"Good habits are worth being fanatical about." ~John Irving
 

Losing weight is no easy feat, and I ought to know. Sure, you may have heard stories about people who have lost dozens of pounds simply switching to diet soda or walking a few minutes each day. And who knows - and maybe they're all true -  but my guess is that it took changing several "little habits" to create the big change.

I like to call that habit-stacking, and the truth is that my personal weight loss experience seems to prove the whole habit-stacking theory.

What is habit stacking?

before-and-after-weight-lossHabit stacking takes several small habits that contribute to a big difference and adds them all together, slowly, one by one.

In the case of losing weight, this can increase your metabolism over time. 

I can honestly tell you that it worked for me. I lost 100 pounds that way, and I'm still working on getting those last few off as I type this.

The truth is that weight loss is always quicker and easier if you can increase your metabolic rate and burn more calories. Here are seven ways you can do just that.

Get Your Groove On (Easily) By Just Moving More

Sedentary people burn about one-third less calories per day. Just moving - and taking every opportunity to move - can make quite a dramatic difference to the amount of calories you burn in one day.

Believe it or not, small movements will add up over time to lots of calories.  The trick is to keep moving throughout your day. Write the word ‘move’ on post-it notes and put them in places you’ll notice them when you’re sitting still. Then, take every opportunity to move – here are a few ideas for burning extra calories.

  • Tap your feet
  • Swing your legs
  • Stand up and stretch
  • Move your head from side to side
  • Change position
  • Wriggle and fidget
  • Pace up and down
  • Use the restroom upstairs
  • Park in the furthest corner of the parking lot
  • Stand up when you’re on the phone and step from side to side
  • Clench and release your muscles

Eat Small Portions, and Do This Often

Evidence suggests that eating small meals every two to four hours will keep your metabolism burning faster than larger, less frequent meals. When you eat small amounts often your body is constantly working to digest and absorb food which requires energy.  

Eat Some Fat (Yeah, I said FAT)

If you want feel good and keep the fat off you need to first put it in.  Fat not only tastes good our bodies need it to work efficiently.  By consuming several servings of ‘healthy’ fats every day you will actually increase your calorie burning potential.  Try incorporating fats like Flaxseed oil, hempseed oil, olive oil, avocados, salmon, albacore tuna, nuts and seeds into your diet daily.

Drink Cold Water

Evidence shows that your body might expend more calories trying to raise cold water to the temperature of your body then hot beverages. And overall being well hydrated will help your body’s metabolic processes burn quicker.

Exercise (with weights)

Training with weights boosts your metabolism in a number of ways. By lifting weights you will build muscle tissue. And muscle tissue is metabolically active, so it requires calories even when at rest and so it helps to increase fat-burning enzymes in your body.

Spice up your life (with spicy foods!)

Eating hot spices might speed up your metabolism.  Just half a teaspoon of cinnamon per day can help boost metabolism and keep blood sugar levels in check. Can’t stand the thought of cinnamon in your morning cup of coffee? Spice up with cayenne, crushed red pepper or wasabi.

Eat More Protein

Protein requires a more complex chemical breakdown by your body in order to be digested and used as fuel. For example, 100 calories of protein may take up to 30 calories to process.   Protein also takes longer to digest and helps to stabilize blood sugar for longer periods of time  and this can help you to not overeat later in the day.  Eat a portion of protein at every meal and as part of your snacks and you will increase the total number of calories you burn each day.

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