3 Ways to Start Burning More Calories in Your Workouts

Looking to make the second half of 2022 the year that you change the way you look and feel? For that to really happen, you may just need incorporate a few of these Jefit tips. Let’s take a look at how your body can burn additional calories each day.

One of the great things about your body is it continually expends calories. Every minute of every hour of every day. Even while you’re sitting reading this article.

Research Study

You will be happy to know that we burn calories even while we sleep. In one study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, two groups of overweight non-smokers were followed for a two-week period. One group slept 8.5 hours a night and a second group slept 5.5 hours while both groups ate about 1,500 calories a day. After two weeks, the people who slept more lost more fat than the group who slept less. Even more amazing was the fact that subjects who slept less lost more muscle (60 percent more muscle was lost by the sleep-deprived group). Those three hours of lost sleep caused a shift in metabolism that made the body want to preserve fat at the expense of lean muscle.

3 Ways to Burn More Calories

This same study showed that test subjects burned on average 400 more calories by sleeping 3 more hours – that’s an additional 2,800 calories burned for just one week. Think of sleeping as an extra calorie burning bonus. Here are three additional ways your body can expend more calories each day:

1. Building More Muscle Increases your Resting Metabolic Rate. 

2. Performing Higher Intensity Workouts will Increase your EPOC.

3. Adding More “Movement” throughout your day Increases your NEAT level.

“Lack of activity destroys the good condition of every human being, while movement and methodical physical exercise save it and preserve it.”  

Plato

Build More Muscle

Regular strength training sessions (3x per week) will overload your muscles and the stress (overload) placed on your muscles will eventually adapt and become stronger. As strength increases, the body can handle heavier loads and over time you will build additional lean muscle, as long as you get adequate sleep and nutrition. Research has shown that every three pounds of muscle you add, your resting metabolic rate increases by about 6-7 percent. An elevated metabolism means you burn calories at a faster rate at rest and during activity.

It always comes falls back to muscle being the critical (body) component. You need to build it when you’re young and preserve it as you age. That means regular bouts of strength training.

Benefits of EPOC

Supplementing high intensity strength and cardio sessions into your weekly exercise routine will not only burn more calories during workouts but post workout as well. This is commonly referred to as the after-burn or in scientific research circles as EPOC (i.e. excess post oxygen consumption). If the intensity is high enough you have the potential to expend a few hundred additional calories up to about 24+ hours post workout. EPOC depends on the intensity and duration of the exercise session; as they increase so does EPOC.

Take Advantage of NEAT

A study published in Science by Dr. James Levine took 20 “couch potatoes” (10 lean and 10 mildly obese) and recorded their bodily movements every half second for 10 days. He discovered that leaner subjects burned about 350 more calories a day through NEAT or non-exercise activity thermogenesis or about 33 pounds a year.

In a second study on NEAT, Levine recruited 16 volunteers and for 8 weeks had them eat 1,000 calories a day over what they needed to maintain their weight. You might expect that all of the subjects put on weight—with 1,000 extra calories a day. But at the end of the study, the gain per individual ranged from less than 1 pound to greater than 9 pounds. And the variation, according to Levine, was explained by the amount of NEAT. A highly active person can expend three times more calories than an inactive person and NEAT levels can vary up to 2000 calories between individuals.

If you’re not seeing changes in body composition with your current program, take a look first at how you’re fueling your body. Secondly, increase your intensity with your cardio sessions and start building more muscle. Lastly, increase your daily movement and some NEAT things will begin to happen.

Reference

Nedeltcheva AV, Kilkus JM, Imperial J, Schoeller DA, and Penev PD (2010). Insufficient Sleep Undermines Dietary Efforts to Reduce Adiposity. Annals of Internal Medicine 153(7):435-441.

Stay Strong Together

Jefit, named best strength app by Sports Illustrated, Esquire, GQ, Men’s Health, Greatest, Forbes Health, and many others. It offers a community responsible for 92,000,000 workouts to date! The app, which recently passed 10 million downloads, comes equipped with a customizable workout planner and training log. The app has ability to track data, offer audio coaching cues, and can share workouts with friends. Visit our members-only Facebook group. Connect with like-minded people, share tips, and advice to help get closer to reaching your fitness goals.

Michael Wood, CSCS

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