Fact: A realistic and healthy weight loss plan would involve a drop of one pound in a week. For every pound you need to shed, you also have to cut about 3,500 calories, so that’s equivalent to cutting approximately 300 to 500 calories every day. These days, however, when hitting the gym is meant for those with the luxury of budget and time, and dieting is solely for those with hearts (and stomachs) of steel, you can still attain your weight loss goal the no-sweat way, leaving no room for excuses. Here are 13 easy ways to help you burn 300 calories every day and reach your weight loss goals.
Substitute: Never underestimate the power of a good meal! You lose calories without the pain when you choose your foods carefully, and substitute items with counterparts that have lower calories. For example, your breakfast bagel can be substituted by an English muffin to spare you more than 200 calories. A glass of whole milk is 70 calories higher than skimmed. Omelets are just as good when you make them with one whole egg and two egg whites, rather than three whole eggs. Choose mustard over mayonnaise, or salad over coleslaw for sides.
Measure: Calorie counting may be tedious, so it makes sense to count your portions and serving sizes instead. There is a world of difference between eating one bowl of cereal and eating one serving of cereal! Having trouble with portion control? Check out these products that can help!
Stand: Did you know that you lose the precious opportunity to drop calories when you sit all day at your desk? You don’t have to trade your pumps for running shoes; simply take a walk over to a colleague’s desk. Get on your toes as you read a report. Put your phone on speaker mode and stand up when you’re in a call. Stretch. Do a few jumping jacks. You’ll be amazed how easily you can take 120 calories off!
Walk: Have a few minutes to spare? According to Marjorie Nolan, R.D. from the American Dietetic Association, walking can burn up to 100 calories, so a brief brisk walk daily can help you lose 500 calories in a week! Five miles worth of walking can take the pressure off having to go to the gym!
Chew: The better you chew your food, the faster you burn calories. Chewing may seem like an effortless action, but it has a two-fold action to help you drop calories. Firstly, it makes you eat slower, causing you to feel fuller faster. Secondly, it uses bits of energy, so you’re burning as you eat.
Reduce: If you feel deprived when your plate isn’t filled with food, use a smaller plate – one that you can fill easily. According to Jacob Teitelbaum, MD, author of "Beat Sugar Addiction Now!", a lot of people consume more than they need because of the size of their dish and the mentality that they have to finish what’s in it. Shifting from a 12-inch plate to a 9-inch plate can easily steal 500 calories from you effortlessly.
>> Read more: 11 Easy Ways to Lose A Couple Pounds
Research: It pays to know what you eat. Most chain restaurants post their menu items’ nutritional info on the web. This information is crucial to people with food restrictions such as those with allergies and those who are looking to make healthier choices. If you aren’t sure, call up the restaurant and ask to speak with the chef. Feel free to ask about serving options and substitutions. For those days when you chaotic schedule takes you to the drive-thru, check out our Fast Food Under 500 series.
Hydrate: Here’s a poorly kept secret to losing weight: drink plenty of water and choose H2O any and every time over sugar juices and sodas. A water habit can easily drop 300 calories daily! Water boosts metabolism, so your body burns continuously. Besides, water helps your liver to burn fat more efficiently, and takes the load off your kidneys.
Stabilize: Step out of your comfort zone once in a while and challenge your core muscles. For example, get out of your desk chair and sit on a stability ball several hours a day instead. In a typical workday, working out your stability could rid you of 350 calories. Plus, you'll end up with better abs.
Cardio: You don’t have to hit the gym to get your sweat breaking and your heart pumping. Jog in place, or try a jumping rope. Even stationary cardio, as long as it’s continuous for about 10 minutes, helps to burn 100 calories. There are several commercial cardio shows on TV these days, videos on Youtube, and apps for your smartphone. A 30-minute TV show can help you say goodbye to 300 calories! Check out our video page for tons of great workouts!
Sleep: There have been several studies showing how lack of sleep triggers and increases the production of ghrelin, the "hunger hormone." Simply put, when you’re sleep-deprived, your tendency to compensate through food is intensified. Adequate sleep helps you keep away from an extra 100 calories. Sleep in during weekends! Nothing feels more invigorating.
>> Read more: 5 Ways to Get a Better Night's Sleep
Dance: Throw on something gorgeous and step out for a night of foot loose! Live music can get even the leftmost two feet to throw on a few moves. If you aren’t the type to hit the dance club, play your favorite music at home and rock it out. An hour of dancing can help you say goodbye to more than 400 calories, and it is extremely fun!
Clean: Get on your knees and scrub the floors. Or, take out the vacuum cleaner. At the end of your two-hour chores, you will end up 400 calories lighter, and with a house that’s spotless and ultra-comfortable. Click here to read more about turning chores into a workout.