5 Simple, Quick Ways to Increase Your Caloric Output


It seems like we are usually discussing caloric INPUT, but what about output?

If you eat less, and move more – that will increase your caloric deficit for a weight loss goal.

Actually, moving more is a great idea even if your goal isn’t weight loss. More movement will help keep your joints lose, keep your cardiovascular system strong, and keep you more alert throughout the day.

By adding these things you won’t be instantly melting away the pounds, but if you add them consistently, and over the long haul – they will add up. Little hinges open big doors.

1) Take the stairs at work.

One of the most obvious and classic recommendations, I honestly feel like a bum for writing it.

But, if you take the stairs AND do every other step and push through your heel, you can train your glutes as well as your cardiovascular system. This will help offset that pancake butt from sitting at your desk all day.

According to one source you burn 0.17 calories per stair climbed, and .05 per step descended. So say your office is on the 3rd floor, and you come and go 3 times (to work, to lunch, back to work, home)

Most flights between standard floors have 24 steps. So thats up and down 72 steps Monday through Friday. The math comes out to 15.84 extra calories per day, 79.2 calories per work week.

This may seem laughable, but remember – over time – things add up.

2) Park a quarter mile from your office.

This seems weird, but it works.

It could even save you money.

Now that you are a quarter mile further, you are guaranteed to walk an extra half mile every single day, or a full mile if you leave for lunch and park in the same spot.

It should take you no more than 4-5 minutes to walk that quarter mile, so don’t use the time excuse, and just leave 5 minutes early from home – your morning show isn’t as important as your heart.

So with an extra half mile everyday, that is about 50 extra calories, or 250 extra for the work week!

3) Make it a rule to walk at kids sporting events. 

Whether it be dropping them off for practice, or a game – there is idle time that you can get a quick walk in.

If it’s practice, do you really need to stand around watching the whole time?

If it’s a game, there is always some down time during warmups that you don’t NEED to watch.

So get a quick 5-10 minute walk in before settling down to watch.

Lets say you have 2 (some parents might laugh at this) sporting events per week, so thats 50 calories burned there, or an extra 100 per week.

4) If watching TV, move during commercials. 

Watching TV is fine, but get up an move during the commercials – they are pointless anyways.

Even just walking upstairs, or getting up to fill your water, and standing until the show is back on will help.

Say you watch 2 hours of TV per day, and commercials are played at about 15 minutes per hour, so that gives you 30 minutes to MOVE. You could honestly get in a full workout during your TV watching sessions…

First commercial break: Squats during the first commercial, pushups during the second, and rest on the third – repeat.

Second break: Lunges during the first, jumping jacks during the second, rest during the third…

And so on…

Lets just say you do this 3 times per week, burning an extra 25 calories per day, so 75 per week.

5) Eat More Protein (this is going to get sciencey)

I thought this was about increasing calorie OUTPUT?!?!

Yes. When we eat food, our body needs to burn calories to digest it. This is called the thermic effect of food (TEF). Protein has the highest TEF, at 20-30%. Meaning, if you eat 100 calories of protein, 20-30 calories are burned to digest it. While carbs use 5-10% and fats 0-3%.

This is one of the MANY reasons why protein is amazing.

So, lets say someone eats 300 grams of carbs per day, 100 grams of fat, and only 50 grams of protein per day.

Thats 1200 calories from carbs, 900 calories from fat and 200 calories from protein = 2300 calories.

The NET calories would be about 1140 from carbs, 873 from fat, and 140 from protein = 2153 calories.

Now, lets change it up a bit.

250 grams carbs, 78 grams of fat, and 150 grams of protein.

Thats 1000 calories from carbs, 702 calories from fat, and 600 calories from protein = 2302 calories.

The NET calories would be about 950 from carbs, 680 from fat, and 420 from protein = 2050 net calories.

An astounding 100 calorie difference! (700 per week!)

So looking at our week of activity:

  1. 79 cals for the stairs
  2. 250 cals for parking further
  3. 100 for walking at sports
  4. 75 for moving during commercials
  5. Burning more by eating protein (not factored in because everyones diet is different, but you should really try to eat more protein, seriously.)

For the 4 added activities this adds up to an extra 504 calories per week! Thats 26,208 calories per year, or the “equivalent” of 7.5 pounds of fat burned in a year. 

Move more, and eat more protein.


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Stay healthy my friends,

Published by Mike Gorski

Registered Dietitian and Fitness Coach OWNER OF MG FIT LIFE LLC