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12 weird things you didn't know helped you burn calories

Posted January 31

 (Deseret Photo)

Working out isn’t the only thing that burns calories.

Here are 12 things you probably already do every day that help you burn those carbs:

1. Brushing your teeth

Many dentists say that you should spend at least two minutes brushing your teeth. By following this rule, you’ll burn about five calories each time you clean your teeth, according to Diet Dairy Plus. That's another plus to keeping up on your dental hygiene!

2. Chewing

If you want to burn calories while sitting at your desk, grab a stick of gum! Research shows that chewing gum burns 11 calories an hour. Go for sugar-free gum to get even more benefits.

3. Cooking

Here’s another reason to take time making a home-cooked meal. You can burn 102 calories when you spend 45 minutes preparing, chopping and cooking your meal, according to Redbook.

4. Driving

You’re losing calories even on your morning commute to work. You burn 17 calories for every 15 minutes of driving, according to Calorie Lab. Just remember this the next time you’re stuck in traffic!

5. Eating spicy food

Eating spicy food temporarily increases metabolism by eight percent, according to Rene Ficek, a dietician and nutrition expert. This increase can help you lose even more calories. Think about adding some hot sauce to your next meal for an extra kick.

6. Fidgeting

Don’t sit still! Burn more calories while you sit at your desk or watch television by fidgeting. The amount of calories you lose varies on how vigorously you fidget, according to Fitness Blender. You can lose calories by shifting your posture, stretching or tapping your foot.

7. Kissing

You can burn eight to 16 calories per kiss, according to Andréa Demirjian, author of "Kissing: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about One of Life's Sweetest Pleasures." Passionate kisses torch calories, so show your husband some love to get your heart racing.

8. Laughing

Laughing has several health benefits like reducing muscle tension, releasing endorphines and, of course, burning calories. Studies show that laughter causes a 10 to 20 percent increase in energy release. This means that laughing for about 10 minutes, burns 10 to 40 calories, depending on how funny your friend’s joke is.

9. Meditating

If you needed another reason to take some time for yourself, this is it! You burn about one calorie for every minute of meditation depending on your weight, according to Fit Watch. Find a quiet spot, sit down and relax. Your mind and body will thank you.

10. Pushing a shopping cart

You burn 51 calories during a 30-minute shopping trip, according to Calorie Lab. If your typical shopping trip lasts an hour, you’re losing about 102 calories just by running an errand.

11. Sleeping

The amount of calories you burn while sleeping is dependent on your weight. Every hour of sleep burns about .42 calories per pound according to FitDay. This means if you are 150 pounds, you will burn about 63 calories during one hour of sleep. Therefore, don’t always feel guilty when you push the snooze button.

12. Walking on different surfaces

The surface you’re walking on makes a difference in your daily calories. Mark Fenton, author of “The Complete Guide to Walking for Health, Weight Loss, and Fitness,” estimates that you will burn five percent more calories by walking on a paved trail vs. a treadmill. Meaning when you choose to take a dirt path, you’ll burn even more calories because there are more irregularities in the course. So, next time you go out for a stroll, consider which trail to follow based on how smooth or rough the surface is.

If you missed going to the gym today, or even if you didn’t have the most productive day, take comfort in the fact that no matter what you accomplished, you burned calories while doing so.

Shaelynn Miller is a journalist who has a passion for photography, video production and writing.

Contact her at smiller@deseretdigital.com.

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