Nutrition & Fitness
9 Ways to Lose Weight Without Dieting
Many people think losing weight requires an equal combination of exercise and diet, but that’s not the case. Though the process might take more time, it’s certainly possible to lose weight by doing one or the other. Most of us have more trouble with diet than exercise, so let’s cut that part out of the equation. Here are nine natural ways to lose weight without dieting.
1. Get More Active
Weight loss requires a consistent caloric deficit. You must work harder to burn more calories if you want to continue eating the same foods. Find opportunities to increase your activity level throughout the day and shed those extra pounds. You might add 10 minutes to your daily walk or make your weight training routine more challenging. You could also try these calorie-destroyers:
- High-intensity interval training (HIIT)
These activities burn hundreds of calories in a short time frame. You should have no issue fitting one of them into your daily schedule. It only takes 30 minutes of intense training to burn a meal’s worth of calories.
2. Control Your Portion Sizes
You don’t have to stop eating specific foods to lose weight, but you should still adjust your eating habits. Controlling your portion sizes is a good starting point. It’s an easy habit to start, and you can use visual tricks to grow accustomed to smaller meals. For example, using little plates reduces your portions, but your brain believes you ate the same full dinner.
The same logic applies to bowls, cups and eating utensils. Make them smaller to put a fixed limit on everything you consume throughout the day. These efforts can eliminate hundreds of calories without you even realizing it.
3. Eat Filling Foods
Another minor adjustment you can make is adding more filling foods to your plate. You can still eat your favorites in smaller quantities, but adding low-calorie and high-volume choices that take up a lot of space in your stomach will help you control your intake. Here are some of the best and healthiest filling foods:
- Fruits and vegetables
- Whole grains
- Cottage cheese
Instead of having that second bowl of sugary cereal in the morning, eat an apple. Rather than going for a bag of chips, switch to popcorn. These options are much healthier but no less delicious than your favorite comfort foods.
4. Chew With Purpose
Everything you eat can become more filling with one simple trick: chewing. Many of us make the mistake of swallowing food too quickly. This bad habit has two connected adverse effects: It makes digestion more difficult, which delays the onset of that “full” feeling we get after eating a meal.
You can feel full faster by chewing with purpose and breaking every bite down into easily digestible chunks. You won’t feel so inclined to eat large meals, and your stomach will thank you for it.
5. Watch for Liquid Calories
You might not realize it, but liquid calories might be the factor holding you back from weight loss. These are the common drinks that might be giving you problems:
- Sugary juices
Let’s imagine an average person’s daily schedule. They have two cups of coffee in the morning, maybe with a splash of milk. They drink soda or juice at lunch to stay energized for work. They relax on the couch with a beer or glass of wine at the end of the day. These seemingly harmless actions accumulate hundreds of needless calories.
You can take a big chunk out of your calorie intake by consuming these drinks in moderation. Opt for a mocktail instead of grabbing your favorite alcoholic beverage to wind down after a long day. Mocktails are easy to make and contain low-calorie ingredients, making them a great alternative to your usual glass of wine or bottle of beer.
6. Drink Plenty of Water
Substitute high-calorie beverages with water every chance you get. Water keeps you hydrated, aids in proper digestion and makes food more filling. Drink a tall glass with dinner instead of beer or soda, and your meal will be much more satisfying.
Switch to sparkling water if regular tap water is too boring, or add one of these low-calorie flavorful foods to the mix:
If you have decent eating habits and an active lifestyle but still struggle to lose weight, the most likely culprit is insufficient H2O intake. The U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine recommend 15.5 and 11.5 cups a day for men and women.
7. Establish an Eating Time Frame
Another bad habit that might be holding you back is late-night eating. An unhealthy snack before bed can offset all your efforts to eat and drink responsibly throughout the day. Establish a firm eating time frame to eliminate the possibility of this problem. Avoiding the kitchen two hours before bedtime is a good start.
This rule will help you control your cravings and improve your sleep quality in two ways. First, you can fall asleep more easily without a full stomach. Second, your body can maintain deep sleep for longer periods with fewer bowel movements to disrupt your rest.
8. Prioritize Your Sleep
Speaking of sleep, a full night’s rest plays a much bigger role in weight loss than we realize. Studies show that sleep deprivation increases the risk of obesity because it disrupts the release of important hormones that are responsible for our appetites and metabolism. You’re setting your body up for failure by not getting enough shuteye.
On the other hand, eight hours of quality sleep balances your hormones, boosts your metabolism and stabilizes your appetite. You also don’t need to rely on caffeine and sugar to stay active because a full night’s sleep does that for you. Prioritize your sleep and weight loss will follow.
9. Monitor Your Stress Levels
High-stress levels also cause hormonal imbalances that negatively affect weight loss. Good eating habits and quality sleep can alleviate pressure, but sometimes that’s not enough for people with hectic schedules. Stress also leads to emotional eating and other food disorders if it gets bad enough. Here are some things you can do to manage your stress levels:
- Spend more time outdoors
- Do mindfulness exercises
- Have the courage to say no to nonmandatory commitments
- Reduce your caffeine intake
Humans belong in the outdoors. Spend plenty of time in your natural environment and let your body relax. You can start a meditation routine with yoga and other mindfulness activities. Prioritize your free time and decline optional commitments when appropriate. Finally, stop relying on caffeine. It’s doing you more harm than good. Let your body’s natural processes give you energy.
Stop Stressing, Start Losing Weight
Weight loss is a challenging process, no matter how you slice it. You will feel hungry and fatigued at times, even without significantly altering your diet. However, you can ease those negative feelings and make weight loss easier by applying the above nine strategies. Get active, adjust your eating habits and monitor your sleep quality and stress levels. Stop worrying and start losing weight.
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