Losing weight isn't about committing to one healthy choice—the journey is made up of lots of lifestyle decisions that you make every single day at any given time. Every hour is an opportunity to do something that can bring you closer to your goal! So here's your round-the-clock guide to feeling slimmer by bedtime.
Wake up and drink a big glass of water. It'll fill you up and get things moving to prevent belly bloat. Eat a small snack that offers quick carbohydrates and a little protein, such as half a banana and a few almonds—eating first thing jump-starts your metabolism.
And if you have time, exercise! Morning exercisers tend to work out longer and more intensely than those who sweat it out during other times of the day. Plus, it'll keep the fire lit under your metabolism, so you burn more calories all day long.
Do some stretches in the shower. You should also eat a filling breakfast that includes protein and fiber—at least 10 grams of each. Don't be afraid to fill up on healthy carbs because enjoying them early ensures you'll have time to burn them off later.
Make your lunch for later, which should include lean protein, fresh veggies, whole grains, healthy fat, and fruit for dessert.
Fill up a cup or water bottle once you arrive at work, and sip on it throughout the morning. Staying hydrated will prevent hunger pangs.
Take a break from work to snack on some satisfying fiber and protein, like ½ a medium apple and 1 tbsp. natural Peanut Butter. Just aim to keep it under 150 calories.
Take a few minutes to fill in your food and fitness journal with what you've eaten and how much you've exercised. It'll give you an idea of how many calories you're allowed for the rest of the day, and seeing your stats from the previous weeks will motivate you to stay on a healthy path.
Get moving by going for a walk with a co-worker, taking a bike ride to run an errand, or grabbing that set of dumbbells under your desk (if readily available) and do some strength-training moves. Any chance to move is better than sitting still.
Remember that lunch you packed? Start chowing down! Enjoy it with the best calorie-free beverage available: water. You can liven up your water by adding fruit like strawberries, lemon or cucumbers.
If you can, take that afternoon meeting while you take a walk around the block. Whether you're on the phone or meeting in person, walking and talking can help you think more clearly while burning some calories. The same benefits apply if you ask a co-worker to step outside for some fresh air.
Have another 150-calorie snack to keep energy levels going till dinner. This could include a little something sweet since a small indulgence can prevent overeating later.
Sip some green tea. The caffeine will give you a little pep, and green tea has been shown to suppress your appetite and increase your metabolism.
Depending on the weather and the distance from your office to your place, try to walk or bike home from work. Not only will it burn some calories, but it can also relieve work stress, which can trigger overeating.
Make a healthy, low-calorie dinner filled with veggies, lean protein, and whole grains. After dinner is made, put away leftovers before sitting down to nosh to prevent going back for unnecessary seconds.
Brush your teeth while doing a quick butt and leg workout. It'll tone your tush, and that minty breath will prevent mindless late-night snacking.
If you like to relax in front of the TV, do strength-training moves during commercial breaks.
Get your workout gear ready for tomorrow morning. Slip into your pajamas, and do some yoga poses to encourage sleepiness.
Snuggle into bed on your way to dreamland. Getting enough sleep is proven to help with weight loss.
Want more? Check out these 49 ways to Burn Calories without sweating!
1. Take Vitamin D
Women who are deficient in Vitamin D, have been known to lose weight more slowly, according to a study in the British Journal of Nutrition.
2. Drink black coffee
Studies have found that caffeine increases the rate at which you burn calories.
3. Sleep more
Getting fewer than four hours of sleep over an extended period of time slows the metabolism. Experts recommend aiming for 7 – 9 hours a night.
4. Do things by hand
Wash your dishes, vacuum, or cook dinner.
5. Wear a basic pedometer
Every day, aim to take a few more steps than you did the prior day
6. Eat lightly and often
For most people, the body uses up more energy digesting smaller meals every few hours than by eating the same number of calories in two or three sittings.
7. Move briskly
Walk like you're late for a meeting.
It burns up to 50 calories if you laugh for 10 to 15 minutes per day.
9. Eat breakfast
The most important meal of the day!
10. Time yourself
Spend the last five minutes of each hour (set your computer timer) up and moving around.
11. Fill up on fiber
Low-carb, high-fiber foods take more time to digest than other foods, leaving you feeling fuller longer and less likely to snack.
12. Go out of your way
At work, take the long way to the restroom — or even go up one flight of stairs.
You can burn up to 350 more calories a day than someone who remains stationary.
14. Stash flats in your bag
You might not run a marathon in ballet slippers, but at least you can move quickly.
15. Don't eat late at night
It can interrupt sleep and may induce you to skip breakfast — which is bad for your metabolism.
16. Straighten up
Good posture not only makes you look taller and leaner, but it strengthens your abdominal muscles.
17. Drink more
Dehydrated people experience a drop in their metabolic rate. Drinking water throughout the day caused metabolic rates to increase by about 30%.
18. Beware of sugar
It triggers the body to release insulin, which then either transplants sugar to the cells to be used as energy — or stores it as fat.
When you pick up something from the floor, keep your back straight and bend at the knees, not the waist.
20. Chew gum
It burns a few calories — and it keeps you from mindlessly grazing.
21. Walk and talk
Don't sit still when you take a phone call. At work, wear a headset and move around.
22. Switch sides
Swapping sides every five minutes when you're carrying a heavy bag on your shoulder or a child on your hip works more muscles.
23. Pick up the pace
Listen to fast songs. The beat forces you to keep a calorie-burning pace, especially when walking or taking stairs.
24. Cook your own food
It's often healthier, and by the time you've made a meal and cleaned up, you've been on your feet a half-hour more than you would have waiting for takeout.
25. Go on a date
Women tend to order foods with fewer calories when dining with a man (who's not a long-term significant other), compared to when they eat with other women.
26. Avoid eating lunch at your desk
If you must, have a quick bite, then go for a short walk.
27. Always carry a snack
Try nuts, low-calorie bars, or a piece of fruit. Eating frequently keeps your metabolism up (and reduces the odds that you'll wind up a victim of the vending machine).
28. Wear stilettos
Every few days, wear the highest heels you own. It helps tone your legs, because they work different muscles in your calves and thighs.
Stress causes the body to release cortisol, which causes more calories to be stored as fat, especially in your abdomen.
30. Watch less television
Adults who cut their television viewing time in half (by using an electronic lock-out system), not only burned an extra 119 calories per day, but did so without altering what they ate.
31. Lift up
Rise up on the balls of your feet and then lower yourself down again.
32. Build up your abs
Do intense bursts of engaging your abs tightly. If you think you can only do 30 seconds, push for 40.
33. Drink a few cups of strong green tea every day
In addition to caffeine, green tea contains catechin polyphenols; plant chemicals that may also boost metabolism.
34. Heat things up
Some studies show that spicy food can temporarily increase metabolism.
35. Work your legs a bit
If you’re stuck in a seat, do small knee lifts, almost like marching in place.
36. Eat salmon
Salmon eaters lost significantly more weight than beef eaters in a study, even though the calories consumed were equal.
37. Pop a pill
People taking supplements with glutamine after meals burned an average of 20 more calories than those taking a placebo.
38. Keep your blow-dryer at the health club
Then you have to go, right?
39. Eat the peel
It takes the body more energy to break down fiber-rich foods, like the skins of fruits and vegetables.
40. Get busy
Most couples can burn an average of 300 calories an hour while they're having sex.
41. Go coconuts
People who replace oils and fats like animal fats and sunflower oil with those containing medium-chain fatty acids, such as coconut oil, lose more body fat.
42. Drink oolong tea
Some studies have shown it can increase metabolic activity by as much as 10 percent.
43. Don't snack in the car
Experts say it's a hotbed of mindless eating and excess calorie consumption.
44. Swing your arms
The more parts of your body that you use simultaneously, the more you burn.
45. Snack before you drink
Alcohol paves the way for overeating. Eat a healthy filling snack before you go out for drinks.
46. Clean up
When you're wiping down the counter or washing the car, really stretch out. Use both hands and make large circular motions, like you're the Karate Kid.
47. Buy some crackers
High-fiber, low-starch foods, such as GG Crispbreads, create a film on the intestinal lining that blocks the absorption of other calories.
48. Sit up
When watching TV get in the habit of holding your body straight.
49. Don't forget dairy
Researchers believe that low-fat dairy inhibits fats from being stored.