The 10 Habits of Highly Unflabby People
So you want to keep an eye on the old waistline, but you hate diets. Join the club. Rather than give you recipes for “yummy” quinoa-kelp granola, we suggest following these simple rules, rituals, and metabolic sleights of hand. You’ll eat better, eat less, and burn calories all day long, even while checking your e-mail
Your Eating Habits
1. Grease your pans with olive-oil cooking spray. This is twenty-nine calories less than a pat of butter. One time, no big deal. But if you cook ten times a week…
Calories saved per week: 290
2. Use small plates. Better, use blue ones. Small plates trick your brain into thinking you’re eating more—and studies have shown that blue objects suppress appetite, which is why you don’t see a lot of blue foods.
Calories saved per week: 500
3. Drink a glass of water before every meal. This initiates a complex metabolic reaction that dietitians call “filling up your stomach so you don’t eat as much.” For real: Drinking water throughout the day means you ingest up to 9 percent less calories.
Calories saved per week: 1,358
4. Cook with spices instead of sauces. Sauces contain tons of calories (a tablespoon of mayo: 90); spices don’t. Plus, hot spices and peppers help speed your metabolism and make you eat slower, due to your mouth being on fire.
Calories saved per week: 500
Your Drinking Habits
5. Don’t even make eye contact with us until you cut out soda. One can of Dr Pepper is 150 calories. And for what? It doesn’t even lower your inhibitions!
Calories saved per week: 1,350
6. Pour your coffee creamer down the drain. Black coffee has almost zero calories. Drop the syrups and creamers and even milk, which is made for calves that need to gain like a thousand pounds.
Calories saved from ten cups per week: 360
7. Treat your beer like it’s scotch. The heavier the brew, the higher its calories. So when you’re just chilling and want something beery, drink a single light one. Savor the hoppier stuff in small doses to celebrate special occasions, such as birthdays and successful parole hearings.
Calories saved per week: 288
Your Work Habits
8. Work standing up. Sitting all the time makes you fat, ruins your posture, and (spoiler alert!) murders you slowly. According to science, after sitting for an hour, your body slows production of fat-burning enzymes by as much as 90 percent. People who sit for at least half their day have shown a 54 percent greater chance of keeling over from a heart attack. Get a standing desk. Some HR departments will hook you up for free.
Calories saved per week: 828
9. Do your own chores. You’ll save money, improve your home, and get exercise without all that pesky “working out.” Mowing the lawn burns 449 calories per hour. Raking leaves burns 351. Painting your house burns 368, somehow.
Calories burned altogether: 1,168
Your Walking Habits
10. The single best thing you can do for your body is easy enough for a toddler to learn. Walking helps avert diabetes and strokes and boosts your sex drive and brain function—and you’re probably pretty good at it by now. Buy a pedometer and aim for 10,000 steps a day. While you’re at it, adopt a dog. In an actual study by the University of Missouri, people who walked their dogs twenty minutes a day dropped an average of fourteen pounds in a year. “The people who walked with another person did not receive the same benefits,” study author Rebecca Johnson tells us, “because the person could discourage them from walking.” See, when was the last time a dog talked you out of anything?
Calories burned per week: 3,500
Total Weekly Calories Avoided: 10,142
Please follow: Jeff Vrabel (@JeffVrabel) is a GQ contributor