Instead of ordering a sweetened drink during lunch, bring along a bottle of water to quench your thirst. A typical can of soft drink contains roughly 150 calories and up to four teaspoons of sugar, so you’ll be cutting out unnecessary carbs. If you really can’t do without your favourite fizzy drink, look for reduced sugar options and share a can with a friend.
Instead of rushing for seats on the MRT, stay standing. Even though it doesn’t sound like much, standing still burns more calories than sitting. In an experiment conducted by the BBC and researchers from the University of Chester, volunteers burnt an average of 50 extra calories for every hour where they stood instead of sat. Keep that up for three hours a day, five days a week, and that works out to an extra 39,000 calories burnt over the course of a year.
Consider signing up for classes too. Reserving a spot in class translates to commitment, and you’re less likely to skip your workout if you do so. Case in point: It’s much easier to forgo an evening run that has no strings attached compared to a pre-booked barre class.
Use heavier weights during your next strength-training sesh. You can stick to the same number of reps you’re used to, but carrying heavier weights immediately forces your body to work harder. This ups your calorie burn, and you’ll score a more efficient workout.
Increase your speed during your runs. Add sprints whenever you can to get your heart rate higher. You’ll burn more calories, plus the time will go by faster too.
Like actual, proper, hit-the-streets shopping. Many of us do our retail therapy online these days, but you’ll definitely burn more calories strolling than scrolling. Make a date with your girlfriends and head to town over the weekend to walk around and take advantage of the in-store sales.
Whenever you order food, make it a point to ask for less rice or noodles. This is an easy way to practise portion control. If you don’t see it, you won’t feel like you’re missing out!
Tap your feet, wiggle your fingers, and shift your weight in your chair. Fidgeting – as opposed to keeping still – when you’re working at your desk can help you burn a few hundred more calories, say researchers at the Mayo Clinic in the US. Think of this as your ultimate cheat code to torching more kcal per day.
Salads may sound healthy, but dousing your veggies in dressing is a sure way to increase your calorie intake without you realising it. Creamy and oily dressings pack a ton of fat, and unhealthy toppings like croutons don’t do your waistline any favours too. Ask for dressing on the side, and use it judiciously.
When you open a new pack of chips, portion out the amount you want to eat and keep the rest (out of sight!) for another day. You’re much more likely to polish off the entire bag of crisps if you eat out of it.
As convenient as it is to order all your groceries online, it’s still a good idea to head to the nearest supermarket whenever you can. You’ll get to pick the freshest produce by yourself, and you’ll be more mindful of what you put into your basket. Carrying around the load instead of pushing a trolley also gives you a mini workout.
The next time you go to the movies, leave out your popcorn order. You’ll save cash and calories – the variety you get at the cinema is slathered with butter and sugar, and a regular packet of caramel popcorn can be laden with up to 600 calories. If you still want a snack to munch on, consider making your own healthy version instead.
Walking more is really one of the easiest things you can do to lead a healthier life. Increasing your daily step count brings with it a host of physical benefits, from lowered risk of developing cardiovascular diseases to reducing your cancer odds. Invest in a steps tracker to motivate yourself, or go on an active date with your beau to move more.