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#31-35

January 3, 2012

31. Watch less television
Adults who halved their television viewing time (by using an electronic lock-out system) not only burned an extra 119 calories per day, but did so without altering what they ate. ~ This study also found that those who watched more tv had a higher median rate of consuming salty snacks, sweet snacks, and sugary beverages. They also consumed less servings of fruits and vegetables.

32. Lift up
Rise up on the balls of your feet and then lower yourself down again. “I do this little Pilates move everywhere,” says McGee. ~ This will stretch the Achilles tendon, which increases the range of motion and can prevent injury according to this article from the Mayo Clinic

33. Build up your abs
Do intense bursts of engaging your abs tightly. If you think you can only do 30 seconds, push for 40, says Da Costa. ~ Strengthening your abs has several benefits – improving balance and stability, decrease back pain and potential injury/problems, and it makes physical activities easier, even daily activities. Here is another article from the Mayo Clinic that has additional information.

34. Drink a few cups of strong green tea every day 
In addition to caffeine, green tea contains catechin polyphenols, plant chemicals that may also boost metabolism, according to a study from the University of Geneva in Switzerland. ~  While research studies looking for the effects of consuming green tea are very limited, some studies suggest that green tea can decrease inflammation and may decrease memory difficulties. This article has more information.

35. Heat things up
“Some studies show that spicy food can temporarily increase metabolism,” says Slayton. Try red pepper flakes on salad. ~ I personally follow this rule and believe that it does have an effect, but here is a research article from 2006.

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#26-30

December 27, 2011

26. Go on a date.
Women tend to order foods with fewer calories when dining with a man (who’s not a long-term significant other), compared with when they eat with other women, according to a study conducted at McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada. ~ Here is one of the latest research articles that had the same findings

27. Avoid eating lunch at your desk
If you must, have a quick bite, then go for a short walk. ~ According to the American Dietetic Association, approximately 70% of Americans eat lunch regularly at their desk several times a week and unfortunately, I’m one of them. This article has bits of information and 7 tips for breaking this habit and how it can be harmful such as causing overeating because you’re distracted, sitting for an additional hour, and higher bacteria counts.

28. Always carry a snack
Try nuts, low-calorie bars, or a piece of fruit. Eating frequently keeps your metabolism up (and reduces the odds that you’ll wind up a victim of the vending machine). ~ There are several websites that have great workplace snack ideas, so even just doing a general Google search can give you a few. Here are some ideas: non-perishable includes soup, instant oatmeal, peanut butter, crackers, and tuna packets; perishable includes fruit, low-fat yogurt, or low-fat cottage cheese.

29. Wear stilettos
“Every few days, I’ll wear the highest heels I own,” says Decker. “It helps tone my legs, because they work different muscles in my calves and thighs.” ~ While heels have also been known to elongate leg muscles, some studies have now shown that it improves the pelvic floor muscles, similar to Kegel exercises.

30. Relax
Stress causes the body to release cortisol, which causes more calories to be stored as fat, especially in your abdomen. ~ Stress can effect all aspects of your health. Here is another article from the mayo clinic about stress management.

#21-25

April 5, 2011

21. Sleep better
A poor night’s sleep causes people to chose less-nutritious foods, according to a study at the University of Pennsylvania. Another study showed that sleep-deprived people simply move less. ~ Sleep deprivation also causes people to eat more calories at each sitting as well as eating more frequently during the day; this combination can have a huge drastic effect. Here is an excellent article from CBS News.

22. Walk and talk
Don’t sit still when you take a phone call. At work, wear a headset. ~ Research has shown that you burn 1/3 of the calories sitting than you would if you were to walk, or simply pace. This makes a big difference at the end of the day!

23. Switch sides
Whether you’re carrying a heavy bag on your shoulder or a child on your hip, “swapping sides every five minutes works more muscles,” says Peterson. ~ This will also ensure that you working both sides of the body, compared to just one (most likely – your dominant side).

24. Pick up the pace
Listen to fast songs, such as “Closer” by Ne-Yo, says Ruth Zukerman, co-owner of Flywheel Sports, a cycling studio in New York City. “The beat forces you to keep a calorie-burning pace, especially when walking or taking stairs.” ~ By listening to music that has an upbeat tempo – you will trick yourself into moving faster. This works in several aspects of life. For example, research has shown that restaurants that use this type of music see an increase of 11% in their sales. 63% of shoppers say that they purchase more merchandise from stores that play this type of music because they felt more rushed to make decision. I am sure we have all experienced this and while stores may use this to increase their sales and restaurants may use this to encourage us to consume more calories than we had planned, this information can be very valuable to your everyday life – cooking, laundry, cleaning, etc.

25. Cook your own food
“It’s often healthier, and by the time you’ve made a meal and cleaned up, you’ve been on your feet a half-hour more than you would have waiting for takeout,” says Slayton. ~ Research shows that simply by preparing and cleaning up a meal, a person can burn about 75-100 calories per hour. While this may not sound like a lot up front, simply making dinner and cleaning up each night will burn approximately 700 calories extra that week or about 1/5 of a lb!

 

#16-20

February 17, 2011

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. ~ The Chicago Center for Anti-Aging states that “poor posture sabotages your figure and health… Over time, this will develop into the popular dowager’s hump, double chin, pot belly and sway back. Internally your body will develop varicose veins, pinched nerves, heart and muscle strain.”  Here is a slideshow on posture from the Mayo Clinic that has facts about posture and information about having the correct form.

17. Drink more
Dehydrated people experience a drop in their metabolic rate. Drinking water throughout the day caused metabolic rates to increase by about 30 percent in a German study. The goal: eight cups a day. ~ Another research study conducted at the University of Utah found that those individuals who drank 8-12 glasses of water per day actually burned more calories when they were in a rested state than those individuals who only drank 4 glasses of water per day. This research also found that calorie burning decreased about 2% per day in those individuals who were dehydrated.

18. Beware of sugar
It triggers the body to release insulin, which then either transplants sugar to the cells to be used as energy — or stored as fat, according to Jorge Cruise, author of “The Belly Fat Cure” (Hay House). ~ This article from MSNBC found that Americans consume 22 teaspoons of sugar every day. This is much higher than the recommendations of 6 teaspoons per day for women or approximately 100 calories and 9 teaspoons per day for men or 150 calories.

19. Squat
When you pick up something from the floor, keep your back straight and bend at the knees, not the waist. “This protects your back and tones your legs,” says Peterson. ~ This also helps improve balance and tone surrounding muscles.

20. Chew gum
It burns a few calories — and it keeps you from mindlessly grazing, especially when you’re cooking, says McGee. ~ Chewing gum burns approximately 11 calories per hour. It also helps improve oral health by stimulating saliva production

#11-15

February 12, 2011

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. ~ Fiber has many health benefits including lowering the risk of diabetes and heart disease, lowering cholesterol levels, helps to control blood sugar levels, and aids in weight loss. Fiber adds in weight loss because they generally take longer to eat, which allows the body more time to realize that it is getting full. These types of foods also generally contain fewer calories for the same volume of food. The Mayo Clinic has an article on dietary fiber that has more useful information.

12. Go out of your way
At work, take the long way to the restroom — or even go up one flight of stairs. ~ These are easy ways to sneak in burning more calories. Some other ideas include: carry a basket instead of pushing a cart at the store, parking your car further away from the entrance, etc.

13. Fidget
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. ~ Here’s a Washington Post article on the research findings.

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. ~ Late night eating is also often responsible for 25-50% of the day’s total calories.

#6-10

February 11, 2011

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. ~ Small meals will not only help regulate how many calories you intake at once, but will also help prevent the body from feeling sluggish, either from the lack of food, or eating too much at once. The Mayo Clinic has a great article on what to eat and when.

7. Move briskly
“Walk like you’re late for a meeting,” says Gunnar Peterson, who trains Jennifer Lopez in Los Angeles. ~ Walking briskly can help burn 75-100 more calories per hour.

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. ~ Laughter also boosts the immune system, relaxes the body by causing the muscles to relax for about 45 minutes after, and releases endorphins. This is a great research article on the subject of Humor, Laughter, and Physical Health.

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. ~ Research has shown that  eating breakfast decreases the chance of being obese, diabetic, and even decreases the chance of having a heart attack.

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. ~ Taking short breaks will allow you to keep your sanity, avoid burnout, de-stress, and improve circulation.

Back again! #1-5

February 8, 2011

Readers – I realize so many of you have continued to check on this blog despite the fact that it hasn’t been updated in about a year. I apologize, but I am back again and will begin posting new information. The next several posts will be from an article entitled “50 no-sweat ways to burn calories,” written by Brooke Le Poer Trench, which first appeared in allure magazine and then on msnbc. The original article will be posted here with 5 tips at a time. Additionally, I will post notes and more information about each of the ideas. While this article was originally written for women, most of these can also be applied to men. Not all, but most.

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 foodtrainers.net. “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 weight-loss expert in New York City and author of “The Thin Commandments” (Rodale), recommends 2,000 milligrams daily.

Vitamin D can be obtained from food, exposure to sunlight, and supplements. 600 IU is the daily recommended amount for all individuals between 1-70 years of age. Individuals over 70 years of age should try to get 800 IU per day. The National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements has a wonderful chart about the various foods that contain Vitamin D and how much is contained in each, and its percentage of the daily value. Sunlight is also a good method of getting Vitamin D and research shows that just 10 minutes per day can be beneficial – this needs to be sunlight that is obtained outdoors though as the rays needed for Vitamin D cannot travel through glass.

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.

While caffeine can have positive effects, it is important to only use it in moderation about 200-300mg per day. This is an excellent article from the Mayo Clinic about caffeine.

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.

There will be additional articles posted on this topic in the near-future, but for now here is another article from the Mayo Clinic “10 tips for better sleep.”
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.

Based on a 160lb individual, you could burn 54 calories in 20 minutes washing dishes, 89 calories for 20 minutes of vacuuming, and 64 calories in 20 minutes cooking – definitely more motivation for doing daily chores. There are several calorie calculators online where you can entire your body weight to get more accurate estimates.

5. Wear a basic pedometer
“Every week, aim to take a few more steps than you did the last week,” says Wheelock.

While any amount of physical activity is better than none, you can use a pedometer to help set goals for yourself. Research conducted by Dr. Catrine Tudor-Locke at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center suggests the following breakdown: Sedentary Lifestyle = under 5,000 steps per day; Low-active Lifestyle = 5,000-7,499 steps per day; Somewhat-active = 7,500-9,999 steps per day; Active = 10,000 or more steps per day; and Highly-active = 12,500 or more steps per day.