In spite of all fitness campaigns and the effort to raise awareness about the negative consequences of obesity, most of us still spend way too much time sitting down. While a great number of people are forced to sit down for extended periods due to the nature of their job, there is also a portion of the population which can be classified as lazy folks. However, a sedentary lifestyle is one of the main reasons why so many individuals are gaining weight nowadays.
Not to worry though, as we will present you several great tricks that will stimulate your metabolisms and burn some calories while doing nothing. It is important to note that you should not view the following tips as a replacement for exercise and a healthy diet. Overall, they represent a means of increasing your calorie burning potential.
1. Replace the office chair
Granted, organizational psychologists all agree that the ergonomic office chairs contribute to increased employee productivity. However, if you are trying to shed some pounds and do not have any back problems, then a suggestion is to replace the chair with alternatives that stimulate weight loss for an hour per day. The perfect example in this direction is the stability ball, as it requires you to use most of the core muscle just to sit down and helps tone your abs and back muscles at the same time.
2. Keep the temperature in your office low
Did you know that the body consumes a lot of calories just to keep warm? If you have your own office, then a solution to help you burn more calories is to maintain the temperature within low, yet comfortable levels. Even though this theory has not been confirmed through scientific means beyond any shadow of a doubt, clinical research shows that when people are cold, the body starts sucking fat out of the rest of the body to fuel its needs (brown fat tissue hypothesis).
3. Drink plenty of water
This is by far the easiest way to ensure a higher amount of calories burned: by staying hydrated (drinking plenty of water) you are making sure that all bodily functions are working at optimal levels. Research performed so far suggests that you need to ingest a sufficient amount of fluids so that you urinate once an hour. (Aha, I think you realize the importance since you are reaching for a bottle of water now while reading this article!)
4. Never refuse a coffee break
If you love coffee and “wake-me-up” drinks in general, then you should take the infamous coffee break whenever possible. Coffee and caffeinated drinks in general are known for their ability to boost the metabolic rate. However, not all such beverages are created equal and some of them – flavored drinks in general – contain more sugar than you should have during a normal day. At the same time, you should refrain from drinking too much caffeine if you are not hydrated, as that will slow down your metabolism.
5. Laugh more
Even though work in general is more likely to get you stressed, you should do your best to smile and laugh more. Laughing causes the heart rate to rise by at least 10% and, as a consequence, increases your metabolic rate so that you will continue to burn calories further on. In addition, laughter is the best medicine against stress and it associated symptoms.
Another trick to shed some extra pounds is to put on your headphones and listen to fun music that promotes a lively beat from time to time. According to research, music has an overall positive effect on the mental state, reduces stress, it makes people feel happier in general and reduces cravings. Since not all jobs permit you to listen to music while working, a suggestion is to listen to your favorite music while you are taking a small break or eating for instance. In regards to the latter situation, listening to music will allow you to be more relaxed as well as chew more slowly and hence, improve your digestion and metabolism.
7. Choose your snacks carefully
Truth be told, there is no quicker and easier way to satisfy your hunger than ordering fast-food at the office. However, having fast food meals on a regular basis will lead to gaining weight. If you are interested in maintaining your current weight or want to lose a few pounds, then it is advisable that you pay more attention to what you are eating. In case you do not have the time to prepare snacks for the office at home, at least do a little research and order dishes that are spicy, nutritious and contain a lot of proteins. The reason for this is that the digestive system will have to put in more effort in order to process them.
8. Have lower quantities of snacks but eat more often
Eating smaller meals more often is one of the principles you will find in every weight loss program. The idea behind the concept is that the body will use more energy digesting smaller amounts of foods compared to processing a single large meal at once. Besides, having a small snack once every couple of hours also ensures that you will never be hungry and consequentially, you will not as much at dinner for example.
9. Allow yourself to fidget
If you have the impulse to fidget whenever a challenging situation occurs, then you should know that you are burning around 300 calories more than your colleagues who prefer to remain stationary at their desk regardless of the situation. Because fidgeting implies movement, that implies you are consuming more calories in order to generate the energy for that. Therefore, the next time you feel like taping your desk with your fingers or walking around the room, don’t refrain.
10. Bulk up on muscle while sitting down
It is a well-known fact that lean muscles are able to burn ten times more calories than fat. But, how do you build muscles while sitting down? Well, you could take two bottles of water and start pumping or you could try ideas that are more inconspicuous. For instance, you could build some muscles on your legs by squeezing a small ball between the ties. Or, if you want to tone your abs, you can lean a bit on your back and lift your legs, then bend the knees!