When you’re in the kitchen, you’re probably thinking about all the yummy things you can make to eat. Given the right mindset, you can also use your time in the kitchen as a way to burn some calories. Burning more calories than you consume can help you lose weight. If you’re about to indulge in a decadent meal, it can also help balance out some of the damage. Here are some great ways to burn calories while you’re cooking.
1. Mix Manually
Sure, it’s way easier to blend your muffin or cake batter with an electric mixer, but if you do it by hand you can torch some calories. Use a regular spoon and stir your ingredients by hand. Not only are you burning calories, but you’re also working the muscles in your arms. Can’t beat that, right?
Are you waiting for your water to boil? Or waiting for soup to simmer? Use that time to do a few quick sets of squats, calf raises, push-ups and lunges. Building little pockets of time into your day where you can get active is an easy way to increase your daily calorie burn. You’ll be so proud of yourself for making use of your idle kitchen time by fitting in the chance to torch some calories.
3. Slice and Dice Vigorously
Anytime you get your heart rate going, you are burning calories. Put your all into slicing and dicing and you can burn a few extra calories while you prep dinner. Granted, you can’t rely on this as your only means of calorie burning, but it can’t hurt, can it? And when you’re done, you have the makings for a tasty dish of fajitas or a yummy salad.
4. Lift Your Own Stuff
When I need to lift a heavy stack of pans to get one on the bottom or transfer a big pot of soup to the table, I often ask my husband for help. Doing it myself builds muscle and burns a few calories that I otherwise wouldn’t. Instead of asking for help transferring everything to the table, do it yourself. All that lifting and moving will add up.
5. Stir Quickly
Instead of lazy slow circles, whisk and stir quickly to make cooking a more active activity. Not only will you burn more calories, but you’ll give your arm muscles a workout too. Just don’t stir so fast that your soup, sauce or gravy gets spilled or sloshes over the side of the pot. This also works for tossing salads.
6. Mash by Hand
I have this great kitchen tool called an immersion blender that makes quick work of large batches of guacamole, mashed potatoes, refried beans and much more. It’s faster and easier, but you can burn more calories mashing by hand with an old school potato masher. You’ve probably felt the burn in your arms that occurs when you mash. Take that as your cue to knowing you’re getting a good workout in.
Do you listen to music while you cook? That gives you the perfect chance to pump up your calorie burn. Get into the music by dancing around your kitchen while you cook and while you wait for your meal to be ready to eat. You’ll be having so much fun you won’t even notice that you’re getting a workout.
How do you burn calories in the kitchen? I like #2 and often employ this method while I wait for dinner. What other ideas do you have?