A glass of wine in the evening.
Tasty cheese to go along with it.
A few pieces of dark chocolate.
I love all of these.
Maybe you do too.
Forget counting calories, burn calories.
And have more of what you want.
Stop Counting Calories
If you’ve been counting your calories, I’m going to ask you to stop.
It’s time consuming, tedious, and ineffective.
Whether you’re trying to lose weight, maintain your current weight, or even add weight as I’m currently trying to do myself in preparation for my men’s physique competition, stop it.
Instead of counting calories, focus on burning more calories.
If you’re thinking the only way to burn more calories is to exercise, it’s not.
Exercising, whether it’s any type of cardiovascular activity or weight training, does help you to burn more calories. Weight training does so more than cardio.
But these aren’t the only two ways to burn more calories throughout the day. There’s several other ways of doing so as well and I’ll cover them all here.
Why Burn More Calories
If you’re like me, and enjoy having a glass (sometimes two) of wine in the evening, along with some good cheese, and unwind from the day, it’s great doing so without feeling guilty about it.
Whenever I do feel guilty about it, it’s usually when I either didn’t exercise that particular day or move around much. It’s the days when I wake up, get right to work, begin feeling sluggish, tired, and unmotivated.
The way I avoid having these types of days, is by increasing my energy, elevating my heart rate, and revving up my metabolism because when I do, I feel my best; energetic, confident, and productive.
It’s burning calories, not counting calories, that triggers these responses. It’s not just a mental response either, things are happening physiologically in your body too, when you burn more calories throughout the day. It provides you with a higher metabolic rate and therefore more energy.
It also provides me with calm and peace of mind knowing that I’ve “earned” my glass of wine and cheese that evening. Not having to go without, no guilty feeling, just a nice glass of wine and some cheese to celebrate and recap the day with Kristen, my girlfriend.
Oh ya, there’s usually a few dark chocolate Hershey kisses included in there as well. Why not.
Why Counting Calories Is Lame
Let’s say my calorie allowance for the day is 1500 calories and I eat a whole small pizza that equals 1500 calories…. is that cool? Does that work?
It’s not about counting calories, it’s about mindful eating.
Speaking of mindful eating, here’s an awesome TEDTalk on mindful eating you should check out.
Eat when you’re hungry, eat foods that have a high nutritional value such as fruits, veggies, lean meats, and yes, carbs… good carbs, such as steel cut oatmeal, sweet potatoes, and brown rice.
Even with healthy foods, it’s important to control your portions, eating enough to feel satisfied and not stuffed.
Counting calories does nothing to increase your heart rate, metabolism, and energy.
It also doesn’t stimulate the body the same way as burning calories does.
If you’re counting calories, you’d have to give up having dinner to enjoy a glass of wine and cheese otherwise you’d be over in calorie count – lame.
If you’re focused on burning calories throughout the day, not only can you enjoy a nice dinner, you can also have a glass of wine and cheese prior to having dinner.
Burn Baby Burn
Hopefully I’ve convinced you to stop counting calories and start focusing on burning more calories.
Here’s 9 simple ways to burn more calories throughout the day:
Start your day with a quick round of exercises. If you make it to the gym, great. If you don’t, nothing to worry about. Here’s a 5 minute exercise routine you can do anytime, anywhere. That’s not a typo – 5 minutes, that’s it. We can all spare 5 minutes in the morning, no excuses.
2. Morning Quickie
Yes, you read that correctly…a quickie, sex. Calories burned will depend on what, how, and amount of time you’re investing into your morning rendezvous. Here’s a “sexy calorie tracker” if you’re interested in creating your own calculations.
3. Take a Cold Shower
In order for your body to maintain a core body temperature during a cold shower, it uses up energy by burning “brown fat” aka brown adipose tissue to keep your body warmer and ultimately boosts your metabolism and energy levels. In doing so, it leaves you feeling more energetic.
4. Eat Breakfast
Eating breakfast in the morning is what gets your metabolism started and keeps it revved up all day long. It allows you to be more active during the day, increase your energy levels, and therefore giving you more chances to burn calories.
5. Drink Coffee or Tea
Studies show that caffeine can increase your metabolic rate (how many calories you burn) by 3-11%. Green tea for example, can help you burn more calories throughout the day, even at rest.
6. Park Further Away
Whether you’re going to work, out to lunch, or to the mall, park further away so that it forces you to walk further to get to your destination therefore, increasing your heart rate and burning more calories in the process.
7. Take The Stairs
Instead of taking an elevator or escalators, head for the stairs…unless of course you’re on the 98th floor. In that case, take the elevator to the 88th floor and walk the last 10 floors. You can increase the intensity too by taking the stairs two at a time.
8. Power Walk
If lunch time isn’t an option, make the most of your mid morning or afternoon break and head outside for a quick 15 minute power walk. If outside isn’t an option due to location or weather, head over to the stairwell and climb stairs for 15 minutes.
9. Stand More
If you’re typically seated for most of the day, make it a point to stand more throughout the day. Stand while making a call, reading an article, or during a meeting (if appropriate of course). When standing, you engage more muscle groups and therefore, burn more calories than you do seated.
In addition to these, here are a few other methods I use to burn more calories throughout my day.
Whenever I have to make a trip to the bank or post office, I walk (30 minutes there, 30 minutes back).
I often stand and walk around during phone calls and conference calls I’m on.
I eat every couple of hours to keep my metabolism revved up and constantly burning calories.
It’s All About Balance
As much as I value my health, fitness, and eating healthy… I also value and enjoy the ability to enjoy a glass of wine with my girlfriend at the end of our day to give thanks and reflect.
Whether it’s health, career, or relationships…. it all comes down to balance.
There’s too many good wines and cheeses out there to deprive ourselves. It’s silly, so stop doing it.
You can eat clean, be healthy, lose, maintain, or gain weight without having to count calories.
Going forward, focus on ways that you can burn more calories during the day so that you may enjoy more of the things you want and that make you happy.
More than anything…. enjoy that wine, you’ve earned it. 🙂