So you’d like to lose weight, but you don’t want to exercise?
Maybe you hate working out, maybe you have a knee injury…
Either way, I feel you!
Once I finally managed to kick my sugar addiction, I had some extra weight to lose.
But exercising wasn’t my thing at the time. And unfortunately, I’ve never been good at forcing myself.
So I experimented for about a year, lost weight, gained it all back…
Until I saw the big picture and realised what sustainable weight is all about.
You’re probably happy to see that exercising is a small part of the equation!
And if you work on the other variables, you will lose weight.
So I’m going to tell you how to do just that.
My method is not a magical quick-fix, but a science-based approach to sustainable weight loss that is infallible.
However before I tell you my step-by-step system, I’d like to say something: you don’t need to exercise to lose weight, but keep in mind that you do need it to be healthy.
And the amazing thing is that you don’t need to workout like an IG model! Walking briskly for 20 minutes straight or doing a 1-minute interval training (1 minute, you heard me) are enough to get you started.
So I strongly suggest that you add a bit of moderate exercise to your daily life.
That being said, here’s what you came for: how to lose weight without exercising.
*Side note: I won’t go in depth into each step because I would have to write a book if I did that! But I’ll try to link as many external resources as possible in case you want more info.
Do Intermittent fasting
What is intermittent fasting?
Intermittent fasting means that you alternate between short periods of time where you can eat, and long periods of time where you fast.
The three most common IF methods are:
The 16/8 method: every day of the week, you spread your meals over a period of 8 hour and you fast for the remaining 16 hours.
Most people skip breakfast and eat from 12pm to 8pm or 1pm to 9pm. Personally, I eat breakfast at 10am and stop eating at 6pm.
Eat-Stop-Eat: that’s when you don’t eat at all during one or two non-consecutive days of the week. But you eat regularly the 5 or 6 other days.
The 5:2 diet: this one involves eating 500-600 calories during two non-consecutive days of the week, and normally the remaining 5 days.
If your eating schedule depends on your office hours, the Eat-Stop-Eat and the 5:2 Diet may be easier to manage.
How does intermittent fasting help with weight loss?
So why is intermittent fasting so great for weight loss? Well, for similar reasons to exercising actually!
Contrary to what you may think, exercising isn’t so much about burning calories. Sure it builds muscle mass and burns fat, but the biggest contribution of exercising is that it regulates your bodily functions (hormone production, digestion, heart rate, blood pressure, blood sugar level, etc) and reduces the stress level in your body.
And that’s exactly what IF does! It helps your body get back into a harmonized state and restore your metabolism.
That’s big because with each diet you’ve done, your body has set a new and higher ‘normal weight’ for itself, called a set point.
And it will do everything it can to go up to that weight, like making you hungrier (a feeling triggered by a hormone called Ghrelin), making you crave carbs and making you store more fat (controlled by the hormone called noradrenaline).
That’s why most people gain their weight back and more, up to 6 years after a diet.
That’s a great survival mechanism in times of starvation, but a pain in the ass in our modern societies.
Done consistently, intermittent fasting rebalances all of that and helps lower your set point.
However as you can imagine, it doesn’t work if you binge during your eating window.
Also, check with your GP that everything’s alright before starting intermittent fasting.
Before noon, only eat fruits
A big part of weight loss comes from your body being able to flush toxins properly.
And your body does that from 4am to noon.
But eating in that time frame disrupts the detoxification process, because then your body has to allocate some of its energy and focus to digestion as well.
So, does it mean that we can’t have breakfast? Not exactly!
The exception to the rule is fruits, because they’re the fastest digested food group out there (around 20-45 minutes for most fruits). This means whole fresh fruits, homemade fruit juice, and smoothies.
Smoothies are great because they’re delicious, filling, and you can stuff them with superfoods.
If you follow a low-carb diet, go for low-carb fruits like berries, coconut, cantaloupe or watermelon.
Heal your gut
Your gut is like your second brain and its microbiome (all of its bacteria) have a tremendous impact on you.
You may think that all bacteria are bad but that’s not true!
There are lots of bacteria that live in your gut to keep you healthy.
That’s why an unbalanced gut microbiome can trigger depression, anxiety, mood swings, hormonal imbalance, increased fat storage, bad digestion, etc.
Shocking, isn’t it?
And the problem is that lots of factors disrupt your gut microbiota, like being stressed, drinking tap water, eating processed foods, eating gluten (for most people) or taking antibiotics.
Pause for a second and think about it: how many of those things do you do on a daily basis?
Asking myself that question was a turning point in my life. It made me aware of some simple things I was doing, and that were sabotaging my weight loss goals.
But even beyond that, that’s when I realised that I was intolerant to gluten and that it was the reason behind my adult acne, constant bloating, and thyroid issues. Can you believe it?!
So no need to tell you how crucial it is to limit these things, and to eat foods that heal and support your gut.
Stop counting calories but start making the right food combinations
Don’t count calories.
That’s the worst thing you can do. Because this puts your mind and body in restriction mode, which makes you crave everything you can’t have and increases your stress level.
Instead, simply try to avoid processed foods as much as possible. Processed foods are high in calories and low in nutrients (plus they disrupt everything in your body, I think we’ve been clear about that), while whole foods are low in calories and high in nutrients.
This means that you’ll feel full and satisfied with a lot less calories and you won’t need to make crazy calculations whenever you eat.
Apart from that, choose whatever diet you want. Between low-carb, low-fat, no meat, a lot of meat, the right one is the one that makes you happy and that you’ll be able to hold for a long time.
So experiment with a few to see which one works best for you!
There’s one rule to follow though: do not eat animal products (meat, dairy, eggs) and carbs at the same meal. To put it simply, your body digests them with different enzymes. So when you eat both food groups at once, you confuse the hell out of your body and slow down your digestion. Click here for a detailed list of what you can and can’t mix together.
Behave like you’re already fit
Last but not least, behave and feel like you’re already fit.
This may be my most valuable advice.
If you tell yourself that you’re already fit and feel like it’s true, you’ll rewire your brain to think like a fit person’s brain.
That’s similar to the Law of Attraction. But there’s a scientific logic behind it: your personality creates everything you experience in life. And your personality is made of 3 things: your thoughts, your feelings and your actions.
If you shift your thoughts from ‘I’m fat’ to ‘dang I look good’, and then behave like that until you feel like that, then your actions will follow.
If you think and feel like you would if you were fit, you start tricking your brain into naturally making better food choices, and your muscles into performing better.
That’s the main method I use to slim down whenever I put on a few pounds.
To put it in a nutshell, exercising is crucial to be healthy, but not to lose weight. It’s only one variable in the equation of sustainable weight loss.
There are other habits that you can incorporate in your daily life like intermittent fasting, only eating fruits before noon, healing your gut, choosing a diet that makes you happy without counting calories but making smart food combinations, meditation and faking being fit. All of which will reset your metabolism and help you slim down.
If I can recommend something though: try your best to be active. It doesn’t have to be a crazy workout! But just taking the stairs instead of the lift, have super powerful impacts on your health and weight loss.
The truth is that it’s impossible to hate all forms of physical activity. There has to be one that would make you happy if you gave it a try. You just have to find it.