Easy Ways to Lose Weight Without Exercise

It’s becoming common knowledge that losing weight is 80% diet, and only 20% exercise. We aren’t discounting the incredible health benefits exercise offers, however, sometimes your busy schedule prevents you from hitting the gym every day.

These are the quickest ways to lose weight … without lifting a weight at all.

1. Cut out liquid calories

soda bottles

Drinks like soda really add up. | Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

You may justify your coffee intake to combat exhaustion and your red wine habit to aid heart health. However, it’s probably your liquid calories that are contributing to your weight gain, or at least deterring your weight loss.

Soda, beer, juice, you name it … these beverages are generally packed with sugar and will immediately turn to fat once you digest. Stick to clear, clean liquids: water still or sparkling. And do the same when you opt for liquor. As for coffee, the blacker, the better for your weight loss.

Next: Go the distance to lose the pounds

2. Make your days harder

Choose the option that takes a bit more work. | iStock.com

Sounds fun, right? We don’t mean exhaust yourself. But taking the little steps — and taking the steps rather than the elevator — can make a big difference. “Stop using the closest restroom, parking space, or vending machine,” fitness trainer Sandra Swami told Prevention.

If you take the longest route or opt for the stairs, you’ll start to notice a difference. The calorie burn may seem insignificant, but it all adds up at the end of the day.

Next: No accomplishment is too small

3. Record your progress, no matter how small

A food journal will help you keep track of what you do each day. | iStock.com

Tracking what you eat can make a difference when attempting to lose weight. Keeping meticulous records will keep you on track, motivated, and help you recognize what helps you lose the pounds, and what doesn’t.

You don’t need to track pounds or calories — keeping those numbers can lead to obsessive behavior — but tracking what you eat and how it makes you feel can give you insight into your diet and hopefully, results.

Next: Fads come and go, but nutrition is forever

4. Skip the fad diets

Healthy Lifestyle Diet

You may want to go about things the old fashioned way. | iStock.com/Rawpixel Ltd

Fad diets are also fast ones, which rarely result in long-term progress. More often than not, fad dieters lose a lot of water weight, quickly, only to gain the pounds back when the resume eating solid foods.

“It actually leads to weight cycling, or yo-yo-ing, which research suggests may be the true cause of many of the health problems we associate with being overweight,” Christy Harrison, a dietician, said.

Next: Check the ingredient list

5. The fewer ingredients, the better

Broccoli in pan on wood kitchen table

Keep your meals simple. | iStock.com/phasinphoto

We aren’t saying you have to go totally Paleo, but taking a page from the raw-ingredient cookbooks isn’t a terrible idea. Cut out as many preservatives as possible: the smaller the ingredient list, the healthier the item (as in “banana” or “broccoli” — not “sugar, butter”).

At the same time, you don’t want to go label-crazy. Remember, everything in moderation — the more you cut yourself off from sugar, the quicker you’ll go back on a binge.

Next: What can’t water do?

6. Up your H2O intake

young woman drinking water

Drinking water will help you stay full. | iStock.com/fizkes

Research shows that drinking water helps you cut back on binge-snacking. Since we regularly confuse thirst for hunger, reaching for a glass of H2O might be all you need to curb your “hunger” — and at zero calories a glass, it’s good for weight loss.

Jenny Westerkamp, R.D., recommended adding a pinch of sea salt or unrefined, unbleached salt to your water before you drink. “The electrolytes in the salt will push water into the cells where they need to be, rather than letting the water get flushed out, causing you to go to the bathroom every other minute.”

Next: You can lose weight even in your sleep

7. Pay attention to your sleep schedule

Sleeping disorder or insomnia concept, selective focus of vintage clock in bedroom and out of focus male person trying to fall asleep in bed

Getting enough sleep is crucial. | stevanovicigor/Getty Images

Put yourself on a regular sleep schedule and you may just lose weight in the process. An American Journal of Health Promotion study showed that those who get between 6.5 and 8.5 hours of sleep a night have lower body fat than those who get below or above those numbers.

Be extremely careful of sleep deprivation. Health experts compare it to being drunk, wherein you make bad choices — especially concerning what you eat — if you’re low on quality REM sleep.

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