How many times have you heard this?
“Do this exercise! You’ll burn more calories and lose weight faster!“
We’ve been getting this kind of message for years — you need to exercise more if you want to lose weight fast.
But, have you ever thought of how to lose weight without exercise?
This is not an urban legend.
A Vox journalist, Julia Belluz and Christophe Haubursin, read through 60 studies of exercise and weight loss and concluded:
“We need to reframe how we think about exercise” because it turns out that exercise won’t help you lose much weight, even if you ramp it up!
Here’s another mind-blowing finding from an evolutionary study.
Anthropologist, Herman Pontzer, set off from New York to Tanzania to study the last hunter-gatherer tribe, the Hadzas.
Like most of us, Pontzer thought the reason why the Hadzas are so fit is that they’re physically super active.
Pontzer measured the rate of energy expenditure of several Hadza families, and the results were astonishing.
“We were amazed when the energy expenditure among the Hadza was no higher than it is for the Americans and Europeans,” says Pontzer.
The exact reason is not “physical activity“. It’s their “diet“.
‘Diet’ does not mean ‘temporary alteration of your life for short-term gain,’ it means ‘way of life.’— Eric Edmeades
How Can I Lose Weight Naturally?
The most natural and the healthiest way to lose weight without exercise is to live according to our natural evolved diet.
Eric Edmeades, says, “Every species has a specific diet. And humans have one“.
When we eat and live the way according to the human diet, our bodies will naturally release unnecessary fat, heal faster, and provide more energy to us.
Exercise is excellent for your health, but it can’t make you healthy or lose weight if you have a bad diet in the first place.
This is the place you’ll learn what to eat, how to eat, and in tandem with how to live your life so you can lose weight without exercise.
Without further ado, let’s talk about the 10 ways to lose weight without exercise.
10 tips to lose weight without exercise (naturally)
1. Do 5-5-5 breathing
When you lose weight, where do you think the fat goes?
Believe it or not, the majority of weight loss happens via breathing Not sweat or excretion.
This may sound ridiculous to you, but you’ll get it once you understand how your body releases fat.
A group of researchers from the University of New South Wales, Australia, found out that when weight is lost, the majority of it is released as carbon dioxide.
According to their calculations, they found that when 10kg of fat were oxidized, 8.4kg were converted and released as carbon dioxide, and the remaining became water.
So, one way to lose weight without exercise is to do the 5-5-5 breathing.
Breathe in for 5 seconds, hold it for 5 seconds, and release for 5 seconds. Repeat this 5 times, twice a day.
2. Drink 6-8 glasses of water
Do you know that the reason people often reach out for snacks is that their body is most likely dehydrated?
One of the reasons why you’re always hungry is your body needs water. Dehydration is often disguised as feelings of hunger.
You might wonder, “Why does our body confuse thirst with hunger?“
According to Eric, this bodily response can be traced back to our ancestor’s diet, where they get most water from fruits and vegetables.
Modern nutritionists echoed a similar message too. They said, “Eating water-rich foods like vegetables, fruits and soups may help tackle both thirst and hunger.”
So, whenever you feel hungry, chances are, your body needs water. Drink 6-8 glasses of water per day to silence the thirst hunger.
3. Eat even more fruits and vegetables
The majority of us are overeating but malnourished at the same time.
What this means is, people are eating a ton of unhealthy foods that provide energy, but zero nutrients.
This is why people feel hungry all the time; their bodies are screaming for nutrients constantly.
One quick hack is to double the number of fruits and vegetables. Eat fruits daily at least once a day, and include vegetables in every meal.
Fruits and vegetables are nutrient treasure troves. They contain a broad spectrum of nutrients that act as a protective mechanism in your body.
Fruits and vegetables do not fight disease; it is their absence that causes it.— Eric Edmeades
4. Practice mindful eating
How many times have you wolfed down a meal without even noticing it?
Most likely, a lot.
When people are distracted while eating, such as watching TV, scrolling social media feeds, or conversing with friends, it’s easy to overeat.
This is because our gut takes around 20 minutes to register fullness to the brain. If we eat too quickly, we’re not giving our gut enough time to send the right (feel full) signals.
One guide to help you get started is upayoga samstha, an Ayurvedic practice that teaches us how to eat mindfully.
Some of the things you can gradually put into practice for mindful eating:
- Chew thoroughly and eat at a moderate pace
- Give a break in between meals
- If you’re upset, wait to eat
- Always sit down to eat
- Give food your full attention
- Sit for a few minutes after each meal
5. Get a good night’s sleep
Getting enough sleep won’t just give you more energy; it could help you feel less hungry.
This connection between sleep and overeating can be explained by science.
Our bodies have two hormones that regulate our hunger, ghrelin that stimulates appetite, and leptin that decreases it.
When the body lacks sleep, the level of ghrelin spikes, and leptin falls, leading to an increase in hunger.
In short, the less sleep you get, the hungrier you become.
What you can do starting tonight is make sure you’re getting 7-9 hours of good night’s sleep each day.
6. Eat more high-quality whole foods (Duh!)
Your health is far more determined by getting in the good stuff (nutrients), than cutting out the unhealthy stuff.Eric Edmeades
Let’s break down what “high-quality whole foods” means.
Whole foods refer to single-ingredient foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, meat, fish, and more.
High-quality foods mean fresh, low in saturated and trans fat, unprocessed, and unflavored.
Combined, you need to eat more fresh, low-fat, unprocessed single-ingredient foods in your diet.
Eating more foods may be counterintuitive to “how to lose weight without exercise” but hear us out.
Research showed the link between diet and weight gain. They found that the more you diet and restrict what you eat, the more likely you’ll gain weight.
Instead of dieting, eat high-quality whole foods!
Aim to be a healthier, fitter, and more energetic person.
Focus on providing all the nutrients your body needs instead of depriving it.
7. Beware of sugars and chemicals
When you’re searching for answers to the “how to lose weight without exercise” question, this will pop up in every single article you read.
Sugars and chemicals are the worst ingredients in our foods today.
Foods that you might think of as healthy like diet soda, cereals, energy bars, sports drinks, and cookies are most likely the main contributor to obesity.
These non-functional foods contain very few to zero whole ingredients and they are filled with sugars, preservatives, additives, and flavorings.
Eating too much sugar can cause an increase in weight because it increases hunger and the desire for more food.
Sugar also causes addiction by inducing a spike in dopamine, the “reward system” in our body. This is why some of us feel “better” when eating a piece of milk chocolate.
Research has also shown that chemicals, such as artificial sweeteners, dyes, emulsifiers, and additives, are contributors to obesity.
Before you buy any packaged foods, read the ingredient list thoroughly.
If you spot any type of sugar in the top 5, or more than half of the list is chemicals, chances are, you’re eating highly processed food.
Sugar triggers appetite, so food manufacturers put it everywhere, and we’re getting addicted to it.— Eric Edmeades
8. Change how you think about unhealthy foods
Did you know that when you see your favorite comfort food as something negative, the desire for it lessens?
A study about food craving reappraisal has discovered that the desire of craved foods have significantly reduced when the participants associate negative things with the craved food.
The told the participants to say and do the following statements and actions whenever they crave their comfort foods.
- Tell themselves that they already feel full.
- “Not now, I’ll eat next time“.
- They remind themselves and think about how that particular food will adversely affect their body.
What you can do today is to reprogram your mind to associate unhealthy foods with negative things so you’ll crave less and less.
9. Keep a food journal
What if a simple change in your habits can help you lose weight without exercise?
Nutritionists suggest that keeping a food diary helps people lose weight faster than those who don’t.
A food diary brings awareness to the food you eat so you’ll know exactly what food you’ve eaten, how many calories, and why you eat them.
Besides, you can identify areas where you can make changes that’ll help you lose weight.
For instance, you might notice you eat more junk snacks between 3-4 pm. Ask yourself questions like, “What was I doing at that time?” or “What was I feeling?”
After a few weeks, food diaries can help you spot overeating patterns and identify which of the six human hungers you’re experiencing.
Understanding what you eat, how you eat, and why you eat, can help you lose weight and keep those pounds off.
10. Embrace meal-preps
Don’t have time to cook?
Meal-prep is the concept of preparing meals ahead of time. It’s particularly popular among busy people because it can save a lot of time.
Wouldn’t it be nice if you have a healthy, unprocessed, portion-controlled meal waiting for you after a long day at work?
This is no longer a dream!
Meal-prep is easy, even if you’ve never cooked before.
Simply invest 30 minutes-1 hour on the weekend to prepare the entire week’s food.
If you’re a college student and wondering how to lose weight in college, meal-prep is the perfect choice for you!
Equip yourself with some meal-prep guidelines to get yourself started today.
The Take-Home Message
Keeping those pounds off doesn’t have to feel torturous.
As we’ve mentioned, science has proven that exercise is not the most significant contributor to weight loss.
What determines the majority of your body weight and shape is, food not exercise!
How can I lose 30 pounds without exercise?
Here are 10 things you can do today:
- Do 5-5-5 breathing
- Drink 6-8 glasses of water
- Eat more fruits and vegetables
- Practice mindful eating
- Get a good night’s sleep
- Eat high-quality whole foods
- Beware of sugars and chemicals
- Change how you think about unhealthy foods
- Keep a food journal
- Embrace meal-preps
You may have realized that the “10 tips on how to lose weight without exercise” is heavily geared towards behavior change.
The reason why diets don’t work is that they give you a set of rules, and you have to use your willpower to follow through.
When you live and eat according to the human diet, you simply want the foods good for your body and don’t want the foods you shouldn’t be eating.
What changes in your diet are you going to make today?