How to lose weight even when you're sitting down all day

How to lose weight even when you're sitting down all day
PHOTO: Shutterstock.com

Most of us spend a large chunk of our day sitting down - whether it's at the office, in the car or while we're noshing down breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Sitting is sometimes unavoidable but instead of fighting gravity's pull on our backsides, let's try to beat our sedentary lifestyles at its own game by boosting our metabolism and burning calories while we sit.

Here are seven ways to lose weight even when you're sitting (yes, really!):

How to lose weight even when you're sitting down all day

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    Most of us spend a large chunk of our day sitting down - whether it's at the office, in the car or while we're noshing down breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

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    Sitting is sometimes unavoidable but instead of fighting gravity's pull on our backsides, let's try to beat our sedentary lifestyles at its own game by boosting our metabolism and burning calories while we sit.

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    Stretch tone arms, flex those leg muscles and do some toe taps. All these are tiny tone-ups that you can still do even when chained to a desk all day.

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    Grab a coffee (but make it low sugar) or better yet, drink some green tea.

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    Not only will it lift you out of your mid-afternoon slump, green tea is full of antioxidants known as catechins that boost fat oxidation. Whee!

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    Choosing the right snacks like nut or dried fruit can help you feel fuller for longer

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    so you're not tempted to guzzle down that chocolate bar that you got at the shops during lunch.

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    Swap your regular office chair for an exercise ball if you'd like to really tone up your muscles and shed some kilos while sitting.

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    According to some registered dieticians, they can help you burn up to an extra 100 calories a day.

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    Your body burns more calories trying to stay warm so turning down the air conditioning may actually be able to help you burn more calories, in theory.

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    Put your headphones on and crank up some tunes!

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    Music has a universal positive psychological effect and can serve to reduce stress, which is also known to help with weight control.

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    According to an Iowa State University study, researchers found that those who frequently fidgeted, stood up, and walked around could burn an additional 300 calories per day, compared to those who remain stationary.

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1. Do tiny tone-ups

Just because you're sitting down it doesn't mean that you can't move about. Stretch tone arms, flex those leg muscles and do some toe taps. All these are tiny tone-ups that you can still do even when chained to a desk all day.

2. Take a coffee break

Grab a coffee (but make it low sugar) or better yet, drink some green tea. Not only will it lift you out of your mid-afternoon slump, green tea is full of antioxidants known as catechins that boost fat oxidation. Whee!

3. Snack smart

Choosing the right snacks like nut or dried fruit can help you feel fuller for longer so you're not tempted to guzzle down that chocolate bar that you got at the shops during lunch.

No-effort tips to ramp up your metabolism

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    These no-effort, no-exercise, no-time-needed tips can help you burn more calories and lose the kilos.

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    Drinking five glasses of ice-cold water a day can burn up to 70 additional calories - that's about the number of calories in a sugary drink.

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    Laughter is exercise for our facial muscles, ribcage, abs and diaphragm, and giving all these parts a workout can help to increase your metabolic rate.

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    Your pulse speeds up, so you take in more oxygen by breathing faster - these powerful muscle contractions will increase your metabolism.

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    It relieves stress, produces feel-good brain chemicals, boosts your immune system and regulates blood sugar levels after meals. It also improves blood flow, and your quality of sleep and relaxation.

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    Try a breakfast of protein and healthy fat: A small piece of salmon with a handful of almonds will encourage your body to burn fat.

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    Move around, tap your fingers and shake your legs. Believe it or not, these simple movements can help you burn calories.

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    Studies have shown that fidgeting can increase your metabolic rate by 50 per cent.

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    Even if it's something as simple as standing up while answering a phone call or reading your e-mail messages, these little actions interrupt continuous sitting, a state in which you burn minimal calories.

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    We're not talking about snacking on unhealthy food all day long, though. What you should do is have five or six small meals a day, as opposed to three big ones.

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    Having just two alcoholic drinks - two glasses of wine, two bottles of beer or two cocktails - reduces your rate of fat burning by over 70 per cent. Why?

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    Lack of sleep can slow down your metabolism - and worse, it can make you eat more, too.

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    Not sleeping enough affects multiple hormones related to metabolism, like the stress hormones.

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    Take a cold shower encourages our bodies to produce 'brown fat', a type of fat that uses glucose to generate heat and maintain our core body temperature, which in turn, helps increase metabolic rate.

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    Cold showers have also been shown to alleviate depression, improve lymphatic drainage and circulation, regulate body temperature, and promote healthy hair and skin by toning the pores.

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    Drinking cold water, too, can help burn calories as the body uses up more energy to bring the cold water up to body temperature.

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    Also, it's best to drink it while it's hot, after it's been brewed for at least three minutes.

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    This is especially important when you're having your period, as we lose iron during this time of the month. Get your fill of iron-rich foods such as broccoli, spinach, bok choy and beans.

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    Getting enough iron in your diet is important too as iron carries oxygen to your muscles. If you don't get enough iron, your muscles don't get enough oxygen so your energy levels go down, as does your metabolism.

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    Green tea contains a plant compound known as ECGC, which promotes the burning of fat. For best results, drink three to five cups a day.

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    Spices like chillies, cinnamon and ginger; lean protein such as egg whites, chicken, soya products and fish; and green tea, have also been shown to speed up metabolism.

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    Nibbling on food throughout the day is good for your metabolism. That's because it keeps your metabolic rate consistent as the day progresses and holds your blood sugar levels steady too.

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    Eating your morning meal kick-starts your metabolism, and you will also feel full and energetic enough not to have strong cravings for food before lunch

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    Spices like chillies, cinnamon and ginger; lean protein such as egg whites, chicken, soya products and fish; and green tea, have also been shown to speed up metabolism.

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    Because your body burns off the alcohol first and whatever calories you have consumed with food are probably going to end up being stored as fat. If you have to have a drink, wine is the best choice, as each glass contains only 80 calories.

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    They keep your blood sugar stable and take the stress off the adrenal glands. Putting stress on the adrenal glands causes the thyroid to slow down your metabolic rate.

4. Replace your chair

Swap your regular office chair for an exercise ball if you'd like to really tone up your muscles and shed some kilos while sitting. According to some registered dieticians, they can help you burn up to an extra 100 calories a day.

5. Keep cool

Your body burns more calories trying to stay warm so turning down the air conditioning may actually be able to help you burn more calories, in theory. We're pretty sure you'll have to fight with your colleagues to make this happen though!

6. Dance in your chair

Put your headphones on and crank up some tunes! Music has a universal positive psychological effect and can serve to reduce stress, which is also known to help with weight control.

7. Fidget

According to an Iowa State University study, researchers found that those who frequently fidgeted, stood up, and walked around could burn an additional 300 calories per day, compared to those who remain stationary.

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