I’m sure there are many of you who find yourself in this situation. And there are some simple things you can do to burn a few hundred extra calories a day that don’t require exercise .
Control Your Temperature
One thing you can do is turn down the temperature in your home. Your body will burn extra calories trying to keep you warm and bring your internal temperature back up to 98.6 degrees. Or, if you can’t turn the temperature down because others in your household will be uncomfortable, you can just drink several glasses of ice cold water which will also drop your internal temperature.
On the other end of the spectrum you can heat up your body’s internal temperature by eating spicy foods and peppers, which get their heat from capsaicin. The hotter, the better. It works by boosting thermogenesis, the rate at which our body burns fat and calories.
Get More Sleep
In my blog post, “Diet, Exercise…and Sleep?, I discussed how getting enough sleep is as important a factor in your health and fitness as diet and exercise because binging is pretty much inevitable with sleep deprivation.
The science of it is that we have hormones that regulate our hunger. Leptin, the satiety hormone, tells us when we’re full, and ghrelin, the hunger hormone, tells us when we’re hungry. When we’re deprived of sleep, our body’s level of leptin goes down while its level of ghrelin goes up.
I’d like to quote something from that post to you because I found it fascinating and I think you will too if you haven’t read it yet:
“…the Mayo Clinic did a study, which I further researched online. This was an 11 day study with a very small group of 17 sedentary but healthy men and women. After establishing a 3 day baseline period, they divided the participants into 2 groups- one group that could sleep and wake whenever they wanted and the other group which was awakened after only 2/3 of their normal sleep period, which meant their sleep time was cut about 80 minutes each.
The group that had their sleep time cut, ate an average of 549 more calories than usual the next day. That’s huge! If you normally eat 2000 calories a day, that’s an additional 25% and if you normally eat 1500 calories a day, that’s an additional 33% or more. And since 1 lb. equals 3500 calories, that means these people gained an additional pound every 6-7 days. That would equate to over 50 lbs. per year gained if the sleep deprivation continued. That’s amazing to me that such a seemingly little thing like getting a little less sleep can make such a huge difference.”
Eat More Protein
Another thing you can do is eat more protein as I discussed in this blog post. The more muscle you have, the more calories your body burns to maintain that muscle. Just to get real for a moment, that doesn’t mean that if you eat a ton of protein you’re going to look like Mr. Universe without pumping iron. That’s not gonna happen. But eating more protein will help you maintain and add to the muscle you already have.
You can also eat more organic food and less processed foods. The problem with non-organic and processed foods is the chemicals they contain that can affect our metabolism. Some have even been shown to lead to obesity. Certain foods such as celery, cinnamon, garlic, grapefruit and green tea are supposed to be natural metabolism boosters.
Short-term intermittent fasting might also increase your metabolism. The reason that I say “might” is because in the research I’ve done it appears that the rise in metabolism only takes place after a 24 -36 hour fast.
Now I know that the idea of fasting for any period of time probably doesn’t sound very appealing but consider this: If you stop eating at 7pm at night and don’t have breakfast until 7am the next morning, you’ve already fasted for 12 hours. If you can hold out until noon before you eat, you will have fasted for 17 hours. I’m not suggesting you do this on a daily basis, but perhaps once per week. Think of it as a cleanse and giving your digestive system a rest.
This is by no means an exhaustive list just a few ideas to get you started. Even if you can’t exercise, being disabled doesn’t mean you’re doomed to put on weight and all the attendant health risks that come with it.
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