8 Ways to Lose Weight without Dieting or Exercise

Well, kind of.

Have a lot of weight to lose? Need a jump start?

I lost 45 pounds in just 4 months with Medifast, a program based on low calorie, low fat, low carb meals. It’s easier than counting calories on your own and it really does work. I used it to get my weight where it should be and I follow the tips in this article to keep it there. Learn more about my experience here.

Throw away your fad diets. If you’re serious about losing weight, there are only two things that matter: calorie intake and exercise. Consume fewer calories and get more exercise and you will lose weight. It’s as simple as that.

Reducing calories and increasing exercise doesn’t mean dieting and hitting the gym. Here are eight things you can do to lose weight without making major changes to your diet or lifestyle.

1. Drink water.

Glass of WaterWater does several things that can help you lose weight and feel healthier:

  • Water can decrease your appetite by fooling your stomach into thinking it’s fuller than it is. If you’re hungry, try drinking a glass of water and waiting 20 minutes. You may not be hungry anymore.
  • Water has no calories and no caffeine, so it’s a great alternative to other beverages that contain one or both.
  • Water is vital for a number of bodily processes, including removing waste, carrying nutrients, regulating body temperature, reducing fluid retention, and keeping bowel functions normal.

Different sources recommend different amounts of water in your diet. One source I found suggested 64 ounces a day. Another suggested 48-64 ounces a day. Still another suggested 1 ounce for every 2 pounds of body weight — so a 150-lb person should drink 75 ounces a day.

2. Eat only half.

Half plate of FoodOne of the problems with American food portions — especially those in many restaurants — is that they’re just too big. The next time you’re faced with a huge plate of food at your favorite restaurant, eat just half of what’s on your plate. Take the rest home in a carry-out bag. Not only will you eat less food, but you’ll have a free meal the next day.

When you cook at home, make smaller portions. Pay attention to portion size on prepared foods and only cook what you and your family need. While leftovers are nice, it’s all too easy to eat all the food you prepare instead of stowing some of it away in the fridge for the next day.

Here’s what I’ve noticed: the less I eat, the less I want to eat. It’s almost as if I’m shrinking my stomach so it needs less food to feel full.

3. Snack with fruits and vegetables.

Fruits and vegetables make great snack foods. Not only are they good for you, but they’re often very low in calories. They’re also easy to prepare — especially when eaten raw — and taste great.

FruitsSome fruits to keep in mind:

  • Apples
  • Blueberries
  • Cantaloupe
  • Grapes
  • Honeydew Melon
  • Orange
  • Peach
  • Pineapple
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries
  • Watermelon

VegetablesFor vegetables, try:

  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Cucumber
  • Dill Pickles
  • Lettuce
  • Tomato
  • Sugar Snap Peas
  • Zucchini

And, in case you’re wondering, I’m talking about fresh fruits and vegetables here. The good stuff. Leave the cans on the shelves where they belong.

4. Say “no” to dessert.

No DessertBoy, is this a no-brainer. If you’re accustomed to eating dessert after dinner, just stop. Instead, reach for a piece of fruit. Fewer calories and better for you.

5. Park in the farthest parking space.

Parking LotHow much time do you spend cruising for a parking spot close to where you’re going? Did you ever think that that time could be better spent walking from a parking spot on the other side of the lot?

Park far away. Then walk to where you’re going. It’ll only take a few minutes and you’ll be giving your body an extra dose of exercise it wasn’t expecting to have.

An added bonus: You might actually find a spot in the shade.

6. Get off on the wrong stop.

Walk from the BusDo you take a bus or train to work? Instead of getting off at the stop closest to your workplace, get off one or two stops before or after it. Again, you’ll be treating your body to some extra exercise.

Sure, it might take a few minutes more, but you can always catch an earlier bus or train. And imagine the new things you’ll see along the way.

7. Take the stairs.

Take the StairsOnly need to go up or down one or two floors? Avoid elevators and escalators. Take the stairs. More exercise squeezed into your busy day and only your body will notice it.

8. Walk your kids to school.

When I was a kid, I walked to school. Rain, snow, heat — it didn’t matter. Four blocks to elementary school, eight blocks to junior high school, and a full mile (with uphills and downhills both ways) to high school.

Walk to SchoolWhile I realize that times are different and many parents are concerned about the safety of their kids, you don’t need to drive your kid to school to ensure his or her safety. Take a walk instead. You’ll get exercise and make sure your kid gets some, too. You’ll also have some quality time to spend with your kid on that walk.

Want to make it really count? Take the dog along, too.

Do the Math

My doctor told me that 3500 calories equals a pound. That means that knocking 500 calories off your daily diet will result in a loss of 1 pound a week — without increasing exercise. But if you add exercise to the equation, you can drop weight a bit more quickly without sacrificing your health.

You’ll also develop some healthy habits that’ll stay with you for the rest of your life.

Got more tips? Share ‘em in the comments. And please do let me know how you do with your weight loss efforts.

19 thoughts on “8 Ways to Lose Weight without Dieting or Exercise

  1. My major accomplishment this year is to have gone down one size: from a 12 to a 10.

    You know how hard that is – and it took me the whole entire ten months of 2008.

    I believe what made this year work for me is two things, one of which you mention: take the stairs *and* no drinking (unless it is an emergency) on weeknights.

    Barbara Gavin’s last blog post: BLG: @DGollmer – Amazing carved pumpkins!

  2. Congratulations on the downsize. I’d love to get back into a 10 — or even a 12! — again. I’ve been stuck at size 14 since my surgery 2 years ago. Hard to believe I was once a size 6.

    I’m thinking pounds now and am hoping to drop another 30. If I succeed, there’s a special treat for me. But I’d better do it soon or I’ll be too old to enjoy the treat.

    Agreed that alcohol is a big problem. I almost included it in my list, but decided that for some people, that would be too much of a lifestyle change. Still, I think it’s key — especially for folks who drink a lot of beer and other high-calorie beverages. I really do enjoy a glass of wine with dinner each night.

  3. The second four tips above should be enough exercise to help out. If you don’t have kids to walk to school (last tip), consider walking with a friend or family member two or three times a week. Or find some other destination you normally drive to a few times a week — post office, grocery store, video store, etc. — and walk there. It really doesn’t take much extra activity to help your metabolism burn calories.

    Good luck!

  4. Re getting motivated to exercise – I think it’s a great idea to start with the small stuff.

    Park a little farther away than usual from the store. Deliberately park at the first convenient spot and forget trying to get as close as possible. That also saves a little gas.

    Walk up some stairs instead of always taking the elevator or escalator all the way. But don’t feel obliged to walk up all 5 flights, if you’re going to the 5th floor. Try one flight. Try one flight *down* if one flight *up* is too hard.

    Look for every small opportunity that presents itself, and don’t feel you have to start straight in to some whole programme of 20 or 30 minutes per day of some activity.

    The effects will be gradual, but it’s easier to keep to doing a few, or many, small things all day long than to commit to some fixed amount of time every day.

    I also started thinking of exercise as less of a chore and more of an opportunity to put money in the bank. Or, perhaps that should be ‘health dollars’ in the ‘health bank’. Every extra block I walk today saves a few cents in transport costs and adds a few health points into my overall wellbeing. With any luck that will grow with ‘interest’ into better health as I age.

    Oops, I see I’ve just restated most of your points, Maria. regard this as a comment in support of what you said. :-)

    Miraz Jordan’s last blog post: I hate books

  5. Another key thing for me has been snacking throughout the day – I used to avoid breakfast and starve myself for too much of the day. Now by eating tiny nibbles of healthy stuff like nuts, sliced meat (low sodium) and fruits I keep my metabolism up and seem to drop weight naturally. Also avoiding breads/carbs as much as I can seems to work well.

  6. I think fruits and veggies are “freebies” as far as diets are concerned, especially if they’re raw or prepared without added sugar or fats. Ever check the calories on a bag of mixed salad greens. Seems to me that you can eat a whole bag plain without weight gain worries.

    I’m no expert, though.

    • if i have to start checking the calories on veggies somebody should just shoot me now eat what you like dont eat to get full

  7. I think weight loss is all about three things – attitude, diet and exercise. From my experience, reducing carb intake and doing aerobic exercises are keys to successful weight loss.

  8. Good for you! Great advice here. My tips: buy organic as much as possible, see the film Food Inc and go to snagfilms.com and watch The Future Of Food. Look up the most heavily pesticide laden foods and avoid them. Read Marion Nestle and Michael Pollen. Love yourself.

  9. a 118 pounds is where i would love to be in my weight i weigh 196 hitting on two thats cause i stoped drinking alcohol and yes im a recovering alcoholic i would drink and not eat so that caused me to lose weight but i wasnt healthy so when i stopped about two months ago i had to learn to eat again aqnd i thought if i ate three meals a day just as long as it wasnt too much of what i thought i could control my weight posibly lose more boy was i wrong . so now i came up with my own way to lose weight witch is snack when on something when ever i get hungry or drink some water to make myself feel full and i take vitamins too and exercise at 3 times a week i have lost about 4 pounds this week i just thank my higher power for giving me the will power to do so when i look in the merrior everyday i tell myself i look good i dont look to see how fat i look anymore JUST LIKE A RECOVERING ALCOHOLIC SAY….. I WILL DO IT ONE DAY AT A TIME DONT ABOUT YESTERDAY OR TOMORROW ONLT JUST FOR TODAY

  10. I agree with drinking a specific minimum amount of water based on your body weight. As for parking at the farthest slot available, I’d still go for “park nearest to the security guard post” to lessen the chance of getting carnapped haha! Also, I hear that celery is kinda special because as soon as you eat it, it almost instantly works for you by boosting your metabolism.

    -Cindy

  11. hi i am noufal frm dubai .i like u r advice ..very good . i am having 95 kg . now i am trying to lose my weight . thats y inow i am taking dinner only wich is oats wht u thing is it helpful to lose my weight .?

What do you think?