Lose weight with the giggle diet

Jim Royle from Royle Family

It is possible to lose weight without leaving the sofa, according to a new study by comedy channel G.O.L.D. Laughing at comedy burns calories and suggests that a simple laughter plan could be all you need to combat the flab.

The study tasked the team with analysing all the current research into the effects of laughter on the human body, in order to devise the world’s first daily laughter diet. The result is a new health plan that the authors say can help you to lose an incredible 1-2lb a month without leaving the comfort of your sofa.

The research team compared the amount of calories burnt by laughing to the energy expended by other activities, including vacuuming, running and weightlifting. The results reveal that an hour’s worth of laughter can burn up to 100-120 calories and boost energy expenditure by up to 20% – the equivalent of vacuuming for 40 minutes, walking for 15-20 minutes or doing 18-27 minutes of weightlifting!

The study notes that the average Brit will have piled on at least an extra 1lb of holiday weight over the Christmas period, and this unwanted flab could be lost very simply via an hours worth of laughter per day throughout January – the equivalent of just 29-35 hours of quality laughter over the course of the month. However, if that all seems like too much fun, the team cites that a mere 15 minutes of  hearty laughter per day could help you lose up to 4.5lb over the course of a year, that’s 9lb for half an hour of laughter every day.*

The G.O.L.D. Daily Laughter Diet works by equating the amount of laughter you need to expend against the amount of weight you wish to lose, via the simple equation that one hour laughter = 100 kcal = ½ oz (16oz = 1lb). This equation has enabled the researchers to publish post-Christmas findings that give specific guidelines for burning off festive favourites we consume over Christmas:

For example, to burn off the calories in a mince pie (180kcal) you would need to laugh for up to two hours. To burn off a slice of chocolate log (100kcal) you would need to laugh for an hour. Burning off a full Christmas dinner would require ten hours of laughter, which would probably mean you need to miss the Queen’s speech, EastEnders and Top Of The Pops.

That’s all very well, but surely if you got a Wii for Christmas and you spent four hours laughing while you play a game, you would burn more calories in less time. Or you could stand up and march on the spot while you watch G.O.L.D.

How the diet works

The researchers think that a hearty laugh provides a mini-aerobic work-out. Laughter gets the heart beating faster and boosts blood flow around the body. As you giggle and gasp for air, you breathe in more oxygen, boosting the levels in your blood. The chest rises and falls, and the abdominal muscles get a good workout.  Laughter has also been shown to boost endorphins (the brain’s feel good chemicals) and decrease levels of stress hormones – so you don’t just lose weight, you feel good about it too.  This is good news for those not able to jump out of their chair and do 15 laps of the park – you can burn calories by laughing in front of your telly.

And you won’t need to hit the health clubs for some New Year pampering; the Daily Laughter Diet also gives you a facial to rival the top spas. Every time you laugh, 15 muscles in your face contract and with more blood flowing through your body, your face is sure to look pink, chirpy and healthy.

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