It’s no secret that diet and exercise are the key ingredients to losing weight. With the demanding schedule motherhood brings, it’s tough to find the time, energy or sanity to exercise for hours daily.
If you’re like me, the thought of cutting out carbs for a month will not do. No sirree.
But that doesn’t mean you have to chase your weight loss goals fruitlessly forever.
Incorporate these easy tips into your daily routine and prepare to burn some fat without doing anything too different.
You won’t lose ten pounds overnight, but changing some of your everyday habits can put you on the road to a healthier and happier lifestyle.
Let’s take a look at 11 ways you can lose weight without exercise.
1. Don’t be the Hunchback of Notre Dame.
Improving your posture will boost your energy. It increases the confidence hormone testosterone and reduces the stress hormone cortisol.
Most importantly, standing tall and sitting straight helps to naturally work out your core all day. A strong core facilitates better blood circulation and deeper breathing, producing more muscle and burning more fat.
Muffin tops and back fat be gone! You were never welcome here.
To maintain good posture throughout the day, apply these simple tricks:
- Roll your shoulders back and squeeze your shoulder blades together. Pretend there is a piece of string pulling your two shoulder blades closer together.
- Imagine you are holding a tennis ball under your chin
- When sitting, stop crossing your legs and keep both feet planted on the ground
2. Lose the jogging pants.
Sadly, living in stretchy “comfort clothes” all day will not get you where you want to be in your weight loss goals. It’s time to lose the elastic.
Make an intentional effort to wear non-stretchy pants and tighter shirts during the day. This will help you become more aware of how your body feels. When your clothes stretch with you, it’s easier to justify that extra helping of food when you don’t need it.
To survive the divorce with your jogging pants, invest in a pair of non-stretchy jeans that make you feel fabulous. Your new go-to pants will tune you into how your body really feels and encourage you to focus on what goes into your body throughout the day.
3. Don’t go grocery shopping hungry.
Doing your grocery shopping when hungry is one of the worst things you can do for your waistline. Never mind your bank account.
When test subjects were given a small, healthy snack prior to shopping, they were more likely to leave with healthier groceries in hand.
Grocery shopping while famished is like taking a hungry kid to a candy store.
Just don’t do it if you want to avoid failure.
To prevent leaving the grocery store with a cart full of naughty indulgences, make a point of going when you are happily full.
4. Make mealtime quality time.
The ritual of family mealtime is a long-standing tradition that is surprisingly worthwhile to resurrect when it comes to weight loss.
A study done at Cornell University shows that individuals who engaged in the ritual of family mealtimes were 35% less likely to engage in disordered eating. They were also 24% more likely to eat healthier foods and 12% less likely to be overweight.
Who would have thought that the setting in which you eat your meals can affect your eating habits so drastically?
But it makes sense.
When you’re talking and thoughtfully eating your meal with loved ones, you’re more likely to eat a reasonable amount than if you are stuffing down a Big Mac alone in the car.
Setting regular meal times also keeps you from getting into the horrible cycle of starving yourself and then binge eating. When you skip meals, your body automatically lowers its metabolic rate to conserve energy, diminishing your ability to burn fat effectively.
By sitting down to share a quality meal with your family, you are building healthier emotional and physical habits into your weekly routine.
5. Practice the art of eating slowly.
We live in a fast food nation that celebrates quick meals. If mealtime can be done within 15 minutes or less, it’s seen as a success.
The art of slowly eating your meals is one we have almost completely lost in the Western hemisphere.
Think about it. Most of us only get 30-minute lunch breaks at work.
Eating slowly may not be a luxury many of us can afford, but it is of the utmost importance when it comes to losing weight.
National Institutes of Health tells us that taking smaller bites and chewing your food longer can result in less food being consumed at each meal. Chewing more also helps you absorb more protein from food.
Zen Buddhist monks have long practiced this art of “mindful eating” by chewing their food no less than 30 times. They believed this aided in better digestion and circulation of bodily functions.
Eating slowly is an easy way to change your daily eating habits and shed some pounds. Old habits die hard, but practice makes perfect.
Try these tips at your next meal:
- Chew each bite 30 times (actually count to 30) and savor each flavor. You will notice your tongue will keep trying to swallow before time is up.
- Try putting your utensils down between each bite. This prevents the urge to shovel another bite into your mouth when you still have food in it.
- Schedule mealtime into your daily agenda, even if it’s just a meal for yourself at home.
6. Don’t overeat to the point of sleepiness.
One of the most common unhealthy mistakes is overeating at mealtimes. The quantity we eat is usually ruled by our tongues rather than our tummies.
We end our meals with one too many helpings of dessert and then take a nap after. It doesn’t help that portions at restaurants are 3 times the size of what’s required.
The first step in curbing down your portions is to know how much you should be eating in terms of caloric intake.
According to the Office of Disease Prevention, the daily intake for adult women should be 1,600 to 2,400 calories and 2,000 to 3,000 calories for men.
Do these numbers mean nothing to you? Thought so. Here is a better gauge of what caloric intake really looks like in your everyday diet:
Keeping a tab on how much you eat at each meal is the most important step towards downsizing your pants.
Here are some tips to avoid eating yourself to sleep:
- Eat a big breakfast, medium lunch, and small dinner. Your metabolism slows down throughout the day, so you should consume almost half of your caloric intake before lunch hits.
- Portion your food before you start eating. Put what you would like to eat on your plate and stop there. Want a bigger challenge? Use a smaller plate.
- Keep track of your caloric intake every day with easy online applications like My Fitness Pal. Tracking what you eat can open your eyes to just how much extra you’re eating.
7. Kill the sweet tooth.
It’s not just about how much you eat, but what you eat. A well-balanced diet comprised of quality foods is the best thing you can do for your body.
When deciding what to eat and what to avoid like the plague, there is a sad reality that must be known about our dear frenemy, SUGAR.
Sorry to break it to you, but sugar is just as bad for you as it is for your kid.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends no more than 5% of daily energy from processed sugars. More simply put, an average woman should consume no more than 25 grams of sugar per day.
That’s about 5 cubes of sugar.
A can of coke contains 32 whopping grams of sugar. ONE CAN OF COKE.
I know, I’m crying too…
Sugar from processed food leads to a greater chance of obesity, tooth decay, and can cause your skin to age and wrinkle faster.
Ok, enough bad news about sugar.
The good news is that there is a healthier kind of sugar you can reach for the next time the sweet tooth strikes hard.
When you’re feeling snacky, reach for fresh fruits, nuts, and anything with loads of fiber. These foods will help delay sugar absorption and control blood sugar levels.
8. Add spice to your life the smart way.
There’s a reason why most refrigerators come standard with condiment shelves built in.
We are obsessed with flavor.
In our world of dips, sauces, spreads, and dressings, condiments are a convenient way to add an extra kick to our meals.
But have you ever thought about what those condiments that never seem to expire are made out of?
The World Health Organization recommends that lowering salt and sugar can reduce your risk of heart attack, stroke, and obesity. Sadly, many of our favorite condiments are chock full of these two culprits.
Say no to the naughty sauces – ketchup, mayonnaise, store-bought salad dressing. Stick to healthier alternatives like olive oil, vinegar, and herbs to spice up your life.
Just because you don’t indulge in condiments doesn’t mean you are doomed to a life of dry and tasteless food.
Herbs add deep and complex flavors to any dish. More importantly, they are infused with healing powers. Herbs can help ease digestion, boost immunity, and help you fight a whole host of tumors and cancerous properties.
The best part? They taste pretty amazing with just about anything you might want to cook up.
9. Chug that water.
It’s perplexing when you’ve just downed three plates of dinner and you still find yourself reaching for another snack. How can you feel hungry when you’ve only just finished eating?
Chances are that you’re not hungry, you’re thirsty. So put that bag of chips away and pull out the H2O.
The National Institutes of Health explains that many of us confuse the “thirsty” signal for hunger. It’s because our brains register the two signals the same way.
The next time you feel hungry before chow time, drink a glass of water and wait 15 minutes to see if your “hunger” is quenched.
The Institute of Medicine determined that an adequate intake (AI) for men is about 13 cups (3 liters) of total beverages a day and 9 cups (2.2 liters) for women.
That’s about four to five 500ml water bottles or six tall Starbucks cups.
Our bodies are made of 75% water, and we lose about 10 cups per day by just breathing, sweating, and eliminating waste. Replacing that lost water on a daily basis is one of the easiest ways to shed a few pounds and fix our eating-when-not-hungry habits.
10. Stop doing stuff at night and go to bed.
If you’re looking for the easiest and most painless way to lose weight today, just switch off your phone or laptop and put yourself to sleep right now.
People who don’t get enough sleep at night are more like to gain extra pounds on a daily basis.
Late night munchies are a real thing. When you don’t get enough sleep, your body begins to crave extra calories in order to create more energy to make up for the lack of sleep.
Ironically, your body has more difficulty digesting food when it is over-tired. Those late night snacks are less likely to be processed into efficiently burned energy and more likely to end up on your hips.
But that doesn’t mean we should all quit our day jobs and just sleep our way to a smaller dress size.
Researchers at Brigham Young University conducted a study and found that sleeping too much can also lead to higher body fat. Their research reveals that getting less than 6.5 hours of sleep and more than 8.5 hours is linked to a higher body fat percentage.
So what’s the solution?
Try to wake up and sleep at the same time every day.
Researchers recommend sleeping between 8 to 8.5 hours per night to achieve the “sweet spot” for a good fat-burning night’s sleep.
11. Make the stairs your new best friend
Last but not least, make the most of every opportunity to get your heart rate up.
The next time you’re at work or at the mall, walk up the stairs or escalators and skip the ride on the elevator. Stair climbing requires more energy than walking and you are able to burn three times more calories in the same amount of time.
For example, walking up and down two flights of stairs 7 times a day could be the equivalent of taking a brisk hour-long walk.
Stair climbing allows your core muscles to be more efficiently toned, improving your circulation and digestion.
Now it’s your turn.
Losing weight isn’t easy. But it doesn’t have to be excruciatingly painful either.
Stick to these easy tips and change some crucial daily habits to be healthier, happier you.
One thing all of these tips have in common is to simply slow down. When you are more aware of your body and mindful of your habits, all of these tips can become second nature.
So stop over-scheduling and take time to smell the roses. You may be surprised at just how enjoyable and easily losing weight can be.
What are some small habits you’ve changed to shave off a few pounds? Please share in the comment section below and let’s get healthier together!