When you are trying to lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you take in. However, If you attend school for many hours a day, it can be difficult to feel active when sitting behind a desk. In addition to making dietary changes and working out, you can burn additional calories by changing your actions at school. Even small changes can add up over time.
Eat regularly during the day to keep your metabolism going. Although it can be tempting to severely restrict your calorie intake to lose weight, your body burns calories more slowly to make the most of the energy it has. Have a healthy breakfast, always eat lunch, and keep small snacks on hand to prevent blood-sugar crashes. Eat protein, which helps build muscle mass. Because muscle burns more calories than fat, lean protein lunches can help you burn more calories overall.
Work in small periods of exercise throughout the day to get your heart rate up and burn more calories. Stand up and walk around whenever possible; you burn more calories while standing than sitting. Between classes, don't stroll leisurely through the halls; instead, pick up the pace and walk quickly. Go for a walk or a jog around campus at lunch, taking a few walking lunges as you go. If you drive to school, park as far away as possible and take the stairs instead of the elevator.
Turn sitting down into an opportunity to exercise by planning resistance training into your day. "Forbes" magazine recommends working in small exercises that will get your heartbeat up. Work your arms by placing your palms on the edge of your chair and holding your body above the seat. Tighten your abs and hold them to strengthen your stomach, repeating as often as possible. Work your legs by doing leg lifts and toe raises.
Make small, fidgety movements even when you are sitting down. According to Dr. James Levine in an article for the "New York Times," people who move more though fidgeting, pacing, and other unconscious activities, burn more calories than those who do not. When you must be seated during classes at school, offset the negative effects of sitting by making an effort to move around more. Bend over to tie your shoes, bounce your leg, or get up to sharpen your pencil. In doing so, you can burn more calories.
- Harvard Medical Center Health Publications: Calories Burned in 30 Minutes for People of Three Different Weights
- NBC New York: 10 Easy Ways to Burn 100 Calories
- Teens Health: Metabolism
- "Forbes"; In Depth: Best Exercises To Do At Your Desk; Courtney Myers; 2008
- "New York Times"; Is Sitting a Lethal Activity?; James Vlahos; 2011