Written by Dan Rayner
Is Exercise Required To Lose Weight?
No is the answer. However, in order to lose weight without regular exercise, you will need to manipulate your diet to ensure you’re in a calorie deficit.
Due to the fact that you will have to lower your calories, your proteins, carbs and fats will have to change as well. My advice would be to keep your protein intake high, aiming for at least 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight. This is to try and prevent as much muscle breakdown as possible whilst in a calorie deficit. As for your carbs and fats, this can come down to a personal preference of when you consume them. Alternatively, take a look at the next lot of options and pick one that best suits your lifestyle.
Consume the majority of your carbs when your body will need them the most. For example on a non-workout day, eat a high complex carb breakfast (e.g oats) so you’re fuelling your body with a slow release carb to give you energy throughout the day. Then keep carbs minimal through the rest of the day and bring in fats when you feel like it. I always feel a handful of unsalted nuts can be a great snack and provide you will a slow release of energy.
Save the bulk of your calories for later on in the day. This is a technique that I love to do! A huge benefit of not breaking your fast until later in the day means you can push meals and snacks closer together, so you could be eating every 2 hours. This gives you mental satisfaction and a feeling of always eating, yet remaining in a calorie deficit.
When you do perform some exercise ensure you’re fuelling your body sufficiently. For example on this day, consume the bulk of your calories and carbs around your workout time. As you’re already low in calories due to the lack of calorie output (exercise) when you actually come to a workout day, ensure you eat before and after. Otherwise, you might have a very unproductive and lifeless workout.
I’m not saying you must count calories and macronutrients. However, this would help towards losing weight. If you’d rather not count calories then my advice would be aim to eat protein every 3-4 hours and keep a close eye on your carbs and your fats. Combine this with good hydration and then see what the scales say, or even better what the mirror shows you! If you’re not losing weight or changing shape then slightly lower your calorie intake or increase your exercise. Simple!
Walk to work if possible, or on your lunch break get up and get moving. At the end of the day, any activity is better than no activity. You’ll also be surprised how walking to work or going for a walk in your lunch hour can make you feel better, give you more energy, better focus and give you some mental satisfaction.
Perform full body workouts so you can shift as many calories as possible and ensure you hit every muscle group. If you have time, throw in a little 10-15 minutes of HIIT (high-intensity interval training) for a great fat burner and to save time!
Choose the stairs, not the lift or the escalator. Again we want to get you as physically active as possible. If the opportunity is there to be more active, then take it!
If you have a family and kids, choose an activity you know they’ll enjoy. Make sure that it’s more active than sitting down playing the PlayStation! For example, a kick about in the park. Now you’re spending quality time with family and exercising at the same time! A winning combination.
So, on a final note yes you can lose weight without regular exercise, but you will need to manipulate other things in order to do this.