You probably think it’s impossible to lose weight without exercise or dieting.
Most people try to lose weight by taking extreme measures to change their lifestyle, including strenuous exercise and starving themselves. But what if it was possible to use some simple science and psychology tricks to help you lose weight quickly?
These 15 ways to lose weight without exercise or dieting will show you that it is, in fact, possible to lose weight by using some unusual techniques.
You already know the importance of losing weight fast… so let’s crack on into it…
1. Use Smaller Plates… and Spoons
A study in 2006 showed that by simply using smaller plates people tend to serve significantly smaller portions.
Their servings also increased when they were given a larger spoon.
So if you’re dead set on losing weight quickly, try getting a new set of cutlery and crockery.
Who said bigger is always better?
- Just by using smaller cutlery size it will also help you to achieve tip number 2…
2. Chew Thoroughly and Slow Down
Another study in China found that you eat less just by chewing your food more. It also resulted in suppressing a gut hormone, which makes you feel hungry.
This results in the food being used as energy rather than getting stored as fat in the body.
When your body takes in too many calories in one go it can’t turn it all into energy. So it stores it as fat!
If you can slow down when you eat, it also gives your brain the chance to recognise when you are actually full.
If you’re like me then you probably have been taught that it’s good manners to finish everything on your plate. It may be good manners in certain cultures (not in the Chinese culture though!) but it makes no sense for your waistline!
Are you beginning to see how tip #1 & 2 are linked nicely together?
- Place your knife and fork down on the table between EVERY mouthful.
- It also helps to stay more mindful of what you’re eating and how full you are if you…
3. Eat Without Electronic Distractions
A 2013 study found that people consumed 10% more when they were distracted.
Whilst you may enjoy binge-watching Game of Thrones on a weekend, it will do no favours for your waistline if you’re eating whilst watching the mighty John Snow kill some white walkers.
It’s been scientifically proven that your brain will not process when you are full if you’re distracted.
Focusing on how your body feels when eating is a great way to lose weight without exercise or dieting.
Eat when you’re hungry and stop when you feel full!
- If you would like to lose weight try sitting at a proper table when eating meals.
- Enjoy the process and eat with family or friends, it shouldn’t be a chore!
- Put the TV, phone and consoles in a different room (or at least different space) to where you eat so the temptation is not there.
4. Store Unhealthy Food Out of Sight… The 20 Second Rule
This is an awesome trick reported by Shawn Achor in the Happiness Advantage.
If you have a habit that you want to put in place use the 20-second rule.
This rule simply states that if it takes you longer than 20 seconds to reach something, you are less likely to do it.
For example, if you want to play the guitar more then you should keep your guitar on a stand next to the couch. Or if you want to watch less TV, take the batteries out of the remote, walk 20 seconds away in the house and hide them in a little area!
The best part is you can also use this trick for losing weight!
Make sure any unhealthy food is hidden in a place you don’t use often (i.e. the garage or a box in a cupboard in the spare room.)
If it takes you more than 20 seconds to find the unhealthy food, you are much less likely to eat it as your brain has enough time to decide if it is really hungry, or if you are just bored!
- Walk 20 seconds away from the area you spend the most time in your house and store the food there.
- Use boxes or packaging to make it even harder to get to the unhealthy food.
- The best tip is obviously to not buy unhealthy food in the first place (if you have it in your house already use the above tips to help get rid of it)
- If you REALLY want a treat or some unhealthy food then you will have to go to the shops to get it (this is much more of an inconvenience than walking to the kitchen!)
5. Get a Good Nights Sleep
A 2004 study found that a lack of sleep causes higher levels of cortisol. This results in an increased level of hunger and cravings.
You probably know sleep is important for your overall health.
But many people don’t know that getting a good nights sleep is so important if you want to lose weight.
The most common misconception to lose weight is to focus on eating less and exercising more.
In fact, getting your mindest and emotions in order is far more important than anything else.
If you can get this stage right everything else will become much easier.
- Do not look at screens for at least an hour before going to bed
- Try reading, meditating or doing some relaxing yoga before bed
- Make sure your room is as dark as possible, turning off all lights (such as TV standby/ alarm clock lights) & make sure you have blackout curtains.
- Try to keep the room between 15-22 degrees Celcius for a comfortable sleeping temperature
- Do not drink caffeine for at least 7 hours before bed… and yes it does affect you before you tell us it doesn’t… read the proof here (unless you’re not alive that is)
6. Meditate More- Reduce Stress
Stress has been linked to increasing obesity and certain diseases such as Type 2 diabetes (source).
This is one of the best ways to lose weight without exercise or dieting.
If you’re like us you probably were taught that meditating is very “woo-woo” and a bit weird growing up.
In fact, meditation can be as simple as focusing on your breath for 2 minutes.
Taking time every day to be more mindful can greatly reduce stress levels.
- Sit in a quiet place on a comfortable chair with your back straight (imagine a piece of string pulling your head upwards)
- Start breathing comfortably and close your eyes
- Count your breaths to 10 and repeat (breathe in 1, breathe out 2, breathe in 3 etc…)
- If your mind wanders acknowledge that thought and then return your focus on your breath again
- If you have never meditated before start with no more than 5 minutes at a time and slowly try to increase (even just 1 minute a day can provide the benefits of reducing stress)
7. Avoid Pop & Sugary Drinks (Yes That Includes Juice)
Many studies have proven that our body does not feel as full from calories consumed from liquids compared to calories in solid form.
This results in you feeling more hungry and, therefore, consuming more calories than you need.
This is a big one…
Even diet coke or fizzy drinks with zero calories can cause you to gain weight.
If you’re like me you don’t want to believe this to be true.
So here’s the science…
Research has found that the sweetness from diet drinks tricks our brain into thinking it’s about to receive sugar.
This causes your body to release insulin to store this sugar and convert it into energy. However, when it doesn’t arrive, the insulin has nothing to store.
Here are the side effects:
- Higher blood pressure & blood sugar (increased chance of getting diabetes)
- Your body becomes used to sweet tastes (making us want more unhealthy food)
- You feel entitled to eat more (as you didn’t have the calories in the “full-fat” drink!)
Simply put… avoid all sugary & fizzy drinks!
- Use the 20-second rule again here! Don’t store cans of pop in the fridge where you can easily access it
- Plus no one wants a warm coke!
- Put drinks you can have in an easily accessible place (read tip 8!)
Now, I can almost hear your mind asking… so what shall I drink?
8. Drink Water Regularly to Lose Weight Without Exercise
No, this doesn’t have to be boring (just wait for the Well-Fit tips!!)
Research again shows how important drinking water is to lose weight.
This is due to a few reasons:
- You consume fewer calories compared to other sugary drinks
- It’s an appetite suppressant (2014 study)
- Water increases calorie burning (NCBI study)
Are you beginning to see the difference in what you drink has on your weight?
- Avoid fizzy drinks all together… water can be hard to take at first if you’re not used to it, but your body quickly adapts
- You can add a squeeze of lemon juice or add some fruit/ veg to the water i.e. strawberries, cucumber, orange… try it out and see what you like
- Keep this tasty water chilled and easy to access i.e. in the fridge
- Always have a water bottle with you, that way you know exactly how much water you have drunk in the day. We recommend getting a good-sized bottle that keeps the water cool for hours so you don’t have to keep refilling it, such as the reasonably priced Cognito Chill Water Bottle.
9. Serve Unhealthy Food on Red Plates
This is one of the best ways to lose weight without exercise or dieting.
A 2012 study found that people tend to eat much less when food was served on a red plate.
This could be because of the way our brains associate red with “stop signs” and warnings.
This is an awesome tip if you really want to have that takeaway on a weekend after a long week!
- Buy some red plates for when you feel like you “need” that pizza!
- Be mindful of when you actually feel full and save the rest for lunch leftovers (who doesn’t love cold pizza?!)
10. Focus on Eating Protein
Research has found that eating a higher protein diet helps you feel less hungry.
Again this doesn’t mean you have to drastically change your diet, but just by knowing different sources of high protein food can help you feel less hungry throughout the day.
Here are some of the best foods to eat with high protein:
- Organic chicken
- Organic eggs
- Grass-fed beef
- Edamame (soybeans)
- High-quality protein powder
Chances are you already eat some of these foods so just by focussing on adding these to most meals will help make sure you are getting more protein in your diet.
- Planning plays a big part in having the right foods in the house.
- When you next go grocery shopping make sure you get a mix of the above foods and add them to meals
- Try out this mocha protein shake in the morning to start the day on the right foot. It’s delicious and will help you to not be starving by 10 am!
11. Get More Vitamin D
A 2015 study found that people with higher Vitamin D levels were less likely to be overweight or obese and to exercise more.
Some symptoms of low Vitamin D levels include:
The most common way to get Vitamin D is from direct sunlight on the skin (although you don’t need as much as you may think!)
You can get Vitamin D from the some and some food such as:
- Egg yolks
- Fatty fish
- Certain mushrooms
- Fortified foods
It’s also possible to get Vitamin D supplements to help.
- Try just going outside for 10-15 minutes in daylight hours.
- Getting 10 minutes of sun on the back of your neck is enough to make a difference to your Vitamin D levels
- Try this Vitamin D supplement… especially in winter!
12. Weigh Yourself Every Day
Irene Rubaum Keller, the author of Foodaholic, found that people are much less likely to gain weight when they weigh themselves every day.
Contrary to popular belief, it can be beneficial to weigh yourself every day as it helps to keep yourself accountable.
Putting off weighing yourself means you are less conscious of your eating habits and daily choices.
- Choose a time that you can weigh yourself consistently i.e. after you go to the toilet when you first wake up
- Do not worry if you don’t lose weight every day, just getting the habit in place can help you stay conscious of your choices every day
13. Keep a Food Journal
This may or may not be your idea of fun, but it has been proven to help you lose weight without exercising or dieting.
Similarly to tip number 12, it helps to keep yourself accountable.
Knowing that you are going to write down the 3 packets of chips and 2 chocolate bars helps your brain to be more aware of what you are eating.
- Try using the My Fitness Pal app to input what you eat every day for a week
- Using this will help you understand how many calories there are different types of food
- Just doing this for a week is usually enough to help know for the future too
14. Eat More Often!… At Least Every 3 Hours
Jorge Cruise, a fitness trainer, found that by eating more frequently it reduces the chances of stress eating.
It is often when you are super stressed that you eat far too much as your emotions take over your body’s function to tell when it is full.
By eating something every 3 hours you can keep your metabolism up and never let your blood sugar levels drop too low.
This will help you to avoid emotional eating.
Try an eating schedule like this (feel free to adapt the timings to suit you):
- Breakfast 8 am
- Snack 11 am
- Lunch 2 pm
- Snack 5 pm
- Dinner 8 pm
Also, plan your meals the night before so you have everything ready and don’t need to buy something “on the whim”.
15. Dim the Lights and Lower the Noise
Slim by Design found that dimming the lights makes you eat slower.
This does two things:
- It helps your body to realise when it’s full.
- Cold food is obviously less appealing than hot food!
Just think about it… have you ever been into a super busy and noisy McDonalds?
This raises your stress levels and can make it much harder for you to realise when you are full… resulting in finishing off that extra Big Mac, milkshake and all the kid’s fries!
- Again planning your meals means you don’t have to eat in a rush.
- This gives you more chance of actually eating in a calm setting and turning off loud electronic distractions such as the TV will again help.
Lose Weight Without Exercise or Dieting Summary
As you can see there are so many sneaky tips you can use to lose weight without exercise or dieting.
Are you beginning to realise the one thing that will actually help you to lose weight?
No, it’s not vigorous exercise.
And it’s certainly not a diet that leaves you starving.
You only have so much willpower you can use before you crack. This is why all of those fad diets and crazy hard exercise routines you try for a few weeks have no impact on your waistline.
Eventually, you snap and give in to that Ben & Jerry’s tub.
We are creatures of habit and it takes zero willpower to do them every day.
Just think about it… did you have to weigh up the pros and cons of putting on your clothes or brushing your teeth this morning?
Creating habits that reduce stress levels & using human psychology to reduce binge eating is far more important than focusing on a blitzing exercise routine or starving yourself.
What tips from this list will you start using? Are there any that you think are too hard to do? Do you have any other tips you want to add to the list? Drop a comment below…
If you would like to see some great recipes to lose weight or the kind of exercise we recommend at Well Fit Fam then check out some of these articles:
- How to Lose Weight Fast: 7 Proven Steps to Quick Results
- 21 Delicious Weight Loss Dinner Recipes to Shrink Belly Fat
- 15 Minute Fat Burning Yoga Routine for Beginners