Regular exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle and can provide many health benefits, including weight loss and weight maintenance. But for people with limited mobility or specific exercise restrictions, achieving weight loss through exercise can be difficult. Fortunately, there are many healthy, effective and sustainable ways to help you lose weight without exercise, and many of them involve making simple changes to your diet and lifestyle.
Expert-Backed Tips to Lose Weight Without Exercise
Now that we’ve established a solid foundation diet to fast track your weight loss progress, here are 8 science-backed tips to lose weight fast without exercise.
1. Control Your Portion Sizes
Portion control is key when hoping to lose weight through diet alone. Try measuring your portions in measuring cups or weighing them on a food scale to get an idea of how large your desired portion size should be.
While this varies from person to person, on average, when you’re trying to lose weight fast without exercise, aim for half a cup of carbohydrates, a palm-sized amount of protein (about three to four ounces), plenty of vegetables, and a thumb-sized amount of healthy fats, such as olive oil.
Controlling your portion sizes will allow you to still enjoy a delicious meal without consuming too many calories at that one meal. Use meal prep containers to help you stick to portion sizes and save time.
2. Up Your Fiber Intake
There’s no doubt that the dietary fiber found in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and cereals will keep you full. What’s more, studies have shown that people who eat an extra 14 grams of fiber per day naturally eat about 10 percent fewer calories per day and lose about four pounds in less than four months – no need to count.
3. Get More Sleep
While it may seem inconsequential, the quality of your sleep can actually have a significant impact on your ability to lose weight. Studies have shown that poor sleep can negate weight loss efforts by increasing hunger-stimulating hormones, making it more difficult to lose weight, especially through diet alone. So one of the most impactful things you can do when you want to lose weight fast without exercising is to improve your sleep.
4. Double Down on Lean Protein
When looking to lose weight from diet alone, lean protein is your friend. Low-fat proteins are low in calories and will keep you feeling full and prevent you from getting hungry too quickly. These include chicken breast, lean turkey, lean pork or beef, fish, tofu and other high-protein meat alternatives, low-fat cheese, cottage cheese, eggs and egg whites.
As an added benefit, eating a high-protein diet while losing weight will help prevent you from losing muscle, since muscle is metabolically active and can actually help you burn more calories.
5. Don’t Forget Healthy Fats
Often, when dieting, people tend to shy away from all fats, although adding healthy fats to your weight loss diet can actually help you stay fuller longer and provide some other health benefits to the body as a whole.
Some examples of healthy fat sources include avocados, olive oil, nuts, nut butters, seeds (sunflower, chia, hemp, flaxseed) and fatty fish. Try adding avocado to your salad or adding some nut butter to apple slices for a snack.
6. Limit Liquid Calories
While a peppermint mocha may get you in all the holiday spirit, it won’t keep you going until lunch. Liquid calories don’t bring satisfaction. If you usually top your latte with a pump of syrup or a packet of sugar, gradually reduce it and let your palate adjust. Over time, you’ll save a lot of calories without interfering with your regular Starbucks routine.
7. Eat Slower
When eating, there is a slight delay between when you start eating and when your stomach registers your food intake. If you eat your next meal quickly, you are not giving your stomach time to record the amount of food you consume, which can lead to consuming too many calories. If you eat slower, your stomach has more time to register your food intake, which can lead to feelings of fullness and allow you to eat fewer calories.
8. Be a Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner Person
While breakfast may be divisive, lunch may be inconvenient and dinner may be exhausting to prepare, there’s a reason why experts recommend three big meals a day. By knowing when you plan to eat, you won’t mindlessly grab a bite here and there every time you feel a little hungry. Plus, you’ll feel more satisfied when you sit down to eat large portions rather than eating 100 calories an hour like you do when you’re constantly snacking.
Rapid weight loss is certainly possible simply by manipulating your diet. As long as you stick to a gradual calorie reduction over time, you are likely to be successful. For many people, a diet high in protein and vegetables, moderate in healthy fats and low in carbohydrates will help promote weight loss, although feel free to try what works best for you.