Weight loss doesn’t have to involve countless hours sweating the calories off. The simple equation is that you have to use more calories than you consume to lose weight. Regular everyday activities, from getting ready to gardening to housework, or even sleeping, can all help burn hundreds of unexpected calories every day.

There’s no way to give a universal answer to how many calories you will burn during a given activity because everybody burns calories differently – a heavier person will naturally burn more calories – but these activities are all guaranteed to add, rather unexpectedly, to your calorie burning count.

Calorie burning tip 1: Brush your teeth

Frequently when you open your mouth, you add to your calorie intake, but you can start to burn calories just by opening up and brushing your teeth.  Brushing your pearly whites (two minutes minimum please) will burn around six calories. Brush your teeth several times a day and you’re multiplying this. To add to effectiveness, why not stand on one leg for one minute and then swap onto the other for a minute – this will burn an extra 20 calories.

Calorie burning tip 2: Be house proud

Housework is a chore, but rather than dread it, use it as a workout. Dust for half an hour and burn around 80 calories; mop the floor for 15 minutes and burn around 70 calories – even more if you got at it extra vigorously. Vacuuming for 30 minutes will account for around 120 calories, and the same time spent ironing will burn around 75 calories.

Calorie burning tip 3: Green fingers

If you’ve still got energy, you can move outdoors and look for opportunities to burn more calories. Digging for an hour could expend nearly 500 calories, mowing the lawn for 30 minutes burns over 100 calories – even more if you use a push mower – and if you lose the bag attachment you can spend another 20 minutes raking up, accounting for around 70 calories.

Calorie burning tip 4: Your car awaits

Make a serious dent into your calorie intake by washing the car. If you do a proper job, both inside and out, this could take you up to two hours, during which you may have burned off more than 500 calories. And if you are extra proud of your set of wheels, you might want to go one step further and give it a nice wax too to up the calorie burning effect.

Calorie burning tip 5: Shop ’til you drop

Pushing a shopping trolley up the aisles for around half an hour will burn over 100 calories and this number will increase the more you put in your trolley and the heavier it gets (healthy low-calorie options only please). Make sure you pack your own shopping at the check out and take your goods to the car, remembering to take your trolley back, all to boost your calorie burn further. If you are just getting a few items, then shop with a basket rather than a trolley for maximum impact.

Calorie burning tip 6: Make a meal of it

Half an hour on your feet preparing a meal will burn approximately 70 calories, and if you are going back and forth to set the table, this will add more calories to your burn count. The actual act of eating your meal will account for around 50 calories, and then you’ve got the dishes to do which will burn about 40 calories for every 15 minutes you are scrubbing, drying and putting away. Scrub harder for maximum benefit.

Calorie burning tip 7: Relax, don’t do it

You may think it unlikely that you can burn calories by relaxing, but you do. One hour spent in front of the TV burns around 65 calories. Opt to do without the TV remote and you can boost your calories burned just by getting up occasionally to switch channels. You could even do another activity while watching TV such as knitting, sewing or even typing on your laptop to boost your calorie burn.

Calorie burning tip 8: Toilet duty

Everybody has to go at some point, some people more frequently than others, but did you know that you are still burning calories while making a call of nature? Some people choose to take a good book or magazine to occupy them while they are on the toilet and you’ll burn around 1 calorie for each minute you spend on your porcelain throne. So that’s a loss that’s not to be sniffed at.

Calorie burning tip 9: Pucker up

Calorie burning doesn’t all have to be hard work. Half an hour of kissing could help you burn in excess of 30 calories. And if this gets you in the mood you could boost your calorie burn with some physical activity in the bedroom. A 30 minute sex session could account for around 150 calories – the more physical, the better.

And when all is done …

Calorie burning tip 10: Sleep

You’re going to be pretty whacked after all that calorie burning activity, but even when you are getting some shut eye you are still burning calories. Yes, an average night’s sleep of around eight hours of sleep can account for over 400 calories. That’s more than enough reason to help you rest a little easier at night.

(Note: Calories counts are based on an average female of around 65kg. A heavier person will burn more calories.)