Let’s face it: losing weight is tough…really tough. But it doesn’t have to be, especially if you make a few little changes in your regular routine. In fact, there are a handful of tiny lifestyle tweaks that can make a huge difference when you make your way to the scale.
It can be as simple as choosing a different beverage or making a different decision when it comes to lunch. Here are some “lazy” ways to start burning calories..
1. Drink Coffee
Coffee containing caffeine can raise your energy levels, which comes with several crucial benefits. First, it’s more likely to get you off the couch and doing something active, like running, riding a bike, or hitting the gym. Second, it can help you stay active longer, meaning you won’t quit and head back to the living room the moment you feel a little tired.
The trick, of course, is to make sure you’re not loading up your cup of coffee with sugar and high-fat cream. Try to use milk and, if you simply must flavor your coffee, all-natural honey.
2. Sit on a Stability Ball
Here’s an easy life tweak for the office: get rid of your boring old desk chair and replace it with a stability ball. Research shows that using a stability ball, which forces you to maintain your balance without completely exhausting you.
Believe it or not, it can kill more than 200 calories a day. That’s about the same as running for a half hour. Of course, ask your superiors if making such a switch is okay. Not all office environments are appropriate for the stability ball.
3. Skip Carbs a Few Days a Week
It’s tough to cut carbohydrates out of our diets completely, which is why so many people fail at the strict no-carb diets. A better and more achievable solution: cutting out carbs a couple days each week.
That’s a manageable plan and one that will allow you to indulge in your favorite carb-heavy snacks (i.e., pizza, cereal, or sandwiches) at least a few times each week. To ensure this plan succeeds, try making your carb-free days Monday and Thursday. or any other slow, quiet day you’re unlikely to find yourself in a restaurant with friends and family.
4. Chew Gum
Chances are you’ve seen reality show contestants trying to lose weight chew a lot of gum. But does it actually work? Can you lose weight by reaching for a pack of gum instead of a candy bar?
Actually, research does suggest that chewing sugar-free gum can help reduce food cravings, allowing us to eat less and lose weight. Several diet plans, from Weight Watchers to Jenny Craig, openly encourage members to chew gum, which they call “free food”.
5. Eat Spicy Food
There are two advantages to eating spicy food. First, it’s been shown to make us feel much fuller for a longer period of time than bland, less spicy foods. Second, it can actually cause your metabolism to spike.
That means your body works harder and burns more calories without you having to do anything particularly active. There are several types of food that feature healthy and spicy dishes–head to a Mexican, Thai, or Indian restaurant, but try to avoid foods heavy in cream, dairy, or salt.
6. Avoid Alcohol
Unfortunately, many of us turn to alcoholic beverages when we’re feeling depressed about our physical appearance. Sadly, this only makes the situation worse, as many of the most popular alcoholic drinks contain loads of sugar and calories.
If you simply must have a drink to wind down at night, skip the carb-heavy beer and sugar-laden white wine or wine coolers. Instead, try a gin or vodka mixed with low-sugar (not from concentrate) orange juice. Red wine can also be an excellent, relatively low-calorie, low-sugar drink.