Losing weight can be challenging, especially when you have a busy schedule and find it hard to commit to a regular exercise routine. The good news is that exercise is the smallest piece of the weight loss puzzle. There are numerous other ways to shed those extra pounds without hitting the gym. Here are a few tips on ways to lose weight without exercise, that I was successful with.
Most days I struggle to find the time to exercise and when I do it’s mostly just a walk with the kids or a quick session with Grow with Jo (highly recommend!). These tips helped me reach my goals and get back into a healthier version of myself.
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Can you lose weight without exercise?
Definitely! While exercising can give you a huge boost in losing weight and building muscle, it’s not the main cause of fat burn. Have you ever heard of the saying “Abs are made in the kitchen”? Well, that should be your new motto! You can’t out-train bad eating habits. Nutrition is the most important part of burning fat. It controls when, how and how much fat you burn.
If you have a healthy relationship with food, weight won’t be a problem anymore. It might not be a quick process, but in the long run, your body will thank you!
Great ways to lose weight without exercise.
While physical activity has many health benefits, it’s not the only way to shed those unwanted pounds. Introducing exercise into your routine might help you burn fat faster, but it’s not the only way. Here are a few things that I try to do to have a healthy relationship with food.
1. Use portion Control.
I don’t believe that there is such a thing as “bad food” and “good food”. They just all have different nutritional values and that’s what I focus on most. This is where portion control comes into play. Your portions need to change according to the food you are eating. If you follow the same portion control rules for all your meals, you might end up hungry and start snacking. Your meals should be satisfying and feed your body.
Fruit, vegetables, lean meat and grains allow for a fuller plate. This means that your portion control can be slightly bigger than normal because these are low-calorie, nutritional foods that are good for your body and soul!
Carbs, processed foods, sugar, etc are foods where portion control needs to come in a little stronger. These foods might not be as high in nutritional value and usually have a lot more calories. Cut back on portion sizes while still enjoying the foods you love. I never say no to a slice of pizza! Now I just have fewer slices and add a salad to keep my full and satisfied.
2. Maintain a balanced diet.
Making sure that you include a variety of different foods in your diet is really important. By including a wide range of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and healthy fats in your diet, you provide your body with essential nutrients while maintaining a sustainable caloric intake. I love adding variety to my plate with foods of different calories. Most of my plate is usually filled with fruits or veggies and then lean proteins. By adding a variety of foods, you fuel your body with the food you love, food you need and food that will fill you up.
I never say no to dessert either! I just make sure to make wise choices and keep portion control in mind. Just because you are trying to lose weight, doesn’t mean you have to deprive yourself of everything you love eating.
3. Stay hydrated.
Most people tend to overlook this part of their weight loss journey when it can be the most important part. Hydration has so many different health benefits and aids in a healthier body overall. Often, thirst can be misinterpreted as hunger, leading to unnecessary calorie consumption. Drinking enough water can help control appetite and reduce the chances of overeating. Staying well-hydrated enhances your body’s ability to metabolize stored fat efficiently. Always make sure to have a water bottle on hand so that you don’t forget to drink water throughout the day.
Water is also a great way to keep your body healthy from any toxins and waste that might get stored. The benefits of staying hydrated are a never-ending list of goodness for your body. Don’t be afraid to spice up the way you drink your water and make it something to look forward to.
RELATED: The importance of proper hydration.
4. Get enough sleep.
Who would have thought that sleep could affect how you lose weight? Well, here’s the just of it. When you get enough sleep, your body can properly regulate the hormones responsible for hunger and fullness, such as ghrelin and leptin. When you don’t get enough sleep it disrupts this balance, leading to increased cravings for high-calorie, sugary foods. This was my reality every day when my children were babies. I couldn’t understand why I had constant sugar cravings. I finally got my answer.
Don’t fear if this is your reality too. Knowing about these effects is also a great way to manage them and make better choices. Fatigue often results in lower energy levels and decreased motivation to make healthy choices, both of which can hinder your weight loss efforts. Try and aim for 7-9 hours of sleep. Get comfortable in a good sleep routine and give your body the best chance to heal and regulate your hormones.
5. Plan your meals.
Failing to plan is planning to fail. If you have a set goal in mind, make sure to plan your meals and snacks accordingly. When hunger strikes and you aren’t prepared, it gets really easy to make unhealthy choices and overeat. I’ve been there many times before. Somehow, on days I don’t plan my meals, I am constantly hungry and always looking for something to eat. Never mind my cravings that get completely out of control. On the other hand, when my meals are planned I just feel like my whole body is in sync. I don’t have cravings or a constant hungry feeling. I always use a meal planning pad to make my planning so much easier!
When you plan your meals, you have better control over the ingredients and portion sizes, allowing you to make healthier choices. Preparing your meals also provides you with the opportunity to choose nutritious, balanced recipes that align with your weight loss goals.
6. Give intermittent fasting a try.
Intermittent fasting has given me a massive boost in my weight loss journey. This eating pattern involves alternating periods of eating with fasting, creating windows during which you consume food. Intermittent fasting can help control calorie intake and improve insulin sensitivity, which can be particularly beneficial for weight loss. This approach also encourages your body to tap into stored fat for energy during fasting periods. However, it’s important to note that intermittent fasting is not suitable for everyone, and it’s essential to consult with a healthcare professional before starting this regimen, especially if you have underlying health conditions.
When I started with intermittent fasting, I saw major changes in my health, not just weight loss. It’s not an easy task and might be easier for some people than others. Make sure to do your research and find a routine that works for you.
7. Turn to healthy snacking when cravings hit.
Snacking can be a double-edged sword when it comes to losing weight without exercise. On one hand, it can help control hunger, preventing overindulgence during main meals, and on the other, it can lead to consuming excess calories and unhealthy choices. Make sure to plan your snacks ahead of time and always have something on hand to avoid making unhealthy choices. Try going for nutrient-dense, low-calorie snacks like fresh fruits, vegetables, yogurt, or a small handful of nuts can keep your metabolism active and cravings at bay.
8. Practice mindful eating.
It takes time for your body to realize that it’s fully satisfied when you are eating. Try paying close attention to the entire eating experience, from choosing your food to savoring each bite. By eating slowly and being fully present during meals, you can tune in to your body’s hunger and fullness cues. Mindful eating can help prevent overeating and reduce the chances of mindless, impulsive snacking.
It also encourages you to truly enjoy the flavors and textures of your food, fostering a more satisfying dining experience. You shouldn’t just be eating to feed your body, try feeding your soul too. Food needs to be enjoyed and trying to lose weight doesn’t have to take that pleasure away from you. Explore the internet and get creative with your meals, you might just get a taste for new things in life!
9. Keep a food journal.
There are many different ways to go about keeping a food journal. I use MyFitnessPal as a food journal and to track my calories. Even if I go off track and go over my daily calories, I still track to make myself more aware of the foods I eat. I have learned a lot about food and its nutritional values this way. I learned that “healthy” and “unhealthy” foods were often labeled incorrectly and that I stayed away from food I could have enjoyed more often. Instead, I had this false sense of what is right and wrong when it comes to losing weight.
By keeping a food journal, you can become more aware of your eating habits and make necessary adjustments. By being more informed about the foods you eat, you can make healthier choices to suit your weight loss goals.
10. Managed your stress.
I know, this is easier said than done. Believe me, the struggle is real. While there is no switch that we can flip to turn stress on and off, there are a few ways we can try to manage stress efficiently. I am a firm believer in using tissue salts when I feel my stress levels are on the rise. Whether this really works or not, it gives me peace of mind and helps me calm my nerves. Stress can trigger emotional eating and cravings for unhealthy, high-calorie foods, leading to weight gain. When we are stressed, our bodies release cortisol, a hormone associated with weight gain, especially in the abdominal area.
Although we don’t always have control over when we get stressed, here are a few ways I get rid of stress that might just work for you too.
- Practice deep breathing exercises.
- Engage in regular physical activity.
- Try mindfulness meditation.
- Spend time in nature.
- Enjoy a hobby or creative outlet.
- Take short breaks during the day.
- Use relaxation techniques like progressive muscle relaxation.
- Take a warm bath or shower.
11. Cut back on sugary treats and drinks.
Now don’t get me wrong. There is nothing wrong with indulging every now and then or even every day. But, and this is a big BUT! Enjoy in moderation. Make healthier choices when you are craving something sweet. There are so many creative ways to enjoy your favorite treats in a healthier way. Whether it be cutting back on portion sizes, using alternative sugar-free options or relying on nature’s sweetness, you can still enjoy anything you want. Sugar raises your blood sugar which can increase your cravings even more and make it really hard to stick to your goals.
I look forward to having dessert every single night and I’m proud of it too! I make healthier choices and even when I decide to have one night of complete indulgence, I am confident enough in my choices that I know it won’t be a major setback.
The best advice I’ve ever gotten that has given me control over my diet and taken the guilt out of it all is this: One healthy meal won’t make you lose weight and one unhealthy meal won’t make you gain weight either.
Losing weight without exercise is possible through a combination of healthy lifestyle choices. Remember that results may take time, and consistency is key. I have managed to create a healthier body and lifestyle with these ways to lose weight without exercise and you can too. While it might not be a quick fix, it ultimately leads to a healthier life and the body you’ve always wanted. It takes time, patience and dedication.
Being healthy isn’t a diet, it’s a lifestyle.
Your Wellness Warrior!