5 Mindless Habits that Actually Burn Calories

Burn calories--one mindless habit at a time!

Habits can make or break a healthy lifestyle plan. We’re here to share simple habits that support your weight loss. These 5 mindless habits that actually burn calories are smart ways to maximize your journey toward a slimmer, healthier, more energized you.

Experts say it can take from 21 to 66 days to form a new habit. What’s more, one study suggests that each person may have his or her own threshold for habit-forming. In addition, the researchers found that missing the habit activity occasionally didn’t stop the participants from forming that new habit [1].

That means there’s no reason to panic if you miss a healthy habit once in a while. The most important thing to do is commit to it in the long-term; for example, if you can’t get up and stretch at your desk because you’re on a video conference—no worries. Do it later in the day or set a reminder to do an extra stretch or two tomorrow.

1. Set up a get-up-and-move reminder.

It’s easy to set a smartphone alarm for every 30 minutes to remind yourself to move. When the alarm goes off, get up from your desk or from behind your screen and do an activity that gets your blood moving. For example, walk to a coworker’s desk instead of sending a text, or try 11 Stretches Every Desk Worker Must Know. For more ways to use your smartphone to boost calorie burn, check out 9 Apps to Help You Lose Weight.

2. Take life one bag at a time.

Are you the type of woman who’d rather have a grocery bag hanging from every limb than make multiple trips to the car? Burn more calories and help reshape your body by carrying one bag at a time. Multiple trips may take a few extra minutes, but it’s a super-easy way to squeeze in more steps. Make healthy choices while you’re at the store with 6 Must-Have Lists for Your Ultimate Grocery Shopping Guide and 50 Flat Belly Foods Shopping List.

3. Always use a restroom in another part of the house or building.

Instead of using the closest bathroom, always choose one that’s farther away. When you walk an extra flight of stairs or use the loo on the other side of the office building, it gives the body more opportunities to increase calorie burn. Want more ways to make burning calories easier? Check out 6 Workout Hacks for When You’re Crunched for Time.

4. Park on the far end of the parking lot.

Another of the mindless habits that actually burn calories is to park far away from store or office entrances. More steps = more calories to burn! (Of course, never park in any area where you feel uncomfortable or unsafe.) Make walking for health a priority with our 7-Day 10,000-Steps-A-Day Challenge.

5. Drink water before every meal.

Water hydrates the organs, muscles, and skin, but it also takes the edge off hunger so you’re less prone to overeating. One study found that people who drank about 2 cups of water before each meal lost five more pounds over 12 weeks than those who ate the same diet but didn’t drink the pre-meal water [2]. Increasing your H2O intake prevents you from reaching for beverages with sugar or artificial sweeteners, as well. Refresh yourself with Ginger, Lime, and Mint Flavored Sparkling Water.

Learn more healthy habits in How to Change Your Eating Habits in 30 Days.


[1] Wiley Online Library

[2] U.S. Library of Medicine


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Amy Wagner

Amy is a writer specializing in health & wellness, business, and entrepreneurship. She's a long-time martial arts teacher who has earned a 4th degree black belt in tae kwon do. When Amy's not writing or kicking, she's wrangling sons, reading fiction, or crushing on BBC actors.

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