How Burning Calories Became the New Benefit of Taking a Hot Bath
7 minute read
Weight loss is a popular goal as increased awareness of health and disease prevention takes hold. The typical Western diet and lifestyle tends to promotes obesity and, sadly, with obesity comes a host of serious health problems.
Dieting and exercise are the classic approaches to losing weight, but it seems there is a more enjoyable way to burn unwanted calories. According to recent research, you can literally melt calories while soaking in a relaxing hot bath.
Melting The Pounds Away, Literally
A new study has found that soaking in a hot bath can burn just as many calories as a thirty-minute walk. All this time we thought we had to work hard to burn calories and shed pounds, when all you need to do is relax in a steaming, hot bath.
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The science behind the study focuses on how heat affects the molecules in your body, and this is where the link may be to burning calories.
To understand how heat can impact calories, an understanding of calories must first be attained. Calories in your food are the amount of energy released when your body processes that food.
In theory, if you take in fewer calories than you burn, then excess energy cannot be stored as fat and you lose weight. In reality, the process is much more complex because each body processes and stores energy differently.
Companies have used this common misunderstanding of calories to market their foods. For example, they might say that a 100-calorie pack of cookies is just as good for you as a 100-calorie salad.
Unfortunately, the pack of cookies is laden with sugar, which spikes your insulin levels and negatively impacts your nutrient absorption. You end up craving more food and eating more of those 100-calorie snack packs. Calories in this sense are not good.
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When you look at calories as a measure of energy, however, it becomes possible to see how you need them and how you can regulate them. This concept was the root of the study into how heat affects metabolic processes.
Results showed that sitting for a bath for an hour did burn calories. This was achieved because your body has to work to maintain a core temperature below that of the surrounding hot water.
An hour-long bath will burn around 61 calories, whereas an hour-long bike ride burns closer to 600. You will be more tired after the bike ride, but depending on your weight loss goal, it is definitely more effective.
While it is comforting to know that you burn some calories with every soak in the tub, it is not the best way to lose weight. Old-fashioned diet and exercise is the best way to burn calories, shed pounds, and stay healthy.
Effective Ways To Burn Calories
As relaxing as a steaming bath is and as great as it is that some of your excess calories are burned off, there are more efficient ways to burn calories and prevent weight gain. You may have to put a little more work in, but in the end you will see the results you want.
You can always add in the hot bath at the end of the day to relax and take care of a few more pesky calories.
Light to moderate cardiovascular workouts burn calories as you go. The best part is that once you’ve worked up that sweat, your body continues to burn calories even as you relax.
You can sweat away the calories and excess weight just as it melts away with a steaming bath, only with exercise, you burn more and you burn for longer.
2. Strength Training
Building muscle requires a great deal of energy, which means you burn more calories when you aim to build muscle tissue. Ideally, a combination of cardio and strength training is the best way to burn calories, lose weight, and get fit.
3. Green or Black Tea
Caffeine is a stimulant that helps to burn calories, which is how it gives you the impression that you get a burst of energy. While most people opt for a cup of coffee in the morning to perk them up, caffeinated green or black tea is a better choice.
Not only do you get the calorie-burning caffeine, but you also get powerful antioxidants that clear out any harmful free radicals created as a result of the natural metabolic processes in your body.
4. Change Up Your Meals
Eating smaller, more frequent meals is critical to burning calories. When you leave extended time between meals, your body essentially goes into hibernation to protect energy stores. It is as if the body is not sure when the next meal when arrive.
When provided regular, small meals, metabolic processes continue to run, thereby burning more energy.
5. Drink More Water
Your body requires energy to maintain water balance, so the absorption and utilization of water depends on available calories. Drinking at least eight glasses of water a day keeps your body working to maintain water balance and burns calories all the while, too.
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Along with preventing dehydration, getting enough water helps you burn energy and maintain a healthy weight.
6. Don’t Miss Breakfast
Breakfast is called the most important meal of the day for a reason. When you miss breakfast, your body is essentially running in hibernation mode. Conversely, when you start your day with an energizing meal, your metabolic processes run more efficiently and you burn more calories through the day.
Essentially starving your body in the morning only causes you to eat more calories during the day and burn fewer.
The Bottom Line
As enjoyable as taking a steaming, hot bath is, it is not the most ideal way for burning calories and losing weight. If you are looking to get fit and burn calories to lose weight, then you may want to try some dietary and lifestyle changes along with that nightly hot bath.
However, since the bath is taking care of some calories for you, there is no need to feel guilty about indulging each night. Just be careful of wrinkled fingers and toes.
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