Sedentary lifestyle is on the rise, as the pandemic forces almost everyone to limit their mobility. Technology, since then, has been the answer to solve some of the errands we usually do pre-pandemic. For example, you may not even have to be present in the office in person, rather through a virtual meeting and perform your duty through working from home. These activities may not necessarily require you to spend much energy, hence the slight weight gain you may have experienced during the past year. However, there are some simple hacks that you can do to help your metabolism running optimally. Here are some tips, aside from weight exercises, that you can do daily to help burn more calories even when you're not doing rigorous activities. Read on!
Get a good night’s sleep
It's interesting to note that one of the easiest way to burn more calories is to do an activity that doesn't require a lot of energy. Research have shown that people who get less sleep are more prone to weight gain, especially when they get less than 7 hours of sleep every night. This is because less sleep may slow down your metabolism, and may also make you lose muscle. Another thing that may occur when you are sleep deprived, is that you are prone to feel hungrier during the next day. These calories are compensation for having less sleep, as the body releases more cortisol, hunger hormone called ghrelin, and less leptin, a hormone that suppresses hunger. Therefore, ensuring that you get enough sleep every night is crucial to achieve overall health, including maintaining a healthy weight.
Increase protein throughout the day
Ever wonder why body builders turn to protein-heavy diet, and why people who strive to lose weight often do the same? Aside from its ability to help form muscles, high protein intake is synonymous to better metabolism, better hormone regulation, and better appetite control. Even though other nutrition components like carbohydrates and fat shouldn't be missing from your consumption list, increasing protein intake can surely help you maintain muscle mass, which can help burn more calories even when you are resting. Protein intake can also help you control hunger and prevent food cravings, resulting in fewer consumption of calories. Another thing worth noting is that protein consumption gives the body a higher thermic effect, which is the body's usage of calories to digest and metabolize the protein you have consumed. Research shows that around 20-30% more calories are used to digest protein, compared to carbs (5-10%) or fat (0-3%).
Aside from being able to quench your thirst effectively, hydration is one of the most important factor when it comes to maintaining digestive health and muscle function. Plain water is also friendly to your weight as it has zero calories. While it may not aid your hunger, drinking water may actually help curb snacking habits. Often times, what you think the body signals as hunger, actually is thirst, and when you reach a glass of water first before putting any food on your mouth, you are able to limit your caloric intake. Some research have also shown that cold water consumption may help boost your metabolism, enabling the body to easily burn more calories.
Stand up whenever you get the chance to
Not being as mobilized during this pandemic surely has its trade-offs. While you may experience a more practical lifestyle by getting work done in the comfort of your own home, lack of physical activities can actually affect your overall health. Sitting too long, for example, may not be good for your posture and encourage sedentary lifestyle. Therefore, sneaking some physical activities while you can, like pacing around the room while taking a phone call may actually keep your body burning calories, no matter how small it may be. Some people prefer to also stand up while working. While this requires you to have a different kind of desk catered to working while standing up, you can also take breaks during work to stand up or walk to get some office supplies. Cleaning up your work desk can also help burn calories and keep yourself organized at the same time.
Take a leisure stroll or cycle
When you don't feel like doing heavy lifting or a full work-out routine, walking around your neighborhood or cycling to get some fresh air is also recommended to help keep off some weight. You may feel that being confined in a space for long period of time or being limited in the type of things you can do might kill your creativity. Therefore, these types of activities may actually help stimulate your brain, decrease stress, as well as keeping yourself physically active at the same time to burn some calories and stay fit for the long run.