Sometimes your bedroom can seem like little more than a cozy cradle for movie streaming and counting sheep. But you can transform your bedroom into a calorie-blasting, fun zone that's worthy of #fitlife credit without even trying. We tapped top nutritionists for their top tips to sneak more activity (and not just of the horizontal kind) into the bedroom to give your weight-loss efforts a serious boost. If you were looking for a more Cosmo-like list, check out 20 Foods to Supercharge Your Sex Drive (and then jump to tip 8!)
Do a Closet Slim-down
As in, get moving and organizing your closet and dresser drawers. "All movement burns calories—and standing and moving in any way is always a win when compared to sitting," say The Nutrition Twins, Lyssie Lakatos, RDN, CDN, CFT and Tammy Lakatos Shames, RDN, CDN, CFT, and authors of The Nutrition Twins' Veggie Cure. "Do it for 35 minutes and you can burn up to 100 calories!"
Clean Under Your Bed
If you haven't caught the fever of Spring Cleaning Season yet, here's another good suggestion that's in the same vein as the above idea. By getting down and dirty under your bed, you'll burn calories while also dealing with the dust bunnies that could be hindering your easy breathing while sleeping. Check out these 12 Ways Your Home is Making You Fat, which also has tips on torching calories while doing chores!
Do Some Simple Yoga Moves
"Yoga and stretching on your bed can be cozy and your bedroom floor may offer even more options," advises Julieanna Hever, MS, RD, CPT, a plant-based dietitian and author of The Vegiterranean Diet and The Complete Idiot's Guide to Plant-Based Nutrition. "Use the bed railing to deepen stretches or as leverage to stretch harder-to-reach muscles, like your upper back rhomboids and trapezius muscle." And in case you need more convincing to hop aboard the yoga train, find out the 7 surprising reasons you should be doing yoga now!
Cozying up with a book isn't just for vacation or commutes. "Using your brain requires energy and reading burns almost twice as many calories as sleeping!" adds Hever. Besides, our book the The 7-Day Flat-Belly Tea Cleanse is filled with so many good weight loss secrets, we promise you'll be glad you curled up with it in the sack.
Write a To-do List
Before bed, write down your to-do list for the next day, as well as any of your concerns. "This will help to ease your mind so you can sleep better at night," say The Nutrition Twins. "Ultimately, this takes away some anxiety and creates room for a less stressed, better-rested body—one that is less susceptible to sugar cravings and stress eating."
Practice Breathing Exercises
Follow The Nutrition Twins' lead and try this every night before bed: "Breathe in through your nose slowly for eight counts, then hold the air in your lungs for eight counts, and slowly breathe out for eight counts. Repeat 10 times." Beyond simple? You betchya. And you really have no excuse to skip it. Why? "This will stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system, which brings on relaxation, reducing stress and helping you to fall asleep. This will also reduce your stress hormone cortisol, which is associated with belly fat, sugar cravings and decreased lean muscle tissue; this is really important because the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn. So, if you are losing lean muscle when your cortisol levels are high, it's really bad news. And since this will help you to sleep better and your body repairs its tissues and muscles while you sleep, it's a win-win for your metabolism because you'll help to make sure your muscles are getting a chance to repair and rebuild themselves." Whew. Got all that? Fire up the speed of your metabolism with these 55 Best-Ever Ways to Boost Your Metabolism, too.
Skip the Commercials
"If you watch TV in bed, those late night pizza commercials can make you want to head into the kitchen to snack, even if you aren't hungry," says says Erin Palinski-Wade, RD, CDE, author of Belly Fat Diet for Dummies. "If you can, DVR your favorite shows so you can skip through the commercials and avoid temptation. Better yet, take the TV out of the bedroom all together to improve sleep quality and quantity (which also can help to boost metabolism and fight cravings)." Can't sleep? Avoid these 17 Foods That Keep You Up at Night.
Burn Calories During Foreplay
You don't have to tell us twice. "Spend a little extra time during foreplay wrestling around," suggest The Nutrition Twins. "It's very intimate to pin your partner to the bed and then have to resist being pinned. It will strengthen your muscles and depend on how long you wrestle for, you can burn as much as 70-80 calories every 10 minutes." And while you're at it, get familiar with these 50 Best Foods for Your Penis!
And Get Creative with Your Partner!
Now that you instituted that whole no-cell-phones-in-bed thing, you've really freed up more time to chill with your other S.O. "Be creative by finding more ways to get physical with your partner. Swapping massages, making out (!), and even stretching together in bed is the sexiest way to burn calories," shares Hever.
Stop Eating Three Hours Before Bed
"Don't eat food within at least three hours before you go to bed," says Hever. Make it your go-to policy. No excuses. Besides not waking up feeling bloated and filled with late-night-pizza regrets, your body will truly benefit: "This will prolong your fasting state, enabling your body to repair, recover, and rejuvenate more fully while you sleep. Sticking to this will help your overall metabolism." Avoid these 50 Little Things Making You Fatter and Fatter for more ways to reverse the needle on the scale.
And Commit to Not Eating in the Bedroom
"When most people eat in their room, they lie back on their bed and watch TV while they mindlessly munch away," comment The Nutrition Twins. "As registered dietitians, we've witnessed with clients that this act contributes to weight gain—people become engrossed with the TV and don't pay attention to what they're eating. When we've had new clients drop this habit, they prevent hundreds of excess calories from being consumed and they drop inches from their waistlines."
Still Antsy with Cravings? Try Tea
We know how loud the chiming from the Bedtime Hunger Pangs Chorus can get. So if you feel like you're gonna cave and give into 'em, try this trick: "If you really want to enjoy the flavor of something at night, reach for a decaf herbal tea. Not only will the taste calm your cravings, but the warm fluid will help to fill you up to squash nighttime hunger," advises Palinski-Wade. We're huge fans of tea at Eat This, Not That!—and you will be too, once you check out these 20 Teas That Melt Belly Fat—Fast!.
Do Some Chair Stretches
"Unlike cardiovascular exercise, this won't stimulate you so much that you won't be able to fall asleep," suggest the Nutrition Twins. "Seated stretches work well, as well as stretches where you lie on your back and gently stretch your back and your legs." You may even want to buy some cheap yoga balls to hold under your neck and run along your back between you and the chair as you unwind.
Start a Nightly Stretching Routine in Bed
Whatever works for you is ideal because the more you like it, the more the odds are you'll stick with it. "Stretch on your bed before going to sleep. Light stretches will relax the muscles and burn a few extra calories," say The Nutrition Twins. Touch your toes (or as low as you can comfortably go) three times and hold for at least seven seconds. Move your feet into a "V" shape and reach over to each side three times, again, repeating for seven seconds each.
Turn Down Your Thermostat
Talk about an easy way to crank up the weight loss nozzle. "Turn down the thermostat at night to the low 60s. Not only will this save you on heating costs, but the cooler temperature helps you to burn more calories as your body uses more energy to keep you warm," suggests Palinski-Wade. The better you snooze, the more you will lose, so don't miss these 7 Habits of Highly-Rested People!