How To Lose Weight Without Working Out: 60+ Proven Tips
Anyone who has tried to lose weight knows just how hard it can be. While it can be fairly easy to pack on pounds, dropping them can be incredibly difficult.
People often recommend exercise as a way to lose weight. While there are a number of health benefits to working out, it won’t necessarily help you slim down. That’s because exercise doesn’t do anything to change the hormonal imbalances that often fuel weight gain – and make it hard to lose weight.
If you’re looking to lose weight without working out, you have come to the right place. Ideal You offers a safe, effective way to lose weight without slowing down your metabolism or making you go through grueling workouts. Below, we have outlined some of the best tips for losing weight without ever setting foot in a gym.
Our bodies are complex, and can be hard to understand. For example, our brains need time to process that we have had enough to eat. When you eat quickly, you may consume far more calories than you need before your brain has a chance to signal that you are full.
Studies have shown that by chewing your food thoroughly and taking your time with your meals leads to decreased food intake and increased fullness. In other words, when you eat slowly, your tend to eat less — which can help you lose weight. By contrast, people who eat fast are much more likely to gain weight than slow eaters.
The upshot? If you want to lose weight, focus on chewing slowly, such as by counting the number of times that you chew each bite. You may be surprised at how you’ll feel full with far less food than you normally would.
Eat Lots of Protein
Protein is a powerhouse. Not only is it essential for our health, but it can increase feelings of fullness and reduce hunger. In this way, protein can help you eat fewer calories…and lose weight as a result.
Studies have found that increasing protein from 15% to 30% helped participants lose an average of 11 pounds over 12 weeks and eat 441 fewer calories each day, without intentionally restricting any foods or working out. So if you want to lose weight without exercise or strict dieting, start by upping your protein intake. Try eating eggs for breakfast instead of cereal, or adding almonds throughout the day as a snack.
Drink Lots of Water
Staying hydrated is key to losing weight. Many people mistake signs of dehydration for hunger, and eat when they’re thirsty instead of getting a drink. When you drink lots of water throughout the day, you can avoid dehydration.
Drinking water, particularly before a meal, can also help you eat less. When you drink a large glass of water before eating, you will typically eat fewer calories. If you replace sugary beverages with water, you will see even greater weight loss.
Keep Unhealthy Food Out of Reach
Let’s face it: for most of us, if we have sweets, snacks, and other unhealthy food around, it is hard to not eat it. That can be a problem if we are trying to lose weight. But in many situations, you need to keep these foods around for other family members, guests, or a number of other reasons.
One way to help you avoid temptation is by stashing these foods out of your reach. If you keep chips and cookies on the counter, you may reach for those when you’re hungry or want a snack. But if you keep a bowl of fruit on the counter instead, you are more likely to make a healthier choice when you want to munch on something.
Eat Plenty of Fiber
Fiber is fantastic for our bodies. Not only does it reduce the risk of certain types of cancers, it can also help to make you feel fuller. That is because viscous fiber — the kind found in plant-based foods — forms a gel when it comes into contact with water. This gel increases the absorption of nutrients, and slows down the amount of time that it takes to empty your stomach.
So if you want to lose weight, focus on getting lots of fiber in your diet. There are lots of great high fiber options, like beans, asparagus, oranges, and apples.
Use Smaller Plates for Higher Calorie Foods
In recent years, our plate sizes have grown significantly. When we use big plates, it can make our portion sizes look much smaller than they actually are — which may lead to weight gain. By contrast, when we use smaller plates, our portions look bigger, which can fool our minds into thinking that we are eating more than we are.
Our brains play an important role in weight loss. If you’re looking to shed a few pounds (or more), think about how you plate your food. By choosing dishes that are much smaller than average, you may find that you are satisfied with a smaller amount of food.
Watch Your Portion Size
One of the leading causes of weight gain in the United States is out of control portion sizes. When we are served (or serve ourselves) big quantities of food, we are more likely to eat past the point of fullness. This can lead to weight gain and obesity.
If you want to lose weight without exercising, simply reducing your portion size can be a big help. Combined with eating slowly and drinking lots of water, taking this simple step can allow you to reduce calories and drop weight.
Be Mindful While Eating
In our hectic lives, it is often tempting to multi-task. Perhaps you’re eating lunch at your desk, or scrolling through your phone while watching TV. While doing several things at once can often result in greater efficiency, if you’re distracted when you are eating, it can cause you to eat a lot more than you need.
Instead of eating in front of the TV, while working, or while on your phone, set aside time to eat without distractions. Pay attention to your body and the signals that it is sending while you are eating. This can help you eat much less and still be full.
Life can be incredibly stressful, particularly during a pandemic. Yet when we are stressed, our bodies produce more of the hormone cortisol. Increases in cortisol can influence your hunger and desire for unhealthy foods. As a result, stress can lead to weight gain.
If you are looking to lose weight, try out different techniques to manage your stress. Meditation and therapy can help you decrease stress. Other alternatives include writing in a journal, or simply practicing deep breathing techniques.
Get Plenty of Sleep
A lack of sleep can disrupt the production of certain hormones in our body that regulate appetite. When you don’t get enough sleep, you may have increased hunger and crave unhealthy, high calorie foods. If you are interested in losing weight, focus on getting enough sleep every night.
There is no way around it: sugar is tasty. But when we consume too much sugar, it can negatively affect our health, causing us to gain weight and putting us at risk for a number of diseases, such as diabetes.
When we consume sugary foods and drinks, it often does not make us feel full. As a result, we may take in many more calories and gain weight. A fairly simple way to lose weight is to cut out all sugary drinks, like soda and juices, and replace them with water. You can also cut out added sugars by limiting your dessert intake and choosing lower sugar versions of your favorite foods.
Try Using Red Plates
This tip may sound strange, but research has shown that using red plates can lead to reduced calorie intake. While we don’t know exactly why this technique works, it seems to help people eat fewer unhealthy snacks — perhaps because we associate the color red with the word stop. If you have red plates at your house, consider plating high calorie foods on them, and see what happens.
Getting take-out, going to a restaurant, or stopping at the drive-thru is often easier than cooking a full meal. Yet these meals are often high in calories and fat, which is why they are so delicious…and why eating out too often can lead to weight gain.
When you cook your meals at home, you can control what is in them. You may also find that you enjoy cooking and making sure that you get plenty of fresh, quality foods in your diet. Whether you’re an experienced home cook or a novice, cook more meals at home as a way to lose weight.
Keep a Food Journal
Accountability is a huge part of any weight loss journey. One way to remain accountable is to keep a journal of what you are eating, and when you are eating it. In this way, you can track your food intake, and even note times when you are more likely to fall off of the proverbial wagon. You can use pen and paper for a food journal, or any one of a number of apps.
Weigh Yourself Regularly
The best way to know if you’re making progress with weight loss — or backsliding into weight gain — is to know what you weigh. While weighing yourself too often can be counterproductive (since your weight can fluctuate throughout the day), it is a good idea to weigh yourself on a regular basis so you know if you are gaining or losing weight. You can include your daily weight in your food journal.
If you notice a gain, you can adjust your diet accordingly. If you see a drop, you will be encouraged — and motivated to keep going with your diet plan.
We all love having snacks, whether we pack treats for a road trip, keep something stashed in our desk drawer at work, or break out the popcorn when watching a movie. The problem is that it can be hard to keep track of exactly how much we are eating when we are snacking.
Having healthy snacks throughout the day can help to keep your metabolism going. The key is to make sure that you are accounting for those snacks — and keeping the portions under control.
Avoid Fad Diets
If you are looking to lose weight, it can be hard to avoid the lure of a diet that promises that you’ll lose weight fast by drinking a few shakes a day, or nothing but hot water with some lemon, cayenne pepper, and maple syrup. While you may lose weight on these types of diets, it simply is not sustainable.
Over time, doing fad diets can damage your metabolism. As a result, it’ll be that much harder to lose weight over the long-term. If you are serious about weight loss, avoid juice cleanses, cabbage soup diets, and other unhealthy diets.
Take Care of Your Gut Health
The science of weight loss is complicated, and not fully understood. However, researchers are beginning to link obesity with an imbalance of certain types of bacteria in our guts. You can address these issues by taking a daily probiotic or eating fermented foods, both of which can boost your gut health.
Get Lots of Vitamin D
While scientists don’t exactly understand the link between Vitamin D and weight loss, researchers have noted that heavier people tend to have lower levels of vitamin D in their blood. When people lose weight, they tend to experience an increase in vitamin D levels.
You can boost your Vitamin D levels by taking a supplement, getting more sun, or eating foods rich in Vitamin D. Doing so may help you lose weight, as well as getting added benefits like stronger bones.
Share Your Meals with Others
When we eat with loved ones – friends or family — we tend to eat healthier. While big family meals may not be possible during the COVID-19 pandemic, you can still eat with people in your circle as often as you can. Doing this can help you make better choices, and focus more on the company instead of your food.
Prepare to Succeed
There is an old saying, “failure to prepare is preparing to fail.” This is particularly true when it comes to weight loss.
Preparing your meals in advance and making sure that you have plenty of healthy options available can help you lose weight. When you don’t have good options, you may be tempted to order a pizza or pick up unhealthy take out food. By making sure that you have easy meals ready to go, you can avoid these high calorie traps and stay on track.
Eat Good Fats
In the past, fat got a bad reputation in the diet community. More recently, scientists have discovered that certain types of fats are actually good for our bodies. These so-called good fats, like those found in fish, nuts, avocados, and olive oil, can help us absorb more nutrients from our food and even help us feel fuller for longer. By adding a moderate amount of healthy fats to your diet, you may be able to lose more weight.
Reevaluate Your Morning Coffee
In an era where there seems to be a Starbucks on every corner, it is all too easy to unwittingly consume 500 calories or more with your morning joe. If you are in the habit of picking up a latte on your way to work, consider switching to a cup of coffee (without added sweeteners) at home. Doing so could save you a lot of money and calories over time.
Choose Your Oils Carefully
Certain types of vegetable oil are known to be high in omega-6 fatty acids, which can cause inflammation and lead to weight gain. If you are looking to lose weight, avoid canola and soybean oil, and choose extra virgin olive oil instead.
Carry a Water Bottle Everywhere You Go
Above, we noted that drinking lots of water can help you lose weight. One easy way to make sure that you do this is by taking a water bottle with you as you go about your day. With lots of great options for stylish water bottles that keep your beverage cold for hours, it is easier than ever to make sure that you get enough H20. Plus, when you have a water bottle with you, you’ll be more likely to sip from it rather than getting a high calorie coffee, soda, or other beverage.
Don’t Forget a Healthy Snack
We’re all busy, and many of us spend our days running from one thing to the next. When you’re out and about, healthy snacks and meals aren’t always available. One way to avoid that situation is to carry a healthy snack with you. Keeping a pack of almonds or a healthy protein bar can help you avoid gorging on higher calorie fast foods or restaurant meals.
Avoid Fat-Free Dairy
In the past, many people associated eating low or no fat foods with health and weight loss. It turns out that when manufacturers eliminate fat from foods, they often add sugar and other artificial ingredients to make the food taste good.
Switching to 2% dairy, as opposed to fat-free, can actually help you lose weight. You’ll avoid added sugars and other ingredients. You will also feel fuller longer because of the fat in your milk, yogurt, or cheese.
Try Going Meatless (Sometimes)
While meat contains protein, which can help fill you up and keep you full for longer, many cuts of meat also contain high amounts of unhealthy fats. If you want to lose weight, try going meatless for at least one or two meals a week. By swapping meat-based meals for a veggie-packed lunch or dinner, you’ll boost your fiber intake — and may lose weight as well.
Stock Your Freezer
We have all been in situations when we just don’t have the time or energy to get to the store or to cook. For most of us, this may lead to ordering delivery, which can be fine for a treat — but not if you are trying to lose weight. Instead, make sure that your freezer is full of healthy meals (like extra portions of soup), frozen veggies, and pre-portioned protein. That way, you’ll be able to get dinner on the table fast, without running to the store or having to spend hours cooking.
Make Healthy Foods the Star of Your Kitchen
Earlier, we talked about how you should put unhealthy foods, like sweets and salty snacks, in a harder-to-access place in your kitchen to help you avoid temptation. The flip side of this tip is that you should put healthy foods in easy to reach locations to make it more likely that you will choose them instead.
If you’re trying to eat more whole grains, for example, it will be easier to meet your goal if the quinoa and bulgar are at the front of your pantry, rather than buried in the back. Set yourself up for success by making it as easy as possible to get to healthy foods in your kitchen.
Beautify Your Food
The trend of photographing your meal for social media can be a bit annoying. Yet when you plan to snap a pic of something that you made, you are more likely to load it up with healthy fruits and veggies. A beautifully prepared meal is often seen as more satisfying, which can help you eat lunch. So take a few extra minutes and make your food look fantastic — then snap a pic, and enjoy the added weight loss bonus.
Chop Up Veggies for Easy Snacks or Meal Prep
When you’re busy, it can be hard to lose weight successfully because eating healthy takes time. One way around that is to always make sure that you have fresh veggies ready to eat or use in a recipe.
After buying vegetables at the market, wash and chop them once you get home. That way, you can grab some celery instead of pretzels, and you can have carrots ready to toss into a recipe. Spending a bit of time each week to take these steps can help you drop weight over time.
Pack Your Lunch
Eating out during your work day is often a good break, and a way to socialize. Yet restaurant meals are often high calorie, and loaded with unhealthy fats. To trim your budget and your waistline, pack a healthy lunch filled with good fats and veggies instead.
Take a Lunch Break
After packing your lunch, consider adding something else to your daily routine — a bit of relaxation. Work can be stressful, and eating lunch at your desk, or even in the office break room, doesn’t allow you to get a mental or physical break.
Instead, find a park or green space near your office. Take your lunch there, when weather allows, and enjoy people watching, listening to music or a podcast, or simply being by yourself.
Remove Food from Your Work Area
It is common in many workplaces to have snacks out, or a bowl of candy on your desk. Yet when these foods are readily available, it increases the likelihood that you’ll chow down on them — even when you aren’t really hungry. One way to combat this problem is to remove food from your eyesight at work. Instead, keep healthy snacks put away in a desk drawer or another location. Out of sight, out of mind!
Cut Your Alcohol Intake
Many of us enjoy a glass of wine, a beer, or a mixed drink at the end of a long day. While drinking alcohol in moderation can be healthy (particularly red wine), it can also lead to weight gain. Alcohol doesn’t provide nutrition, yet it can be high in calories. By eliminating or reducing your alcohol intake, you can cut calories and lose weight.
Choose Your Sides Carefully
Eating out can be a minefield. Even seemingly healthy dishes, like veggies, are often drenched in butter and salt. Even if you order a healthy meal, it may come with a high calorie side. Get into the practice of always ordering a salad as your side — in place of fries, mashed potatoes, or any other unhealthy option. In this way, you can still enjoy your main dish, while cutting calories at the same time.
Ask for Half to Go
This is an old trick, but a good one when eating out at a restaurant. Portion sizes at restaurants are out of control — and not just at the Cheesecake Factory (which is well-known for its massive, overly full plates of food). If you want to enjoy a meal out without being tempted to clean your plate, address the problem head on: ask for half of your meal to be boxed up to go, so it is never even on the table.
Don’t Let Others Serve You
When someone else makes a plate for you, or cuts you a piece of cake, they may not be careful to ensure that you are getting an appropriate portion. You can avoid overeating at gatherings by serving yourself. That way, you can make sure that you are getting a plate that has just the right amount of food.
Explore New Recipes
It is easy to get into a rut with cooking, and to rely on recipes that are comforting or nostalgic. While it isn’t bad to indulge in comfort foods like macaroni and cheese occasionally, it can prevent you from exploring something new — and healthier. Spend some time surfing the web or going through cookbooks for modern, healthy meals to try.
Be Wary of “Diet” Foods
A lot of foods are labeled “diet,” offering what seems like an easy way to cut calories. But But a lot of these foods are loaded with artificial sweeteners, like diet soda, which can actually cause you to crave sweets — even though the sweeteners don’t contain any actual sugar. By avoiding diet foods and sticking to real, whole foods, you may be able to cut calories.
Try an Elimination Diet
Many people are sensitive to certain types of food, like gluten or dairy. If you do have a food intolerance or allergy, it can lead to bloating, discomfort, and even weight gain. If you feel uncomfortable after eating a certain food, consider going on an elimination diet. You may find that by cutting out certain types of food, you feel much better — and even drop pounds.
Stick to a Routine
There is an old saying: “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” When it comes to dieting, it is perfectly fine to stick to what you know. This may mean making a week’s worth of meals on Sunday, or eating the same breakfast and snacks every day. When you have a fridge full of food that you know that you can eat, it reduces the likelihood of you going for a convenience item that isn’t as healthy.
Spend Time Outdoors
Stress can lead to weight gain. If you find yourself overwhelmed, feeling blue, or just fatigued, getting outside can help you get some relief. You can go for a hike or a walk, or simply spend time in a park. The important thing is just being in nature, which can improve your mental health and mood.
Avoid Family Style Meals
Many of us grew up eating family style, with all of the dinner options on the table, so everyone can serve themselves. While putting everything on the table is more convenient than dishing up individual plates in the kitchen, it can make it easier to overeat. If you have to get up and walk to the kitchen to get a second serving, you may think twice about whether you are really hungry.
Just Say No to the Bread Basket
When you eat out in a restaurant, the server often brings a basket of rolls or chips and salsa. It can be hard to not dig in, especially if you come into the restaurant hungry. But these types of free appetizers are usually high calorie and filling. Instead, have a small protein-filled snack before heading out to eat — or order a leafy green salad to start.
Turn Down the Heat
As we head into winter, this may sound like a strange tip when you want your house to be warm and cozy. But keeping your house just slightly cooler can help you lose weight. Why? Because when your body is cool, it has to work harder to stay warm — which can help you lose weight.
Try Nuts As a Healthy Snack
It turns out that squirrels have the right idea. Nuts are a great food, filled with protein, healthy fats, and fiber, all of which helps you to stay full longer. Just make sure that you keep track of how many nuts you’re eating, as they tend to be higher in calories.
Start the Day Off Right
When you wake up in the morning, your body has been fasting for 8-12 hours or even longer. You may be tempted to eat a small breakfast if you’re trying to lose weight. It turns out that doing so can actually backfire. Instead, try eating a big breakfast — ideally featuring eggs as a good source of protein. Having a bigger breakfast can actually help you eat less during the day, which translates to weight loss.
Don’t Skip Breakfast
You may think that skipping a meal will help you lose weight. If you’re running late in the morning, or just don’t like breakfast foods, you may be tempted to skip breakfast…but you should avoid doing that. When you don’t eat breakfast, you are likely to eat more throughout the rest of the day — including a big dinner, which can cause you to gain weight. Eat a healthy, filling breakfast every day to boost your weight loss.
Consider What Goes on Your Plate
Many Americans are used to a diet that is heavy on meat and carbs, and light on fruits and veggies. If you want to lose weight, switch it up. Visualize your plate as being split into thirds. Fill up two thirds of your plate with lean protein and vegetables, then the remaining third with whole grains.
Tea may be less popular than coffee in the United States, but you shouldn’t overlook this nutritional powerhouse. Some types of tea, including cinnamon and mint tea, can actually help you lose weight. Mint is an appetite suppressant, while cinnamon can decrease blood sugar levels. Peppermint tea may also help your body digest fats. Just steer clear of sugar when making your beverage of choice.
Make Smart Swaps
There are few things that are better than a big plate of pasta. Yet traditional spaghetti and other forms of pasta are packed with calories. Instead of pasta, try a healthy alternative, like spaghetti squash or zucchini noodles. Not only will you cut calories with these smart swaps, you’ll also boost your veggie intake.
Try a Squirt of Lemon
Hopefully, you’re drinking a lot of water throughout the day to stay hydrated. To boost your weight loss, try adding some lemon to your water. Lemons have a number of nutrients that can actually reduce stress and boost weight loss, including Vitamin C, polyphenols, and pectin. It also helps to quench your thirst and adds a nice flavor to your drink!
Snack at the Right Time
Snacking can be an important way to rev your metabolism — if you eat the right things at the right time. Ideally, save your snacks for mid-afternoon to fuel your weight loss. Studies have shown that people who snack in the morning, rather than the afternoon, tend to eat more over the course of the day.
Don’t Drink Your Calories
Getting a soda in the middle of the day, a beer at night, or drinking juice in the morning may seem innocent enough. Yet these drinks all have a lot of calories — and won’t fill you up. Instead of drinking your calories, eat something healthy to fill you up and give you energy.
Stop and Think
Many of us who struggle with our weight do so because we eat when we aren’t actually hungry. We may gobble down potato chips when we are bored, seek out ice cream when we are sad, or stop at a drive thru after a stressful day at work. While this is a pretty common coping mechanism, it isn’t a healthy one. So before you eat, take a minute to check in with yourself. Figure out if you’re really hungry, or if you are trying to handle your emotions with food.
Get Smart about Nutrition
Food is fuel for our bodies, yet few of us truly understand nutrition. The good news is that you don’t have to go to school to learn about what is best for your body. Reading labels is a good start, but you can do something even simpler: listen to your body. Scarfing down a handful of gummy bears during an afternoon slump may give you a temporary boost, but how does your body feel afterward? Think about what makes you feel good, and go from there.
Try Meal Prepping
Preparing a bunch of meals ahead of time may not seem exciting. But having pre-portioned meals ready to go can help you stay on track with your diet, and make it easy for you to make healthy choices. Spend some time researching recipes, and then devote a few hours each week to making sure that you have a range of options ready to go.
Create a Soothing Environment for Meal Times
Studies have shown that when you eat somewhere that is bright and loud, you tend to eat more. Dimming the lights and lowering the noise can actually help you eat less by reducing the likelihood that you will rush through your meal.
Talk to Your Doctor
In some cases, weight gain may be related to a medical condition. If you have unexplained weight gain or can’t seem to lose weight, it may be time for a check-up or a physical. You may have an underlying condition that has caused you to put on pounds or made it difficult for you to drop weight.
Counting calories may seem tedious and old fashioned, but it can be a good way to make sure that you aren’t eating too much. It is also much easier than ever before, with a range of calorie tracking apps available. Pick one that meets your needs, and get to tracking!
The Best Way To Lose Weight Without Exercising – We’re Here to Help.
Losing weight can be incredibly difficult. For the average American, sticking to a strict diet and exercise regime is nearly impossible to do while balancing the demands of work and family. Not to mention, dieting and exercise may not even work if done incorrectly. Fortunately, there is a better way.
Ideal You offers exactly what you need to lose a life-changing amount of weight quickly without ever stepping foot in a gym. We offer all-natural food-based supplements, regular meetings with weight loss coaches, a structured food list and a weight loss journal. Our focus is on rebalancing your body to reset your metabolism. We give you the coaching and tools you need to lose weight in a healthy, sustainable way.