50 no-sweat ways to burn calories
Sleeping, chewing gum, fidgeting, can help you lose weight
The experts we consulted explain how to take every opportunity to flex your muscles, boost your heart rate, and eat foods that yield maximum fullness for minimal calories. Just don't tell anyone.
1. Take vitamin D
Women who were deficient in it lost weight more slowly in a study in the British Journal of Nutrition. Stephen Gullo, a weight-loss expert in New York City and author of "The Thin Commandments" (Rodale), recommends 2,000 milligrams daily.
2. Drink coffee
Studies have found that caffeine increases the rate at which you burn calories, according to Susan B. Roberts, author of "The 'I' Diet" (Workman) and a professor of nutrition and psychiatry at Tufts University in Boston.
3. Sleep more
Getting fewer than four hours of sleep over an extended period of time slows the metabolism. Experts recommend aiming for between seven and nine.
4. Do things by hand
Wash your dishes, vacuum, or cook dinner. "We consider it a luxury to have tasks done for us, but doing some of these for yourself takes considerable energy," says Slayton
5. Wear a basic pedometer
"Every week, aim to take a few more steps than you did the last week," says Wheelock.
6. Eat lightly and often
"For most people, the body uses up more energy digesting smaller meals every few hours than by eating the same number of calories in two or three sittings," says Chrissy Wellington, a nutritionist at Canyon Ranch in Lenox, Massachusetts.
7. Move briskly
"Walk like you're late for a meeting," says Gunnar Peterson, who trains Jennifer Lopez in Los Angeles.
"It burns up to 50 calories if you laugh for 10 to 15 minutes per day," says Adelino Da Costa, owner of Punch Fitness Center in New York City.
9. Eat breakfast
"You send your body a signal that you're not starving, so it starts burning fat — even when you're just doing normal activities," says Peterson. He suggests eating scrambled egg whites or oatmeal with fruit.
10. Time yourself
Spend the last five minutes of each hour (set your computer timer) up and moving around, says Kristin McGee, a New York City yoga and Pilates instructor.
11. Fill up on fiber
Low-carb, high-fiber foods take more time to digest than other foods, leaving you feeling fuller longer and less likely to snack, says Gullo. He suggests spinach, broccoli, asparagus, and cauliflower.
12. Go out of your way
At work, take the long way to the restroom — or even go up one flight of stairs.
You can burn up to 350 more calories a day than someone who remains stationary, according to a study at the Mayo Clinic. The impulse to fidget may be hardwired, but nonfidgeters can imitate it: Tap your feet, pace, or move restlessly in your seat.
14. Stash flats in your bag
"My clients aren't going to slip on sneakers to go home, but there is a happy medium," says Slayton. "You might not run a marathon in ballet slippers, but at least you can move quickly."
15. Don't eat late at night
It can interrupt sleep, according to Wellington, and may induce you to skip breakfast — bad for your metabolism.
16. Straighten up
"Good posture not only makes you look taller and leaner, but it strengthens your abdominal muscles," says Brooklyn Decker, the model on the cover of this year's Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue.
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