It has been found that the average person burns about 800 calories less due to modern forms of entertainment and conveniences, such as TV, Internet, video games, home shopping, fast food, and so on. Plus, just about 4 out of 10 Americans actually exercise, the other 6 lead completely sedentary lives, basically because there simply is no time to exercise. In fact, 21st century life is about being sedentary, which is obviously one of the primary reasons why so many people find it so difficult to lose weight and keep it off.
However, accepting that modern life is about being sedentary, there are ways in which one can burn more calories in day-to-day activities. According to research, it has been found that we can burn as much as 100 to 150 calories more per hour by including non-exercise activity thermogenesis, also known as NEAT, into our daily lives. So, what exactly is NEAT? Simply put, it is about moving about more―just laughing more, standing up and pacing about while on the phone, gesturing with the hands while talking, and so on.
Breathe Deeply: The power of breathing is underestimated by most people, although ancient Indian masters of yoga always knew it and devised a controlled system of breathing, known as Pranayama. Generally, most people breathe shallowly, making up for the lack of oxygen by yawning or sighing. You can use the deep breathing techniques of Pranayama anywhere and at any time―whether sitting at your office desk or while watching TV. You can warm up a little by breathing in and out more deeply and powerfully. Start by breathing in to a count of 6 to 8, holding it for about 1 to 2 seconds, then exhaling for a count of 6 to 8, and then relaxing for about a second. Then, you could breathe rapidly, like you would if you had been jogging.
Fidget and Gesture: Tapping your fingers and hand on the table, moving your hands and body while talking, tapping your foot while sitting―all of these unconscious activities that we do naturally burn calories. So, do them consciously now. According to research, it has been found that people who gesture and fidget more can burn as much as 350 calories more per day, which can add up to 36 lbs of weight loss per year.
Eat More Protein: A considerable amount of calories are burned by the process of eating and digesting food, especially when you are not gorging and just grazing, so to speak. And protein foods generate the most amount of calorie burning effect. For example, if you consume a meal based on protein that is of 600 calories, about 180 calories will be burnt just by the process of digesting it, especially since the liver needs extra energy to both assimilate as well as synthesize the amino acids that protein contains.
Add Spice to Life: You can provide a boost to your weight loss program by adding spices in your food. Spices like ginger, garlic, hot peppers, dry mustard, and so on, have fat burning or thermogenic effects, which result in boosting the metabolism. Incorporate cinnamon into your food. Researchers have found that a ¼ to 1 teaspoon of this spice can increase your metabolism considerably. Another effect of heat-producing spices is that it stimulates thirst, so that you would end up drinking more water.
Drink Ice-cold Water: When you drink ice-cold water, the metabolism gets a jolt and starts working to keep the body warm. It is usually recommended to drink about 8 cups of water per day―more if you exercise. However, when you drink it ice-cold, you can burn up to 9.25 calories more in comparison to water at room temperature.
And finally, do smile a lot. By thinking happy thoughts and making your environment emotionally supportive, you can reduce stress and anxiety which induces weight gain because the body produces more cortisone.