How to Efficiently Burn Calories (the Healthy Way)

If you’ve taken charge of your health and exercise on a daily basis, you’ll be looking for ways to burn calories efficiently while keeping healthy.
Fortunately, there are a variety of ways to burn extra calories through exercise, nutrition, and lifestyle changes.

To begin, you must gain a better understanding of calories.

What are calories?

A calorie is the amount of energy required to raise the temperature of one liter of water by one degree, but if we’re really precise, a calorie is the amount of energy required to raise the temperature of one liter of water by one degree.

Calorimeters, which are similar to small incinerators[1], are used to calculate calories. They entail placing freeze-dried powdered food in a chamber filled with water and incinerating it.

The temperature of the water is then monitored, and the energy content of food in kilocalories is calculated.

This is also the reason why “all foods are not created equal.” After all, a handful of lettuce will burn up rapidly, resulting in a small increase in water temperature, whereas the same amount of nuts will be denser, resulting in higher temperatures.

A cup of nuts contains roughly 530 calories, whereas a cup of lettuce contains only about five.

Our bodies, on the other hand, do not “incinerate” calories; rather, they are digested. Calorie counting is far from a perfect science because not only do you have no idea how many calories you burn each day, but you also have no idea how many calories are in the food you eat.

The FDA allows labels to be inaccurate by up to 20% in any direction, and the majority of nutritional data is derived from databases rather than real calorie measurements.

This isn’t to say that calories aren’t important—far from it—but it will be nearly hard to measure things down to the calorie level.

How Many Calories to Burn a Pound?

When it comes to calories, this is another prevalent issue, and the answer varies widely. This will vary according to your lifestyle, body type, gender, BMI, and other factors.

The old rule was that you lost one pound for every 3,500 calories you burned. Of course, there’s a lot more to it than that. As your body burns fat and water, the more fat you have on your body, the faster you will lose weight.

When you’re near to your natural body weight, tho, your body resists burning fat and instead begins to burn muscle. [2]

All of this has an impact on how many calories you’ll need to shed one pound. I wish there was a simpler solution. The good news is that there are a variety of things you can do to learn how to successfully burn calories and improve your body’s overall efficiency.

Here are six pointers to get you started. Experiment with them to determine what works best for you.

1. Focus on Real, Whole Foods

You make it much easier for your body to handle calories when you focus on real food rather than stuff that comes in a package or a box.

Your body is built to handle calorie intake in a healthy manner without throwing things out of whack. It’s done this since the dawn of time, and it’s only when we add artificial and processed substances to our dirt that things get muddy and weight reduction becomes more difficult.

Consider your metabolism to be a sink that efficiently drains water. When we feed our bodies actual, entire foods, they are able to process and drain them efficiently.

If we put items like hair and other filth in the sink, however, the drain will clog, resulting in floods.

Hair and muck clog the drain in the same way that junk food clogs our bodies. Processed foods do not allow our bodies to function at their best; instead, they encourage fat storage and bad health.

“Of the 43 studies analyzed, 37 found dietary UPF [ultra-processed foods] intake related with at least one unfavorable health outcome,” according to one critical analysis.

Overweight, obesity, and cardiometabolic hazards in adults; cancer, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular illnesses in adults; irritable bowel syndrome, depression, and frailty disorders in adults; and all-cause mortality in adults.” [3].

If you avoid processed foods as much as possible, your body will naturally become more efficient at burning the calories you give it.

2. Work on Strength Training

Physical activity is obviously crucial when learning how to burn calories, but we’ll look at various types of exercise that are more successful than others.

Strength training has a number of benefits. These workouts involve a significant amount of effort and a large number of calories to give energy.

They also aid in the development of lean muscle, and the more lean muscle we have, the greater our metabolic rate will be.

Muscle requires calories to maintain its integrity, which implies that our bodies burn calories even when we are sleeping.

Strength training improves insulin sensitivity, which allows our bodies to better handle sugars since they are metabolized more efficiently, reducing the likelihood of their being stored as body fat[4].

3. Do High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

Most people are familiar with HIIT, which is one of the most effective workouts available. It’s also a fantastic calorie burner, burning more calories in a fraction of the time it takes to complete traditional, steady-state cardio.

A 30-second all-out workout (such as bike sprints or regular sprints) is followed by a 90-120 second, slower-paced recovery interval in HIIT training. You may perform anywhere from 3 to 8 rounds of this, which will give you a quick workout.

Because it burns a lot of calories, HIIT is similar to strength training. They’re challenging workouts, but the good news is that they take less time and burn more calories in less than 30 minutes than an hour of treadmill walking. Sprinters appear to be slimmer than marathon runners because of this.

Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption, or “EPOC,” is another HIIT advantage. This is an “afterburn” effect that permits our bodies to continue burning calories even after we’ve finished working out.

To complete a HIIT workout, our bodies require a lot of oxygen, and they must replenish it by burning calories.

Following a HIIT workout, we can burn calories for up to 24 hours[5]. The good news is that we don’t have to exercise every day to reap these benefits; just 2-3 times per week would enough.

4. Try Tabata Training

This is high-intensity interval training taken to the next level. Tabatas were created for Olympic competitors as a high-intensity training approach, but they’re also an excellent calorie burner.

Tabata is a four-minute workout with a lot of science behind it, as strange as that may sound. Tabata is similar to a HIIT workout in that the intensive exercise is done for 20 seconds followed by a ten-second recovery, repeated eight times for a total of four minutes.

Tabata is fantastic since it can be done anywhere and can be done with a bodyweight workout like burpees or mountain climbers. Learn how to do burpees properly in the video below for a wonderful workout.

Bodyweight will, of course, increase the intensity of the workout and push us to our limits. It may not seem possible at first, but it is critical to endure because the rest intervals will become insufficient after you reach the halfway point.

Tabata can be added to the end of a weight training program and done every other day if you’re serious about learning how to burn calories.

5. Eat Spicy Food

Here’s one that doesn’t necessitate leaving the dining table! Spicy foods, such as jalapeño peppers, cayenne peppers, chilies, or hot sauce, contain a chemical molecule called capsaicin[6], which can enhance your metabolism by up to 8%.

Spicy meals boost our body’s thermogenic output, which causes us to feel warmer and clear our sinuses by burning fat to generate heat. Capsaicin can also help you lose weight, so it’s a win-win situation.

6. Drink Cold Water

This won’t burn as many calories a day as a decent HIIT exercise, but since we’ll be drinking water all day anyway, we might as well burn some calories.

Water not only keeps us hydrated and quenches our thirst, but it can also give us a short metabolic boost if we drink it cold.

When we are exposed to cold water, our bodies must work to warm it up, resulting in a thermogenic effect. It varies a lot, but one study found that drinking 17 ounces of cold water for 30-40 minutes increased calorie burning by at least 4.5 percent to 30 percent[7].

Final Thoughts

It’s vital to remember that our bodies have this ability built into them while thinking about how to burn calories effectively to lose weight.

Natural approaches can help us burn more calories and improve our health. These natural solutions are not only healthful but are also inexpensive and simple to include in most people’s lives. 


  1. BC Campus: Calorimetry
  2. GQ: Do You Really Lose a Pound of Fat for Every 3,500 Calories You Burn?
  3. Nutrients: Ultra-Processed Foods and Health Outcomes: A Narrative Review
  4. Int J Med Sci.: Strength training improves muscle quality and insulin sensitivity in Hispanic older adults with type 2 diabetes
  5. Journal of Applied Physiology: Effect of an acute period of resistance exercise on excess post-exercise oxygen consumption: implications for body mass management
  6. Friday: How Spicy Foods Can Speed up Your Metabolism
  7. J Clin Endocrinol Metab.: Water-induced thermogenesis.

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