Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Wellness Wednesday! 50 Ways to Burn Calories

I found this great article in Allure magazine and thought I would post the first 10 and then continue over the upcoming weeks.

50 Ways to Burn Calories without breaking a sweat

Boot camps, juice fasts, 6am kickboxing--sure, they all help you lose weight. But who needs the agony when these simple tricks do the job?

Women with great bodies have a dirty little secret. Sure, they work out and eat well--but they also sneakily burn hundreds more calories than everyone else. From the outside, they don't seem to be doing anything particularly strenuous. "You wouldn't believe how many straightforward ways there are to burn calories," says Lauren Slayton, director of "But it's easy to miss the opportunities if you're not looking for them." Research has shown that swapping sedentary habits, such as watching television, for pretty much anything that doesn't involve sitting down can make a world of difference. "Most people don't realize that a little extra effort can yield great results," says Steven Wheelock, a trainer at Canyon Ranch in Lenox, Massachusetts. 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 weightloss 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.

8. Laugh: "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.

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