There are many factors to weight loss, such as, calculating calories in versus calories out, paying attention to the type of food we eat, the portion sizes we serve ourselves, and the exercise routines we integrate. There are also several things we can do to increase our daily calorie burn and that can easily be implemented into our daily lives.
Eat the Right Foods
One of the easiest ways to burn more calories each day is to eat foods that have a higher Thermic effect. The thermic effect of food, also known as TEF, is simply stating the number of calories needed to breakdown and process the food we eat. Certain foods have a higher TEF than others so by creating meals and eating these higher TEF foods more often, we will naturally burn more calories.
Lean protein like chicken, turkey, fish, tofu, and beans have a higher TEF than carbohydrates and fats. To break it down simply:
- Protein: 20-35% of calories burned through processing
- Carbohydrates: 5-15% of calories burned through processing
- Fats: 0-5% of calories burned through processing
If you were to eat 100 calories of protein, your body will use 20%-30% of those 100 calories towards breaking down the food itself. The rest is used for energy and repairing cells. Thus, meals that are higher in carbs and proteins have a higher Thermic effect than meals higher in fats.
Exercise and Muscle Mass
We all have a resting metabolic rate, also known as our RMR. Our RMR is the amount of energy (calories) needed to sustain basic life functions. Sleeping, breathing, and eating, for example. This isn’t taking into consideration working out or any other activity, just basic life functions.
The more muscle we have on our body, the higher our RMR usually is. It takes more energy to sustain our muscles than our fat as most of our RMR goes to our organs. Studies show that for every 4.5 lbs of muscle mass we add, our metabolic rate increases by about 50 calories a day. While cardio is amazing and will burn calories, working with weights will build muscle and help create a higher RMR.
Staying active daily either through walking, HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training), or weight lifting will help you burn more calories each day and can also help to increase your metabolism.
Drink More Water
Water is essential to our health and to weight loss. Everything we consume from food, sugary drinks, and just plain water, force our body to use calories to process and utilize what we put in it. Water, which has 0 calories, is a great way to increase our metabolism and flush out any toxins.
By increasing your water intake to 8 cups or more a day you can naturally burn an extra 100 calories a day without doing anything but staying hydrated!
Don’t Skip Breakfast and Eat Small Meals Throughout the Day
When we want to lose weight we often diet, which leads to skimping on meals and hoarding our calories to use later on. While this makes some sense, it leads to overeating later at night and results in a slower metabolism.
Breakfast is essential to give your body the energy it needs for the day. By eating small meals every few hours, your metabolism is more likely to increase and burn more calories than just eating 1-2 big meals per day.
These are four easy ways to burn more calories daily. Each one helps us create a healthier lifestyle, eat more whole foods, exercise more, and stay hydrated. While we all want to burn more calories in a day, we can’t outrun our food choices. Nutrition is the key to weight loss and burning more calories. By simply changing what and how much you eat you can see results quickly.
Author: Meaghan is an outdoor enthusiast who found her passion while traveling Europe. A Certified Holistic Health Coach and NASM Certified Personal Trainer, she specializes in guiding men and women to transition from autopilot to intuitive eating and exercise by focusing on the mind-body connection and self-love.