Can you lose weight without going to the gym? Absolutely. Does this mean you should abstain from exercise? Absolutely not. Research shows 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 are suggesting is 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 really 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 factors of weight loss, 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 fat! First, the right fatty foods drastically increase satiety – the feeling of fullness. Second, fatty acids – the best sources of which are available from foods high in fat content – stimulates the body mechanisms necessary for fat loss.
2. Natural Sugar Can 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”
In a meta-analysis of over 20 studies, scientists found that people who minimize distractions while eating consume an average of 10 percent less food per meal. Another study found that a wandering mind may cause a person to eat 25 percent more calories!
Mindful eating, meanwhile, has been shown to “cause weight loss, reduce binge eating, and help you feel better.” While mindful eating is based on the Buddhist concept of mindfulness, its precepts can be followed by anyone. 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.
4. Drinking Water Boosts Fat Loss
If you want to lose weight but aren’t a big water drinker, you may want to pay attention. Besides being the most 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 by as much as 40 percent!
Let’s put that percentage 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
In a Mayo Clinic study, people who slept an average of eight hours every night regularly consumed about 550 fewer calories than those who woke up 80 minutes earlier. (Apparently, 6.5 hours isn’t good enough when you’re trying to lose weight!) We don’t usually associate quality sleep with fat loss, but there you have it.
Also related, if you have difficulty falling asleep, are sleeping poorly, or not sleeping enough, you should try to address any underlying problem. You need quality sleep to optimize your body’s hormones, especially those related to metabolism and hunger.