Can you actually lose weight and not step foot in the gym?
This seems to be one of the biggest questions among the weight loss community and for those starting on their own weight loss journey.
It’s an especially relevant question that comes up this time of year as everyone’s schedules seem to get SO much more busy with parties, running errands, catching up on holiday to-do’s, busier work days, etc.
The thought is oftentimes, “Well, I can’t commit to a consistent gym schedule so I probably won’t be able to lose weight. I may as well not even try to lose weight…”
If this has ever crossed your mind, you’re not alone!
As a certified trainer and a nutritionist, I hear this quite a bit. And I’m going to answer it for you once and for all. Are you ready?
Yes, you can lose weight without exercise! You can definitely drop pounds without having to wake up at the crack of dawn and head over to the gym.
Let’s talk about how that’s possible, and then I’m going to give you 8 tips to get you on the fast track.
First things first, I want to explain that exercise can definitely play a key role in weight loss. Exercise doesn’t just help support heart health, strength, and mental health, it also can speed up your weight loss.
That said, it’s not the only way to lose weight. You can definitely lose weight without training. It all comes down to calories in versus calories out.
What does that mean exactly? It’s all about how many calories you consume compared to how many calories you burn throughout the day.
Did you know EVERYTHING you do burns calories? Walking, sitting, standing, eating and even sleeping -these activities all burn calories.
To lose weight, you need to be in a calorie deficit, meaning you need to burn more calories than you consume. By doing this consistently over time, you will start to lose weight. Keep in mind it’s not some overnight thing!
So how much should you be eating to make sure you are losing weight without exercise?
The average US female’s resting metabolic rate (the number of calories your body burns at rest) is about 1400-1500 calories burned per day. This will vary depending on your activity level throughout the day. For example, if you sit at a desk all day or if you’re up on your feet working.
As long as you are consistently consuming fewer calories than you are burning, you will lose weight.
My number one piece of advice to lose weight without exercise is to get your nutrition dialed in! By staying within your weight loss calorie range, you’ll be able to effectively shed pounds!
So you already know my number #1 weight loss tip without exercise: be sure you’re eating fewer calories than you are burning.
I’m going to give you 8 other tips to help you lose the weight without exercise! Are you ready?
1. Eat slower- How many times have you eaten a meal and felt like you just finished a Thanksgiving feast? When the food tastes good, it’s hard not to overeat, so here’s a tip: slow down a little bit.
Taking time to savour the flavors and chewing your food slower will help you consume fewer calories and feel full on smaller meals! Take your time while you eat and enjoy it!
2. Eat enough protein with each meal– Protein not only helps you feel fuller, but it also reduces hunger, helps you eat less overall, and speeds up your metabolism. Protein has a much higher thermic effect of food than carbs and fats, meaning you are burning a lot of the calories just by eating it! A good rule of thumb is to make sure you have protein with all of your meals.
One thing I love to keep me on track and curb my cravings are IdealShakes! They are a meal replacement shake that tastes just like a dessert! Especially the chocolate peanut butter! It’s like drinking a Reese’s! You can replace up to two meals a day with IdealShake to help maximize your weight loss goals.
3. High Fiber Foods- In order to lose weight, you need to be in a calorie deficit. No one likes to feel hungry though, so the solution: eat more fiber!
Fiber helps you feel fuller for longer and unlike a lot of other carbs, it doesn’t spike your blood sugar. Another bonus, most foods that are high in fiber are healthy such as fruits;
Aim for about 25-30 grams of fiber each day.
4. Water- The signal the tells our body we are thirsty is so weak that it is often mistaken for thirst. Next time you feel hungry, drink a glass of water, wait 10 minutes and see if you are still hungry. If you are, and if you just finished a meal, go for a healthy snack! For some healthy snack options, click here.
Be sure to drink enough water throughout your day. Try to drink at least half your weight in oz of water each day.
5. Use a smaller plate and spoon- Filling a normal sized plate often leads to overeating. Don’t even get me started on portion sizes. They’ve been blown out of proportion over the years, that’s for sure.
Eating off a smaller plate can make you feel like you are getting more food. Try it next time!
6. Eat for hunger, not boredom- Who can honestly say they’ve never stood in front of the fridge or pantry when they weren’t even hungry? Next time you think you’re hungry, stop and think about it: are you hungry or are you really just bored?
Staying busy is one way to avoid eating because you’re bored. If you have a lot of free time on your hands, try out a new hobby or just do something to take your mind off food. Maybe go for a walk or read a book.
7. Adequate rest- This one is huge! Have you ever gotten discouraged because you are eating healthy, exercising, and still not losing weight? When was the last time you got a full 7 hours or more of sleep?
When you are deprived of sleep, your body produces more ghrelin, which is the hormone that tells your body to eat. This makes you think you are hungry when you actually aren’t, leading to overeating. In other words, if it comes down to time at the gym or sleep, you will often benefit more from getting those extra z’s!
8. Decrease Stress- There’s a reason you want to go for the Ben and Jerry’s after a long stressful day.
Stress increases your appetite and makes you crave unhealthy food. Stress increases your cortisol levels, the hormone that makes it hard to lose weight.
It is essential to destress if you want to lose weight or just be happy in general. Find something other than going for that comfort food that helps you alleviate your stress and do it! One of my favorite stress relievers is yoga, but everyone is different so find what works for you! It can be as simple as reading a book, going for a walk or find a new hobby, just find something you enjoy.
While you’re going to get the best weight loss results when you pair a healthy diet with exercise, it’s still possible to lose weight without exercising.
It’s all about taking the small steps because guess what? Small steps and small victories lead to BIG results! It’s not about overhauling and jumping into a completely new lifestyle overnight.
As you consistently practice these tips I’ve given you, I know you’ll start to see weight loss results. And even better, you’ll feel more healthy, have more energy!
Keep in mind, though, that with weight loss, it isn’t just about the number on the scale. Sure, it’s important, and you want to see number results.
But don’t forget about all the things you’ll gain along the way. Things like:
By working on your weight loss goals, you’ll start to take advantage of all of life has to offer. Stay strong this winter, and if you EVER start to get discouraged with your weight loss progress, hop on over to our private Facebook family. It’s the perfect community to share your experiences, ask questions, and build friendships with people that have the same goals!