A few years back I shared an article about ways to lose weight without exercise. It’s still a very popular topic to this day but I wanted to follow that up with the truth about losing weight without exercise as a second part of the conversation for a few reasons:
There was a post I read on another blog where they were sharing reasons why someone who is 200+ pounds should NOT exercise as an initial resort to lose weight. Let’s go through and break down why some of their advice is flawed (it’s pretty long but a necessary read).
Watch what I had to say about it here if you don’t want to read it.
Tip #1: Do not exercise
They actually tell people if you are 200+ pounds then just eat your way thin and don’t exercise initially. They said it would be too taxing on the body with all of the weight. I agree that I would not recommend ANY sedentary person (regardless of size) to go from 0 to 100 too quickly and start doing plyometric exercises because it is too jolting to the body and the person would need to progress slowly but to say not to exercise at all is just careless.
At the end of that tip they do suggest walking outdoors and hanging out outside (which is EXERCISE) but they claim working out while establishing good eating habit is basically a waste of time. I disagree strongly with that.
Tip #2: Do NOT obsess over calories
While I agree you shouldn’t get too carried away with counting calories, but if you are not really aware of how much you are eating it is a GREAT idea to write it down, use a tool like My Fitness Pal to track what you are eating and become more aware of what you are putting in your mouth.
We all tend to overstack our plate and eat way more than we may have initially intended or though. Establish a target daily caloric intake goal from protein, carbohydrates and fat and establish a routine you can stick to that cuts calories so you lose weight but also helps you “learn” how much to eat so you discontinue overeating. So obsess over calories a little in the beginning until you get used to the adjusted amount of food you eat.
Tip #3: Do NOT do the small change approach
This tip made absolutely no sense to me. The previous 2 tips they tell you to make small changes and now they are telling you to do the big bang with an extreme diet program. I totally disagree and do not recommend that. Research has found that neither diets high in carbs, low in fat nor high in protein and low in carbs is superior for weight loss. Simply put weight loss is achieved when the number of calories consumed are less than the calories expended.
There was a study done which examined weight loss in obsess participants using 4 popular weight-loss diets: Atkins diet, the Zone, Weight Watchers and the Ornish plan. The average amount of weight lost between the participants was the same after a year. The more restrictive the diet such as Atkins (low in carbs) or Ornish plan (high in carbs) the greater the dropout rate. The more restrictive or BIG BANG the diet plan the harder it was for participants to adhere to it. FACT CHECK: According to research, people initially lose weight faster on a low-carb and high-protein diet when compared with caloric equivalent low-fat and high-carb diets but after a year the total weight loss is very close.
I recommend you moderate how much you eat, refer to my recommendation for Tip #2 and start counting your calories and becoming more aware of portion sizes and slowly increase your activity, you will see the weight melt away.
Tip #4: Heal your digestive system
Cleaning out your colon is never a bad idea and actually our bodies do it for us on a regular basis but if you eat a high amount of processed foods then your body is working double overtime trying to keep your digestive tract in order. Consuming probiotics by eating yogurt can insert good bacteria in your digestive tract or drink detox and debloat teas such as NakedMeTea which is a great tasting way to keep your colon healthy so I agree with this tip.
Tip #5: Learn to fall in love with high quality protein
Protein is the building block for our muscles and the more muscles you have the more calories you burn even when you aren’t working out. Muscle burns more fat than fat. Eating protein also helps with satiety as it takes longer to empty from your stomach which helps stabilize blood sugar levels and curbs appetite. This article proposes one eat at least 200 grams of protein a DAY!
If you are an endurance athlete it is recommended you eat .5 to .6 grams of protein per body weight a day. If you are a strength athlete who needs to consume more protein to build muscle, it is recommended they eat .5 to .8 grams of protein per body weight. If you are sedentary (which this article is targeting) then it is recommended you eat .4 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight so if you are 200 pounds that is only 80 grams of protein a day NOT 200 grams.
The article shares that if you eat that much protein you will always stay full, etc. True but there are some negative side effects to overeating protein as well (always remember, everything in balance and don’t overeat any of your macros because it will result in fat storage and weight gain – even protein) such as: dehydration because people don’t drink enough water, higher intake of saturated fat because there is an increase of consuming animal protein which is high in saturated fat, not eating enough fiber which means you may be more constipated and it requires the kidneys to work harder to eliminate the increased urea being produced. Be careful when considering a high-protein diet. I recommend eating balanced portions of all your macros (protein, carbs and fat).
Tip #6: Do a month long carbohydrate detox
Whoa skiiirrrtttt. This article is suggesting that one participate in a NO CARB month-long diet in order to “reset” the body from metabolic syndrome due to an overconsumption of carbs.
Wait a minute – I am so tired and sick of people demonizing carbs. Carbs are not bad for you and actually fuel your body with the energy it needs to think, stay in a good mood, and to move during normal activities of daily living. Without it we will have a bunch of angry and cranky people walking around. The problem isn’t that we eat carbs, it is that we eat the wrong kind of carbs which contributes to insulin resistance.
What are wrong carbs? Simple sugars found in table sugar, fast food and processed food. It spikes the blood sugar and then drops leaving us hangry (yes hangry not hungry) and craving the junk food. I suggest folks continue to eat carbs because they will need it to fuel their light exercise but eat the colorful carbs or more complex carbs found in oatmeal, sweet potatoes, and black beans which are in the low to moderate categories of the Glycemic Index. Eat more starchy carbs with fiber and you will find you will feel fuller longer and have the energy to fuel your day and stabilize your blood sugar level so you don’t have those spikes and issues with insulin resistance.
Tip #7: Drink lemon water every morning
I think this is one of the few tips I actually agree with. Drinking water is a great way to break the fast your body went through overnight. It wakes up the digestive system and gets the body ready to move. I also agree that it is a very healthy habit to establish. I keep a bottle of water near my bed at night so when I wake up, I grab it and start drinking. I normally drink an initial 16 oz of water upon waking. I have the perfect water bottle for it too as my 26 oz bottle has a drink tracker so you can stay on time with your daily water consumption to make sure you get it all in.
These are my 7 cents worth of rebuttal of that article which you can read in full HERE and my advice on how you can best lose weight whether your starting weight is 400 pounds or 200 pounds. You CAN lose weight without exercise, don’t get me wrong since weight is just a simple formulate of gravity times body mass. One great way to effectuate body mass is to modify what you eat since that is 80% of the battle but that alone won’t do it – exercise is key and has a bunch of benefits not just weight loss.
Good luck, you can do it and there’s no shortcuts to greatness!