Good news: There are tried-and-true tricks to maximize your burn from a.m. to p.m. (without disrupting your lifestyle). Take advantage of these five easy power-up hacks.
1. Don’t sit still
Fidget, stand, and chew gum; these types of activities, termed NEAT (nonexercise activity thermogenesis), have been shown to help torch an extra 300 to 2,000 calories per day.
2. Become a fan of green tea
Studies indicate that green tea can increase metabolic rate by 4 to 5%. Feel free to go for seconds—it has only 2 calories per cup (sans sweetener, of course).
3. Drink more water
A German study discovered that downing two 8-ounce glasses of H2O improved calorie burning by 30% in as little as 10 minutes, and the effect lasted for more than an hour.
4. Pucker up
Add fresh lemon juice to your tea or water—it’s loaded with vitamin C. Arizona State University researchers found that exercisers who don’t get enough C may zap 25% fewer calories during a workout.
5. Get silly
A classic study published in the International Journal of Obesity revealed that laughing sparks a small increase in calorie burning. (We did the math: Fifteen giggly minutes melts up to 40 calories!)
Cynthia Sass is a nutritionist and registered dietitian with master’s degrees in both nutrition science and public health. Frequently seen on national TV, she’s Health’s contributing nutrition editor, and privately counsels clients in New York, Los Angeles, and long distance. Cynthia is currently the sports nutrition consultant to the New York Yankees, previously consulted for three other professional sports teams, and is board certified as a specialist in sports dietetics. Sass is a three-time New York Times best-selling author, and her newest book is Slim Down Now: Shed Pounds and Inches with Real Food, Real Fast. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.