More of a gym foe than friends? Everyone knows this by heart: move more and eat less if you want to lose weight. Although moving more and eating less are listed together, they need not be treated as mutually inclusive. In fact, it is actually possible to lose weight without exercise.
A study conducted in 2017 listed in the journal Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism shows that while increasing the amount of exercising and reducing the amount of food intake both improved overall health, they do not have an equal effect on weight loss.
No one is saying you should not exercise if you are hoping to shed some pounds. However, if you are exercising with the mindset to only lose weight, you may be disappointed. This is because “physical activity won’t protect you from the impact that a high-fat, high-sugar diet has on weight” says Lara R. Dugas, Ph.D., an assistant professor at the Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine. Additionally, when you exercise for a period of time, you will hit a weight loss plateau which will make you rethink your losing weight plan.
Learn how to lose weight without exercise with these tips below:
1. Maintain a caloric deficit
Healthhub SG suggested that the average Singaporean man requires approximately 2,200kcal daily to maintain his weight, whereas women would need about 1,800kcal daily. “The general rule of thumb is that if you consume 500 calories lesser or manage to burn off 500 calories more than your daily requirement, you can expect a 0.5 to 1kg weight loss per week,” says Ms Wong. Hui Mei, Senior Dietitian, Department of Dietetics, Singapore General Hospital (SGH). However, your daily requirement varies on factors such as age, gender, height, weight and metabolism level.
How to create a calorie deficit in your daily intake?
- Load up with nutrient-dense food like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats and low-fat dairy products, instead of energy-dense food.
- Monitor your portion sizes (even if you’re eating ‘healthy food’)
- Try to be more physically active
2. Use smaller plates
It’s not always easy to get our portions right when it comes to food. The Health Promotion Board (HPB) recommended having 5 to 7 servings of carbohydrates, 2 to 3 servings of proteins, with at least 2 servings each of vegetables and 2 servings of fruits daily. However, you should limit the number of carbs and proteins, if you’re not considered active. Similarly, you can serve yourself 14% less at each meal should you use a smaller serving spoon.
3. Have a regular sleeping schedule
Ever notice that you tend to eat more when you’re tired? Studies have shown that tired people have the tendency to put more food in their mouths to wade of restlessness. ‘Ghrelin’ — a hormone that stimulates appetite and has a direct relation to our cravings for sugar and simple carbs are raised by 15% for the participants who clocked five hours of sleep instead of their usual eight hours, a study conducted by Public Library of Science.
4. Incorporate natural “work-outs”
Add more natural movement to your daily routine and see yourself dropping a few pounds effortlessly! Increase your step count by walking more, take the stairs instead of the elevator or take timed breaks purposefully to move around for a short while at a time. Don’t be put off by these minimal efforts as they will make a difference in the long-term.
5. The power of real food
Real food, aka single-ingredient food is food that is mostly unprocessed, zero chemical additives, and rich in nutrients. Such food (unprocessed meat, brown rice, sweet potatoes and etc) does not contain refined sugars and trans fats that are commonly responsible for worse health issues than just weight-gain. The important takeaway is to make sure there’s a balance of real food across your macronutrient intake: carbs, fat and protein!
6. Drink more Kopi-o and less happy hours
Can’t survive the day without your cuppa comforting coffee? But do you know that drinking your coffee black is by far the best option for weight loss? This is because of an element called chlorogenic acid found in black coffee that helps to speed up weight loss, compared to the rest of the coffee selections that use calorie-laden additives like sugar, syrups or cream.
As you switch out of your usual coffee choices, you might be reducing the intake of 500 calories weekly and lowering your risk of diabetes and other metabolic disorders. By consuming black coffee after dinner or supper, the acid helps to slow down glucose and fat cell production.
Everyone loves wine, cause wine not? (pun intended) Consuming 2 glasses in moderation a day is still considered relatively healthy as it packs multiple antioxidants that are beneficial to our body. However to achieve your weight loss goals, one of the best-known tips is to put down the glasses. Alcohol is caloric and provides little to no nutritional benefits, like consuming 2 pints of beer a day can accumulate to nearly 2,000 calories weekly; hence abstaining from it can help you to lose over two pounds in a month.
7. Cook with extra virgin olive oil
Extra virgin oil contains polyphenols that help to lower blood pressure and oleic acid which reduces appetite and promotes weight loss. Even though vegetable oils are considerably healthy; canola and soybean oil are high in inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids, which can cause our body to be inflamed; resulting in weight gain and skin issues.
8. Don’t fall prey to “diet” food
As you would’ve known, too much of a good thing is not a good thing. “Diet” food is usually marketed as the healthier alternative to their counterparts, however, these usually contain artificial sugars like Sucralose and Aspartame. Although artificially sweetened beverages contain fewer calories, research has shown that they still trigger our brain receptors to sugary things, which increases our craving intensity. Additionally, we “trick” our mind is convinced that these “healthier” options are better, leading to over-consumption issues easily.
9. Eat slowly
Did you know that you will have the tendency to overeat if you’re eating at a super speed? This is because it takes roughly 20 minutes for our stomach to send signals to our brain that we’ve consumed our fill. Hence, take the moment and savour your food, talk to your friends or family while you eat.
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Losing that extra weight can be difficult when factors like genetics, age and diet come into play. Non-invasive fat burning treatments that use thermal manipulation techniques that get rid of stubborn fat molecules and improve one’s body contour can be a great solution in losing those extra pockets of fat.
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