• Bupa. Your health is our focus
16 January 2013 18:45 | By Daniel Bettridge, contributor, MSN Him

Surprising ways to burn fat fast

From making the tea to making out, here’s our rundown of some of the most surprising fat burners in every man’s life.

Man preparing vegetables (© Getty)

You know how the saying goes: ‘New year, new you’. It’s a mantra men across Britain will be repeating as they trudge to the gym and pick away at their plates of salad this month. Of course we’d all like a six-pack wouldn’t we, but doesn’t it all just seem to be a little too much effort?

But fighting the flab doesn’t necessarily have to be such hard work. Of course a good diet and plenty of exercise is your best bet, but it turns out that there are plenty of everyday activities that can help you burn calories too. So without further ado here’s our rundown of 10 of the most surprising fat burners…


We all love eating, especially things we’re not meant to. But instead of grabbing a pizza or nuking a TV dinner in the microwave, why not try to cook your meals from scratch? It doesn’t necessarily have to be rabbit food either. In fact just 30 minutes spent dicing, slicing and sautéing can help burn between 75-111 calories. It’s not much, but it’s better than nothing. And cooking from scratch will also help to ensure your meals are more nutritious, boosting your metabolism in the process.

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Man cleaning his car (© Getty)

Spring clean

Don’t just stop with the dishes either. According to Golden Wonder, who’ve put together some fat-burning tips to help crisp fans justify an extra packet or two this January: “spending an hour climbing into the attic, carrying heavy boxes and spring cleaning could burn a massive 350 calories.” That’s equivalent to roughly three bags of the foil-wrapped snacks, and a sizeable chunk of your daily calorific intake.

Have a laugh

Laughter is supposedly the best form of medicine; it’s also a surprising form of exercise if a recent study from the US is to be believed. The research from Vanderbilt University suggests that 10 to 15 minutes of laughter could help those who’ve had their ribs tickled to burn an extra 10-40 calories per day. Sure, it’s not the meat-lovers pizza you’ve been pining for, but that adds up to a potential 14,600 calories a year, which is certainly no joke.

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Woman dunking a teabag (© Getty)

Get the tea in

Sticking your hand up for more tea runs won’t just make you more popular around the office; it could actually help you fight the flab. That’s according to Anna Reich, an expert from Simple Fitness, who tells us how a humble tea run can be turned into a mini workout. “Not only will making the tea make you popular at work, but it will also help tone your calves,” she says. “Hold on to the counter while the kettle is boiling and come up onto your toes. Keep your body stretched out tall, hold for five seconds and come back down. Repeat as many times as possible until the kettle boils. Try clenching your bottom to squeeze a little bit more out of your mini workout.”


Getting lost in a good book doesn’t only help you to sharpen your mind, it can tone up your body too as an hour of reading can burn up to 50 calories an hour. We suggest logging on to MSN Him, and whilst it won’t help you to burn any more calories it will give you a chance to catch up on some of our great galleries, look at some of the world’s most beautiful women and learn a thing or two from our In The Know section.  

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Man sleeping in his office on two chairs (© Getty)

Take a nap

We all like a sleep, and many of you will no doubt already know that a good night’s kip is essential for keeping both the body and the mind in tip-top condition. But did you also know that sleeping is in itself is something of a cardiovascular workout? In fact we can burn up to 360 calories over eight hours of solid shut-eye, which is all the more reason to get your 40 or more winks in tonight.

Hit the dancefloor

It can be murder on the dancefloor, especially for us blokes who’ve started to dance like our dads and bust moves so bad we send everyone else running for cover. But a good boogie can actually help you to battle the blubber. In fact Golden Wonder’s calorie-burning tipsters tell us: “Dancing is a calorie burning machine! You can burn around 195 calories if you dance for half an hour on the dance floor.” Just imagine if you keep going all night though, you could end up burning off a whole multipack, or at least a decent swathe of the chicken shawarma you’ll inevitably order on your way home.

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Couple under the covers (© Getty)

Get it on

One of the benefits of sex, aside from the obvious of course, is that it’s a surprisingly effective fat burner. In fact 30 minutes of sex burns 85 calories or more, while even a good smooch can burn in excess of 30. Engaging in more adventurous positions can also help add a little extra huff and puff. According to the Position of the Day Playbook, which lists a blow-by-blow account of positions that will boggle your mind, the best set-ups for shedding the pounds include the Twister Stalemate, the Hobbyhorse and aptly named Home Fitness Test. Just don’t ask us to describe them to you.

Do the dishes

After cooking up a storm in the kitchen why not give your appliances the night off and do the dishes by hand? Tackling dirty plates, pans and cups for just half an hour can burn as much as 160 calories. That can go some way to working off your meal or finding some justification to squeeze in some dessert.

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A man grooming (© Getty)

Groom more

From brushing your teeth to your morning shave, even going to the toilet; your grooming regime can help you to trim a few extra calories off of your daily intake. In fact up to 80 calories an hour can be burned through grooming which is more incentive than ever to get yourself looking squeaky-clean.

Which of our surprising fat burners do you do the most? Let us know in the comments section below and why not tell us about any that we’ve we missed off of the list while you’re down there.

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