How To Lose Weight Without Exercise - The Fast And Permanent Way
- What makes us gain weight?
- Avoid these types of food to lose weight
The old mantra for weight loss, ‘eat less, exercise more’, is more flawed than effective.
In fact, eating at a calorie deficit and exercising more will trigger the body’s starvation mode (a natural physiological response termed adaptive thermogenesis). This makes our body hungrier, besides slowing down metabolism and increasing weariness.
However, without exercise, can we achieve weight loss, both fast and permanently? Yes.
What makes us gain weight?
Weight is ‘the complex combination of a multitude of different metabolic processes’.
These biological processes range from brain systems (regulate appetite) to enzymes (control how efficiently food calories are turned into energy for the body). They are likely influenced by environmental contributors (diet, lifestyle), thus further complicating things.
The causes of a weight gain are aplenty. Here are eight factors:
Genetics play a role in determining body weight. Researchers discovered that FTO—a gene previously linked to obesity—can increase the body’s craving for high-fat foods. They also uncovered a rare gene mutation in a group of obese people, which prevents the burning of fat calories. This discovery explains weight gain in some people.
2 Excessive sugar (carbohydrates)
Our body processes carbohydrates or carbs into sugar (glucose). Thus, when we eat carbs, our blood sugar increases. If our body fails to convert carbs into energy properly, it will then store carbs as fat, causing weight gain.
A high blood sugar level is detrimental to health. In critical cases, this leads to diabetes, obesity and diabesity (the two illnesses combined).
There is a correlation between stress levels and weight gain. When stressed, some people crave carbs and sugary food (comfort food) which causes higher calorie intake.
Chronic stress disrupts hormonal balance by hindering appetite-regulating hormones and increasing cortisol levels. Thus, causing the desire to ‘comfort’ eat because the action of eating reduces cortisol and makes the body relax.
4 Sleep deprivation
Similar to stress, lack of sleep disrupts appetite-regulating hormones, resulting in overeating for some people. It causes fatigue and the tendency to neglect activity. This increases the risk of obesity. Sleep deprivation also affects metabolism badly.
Less common, but equally responsible, reasons for weight gain include:
1 Electronic devices
Studies conducted on electronic device usage among children and youths before their bedtimes confirm that it leads to sleep deprivation and eventual weight gain.
The findings prove that the blue light emitted by the devices interferes with the body’s sleep-regulating hormones (melatonin). Hence, good sleep quality is hindered
2 Air conditioning
Energy expenditure (metabolism) and energy intake (calorie intake) are influenced by ambient or environmental temperature. Our body generally maintains an optimal temperature. Air conditioning provides a comfortable temperature, thus our body need not work hard to keep cool (or warm).
Additionally, an increased energy intake occurs in response to cold. This brings about potential weight gain.
3 Late risers
Body mass index (BMI) is ‘an approximate measure of whether a person is over- or underweight’ (higher BMI or lower BMI, respectively).
Light regulates the body’s circadian rhythms. This promotes better sleep quality, leading to balanced eating and hunger hormones. Sunlight exposure early in the morning lowers BMI. Even 20–30 minutes of bright sunlight positively influences BMI. Late risers are vulnerable to weight gain because they miss out on sunlight.
4 ‘Incorrect’ plate colours
Did you know that white plates help to suppress our appetite? On the contrary, we may tend to eat more using red, orange or gold plates. Findings suggest that plate colour matters when it comes to how much food we consume per meal.
Avoid these types of food to lose weight
Food is ‘directly responsible for regulating our hormones, brain chemistry, gut microbiome and immune system’. It is only sensible to eat what is beneficial in the long run and to shun food that is detrimental to health-wise.
Get ahead by understanding the nutritional value of food and proactively choose a healthy diet. It is easy to succumb to unhealthy food (processed food, takeaway, junk food) out of convenience or due to a busy schedule. Consequently, we need to be steadfast with our food choices.
These food types increase the chances of weight gain and obesity—avoid them or, at least, eat them in strict moderation:
- Starchy food; sugary food and beverages
They contain excessive amounts of carbs and sugar. They cause a small, dense and risky form of cholesterol to accumulate, leading to a calorie surplus and potential diseases (insulin resistance, inflammation, diabetes, heart attack, stroke, other metabolic diseases).
Examples: Overeating rice, potato, potato chips (starchy); agave nectar, refined cereals, biscuits, ice cream, soft drinks, fruit smoothies (sugary).
- Trans fat and saturated fat
Saturated fat (animal fat) is found in common animal products. It is often listed as “bad” fat and grouped with trans fat.
Saturated fat triggers white adipose tissue (fat tissue) inflammation because of this type of tissue stores rather than burns energy. As fat tissues get bigger with greater intakes of saturated fats, they release pro-inflammatory agents that promote systemic inflammation and weight gain. Consumption of saturated fat over time is also linked to clogged arteries (atherosclerosis), obesity and heart disease, among other diseases.
Trans fat (vegetable oil) is found mostly in hydrogenated foods, which comprise almost 40% of the products in supermarkets. We tend to consume these common trans-fat-laden foods, which is detrimental over time.
It Trans fat affects satiety related hormones and brain neurotransmitters. This, in turn, causes the brain to not realise when we are full, leading to overeating. Besides weight gain and clogged arteries, the consequences of consuming trans fat include insulin resistance and heart disease.
Examples of food high in these fats: burger patty, pizza, onion rings, butter, cream cheese (saturated fat); fast food, street food, processed food, bread, cake, margarine (trans fat).
- Processed food
These are packed with hidden sugar, trans fat and inflammatory oils which cause the pounds to pile on. Examples of processed foods: Canned food and soup, processed meat (deli meat, bacon, sausage).
- High-calorie, zero nutrition
Abstain from having these to avoid weight gain. Examples: fast food, mayonnaise, sour cream, beer/alcohol.
How to lose weight without exercise
The motivation behind wanting to lose weight can be varied (aesthetic, health and well-being, career). Frequent exercise commonly promotes weight loss by increasing metabolism and burning calories. But, we can still shed inches healthily sans exercise with these tips:
1 Eat more protein and fibre, in moderation
Dieticians recommend a protein- and fibre-rich diet, which keep us feeling full longer, sate hunger pangs and minimise calorie intake.
Protein suppresses key appetite and hunger hormones, i.e. glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) and ghrelin. This helps weight loss, as ghrelin increases appetite. Protein-rich foods include eggs, meat, fish, plain Greek yoghurt, edamame and lentils.
Fibre — notably, viscous fibre (or soluble fibre) — aids weight loss. It forms a gel when it comes in contact with water, helping to absorb nutrients and prolong digestion. Viscous fibre is obtainable from beans, certain vegetables (Brussel sprout, asparagus, carrot, broccoli) and fruits (apple, orange).
2 Take probiotics
Probiotic-rich foods are essential for overall health and immunity. It contains beneficial bacteria that enhance digestion. Research shows a connection between gut and brain function — this implies that probiotics may influence our weight, fat mass and mood.
Various fermented foods contain natural probiotics (cultured milk drink, kimchi, miso, tempeh).
3 Stressless and sleep more
Addressing the sources of stress and sleep deprivation in our lives effectively minimises overeating.
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels
Stressors that need our attention could be:
- work-related (a hectic routine, long hours)
- home-related (dysfunctional family unit; demanding family members), or
- related to setbacks (financial, health).
To be well-rested, our body needs 6–8 hours of sleep. Refrain from browsing social media during bedtime or keeping frequent late nights.
4 Soak up some sunlight
Vitamin D aids weight loss and fat burning. Our body manufactures vitamin D in response to sunlight on the skin. Thus, by making the effort to rise early for some sun daily, we would be helping our body to lose some inches.
Start mornings with at least 20 minutes of sunlight—this is all that it takes to assist weight loss, and keep obesity at bay.
5 Keep plates white and small
The idea is to create contrast (optical illusion). Using white plates offsets the portion of food we consume. The theory goes, the more colour contrast between the food and the plate, the less we tend to eat.
Smaller plates also help food-portion control. It is tempting to pile food onto bigger plates, so keeping them small curbs this. This tip is especially useful for restricting unhealthy foods, thus eating wiser.
6 Learn to cook and eat in more
Learning how to prepare meals and developing better cooking skills is advantageous. In fact, poor cooking skills go in tandem with weight gain and obesity.
Cooking our meals enables us to eat a wider option of nutritious ingredients. We apply healthier cooking methods which do not affect the nutritional make-up of our food.
Eating home-cooked meals more also allows us to eat less than when dining out, which is great for weight loss. Moreover, we get to reduce seasoning (salt, sugar), oil and fat.
7 Stay active with simple physical activities
Keeping busy with simple forms of physical activities does not require us to exert ourselves. The aim is just to move our body, which burns calories.
Completing household chores, gardening, washing the car, getting groceries, jogging up the stairs at home, and so forth, are all light but effective.
Do supplements help to lose weight?
There are certain supplements that contain natural extracts which support weight loss efforts. Here are just two examples:
- supporting smooth, regular bowel movement
- inhibiting fat cell production for toxin storage
Weight management after you’ve lost those pounds
Calorie intake that exceeds metabolism results in the dreaded global epidemic — obesity. The right calorie intake makes managing and maintaining our weight in the long run easier.
Successful weight loss can be maintained by:
- Adopting a healthy lifestyle: If the intention is to lose weight and to keep it off, adopting a healthy lifestyle permanently is the most effective way.
- Changing how we approach eating: Set an eating schedule, plan meals, buy only foods on a pre-planned menu, snack healthily, opt for plenty of water, and adopt mindful eating. These and other similar efforts work.
Mindful eating is basically eating with awareness. Being more discerning about food and eating helps to curb food cravings, which is excellent for weight management. Practice mindfulness by removing distractions during meals, focussing on flavours and textures, and recognising when the body is full.
- Maintaining a high-protein diet: Advocates of a high-protein diet achieve weight loss better. Consuming this diet results in less weight regain, according to studies.
- Practising appropriate portion size: Correct meal portions serves to guide us without depriving us. It is advisable for half our plate to consist of vegetables, a quarter with protein and a quarter with a grain product (whole-grain rice or pasta).
- Taking suitable supplements: Supplements that are made from natural extracts or ingredients can support weight loss and management efforts. They are believed to assist in several ways; among others, by suppressing appetite, helping to block fat or carbs, detoxing the body, acting as fillers, and serving as meal replacement foods.
The ideal weight to each individual is different. One thing we can concur is the general rule for weight loss and management: self-discipline, consistency and perseverance.
There are ways to lose weight fast and permanently. Understanding our food and knowing which to avoid certainly help in weight loss, even without exercise.
Most importantly, we can manage our weight after weight loss, and keep the pounds off by:
- Adopting a healthy lifestyle
- Changing how we approach eating
- Maintaining a high-protein diet
- Practising appropriate portion size
- Taking suitable supplements
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