Maintaining a healthy weight (or getting down to one) can be very challenging in modern society. We have unlimited access to rich foods and very little opportunity to move enough, especially when we work 8 hours at a desk. In order to control our weight, we must keep our caloric balance in check. We must take in less energy than we put out. We can approach this in two ways: eat fewer calories or burn more calories. In this blog, we are focusing on the latter.
How to Burn More Calories Everyday
Let’s say you don’t move all day. You just lay in bed and breath. Your body will use a certain number of calories just to exist. This is known as your basal metabolic rate (BMR). Any movement you do beyond that contributes to your total energy expenditure. To increase your total energy expenditure, you have two options: daily activities or structured exercise.
Daily activities refer to any and all movement that you do throughout the day (e.g. Walking the dog, playing with your kids, taking the stairs, walking to your car, etc.). All these activities contribute to your total energy expenditure. It is important to increase this type of activity any way you can.
Some ideas to increase daily activity:
Go for a walk in the evenings or on a lunch break
Active entertainment: entertainment that involves movement (e.g. hiking, biking, museums, golf, etc.)
Take the stairs
Park farther away from work or the grocery store
The second way to burn more calories every day is to participate in structured workouts. Ideally, lasting 30-60 mins of moderate intensity, involving cardio and resistance training. Not only will you be burning tons of calories while you exercise but you also take advantage of a cool side effect, EPOC. EPOC stands for Excess Post-exercise Oxygen Consumption. This a fancy way of saying your body will continue burning more calories for a couple hours after your workout. I won’t argue with that!
Another great side effect of exercise, specifically resistance training (lifting weights), is that you will increase your basal metabolic rate even on days you are not working out. How is this possible? Well, when you perform resistance training you will build muscle. More muscle means more calories burned every day to feed that muscle. So, not only will you burn calories while exercising and after exercise but even burn more on days you don’t exercise. This goes a long way towards reaching a calorie balance, so we highly recommend that everyone gets on a resistance training program at least 2x a week. If you are intimidated by this idea, then reach out to a Trivida coach and learn some of the basics so you can feel confident training on your own.
-Andy Adams, B.S., CSCS, Pn1
Health Coach | Trainer