Can you lose weight without going to the gym? Absolutely. Does this mean you should abstain from exercise? Absolutely not.
Research proves time and again that people who eat well and work out obtain the best weight loss results.
Again, we are not suggesting that you abstain from exercise. Instead, we recommend that there is no need for a gym to get fit or remain so. Additionally, no gym (or “program”) is necessary to lose weight.
Besides helping with weight loss, here are some of the other benefits of exercise: lowers cholesterol and blood sugar; helps prevent cancer; improves attention, energy, mood, and sleep; strengthens muscles and bones; expands lung capacity; reduces the risk of heart disease, and many more.
Let’s consider some of the confusing, contradictory messages about weight loss that we’ve heard:
- “Don’t eat carbs.”
- “Eat fat-free stuff.”
- “Eat as much as you want…and still lose weight!”
- “Here’s a pill that works!”
- (Your results WILL vary.)
If someone follows the above advice and it works for them, that’s great! The problem is when such opinions come across as the “best,” “proven,” or “only” way to lose stubborn pounds.
Can you teach yourself to lose weight?
Absolutely. You can learn everything necessary related to weight loss that is not related to exercise. Once you understand these essential weight loss factors, you can confidently move forward with your weight loss goals without further delay.
1. Fat Can Help You Lose Weight
To whoever sold the idea that fat from food causes weight gain: the mega-corporations, thank you. Without you, they couldn’t have sold their useless, processed, sugar-laden garbage for this long.
The truth is that fat is entirely necessary. Contrary to popular opinion, your body needs healthy fats! First, the right fatty foods drastically increase satiety – the feeling of fullness. Second, fatty acids – the best sources available from foods high in fat content – stimulate the body mechanisms necessary for fat loss.
According to Harvard University’s fat consumption guidelines, you should consider the following healthful monosaturated fats:
- Peanut oil
- High-oleic sunflower oil
- Olive Oil
The same report also suggests you eat polyunsaturated fats from
- Fatty fish (sardines, mackerel, salmon)
- Unhydrogenated soybean oil
2. Natural Sugar Should Replace The Bad Stuff
Processed sugar is quite possibly the worst ingredient ever produced. Besides having zero nutritional value, manufactured sugar has been linked to multiple diseases and other ailments. It goes without saying that sugar is terrible for weight loss. Besides having no nutritional value, sugar does not promote feelings of fullness.
At the same time, natural sugars are mostly okay. Sugars produced by nature – such as the “sugar” in bananas, apples, and other fruits – if eaten with regularity, will replace your candy cravings!
3. Mindful Eating Is a “Secret Weapon.”
Harvard research suggests that mindful eating can be your secret weapon to weight loss. Fully savoring every small bite and appreciating your food can make you more aware of what–and how much–food you are putting into your mouth.
Mindful eating, meanwhile, proves to “cause weight loss, reduce binge eating, and help you feel better.” While mindful eating is based on the Buddhist concept of mindfulness, anyone can follow its precepts. These include:
- Eating slowly and without distraction.
- Tuning in to physical hunger cues.
- Only eating when hungry.
- Appreciating the taste of food.
- Paying attention to fullness while eating.
- Chewing food slowly and deliberately.
If you want to lose weight but aren’t a big water drinker, you may want to pay attention. Besides being an essential element of health, water is probably the most potent weight loss catalyst.
How powerful? Consider this: research shows that drinking about 16 ounces of water immediately before every meal may boost weight loss over calorie restriction alone.
Let’s put those findings into context. If your current eating plan (or “diet”) predicts five pounds of weight loss per month, drinking 16 ounces of water before each meal could increase that rate to 7 pounds per month!
5. Proper Sleep Makes Weight Loss Easier
The Mayo Clinic published an article explaining that several essential processes related to weight loss occur during your sleeping hours.
We often incorrectly associate weight loss with activities like walking to burn calories and boost our metabolism.
But the truth is that several metabolic functions happen as our bodies are at rest. Some of the critical processes that help metabolic function during sleep include the following:
- Cortisol levels stabilize (better stress management for better control over stress-binging)
- Insulin releases into the bloodstream (regulates your blood sugar)
- Your body delivers the hunger-controlling hormones called Leptin and Ghrelin.
The articles suggest that when you lack sleep, the opposing is true. And that might be why we tend to overeat when we are tired or stressed.
10 Exercises You Can Do At Home
Try these activities for a healthy life (without the gym).
Walking is a simple exercise that gives big results. If you take a brisk 30-minute walk every day, you burn 150 calories. If you walk more and increase your speed, you can burn even more calories. Walking is a great way to lose weight, especially in your stomach.
Yoga is another at-home exercise that helps you lose weight. Aim for at least twenty minutes of yoga every day. Doing certain poses gives you a full-body workout that burns calories and increases muscle and cardiovascular strength. The best yoga poses to lose belly fat include:
- Bow pose
- The plank
- Boat pose
- Cobra pose
- Camel pose
- One-legged downward dog pose
3. Stationary biking
Depending on how intense your workout is, a stationary bike can help you lose weight. You don’t need a fancy, expensive stationary bike to get effective results. Begin riding the bike for at least fifteen to twenty minutes five days a week. You can burn as much as 600 calories an hour depending on your weight and how hard you ride.
4. Jumping jacks
Jumping jacks is a simple cardiovascular exercise. You may have done these in school when you were a kid. Find a space where you can jump without hitting anything. Start by jumping with your feet apart and arms wide, then jump back with arms at your side and feet together. Start with ten jumping jacks. As you get stronger, try to do at least 25 jumping jacks each day.
5. Jumping rope
This at-home exercise is a powerhouse exercise that strengthens your heart and muscles. Jump rope inside or outside. All you need is a good jump rope. Start jumping in five minutes sessions, then build up to 10 minutes of jumping each time. Aim to advance to fifteen minutes for a great daily workout.
Dancing to an upbeat song helps you burn calories at home. Find your best songs, create a playlist, and dance. To get a good workout, you’ll need to aim for at least fifteen minutes of dancing twice a day. You can also watch YouTube dance videos and copy the dance moves.
Burpees are considered a high-intensity exercise. High-intensity training (HIT) relies on your body weight for resistance. A burpee is an exercise that begins with a squat thrust, then a plank, then into a standing position. HIT training gives you both cardio and resistance training in one exercise. Burpees are efficient and practical because they require little space, no equipment, and take no time. They’re a perfect at-home exercise to lose weight. Start by doing three to five burpees every day. Work on your form. As you get more comfortable doing them, challenge yourself to do as many as you can in three minutes.
8. Mountain climber
The mountain climber exercise is another HIT. It’s a whole-body exercise that mimics climbing. You start with a push-up with one leg extended back behind you. You quickly switch legs and keep alternating your legs as if you’re climbing but on the ground. The mountain climber guarantees you’ll get a whole-body workout. Start with 10 to 15 mountain climbers. Then, after you’ve perfected your form and built up your capacity to do these, set a goal of 25 to 30 a day. Be sure to bring your knees close to your chest with a brief pause for the best abdominal benefits.
Doing stretches is a helpful way to burn calories and lose weight. Set a goal to do at least 10 to 20 minutes of stretches every day. This helps you burn a significant amount of calories.
10. The plank
The plank is a full-body workout. Although it looks simple, planks are intense and exhausting. That’s good because this at-home exercise burns calories. You don’t need any equipment except a soft place to kneel, such as a yoga mat or carpeting. The plank targets your major muscle group and strengthens your core muscles, back, hips, shoulders, arms, and chest. You’ll lose weight and gain strength when you incorporate planks into your at-home exercise routine.
Final Thoughts on How to Lose Weight Without Going to a Gym
The bottom line here is yes. Indeed, you can lose weight without going to a gym. However, when you incorporate your nutritional program with other healthful habits, you’ll reach your goal weight sooner. And, perhaps more importantly, you’ll have learned the key to maintaining that healthy lifestyle.