Simple Daily Tweaks to Help You Burn More Calories
Author: Jillian Foster
It’s no secret that a good workout will help you burn calories, however there are other little changes you can make each day that will help you torch even more. Here are our top 10 simple daily tweaks to help you burn more calories.
Fill your plate with high fibre foods, particularly soluble fibre. In addition to reducing your appetite, leading to less calorie consumption, soluble fibre produces short-chain fatty acids through a fermentation process during digestion in the gut. This increases the rate of fat burning and decreases fat storage, reducing overall belly fat. Soluble fibre can be found in flaxseeds, sweet potatoes, apricots, oranges, Brussels sprouts, legumes and oatmeal.
Increase your protein
Not only does protein keep you feeling fuller for longer, stabilise your blood sugar levels to reduce cravings and decrease late night snacking; it also has a thermic effect meaning the process of digesting and metabolising the protein you have just eaten burns up to 30% of the protein calories. High protein intake has also been shown to boost metabolism and increase the amount of calories you burn per day.
Drinking water can increase the amount of calories you burn. Studies have shown drinking 500mL of water leads to an extra 23 calories burned. Drinking cold water will further accentuate this as the body burns calories to warm the water up to body temperature. Drinking water before a meal will also suppress your appetite which can lead to weight loss.
Address food intolerances
Intolerances to certain foods can cause inflammation and water retention in the body. Addressing these intolerances can help the body burn calories more efficiently. Common foods for intolerance include gluten, wheat, dairy, eggs, nuts and soy. If you suspect food allergy or intolerance it is recommended to see your doctor about allergy testing or you could start with a food diary to assess reactions to certain foods.
It’s important to work towards a daily goal of 10,000 steps. It does seem like a lot when you don’t incorporate many steps into your day which is why including incidental exercise is vital. Park a little further away from the entrance to the supermarket, take the stairs instead of the lift, or get off the bus one stop earlier. Look for ways you can get some more steps in each day to get you closer to the goal.
Sip green tea
Compounds within green tea have been shown to boost metabolism and increase your fat burning potential. In addition to this drinking green tea can help curb your appetite plus it has some wonderful antioxidant properties.
Whilst this term may conjure images of scoffing potato chips whilst running on a treadmill, it is actually the latest exercise craze that involves doing short bursts of exercise throughout the day. If you are time poor and struggle fitting an hour long workout in each day, then exercise snacking is just the ticket you need. Some research is showing that this way of exercising can provide many health benefits including burning calories. Some ways to include exercise snacking in your day:
- Squats while you brush your teeth
- Calf raises whilst you’re cooking dinner
- Ab crunches whilst watching t.v.
- Plank whilst you wait for your toast to cook
- Sprint to and from the letterbox to collect your mail
- Jumping jacks whilst heating your lunch in the microwave
Go to bed earlier
We could all do with a little more shut eye and if you want to burn more calories then it should become a priority. Poor sleep has been shown to increase the likelihood of obesity; it increases appetite and makes it harder to resist unhealthy foods. In fact, the reward centres of the brain become more stimulated by food when you are sleep deprived. Poor sleep lowers your resting metabolic rate (RMR), meaning you will be burning less calories at rest and it can also cause muscle loss – muscle burns more calories at rest then fat further decreasing your resting metabolic rate.
Add spices to your meals
Of course diet plays a huge role in weight loss and your calorie burning potential. By adding in a few tasty spices you could ramp up the burn even more! Cayenne pepper contains a constituent called capsaicin which gives this spice its heat. Capsaicin can help boost metabolism and reduce hunger. Ginger can help increase metabolism and reduce spikes in blood sugar as can cinnamon and cumin. Other great calorie burning spices include red chilli, turmeric, cardamom, black pepper and fenugreek. Get familiar with your spice cabinet and you might even discover some new flavour additions to your favourite meals.
Exposure to cold temperatures has been shown to stimulate the production of brown fat (the good fat we need more of to burn white fat) and in turn increase fat burning. All you need is to stay in 19°C for 2 hours to start burning those calories.
- Boschmann M. Steiniger J. Hille U. et al. 2003. Water-induced thermogenesis. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2003 Dec;88(12):6015-9.
- Boschmann M. Steiniger J. Franke G. et al. 2007. Water drinking induces thermogenesis through osmosensitive mechanisms. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2007 Aug;92(8):3334-7.
- Bray G.A. Redman L.M. et al. 2015. Effect of protein overfeeding on energy expenditure measured in a metabolic chamber. Am J Clin Nutr. 2015 Mar;101(3): 496-505.
- Johnston C.S. Day C.S. Swan P.D. 2002. Postprandial thermogenesis is increased 100% on a high-protein, low-fat diet versus a high-carbohydrate, low-fat diet in health, young women. J Am Coll Nutr. 2002 Feb; 21(1): 55-61.
- Nedeltcheva A.V. Kilkis J.M. et al. 2010. Inusfficient Sleep Undermines Dietary Efforts to Reduce Adiposity. Ann Intern Med. 2010;153(7):435-441.
- Stookey J.D. Constant F. Popkin B.M. Gardner C.D. 2008. Drinking water is associated with weight loss in overweight dieting women independent of diet and activity. Obesity (Silver Spring) 2008 Nov;16(11):2481-8.
- Veidhorst M.A. Westerterp-Plantenga M.S. Westerterp K.R. 2009. Glucogenesis and energy expenditure after a high-protein, carbohydrate-free diet. Am J Clin Nutr 2009 Sep;90(3): 519-26.
- Veidhorst M.A. Westerterp K.R. et al. 2010. Presence or absence of carbohydrates and the proportion of fat in a high-protein diet affect appetite suppression but not energy expenditure in normal-weight human subjects fed in energy balance. Br J Nutr 2010 Nov;104(9): 1395-405.
- Vij V.A. Joshi A.S. 2013. Effect of water induced thermogenesis on body weight, body mass index and body composition of overweight subjects. J Clin Diagn Res 2013 Sep;7(9):1894-6.
- Vij V.A. Joshi A.S. 2014. Effect of excessive water intake on body weight, body mass index, body fat, and appetite of overweight female participants. J Nat Sci Boil Med 2014 Jul;5(2):340-4.
- Westerterp K.R. 2004. Diet induced thermogenesis. Nutr Metab (Lond). 2004; 1: 5.
- Whitehead J.M. Mc Neill G. Smith J.S. 1996. The effect of protein intake on 24-h energy expenditure during energy restriction. Int J Obes Relat Metab Discord. 1996 Aug;20(8): 727-32.
- Yoneshiro T, Aita S, Matsushita M, et al. 2013. Recruited brown adipose tissue as an antiobesity agent in humans. J Clin Invest. 2013;123(8):3404–3408.
|Written by Jillian Foster|
Jillian (BHSc Naturopathy) is a qualified naturopath who believes through a healthy and balanced diet and lifestyle, we have the power to influence our health and the health of future generations. With a passion for herbal medicine, Jillian loves helping people find the right solution for their health needs and educating people on how they can lead a healthy and happy life.
Jillian enjoys keeping active with her two young children and baking them delicious and healthy treats.