25 Ways to Help Lose Weight Without Extensive Exercise
Trying to lose that 10 pounds you have been moaning about for the past few months? Don’t have enough time to go to the gym everyday? Then this is just the article for you. First off, yes, you can lose your weight without exercising too much. The key is to alter your mindset, environment, and habits to the best of your ability. It’s perfectly fine if you are unable to follow every single tip given below, but in making an effort, you will see results in no time!
Quick disclaimer: exercise is still important if you are trying to lose weight. Doing some form of physical activity on a weekly basis will help speed up the process and make your body feel even better. But that doesn’t mean that you have to wake up the next day and grind like Dwayne Johnson. Some of these methods may be a little unorthodox and seem downright crazy. However, every one of these tips have been backed up by evidence from a variety of credible studies about weight loss and health. Here are 25 great tips on losing weight without extensive exercise:
1. Change your mindset
If you think of eating veggies and hitting the gym as unbearable hardships, then they will always feel that way and you’ll never do them. But if you can change your mindset, you may increase your chances of success. How? Information published in a 2018 issue of Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being found that reframing your weight loss thoughts may help. Shifting from a “dieting” perspective to one that focused on thoughts about simply changing the way you eat may play a role in better managing weight loss efforts.
2. Turn up the lights
Dim, sultry lighting may be ideal for a romantic dinner, but if you’re watching your waistline you’re going to want to brighten the place up. After all, who isn’t more self-aware in bright lighting? It stands to reason, therefore, that you may be more likely to make more nutritious choices when the so-called spotlight is on you compared to dimmer environments.
3. Ditch the diet drinks
Ordering a diet soda may seem like a good compromise between sticking to your diet and still having a beverage you love. But the artificial sweeteners used in most calorie-free drinks don’t lead to weight loss. In fact, they are actually associated with weight gain, according to animal research published in a 2016 issue of Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism.
4. Outsource portion control
Portion control is one way to lose weight without exercise. But while that makes sense in theory, when you’re faced with the reality of a gallon of ice cream and a bowl, how exactly are you supposed to know how much a half-cup serving really is? Fortunately, taking the guesswork out of portion control is as easy as buying a set of dishes or containers that are calibrated to measure out a single serving of different types of foods. Another option is to buy food prepackaged into single-servings, like frozen entrees. It works: In a study published in Obesity, people who used outside measures of portion control lost considerably more weight than those who tried to figure it out on their own. To become one of those people, try the best portion control tricks for weight loss.
5. Eat in your dining room
Eat-in kitchens are great for convenience but may be not so great for your waistline, according to a small study published in a 2016 issue of Environment and Behavior. Researchers found that eating in open concept areas—like the kitchen/great room in most new homes today—make people eat more than if they were in an enclosed space. Being able to see the extra food and having such easy access to it encourages people to eat more, even if they’d already eaten until they were full. Even better, load your plate with these fat-burning foods for more weight loss benefits!
6. Dab a little vanilla on your wrists
It’s been said that certain scents like vanilla may help squash the desire to overeat. While it may work for some people, the Mayo Clinic recommends caution. They note that “the jury is still out” when it comes to whether some scents can truly lead to sustainable weight loss. Be sure to do your research about products that claim to make you slimmer through scents. Instead, consider the tried-and-true weight loss strategy of calorie reduction and increasing exercise. Sniffing your favorite scent may be nice, but the basics are a better guarantee.
7. Clean your kitchen
Cluttered, messy kitchens take a toll on your sanity and your waistline, according to a small study published in a 2016 issue of Environment and Behavior. People who ate in a cluttered kitchen ate twice as many snacks as those who cleaned up their space. The thinking is that a chaotic environment can lead to vulnerabilities that foster unhealthy eating habits.
8. Eat lunch with your boss
Women who ate with someone they considered “high status,” ate less than people who dined with those they saw as equals, according to Vanderbilt University researchers. “Arguably people with higher status are more weight-conscious, they’re more concerned about their own body image, and they’re more likely to practice weight-related lifestyle such as dietary habits and physical activities and control their weight,” says Lijun Song, PhD, lead author and associate professor of sociology at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. “And if you are surrounded by people like that, you’re exposed to a stronger network norm of weight control. You’re more likely to become more conscious of your body weight, more likely to receive assistance with weight management, and are more likely to observe and imitate weight-control behaviors.”
9. Vacation in the mountains
There’s a reason why people in Colorado may be some of the slimmest in the nation: it’s one of the steepest states in the nation. According to an Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center study published in the 2014 issue of PLoS ONE, enlisted service members stationed at higher altitudes were less likely to become obese compared with those stationed at lower altitudes. But don’t move just yet. It might make more sense to cultivate good weight-related habits that can be taken up anywhere, like walking outdoors and managing your stress.
10. Avoid pollution as much as possible
Children who live close to roadways with a high level of air pollution and are also exposed to secondhand smoke are more likely to be obese than children who do not, according to a study from the University of Southern California. It’s not clear exactly why and how air pollution may be linked to obesity, but it’s never a bad idea to avoid hanging out in areas with very polluted air, like smoke-filled bars. And consider buying a filter to increase the air quality in your home.
11. Turn down the thermostat
Our climate-controlled homes may be one factor in the obesity epidemic, according to a study published in a 2014 issue of the journal Trends in Endocrinology & Metabolism. The scientists found that regular exposure to mildly cold weather—as would have been normal in the days before programmable thermostats—helps the human body regulate a healthy weight. Chilly air may increase your metabolism by forcing your body to work harder to cope with the changing conditions. And you don’t have to do a polar plunge or sleep in a snow cave to see results, say the researchers. Just lowering your thermostat by a few degrees or turning the shower briefly to cold can help.
12. A cup of cold water
The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences notes that when you have ice water, you will burn calories in an effort to warm your body temperature up. However, it’s not by much. They note that drinking cold water versus room temperature water only burns about eight calories. But it can’t hurt to enjoy a refreshing glass of ice water, which can help keep you feeling full and hydrated.
13. Take a good multivitamin
Vitamins have come under fire recently for being a waste of money but if you’re trying to lose weight, they might be worth your cash. In an older study of obese women published in the International Journal of Obesity, researchers found that those who took a daily multivitamin lost more body fat than those who took a placebo. Why? It’s possible to be overweight yet undernourished, a state that could cause the body to crave more food as a way to get necessary nutrients.
14. Buy blackout curtains
If you fall asleep to the gentle glow of your phone’s screen, the television, or even a nightlight, it’s time to find a new bedtime routine. Details from a study published in a 2019 issue of JAMA Internal Medicine notes that women who slept in the presence of artificial light were more likely to gain weight than if they didn’t. Such light includes sleeping with the television or light on as well as outdoor lighting coming through windows. It’s thought that several factors contribute to this, including light’s interference with the body’s circadian rhythm.
15. Skip the antibiotics unless you really need them
The more antibiotics a person takes during their lifetime, particularly as a child, the higher their risk of obesity, according to a Johns Hopkins study. Researchers speculate that it’s because the antibiotics wipe out bad bacteria along with good bacteria, which have been shown to help prevent weight gain. If you have to take an antibiotic, just be sure to take care of your microbiome, that community of gut bugs, by taking a probiotic and eating plenty of fermented foods like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and kimchi.
16. Eat a serving of beans every day
Beans, beans the magical fruit. The more you eat the more you… lose weight? Yes, says the Mayo Clinic. They note that beans and other legumes (a class of vegetables that includes beans, peas, and lentils) are a significant part of a healthy diet. “Legumes are typically low in fat, contain no cholesterol, and are high in folate, potassium, iron and magnesium,” the Mayo Clinic explains. “They also contain beneficial fats and soluble and insoluble fiber.” Legumes are full of fiber and protein, a combo that can keep you satisfied for hours.
17. Get a pet
Pets, and dogs in particular, are associated with a lower risk of obesity in their human companions, according to a 2013 study in the journal Circulation. Why? Dogs need to be walked daily and are often quite persistent in getting their owners to accompany them. But it’s not just the extra exercise, especially since 40 percent of dog owners confess to not walking their dog on a regular basis. Their soft, silky fur and unconditional love may also play a part as petting an animal may help reduce stress and depression, two other known risk factors for weight gain, the researchers added.
18. Buy organic
Organic food may not have more vitamins than conventionally grown food, but it may offer a health advantage: No pesticides. Some pesticides are known “endocrine disruptors,” meaning they interfere with your body’s metabolism by mimicking, blocking, or otherwise interfering with the body’s natural hormones, according to a 2015 report issued in Endocrine Reviews. The researchers found that regular exposure to pesticides through food was correlated with an increased risk of both obesity and diabetes.
19. Use chopsticks or try this fork trick
Anything that slows you down when you eat can help you become more mindful of what you’re eating, how much you’re enjoying it, and how full you are feeling. One easy way to put a speed bump between you and your plate is to try different utensils. Chopsticks will slow most Americans down, but if you don’t have pair handy, try simply switching your fork to your non-dominant hand. You’ll have to concentrate harder before each bite and will pay more attention to your food. Here are seven mindful eating tricks to further draw your attention to what you’re putting in your body.
20. Get a good night’s sleep
In our busy world, sleep is often the first thing to go, but skimping on even an hour of sleep can take a serious toll on your waistline. But the Mayo Clinic suggests trying to get back on track. It’s possible, they say, that not enough sleep leads to fluctuations in hunger-regulating hormones. Additionally, lack of sleep could render you too tired to engage in physical activity the next day. Hit the sack early and make consistent sleep your top priority.
21. Enjoy nature
Taking a hike through the mountains is certainly good exercise but you don’t have to break a sweat to take advantage of Mother Nature’s health package. Simply being outside in “green areas” has been linked to having a lower body weight, according to research done by the American Diabetes Association. Chances are, you already live within walking distance or relatively nearby some type of park. Get out there and explore your neighborhood.
22. Watch food additives
Junk food isn’t great for your weight or your health, but it turns out it’s not just the empty calories and trans fats doing the damage. The Mayo Clinic notes that added sugars may be linked to obesity and other health issues. Though more research is needed, it’s probably best to stay in line with the American Heart Association’s guidelines. They suggest: no added sugar for children younger than age 2, no more than 100 calories from added sugar a day for children older than age 2 and most women, and no more than 150 calories from added sugar a day for most men.
23. Order from the menu
The next time you go out to eat, skip the buffet and order a dish off the menu. It’s only logical; the greater the variety of food you see, the more your brain wants to taste each one. So, order from the menu. This way, you’ll eat only the food on your (one) plate.
24. Try meditating
Sometimes we eat because we’re hungry. And sometimes we eat because we’re bored, procrastinating, tired, sad, stressed, or thirsty. Knowing the difference between real hunger and, well, everything else, is a major key to losing weight. Fortunately there’s a simple tool to help you hear what your body’s really telling you. Consider meditation. It can teach you to tune in to your body’s subtle signals, including hunger cues. The next time you’re tempted to down a glazed doughnut or a giant Coke, try doing a minute or two of meditation. You may just realize you’re actually dehydrated and go for a water instead. Mindfulness may also help children. A study published in a 2016 issue of Heliyon explains that increases in a child’s impulsivity may lead to increases in body fat. Therefore, mindfulness may help decrease such urges and subsequently, maintain an ideal weight.
25. Look before you eat
Do you eat healthfully at home but get distracted from your weight-loss goal by delicious food at parties? Look before you leap. Just browse all the available food first before taking a bite. Looking first can help you prioritize which ones you enjoy the most and which ones you don’t like as much. That way, you don’t end up putting a whole bunch of food on your plate and end up ending things you really don’t thoroughly enjoy. Planning out your meal will teach you how to eat more mindfully, which will help you successfully lose weight without exercise.