I am sure this is a question most of us have asked ourselves once if not numerous times already. Can I really lose weight without exercising?
This question can be asked due to various reasons such as having a hectic schedule, some sort of physical limitation, or you might just be a gym foe. For whatever reason, you do ask this question, I have great news for you…
It is possible to lose weight without exercise and for some, it might even be easy. This can be done using one or more methods consistently. These include a healthy diet, mindful eating, and consuming more water.
Let us look at the various ways to lose weight without exercising in more detail.
1. Eat a healthy diet
Before we go any further let me just clarify that I am not referring to some strict, green leaf, and water type of diet. I know for a fact that those types of diets scare people off and make them cringe whenever they hear the ‘word’.
Rather, I am talking about a more personal and intimate sort of healthy diet. The one that feels like it is made exactly for you and you can stick to it.
There are tonnes of diets out there and picking one can be a very daunting task so I have already taken a look at what a healthy diet should consist of for you and you can read more about that in detail in our Healthy Diet for Fitness.
Generally speaking though, whatever diet you do pick should include lots of protein, plenty of fruits and vegetables, healthy fats, and a tonne of water.
2. Eat Satiating Foods
What does that even mean you may ask? Satiating foods make you feel and stay full while allowing you to consume a low amount of calories.
Highly satiating foods include:
- 1. Fruits and Veggies – These are big on volume and low in calories, Veggies usually have the least amount of calories so consuming more of these will help you stay full for longer while consuming fewer calories at the same time. Who wouldn’t want that huh? Pick the ones you like best and add them to your diet.
- 2. Whole Grains – These are high in fiber and have a low glycemic index (GI) which means they raise your blood sugar levels slowly. Foods that raise your blood sugar quickly cause hunger to strike within a short period after eating.
- 3. Lean Protein – You should aim to consume lots of protein because protein is the nutrient at the top of the highly satiating list. It will increase feelings of fullness, reduce hunger, and help you eat fewer calories. One study found that increasing protein intake from 15% to 30% of calories helped participants eat 441 fewer calories per day (3087 calories a week!!) and lose 11 lbs / 4.99 kg over 12 weeks, on average, without intentionally restricting any foods. Examples of foods rich in protein are fish, eggs, chicken breasts, greek yogurt, lentils, and almonds.
- 4. Pulses – These include all beans, lentils, and peas. All these are high in fiber which helps with digestion, are a good source of plant protein, and have a low GI.
3. Be Mindful about what you eat
By saying be mindful I am not talking about the mystical stuff. All I am simply saying is to be intentional about what you eat, how much you eat, and when you eat.
This will be a great help in your journey to losing weight without exercising because society, as we know, is constantly tempting us with the abundance of food as it persuades us to indulge.
Eating quickly is problematic because it usually takes your brain up to 20 minutes to realize that you are full. This means if you eat too fast you may not be able to register that you are full until you have already eaten too much.
Here are a few tips on mindful eating:
- Pay attention to physical hunger cues rather than the thought that you might be hungry
- Eat slowly without distractions such as your phone
- Learn to cope with anxiety and guilt about food
- Appreciate your food while making it as while eating it
- Use smaller plates when it comes to less healthy meals
4. Stay Hydrated
Staying hydrated by drinking a lot of water is one of the secrets to losing weight, I bet you didn’t know that huh?
Studies show that drinking about half a liter of water before a meal (roughly 30 minutes before) reduces hunger and therefore reduces the amount of food you will eat.
This leads to long-term weight loss if done consistently.
Drinking water will also help you cut back on sugary drinks that will add to your daily calory count and eventually add some inches to that waistline.
Taking a glass of water sounds like a boring thing to a lot of people but there are lots of things you can do to make it taste better.
You can add things like lemon, sliced cucumbers, fresh berries, mint leaves, basil, and so on. Just pick whatever works best for you.
5. Stay Low On Sugar
Staying low on sugar is extremely beneficial in your journey to losing weight. Some people even take it a step further and cut out sugar completely. If you can do so yourself, I say go for it. But if you are anything like me, just be mindful as you toe the line.
Numerous studies have been done to see how low-sugar diets have health benefits and how they help people lose that stubborn belly fat.
Excessive sugar consumption is linked to serious health conditions such as obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, and chronic inflammation among others.
Replacing high sugar foods with low sugar options can help one get all the essential vitamins and minerals without the added calories.
You can reduce sugar intake by reading food labels, cutting it out gradually over time, avoiding simple carbohydrates like white pasta, and avoiding artificial sugars like stevia.
6. Get Enough Sleep
Getting enough sleep has tremendous benefits and one of them just happens to be the fact that it will help you lose that much-dreaded weight.
Getting enough sleep suppresses hunger and signals fullness in the brain.
When you do not get enough sleep the body makes more ghrelin (a hormone released in the stomach that signals hunger in the brain) and less leptin which leaves you hungry while also increasing your appetite.
Poor decision-making is a result of a lack of adequate sleep and this will affect you in the long run as you will be less mindful of your environment and eating habits. This is how those extra calories creep in unnoticed and add inches to your waist.
Try having a consistent sleep schedule and wind down before you sleep rather than just crashing all the time.
As we have discussed above, it is certainly possible to lose weight safely over time without having to exercise but this may not be the best or fastest option out there. By ‘best’ I mean the healthiest and more sustainable option.
If your reason for not wanting to exercise is the mere fact that you don’t like it or you are too busy for it then you should definitely reconsider. Regular exercise is essential to maintain good health as I have discussed in The 10 Health Benefits of Regular Exercise.
You should combine whatever weight loss methods you pick with a workout program that fits your preference and schedule for the best results.
Here are some workouts to lose belly fat.
Aim to eat healthy 95% of the time. If you must indulge, then let it be just 5% of the time.
Please leave some comments in the comments section. If you have any questions just write in the comments section. I will definitely get back to you.
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