Lose weight without exercise?
Is it possible?
What am I even talking about?
Yep, if there was ever a dream diet this would be it, right? Learning how to lose weight without exercise is actually much simpler than you think. Way much simpler. In fact, you might be surprised to learn that exercising contributes to only about 20% of your weight loss efforts.
It sounds too good to be true, but it is surprisingly not.
Much of weight loss (and weight gain) can be attributed to what we eat. Sure, there are other factors involved such as mindset, hormonal changes, or stress, but if you wanted to narrow down how to lose weight to just one thing, eating would definitely be it.
Don’t get me wrong, I wholeheartedly advocate exercising regularly for mental and physical health, but when it comes to the battle of the bulge, what and how you eat is significantly more important.
So what are these 7 secret strategies to lose weight without exercise? Read on to discover their simplicity and how they can literally rock your weight loss world!
1. EAT PROTEIN WITH EVERY MEAL
The body needs protein (or carbohydrate) in order to burn fat.
When protein is in short supply your body begins to eat away at its own protein source as a way of survival ie it begins to breakdown muscle in order for it to keeping on burning fat. This is not ideal, not only for the obvious reasons of being strong, but lean muscle plays a key factor in determining your metabolic rate, something we like to keep at a high when it comes to weight loss.
You can calculate how much protein your body needs by converting your weight in kilos to grams which equates to the amount of protein you need. So for example if you weigh 70 kilos, you should ensure you take at least 70 grams of protein in per day to power your body.
2. TIMING IS KEY
Timing is key when it comes to so many things in life, and weight loss makes no exception. Timing your eating is an essential decision you can take in how to lose weight. But there’s no need to overcomplicate it. Just follow two simple principles: eat like a king in the morning and stop eating late at night!
This is much more crucial than you would expect and it’s a massive reason so many people experience difficulty in their weightloss endeavours.
Eating breakfast, particularly when you are on a diet, is essential in my opinion. In order to kick off your metabolism, you need to jump start it, and only food can really do that.
If you don’t eat until say lunch time, this means your body has not only been performing much below its optimum - as it is still in the sleep / fasting mode - but your metabolism will be consequently low due to our bodies survival mechanism resulting in us burning fewer calories.
This is an easy one, but not always the most social.
Eating heavy meals at night will not do your digestion, weight, or fat loss any good at all. Your body should not be asked to process food late at night, when it is about to rest and recuperate. You are depriving your body of proper rest and not allowing it to simply switch off and recharge for the next day.
What happens is simple: you don’t digest your food completely, as your body is in a rest phase, and you don’t get a restful sleep either because your body is still semi-awake trying to process the lasagne you had for dinner, which results in fat storage, weight gain, and insomnia.
Fuel your body with the richest food during the day when you are mobile and able to digest it without too much of a problem. This will also give you time to burn off the calories rather than store them.
3. LOW CARB ISN’T ALL BLACK AND WHITE
Low carb diets have been soooo trendy for the last 15 years, and for a very good reason. The scientific research is pretty comprehensive and millions of people have benefited from eating fewer carbs.
However, the king of them all, Atkins, and a few others like the Keto diet do advocate eating a lot of high fat foods, especially animal fats, which is quite controversial considering the heart health implications.
Issues aside, the diet has some clout, to a degree. If you are like some of us, you simply cannot live without carbs. I know I personally can’t, it is simply not healthy for my body.
Carbohydrates are essential to physical and mental wellbeing, but how and when you eat them, now that can be modified. I advocate my clients eat the bulk of their carbohydrates in the first part of the day. If you are consciously trying to lose weight, stop eating carbs after lunch time. By eating like this, you will provide your body with the essential fibre and carbohydrate it needs, without making it work too hard in the evening when you can have something a little lighter.
And when I talk about carbs, I of course mean the healthy kind like fruit, veggies, whole grains and legumes. Cookies and other processed carbs should be avoided as much as possible on your weight loss journey.
4. GREEN TEA IS YOUR BEST FRIEND
Drinking green tea is excellent for so many things, from its anti-ageing properties to its cancer fighting antioxidant composition to the caffeine kick it has. It is also great for metabolism and helping you lose weight! So much so that green tea extract consumption in medicinals is at a massive high for that reason.
Drinking the tea is just fine, try and brew 2 to 3 cups of it a day and enjoy it hot or cold. I drink it throughout the day and really enjoy it, particularly when I am feeling sleepy and tempted to reach for a snack. I drink the tea and it satisfies my urges. Just remember that replacing coffee with the tea should be a consideration due to the caffeine composition. You don't want to get too wired!
5. PROCESSED FOOD IS YOUR WORST ENEMY
You want to know how to lose weight without even thinking about it? I know you don’t really want to hear this, but get rid of the processed foods!
We hear this all the time, but it doesn’t have to be as drastic as it sounds to make a big shift in your weight loss efforts without exercise.
Of course most foods are processed to some degree, but I think you know what I mean. Cakes, biscuits, chips, ready meals, lots of white food from cans and packets and boxes. Whilst there are exceptions to the rule, avoid foods that have lots of ingredients in them, unpronounceable ingredients, ingredients attached to numbers, or ones sourced from a large distance. Basically, avoid anything that has a very long shelf life.
Opt for natural food that is as close to its natural form as possible. So if you eat chicken, go for chicken that is real, not smooshed together to form a pretty nugget or burger.
Clean food is the most simple, so keep it simple stupid and you will be dropping the weight, not to mention bloating and cellulite, in no time.
6. DRINKING WATER IS VITAL
This is a game changer when it comes to losing weight.
Water manages every metabolic process in your body, which makes it vital. Yet many of us are running on empty causing delicate, water dependent systems in our bodies to run to poor form. Fat metabolism and food digestion are of course largely affected when water is in low supply, causing weight loss to slow down or even stop.
This dehydration masks itself as lots of health issues that you may fail to even link to dehydration. Symptoms of dehydration include:
- Brain Fog
- Bloated tummy
- Swollen Ankles
What’s more, if you find yourself ravenous when it comes to meal times, drink water 20 to 30 minutes before your meal. The centres that control thirst and hunger messages are closely linked, so most of us mistake thirst for hunger. We often overeat to compensate for the lack of water we have in our system. By ensuring you are well hydrated before you eat, you will avoid overeating and of course gaining unwanted weight.
7. SLEEP SHOULD IS NOT A LUXURY
(IT IS ESSENTIAL FOR WEIGHT LOSS (NOT TO MENTION SURVIVAL)
This is where many of us busy Mums slip up in the weight loss stakes.
Being a Mum doesn’t have to mean being sleep deprived, especially as the kids grow up. Sleep is essential for every process in our body. If we are not rested adequately, the body’s systems cannot function efficiently, it’s a no brainer.
When it comes to weight loss, being short on sleep and going to bed too late are sure fire ways to actually gain weight.
The main reason for this is that when not rested, our body’s hormone systems become imbalanced. Most specifically the levels of Ghrelin and Leptin.
These two hormones work closely together to modulate our desire to eat. Leptin, which is made by our fat cells, causes a decrease in our appetite. Ghrelin, produced by our stomach, causes our appetite to increase, in some cases uncontrollably, and actually promotes the body to store excess fat, particularly around the belly.
When we are sleep deprived we feel the effects of these hormones. What’s more, when we are chronically sleep deprived we can, as you would expect, begin to gain large amounts of weight over a relatively short period of time.
As a Mother of 2 I know first hand how the luxury of sleep is sacrificed, particularly in the early days. Everyone is individual, but if you can get help with helping baby to sleep for long periods of time, you can begin to rebalance your hormones by getting adequate and nourishing sleep to help you thrive.
8. VEGGIE SOUPS ARE YOUR MAGIC PILL
Non-starchy vegetables are largely made up of water and some fibre with very little calories. So eating them at your meal is a no brainer when it comes to feeling fuller and nourished.
Opt for soups that are made up of non-starchy vegetables such as broccoli, celery, cauliflower, carrots, mushrooms, squashes, and leafy greens.
So there you have it, I hope you’ve got a few good pointers on how to lose weight without exercise. In the end, it’s all about habits and long-term thinking. If you can incorporate even just one healthy habit a month and stick with it, you won’t believe how different your life will look within a year.
With love and wellness