We’ll let you in on a little secret. Sometimes, the smallest changes can make the most significant impact in life. Take long-term weight loss, for example. You don’t need to adhere to extreme diets or a hardcore workout routine to achieve this health and fitness goal. Sometimes, you only need to burn an extra 100 calories a day to shed unwanted pounds and feel your best. Research observed that reducing your daily energy intake by just 100 calories was enough to prevent weight gain. This simple yet effective approach will support your fitness and weight loss goals without overhauling your entire lifestyle.
If you’re wondering what you can do to ensure you’re torching an additional 100 calories a day, we’ve got you covered. We chatted with Destini Moody, RDN, CSSD, LD, a registered dietitian and sports dietitian with Garage Gym Reviews, who shares practical advice, sustainable habits, and expert wisdom to help you start incinerating calories and melting away those extra pounds.
The beauty of burning 100 extra calories daily lies in its cumulative effect. Over a week, that’s 700 calories. Over a month, it’s a substantial 3,000 calories. These small adjustments can make a real difference in your overall energy balance and weight management. Read on for Moody’s 10 easy ways to burn an extra 100 calories a day, and when you’re done, don’t miss 6 Ways Stress Can Cause Weight Gain—and How You Can Avoid It.
Join a 45-minute fitness class.
Whether it’s high-intensity interval training, dance, or cycling, structured fitness classes can be an excellent way to torch well beyond 100 calories. Plus, these classes boost cardiovascular health and provide a sense of camaraderie, making them an enjoyable way to reach your daily calorie-burning goal.
“Fitness classes like body pump or Zumba don’t allow you to take overly long breaks at your leisure to keep your heart rate high. This makes them challenging and efficient, helping you easily burn 100 calories or even more,” says Moody.
Eat more protein.
Believe it or not, increasing your protein intake can help you burn more calories throughout the day. Research has shown that protein has a higher thermic effect, meaning your body spends more energy digesting it than fats or carbs.
“Protein can raise your resting metabolic rate because it takes more energy to digest than carbs or fat. It also makes you feel fuller for longer, which can lead to you eating 100 calories less throughout the day,” Moody explains.
Choose whole fruits over dried fruits.
When it comes to snacking, opt for whole fruits over their dried counterparts. Whole fruits, like apples or berries, are nutrient-dense and contain more water and fiber, promoting a sense of fullness.
“A handful of raisins contains 150 calories, while a handful of grapes has 30 calories,” Moody states. “The kicker? They have the same nutrient profile in terms of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. The difference is the raisins have had water removed, which allows you to eat more of the caloric portion of the fruit. By eating whole fruits, you can end up eating 100 calories less than normal.”
Don’t neglect cardio machines.
Whether it’s the treadmill, elliptical, or stationary bike, cardio machines offer efficient and customizable workout options. Aim for at least 30 to 45 minutes of moderate-intensity cardio to reach that extra 100-calorie burn goal effortlessly.
Moody tells us, “Those calorie burn counters on the machines can come in handy but aren’t necessarily accurate. To be safe, go hard on the elliptical or treadmill until you’ve burned 150 calories. To get there faster, go on an incline, up the intensity, or go high intensity in intervals.”
Swim for 15 minutes.
Swimming is a fantastic calorie-burning activity that’s low-impact and easy on the joints. The resistance of the water engages multiple muscle groups, turning your swim into a full-body workout that supports overall fitness and health.
“If you’ve ever felt starving after a day at the pool, it’s because you burned a ton of calories,” Moody explains. “Swimming is one of the most high-calorie burning sports due to the effort it takes to suspend one’s entire body weight in water for extended periods. Just 15 minutes of swimming can burn [approximately] 100 calories.”
Lift weights for 30 minutes.
Lifting weights offers physical benefits beyond sculpting muscle—it’s also a killer calorie-burning workout. A 30-minute weightlifting session engages various muscle groups, boosting your metabolism and continuing to burn calories even after you finish. Plus, studies have found resistance training (e.g., weightlifting) can help preserve muscle mass while in a calorie deficit.
“Weightlifting has been shown by science to burn plenty of calories during exercise and after exercise in a phenomenon called excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC),” Moody says. “This phenomenon happens when the body tries to restore the oxygen levels to normal after using so much oxygen to lift heavy weights, and restoring this oxygen after exercise burns calories.”
Do a 30-minute Pilates class.
A 30-minute Pilates class combines strength training, flexibility, and core engagement, accelerating energy expenditure for a solid calorie burn.
“Unlike yoga, Pilates tends to incorporate more strength-based movements rather than focusing on flexibility and balance, thus resulting in a bigger calorie burn,” states Moody.
Cut out high-calorie beverages.
Swapping high-calorie beverages like sugary sodas or specialty coffee drinks for water, herbal tea, or black coffee can lead to a significant calorie reduction. One study found that every high-calorie, sugar-sweetened beverage drank per day added 147 calories to women’s daily energy intake.
Moody suggests, “Switch out your latte or sweet tea for water just once a day, and that’s 100 calories that are easily slashed.”
Wash your car by hand.
Spending around 30 minutes scrubbing and polishing your car engages your muscles and elevates your heart rate, helping you torch extra calories.
“Come on, you know it could use a good scrub,” says Moody. “The effort it takes to wash your car both inside and outside for at least 20 minutes can burn an extra 100 calories.”
Take your dog for a walk.
A 30-minute walk with your dog is a stellar way to burn an extra 100 calories a day. According to a 2017 study, dog owners are on average more physically active than non-dog owners and are less likely to be overweight or obese.
“Play fetch with your dog, chase them around, or play some tug of war outdoors. If you can get you and your pup moving for 30 to 45 minutes, your body and your furry best friend will thank you,” says Moody.