I know, we had you at ‘burn calories’. With a modern day lifestyle, it’s often hard to find the time to burn the extra calories we need to. Performance scientist Kirstie Tew has done the maths on the exact little changes that could add up to a big weight loss
With all the attention given to fad diets and the latest ‘fat burning’ exercise regime, we seem to have forgotten that weight loss is simple; burn more calories than you consume and you will lose weight. It’s not a quick fix, but a sustainable solution for life-long weight management, and isn’t that what we really want, to reach our goal weight and maintain it? Simply put, if you want to lose weight without following the latest fad diet that leaves you hungry and miserable, you need to burn more calories every day.
Whilst exercise is a great way to torch calories, it’s not the only way to increase your daily burn. You burn calories every minute of every day – that’s 1440 minutes. If you sleep for eight hours, you would still have 960 minutes a day to increase your burn. If you burnt just one extra calorie every minute you were awake you would burn a massive 6720kcals extra each week, the equivalent of almost 2 lbs of fat lost weekly!
We know that each one of you is unique and so is your calorie burn, but for the purposes of showing you how you could burn those extra calories, let’s use the example of an average woman.
At rest the average woman burns one calorie a minute, so if she spends her working day sitting at her desk, her commute sitting on the bus, train or tube, and sits on the sofa to watch her favourite television show in the evening before heading to bed for eight hours of sleep, she won’t burn much more than 1440kcals in the whole 24-hours.
Burning extra calories can start from the minute you wake up. Every extra minute you spend on your skin care routine, brushing your teeth, getting dressed, and putting on your make-up burns an extra calorie, and styling your hair adds an extra one and half calories every minute.
Brisk walking is a great calorie burner that’s easy to fit into everyday life. Getting on and off the bus, tube or train one or two stops early, or parking the car further away from the door and walking the rest of the way are all easy ways to add a brisk walk to the start and end of the working day. A 15-minute brisk walk to and from work would add an extra 120 calories to our average woman’s daily calorie burn. If she also went out for a 20-minute brisk walk during her lunch break, she could boost her calorie burn by another 80 calories, adding up to an extra 200kcals a day just by walking.
Whilst it’s tempting to take the elevator, if our average woman walked up the stairs she would burn an extra seven calories for each minute it took her, so the more floors she has to climb, the more calories she’d burn. Even walking downstairs burns twice as many calories as standing still.
When she got to her office, if our average woman got up from her desk and walked around the office for five minutes each hour during her eight hour working day that would add up to 40 minutes of walking. So, instead of burning only 40 calories sitting down for 40 minutes, she would burn 160 calories, that’s an extra 120kcals each day. She could wander to the kitchen to make a cup of tea, pace around behind her desk when she’s on the phone, or walk over to speak to a colleague instead of sending an email. Everyone should be able to manage five minutes an hour.
If at the end of the day, instead of ordering a takeaway and sitting down to watch an episode of her favourite soap, our average woman went shopping for the ingredients she needs for dinner (burning an extra 1.5 calories per minute), cooked her own dinner (one calorie extra per minute), washed the dishes (1.3 calories extra per minute), vacuumed her flat (2.5 calories extra per minute), and called her best friend for a chat and walked around whilst talking (two calories extra per minute), she would be well on her way to losing a pound a week. That’s because it takes about 3500 calories burned to lose one pound so burning around 500 extra calories a day could add up to one pound lost a week. Here’s what you need to do to achieve that – without a workout.
Like this article? Sign up to our newsletter to get more articles like this delivered straight to your inbox.