These days, gym memberships can be pricey. And who has time to hit the gym for a few hours, anyway? Losing weight and maintaining weight loss can be incredibly difficult when you don't have a designated place to work out, however. So follow these tips below on losing weight without the gym membership.
Adjust your thermostat. Keeping the dial a bit lower than usual for a few hours can burn 250 calories all by itself! Your body has to work overtime to heat itself up in order to stay at its sweet spot of 98 degrees. So kick it down two or three degrees for three hours at a time to burn some extra calories.
Sleep using white noise. If you're in a too-quiet room, any little noise in the house — a squeaky step, drippy faucet or even the heat kicking on — could distract you from your beauty rest. White noise like a ceiling fan could distract you from any and all of that. The point? When you're tired, you eat more. According to a study from the University of Colorado Boulder, people who got five hours of sleep a night put on almost two pounds in only five days. If you don't have a fan, invest in a white noise machine or download an app like White Noise Lite.
Dim the lights. A study at Cornell University revealed that those who ate dinner in a relaxing atmosphere with soft lighting and music consumed 133 less calories than those who ate in bright, noisy environments. The calm atmosphere tells your brain to slow down and enjoy your food, so you can register that you're stuffed before you're actually stuffed.
Put weights where you can see them. By putting your hand weights next to the TV remote or computer, you'll have no excuse not to work out. Check out our Couch Potato Workout to squeeze in reps during commercial breaks; you'll be able to watch your shows and singe some fat while you're at it!
Use smaller dishes. Studies have shown that the fuller your plate looks, the more you'll eat. Think about it: If you tried to eyeball your serving size on a large dinner plate, you'd likely serve yourself too much food. But if you use a smaller salad plate, you'd be good to go.
Take cool showers: Just how keeping the temperature a little cooler melts fat, so does taking a cold shower! Brown fat, a type of fat that burns calories instead of storing them, is activated by cold temperatures. Brown fat makes up about one percent of our bodies, and it's mostly in the neck and upper chest. So letting cool water run over those areas while getting sudsy could be the most effective way to stimulate this calorie-blaster. That isn't to say that an arctic atmosphere can replace exercise, but it can bump up your metabolism.
Get rid of stress: Stress produces the hormone cortisol — nicknamed the "stress hormone" — which causes you to gain weight. To avoid stress-related weight gain, check out these 40 healthy ways to relax and de-stress.
Stand up: An easy way to burn a couple extra calories (40, to be exact) is to stand while you eat. Standing uses more energy than sitting, obviously, but it also keeps your metabolism going strong. If eating your entire meal standing up sounds too daunting, try taking five minute breaks!