Here’s what’s included in this Ultimate Guide On How To Lose Weight Without Exercise post:
- Why exercise Is NOT the best way to lose weight – and what is
- Case Study: Aga lost 23 pounds in 2.5 months without exercise
- Four in-depth strategies to lose weight without exercise including exact foods, serving sizes, frameworks and cooking videos that will help you finally lose the weight you want to
Pop quiz. Which of these is true?
A. You only lose weight by burning calories with strenuous hours at the gym.
B. Exercise and eating right are equally important for weight loss.
C. You can lose more weight with food than exercise.
D. You have no control over your weight. It’s all about genetics.
The correct answer is C. You can lose more weight with food than exercise.
I know what you’re thinking, “But… exercise…”
Exercise IS important to your overall health, and it does help stabilize blood sugar levels, tone muscles while keeping your heart healthy.
But if your main goal is losing weight you need to look in your fridge, not at your treadmill.
Losing weight without exercise is possible (in fact it’s better)!
In this article, I’m going to give you a complete breakdown of why losing weight without exercise is possible and exact foods, serving sizes and frameworks that will help you finally lose the weight you want to.
ALERT: Most health coaches charge over $1000 for the advice I share in this Ultimate Guide and only talk about it in premium one-on-one coaching programs – and the weight-loss industry doesn’t even share this information because it’s so powerful that it would put them out of business.
But I struggled for years to lose weight, and when I finally found these four areas to focus on (NONE of which are exercise), my weight dropped like a rabbit on steroids.
I know firsthand that food is the key to weight loss without exercise
After I had two kids, I was overweight and had no energy. I had body aches and pains, and I really dreaded even going on short walks with them. Serious cardio was therefore out of the question!
Plus, I was ridiculously busy. Even if I wanted to spend hours burning calories on the stair-stepper I didn’t have the hours to spare.
But I didn’t want to be an overweight mom who was uncomfortable just walking out the door with my kids because I was ashamed of my weight. So I did the only thing that made sense.
I changed my eating habits.
To my surprise, it actually worked better than when I was punishing myself at the gym trying to burn the fat off.
I made a few simple changes (not calorie counting or depriving myself) and the fat started melting away as fast as a rabbit on steroids!
Why exercise isn’t enough to lose weight
If you’re hoping to lose weight by exercising yourself to exhaustion, you’ve got it backwards.
You’re wasting your precious time, wearing yourself out and most of all, stressing yourself out, which releases hormones that make/keep you fat.
Picture yourself down 20 pounds with 2 extra hours every day
Do you fantasize about being skinny without investing time to pack up, go to gym, and then sweat through a workout and shower?
I used to. Now it’s a reality for me and lots of other women who follow the guidelines.
All you need is some adjustments to food and your relationship with food, and you’ll reduce your weight and your stress levels for good.
It’s not a magic pill. It takes some practice. But once you start, it’s surprisingly pretty easy and you will be SO much happier.
The science behind weight loss
Studies show that there are a lot of variables in how people lose weight, and also, exercising doesn’t necessarily help you lose weight.
In fact, sometimes when we exercise, we overestimate how much we’ve burned, which can actually make us eat more.
By focusing on food, we nip the weight problem in the bud.
Aga didn’t exercise. But she lost 23 lbs. in 2.5 months (and blew everyone away at her wedding)
Aga was an online weight loss coaching client of mine who was getting married soon. She was literally too busy to exercise, but wanted to lose the 30 pounds she’d gained when she moved from New York to Seattle.
She tried so many methods to get back in shape, but they were hard to stick to. Even if they worked at first, she was back at square one before long.
She changed what she was eating and followed my tips and it melted off.
How you can lose weight without exercise (Four In-Depth Strategies)
Okay, so changing what you eat is key. But what the heck does that mean? There’s so much contradicting and changing info.
“Healthy” is subjective. While each body is unique, there are some rules of thumb that really work across the board.
First: Add these foods to your diet using this framework
Add more protein
A great way to get more protein is by eating mostly or completely Paleo. I wrote a post about what is/isn’t allowed on a Paleo diet and even included a one-week meal plan with five recipes and a grocery list .
But you don’t have to go strict Paleo to make sure you eat a lot of high quality protein.
Here’s a recipe video for one of my favorite protein-rich meals, Cumin Coriander Fish.
Add healthier, slower carbs
Slow carbs like lentils, chickpeas and black beans are are a true secret weapon for weight loss. In addition they give you lasting energy. They’re also full of fiber to help you feel satisfied for longer and keep your digestion moving.
Lower your intake of simple carbs like bread and rice and replace with healthier carbs like:
- Chickpeas (Here’s a tasty garbanzo bean recipe that helped me lose my first 10 lbs.)
- Kidney Beans
- Black Beans
- Red/Yellow/Green Lentils
Whoa! Shocker! Eat more veggies to lose weight? You probably already know that, but do you know WHY?
Vegetables are so good for us because they’re high in nutrients, vitamins and minerals that give our bodies what they’re craving to function at our best.
They also help you slim down by boosting your metabolism, turning off fat genes and giving you lots of nutrition with fewer calories.
Here’s a one-week vegetarian meal plan with five vegetarian recipes and ideas for spices to make vegetables so tasty, you’ll actually start craving vegetables! And you’ll be allowed to eat it! Great for vegetarians and meat eaters alike.
Here’s a recipe that will fill up your belly and turn on your senses with meaty eggplant and full-bodied masala spice, my Spicy Masala Eggplant.
Some vegans struggle with extra weight because they rely a lot on quick carbs. Here are some incredibly satisfying recipes, meal plans and grocery lists to help you lose and control weight while eating vegan.
Add more water
When your body feels deprived of water, it hangs onto it. The best way to combat bloating and feeling puffy is to keep hydrated.
Despite what we tend to think, bloating is not normal.
Some other ways to combat bloating are avoiding dairy, too much salt, too much alcohol.
But the simplest thing we can do is drink more water – ideally 64 oz. (1.89 L) a day.
How to create a framework of healthy foods on a plate
Split your plate into three sections to lose weight and simplify your life
- 1 Protein
- 1 Healthy Carb
- 1 Vegetable
When you keep this 3-section structure in mind, it’s easier to plan your meals — just make sure you have one of each on your plate.
Protein examples and serving sizes:
- 2-3 Eggs
- 5 oz. (140g) of: Chicken, Turkey, or Fish (White fish like Tilapia, Cod or Flounder is the leanest and has low mercury levels)
- 30 g of Whey, Egg or Hemp protein
- 5.5 oz. (155g) of Greek Yogurt
Vegetable examples (can eat unlimited amounts):
Non-starchy vegetables – eggplant, cabbage, okra, cauliflower, spinach, asparagus, Brussels sprouts, dark leafy greens, green beans, lettuce, broccoli (best, because they are nutritious, low calorie and also high fiber)
Healthy carb examples and serving sizes:
- ½ cup of any beans (e.g., garbanzo beans, kidney beans, black beans)
- ½ cup of lentils (e.g., yellow split lentils, whole black or brown lentils)
- 1 slice Ezekiel bread (or other sprouted grain bread)
- ½ cup of sweet potatoes
- ½ cup quinoa
- ½ cup brown rice
It boosts flavor without the need to add extra salt (which can lead to bloating). A new study even says that spices increase your sensitivity to salt, which means you’ll use less overall.
Check out my easy, spicy one-week meal plans to learn to use spices in your meals:
- Many spices have properties that block fat storage, increase metabolism and even burn up existing fat quicker.
Three of the best spices for weight loss are cinnamon, turmeric and cumin.
Studies show again and again that cinnamon lowers blood sugar concentration, which keeps fat storage low and also decreases sugar cravings.
Some great ways to use cinnamon every day are to add it to your coffee, tea or even your morning smoothie. Sprinkle it on apple slices, in plain Greek yogurt, and also veggies before roasting.
Curcumin is the the main polyphenol in turmeric. It’s a chemical that is linked to actually blocking fat cell storage. Scientists say one of the ways turmeric affects the body is actually contributing to lower body fat by blocking fat cells and reducing inflammation, which leads to bloating.
Enjoy turmeric in your smoothies for a bright golden color, sprinkle it on meats and also veggies to marinate and cook or add ½ teaspoon into your morning eggs for anti-inflammation first thing in the day!
This study found “weight, BMI, waist circumference, fat mass and its percentage significantly reduced from the use of cumin powder.” In fact, cumin helps you lose weight 3 times as fast!
You may know cumin as a main ingredient in taco seasoning. It’s a warm, subtle spice that’s great sprinkled over hummus and also added to meat and veggies.
Spices are such an easy, natural way and tasty way to lose weight, and most of all, it’s all backed by science! Find out about more studies showing which spices help people lose weight.
Third: Eat mindfully and intuitively and add structure
In the rush of life, sometimes we end up practically cramming food down our throats between other “more important” things. Food, after all, gives us the energy we need to live!
Here are some intuitive eating principles that will help you have a healthier relationship with food.
1. Taste your food and eat what you like. Don’t force yourself to eat a bland food you don’t enjoy. Spice it up while learning your healthy favorites and really take a few minutes to savor and be grateful for them.
2. Eat slowly. No more swallowing without chewing! Try to chew at least 10 times before swallowing so as to help your body get a jump start on breaking down. This will also cut down on bloating.
3. When you eat, focus on your food. No T.V., computer or phone. Eating while distracted can make you lose track of how much you’ve eaten, and eat more than you need. It’s also linked to eating more later in the day too, perhaps because what we already ate didn’t register.
4. Eat breakfast, lunch, dinner and plan two snacks in between. This structure will keep your blood sugar levels steady. That means you’ll never feel starved and overeat, and your body won’t release extra insulin and cause more fat storage when you do eat.
Fourth: Make small changes to non-food daily habits to optimize weight loss.
1. Get 7-8 hours of sleep. Not getting enough sleep can affect the regulation of hormones controlling appetite, which can lead to cravings (especially for sugar) and overeating. When you’re rested, your stress hormones are lower and you feel better, which helps you make better decisions and stick to goals.
2. De-stress. Speaking of stress hormones, lack of sleep or the regular stresses of life can consequently cause elevated cortisol in your system. Cortisol is linked to high levels of fat in your midsection, and constipation.
The best way to destress and get plenty of sleep is to create a relaxing evening routine. Here are some ideas to help.
- Turn off the computer, no more checking email, even limit phone and T.V. especially the last hour before bed. Try reading a book or your favorite magazine.
- Dim the lights to signal to your body that it’s almost time for rest.
- Enjoy a relaxing bath and “wash the day away.”
Losing weight is about food and your relationship to it
You can learn to manage your interactions with food. By becoming more aware of whether you’re eating to sustain yourself, or reacting to some internal or external cue, you’ll be in the power position over your cravings.
Once you have that power, and some new ideas for tasty, spicy recipes that will make eating more healthy foods exciting, you’ll see the weight shed like a snake slithering out if its old skin.
Here is a summary of the four in-depth strategies to lose weight without exercise:
1. Add these foods into your diet using this framework
- More protein
- Healthier, slower carbs
- More water
- Create a framework of healthy foods on a plate
2. Add a pinch of spices for health benefits and a flavor boost.
Three of the best spices for weight loss are cinnamon, turmeric and cumin.
3. Eat mindfully and intuitively and add structure.
Taste your food, eat slowly, focus on your food and also use a daily eating structure.
4. Make small changes to non-food daily habits to optimize weight loss.
FInally, get 7-8 hours of sleep and de-stress by creating a relaxing evening routine.
Grab the Ultimate Guide on How to Lose Weight Without Exercise here so you can refer to it before you’re craving a cookie.
What are your biggest challenges with changing your habits with food? What healthy foods have you found that have made it easier for you? Let me know in the comments below!