All of us watching our weight or trying to shake off a few pounds know the basic rule of weight loss: burn more calories than you consume. But between the temptations you’re trying not to give into and the disappointing calorie count when you get off the treadmill drenched in sweat, you can’t help but wonder: “how am I ever going to get there?”. But we have good news – everything you do burns calories!
How many calories you burn in a day depends on your weight and level of activity – for instance, a heavier person will burn more calories during the same activity performed by a skinnier person (they also require a greater calorie intake), and so would a person with an active job, like a construction worker or a waitress.
When your goal is to lose weight, however, you need to crank it up a notch. But what happens when you don’t have time to hit the gym? Even if you’re not a workout junkie, you can still shave off some calories just by performing regular daily activities. Find out below how many calories you burn in a day doing mundane tasks, such as brushing your teeth or washing the dishes!
This is a no-brainer for homemakers everywhere: household work can really make you break a sweat. Washing dishes, vacuuming, dusting, mopping the floor, ironing and folding clothes are things some of us do everyday, and more often than not, we profoundly resent them. Next time you’re doing household chores and thinking about all the other things you’d rather be doing, think of the some 140 calories you could burn in just an hour of cleaning the house.
Pushing or carrying around a shopping cart full of groceries is no easy task – especially the part where you have to carry them home and put them away in their designed places. An hour of grocery shopping can burn up to 90 calories, while stocking the fridge or pantry with the purchased items will get rid of 26 extra calories per 15 minutes. Also, the same goes for clothes shopping – so shop ‘til you drop.
Getting a good night’s sleep is essential for your health: it gives you better skin, increased productivity, and surprise, surprise – it can help you lose weight. A good eight-hour sleep can shave off up to 500 calories!
How many calories you burn in a day depends on how much REM sleep you get (also known as deep-sleep, where dreams occur) – without it, you won’t get the rest you need and your body won’t be able to recharge properly . Also, sleeping in a cool environment can help you burn even more, because your body uses energy to warm itself up. However, be careful not to eat or drink alcohol right before bed – it slows down your metabolism.
If you’re the kind of person that spends too much time in the bathroom or in front of the mirror, there may be an upside to it. Taking a shower, brushing your teeth, doing your hair, even putting on makeup takes energy, especially if you’re standing or moving around a lot. An hour of grooming burns about 68 calories, while a 15-minute shower shaves off an additional 17 calories.
Carrying a conversation is not as passive as you might think, especially if you’re standing, pacing around or gesturing a lot. Moreover, many of us multitask while we’re on the phone, which can add to the energy you spend during the activity. Talking for an hour, while standing or moving around burns about 54 calories, so next time your mom calls you to ask what you’re doing with your life, consider biting the bullet – a heated conversation will increase your heart rate, which burns even more calories.