5 Ways to Have Fun AND Lose Weight

Laugh like you just saw a dog taking a selfie deborah enosYou can have fun and lose weight at the same time.

No fooling. And, no. I’m not going to be one of “those people” who tells you that exercise is fun (full disclaimer: I do think it can be, but that’s a story for another time).

Actually, it’s just the act of laughing that can help you lose weight. Laughing helps release endorphins, the feel-good chemical that evens out our moods and makes us feel happy and relaxed. Studies have shown that people who experience high levels of stress have a more difficult time losing weight.

Laughing can help diffuse stress and increase energy levels, allowing your body to relax and to start losing weight.

It’s an easy tip for most people, but some of us may have trouble finding things that are funny enough to laugh at, especially if something serious is going on in our lives. Fortunately, laughter is contagious; not just from other people, either, if you can laugh once, it’s that much easier to do it again.

So, today I’m sharing my best tips for helping the process along. Here are five ways I can get myself laughing even when it’s the last thing I want to do.

1. Watch a standup comedian (in person, if possible) – Most cities and even many small towns have comedy clubs or open mic nights. Visit them with an open mind. Being part of a laughing audience will make it much more difficult for you to keep a stern face. If you absolutely must, go ahead and watch comedy on television. If it’s funny enough, it just might work.

2. Watch the following video. I dare you not to crack a smile.

3. Call your best friend – You know the one that grounds you and can make you laugh regardless of the circumstances? You don’t have to have a heart-to-heart if you’re not feeling up to it, just share a good laugh about something and you’re sure to start feeling better.

4. Volunteer at an animal shelter – This one may sound sad at first, but there are many opportunities to just play and spend time with the animals at a shelter (they get lonely!). Take a dog for a walk or a run. Cuddle a kitten. The puppy and kitty kisses should be enough to get you smiling.

5. If all else fails, fake it! – Sometimes, I just start fake laughing. After a few seconds of hearing myself laugh (often while stuck in traffic, better than getting angry) I really starting laughing for real. It sure is better for my body; mind and spirit to laugh instead of give in to frustration or stress!

The simple act of smiling can make a difference, whether it’s voluntary or not. By moving those facial muscles, you will release dopamine and serotonin into the brain, which will spark a feeling of happiness.

BONUS! For a quick chuckle on the go, search for laughing animals and dogs taking selfies 😉

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