six to eight glasses of ice cold water each day resulted in study participants burning up to 100 extra calories. While this was a one-off study, it does suggest that there is a calorie-burning benefit when we drink cold beverages — and when it comes to boosting our daily calorie burn, every little bit helps.
Susie Burrell is a nutritionist. Follow her on Twitter: @SusieBDiet
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