Most people know that in order to lose weight, you need to be in a calorie deficit. Which means burning more calories than you are taking in. This doesn’t mean stop eating, but change your diet so that you are eating foods that will fuel your body and exercise enough to burn calories.
First of all, you need to work our your BMR (Basic Metabolic Rate). This is the calories your body burns by running itself if you literally laid down all day. You can work yours out using simple online calculators like this one. The healthier you are, the more calories you burn as your body has to work harder.
Once you have worked that out, then you can plan your meals to work out how much you eat. You can use MyFitness Pal to easily count calories and macros (macronutrients) which are made up of protein, carbs and fat. Plan for a typical day with 3-5 meals – DO NOT SKIP MEALS!
You can then work out how many calories you need to burn over a week using exercise to make sure you are in an overall calorie deficit. Note, it is easier to do this over a week than a day as it gives you more flexibility.
For example, at the moment my BMR is 1300 calories per day. I am eating about 1800 calories a day. Plus aiming to burn 900 calories a week additional cardio exercise plus all my normal calorie burn just by going about my normal day. With me so far? Good.
So, let’s talk about the important bit. How can you increase your total calorie burn on a normal day without extra cardio exercise? If I don’t go to the gym or work out, my FitBit tells me that I burn around 2000 calories a day. That is if I go about my normal day without going to the gym. Do the maths, I’m already 100 calorie deficit in one day without my cardio. So, how can you get there?
Firstly, invest in a fitness watch. I have had mine for over a year and I’m addicted to it. I have the FitBit Blaze and it has made a massive difference for me to understand how to track my exercise more. This will then give you weekly updates on your progress across all the data it collects to help you track everything.
Walk. I do a lot of walking every day, mostly because I commute and have to walk to train stations etc. On average, I do 14500 steps a day, usually getting up to around 20,000 steps if I go for a run. I understand this is simply too many for those who drive to work, but find a way to incorporate walking as much as you can. For example, park your car the furthest away from the door. Walk and talk meetings. Always, always, walk at lunch. I notice a huge difference in my calorie burn if I have done more walking on a day. Walking also gets your heart rate into fat burn mode.
Take the stairs. I always walk even on escalators, and when it burns I have a little happy moment that I have burned some extra calories without taking any time out of my day. I’m also really impatient so I hate standing when I could just walk and get there quicker.
These are all easy ways to get a little bit more active aside from your exercise to help burn some extra calories. What tips do you have?