15 Wacky Ways You Can Burn Extra Calories—No Gym Time Required!

Updated: Apr. 30, 2018

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Burning calories is not usually our main motivation for kissing someone, but it’s good to know that locking lips has benefits we don’t expect. Kissing can burn two to six calories a minute. Do it for an hour and you can burn up to 60 extra calories. Muah! Just don’t fall for these myths that could ruin your metabolism.


Send snail mail

Hitting the send button in our email inbox doesn’t do much for our metabolism, but sending mail the old school way can give us a boost in the health department. Writing a handwritten note, licking a stamp, traveling to the post office, and standing while waiting in line are all these little movements that can add up in the long run. Here are more sneaky ways to walk more steps every day.

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Chew gum

You can burn up to 11 calories per hour while chewing (sugarless) gum. The act of chewing also helps prevent unnecessary snacking, so that’s a bonus. You can also try eating this breakfast that helps you burn calories all day long.


Sing in the shower

It’s widely known that singing is good for the spirit and soul. It releases endorphins and lowers cortisol, which can help lower stress. Singing also engages the breath—and the abs, which is perhaps why it’s known to torch 136 calories an hour. Check out activities that burn 200 calories—fast.

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Eat celery

It’s long been said that celery is so low in calories that the energy expended to eat and digest it is more than the celery itself. While “negative calorie” foods are mostly wishful thinking, the thermic effect of food (the number of calories your body burns by the act of eating) is real. To break it down, if you’re eating a six calorie medium-sized celery stalk, your body will burn one calorie digesting that stalk.

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Instagram your food

Simply using the app alone won’t burn calories (we wish!), but studies show that visually documenting your meals can help reduce intake overall. Foodies, rejoice! It’s like a food journal but through pictures. This is one way to be mindful about what you eat thus lowering your chances of overindulging. Don’t miss these other 11 weird weight-loss tricks that really work.



Fidgeting can burn 350 more calories than merely sitting down. Switch positions in your seat, tap your foot, and move around as much as possible. It might be slightly annoying to the people around you, but fidgeting is one everyday tactic we can use to keep our metabolic rate up. Here are 25 more ways to burn more calories by boosting your metabolism.


Drink a cold glass of water

Drinking water is all around great for our health. Cold water gives us a metabolic boost since our body temperature has to adjust to heat the liquid in our system. Drinking cold water throughout the day can lead to losing an extra 70 calories. Plus, keeping yourself hydrated will help your body function better and give you stamina for serious calorie-busting workouts.

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Spice up your food

There’s an incentive beyond taste to order Thai or add cayenne pepper to your next chicken dinner. Researchers at Purdue University found that people who added half a teaspoon of hot spice to their soup ate 60 fewer calories than people who ate soup without the extra kick. Skinny people are known to eat cayenne pepper, whether or not they’re aware of the metabolism boost.



We don’t generally associate gardening with getting fit but maybe we should. Gardening has the potential to burn up to 250 calories per hour. Sounds like it’s time to get to work tending to those veggies and flowers. But beware: These workouts don’t burn as many calories as you think.

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Can we really lose weight while virtually sitting still? If so, sign us up. Among the vast health benefits of meditation, building a mindful practice can help lower your desire for high-caloric foods.



Preparing a meal often means chopping, dicing, mixing, and sautéing. Do any combination of this for a total of 40 minutes and you will have burned off 128 calories before you even serve your guests the meal. Plus there are bound to be bonus calories burned during the inevitable cleanup. Load up on these other 14 fat-burning foods that help you lose weight.


Sleep in a cold room

Keeping your bedroom chilly can make a small difference in our daily calorie expenditure. When our body temperature dips we burn calories to keep ourselves warm. Learn the exact best temperature to keep your bedroom to burn more calories.


Go shopping

We can keep up our fitness level by strolling through the grocery store after work, stopping at the mall over our lunch hour, or popping into the farmers market over the weekend. Walking, even at a slow pace, burns three times as many calories as sitting or standing up does. Still, your best bet is these workouts that burn as many calories as running.

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Watch a horror film

We’re not joking: Watching a scary movie burns 113 calories, as it stimulates the release of adrenaline. Choose a terror-filled film to get the body in full blood-pumping mode for maximum calorie burn. In the Telegraph, metabolic specialist Richard Mackenzie says, “It is this release of fast-acting adrenaline, produced during short bursts of intense stress—or in this case, fear—which is known to lower the appetite, increase the basal metabolic rate, or the energy we expend while resting, and burn a higher level of calories.” Try these other 15 easy ways to burn calories without exercise.