I get this question all the time.
“How can I lose weight without exercise?”
“I don’t have time to go to the gym 5 days a week.”
“My job is too stressful.”
You can lose weight without exercise. But should you? That’s another topic of discussion.
Weight loss is primarily a product of your nutrition. Your body is an energy burning machine that runs on food as fuel.
If you consume more energy than you burn, you will pack on weight.
And this won’t happen in a day. It will happen over weeks and months and years.
Weight gain is a product of excessive energy consumption compounded over time.
So you ask: “Now that I have done the damage over years, Ajitesh. How do I reverse this?”
The solution is pretty straightforward. Consume less energy than you burn.
And your body will tap into the stored fat reserves for fuel.
Do this consistently for months and you will notice significant changes. The key word here being: consistently.
The way most people try to achieve this state of fat burning is by overly focusing on exercise.
They punish themselves with endless gym sessions. They run on the treadmill for hours each week. While completely ignoring their food habits.
They are always looking for exercises that burn the most calories.
This is a massive waste of time. If you are reading this and thinking: “Wow. This sounds like me.” Then please stop.
Exercise in general burns very less calories.
That one slice of pizza that you ate for lunch may require a 1 hour intense cardio session to burn off.
Imagine if you just ate one less slice of pizza. You achieve the same result plus you save an hour of your day.
The main purpose of exercise is to maintain your health. Lifting weights helps you preserve and build muscle (more muscle also means your body needs more energy at rest. Meaning more fat burnt doing nothing!).
Exercise is not an effective tool to burn fat. Approaching your sessions with the intent of burning more calories makes them akin to punishment. You start detesting your workouts. You feel fatigued after each session.
It ruins your relationship with moving your body.
If instead you looked at exercise as an opportunity to get stronger. To improve your health. It would make the experience much more enjoyable.
Coming back to the main topic. Now you understand why exercise is not a necessity for fat loss or weight loss.
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But should you exercise while trying to lose weight?
For reasons already stated above: to maintain your health and to preserve muscle mass. Not to burn fat.
Use the right tool for the right purpose.
So what can you do to make sure you’re achieving fat loss?
Here are some actionable tips:
Reduce portion sizes of your current meals from carbohydrate and fat sources
Use 1 tbsp of oil instead of 2 tbsps. Replace fried potatoes with mashed potatoes. Replace full fat milk with skim milk.
Just small changes.
Increase portion sizes of protein.
Protein is filling. It takes more energy to digest (meaning you burn more calories just digesting protein! How cool is that?). And it helps you recover from exercise.
You may also like: Cardio and fat loss: what works and what doesn’t do sh*t.
Get high quality sleep.
Not getting enough sleep can mess with your hunger hormones. This means you will tend to make bad food choices and overeat if you are chronically sleep-deprived. Take care of this.
Try to get at least 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep every night.
Remove electronic gadgets from your bedroom.
Exercising in the gym is only a small part of your day. And it burns very less calories.
What matters more for energy expenditure is what you do for movement outside the gym.
Aim to do 10,000 steps everyday. Break this down into small chunks to be done throughout the day. Use a step tracker to keep track of this.
Maintain a food diary.
If you are serious about your weight loss goals, get a food diary app and keep track of your eating habits.
I have a free weight loss guide that gives you the step-by-step process to go about this. Get it here.
I hope this blog post helped you gain some clarity.