The benefits of exercise go far beyond weight loss. Regular physical activity boosts your mood, mental focus, immune system, joint health, and overall lifespan.
Many of us, however, are (at least initially) driven to exercise primarily because we want to lose a few extra pounds. And while this is definitely a worthy goal, sometimes it can seem difficult to do.
If you’re looking to shed some excess weight and are super tight on time, don’t worry. There are ways to lose body fat without having to make extra time for the gym (at least on your busiest days). So, while we strongly encourage you to develop the regular habit of exercise, we also invite you to add in these 7 simple steps into your daily life to help you reach your weight loss goals faster.
7 Ways to Lose Weight: No Exercise Necessary
Sleep is critical for your body’s ability to recover from the day’s stresses–and it’s worth noting that poor stress management often equates to bigger waistlines. For this reason alone, getting adequate sleep (around 8 hours per night for most of us) should be a number one priority in your fat loss journey.
Plus, people who get enough sleep are less likely to over-eat or seek out sugary foods and drinks that tend to serve as an ill-advised “energy boost” in the morning or afternoon.
2. Drink water. Lots and lots of water.
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Water helps regulate your metabolism and keeps you feeling fuller between meals to help you avoid over-snacking. Think you drink enough? The truth is, feeling thirsty means that you’re already dehydrated. Chances are good that you’re probably not drinking as much water as you need to support lean body mass and a healthy active lifestyle. Go for this general daily prescription: half your body weight in fluid ounces, e.g., 75 fl. oz for 150-lb person)
3. Watch a funny movie.
Yes, that guilty-pleasure rom-com or stand-up comedy special on Netflix may actually help you shed some extra pounds. Research shows that laughing for even just 15 minutes a day can burn up to 40 calories, which translates to up to 4 lbs per year of extra fat loss. Plus, being in a better mood can naturally inspire you to make other healthy life choices, like eating a balanced diet and going to the gym.
4. Practice portion control.
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Losing weight is much more complex than “calories in, calories out,” but avoiding the temptation to over-eat is a simple and effective way to keep yourself from putting on the pounds (or to help you get those extra pounds off). Be present when you eat. That is: eat slowly and avoid watching television, surfing the internet, or doing work over a meal. This way, you’ll be more likely to feel (and stop eating) when you’re actually full. Plus, learn to recognize what decent-sized portions actually look like: a fist-sized amount of protein, a handful amount of good fat, and veggies on the rest of the plate.
5. Learn how to cook.
By cooking your own food, you’ll have much more control over what goes into your body. You’ll avoid hidden sugars, salt, and other additives commonly found in store-bought and/or restaurant meals that could otherwise derail your fat-loss goals. Plus, you’ll be able to save some money by eating out less, which in and of itself makes it easier for you to include healthy fresh foods in your budget.
6. Develop a bullet-proof circle of influence.
Nobody is truly “self-made.” We all require a supportive group of friends to help us make good choices, stay the course when the course gets tough, and believe in us when we start doubting ourselves.
Tell your closest friends about your weight loss goals. Let them know you appreciate their emotional support. Who knows–a buddy may even want to join you, which will help keep both of you more accountable.
7. Drink green tea.
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Nutrition experts will tell you “don’t drink your calories.” Fortunately, this doesn’t mean you’re stuck with only water (though we’ve already covered how important it is). Green tea has been known for decades to be an excellent metabolism booster and fat burner. Research even shows that people who drink 3-4 cups of green tea per day can expect to lose up to an additional 6 lbs over the course of about 2 months.
Plus, as a natural source of antioxidants and caffeine (much less than coffee), your health overall will be positively impacted by regular consumption.