Updated: Sep 20, 2020
How to Burn More Calories
If losing weight is your goal, you want to be burning more calories than you consume. A lot of people think that means running ten kilometers or spending two hours in the gym every day. But did you know you can burn a significant amount of calories by making little changes to your everyday life?
First, let’s break it down by looking at how your body utilizes the calories that you eat. This is known as your Total Daily Energy Expenditure.
#1. Basal metabolic rate (70%)
This is the largest calorie hog, but also the one you can least control as it is mostly determined by genetics. Simply put, this is the energy required to keep you alive and functioning. Vital functions such as breathing, keeping your heart and other vital organs functioning takes energy and is hard work! Therefore, you’re burning calories even as you sleep. How many calories you burn depends on your height, weight, sex, race and lots of other factors.
#2. Physical exercise (20%)
This takes up about a fifth to a third of your daily calorie expenditure. This includes walking, fidgeting and all the necessary movements you need to make throughout the day to function in your normal human life. This percentage increases if you are very active and decreases if you are very sedentary.
#3. Other factors (10%)
Finally, the final slice of the pie belongs to other factors such as the thermic effect of food. Our bodies don’t convert every single calorie eaten into energy. Hence, thermic effect of food is the number of calories your body expends consuming and digesting food. Also, if you happen to live in a very cold environment your body will also expend a few extra calories to keep warm, all of which fall into this category.
Now that we know how our body uses calories, here are three tips that gets our body to increase the use of calories based on this knowledge.
1. Resistance Training
Target: Increase your Basal Metabolic Rate
Strength training helps in building muscle mass. Muscle is a lot more metabolically active than fat, and consumes a lot more calories. Therefore, by building more muscle, you can burn fat even when resting. It’s also important to keep up your resistance training regularly, as muscle consumes so much more calories that our body naturally converts muscle to fat very quickly and easily if it feels we don’t need it.
2. High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
Target: Increase your Basal Metabolic Rate, Increase Physical Exercise
HIIT involves short bursts of high-intensity exercise with very short rests in between. HIIT programs have become immensely popular as it is a quick, surefire way to activate fat burning in a short amount of time. HIIT has been scientifically shown to increase your metabolic rate post-workout, so you keep on burning extra calories long after your workout has ended. When choosing a HIIT program, ensure it is one that is sufficiently intense. Most programs such as Tabata are not sufficiently intense to activate the fat burning process. A good gauge is that your heart rate should hit about 90% of the maximum heart rate for your age group.
3. Being More Active in General
Target: Increase Physical Exercise
You don’t have to hit the gym to increase your physical activity. Taking the stairs instead of the lift, walking instead of taking a Grab or driving, these are all calories burned that add up over the days and weeks. This increases your Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis, which is basically all the energy we expend that is not related to sleeping, eating or purposeful sports-like exercise.
And so there we go! You don’t need to be slogging it out at the gym five times a week to lose weight. Just these simple tips which you can incorporate into your daily life and training can help you increase your caloric burn and reduce fat. Although if you have any doubts, hit up any of our friendly trainers and we will help you kickstart your fitness journey and Get That Fit Look!