Weight loss without exercise?
There are some of you out there who hate exercise. Let me guess: lifting weights is too hard, running is too boring, you are too self-conscious to join a gym, and you simply don’t have time. Regular readers will know that I am an enthusiastic cheerleader for the benefits of exercise. If you want to lose weight, get a flat stomach and enjoy good health, you will achieve best results by with a wholefood diet and regular exercise. Nevertheless it is possible to achieve weight loss without exercise without having to starve yourself.
Avoid refined carbohydrates
If you are trying to lose weight, you must avoid refined carbohydrates. Refined carbohydrates are broken down rapidly by your body casing a spike in blood sugar. The sugar provides fuel for your body. If you are engaged in strenuous physical activity, your body will burn up some of your sugar intake. However if you are not exercising, your body’s energy requirements are very low.
Any sugar that is not immediately needed by your body is converted into fat. You must avoid refined carbohydrates completely if you want to lose weight.
The following foods are refined carbohydrates: sweets, cakes, pastries, sodas, commercial cereals, white bread, white rice, fruit juices and smoothies.
Avoid whole grains too
Now not all carbohydrates are bad. Whole grains like brown bread, brown rice and brown pasta are broken down slowly by your body. They provide a small increase in your blood sugar levels for a sustained period of time. Whole grains are a good source of energy for those engaged in an active lifestyle. However if you are not exercising your body has very low energy requirements. Remember any unused blood sugar is converted into fat. If you are trying to lose weight without exercise you should try and avoid eating whole grains.
Eat lean protein and vegetables
Well you might be wondering, what’s left to eat! Well there is lean protein and vegetables. Protein requires energy to break down, which means that your body will be burning calories while you are digesting it. Protein takes time to digest, which means that you will remain full for some time after your meal. Protein is also important for building lean muscle, although if you are not exercising this is not something you need to concern yourself with.
You do need some carbohydrates for energy and the best form of carbohydrate for people who want to lose weight is vegetables. Vegetables are high in water and fibre. Fibre has no calorie content and fills your stomach making you feel full quickly. Also vegetables are high in vitamins and antioxidants which help keep you healthy and free from illness.
Your meals should be grilled, steamed or boiled. Do not eat fried food as the oil will increase your calorie consumption in the form of unhealthy saturated fat.
The classic meal for you would be grilled chicken and steamed mixed vegetables. or egg white omelette and steamed mixed vegetables if you are vegetarian. You can season with herbs and spices. You should eat like this for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
What about fruit?
Now I love fruit, and fruit is loaded with vitamins and antioxidants. However fruit does have a high sugar content. For those leading active lifestyles I would not hesitate to recommend eating fruit. However if you are not exercising, you may not be able to burn off the sugars in any fruit you eat. So I would say, avoid fruit. You can get your vitamins and antioxidants from your vegetables.
Snack on raw nuts
Nuts are the perfect snack for weight loss. But make sure you eat them raw, with no added oil or salt. Nuts contain unsaturated fat, which is ‘good fat’. Nuts also contain protein and fibre. A handful of nuts will keep you full in between meals and control your food cravings for the bad stuff.
Drink plenty of water
Drinking two cups of water before meals will help you feel full and ensure you do not overeat. Also make sure you drink water regularly throughout the day, as it will help keep hunger pangs at bay. It is important that you do not become dehydrated through lack of water because your body will mistake thirst for hunger.
As well as water, I recommend green tea, which has been shown to suppress your appetite.
The consequences of not exercising
Losing weight without exercising is certainly possible. However you have to be much stricter with your diet than if you were exercising because your energy expenditure will be much lower. There is the added risk that dieting without exercise will lead to loss of muscle tone which will lower your energy expenditure further still.
There are many health benefits to exercise including weight loss, increased vitality, resistance to illness, resistance to injury and a more youthful physique. If you are able to do some exercise every week, however modest, I would certainly recommend it. It would make it much easier for you to achieve and maintain your desired weight.
Nevertheless, if you are determined to lose weight without exercise, it is possible if you have enough self discipline and if you keep munching those veggies.