5 Surprising Ways to Burn Calories at Rest

You’ve probably heard it over and over again: strenuous exercise is the only way for you to burn calories and keep the pounds from packing onto your body. Yet, did you know that you can burn calories while you’re resting at home? In fact, your body still needs the energy to keep organs going and blood flowing, which means you’re burning a few calories while you sit. Want to burn calories faster without much effort? Here are five tips that will reduce the guilt you might feel about “forgetting” your gym membership and lazing about the house during free time.


Get more sleep
Just like with sitting, your body needs energy to work, even during a period of rest with little to no movement. According to Health Status, “Calories burned during sleep are used to sustain vital functions in the body. Monitoring and maintaining your internal temperature, repairing cells and pumping blood are some of the nighttime activities that your body naturally does.” However, the number of calories your body burns depends on how much you weigh and how many hours you sleep per night. An easy way to figure out how many calories you burn while sleeping is to multiply your current weight by 0.42. The resulting number is the amount of calories you burn an hour while sleeping.

Fidget more while sitting
Usually, people associate fidgeting with anxiety, discomfort or stress, but mindful fidgeting can help you burn calories when you’re at rest. According to an Iowa State University study, “Researchers found that those who frequently fidgeted, stood up, and walked around could burn an additional 300 calories per day, compared to those who remain stationary.” Even moving or dancing in your chair without standing helps, because your body is using energy to do those actions.


Drink some green tea
Green tea has a bunch of benefits–it contains antioxidants and may help to reduce the risk of cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease and more. It may also help you lose weight even while relaxing. According to an article on Hovrpro.com, Christopher Ochner, Ph.D., a research scientist of nutrition at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital says, “Green tea doesn’t actually melt the pounds off; it contains catechins, a type of antioxidant that works with caffeine to supposedly increase your metabolic rate, thus making you burn more calories even when at rest.” Green tea can also help you relax and reduce muscle tension, so feel free to have a cup when you want a drink.

Laugh, a lot
You might not think that laughing helps you burn calories, but it really does. Not only that, but according to Weight Loss Resources, “Laughter reduces muscle tension, increases the amount of oxygen in the blood, exercises the heart and produces happy chemicals in the brain called endorphins. It certainly makes sense that laughing would burn more calories too, as a result of the extra movement and increase in heart rate linked with laughing.” Splurge on some comedic movies or funny YouTube videos while you relax at home, all the while knowing that you’re burning some calories while doing it.

Drink more water
Water flushes through your body, helping to expel toxins and aiding in digestion to make your metabolism work temporarily faster. According to Healthline, “Drinking water increases the amount of calories you burn, which is known as resting energy expenditure. In adults, resting energy expenditure has been shown to increase by 24 to 30 percent within 10 minutes of drinking water.” Water also decreases your appetite, which prevents you from overeating and reaching for those tasty, yet calorie-filled, snacks. Over time, incorporating more water into your diet may help you shed some weight and keep it off.


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