You might be researching how to lose weight without exercise because you don’t like getting sweaty from workouts, are intimidated to go to the gym, or are suffering from an injury that limits your activity.
There are endless reasons why someone might be looking for ways to lose weight without exercising, but that's not really my business is it?
Regardless of your situation, I thought about all my online clients I have helped lose weight over the years and came up with many of the common traits that helped dictate their weight loss.
Traits beyond exercising...
And that’s what we are going to talk about today!
These are the 8 best tips to losing weight without exercise.
Before we get going with your 8 tips, you need to have an understanding of what these tips are meant to do.
All of them have a common characteristic, which is they are trying to help limit your calories to get you into a calorie deficit.
When you are trying to lose weight, the only way for that to be possible is if you are in a calorie deficit.
This is defined as bringing in less energy (aka your food calories) than the energy your body needs to perform your daily activities (moving, breathing, sleeping, eating, exercising, talking, everything).
To give you an example, say your body needs 2500 calories a day to be able to perform all its functions. If you were to eat 2000 calories, you are in a 500 calorie deficit and you will lose weight.
To learn more about how weight loss works, read The Basics Of Nutrition & Exercise For Weight Loss.
The goal with these tips listed below is to help you restrict calories. This will put you in a calorie deficit and the weight loss you are after will occur.
How To Lose Weight Without Exercise Through Mindful Eating
This first tip is great because it’s helping you become aware of your hunger and fullness cues.
Most of us have been raised to finish our plates.
“Finish your broccoli before you are excused.”
“Eat your whole plate or you won’t get dessert.”
Now that we are adults, we don’t listen to any of our cues and we will keep eating until we are stuffed.
That 100% full becomes 120% because the food is so good and we don’t want to stop.
Imagine if you started listening to your body and instead of stopping at 120%, you were able to stop at 80%. That’s a 40% savings!! Imagine the amount of calories you would be saving each day if you were able to do this.
Those calories saved will add up fast and you will start losing weight without having to exercise at all.
Now, I get this question often, what does 80% full feel like?
I’ll admit it, I am a fast eater. Especially when it’s something delicious.
Before I know it, it’s gone and I am wishing I had more.
Or I go find something else and get myself up to the 120% we talked about above.
Been there too?
I thought so.
To piggyback off the 80% full habit, one of the best things to achieve weight loss without exercise you is to slow down your eating so you become aware of your fullness cue.
Here’s some tips on how to eat slower:
- Fully chew each bite and swallow before you even start building your next bite.
- Put your fork down after each bite.
- Briefly pause in between bites.
- If slowing down is hard for you, take smaller bites more often.
What’s important here is to eat slower and still stop when you reach 80%. For some people, they will be full by that time since they are eating slower. Others will be at that point where they could still eat, but need to be able to realize they are satisfied.
There was an interesting study done on eating fast versus slow and it showed that eating slowly drastically lowered total calories consumed for normal weight individuals, but for obese individuals, it did not lower it. You can check out the study here.
That’s why it’s important to not just eat slow, but also listen to your body and find when you are satisfied.
It will take some time to get good at this, but you got it!
Lose Weight Without Exercise Nutrition Tips
Did you know that often when you are really hungry, it can be a sign that you are actually dehydrated and need some water?
Obviously we know all the health benefits of drinking water, so why not take advantage of those while also helping you stay full.
Drink water throughout the day to avoid binging and overeating with these tips:
- If you are hungry and want a snack, drink a glass of water and wait 15 - 20 minutes. If you are still hungry, have a snack.
- Drink a glass of water before your meals.
- Keep a jug or thermos filled so you can sip on water all day long.
How to tell if you are drinking enough? Look at your pee! If it’s dark, drink. If it’s clear or faintly yellow, you are hydrated!
Also, if you can swap water for sugary drinks and/or alcoholic beverages, that will save you hundreds of calories!
Build Your Plates Around Vegetables And Proteins
When you are trying to lose weight without exercising, making sure to consume enough protein and vegetables is going to help keep you full throughout the day.
Of the three macronutrients (proteins, carbs, and fats), protein is the one that keeps you the most full. When you pair that with a big plate of vegetables to keep yourself full, you also prevent excess calories coming from snacking later.
A good rule of thumb is to have 1 - 2 servings of protein and 1 - 2 servings of vegetables at every meal.
If you were to open up your hand and measure your palm, that will be roughly 1 serving or protein.
Make a fist and thats roughly 1 serving of vegetables.
If you feel like you have hands that our outside the norm, you can always look at your plate and make sure half of it is covered in vegetables (2 servings), and at least 1/4 of the plate is protein (1 serving).
As you can see, these meals should fill up your plate! Don't restrict yourself where you are eating small meals that only add up to 500 calories per day! That's unhealthy and unsustainable.
Limiting your eating window is known as intermittent fasting.
Heard of it?
The most common eating window method is a 16:8 split. That means you fast for 16 hours, and you eat in your 8 hour window. Most people eat from 12pm - 8pm, and then fast the next 16 hours.
What’s so magical about this method?
I mean it gets talked about all over social media, the news, and with your coworker Bob who swears by it right?
The truth is, there is absolutely nothing special about it at all. The only thing it does is restrict the amount of time you can eat, so most people eat less than they normally would, and they lose weight.
Again, it all comes back to a calorie deficit.
What if someone eats like a pig during their 8 hours and they aren’t in a calorie deficit? Sorry, but no weight loss is happening.
But it can work for the person that normally starts their day off with a big Starbucks frappuccino and muffin that is 800 calories. If they switch to intermittent fasting and stick to black coffee until their eating window starts and watches what they eat during that time, they will lose weight.
I hate to break it to you, but calories from the things you drink count as calories too.
That creamer you put into your coffee, the mid day energy drink, the Gatorade you drink to quench your thirst on a hot day, or that glass of wine with dinner.
It all adds up.
I’ve had clients tell me they don’t feel like they are eating much, and when we start discussing drinks, they are consuming 500 - 1000 calories a day from liquids!
That can be the difference between you being in a calorie deficit or you gaining weight!
I’m not saying you need to completely eliminate them from your diet.
But you do need to be aware of how many calories you are getting from these drinks.
If you love to have a couple beers Friday night after a long week, you can have them! Just make sure not to have excess liquid calories during the week.
Also, you can find substitutes to make your favorite drinks lower calories.
- Sugar free creamers in your coffee
- Carbonated water or diet soda
- Light beers
- Sugar free energy drinks
- “Light” juices
If you eat out often, many times those meals you are having are in the 1000 calorie range. Imagine if you replaced them with a delicious, filling, 500 calorie salad.
Or instead of going out to lunch at work and spending $10+ bucks a day, you brought ingredients for different salads and made them for each day of the week. Not only are you going to save calories, but you will save money too!
Fill your salads with different vegetables, nuts, seeds, fruits, cheeses, beans, proteins, and whatever your heart can imagine.
Salads are awesome since you can load up so many healthy options for relevantly low calories.
Now the problems arise when you start adding creamy dressings. Stick to the lighter vinaigrettes and you are setting yourself up for success.
How To Lose Weight Fast Without Exercise
Yes, I know this is an article about how to lose weight without exercising, and walking is considered exercise, but c’mon, I'm not saying you need to go out for a 60 minute all out crazy workout.
But if you want to lose weight fast without exercise, adding a daily step goal on top of the 7 tips listed above is one of the best things you can do.
Not only are you going to be burning calories while you do it, but you get the physiological benefits from being outside, getting sunlight, and maybe even walking with a loved one or pet.
Adding in a daily walk, paired with the previous 7 tips is an awesome way to start losing weight and feeling your absolute best.
Set yourself up with a daily step goal of 6-10k steps a day and go get walking!
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is The Fastest Way To Lose Weight Without Exercise?
Using the tips provided above, the fastest way to lose weight without exercise is going to be to accurately and consistently track your calories.
An aggressive approach to fast weight loss without exercise is to multiply your weight by 8 - 10 and eat that amount of calories.
To learn more about tracking macros and how to do it, check out my Definite Guide To Tracking Macros For Weight Loss
How Long Does It Take To Lose Weight Without Exercise
A good rule of thumb is that an average weekly weight loss of 0.5 - 2 pounds is a safe and realistic goal that won't require you to overly restrict. Additionally, you're more likely to keep the weight off with a pace in that range.
The good news is that exercise doesn't burn as many calories as people think so if you can be consistent with your diet and be in a calorie deficit, you'll be able to lose 0.5 - 2 pounds per week.
How To Lose Belly Fat In 1 Day Without Exercise?
If you're trying to lose belly fat in 1 day, you're most likely preparing for an event. With only 24 hours to go, it's important to know that you won't be able to lose FAT that quickly, but you can use these tips to help reduce bloat and flush out water:
- Don't eat items high in salt.
- Reduce carb intake.
- Drink water.
- Limit specific foods you know cause yourself to have gut issues.
- Go for a walk after every meal.
- Eat smaller portions.
- Full chew your food.