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5 Sneaky Ways To Burn Calories Outside The Gym

You probably associate calorie burning with training, but you burn calories 24/7, even while you sleep. Granted, the gym is your most intense burst of calorie expenditure, but we’re talking one hour of training versus 23 hours of non-training. You can benefit from a much smarter approach to burning more during the other 96 percent of your day.

The calories burned outside the gym matter just as much for health benefits and long-term weight maintenance as the calories burned within the gym walls. Even frequent exercisers are often quite sedentary when not training. Additionally, studies show that people grossly overestimate the amount of calories burned from their workout.

We live on a 24-hour clock. Each hour affords you an opportunity to burn fat; that gives you all the more reason to incorporate small bouts of activity and, of course, the following five calorie-burning strategies into your daily routine!

1 Swap Your Morning Bowl Of Oatmeal For An Omelette

When you swap your bowl of oatmeal for a 3-egg omelette with vegetables (spinach and bell peppers, anyone?), you do your taste buds a favor. You also affect the way your body metabolizes the food constituents. Thanks to a little something called the thermic effect of food, the different macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates, and fat) each require varying amounts of energy expenditure from the body to metabolize.

The metabolic pathway for protein digestion is rather complex, and as a result, the body spends slightly more calories metabolizing, say, a bolus of chicken than a chunk of sweet potato. In this case, the protein from eggs has a higher thermic effect—which could boost your calorie burn by an additional 40-50 calories.

So the next time you wake up in the morning, hankering for some grub, pass on the oats and say yes to a heaping pile of eggs and vegetables. With improved satiety levels, this small change to your breakfast could even make waves in your dietary choices throughout the day.

2 Move Throughout the Work Day

Look around your office. Chances are you see your co-workers hunched over, eyes glued to the monitor, scarfing down their lunch at their desk. While this habit is common, it shouldn’t be typical. Take back your precious lunchtime and repurpose it for the good of calorie-burning!

I’m not asking you to do anything drastic like run a couple miles (although you very well could), but your lunch time could be better served as “you” time, as a time to de-stress, and as time for a quick jaunt around the office. Forty-five minutes of light walking will take off 200-300 calories. What’s more, you’ll feel more focused and refreshed by the time you return to your desk.

“Lunch time could be better served as ‘you’ time, as a time to de-stress, and as time for a quick jaunt around the office.”

Maybe you want to dedicate lunch hour to, you know, eating lunch. There’s no rule that your walk must occur during lunch time. So grab your co-workers at any time and push for a quick stroll around the office building. Any excuse to get up and move, such as walking to speak to a co-worker, getting a glass of water from the break room, or going to use the photocopier, will also prove beneficial to your long-term health and help increase the total daily calories burned. Think of it this way: If you burn 20-25 calories for merely five minutes of movement, you can accumulate up to a net calorie burn of 160-200 calories over an 8-hour work day.

3 Stand While You Work

“Sitting doesn’t burn nearly as many calories as standing does.”

Modern society has created an entire culture that revolves around sitting: sitting at your desk eight hours per day, sitting in the car for your commute, sitting at home on the couch, sitting at the dinner table, sitting in the Jacuzzi &mdashyou get the picture.

Sitting doesn’t burn nearly as many calories as standing does. Then there’s the research on too much sitting. It shows a negative correlation with weakened gluteal (butt) muscles, which have been linked to poor hip function and chronic low-back pain. According to a study published by the “American College of Sports Medicine,” this extended sitting may increase your risk for cardiovascular disease, cancer, and mortality from various health-degrading causes.

The next time you talk on the phone or pore over stacks of paper at your desk, do it while standing rather than sitting on your rump. This simple change allows you to be more vivacious on the phone and more fidgety in general, thus allowing you to burn up to an additional 300 calories over the course of a day.

4 Take the Stairs

The prospect of climbing several flights of stairs can be daunting, but it’s a great way to burn more calories. If you’re fortunate enough to work in a multi-story building, climbing stairs should be a simple and effective addition to your daily routine. If not, always opt to take the stairs rather than the elevator whenever you can.

You’ll burn anywhere between 4 and 7 calories per flight of stairs you take, depending on their length and your body weight. You can even make it more difficult by getting lower, pretending to do step-ups, and come up slowly to make sure your glutes are firing.

5 Drink More Green Tea

The health benefits of green tea are well documented. In addition to kicking your metabolism awake, green tea contains polyphenols, which have antioxidant properties that can bolster the fight against cellular damage. Some cellular damage is necessary, of course, but rampant cell destruction is a bad thing and, in the worst cases, may even promote to cancer growth.

“Consuming green tea slightly lifts the overall 24-hour energy expenditure and increases rates of fat oxidation throughout the body.”

Rather than downing another cup of coffee or an energy drink, go for the green tea bags. You’ll probably have fewer people to fend off in the break room. The green tea will still provide a modest dose of caffeine for those morning pick-me-ups; the caffeine content of green tea rivals that of a 6 oz. cup of coffee, and gives a nice metabolic boost.

A study published in the “American Society for Clinical Nutrition” shows that consuming green tea slightly lifts the overall 24-hour energy expenditure and increases rates of fat oxidation throughout the body. What this means for you is more efficient fat burning and a higher metabolism for the rest of the day. All you have to do is raise that cup to your lips!

As you can see, it’s possible to raise your non-workout calorie burning without dramatically disrupting your daily habits. Noticeable change can come from small, yet consistent changes. All these little tweaks to your daily routine and diet will pile on quickly to ignite a sizeable calorie inferno and advance the achievement of your weight-loss goals.


  1. Chantre, P. et al. (1999). Efficacy of a green tea extract rich in catechin polyphenols and caffeine in increasing 24-hour energy expenditure and fat oxidation in humans. American Society for Clinical Nutrition. Vol. 70, no. 6.
  2. Church, T.S. et al. (2009). Sitting Time And Mortality From All Causes, Cardiovascular Disease, And Cancer. American College Of Sports Medicine. Vol. 41, No. 5. Pp. 998-1005.


About The Author

I’ve been working in the field of exercise science for the last 8 years. I’ve written a number of online and print articles.

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5 Sneaky Ways To Burn Calories Outside The Gym

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Physique Workout: NPC Athlete Nic Troupe's Fitness Regimen

NPC Men’s Physique competitor Nic Troupe has a history many of us can relate to. After an injury forced him to retire from his college football team, Nic was a little lost. But, unlike many ex-collegiate athletes, he didn’t spend his extra time feeling sorry for himself. Instead, Nic dove into the academic side of athletics and found his way into a lifetime of fitness, which eventually led him into competition. Check out Nic’s story and get his full fitness program!

Nic grabbed an undergraduate degree in fitness management, which led him to Wartburg College and Northern Iowa University, where he worked on the strength staff as a graduate assistant. “I got really involved in athletic training, and coaching strength and conditioning,” Nic says.

With an M.A. in physical education and a CSCS certification in hand, Nic then spent six years as a strength coach at a high school. Nic took pride in helping young athletes better themselves, but he also wanted to improve his own fitness. “I’ve trained for 5k and 10k road races and warrior dashes, and I’ve done competitive bench press competitions,” says Nic.

“I may make the switch to bodybuilding in the future, but we will have to wait and see.”

Clearly an athlete, Nic’s latest challenge has been competing in physique. He placed 2nd at the 2012 NPC Denver Novice and Masters Championships, and 4th as a novice at the Max Muscle Mile High Natural Championships.

His competitive future was looking bright when calamity struck. As he and his fiancee were waking across the street, they were hit by a taxi. Nic suffered severe neuromuscular damage which inhibited his speech and made even basic movements like walking up and down stairs very painful. His physical issues lasted for three months, and he had to back out of a show 8 weeks before he was scheduled to compete.

Undaunted by his setback, Nic recovered and continued to compete. In 2013, he placed 9th in the open division of the Colorado State Championships. For his future fitness endeavors, Nic is prepared to bring his best-ever self to the stage. “I may make the switch to bodybuilding in the future, but we will have to wait and see,” he says.

Nic’s Nutrition Program

Nic’s nutrition philosophy is based upon the “If It Fits Your Macros” approach. His greatest success has come from not over-complicating his diet. He focuses on eating healthy foods every day, but doesn’t deprive himself, especially during the off season. “If I want to have a Pop-Tart, I’ll have one,” says Nic. “I know that my approach doesn’t look like all of the other guys, but it works for me and I am happy with the results I get.”

Using this approach, Nic has been able to stay leaner in the off season without losing any muscle mass.

As stage day draws nearer, the indulgences are far less frequent. Other than cutting some indulgences near a competition, Nic’s diet stays pretty much the same in and out of season.

Blend Together

Nic’s Training Program

The guiding principle behind Nic’s training program is constant change. He rarely does the same workouts twice, so his body never knows what’s coming and he stays excited about his training.

When aiming to build mass in the off-season, Nic does heavy lifts in straight sets. As contest season nears, he changes his regimen to include more supersets, trisets, and dropsets to keep his heart rate up and burn more fat.

Below is a sample training week that Nic might follow. After doing this workout routine, he may not repeat the same sessions for another 4 or 5 weeks. All rest periods are kept to around 60 seconds, with the exception of legs and shoulders, which is taken to 90 seconds rest between sets.

“As contest season nears, he changes his regimen to include more supersets, trisets, and dropsets to keep his heart rate up and burn more fat.”


Nic’s Supplement Program

When selecting a supplement to use, Nic looks for two primary factors: cost and taste.

Because of his previous results and enthusiasm for iSatori, when he reached out to iSatori, he was quickly invited to become a brand rep on the Bodybuilding.com forums, and now he gets all the great-tasting supplements he enjoys.

His stack isn’t huge, though. “I base my diet on lean gains rather than going for an all-out ‘dirty bulk,’ so I don’t need much beyond my diet and training,” says Nic. “I’m really liking how Bio-Gro is helping me with adding lean mass without additional calories.”

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About The Author

I’ve been working in the field of exercise science for the last 8 years. I’ve written a number of online and print articles.


Physique Workout: NPC Athlete Nic Troupe's Fitness Regimen

Posted in Bodybuilding, Exercises, NutritionComments (0)

Paige Hathaway

Paige Hathaway

1 hour 14 minutes ago

California L I V I N 🌴✨
- I wanna know, Where are you guys located?!

Paige Hathaway

18 hours 27 minutes ago


Nobody will protect you from your suffering. You can’t cry it away or eat it away or starve it away or walk it away or punch it away or even therapy it away. It’s just there and you have to survive it. You have to endure it. You have to live through it and love it and move on and be better for it and run as far as you can in the direction of your best and happiest dreams across the bridge that was built by your own desire to heal yourself.

Nobody can rescue you but yourself and despite what you may think... You’re worth saving. You’re worth the fight. YOU’RE worth it. It may not be a war easily won depending on what you’re going through in this very moment but if anything is worth winning.. THIS IS IT! ....So don’t give up. Don’t give up on yourself, don’t give up your hope and don’t give up on your dreams. I believe we are who we choose to become. Choose to be believe in yourself above anything else and choose to be great.


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