7 Eating Hacks to Lose Weight Without Exercise

Anyone who has struggled with their weight knows how incredibly frustrating it can be. Even when you reach your goal, there's the pressure to maintain that lifestyle, and with our busy day-to-day lives, things like making time for proper nutrition can be difficult.

Key takeaways:
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    Although exercise is an important aspect of weight loss, your goals can still be achieved by using diet strategies on their own.
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    Good nutrition goes hand in hand with enough hydration, appropriate portions, and moderation.
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    Despite day-to-day obstacles and lack of exercise, following tips like these can make a huge difference in your lifestyle.

Despite everyday obstacles, it's possible still to incorporate healthy habits into your lifestyle — all while skipping exhausting workouts at the gym!

Implement portion control

Portion control is by far one of the biggest causes of the obesity epidemic. In just the last few decades, portions have doubled in size (if not more), causing us to eat massive amounts of calories without even realizing it. Systematic studies have shown that being offered larger portions of food and beverages increases energy intake (typically more fat and sugar). There are several ways to initiate portion control to eat less:

  • Use a smaller plate.
  • Use measuring cups to portion out your food.
  • Let your body digest for approximately 20 minutes before taking another serving.
  • Watch your carb consumption.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s MyPlate Daily Checklist offers a guide to portion sizes based on a 2000-calorie diet.

Stay away from processed foods/sugar

While enjoying processed foods and sugar in moderation is perfectly normal, they should stay in moderation. Not only do these types of foods lack the essential nutrients your body needs, but they are also loaded with preservatives and other additives that are extremely harmful to our health. Excess consumption can eventually lead to insulin resistance and high cholesterol (among other issues). Know that giving up these foods will feel like detoxing (symptoms include tiredness, irritability, extreme cravings, and changes in digestion), but it’s only temporary. Once your body has adapted to your new lifestyle, your energy and concentration will improve, and you will likely lose weight.

Start mindfully eating

Eating while distracted is a bad habit that has become too familiar in our day-to-day lives and, unfortunately, has resulted in overeating and obesity. A team from the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom looked through several medical studies to see how attention and memory affect food intake. They found that participants who ate when distracted had a moderate increase in their immediate consumption but then increased later consumption to an even greater extent. On the other hand, those who paid attention to their eating ate less later on.

"If you aren’t mindful of what’s going into your mouth, you don’t process that information. That means it doesn’t get stored in your memory bank. And without a memory of having eaten, you are more likely to eat again sooner than you might have if you eat mindfully."

Howard E. LeWine, MD

Take time to chew each bite slowly, and acknowledge each meal’s flavor, taste, and texture.

Drink more water

When thinking about weight loss, many automatically think about eating healthy and exercising but often forget other aspects like drinking enough water. Your body is composed of approximately 60% water, making it one of the most crucial building blocks to keep your body functioning properly. It can help improve memory and cognition, keep your skin hydrated, and provide more energy. So when it comes to your weight loss journey, water is one factor you don’t want to ignore.

An article from John Hopkins University shares all of the essential aspects of drinking water and how it can help you lose weight, including:

  • Naturally suppress your appetite by filling your stomach with water, so your brain thinks you’re full.
  • Stimulating your metabolism through thermogenesis (heat production).
  • Removing waste by flushing toxins out and avoiding constipation and bloating.

Eat a wholesome breakfast

Breakfast has long been known as the "most important meal of the day" and for a good reason. Eating a nutritious breakfast has several health benefits, including a reduced risk for obesity, cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, and increased cholesterol. For weight loss, when you eat a nutritious breakfast, you’re filling up on protein, fiber, and healthy carbs to power through your morning. This also keeps you from overeating the rest of the day.

Some great breakfast options to start your day are eggs, avocado toast, oatmeal with fruit and nuts, and powerhouse smoothies. The most important thing to remember is that it’s not the act of eating your breakfast that will make you shed pounds — it’s the energy and satiety of the food that helps you get through until your next meal and helps you to not overeat throughout the rest of your day.

Meal plan/prep

There's nothing worse than trying to manage your weight only to repeatedly snack because you can't decide what to eat or going to the store hungry and coming home with a cart full of items not on your list. Both situations can easily lead to weight gain through consuming too many calories and eating unhealthy foods.

When looking to lose weight (or manage a healthy weight), meal planning and prepping are vital. Not only does it help you stick to eating healthy foods, but it takes care of portion control for the whole week. Cooking your meals yourself lets you control factors like the cooking methods, ingredients, added oils, and other aspects you may want to modify or remove. If you have an extra hour or two to meal prep some of your favorite healthy meals, it will save you time, stress, and overconsumption of unhealthy foods during your busiest days.

Although maintaining some physical activity is important for our health, it may not be a realistic possibility. On the other hand, a healthy diet is (and will always be) essential, and when used for the majority of your time, it can help you achieve a weight loss goal. There is an endless list of strategies to help you lose weight without exercising, so try starting with a few and remember to be patient. It doesn’t happen overnight, but with the right tools and support, you should see results in no time.

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