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Lazy guide to weight loss

Lazy guide to weight loss
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These expert-approved activities will boost the burn without your ever breaking a sweat.

Get a good night’s sleep

Get a good night’s sleep
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Perhaps the easiest way to burn more kilojoules every day requires the least amount of energy – how fun is that? It’s sleeping – something we should all aim to do at least seven hours a day. “Sleep actually helps your body run better,” explains Roger E. Adams, PhD, Houston-based dietitian and nutritionist and founder of eatrightfitness.com. “What’s more: Research has shown that people who chronically get fewer than six hours of sleep per day have lower metabolic rates, higher chances of developing chronic diseases and higher rates of weight gain.”

Learn more about how to sleep away your weight woes.

Increase protein throughout the day

Increase protein throughout the day
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Burn kilojoules eating burgers? Yes, please. “Protein requires your body to work a little harder to digest foods than carbs and fat – it’s called the thermic effect of food,” explains Dr. Adams. “This means you burn a few extra kilojoules with higher protein snacks and meals than ones that are lower in protein.” He suggests switching up your diet by lowering your intake of added fats and simple carbs and increasing your intake of high-protein foods such as eggs, quinoa, lentils and almonds.

Try these 37 fat-burning foods to help you lose weight.

Walk instead of drive

Walk instead of drive
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When you live in the suburbs, it’s easy to hop in your car for every errand, near or far. But sitting behind the wheel for 5, 10, or 15 minutes instead of walking, which might take you five to ten times longer, will ultimately burn way fewer kilojoules. Harry Hanson, a celebrity trainer whose client list includes Sandra Bullock, Tyra Banks, and Hilary Duff, suggests walking to the grocery store and carrying your groceries back home at least one day a week.

Here are 12 more weight loss hacks you can do right now.

Lift your pillows over your head on the couch

Lift your pillows over your head on the couch
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For most of us, sitting on the couch means just that, sitting and not moving. But you can (and should!) incorporate some movement so that you can burn some kilojoules while watching TV. Hanson recommends lifting your couch pillows over your head 50 times and also circling the couch itself to get your blood pumping. “During each commercial break, get up and take three laps around the couch,” he adds. “This keeps your body moving, which is good for the muscles, all while burning some kilojoules.”

Follow the 6/60 rule

Follow the 6/60 rule
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Adams’ favourite way to teach his clients to easily increase their calorie burning during the day is to practice what he calls the 6/60 rule – standing or moving for six minutes every 60 minutes of the day. He bases this guideline on research published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, which shows that as little as six minutes of standing or movement each hour is enough to offset the metabolic slowdown caused by long periods of sitting.

Take these other simple steps towards a healthier you.

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Cut back your workout time

Cut back your workout time
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While it might sound counterintuitive, less may be more when it comes to exercising. One study, published in the journal Physiology, analysed whether the amount of time spent exercising had an impact on greater weight loss; it showed that participants who exercised for 30 minutes each day for three months lost about 3.5kg while the ones who exercised for 60 minutes per day lost only 2.7kg. How is this possible? “A half-hour is an easier amount of time to push yourself at a higher intensity than an hour,” explains Chris Ryan, C.S.C.S and founder of Chris Ryan Fitness. “Try keeping the intensity high and the volume relatively low – efficient workouts are always the best!”

Book more rest time

Book more rest time
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Believe it or not, we actually create small micro tears in our muscles over time when we work out, especially after lifting weights. They then repair themselves, Ryan explains, which helps them get stronger over time. Training without proper rest, however, prohibits the body from making those needed repairs. “When you rest your body properly between workouts, you actually give yourself a metabolism boost that helps you burn kilojoules even when not at the gym,” he says. “Rest days could be total rest or encompass light movement patterns – stretching and mobility moves – to get the body moving gently and break up tight muscles.”

Don’t miss these 50 other ways to boost your metabolism.

Add light weights to your errands

Add light weights to your errands
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Put your errands to work for your figure. Caleb Backe, certified personal trainer and health and wellness expert for Maple Holistics, recommends adding light ankle weights to your everyday activities, including grocery shopping, walking to the bus, and even puttering around the house. “This can help improve vascularisation, minimise stubborn belly fat, and burn kilojoules,” he says.

Here are 8 weight loss roadblocks that could be holding you back.

Play in the pool

Play in the pool
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Embrace your inner child and have fun the next time you’re in a swimming pool instead of just wading into the water. Melis Edwards, MS, running and triathlon coach, and author of Deep End of the Pool Workouts, recommends playing with your kids, or your grandkids, doing laps or hydro running. “When you move your body in a pool, you navigate pushing through the hydrostatic pressure experienced in water, which will require more muscle engagement even for easy activities,” she says. “This can mean 840 to 2100 kilojoules burned an hour!”

Here are 10 leisure activities that burn more kilojoules than you’d think.

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Please be advised that due to the current lockdown in the Philippines, Reader’s Digest magazine May issue will not be available at its regular on-sale date to our subscribers or through our retail channels in that region. We hope to have the issues available in early June, but this is dependent on when the lockdown restrictions are lifted. We sincerely apologise for this inconvenience. Thank you and stay safe!
– The Reader’s Digest team