24 Tips to Lose Weight When You’re Not Able to Exercise

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We all know that if we want to lose weight and stay in shape, eating well and exercising are pretty essential. But did you know you could lose weight without exercising or always eating healthy food? We aren’t suggesting that following these tips means you should cancel your gym membership and go on a food splurge (don’t). But doing some or all of the things in this roundup can certainly complement your weight loss efforts. Ready?

1. Drink more water

Water does not burn fat, but it can definitely help you lose weight. Staying hydrated can help you avoid overeating. We may well be confusing thirst with hunger.  So next time you’re hungry, drink some water first and make sure you aren’t just thirsty. If you want to burn even more calories, fill up your reusable water bottle and leave it in the freezer overnight. Mmm, ice water. To find out how much water you should be drinking, click here.

2. Drink green tea

Green tea boosts your metabolism and its active compounds bolster the effects of some fat-burning hormones that cause fat cells to break down fat. This releases fat into the bloodstream and makes it available as energy, which is essentially how fat burns.

3. Weigh yourself

Weighing yourself can help keep you on track. Knowing the number on the scale can help you figure out if you need to make adjustments to your diet or daily routines. You may think that weighing yourself is depressing but the reality is that it gives you a reality check so you can meet your targets.

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(Photo: Shutterstock)

4. Have more sex

Oh, yes. On average 25 minutes of good old sexy sex burns anywhere between 80 and 100 calories — the equivalent of doing a light workout at the gym and a lot more fun to boot. If you have sex regularly, it can curb carb and fat cravings. Having sex also helps you sleep better, which of course, helps your body shed more fat. So have more sex. And keep it safe.

5. Get more sleep

Some studies have shown that sleep deprivation could lead to a change in the way our bodies regulate our appetite, which can in turn, lead to more food cravings and therefore weight gain. Getting seven to eight hours of sleep a night helps your body regulate hunger. And we do mean restful sleep, so break out the nature noises machine or turn the radio on to the classical music station to drown out annoying loud neighbors who are only going to keep waking you up every other hour.

6. Eat smaller meals more frequently

Having five to six small meals throughout the day rather than three large ones has its benefits. The longer you wait between meals, the hungrier you may get, and the likelier it may be for you to overeat. Eating a small portion every few hours will keep you from getting so hungry between meals that you overdo it. Research has shown that eating smaller meals throughout the day can also lower cholesterol.

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(Photo: Marin Mama Cooks)

7. Use smaller plates

If you have the same amount of pasta — that is, the same exact portion — served each on a large and small plate, the larger plate looks like it doesn’t have as much food on it. Even though you know it’s the same amount of food, it’s tempting to add more food to the larger plate. Anchor your portion to your plate. Using smaller plates means that over time you can teach yourself to eat less food.

8. Acupuncture and herbs

According to proponents of acupuncture, weight gain can be the result of disturbed energy flow to and from the regulating center of the brain — our good friend, the hypothalamus, which regulates the body’s temperature, circadian rhythm and more important, thirst and hunger. Some believe that acupuncture balances the flow of energy in the body, allowing the hypothalamus to better regulate our thirst and hunger. Hey, if you think it works for you, let us know.

9. Drink more milk

We know that milk is rich in calcium and vitamin D. Well, some research has suggested that there is a link between weight loss and calcium and vitamin D intake and some folks claim that there is a link between being overweight and vitamin D deficiency. Please don’t start chugging a gallon of milk a day and popping all the vitamin D you can find. Talk to your doctor first, and determine what dosage works best for your body and please remember that because it works for your sister’s co-worker’s cousin’s sister, doesn’t automatically mean it will work for you. And not everyone who has vitamin D deficiency is overweight.

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(Photo: Instagram / @bandier)

10. Walk at least 15 minutes a day

Want to burn calories without joining a gym, buying an elliptical or having to pop in that exercise video you dread? Go outside and walk for 15 minutes. And we don’t mean stroll. Walk briskly, my friend. Pretend you’re late for work and your boss is about to give you a hard time for being five minutes late.

And if gadgets are your thing, well go ahead and use them to give you motivated. Having a walking buddy is always great, so if a walking club is not your thing, walk with your dog — or volunteer at your local dog shelter to help walk homeless dogs. Win-win!

11. Volunteer your time more

Donating your time to a charitable cause can certainly benefit your community, but it can also help you relieve stress and burn calories, depending on the work you do. Volunteer with Habitat for Humanity and do a little good for someone in need and for your waistline — what more could anyone ask for?

12. Add spice to your food

If you’re a fan of spicy food, then good news! A study conducted in 2010 found that cayenne pepper may help burn calories and curb appetite. Do note, however, that one of the study’s supporters (read: funders) was the McCormick Spice Company, so, erm, grain of salt. Still many spices have multiple health benefits that, paired with a healthy balanced diet and moderate exercise, can certainly lead to eventual weight loss.

13. Stand up at work while at a computer

Your body burns calories even when you exert no physical energy. Sitting burns calories. Lying in bed burns calories. And — ding, ding, ding! — standing burns calories; in fact, it burns more calories than sitting. So if you’re a desk jockey and can change your workspace around to make it work, stand up.

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14. Laugh more

Discovery Fit & Health says that laughing for 15 minutes throughout the day can burn from 10 to 40 calories a day. What are you waiting for? Catch up on that Big Bang Theory marathon and burn, baby, burn.

15. Stock up on healthy snacks

Even the most discipline eater may have that moment of weakness. The tendency to reach for food when we aren’t actually hungry is something with which many of us are all too familiar, regardless of whether it’s because we had a bad day at the office or are simply bored. Prepare ahead for moments like these by stocking up your fridge and pantry with healthy snacks.

16. Get rid of unhealthy snacks

It should go without saying that just as you should stock up on healthy snacks you should also get rid of unhealthy snacks and just never keep them in the house ever, ever. But we’ll say it anyway. Because let’s face it, if you’re the type of person who, given the choice between carrot sticks and potato chips, reaches for the chips, it’s just best to not even invite that temptation.

17. Go dancing

Dance is cardio, and cardio means serious calorie burning. You don’t need to join a Zumba class or be a choreography wizard. You know what to do. Put on your favorite song or cue up your favorite playlist and dance like no one’s watching.

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18. Reduce those carbs

If you’re eating a lot of carbs and not exercising then it’s time to do one of two things: start exercising or cut back on the carbs. Don’t cut them out completely; just make better choices. Maybe don’t have pasta so often or if you’re going to have pasta, stick with the whole-wheat varieties. And remember portion control. Combine it with other tips such as filling up on leafy green vegetables and drinking plenty of water and you’ll be able to have some carbs and eat them too.

19. Always read the nutrition facts

Be aware of what you consume. And learn what to look for in food labels and buzzwords slapped on packaging. Yes, if you’re on a diet you want to check how many calories from fat any food product has, but you should check sugar and sodium content, too. Forewarned is forearmed, and getting in the habit of reading nutrition labels will lead to better food choices.

20. Keep a journal

Earlier this year, we reported that people who keep track of what they eat and drink in a food diary, according to several studies, tend to lose twice as much weight as those who do not. Writing about food and your emotional state on a given day can give you insight on when and why you overeat or take comfort in certain bad habits. Journaling helps us to break those bad habits.

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21. Pick three cheat meals a week

On a diet? Start that food diary, and in that diary leave yourself three days to cheat. That’s right, three days to cheat because according to some folks cheat meals can help you lose weight by letting you give into your cravings while keeping you on track. Now, don’t lose your head and consume the fattiest super burger you can find, either. You want to cheat, not binge.

22. Chew gum

Feeling snacky? Chew some sugarless gum instead. It’s a win-win for you because chewing burns calories and chewing gum can act as an appetite suppressant. Hey, every little bit helps!

23. Stop eating when you’re satisfied… not full

It takes about 20 minutes for your brain to realize that your body is not hungry anymore. So slow down! Eat slowly and chew your food thoroughly so you can give your brain a chance to catch up and recognize that you aren’t hungry anymore. It is also a good idea to pause halfway through your meal to check your hunger level and so avoid overeating.

24. Cut back on artificial sweeteners and other sugar substitutes

Artificial sweeteners have come under fire recently. Some research has suggested that artificial sweetener and other sugar substitutes may be having the reversed desired effect — rather than cutting back calories they may be causing weight gain. The jury is still out, as more definitive studies are needed. Still, another possible pitfall of using artificial sweeteners and sugar substitutes is that it makes it very tempting to cheat a little since you’ve “saved” some calories with the artificial stuff — which can lead to the slippery slope of overindulging.

Hope you enjoyed our list of ways to lose weight without exercise. If you have some more additions, please let us know in the comments section. We are looking forward to your feedback.


At HellaWella, we’re all about bringing big-time healthy living to the public. Read the original version of this article on our site here. We break down some of the latest healthy living news, create helpful tips, and hunt down deals to encourage a healthy lifestyle. We inspire readers to take complete control of their lives, from their health to their home. Connect with HellaWella through Facebook or Twitter.   

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