Yes, exercise is good for your health (1).
But, the question is, do you need to exercise to lose weight?
The answer is no, not really— despite what our society tells you.
You don't necessarily need to exercise to lose weight.
While I do believe we all should work out to maintain a healthy body, but you don't need to work out to lose weight.
There are other weight loss methods proven to be just as effective as exercise.
In today's article, you'll discover that there are many simple daily lifestyle habits that can help you lose weight fast.
And even some have nothing to do with conventional ways of losing weight—diet and exercise.
Besides —you probably know from following a conventional diet and exercise plan that sticking to it can be difficult.
These proven but simple lifestyle tips will help you eat fewer calories, which will naturally help you lose weight quickly without breaking a single sweat.
These 5 effective scientifically-backed ways will not only help you lose your weight but will also prevent weight gain in the future.
Here are 5 ways to lose weight without exercise, all backed by real science.
1. Clean Eating
Eating clean is probably one of the best thing you can do for your health.
You'll naturally lose weight once you start to cut out junk foods and start eating clean.
Mainly try to fill your plate with fresh fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats.
Most fruits and vegetables are not only low in calories, but are relatively high in fiber which gives the feeling of satisfaction and fullness.
In particular, one fiber called viscous fiber is known to aid weight loss.
Partly because viscous fiber forms a gel after it gets in contact with water.
This greatly helps with feeling of fullness since this gel increases the time it takes to absorb nutrients and slows down the food digestion and breakdown.
This in turn increases the feeling of satiety and suppress appetite, thus reduces food intakes and calorie consumption.
This type of fiber is only found in plant-based foods. Foods include Brussels sprouts, asparagus, oranges and flax seeds.
All add up to your weight loss.
Conversely, anytime you eat foods that are high in carbohydrate calories, your body naturally breaks them down into blood glucose also known as blood sugar, releasing insulin in the process, according to a Harvard School of Public Health article.
Insulin itself is not your enemy, but a spike in insulin level is something to watch out for and prevent.
When your insulin level spikes, that's when your body packs in any excess blood glucose and converts to body fat for storing.
When you eat certain foods that are predominantly rich in carbohydrates such as pasta, white flour and bread, they get converted in your body to blood glucose very quickly, causing an insulin spike.
Another side effect of simple carbs is moodiness and feeling of fatigue and hunger.
The fullness you feel from eating carb rich food simply doesn't last any more than 30-40 minutes.
In less than an hour, you are back in your kitchen craving for more food to eat, making overeating a pattern and causing weight gains and difficulty losing weight.
One way to avoid this insulin spike is to limit carbohydrates that are high in sugar and labeled as simple carbs such as cereals, pastry, noodles and breads.
Instead, eat whole vegetables and fruits to help your blood glucose level balanced and kept under control.
Your body still converts whole foods into blood glucose but at a much slower pace over a longer period of time, helping you feel full longer and keep your insulin level in check.
All in all, whole foods are the way to go to drop pounds.
2. Drink Water
Drinking water is a sure way to shed off pounds.
By replacing high-calorie drinks or alcoholic beverages with plain or sparkling water, you can automatically reduce your daily calorie intake by a significant amount.
You may not realize it, but many everyday beverages contain well over 150 calories per can or bottle.
Here are just few you may recognize or even find in your fridge!
- 20 oz Coca-Cola bottle: 240 calories
- 281 ml Starbucks Frappuccino Mocha Coffee Drink: 180 calories
- 16 oz Snapple Peach Tea: 160 calories
- 16 oz Cocktail Cranberry Juice: 274 calories
- 12 oz beer: 155 calories
- 7 oz red wine: 175 calories
Now how many of these glasses, bottles and cans do you normally drink?
Two, three or even four?
Just by saying NO to bottle beverages and alcohols, you can cut down at least 300-400 calories a day.
Drinking water has also been said to speed up metabolism.
Additionally, numerous research studies have found that people who drink more water tend to consume fewer calories overall.
According to a SFGATE article, Does Drinking Water Make You Slim Down? by Melodie Anne, drinking a few glasses of water 30 minutes before every meal reduces calorie intake by up to 75 calories. That's because water makes your stomach fuller and cleaning your plate less tempting.
Frankly speaking, drinking water before meals is not an exciting weight loss trick to get yourself into, but if you manage to do twice a day, you are looking at upwards of 150 calories slashed from your calorie daily intake, which results in more than 15.6 pounds of weight loss over a year period. Now, that's something to get excited for!
In all cases, drinking more water can promote weight loss by lessening daily calorie consumption, increasing fullness and satisfaction and (possibly) speeding up metabolism.
The good news is, you don't have to drink flat or plain water.
You can carbonate your water to make it more fun and bubbly! Better yet, adding a slice of lemon, fresh ginger and/or a pinch of cayenne pepper is proven effective to boost digestion, energy and reduce bloating.
Drinking 8 glasses of water is a good start, but according to some new studies, the appropriate amount of water people should drink depends on their body size.
Here is how they said you should calculate your goal water intake.
Your current weight x 0.5 = the number of oz of water you should drink on a normal day.
On a high activity day (workout day if you are to add workouts to your weight loss)
Calculate your daily water intake using the following calculation.
Your current weight x 0.75 = the number of oz of water you need to drink on a workout day
3. Drink Green Tea to Lose Weight
Green tea is known to be one of the healthiest beverages you can drink, and it promotes weight loss.
It's packed with powerful antioxidants that can be beneficial to your health.
But how does green tea help you lose weight?
It's the caffeine in green tea.
Although 1 cup of green tea contains much less caffeine than a cup of coffee, it still has enough to have a mild effect in your body.
Caffeine is a well known stimulant that has been shown to increase fat burn and boost exercise performance, according to research.
One research in particular that shows this effect is the one from ISSA (International Sports Sciences Association).
They show that drinking decaf green tea for 4 weeks lead to 1.63% reduction in body fat and boosted total fat oxidation by almost 25%.
It's also worth noting that the study group used "decaf green tea" to measure the effectiveness exclusive to green tea itself, not caffeine.
With caffeinated green tea, you may even see a greater fat burning impact as caffeine is said to spike up metabolic rate.
And the most important of these is EGCG (Epigallocatechin gallate), a substance that can increase your metabolism.
Takeaway: It's that green tea is loaded with antioxidants and other health substances that help break down the fat cells and release them into the bloodstream for effective fat burning.
Simply put, they help metabolize fat, boost fat burning hormones and promote fat and weight loss.
4. Take the Stairs
You don’t have to exercise to stay active and elevate your body's metabolism.
Anything that keeps you moving can help you burn extra calories and lose weight.
Taking the stairs instead of using an elevator or escalator for example is a sure way to burn extra calories and stay active.
It's a low impact activity that almost anyone can do, yet its effectiveness is often underestimated by many.
So be sure to take advantage of this great fat burning activity whenever you see stairs.
Walking up the stairs burns a lot of calories and can help you slim down and strengthen your legs as it's a great aerobic activity that engages your glutes, hamstrings and thigh muscles to move your legs vertically.
Even better, if you are carrying grocery bags, they function as added loads and burn even additional calories.
To give you an example of how many calories it can really burn.
Here is a typical scenario..
An average woman of 150 lbs burns up to 137 calories in 15 mins by stair climbing.
And if the same lady is holding a couple of grocery bags, it increases the calorie burn even more.
5. Walk Anywhere Within 20 Block Radius
Trying walking everywhere you can. Even better, make a rule to yourself that you'll walk if it's within 20 block radius.
Make driving an alternative for emergency and save it for tight schedule days.
It'll not only save you some gas money but also help you keep a doctor away by promoting overall health including weight loss.
If you are just going for a grocery store, treat it as a nice walk around the neighborhood.
Better yet, call up a neighbor and make it a time to catch up.
According to LiveStrong.com, a 130 pound woman, walking at a moderate pace (walking the dog type of pace) can burn 120 to 140 calories per hour.
With brisk walk at a pace of 3.5 mph or walking uphill, the same person can burn up to 240 calories per hour.
Besides, walking outdoor is a great way to get outside, enjoy a breath of fresh air and get some sun, which helps you with your mood and energy level.
Aside from burning calories to help you shed off pounds, walking offers many great benefits, such as improving your fitness level, lower blood pressure and raise your production of HDL or "good" cholesterol.
According to ScienceDaily, it also lowers the risk for heart disease.
There are a couple of additional tips you can easily implement lose more weight without exercising:
Plan ahead. Fill up your fridge with healthy foods to stay away from hard-to-avoid temptations.
Getting grocery shopping right is a first step towards weight loss success and gives you more control over what you eat and what you don't eat.
That's because healthy foods tend to be lower in calories and more packed with nutrients that slow down digestion, even falling for snack temptations won't damage your weight loss as much as when your fridge is filled with off limit unhealthy choices.
Another great weight loss accelerating habit is writing down and taking notes.
It's surprising how little things slip out of our minds and how a little piece of peanut butter cookie your co-worker brought in doesn't register in our brains as "added calorie intake".
By writing down everything you eat, you become more aware of your actual food intake and don't always have to rely on not-so-reliable memories.
Better yet, keep track of your calorie intake as you write down to get a better read on your daily calorie consumption.
Just by adding a few changes to your diet and everyday activity and lifestyle changes can have a dramatic impact on your weight loss and health.
If your stress is high, it's something to pay attention to.
Try Meditating and practicing simple yoga in the morning to center your thoughts, create positive energy and prepare for your day to combat stress better the rest of your day.
There you have 5 ways to lose weight without exercise and some bonus tips to accelerate your slim down.
If making all changes at once is too much, then add one or two to start with.
Which one do you think you can incorporate into your daily life and what do you think your biggest challenges will be?
Leave us a comment below to let us know which ones you like to incorporate, which ones you think are difficult to commit to and other non-exercise methods you applied and worked for you that you can recommend others. Let us know. We'd love to hear from you!
- "How Green Tea Can Help You Lose Weight Naturally." RSS 20. N.p., 08 May 2014. Web. 19 July 2015.
- "The Stair Workouts to Burn Major Calories." Fitwirr. N.p., 24 Apr. 2014. Web. 19 July 2015.
- "How Many Calories Do You Burn Walking 30 Minutes to an Hour?" LIVESTRONG.COM. LIVESTRONG.COM, 16 Jan. 2014. Web. 19 July 2015.
- Mayo Clinic. "Moderate Exercise Yields Big Benefits." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 January 2008.