How Does the Body Burn Calories?
If you’re looking for some weight loss motivation, here’s some to take to heart: You’re already burning calories, right this second.
Your metabolism can be seen as your body’s powerhouse.
It’s what enables your body to burn stored fat (calories) and help you lose weight. Some people have a fast metabolism and some people have a slower metabolism.
Many things effect it and there are some things you can do to help boost it, which would mean faster burning!
However, it’s important to note that exercise isn’t the only thing able to burn calories.
In fact, that’s just one of three parts to your metabolism’s fat burning capabilities.
1) Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR)
Every person is burning calories every minute of every day.
That’s because your body requires energy (calories), even just the slightest amount, to keep your heart beating, to keep you breathing, to keep your hair growing, and so on.
This is known as your Basal Metabolic Rate, or BMR, and it accounts for up to 70% of your metabolism’s work.
Unfortunately, calculating how many calories you burn sitting around doing nothing all day is no easy feat.
While plenty of calculators exist online, too many factors effect your metabolism’s speed to actually calculate your BMR–beyond your age, height, and current weight.
The good news is, even if you can’t get the exact numbers, you can take steps to increase your fat burn.
2) Digestive Metabolism
The next part of your daily fat burning is known as your digestive metabolism or TEF (thermic effect of food).
In other words, simply digesting the food you eat will take up another 15% of your metabolism’s work. Interestingly, it takes more calories to digest protein than it does to digest carbs or fat.
In fact, your body will use about 25 calories to process every 100 protein calories.
Meanwhile, it only takes 10-15 for the same number of carb or fat calories.
3) Movement Metabolism
The final portion of your metabolism’s work comes from the movement you participate in throughout the day.
Obviously, the more you move, the more calories your metabolism will have to burn in order to keep you moving.
But, it can begin to feel discouraging when you realize that up to 85% of your metabolism’s daily work comes from the above two aspects, which are largely out of your control.
That’s why most athletes work to not only burn calories through exercise but also find ways to speed up their metabolism at all hours.
How to Burn More Calories When Working Out
So, you’ve decided to start working out – great!
You’ve taken an important first step towards making yourself healthier.
But what if there was a way to get even more out of your workout?
In this article, you will learn several strategies that you can use to boost the number of calories that you lose while working out.
A large majority of people exercise exclusively indoors, whether it be at a gym or at home.
Now, there isn’t anything wrong with that, but exercising outdoors can help you lose more calories.
Why is this exactly?
Well, studies have consistently shown that exercising outdoors allows you to exercise for longer without getting tired.
This may be due to the presence of fresh air or it may be that running on trails is simply more interesting than running on a treadmill.
Either way, you should seriously consider moving future cardio exercises outdoors.
Be Diligent When Stretching
Stretching is important for a few reasons.
First off, the act of stretching can help burn some extra calories, it won’t be a lot, but every calorie burned helps.
Secondly, stretching gets your muscles ready for a workout, which enables you to work out longer than you normally would be able to if you didn’t stretch.
Finally, stretching increases the overall efficiency of aerobic and cardio exercises, which in turn leads to more calories being burned.
Make Use of Inclines
If you want to burn more calories while doing cardio, heavily consider making use of inclines.
Inclines make any workout more difficult and more strenuous.
Now, that may not sound fun, but when it comes to burning calories, inclines are a very effective tool.
Going up even a minor incline increases your heart rate, which leads to more calories being burned.
Do High-Intensity Training
High-intensity training is a sort of “style” of exercise that can be applied to cardio, aerobics, weightlifting, or any other form of exercise that you want.
The idea behind high-intensity exercise training is that rather than do one long set of mild exercises, you instead focus on doing short bursts of very intense exercise, interspersed with more mild exercises.
This keeps your heart rate very high which, as we mentioned earlier, leads to more burned calories.
Drink Ice Cold Water
So, this may sound a bit odd, but this strategy does actually work according to researchers.
According to most studies, people who use ice cold water to quench their thirst during a workout end up burning on average 20% more calories than those who don’t.
Why this is, is anyone’s guess, but it can’t hurt to try right?
How to Burn More Calories at Work
For a lot of people, work is a major roadblock for their attempts to lose weight.
Work makes it harder to eat well since you have less time for cooking and there is nothing more tempting after a long day at work than some nice fast food.
On the exercise front, work often makes you so tired that when you get home from work, the only thing that you want to do is put your head down and go to sleep.
However, there are some ways you can burn calories at work.
Take The Stairs
You probably knew this was going to be the first thing that we mentioned.
It is a fairly obvious piece of advice, so we won’t spend too much time on it.
Suffice to say, if your workplace has stairs, you should be taking them as often as possible.
Elevators are tempting, but you can burn a surprising number of calories by taking the stairs every time.
Replace Coffee and Smoke Breaks with Exercise
Does your work allow you to take regular breaks?
If so, then you should be making use of those to burn calories.
Rather than going for that 3rd cup of coffee or going for that cigarette, try going for a walk outside or going up and down the stairs a couple of times.
Keep Small, Portable Fitness Equipment with You
Because so many people suffer from the problem of work eating into their exercise time, portable exercise equipment is extremely popular.
You can invest in things like small dumbbells, or portable ellipticals that you can use while sitting at a desk.
These portable exercise tools are surprisingly affordable and very effective when it comes to helping you burn calories.
Stand Instead of Sitting
Standing desks are becoming a bigger thing in the corporate world.
Not only is standing much better for your health overall, but it is also much better for productivity and for burning calories.
If you haven’t already made the switch to a standing desk, you should seriously consider it.
Find Ways to Get Walking In
So, this point was kind of already covered earlier with the “take the stairs” mention above, but we figured that we discuss this idea separately.
Walking is by far the best method for losing calories while working because it is simple, easy-to-do, and you can fit short walking sessions into your day quite easily.
So, try to find ways to get more walking into your day.
This can involve taking the stairs, as was discussed earlier, or it can involve taking longer routes to get to work, etc.