When guys want to burn off calories, they sometimes resort to drastic measures. Spending long hours in the gym grinding out intense cardio or pumping more and heavier weights are a couple of frequently deployed tactics, but these can be counterproductive and unrealistic. And don’t even get me started on “fat-burning supplements” or crash diets!
Why not begin with some easier and more practical ways to torch those unwanted calories and fat? Here are five surefire strategies you can use every day.
Drink Up. Did you know that the body often confuses thirst for hunger? This makes it dangerously easy to down a few hundred calories through mindless eating when all you need is a glass of H2O!
Keep a water bottle with you all day, and stay hydrated. Also, have a glass of water or two before each meal to keep your appetite under control.
But Don’t Drink Your Fruit. Instead of a glass of juice at breakfast, opt for a whole orange or apple, a few melon slices, or a cup of berries. Fruit juices contain a greater concentration of sugar, and thus more calories, than whole fruit. For example, an 8-ounce glass of orange juice contains 122 calories, but you can eat a whole orange for just 69 calories — and benefit from downing 3–5 grams of healthy fiber.
Swap Out Ingredients. Perform some creative swapping when you prepare meals. Going vegan is commendable, but most guys still want meat. Instead of doing without entirely, try cutting back a little to save some calories and fat.
When making burgers, meatloaf, or meat sauce, try replacing some of the ground beef with chopped mushrooms or veggies like carrots, zucchini, or eggplant. Those ingredients have a meaty texture, add flavor, and contain a lot fewer calories than meat — and no saturated fat.
You can do the same with carbs. When you make mashed potatoes, try a mix of half potatoes and half rutabaga Cauliflower makes a yummy substitute for rice. When boiling pasta, start with fewer noodles, and then toss some chopped vegetables into the water during the last few minutes of cooking.
Trade Snacks for Mini-Meals. Making it from one meal to the next can be a struggle once you’re hungry. Instead of eating quick, handy junk food, treat each snack like a mini-meal.
Choose items that have a good balance of protein, unsaturated fat, and fiber-rich carbohydrates. Go for hummus with chopped vegetables, apple slices with almond butter, or yogurt topped with a few nuts. And whatever your healthy snack of choice, keep your house (and office) well stocked!
Work It Out. It’s great when you can budget time for the gym, but sometimes work makes that impossible. The solution is to do things at your job to burn more calories and stay fit.
Walk to work if you can. Park farther away from your destination at work (or when running errands). Take the stairs whenever you can. Take a brisk walk or do some push-ups and crunches during your break times.
Sure, your coworkers may give you shit. But is it ever bad to be known as the guy in the office who’s serious about staying fit? I don’t think so.