CNN Have you ever wondered why some people seem to stay trim effortlessly, while the majority of Americans struggle with their weight? Melina Jampolis is an internist and board-certified physician nutrition specialist and author of several books, including "Spice Up, Slim Down. Chat with us in Facebook Messenger. Find out what's happening in the world as it unfolds. Photos: 10 ways to burn calories without stepping foot in the gym.
Good belly-slimming laugh — Laughter is not only the best medicine, it is the most effortless way to burn calories. Chuckling through a minute stand-up comedy routine can burn between 10 and 40 calories. And this feel-good activity releases a feel-good hormone called serotonin that could reduce appetite. Hide Caption. Lose the belly dance — Whether you love the disco or can only tolerate an occasional slow dance at weddings, dancing has major weight loss potential. Jamming with friends at a party can burn between and calories, depending on how vigorously you get down.
Even swaying at a concert for an hour can counter the effects of that small calorie order of McDonald's French fries you might be tempted to eat on the way home. Hot and less heavy — Sex is one of the best workouts outside the gym.
For those who can make it last 30 minutes, intercourse can burn about calories. The same amount of foreplay expends about 55 calories. Shop till you drop the pounds — When rifling through racks of clothes or bins of school supplies, know that an hour of shopping can burn about calories.
And if you go grocery shopping for that amount of time, all the heavy lifting can help you burn closer to calories. Just make sure to avoid "shopping and eating at the same time," said Dr. Work it off — For overweight women and men, standing instead of sitting at the desk burns about two more calories a minute and can lead to a weight loss of 16 to 20 pounds a year, according to Mira Rasmussen, an exercise physiologist at the Obesity Action Coalition, an obesity advocacy group.
You can also try pacing the office; a total of two hours a week can lead to a weight reduction of about 10 pounds a year, Rasmussen estimated.
At the top of your lungs — Don't be shy about wailing along to your favorite tunes, at least in the privacy of your own home or car. Singing can burn about calories. Bonus if you can also dance to your favorite tunes.
Elsewhere nobody would ever say the words bring back the death penalty. Instead of focusing on weight as a measurement of self-worth, focus on how you feel. Instead, practice yoga, meditation, or guided visualization several times a week and add more adaptive burst training to your routine. National Eating Disorders Association. The pill could be exerting subtle influences on fat — particularly where it is stored in the body.
Cut the fat — Cooking may seem like a hassle, but 30 minutes in the kitchen can burn about calories. Sure, it would be much easier to pick up dinner on the way home, but "you don't get the benefits of chopping and moving around," Lofton said. Shiver me thinner — You may hate the subzero temperatures in your office , but that uncontrollable shivering is probably keeping you from gaining weight.
A recent small study found that people burned more calories in a room that was 60 degrees than in an degree room. At that rate, you could burn about 18 calories in an hour just by being a tad chilly. Lean sweep — The house won't clean itself, so you might as well buckle down and burn some calories.
For an average-size man, it takes about calories to do a half-hour's worth of sweeping or vacuuming. For an average-size woman, it takes about 95 calories. But demanding more of those already active neurons -- say, by focusing on a crossword puzzle or a Rubik's Cube -- can ramp up the amount of energy the brain burns through.
Story highlights Lower obesity rates are found in those living at higher elevations People with the highest levels of spontaneous physical activity, including fidgeting, tend to weigh less. Sure, genetics and a healthy lifestyle play a large role, but there are other, more surprising correlations that may be helping them stay slim.
A recent study in the journal Lancet Public Health found that people living within a kilometer a little more than half a mile of physical activity facilities -- including gyms, swimming pools and playing fields -- weighed less and had smaller waists than those who didn't. Unfortunately, any boost you get from starving yourself or shedding pounds is extremely short-lived—and at some point, it will stop working for you at all.
The only way to do that is to identify the emotional need that self-starvation fulfills and find other ways to meet it. While your weight usually remains quite constant over the course of, say, a week, feelings of fatness can fluctuate wildly. Often, feeling fat is a mislabeling of other emotions, such as shame, boredom, frustration, or sadness. Identifying the underlying issues that drive your eating disorder is the first step toward recovery, but insight alone is not enough.
When you take that coping mechanism away, you will be confronted with the feelings of fear and helplessness your anorexia helped you avoid. Reconnecting with your feelings can be extremely uncomfortable. Is it guilt? Avoidance and resistance only make negative emotions stronger. Dig deeper. Where do you feel the emotion in your body? What kinds of thoughts are going through your head?
Distance yourself. Realize that you are NOT your feelings. Emotions are passing events, like clouds moving across the sky. Once you understand the link between your emotions and your disordered eating patterns—and can identify your triggers—you still need to find alternatives to dieting that you can turn to for emotional fulfillment.
For example:. People with anorexia are often perfectionists and overachievers. But while they may appear to have it all together, inside they feel helpless, inadequate, and worthless. All-or-nothing thinking. You have a hard time seeing shades of gray, at least when it comes to yourself.
Emotional reasoning. You believe if you feel a certain way, it must be true. Musts, must-nots, and have-tos.
Are You EVER Going to be Thin? (and other stories) - Kindle edition by Jennifer Semple Siegel. Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC, phones . Samantha Anne Mallory's family reunion + voices from her past, present, and future = her something journey through time, backward and forward, her burden.
You call yourself names based on mistakes and perceived shortcomings. You jump to the worst-case scenario. Once you identify the destructive thoughts patterns that you default to, you can start to challenge them with questions such as:. As you cross-examine your negative thoughts, you may be surprised at how quickly they crumble. Developing a healthier relationship with food entails:.
Let go of rigid food rules. The truth is that these rules are controlling you, not the other way around. This is a big change that will feel scary at first, but day by day, it will get easier. Get back in touch with your body. You may not even recognize them anymore.
The goal is to get back in touch with these internal cues, so you can eat based on your physiological needs. Allow yourself to eat all foods. Instead of putting certain food off limits, eat whatever you want, but pay attention to how you feel physically after eating different foods.
Ideally, what you eat should leave you feeling satisfied and energized. Get rid of your scale. Instead of focusing on weight as a measurement of self-worth, focus on how you feel.