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7 Simple Daily Tasks That Can Help You Lose Weight

Last updated March 28, 2015

Approved by: Krish Tangella MD, MBA, FCAP

Consuming more fruits and vegetables can help you eat fewer overall calories.

According to the U.S. Dietary Guidelines, the average female should eat between 1,600 calories to 2,400 calories per day, and the average male should consume about 2,000 calories to 3,000 calories per day. In actuality, Americans consume closer to 3,800 calories daily. This has contributed to the growing epidemic of obesity. The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention reports more than 37% of adults in the United States are obese.

Often, we have to set a time to engage in healthy exercises. However, you can add little tasks in your daily activity that will help you lose weight. Here are simple daily activities that will help you manage your weight.

1. Get sufficient sleep.

Sleep deprivation induces severe consequences on your metabolism and appetite. Evidence published in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences revealed that long-term insufficient sleep might escalate the risk of obesity and diabetes. When a person does not sleep, insulin sensitivity decreases rapidly and can elevate the likelihood of weight gain and diabetes.

2. Eat more fruits and vegetables.

Consuming more fruits and vegetables can help you eat fewer overall calories. Dr. Leonard H. Epstein and colleagues found that parents who increased fruit and vegetable consumption showed considerably better decreases in overweight percentage than parents who only reduced the amount of fat and sugar consumed.

3. Eat slowly.

A report in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found that healthy women who ate slower consumed fewer calories than women who ate quickly.

4. Follow the 1-mile rule.

Instead of taking your car everywhere, try walking more often. This will save you money on gas and increase your energy expenditure. The amount of calories burned depends on an individual’s speed and weight. If you walk at a pace of 4 mph, you will walk a mile in about 15 minutes. According to Harvard Health, a 135-pound person burns approximately 78 calories per mile at that pace while a 165-pound person burns around 96 calories per mile.

5. Buy and use a pedometer.

Dr. Dena M. Bravata and colleagues suggest that the utilization of a pedometer is linked to major increases in physical activity and significant decreases in body mass index and blood pressure.

6. Eat from home more often.

A study in the Public Health Nutrition reported that individuals who ate at restaurants consumed 200 more calories per day on an average than individuals who ate at home. That can add up to 73,000 additional calories or 21 pounds in one year.

7. Take the stairs.

Assuming that the average adult takes the stairs (about 30 steps per stairs) five to six times per day and one step of the stairs consumes 0.167 kcal. By using the stairs, one can burn approximately 9,082 – 10,994 kcal per year. This is equivalent to nearly three pounds of lost weight.

Everyone can maintain a healthy lifestyle by making a few simple changes. Focus on one single small step to improve your daily health. Once you have maintained that step consistently, you can always incorporate additional healthy habits into your routine.

Additional Resources:

Andrade, A. M., Greene, G. W., & Melanson, K. J. (2008). Eating slowly led to decreases in energy intake within meals in healthy women. Journal of the American Dietetic Association108(7), 1186-1191.

Bravata, D. M., Smith-Spangler, C., Sundaram, V., Gienger, A. L., Lin, N., Lewis, R., ... & Sirard, J. R. (2007). Using pedometers to increase physical activity and improve health: a systematic review. Jama298(19), 2296-2304.

Calories burned in 30 minutes for people of three different weights - Harvard Health. (n.d.). Retrieved February 12, 2015, from http://www.health.harvard.edu/newsweek/Calories-burned-in-30-minutes-of-leisure-and-routine-activities.htm

Epstein, L. H., Gordy, C. C., Raynor, H. A., Beddome, M., Kilanowski, C. K., & Paluch, R. (2001). Increasing fruit and vegetable intake and decreasing fat and sugar intake in families at risk for childhood obesity. Obesity research9(3), 171-178.

Iversen, M. K., Händel, M. N., Jensen, E. N., Frederiksen, P., & Heitmann, B. L. (2007). Effect of health-promoting posters placed on the platforms of two train stations in Copenhagen, Denmark, on the choice between taking the stairs or the escalators: a secondary publication. International journal of obesity, 31(6), 950-955.

Knutson, K. L., & Van Cauter, E. (2008). Associations between sleep loss and increased risk of obesity and diabetes. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1129(1), 287-304.

Nguyen, B. T., & Powell, L. M. (2014). The impact of restaurant consumption among US adults: effects on energy and nutrient intakes. Public health nutrition,17(11), 2445-2452.

Reviewed and Approved by a member of the DoveMed Editorial Board
First uploaded: March 28, 2015
Last updated: March 28, 2015