Losing weight is a huge concern for most people in Nigeria and with about 35% of the nation’s populace being overweight, this is not so surprising.
However, the thought of some rigorous exercise routines has put many people off the idea of a weight loss program.
Let’s not talk about the aches and pains you have to endure while going about your life. It’s just too much of a bother!
This begs the question of whether there is a way to lose weight and fast without those ‘horrid’ exercises.
Before I provide an answer to the question, ‘Can I lose weight fast without exercise?’, Let’s look at some terms.
Calories: The energy you get from the food and drink you consume. It is also what
you burn when you engage in physical activities.
Caloric deficit: This is when you consume fewer calories than you burn.
Caloric surplus: The opposite of caloric deficit, it is when you consume more calories
than you burn.
Can I Lose Weight Fast Without Exercise?
The short answer is yes, you can lose weight without exercising. However, before you take out the drums and start banging on them excitedly, take a minute to consider this: weight gain or loss is a function of how much calories you take in versus how much you burn.
If you take in more calories than you burn, the excess calories will be stored in your body as fat thus resulting in weight gain.
If you burn more calories than you take in, your body will turn to the calories you have previously stored in its reserves to keep itself running. Thus, you will lose weight.
The way our body works is that we are constantly burning calories – even while sleeping. Our body burns calories while we walk, eat, sleep and even breathe. We burn calories to live. Thus, even if you stay away from exercise, depending on your food choices, you can lose weight. As long as your eating habit adheres to the formula of fewer calories than you burn, you will lose weight.
But how do you adhere to this formula without dying from starvation?
Change the structure of your meals
Meals that are high in refined carbohydrates such as sugars and starches do a great disservice to your weight loss goals.
Cutting back on such meals is one way to get rid of excess calories fast. You can do this by going on a low carb meal plan or replacing those refined carbohydrates with whole grains.
Whole grains are complex carbs that are typically high in fiber, which the body takes more time to digest than simple carbs. With meals made up of whole grains, you will feel fuller, less hungry, and end up consuming fewer calories than you would originally consume. Your body will then be forced to use fat already stored in reserve to keep itself running.
Now imagine if you plan your meals in a way that you are in a caloric deficit and what you do consume is whole grains? Serious weight loss in the works!
Eat clean to lose weight fast without exercise
Let your food choices be healthier than they used to be. You can start with the Pareto Principle of 80/20 where your diet will contain 80% healthy food and 20% non-healthy food. Then slowly work your way towards weaning yourself off the remaining 20% junk food.
Choose foods that are less processed, organic, and based on a variety. This way, you can provide your body with the number of nutrients and vitamins it needs. The following are ways you can accomplish this:
- Integrate veggies into your diet.
- Befriend nutrition labels. Always read the labels on whatever you are consuming. As a rule of thumb, the fewer ingredients on the label, the better the food item is for you. When you begin to see different ingredients with multiple syllables, drop that food item like it’s hot!
- Eat a protein-rich meal for breakfast every day. This will help you control your hunger for longer in the day. Meals like eggs, yogurt or peanut butter combos will do nicely.
Eat smaller portion of food
Let your meals be smaller than they used to be. You can start with having your regular meal portion and slowly work your way to smaller portions. This way you increase your metabolism, burn more calories, and slowly but surely, shed the weight. For help with this, consider using smaller plates when you take your meals.
Our brain is wired to finish whatever we place on our plates. By using smaller plates, you reduce the quantity of food you consume and trick your brain into thinking you are full when the plate becomes empty.
Make sure you have healthy snacks in small portions for you to eat between meals. This way, you will not overeat when you are eating your main meals.
Vary your food intake
Asides from eating smaller meals, the quality of your food is also important. It is important that even though you are eating smaller meals, you structure them to meet the demands of your body.
A balanced meal should contain vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fat.
The vegetables should be largest, followed by whole carbs like brown rice, whole-wheat pasta, sweet potatoes, etc. For the vegetables, consider options like cabbage, carrot, spring onions, lettuce, just to name a few. The idea is to have a collection of colorful vegetables as each color has nutrients that are vital to your body.
Protein include lean red meat, organic chicken, turkey, eggs, or tofu (if you can get some).
For the healthy fats, consider using Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Coconut oil, or a healthy fat-rich fruit like avocado.
Water should be your only drink if you want to lose weight fast without exercise
Water is hands-down one of the greatest gifts of God to man – especially if you are on a weight loss journey.
It contains zero calories and no additives unlike your favorite zero calories soda.
It helps keep your organs clean and your stomach a little fuller. Taking at least a cup of water before every meal ensures that you do not overeat, as the water will have filled your stomach to an extent.
Spreading your water intake throughout your day helps you manage hunger pangs on a weight loss journey.
Be sure to drink at least three liters of water every day.
When you have your meals, you might want to consider putting down your phone and turning off the television.
The trick is to focus on your food while eating as we tend to overeat when we are distracted by stuff.
When you focus on your meal, you will be better able to hear when your tummy says, “I’m full”.
Another thing to consider is how you chew your food. How quickly you finish your meals affects your weight. Take care to chew your food thoroughly; savor the food, don’t rush it. This way, you get to really enjoy your meal and by taking that time, you give your stomach time to send a ‘full’ message to the brain.
It typically takes about 20 minutes to accomplish this. To do this effectively, try counting how many times you chew each bite of your meal.
Other things to help you lose weight fast without exercise
Get enough sleep
Consistently sleeping well will help you lose weight without exercise. You must get at least eight hours of sleep every day.
The trick is to establish a regular sleep schedule – go to bed at the same time every night and wake up at the same time every morning. Not having a regular sleep time throws your natural daily rhythm (your circadian rhythm) into disarray and this leads to hormone imbalance.
Hormone imbalance makes it difficult to lose weight and keep it off – even if you are on a diet or spend twenty hours out of your twenty-four in the gym.
Get rid of liquid calories
Carbonated drinks, juice, alcohol….they are no friends of your waistline. That belly fat keeping you from wearing the dress of your dreams? These are the culprits. Get rid of them and you will begin to see progress in your journey.
Stick with good ‘ol water and you will be fine. If you find the idea of water boring, you can spice things up by adding a few slices of cucumber, lemon, lime, or orange to your water. It gives it a tang that is especially refreshing.
When you have errands to run at distances that are not so far, consider ditching your car and taking the hike. When you have the option of either the stairs or the elevator, use the stairs.
Be deliberate about moving around; aim to take at least 6000 steps in a day. It may not seem like much, but when you do this in addition to the other activities named above, they begin to add up and you will start seeing results.
Be accountable - keep a food journal
Recording everything you eat gives you a clear picture of your eating habits, thus helping you know which habits to break and which ones to step up. You also become conscious of how much you take in per time, thus helping you reduce the quantity.
Beware of monosodium glutamate
Monosodium glutamate is defined as processed free glutamic acid combined with sodium.
The free glutamic acid is the bad guy here. It is a neurotransmitter that causes nerves in the brain to fire when it is consumed. Studies have shown that MSG stimulates neurotransmitters in the brain which in turn “excite” nerves related to taste, thus making you think the food tastes better. The fact is that it adds no flavor to meals, it just makes you think so.
Aside from the fact that it has no health benefits whatsoever, it causes weight gain in most people because it affects the appetite regulation center in your hypothalamus. Thus, your brain will not send you the message you need when you are full, thereby causing you to eat much more than you should. Cut out this compound from your diet and you will see amazing results in your weight loss journey.
MSG is present in processed foods and mainstream food seasonings. Yes, that Maggi you pack in your food when cooking: it’s dangerous for you. This is why it is important to read food labels when buying.
Sometimes, it’s not listed as MSG but as other variants such as yeast extract, hydrolyzed protein, calcium caseinate, sodium caseinate, textured protein, corn oil, and gelatin.
Instead, season your foods with natural spices like ginger, garlic, coriander, fenugreek, cumin, rosemary, thyme to name a few. You get healthy meals while enjoying nature at its finest.
Be patient, think long-term and trust the process
One common mistake people who desire to lose weight make is that they want to get rid of the weight as quickly as possible. This is what leads to trying out different fad diets and weight loss pills in an attempt to blast the fat.
The simple truth is that no amount of weight loss fad diets and teas can help you lose weight and keep it off. The weight will creep back in because those diets and teas are not sustainable.
It is better that you make up your mind to institute a lifestyle change. You are healthier, fitter, and slimmer – a Win-Win, if you ask me.
Join a community
We know how difficult it can be to make a lifestyle change and stick to it. There is always the temptation to go back to the old ways winks. This is why you should have somebody who will constantly cheer you on and help hold you accountable.
This is why you need me every week in your inbox. I provide simple and actionable strategies to lose weight and maintain it so you live a life you love. With me in your corner, you can skip the struggle and jump right into what works.
I’m currently sharing how I’m losing my pregnancy weight. Roughly 1kg per week with no exercise and I’m breastfeeding exclusively.