Laugh your way to calorie burning and weight loss.
Weight loss scale
Credit: Lee Harrelson

Weight loss doesn't sound or feel like a laughing matter. But a new study from Vanderbilt University reports that genuine laughter, the kind that lasts about 10 to 15 minutes, burns the same number of calories found in a medium square of chocolate. That translates to about 50 calories, which, if done everyday, can result in about 4 pounds of weight loss at the end of the year (assuming everything else stays the same).

Considering that laughter also produces natural endorphins, those "feel good" brain chemicals that lower your blood pressure, decrease your stress and improve your mood, you have nothing to lose, except maybe a little weight and stress, right? And if that doesn't sound like a bargain, at least you can laugh your way through a daily square of chocolate and even the score.

Tammy Beasley, RD, CSSD, CEDRD is a registered, licensed dietitian, spinning instructor, and certified specialist in sports nutrition and eating disorders. She is the author of Rev It Up-The Lifestyle Diet That Puts You In The Driver's Seat.