5 Non Exercise Ways To Burn Calories, According To Science

Cardio, strength and resistance training, and other intentional workout routines aren’t the only ways to get rid of your unwanted fats.

Incorporating non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT) can also lend you a hand in burning calories. 

NEAT refers to those activities that we subconsciously do in our daily life other than fitness-related activities and playing sports.

Non-Exercise Ways To Burn Calories

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For example, walking your dog, fidgeting, playing tag with the children, chewing gums, and parking your car away from your destination are all considered NEAT. 

With NEAT, there will be less reliance on calorie restriction and workout training for weight management. Here are a few NEATs and other activities that don’t require formal exercises to burn calories. 

How Many Calories Do You Burn In A Day Without Exercise? ( Weight Loss Exercise) by BRIGHT SIDE SCIENCE


Extrapolation, a specific type of tears, can help you lose weight. Tears are classified into Basal, Reflex, and Psychic tears.

Among the three, psychic tears could promote weight loss. These tears include heart-breaking sobs and those that are shed from emotional distress. 

One study at St. Paul-Ramsey Medical Center expounded that tears contain cortisol, our body’s stress hormone.

Several studies have shown how cortisol levels affect one’s body weight. The higher your cortisol level, the more your body would cling to your belly fat.

Hence, the more you cry out, the lower your stress level will be, which in turn, helps you to get rid of those extra unwanted fats.

Women’s Health also added that it’s best to cry from 7:00 to 10:00 in the evening, which is the peak time for the optimization of cortisone releasing effect.

Studies show that crying allows you to burn around 1.3 calories per minute. 


In addition to the regulation of cortisol, laughter reduces one’s stress hormones too. As a result, it removes those excess fats, the same as how crying works.

It is referred to as a ‘mini aerobic workout,’ as well. Like any cardiovascular workout, laughter can increase your circulation and heart rate by 10-20%. As heart rate increases, one’s metabolism also improves.

What’s more, laughter can tone your abdominal muscles. When laughing, your abs tend to contract and expand, which similarly happens when you intentionally workout your core muscles.

Know more through reading Blog posts, which can surely help you acquire added knowledge.


Eating can burn calories, according to studies. Your body tends to burn calories when masticating or chewing, swallowing, digesting, and storing food.

In fact, chewing alone requires serious jaw muscles, which can burn around 11 calories per hour. 

This process is called the thermic effect of food (TEF), as stated in a post on Verywellfit.

TEF is another component of your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE), or the total amount of calories you burn throughout a day.

TEF takes 5-10% of your TDEE. It’s a small percentage but can already make a difference. 

TEF can be more improved when you eat foods that are high in protein. This is because your body must work harder to break down and store protein.

Hence, protein-rich food burns more calories than meals high in fat and carbohydrates. Additionally, proteins aid you in building and maintaining muscles, consequently reducing fats in your body. 


As surprising as eating, you can burn calories by sleeping too! The National Sleep Foundation  explained that our bodies undergo self-repair by releasing growth hormones when we sleep.

As a result, protein and muscle synthesis and lipolysis or fat breakdown processes are also stimulated while you are in a slumber. 

One study uncovered that an entire sleep could let you burn about extra 135-160 calories. This leads to the conclusion that skipping a restful night of sleep can contribute to weight gain and obesity.

Lack of sleep can prompt cortisol spike, which, as mentioned, can slow down metabolism and hold onto extra fat. 

Additionally, it would cause insulin sensitivity to drop by more than 30%. If your body couldn’t respond to insulin as it should be, it would hamper your metabolism.

Instead of processing fats from the bloodstream, your body would end up storing them, contributing to weight gain.

This is why researchers at the University of Chicago used the term “metabolically groggy” to refer to sleep deficiency.


Tapping your fingers or wiggling your legs are considered restlessness, but these can apparently burn 10x more calories than remaining motionless.

When fidgeting, you’re moving your muscles all day long and technically expending your energy. Generally, a chronic fidgeter or pacer burns more calories than a habitual foot or finger tapper. 

Researchers at the Rochester Mayo Clinic in Minnesota determined how many calories people burned in every activity.

They found out that sitting while fidgeting burns 54% more calories, and standing while fidgeting burns 94% more calories than simply lying motionless. 

Iowa State University did the same research and found the same result. They found out that a person can burn up to 600 calories when sitting while fidgeting all day.

Plus, standing and fidgeting can increase that calorie expenditure up to 950 calories more than staying still. In a nutshell, continuous motion, even while sitting, is a form of cardiovascular activity. 


The total calories burned during crying, laughing, eating, sleeping, and fidgeting might not be considered a lot compared to how much you can burn when executing workout training routines.

However, even a small amount of calorie consumption can accumulate to a considerable sum. In the long run, these activities can make a difference from being sedentary.