By Summer Banks on Jan 26, 2017

If you want to lose weight, there’s no getting around the need to burn calories.

The two biggest ways to cut calories are with diet and exercise.

But there are also a lot of lesser-known ways to burn calories. Some of these might even raise an eyebrow—but they work! This is true for supplements such as Hydroxycut.

Here’s out list of the most out-of-the-box ways of burning calories.

Blood donation

#1. Donating Blood

Why not kills two birds with one stone? Burn calories and also help out people in need?

When you donate blood, you temporarily increase the amount of calories your body burns.

According to studies by researchers at the University of California San Diego, donating a pint of blood burned an average of 650 calories [1].

By donating blood, you force your body to use energy for the synthesizing of replacement blood components, such as proteins and red blood cells. The expenditure of energy is what burns calories.

Naturally, you’re not going to donate on a daily basis. You must wait for a minimum of eight weeks between every blood donation. This gives your body time to replenish its blood supply.

Besides burning calories, there are additional benefits to donating blood. These include reducing the risk of heart disease, lowering inflammatory markers, and increasing antioxidant activities [2, 3].

And, of course, you get to help people who need the blood to stay alive.

Final Thoughts: Donating blood gives you a temporary calorie-burning boost and offers other notable health benefits.

Exposure to the Elements

#2. Exposure to Cold Temperatures

When you’re exposed to the cold, you stimulate brown fat activity, which helps to increase your metabolic rate [4, 5, 6].

You see, your body fat mostly falls into the category of “white fat.” But a small amount is “brown fat.” These two kinds of fats affect your body in different ways [7, 8].

White fat has negative effects. It leads to inflammation, insulin resistance, and fat buildup. Brown fat, on the other hand, helps you burn calories. This makes it great for losing weight and fighting diabetes! [9, 10, 11, 12]

The calorie-burning potential of brown fat varies from person to person. Lean people tend to have more active brown fat than overweight people [13].

Recent studies on animals suggest that chronic exposure to the cold provokes a “browning” of white fat [14].

Studies on people find that cold exposure has a significant impact on calorie burning. The increase depends on how much active brown fat you have in your body [15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20].

Don’t worry—you don’t have to go down to the Arctic to enjoy the calorie-burning benefits.

A study was conducted of healthy young men who were made to stay in a 66ºF environment for the space of two hours. All of them saw increased calorie burning, although the ones who saw the most change were the ones with the highest rate of brown fat activity [21].

Another study looked at ten young men who were placed in a 62ºF environment for two hours. On average, they burned more than 164 calories per day than they did under normal circumstances [22].

So what can you do to get more cold exposure in your life? Try taking cold showers, taking walks on cold days, and lowering the temperature in your home.

Final Thoughts: Being exposed to cold temperatures helps stimulate brown activity, which is good for burning calories.

Chew Gum

#3. Burn Calories by Chewing Gum

Chewing on gum aids with calorie-burning in more than one way.

First, it promotes satiety. This is true for medications such as Contrave. When you feel full, you snack less, which means you consume fewer calories [23].

Also, there’s evidence that chewing gum helps raise the rate of your metabolism.

Researchers looked into the number of calories burned by a regular-weight man after eating. They burned more calories when they chewed gum at the conclusion of their meal [24].

An additional study found that men and women who chewed gum for 20 minutes after eating had a higher metabolic rate than when they didn’t chew gum. The effects of the gum chewing continued into the next morning [25].

To get all the beneficial effects out of chewing gum, be sure to use the sugar-free variety.

Final Thoughts: Chewing gum between and after meals helps raise your metabolic rate.

drink water to feel full

#4. Can Cold Water Help Burn Calories?

If you want to quench your thirst, there’s no better choice of beverage than water.

In studies of overweight adults and children, drinking water has been found to boost metabolism temporarily. When you drink cold water, the beneficial effects go up.

A group of researchers discovered that 40% of the metabolic rate increase is due to your body’s effort to warm up in response to the cold water [26].

A study of young adults observed that drinking 17 ounces of cold water increased calorie-burning by up to 30% for a 90-minute period [27].

Final Thoughts: Drinking cold water helps to temporarily boost your metabolic rate, although the rate of increase varies from person to person.


#5. How Many Calories Can Laughter Burn?

Maybe laughter is the best medicine?

Besides being good for your immunity, memory, and arterial functions, laughter helps you burn calories [28].

A study of 45 couples watching movies together found that the participants’ metabolic rate went up by 10-20% when they laughed during comedies [29].

Laughing regularly throughout the day can have a long-term impact on your weight loss efforts.

Final Thoughts: Laughing not only makes you feel good psychologically; it also improves your body’s calorie-burning.

If you fidget, will you burn calories?

#6. Fidgeting and Calories Burned

All forms of physical activity help you burn calories; including the subtle physical movement known as fidgeting.

When you fidget, you move your body restlessly.

A study found that people who fidgeted burned five times more calories than they were standing or sitting still [30].

The people who most benefit from the metabolic rate increase of fidgeting are those with the highest body weights [31].

Fidgeting, combined with other forms of non-exercise activity [NEAT] like standing and walking, has been found to burn as many as 2,000 calories a day.

Thus, it’s extremely critical to incorporate different forms of NEAT into your daily routine.

In addition to fidgeting, you can try doing household chores and using the stairs instead of the elevator.

Final Thoughts: Fidgeting increases the number of calories you burn. It’s especially useful for overweight individuals.


There are lots of little-known ways to burn calories. Pick and combine the ones best suited to your circumstances. You’ll receive an extra boost to move you closer to your weight goals.

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About the Author:

Summer Banks, Director of Content at Dietspotlight, has researched over 5000 weight-loss programs, pills, shakes and diet plans. Previously, she managed 15 supplement brands, worked with doctors specializing in weight loss and completed coursework in nutrition at Stanford University. full bio.