How to burn more calories
…And still enjoy the occasional treat! You might have heard that the number of calories you burn daily varies greatly and depends on a variety of factors – such as your eating habits, unique body composition, hormonal fluctuations, daily activities (or lack thereof), metabolic rate etc.
While there’s a lot of truth to this, I also believe that if you really want to learn how to burn more calories – you should start exercising most days of the week. Why?
Because exercise helps to burn calories and…
- Improve insulin sensitivity
- Increase aerobic fitness
- Lower bad cholesterol and blood pressure
- Improve self-esteem
- Increase muscle and bone strength (specifically weight-bearing exercises)
- Improve overall calorie burn. Although everyone responds differently to exercise, moving more throughout
the day will help with weight control.
We’ve all heard the common phrases, “Your abs are made in the kitchen” and “You are what you eat”. Simply put, this means that your diet plays a key role in how you look and feel. But, when it comes to burning off excess calories, you can’t ignore the enormous benefits of exercise, listed above.
The good news is, you don’t have to spend hours in a gym to boost your metabolic rate. Many studies have shown that in general, the higher the intensity of the exercise you do, the more calories you’ll burn.
For instance, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) where you perform a variety of intense, full-body exercises in 30 minutes or less, burns a lot more calories than a long, slow walk. And, even though weight training appears to burn fewer calories during a workout, research proves that lifting weights is more effective at building lean muscle, which in turn raises your metabolic rate and calorie burn for up to 24 hours after your workout. This is because muscle burns more calories at rest than fat or any other tissue in the body.
BALANCE AND MODERATION
I’ve always believed that short-term diets and extreme weight loss methods don’t work. Why? Because they sabotage our minds and bodies in the long-run and wreak havoc with our hormones, which in turn contributes to all the things we don’t want such as weight gain, mood changes, sleep problems and more!
What’s always worked for me is a moderate, balanced approach to health. By this, I mean that I don’t deprive myself of the occasional treat or drink (I often enjoy a glass of wine on the weekend or a light beer such as Flying Fish CHILL LITE with brunch).
The key is to balance calorie savings (where you can) with an increase in physical activity. This means that if you want that slice of pizza or piece of chocolate cake, it’s a good idea to work for it and practise portion control. By ‘work’, I don’t mean that you need to punish yourself – a lovely afternoon walk or swim after tea is all it takes to balance things out and stick to your healthy lifestyle.
If, like me, you’re partial to the occasional light beer with a meal, use this table to guide you in terms of how much activity you should be doing to ‘earn’ it, (bearing in mind that you should only drink within the legal limit which is one unit of alcohol per hour for men and women). This plan is simple, it’s all about flexible eating that fits in with your life. What’s even better is that this way of eating won’t make you feel like you’re on a diet!
Check out this exercise comparisons table to help you plan ahead:
So, the table above shows you that it is possible to enjoy the occasional treat, especially if you’re burning calories and boosting your metabolism by exercising regularly.