You don’t have to spend hours at the gym to lose weight. In this two-part series, Get-Fit Guy has 12 unconventional ways to burn more fat without exercising.
Last week, you learned the first 6 unconventional ways to burn fat without exercising. In today’s episode, we’re going to jump right into the final 6.
Yes, I admit it, cooking seems like a pretty darn counterintuitive way to lose weight. But compared to the alternative of getting your dinner at a fast food drive through window, picking up a pizza, or buying a pre-made meal at the grocery store, doing your own meal prep burns far more calories.
Cooking involves the physically active process of pushing a cart through the grocery store, standing in the kitchen, chopping and slicing ingredients, and lifting pans and pots. If you’ve got a big enough backyard, you may also have the advantage of burning even more calories by gardening and harvesting some of your own fresh ingredients.
Even though you may need to be careful not to go overboard with taste-testing while you cook, when it comes to weight loss, there are more pros than cons to making your own meals.
Sure, your mother may have always told you to sit up straight, but she was probably more concerned about your reputation or your low back than your waistline. However, when you focus on a tall, proud walking and standing posture, combined with a tight core while you’re sitting, you activate many of your small abdominal and low back muscles, and give yourself a metabolic boosting advantage. (Not to mention that good posture makes you look slimmer even without any weight loss!).
So what are some cues you can use to burn more fat with better posture? Here are 5:
Choose a visual cue that will help you remember to check your posture, such as your watch or a ring that you see all the time.
Position your head back over your shoulders.
Bring your shoulders in line with your trunk, by squeezing them back slightly.
Sit up in your chair at a 90-degree angle, and when you do so, imagine an inward curve of your lower back about the size of a tennis ball (you can even put a tennis ball between your low back and the chair to get a feel for this!).
Before moving on, take 3 deep breaths from deep in your belly, to focus on and take stock of what that good posture feels like.
Speaking of breathing, let’s move on to tip #9…
Shallow breathing reduces the amount of oxygen in your bloodstream, which reduces the amount of oxygen available to cells throughout your body. As a result, when you have poor breathing patterns, you not only feel more sluggish and fatigued, but you also limit your metabolism, since your cells use some of that oxygen to burn fat (through a process called aerobic metabolism).
So what can you do to breathe better? It starts as simple as this:
Breathe in through your nose, slowly and deeply while expanding your stomach. Try to take 4 seconds to count in.
Hold that breath for a count of four. Try to “hold” without actually tightening up all your muscles. It’s a relaxed hold!
Next, breathe out through slightly pursed lips, fully emptying your lungs, also to the count of four.
A few times a day, slow yourself down and practice this focused breathing. It will soon become second nature. I’ve personally found that it can also help teach better breathing to throw in a few yoga classes into the mix, or use a yoga DVD, podcast, or video.
Stop blushing and think about it this way: a romp in the bedroom can burn 100-150 calories per hour, and also provide a great workout for your arms, core, and legs. In my book, sex definitely counts as something that is more fun than exercise, and certainly doesn’t feel like a regular old workout at the gym!
You don’t have to turn your bedroom activity into an aerobics class, complete with headbands and workout music, but you can certainly think of sex as an opportunity to spark your metabolism without stepping foot in the gym. As long as it’s not paired with oodles of dark chocolate and red wine, sex can not only give you extra calorie burn, but also result in a release of anabolic, fat-burning hormones that can keep your metabolic fire stoked for several hours afterwards.
You may have been told before that a calorie is a calorie and that when it comes to weight loss calories in equal calories out. But this is simply not true, and here’s why:
For every 100 calories of carbohydrates or fat you consume, your body only requires about 3-7 calories to digest those carbs and fat. This is called the “Thermic Effect of Food.” However, if you consumed 100 calories of protein, your body requires closer to 24-28 calories to digest that protein.
So this means that your body burns up to 30% of the calories you consume just to digest protein, but only uses up 3-7% of carbs and fat for that same digestive process.
You shouldn’t go overboard with this concept of eating more protein, since too much protein can literally be toxic. To learn how much protein you should include in your diet, check out the episode How Much Protein Should I Eat?
You’ll burn an average of about 1.3 calories per minute from laughing, whether at a funny joke, a comedy movie, or just hanging out with friends. But the benefits of laughter go beyond the mere calorie burning benefits. Laughter also relieves emotional stress and provides a workout for your inspiratory and expiratory muscles, your abs, your back, and your shoulders.
With that being said, we might as well end this two-part series on unconventional weight loss techniques with one of my favorite, funny fitness quotes from Ellen DeGeneres:
“My grandmother started walking five miles a day when she was 60. She's 97 now, and we don't know where the heck she is.”
Feel free to laugh away (and here’s a link to a few more good exercise one-liners)!
If you have more questions about unconventional ways to burn fat, or your own tips to add, then join the conversation at Facebook.com/GetFitGuy!
And for even more Quick and Dirty Tips, including how to lose the Freshman 15, check out the brand new ebook Quick and Dirty Tips for Life After College. It’s just $3.99 and jam-packed with expert tips for real world success.