8 Ways to Burn Calories and Fight Fat
These healthy habits may help give your body a calorie-burning boost.
4. Eat Smaller, More Frequent Meals
Every time you eat a meal or snack, your gastrointestinal tract turns on, so
to speak, and starts digesting food and absorbing nutrients. It costs calories
to fire up the human digestion machine, so it makes sense that the more small
meals or snacks you eat through the day, the more calories you'd burn.
There isn't much solid evidence for this effect, McCrory notes in an email
interview. But many experts believe that, compared to eating one or two very
large meals, this is a more healthful way of eating anyway. And if it leads to
even a few extra calories being burned, even better!
5. Don't Skip Breakfast
Evidence supporting a link between skipping breakfast and increased
body weight is growing, according to a recent editorial in the Journal
of the American Dietetic Association.
Some research has shown that when people skip breakfast, they tend to eat
more calories by the end of the day. Other studies have suggested that skipping
breakfast is associated with a higher
body mass index in
While we could use more research in this area, eating a healthy breakfast
certainly makes sense as a lifestyle habit.
6. Eat Low-Fat Dairy
The calcium from low-fat dairy doesn't specifically help burn more calories,
but it may do a couple of things to help discourage body fat. Results from a
recent Danish study suggest that we might absorb fewer fat calories from a meal
when we consume calcium from low-fat dairy.
In another recent study, eating more calcium-rich foods -- including low-fat
dairy products -- appeared to be linked to lower amounts of belly fat,
particularly in young adult white males.
7. Drink 8 Cups of Water a Day
"Just about everything you call on your body to do burns calories,
including absorbing and utilizing water while maintaining fluid balance
(sometimes by excreting excess)," says Pope.
Drinking almost eight cups of water (2 liters) may help burn nearly 100
extra calories a day, according to findings of a small study from Germany,
That may not sound like much, but it could add up to 700 calories a week or
2,800 calories a month. And that's by doing something we should do anyway to
keep our intestines and kidneys happy, and to help keep us from confusing
hunger. (Pope does add a caution not to overdo it; it is possible to drink
dangerous amounts of water.)