9 Ways to Burn Calories Without Trying

by Dr. Ahmed Zayed
Published on April 29, 2020

Struggling with being overweight or obese has its toll on our body and mind. Obesity exposes us to so many health risks than we could even count. And yet, many of us allow this health issue to become a part of our life. It is up to us to lose that extra weight and prevent a long list of painful chronic diseases and even death if we want to live a long and happy life. 

But for many, weight loss is hard. Making so many changes all at once can be quite stressful and overwhelming. So we thought that we could offer you some help and save you the trouble of having to look in the mirror every day and feel dissatisfied with your body image. We are sharing nine weight loss methods that have been backed up by science. And the best thing about them is that they require minimal to no effort whatsoever and minimum change in your daily routine.

The nine ways that will help you to burn more calories without even trying


  • Start your day by eating breakfast


One of the biggest mistakes that many of us are doing while trying to lose weight is skipping a meal or meals, for that matter, with breakfast being the most common meal to be left out from the daily menu. We seem to think that by eating less, we lose weight. And while that is to some extend true, skipping a meal is never an option. 

If you want to lose weight, you need to follow a calorie deficit, meaning that you need to reduce your daily calorie intake by 400-500 calories a day (1). On top of that, you need to increase the number of burnt calories each day. But you can still eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner and manage to cut calories from your diet. All of that is accomplished by eating a healthy, well-balanced diet rich in the much-needed nutrients.

And so, that is how we conclude that you should always start your day by eating breakfast. By eating a healthy breakfast, you are working through limiting the calorie intake throughout the day, eliminating the so-called “empty calories,” and keeping full for a longer time. If you choose to starve yourself, then you are most likely going to binge later or prevent the weight loss process from happening since your body will try to hold on every single calorie and nutrient that you intake to survive (2).


  • Eat a protein-rich breakfast


While we are on the topic of eating breakfast, it is also worth mentioning the type of breakfast that is recommended, not only for weight loss but for the complete health of body and mind. What you eat and how much you eat matters as these are the two factors that will determine whether or not you will lose or gain weight.

We highly recommend eating a protein-rich and fiber-rich breakfast, since these are the two nutrients – protein and fiber, that will make sure that you are full and energized for a long time. Protein is known as the weight-loss-friendly nutrient since it is capable of boosting our metabolism to burn more calories on a daily level while satisfying our hunger for a long period (3). Fiber, especially water-soluble fiber, by creating a gel-like substance in our gut creates the same effects – satisfying our hunger so we do not keep reaching for a snack or two, preferably empty calories, because we feel hungry and weak (4, 5).

Try preparing yourself overnight oats that you can top with some frozen fruit and peanut butter for the mornings when you are busiest. Eating Greek yogurt with some fresh fruit and granola is a great choice as well, and so are eggs and veggies for when you would like to take a few extra moments to enjoy your breakfast and coffee in the morning (6).


  • Get enough sleep


Sleep is essential for many aspects of both our physical and mental health. It is the time during which we relax while our body and mind reset and get prepared for yet another day spent running around, running errands and completing chores. And yet, we often underestimate the power of sleep and fail to get the recommended 8 to 9 hours of sleep per night.

Well, maybe what we are about to tell you is going to change your mind and make you go to bed early tonight and every following night. Did you know that it is even during our sleep that our body keeps burning calories? Just because we are not moving does not mean that our body does not need energy. And how will it get the needed energy? By burning calories, of course.

It is during the REM (Rapid Eye Movement) stage of our sleep that we burn most calories. An average person who weighs around 150 pounds can burn anywhere between 300 and 400 calories, depending on different factors such as age, sex, time spent sleeping, metabolism rate, etc. (7).

But hitting the bed early will also prevent that midnight binging on empty calories that have been guilty of those extra body pounds and fat that you keep seeing when you look yourself in the mirror. This will save you from a lot of extra calories and help balance your hormones better, especially ghrelin and leptin, which are marked as the “hunger” and “satiety” hormones. Often, it is because of their disbalance that we are struggling to keep away from overeating and gaining so much weight (8).


  • Sip on cold water


Water is the beverage to choose whenever you want to hydrate your body. Proper hydration is important for several health reasons, but for today’s topic, let’s discuss those that refer to the weight loss process itself.

Did you know that dehydration is lowering your metabolic rate? And if you remember what we said earlier about the metabolic rate and how important it is to boost it so that you burn more calories, thus losing more weight and body fat. On the other hand, drinking water has been a scientifically proven method for boosting the metabolic rate for an amazing 24%-30% for as long as 90 minutes (9, 10).

And drinking two glasses of water before a meal has been yet another scientifically proven weight loss method to limit your calorie intake and prevent overeating. So by drinking water, you will be hydrating your body in addition to losing weight and preventing overeating (11).

For the best weight loss effects, though, we recommend sipping on cold water throughout the day. According to science, you can maximize the weight loss effects by drinking cold water since our body will need to burn more calories. The cold water will need to be brought to room temperature, which requires energy that is provided by burning extra calories. So make sure that you keep your water bottle near you at all times and keep sipping on that icy water all day long.


  • Drink your coffee black


Who does not like to drink a cup of hot coffee first thing in the morning? Then maybe share a cup of coffee or a latte with friends after work. Maybe even top of the night by drinking yet another coffee with dessert after dinner. But let us ask you this – How do you take your coffee?

Did you know that drinking sugary, milky coffees can get you to intake as much as 1000 calories more on a daily level? Because a lot of us do not anticipate coffee as a calorie source, we tend to make the mistake of sipping on these sugary coffees all day long and later wondering how we fail to lose weight despite eating salad for dinner for weeks. 

Next time you head to Starbucks or wherever it may be that you are placing your usual coffee order, make sure to order yourself a tall black coffee instead. Avoid adding any sugar or milk in it, and if you must, then at least switch to using almond or oat milk and some stevia to improve its taste. 

Coffee should not be avoided by any means because it is very clear how caffeine is helping us go through our usual busy day. Drinking black coffee is yet another trick that can boost your metabolic rate. So we conclude that you need to rethink your usual coffee choices and make sure that you use that helpful caffeine on your side in the war against the extra body pounds (12).


  • Drink cold-pressed celery juice


Drinking cold-pressed celery juice is a recent weight loss trend that has left many people feeling surprised at how effective it is. This famous veggie offers us several nutrients, including Vitamin C and K, riboflavin, calcium, magnesium, and many more. One of the smartest choices that you can make for yourself is to replace your usual sugary drinks, energy drinks, and sodas with cold-pressed juice, preferably in the morning. 

Drinking two glasses of cold-pressed juice in the morning can help wake your body up, breaking down and dissolving the fat cells which are stored in your liver. You can think of it as a sort of detoxifier if you would. Also, the celery juice will promote feelings of fullness and limit your daily calorie intake, which, as we discussed, are the two methods that will help you to lose weight fast and efficiently (13).


  • Fidget


Do you have the habit of fidgeting whenever you find yourself in the middle of a stressful situation? Maybe you tend to bounce your leg or tap your fingers on your desk. Fidgeting may be annoying for the people around you, but did you know that fidgeting is what gets you to burn more calories?

According to a 2000 study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, people who fidget while sitting or standing can spend up to five to six times more calories, as compared to those who remain still while sitting or standing up (14). You see, fidgeting is a non-exercise activity that still causes thermogenesis, which is why it requires calories to be burned and metabolism to be working hard, leading to you losing weight. And because fidgeting seems to be so effective in inducing weight loss, thus preventing obesity and overweight, many doctors suggest to their patients to incorporate more fidgeting as a part of their daily lives.


  • Chew gum


How often do you chew gum? Whatever that answer may be, we bet that you will be working hard trying to chew gum way more often when you hear what we have to say. 

A 2016 study has demonstrated gum chewing as an effective method to promote feelings of fullness, thus reducing the calorie intake during the day. In addition, gum chewing has been marked as a metabolism-boosting method (15). Researchers have investigated the effects of gum chewing between two groups of young adults. One group was instructed to chew gum 20 minutes before a meal, where the other was not. The results showed that those who chewed gum experienced an increased metabolic rate as compared to those that did not chew gum (16).

We highly encourage you to take on gum chewing like a new habit of yours. However, to maintain good oral health, make sure that you always choose sugar-free gum, and protect your precious teeth in the process.


  • Laugh more often


When was the last time that you had a got laugh? If you cannot remember, you are in trouble, and you better prepare yourself a comedy movie night to get some laughs and worries out of you. Not only is laughing beneficial for our mental health, being able to improve our mood, lower the stress levels, and boost our memory, but it is also beneficial for the physical body as well. It can help boost our immune system and even help us lose weight, according to a 2007 study.

As a part of this study, a total of 45 couples have participated, being instructed to watch movies. While some of them watched comedies, others watch some more serious movies. The results have revealed that among those who watch comedy movies and laughed often, an increase in metabolic rate by 10-20% has been noticed. Laughing daily will make you feel happier while also helping you to burn more calories without even knowing it (17).


As with anything in life – to see a great change, you need to make the first small steps. The same rule applies to the stressful process that weight loss is. But we hope that by bringing these small yet meaningful weight-loss methods closer to you, you will be able to lose those extra body pounds and improve your overall health with the slightest effort possible.


  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3447534/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3718776/
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26239831
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31174214
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11396693
  6. https://greatist.com/health/healthy-fast-breakfast-recipes
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3039272/
  8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6196958/
  9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14671205
  10. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17519319
  11. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2859815/
  12. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30335479
  13. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4728623/
  14. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11101470
  15. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26948161
  16. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25794237
  17. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16652129
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