Today I’d like to discuss how to lose weight without a diet or exercise.
I’ll admit, for me, this goes slightly against the grain.
Not so much the diet part, because in reality I don’t agree with “diets” in the traditional sense.
However, I am someone who loves to exercise, and can’t imagine going more than a day at a time without it (yes, I’m one of THOSE weirdos, sorry.)
With that said, I didn’t find it overly surprising that one of the most searched queries online is people looking to lose weight without diet and exercise.
Is this actually possible?
You’ll be pleased to hear that you can indeed lose weight without going about things “conventionally”.
How to Lose Weight Without a Diet or Exercise
1. Never Go Shopping When You’re Hungry
We’ve all done it, and I know I am one of the worst culprits for this – but going shopping to the supermarket or grocery store when you’re hungry is a definite no-no.
I cannot begin to tell you of the amount of “crap” (for want of a better word) that I typically purchase when my stomach’s growling.
I may even have a shopping list for all kinds of healthy foods that I’m going to eat throughout the week.
However, if I’m in the supermarket when I’m hungry, thoughts of the week ahead go out the window, and I’m caught in the here-and-now.
I’m typically thinking about what I can snack on in the car on the way home, or the very second I walk out the doors.
I even end up creating in my mind a complete meal from various snacks that I can quickly grab and eat (you know what I mean, those that require little to no preparation, and that I can gorge on straight away).
If I’m hungry while going through those supermarket aisles you can guarantee that my trolley is going to get stacked high with crisps (potato chips), snacks from the deli counter, such as pies, quiches, samosas, chicken satay sticks, etc.
And then of course I have to satisfy my craving for something sweet, so a cream cake or two, some chocolate, and I’ve even gone as far as already prepared apple pie and custard.
Aargh, I’m outta control, somebody stop me.
Okay, please tell me that this isn’t just me?
Basically, never shop when you’re hungry.
2. Stick to The Outside Aisles
Another quick tip that I never actually realised for many, many years – if you stick to the outside aisles at the supermarket, you will typically find all the fresh and healthy foods, as well as other health-related stuff.
It’s only once you get into the inner aisles that you’ll come across all the processed and sugary “treats”.
This may not always be the case, but in the main it’s true.
At my local supermarket the fresh fruit and vegetables are on the right-hand side.
As I get to the back of the store I am greeted by the fresh meats and fresh fish counters.
Once I get past them I have to close my eyes and hold my nose for about 15 seconds, as I quickly make my way past the bread and cakes counter (yes, this has slightly scuppered my theory).
I am then greeted by the coffees, teas, herbal teas, etc.
Straight onto medication, vitamins and minerals.
The next section is the pet and pet food aisle (not for me, but I’m sure it’s all very healthy).
Finally, I am met by the cleaning products, washing and laundry items.
I have then made my way to the front by the checkout counters.
As I say, this may not be the case all the time, but next time you’re out shopping try sticking to the outside aisles (don’t venture inside to the “dark side”) and see what you come up with.
3. Make Sure You’re Getting Enough Sleep
Getting enough sleep is actually far more important than you would imagine when it comes to losing weight, or not gaining weight.
There have been numerous scientific studies into the effects of sleep deprivation on weight gain.
On average, it has been found that people who aren’t getting enough sleep tend to eat up 300 more calories a day than those who sleep well.
Additionally, from a personal perspective, I know if I haven’t slept well I’m quite grouchy and grumpy the next day, so I’ll often “treat” myself as a way of making myself feel better.
Furthermore, sleep deprivation can cause the release of the stress hormone, cortisol, into the body.
Cortisol, and stress in general, makes it much harder to lose weight, and fat is usually more likely to be stored in the body,
This is especially true around the belly area.
Now, we are told that the average adult should aim for 7-9 hours a day.
However, I’m going to plump for the middle here, and say that you should all ensure that you’re getting AT LEAST 8 hours of sleep a night.
I know for a fact that many people will say that they’re fine on much less sleep a day, and they only need 6-7 hours.
However, if you’re carrying a spare tyre then your body may be telling you something different.
Interestingly, it is estimated that only 1 in 1,000 people can survive on 6 hours or fewer of sleep a night.
Based on the current population that means only around 8,000,000 people throughout the entire world can survive on 6 hours sleep or less.
That’s not actually that many when you think about it.
Are you willing to chance your arm that you may be one of the lucky 8 million?
If you want to lose weight and you don’t wish to exercise or go on a diet then make sure you’re getting enough sleep.
4. Use Smaller Plates and Bowls
This is a very simple, yet effective tip.
Losing weight is simply about burning more calories than you consume.
I have spoken previously about how we all burn calories on a daily basis, even without really doing anything at all.
So, it stands to reason that if you want to lose weight, consuming fewer calories is the way to do this.
With that said, I don’t like the idea of starving yourself, which is what many people seem to do whenever they “go on a diet”.
In truth, you will initially lose weight this way, but you’ll also impact on your metabolic rate, which will make it harder to lose weight or maintain weight loss in the future.
However, you can still eat the foods that you generally enjoy, but just eat smaller portions by using a smaller plate or bowl.
I have even applied this same principle to take-out food.
Okay, it may not be the healthiest way to eat in the world, but if I have a smaller plate for my Indian or Chinese takeaway, I can still enjoy my favourite foods, but just fewer of them.
Nevertheless, don’t do what I sometimes do, and go and get seconds!
It defeats the purpose, LOL.
5. Eat Before You Eat
How many times have you been to a restaurant and snacked on bread, breadsticks, olives and dips, poppadoms, etc. before your meal?
By the time your meal comes out you’re already moaning that you’ve filled up on appetizers, and you won’t be able to finish the main course.
You can actually use the same principle when you eat at home, but obviously avoid the high-starch and sugary carbs.
A great way to do this is to make yourself a small salad before you eat your meal, and literally treat it as a starter.
You can even add a small portion of protein, which will help you to feel fuller.
You are far less likely to overeat your main meal.
One of my favourite “starters” will be a few lettuce leaves, cucumber, tomatoes, red onion, and peppers with a drizzle of olive oil.
I may even add a boiled egg, a few strips of chicken, or mackerel.
In fact, I have often turned this into an entire meal by simply adding a nice healthy soup – I love a bit of butternut squash and chili soup.
There’s no need to overdo it, but even just having a small salad first could fill you up before you eat your main meal, thus meaning you’re more likely to eat less.
6. Drink Plenty of Water
You could actually use exactly the same principle as above, but with water instead.
Drinking a large glass of water before a meal could have exactly the same effect, as in it will make you feel a little fuller before you tackle what’s on your plate.
It’s also interesting to note that we often mistake dehydration for hunger.
So, you may find that when you’re occasionally craving a snack, especially between meals, this could just be your body telling you that you need some water.
Don’t forget that the human body is composed of around 70% water, so it makes perfect sense that we should keep ourselves well hydrated throughout the day.
7. Watch What You Drink
Sticking with the subject of fluids, what you’re drinking on a regular basis could have a massive impact on your overall daily calorie intake.
I’m sure you don’t want a lecture, but this is especially true of sugary and carbonated drinks, as well as alcohol.
I’m someone who had a bit of an addiction as a child, and my go-to drink was Coca-Cola.
I could often get through a 2-litre bottle in a day.
Okay, this didn’t make much difference to me as an energetic child, but I know that many people continue with this sugary habit well into adulthood.
Even drinking one litre of coke or something similar is adding approximately 400 additional calories on top of your daily intake.
So, you could in effect be eating a very healthy and well-balanced diet every day, and still be piling on the pounds from your love of carbonated drinks.
The same can be said for alcohol.
I won’t go into the ins-and-outs of each and every alcoholic drink, but just beware that you are adding to your calorie consumption each time you drink anything that isn’t water.
8. Slow Down and Chew Slowly
My dad used to drive me mad at mealtimes, as he could easily take well over 30 minutes to eat a meal, sometimes longer.
However, I typically just wolfed down my meals.
With that said, as I’ve got older, I’ve noticed that I’m still a fairly slow eater compared to many others.
Nevertheless, it takes the brain a while to process the fact that you’ve eaten enough.
So, you could actually continue stuffing your face well past the point of satisfaction without realising it.
I once read that it takes around 20 minutes for the stomach to appreciate that it is full and satisfied.
To be honest, I’m not sure how much truth there is in this actual number, and this could just be an old wive’s tale.
But, one thing I know for sure is that if you chew every mouthful and slow down the speed at which you eat, you are far less likely to overeat.
I remember even reading about people who used their opposite hand to eat with a fork.
Seems a bit far-fetched to me, but I know for a fact that if I tried to eat an entire meal while holding a fork in my left hand, it could take hours.
Ambidextrous I am definitely NOT.
9. Eat More Fibre
I know carbohydrates get a lot of bad things said about them, but not all carbs are bad.
One type of carb that you want to be eating more of is dietary fibre.
Fibre will feed your good gut bacteria, while also helping to clean out bad bacteria, and your intestines in general.
It helps to keep you regular, and most importantly if you’re trying to lose weight, fibre may reduce your appetite.
Basically, fibre helps you to feel fuller for longer.
Some of the best sources of fibre you will want eat include:
- Sweet Potatoes
- Kidney Beans
- Brussel Sprouts
10. Turn Off The Electronics
There have been many studies into this phenomenon, especially about the quantities that we eat while watching TV.
It seems that we typically eat more while we are distracted, and this is not only true while we are watching TV, but also again later in the day.
In the modern day-and-age we can extend this to all electronics, including laptops, smartphones, tablets, etc.
There are even experts who claim that it may not even register with us that we’re eating and satisfying a need while watching TV.
This often means that we are usually hungry again soon after.
Now, I know I spoke earlier about how taking our time is good for helping us feel full and not overeating, but this is only true up to a point.
Imagine watching a one-hour-long TV program and snacking the entire time.
I know I have managed to finish off a family-sized packet of crisps (or two), or an entire packet of chocolate digestives, while my concentration is being firmly held by the TV.
So, if you want to lose weight, you may want to consider doing nothing else apart from eating at meal times.
And there you have it, how to lose weight without a diet or exercise.
As you can see everything here is more centered around having a little more self-control, or simply creating new habits.
Admittedly, I would usually urge everyone to do some exercise, particularly if their aim is to lose weight.
However, I understand that many of you may not want to exercise, or may not even be able to.
I promise I will not judge or preach.
I recently reviewed a program by Mike Whitfield who claims that you can actually lose weight by following what he calls his “Not Dieting” method.
Mike’s methods go completely against traditional dieting and focuses on eating a certain way, so that you won’t feel deprived of missing out on your favourite foods.
Plus, by doing so you can actually increase your metabolic rate, thus meaning you’re burning more calories, and losing weight.
And all of this by “Not Dieting”.
Check out my Metabolic Reboot Review.
Hi, I’m Partha, the founder of My Bodyweight Exercises. I’m someone who’s been passionate about exercise and nutrition for more years than I care to remember. I’ve studied, researched, and honed my skills for a number of decades now. So, I’ve created this website to hopefully share my knowledge with you. Whether your goal is to lose weight, burn fat, get fitter, or build muscle and strength, I’ve got you covered.