Staying slim and fit not only adds to your charms but also keeps you healthy, inside out. However, the busy routines of the modern-day man, eating junk food, and a lack of awareness about health keeps adding a few extra pounds to the body, every now and then. An intermediate daily workout may help reduce weight, but after working hard for double shifts, many of us do not feel energetic enough to schedule and follow an exercise regimen on a regular basis. Excess weight not only causes an emotional distress by bringing your self-esteem down but also seeds uncountable health problems, for example- type-2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and even cancer (1,2). If you are also stressed out because of obesity and wondering how to lose weight without exercising, then you have landed at the right place. Here are some easy ways to lose weight naturally, that too, without indulging in an intense workout.
What are the Benefits of Losing weight?
Weight loss is directly connected to the heart health. If your blood pressure is high, then losing weight would lower your blood pressure and improve overall metabolism rate (3). Losing a few extra pounds will not only make you feel energetic but also boost your confidence level. Thus, along with physical health benefits, weight loss is also important to regain and boost your mental health.
How Much Weight Should You Lose?
If you are suffering from obesity and wondering about how much weight you should lose, then you probably need to calculate your Body Mass Index (BMI). In simple words, BMI is a value derived from a formula based on a person’s height and weight (4). BMI tells if you are underweight, normal weight, overweight, or obese. It is easy to calculate your BMI. BMI from 25 to 29.9 shows that a person is overweight, and a BMI over 30 indicates that the person is suffering from obesity.
Is It Really Possible to Shed Extra Pounds Without Exercising?
Does your work keep you busy all the day? Does excessive exercise make you tired? Are your gym timings not flexible? Are you looking to lose a few kilos without working out? Well, yes. You can. Besides exercise, there are also other good ways to lose weight (5). Check out this surprising guide that tells you how you can lose weight without exercise.
1. Make A Realistic Weight Loss Goal
Now, since you have already calculated your BMI, you know that how much weight you should lose. But, the question is how much time will it take? People who start a weight loss program usually make unrealistic deadlines, but soon end up getting frustrated due to slower results and unmet expectations. Studies show that setting up realistic weight loss goals is an important key point for a healthy weight loss program (6). To reach the top, one needs to pass every stair. A weight loss program should be step-by-step. For example, at the initial stage, plan to lose 5 to 10 pounds. Accomplishing a small or intermediate goal will give your brain a psychological and motivational boost.
2. Write Your Goal Down
Once you have set your weight loss goal, it’s time to write it all down. Generally, as the time passes, the commitments we made to ourselves start to fade and excuses begin to replace them. Thus, writing your goals on a sheet and updating it regularly will help you stick to your weight loss program (7). You can add certain points to your progress reports sheet such as- daily calorie intake, duration of the morning walk, the list of foods helpful in weight loss, and benefits of losing weight, etc. This daily progress sheet will play an important role, motivating you to keep yourself on track.
3. Eat Protein Rich Foods
If you want to lose a few pounds without exercising, then protein-rich-foods are your best bet. Human body burns more calories to digest protein than it burns in digesting fat (8). Protein is slow to digest, and thus, it stays in our stomach and intestine longer than fat or carbohydrate. Slow digestion of protein provides us a longer satiety feeling. In other words, we feel less hungry. Eating protein during dieting prevents the lean muscle loss. Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, milk, pork, tuna, and dried lentils are some of the protein-rich foods.
4. Drink Plenty of Water
Did you know that increasing your daily water consumption can reduce the everyday calorie intake (9)? Drinking fresh water relieves fatigue, headache, migraines as well as helps in digestion problems, constipation, and dehydration. It brings a glow to the skin and maintains your body temperature, as well. Try to drink around 500 ml of water 30 minutes prior to your meals. That will reduce your hunger, making you eat less.
5. Don’t Skip Meals
Many people who want to lose weight quickly, usually start to skip their meals. But, Experts and scientists claim that skipping meals is not a good idea for losing weight, and may ultimately lead you to gain a few more pounds around the abdomen (10). Another flaw of skipping meals is that it makes us feel extremely hungry at the time of next meal, and we end up eating more than usual. The human body needs certain nutrients to function properly and by skipping meals, we deprive the body of essential nutrients. This triggers the body into starvation mode, which slows the metabolism, making us feel tired and even moody or irritated.
6. Eat Several Small Meals Instead of a Big One
The best thing about eating comparatively smaller but frequent meals is that you won’t feel much hungry, as you would when eating only one big portion in the day (11). Skipping breakfast or lunch may cause increased blood insulin level. That way, the glucose would rather be converted into fat instead of energy. Apart from that, high blood cholesterol and unbalanced metabolism are the other known health problems that occur when we eat only one meal in a day. If you want to feel fuller, stay healthier, and lose more weight by consuming lesser calories, then you might consider taking frequent and small portions of meals.
7. Eat Your Food Slowly
When we look at delicious, finely cut & cooked food, we tend to take big bites. But, if you are walking on the road to fitness, then this might not be the best strategy. Various studies performed over time suggest that eating slowly and chewing your food thoroughly would not only reduce your hunger but also give you a feeling of satisfaction and fullness (12). People who eat fast are more likely to gain weight than the people who eat slowly. Eating slowly is directly associated with satiety that will lower your daily calorie intake and help you prevent weight gain.
8. Use Smaller Bowls and Plates
When you use large plates or bowls for serving food, you tend to take bigger servings subconsciously, and ultimately end up eating more than you usually do. On the other hand, a comparatively smaller plate or bowl makes a serving look bigger that helps you eat less. Studies show that we can control our daily calorie intake significantly by using smaller plates, bowls, tea spoons, and serving spoons (13). If you want to lose weight with a feeling of fullness all through the day, then try using smaller tablewares.
9. Say Bye to All the Unhealthy Foods
By unhealthy food, we mean the food with a higher amount of fat, sugar, and overall calories. Junk food, snacks and sugary liquor that are available in supermarkets usually contain a high amount of fat and sugar. Due to their intense flavor and deliciousness, we eat way more than the hunger. Good taste of these food items soothes the taste buds, making us feel happy for the moment. Thus, when emotionally panicked, we tend to eat more than usual. Even the sight of an appealing packaging of food is enough to tap our cravings and makes us hungry. Keeping all these alluring food out of sight will help you a great deal in losing weight (14).
10. Go Healthy With Fiber Rich Foods
If you feel hungry during the day, you should probably consider grabbing a cup of raspberries instead of reaching for an extra cheese hamburger. Raspberries, along with a few other foods is high in fiber and can aid in your weight loss campaign (15). High fiber foods have been proven advantageous in normalizing bowel movements, controlling the blood sugar level, and ultimately help reduce cholesterol. Raspberries, apples, blueberries, strawberries, pears, oatmeal, and cooked peas are not only some of the most fiber-rich foods but also make a delicious snack for you and your family.
11. Grab Some Pistachio Nuts for Snack
If you are looking for a tasty snack without worrying about weight gain, then reach out for a bowl full of delicious pistachios (16). Alongside the benefits over weight gain, pistachios are a good source of minerals like copper, iron, magnesium, zinc, and potassium as well as vitamin-E and carotenes. Pistachios are also good for metabolism and production of red blood cells (RBC).
12. Replace Your Sugary Beverage With Green Tea
There’s no doubt that all the over-marketed sugary beverages like soda and cold drinks contain a high amount of added sugar. Due to the excess of calories that these beverages deliver, drinking even one can of added sugar soda can push you towards unwanted weight gain (17). Besides obesity, excess intake of sugary beverages may lead to tooth decay, various heart diseases, and type 2 diabetes. So, what could be a possible replacement of sugary drinks?Undoubtedly, it’s green tea. A catechin in green tea, called Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG), will help you lose unwanted kilos (18). Additionally, green tea also reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, dental infection, and even cancer. So what are you waiting for? Just walk to the nearest store and grab some packs of the best green tea.
13. Have a Proper Sleep
In today’s techno-savvy world, certain entertainments keep us awake for late night hours. In the morning, we have to wake up early to avoid the endless questions of our bosses on getting late. For that, we compromise with the duration of sleep. On the other hand, researchers believe that bodies of dieters, who take proper sleep, lose more fat in weight loss regimes than those who cut on their sleep(19). When we stay up till late night, our bodies produce a hormone called ghrelin that increases our hunger. Thus, we feel hungry and end up eating more. People who take a proper and good sleep are reported to have increased memory, attention, and reduced stress and depression.
14. Choose Stairs Instead of Lift
Taking a lift might seem a faster and time-saving way to reach your office floor quickly, but not as healthier as climbing the stairs. We almost lose no calories during our time in the lift, but at the same time, we burn double the calories by climbing the stairs than we do by walking (20). If your office is located on one of the top floors, then consider ditching the lift for 3-4 levels and take the stairs. Apart from burning calories, taking the stairs strengthens leg muscles, increases bone density, reduces blood pressure, and even lowers the risk of dying prematurely.
Note: Heart patients and the people with knees and ankle’s problems should avoid stair climbing or should consult with a doctor before making stair climbing a part of their daily workout routine.
15. Go for a Walk in Morning and Just After You Eat
Some people, especially the ones suffering from overweight and obesity, feel dull, tired, and low on energy. Waking up early and going for a morning walk will keep you energetic throughout the day. If you have no time to spend every day in a gym, then a short 30 minutes morning walk will work as a good warm up. During a morning walk, the fresh air refreshes your mind, and you will be able to make better plans for the day. Besides its benefits in reducing weight, a good morning walk also improves appetite and helps you get a better sleep at night. Walking just after a meal is as important as the morning walk. Studies show that having a half an hour walk just after a meal greatly helps reduce weight (21). Due to increased insulin level after a meal, the human body tends to store more fat, and it can be prevented by taking a walk.
Note: People who experience mild fatigue or other problem when walking just after a meal should take a walk after 30 minutes of having a meal.
16. Add Spices to Your Daily Meals
Some antioxidant spices like cloves, black pepper, cinnamon, oregano, and paprika are found to reduce the negative effect of fat-containing food (22). Fat-containing food is responsible for adding a high amount of triglycerides in your blood. Adding antioxidant spices to your meal reduces the amount of triglyceride by a great deal.
17. Eat in Peace Without Electronic Interference
It feels great to watch your favorite TV show with a big bucket of popcorn and cola in your hands, but that way, you lose track of how much have you eaten, so far. Many types of research indicate that inattentive eating (eating in the presence of electronic diversions) increases the food intake (23). Thus, eating while watching TV or while chatting with your friends on your phone is not recommended.
18. Try Mindful Eating
Sometimes, it becomes very tough to keep up with your dieting schedule. Due to hunger, a dieter starts to avoid or shift his/her dieting schedules. This situation can be countered with satiety if you practice mindful eating. It can keep you at bay from psychological diversion and binge eating, aiding you in your weight loss campaign (24).