How to Lose Weight When You Can’t Exercise

healthy food for weight loss

If you have an injury or other physical ailment that prevents you from exercising, you may be wondering how to lose weight without exercise. You’re not alone; in fact, many people with limited mobility turn to exercise-free methods of weight loss. They’re not always successful, though, and some are downright dangerous when done incorrectly. The good news is that there are several effective ways to lose weight without exercise—methods that actually work, and don’t carry any negative health risks or side effects like some fad diets do.

What drives weight loss?

Weight loss occurs in two stages – lipolysis and fat oxidation – both of which are triggered through a caloric deficit. A caloric deficit can be achieved through either exercise or less food consumption.

Lipolysis is the stage at which the body is deprived of calories and it has no choice but to breakdown fat stores in order to release fatty acids into blood stream to sustain the body.

Fat oxidation occurs when the body uses the previously released fatty acids for energy.

Both of these stages lead to the shrinking of fat cells, which in turn cause weight loss.

However, as you can see, fat loss is caused by simply depleting the energy stores which isn’t necessarily done through exercise.

Shrink your calorie intake

In order to lose weight, you must take in fewer calories than you burn—and that means you have to eat less. That may seem pretty straightforward, but many people find it difficult to adjust their eating habits when they’re not exercising.

If you’re looking for a quick way to drop pounds without hitting the gym, a good first step is reducing your calorie intake. To do that, calculate your calorie deficit and track your calories using an APP like MyFitness Pal.

Water, water, water

The best way to lose weight without exercise is staying hydrated. If you’re not drinking enough water, your body will retain whatever liquid it has and won’t let go of excess fat. Staying hydrated can also improve your mood, which can make it easier for you to stay committed to a diet plan.

Drinking green tea is another great weight-loss trick—it contains natural chemicals that boost metabolism and burn fat. Best of all? It’s a zero-calorie drink that turns into calories only after it’s been metabolized; in other words, as long as you drink lots of green tea, you’ll never put on pounds!

Focus on fibre

Fibre is often overlooked in weight loss diets, but it’s one of those things that has a massive impact on your ability to burn calories and keep weight off.

Fruit and veg both contain fibre, which helps fill you up and slows down digestion. If you want to lose weight without exercise, adding more fibre-rich foods into your diet is an easy way to get started. Even if you do exercise, increase your fibre intake by including more fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes (beans).

Control your portions better

Portion control is a great way to get rid of those naughty cravings.

If you’re trying to lose weight without exercise, it’s especially important for you to control your portions. Research suggests that many of us eat with our eyes first and pile our plates high without realizing how much we’re actually consuming. Your best bet for maintaining a healthy diet and losing weight is to avoid oversized servings at buffets and restaurants.

Have a grapefruit in the mornings

Grapefruit is a surprisingly potent weight loss food. A study published in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise found that eating half a grapefruit before every meal could help you lose as much as four pounds over 12 weeks. Researchers at Tufts University also found that obese people who ate half a grapefruit before each meal lost about five pounds over 12 weeks.

Grapefruit may be able to rev your metabolism because it’s high in a compound called naringenin. This compound is associated with increased energy expenditure and fat burning! It’s also rich in vitamin C which can contribute to a feeling of satiety.

Have a green tea

Green tea is a unique beverage that offers many health benefits. If you’re having trouble sticking with your workout routine, replacing your morning cup of coffee with green tea is an excellent way to curb cravings and lose weight. Studies have shown that drinking green tea can help accelerate weight loss by suppressing appetite. The less food you eat, the more weight you can lose.


Losing weight and keeping it off is all about what you do when you’re not exercising. Exercising burns calories, but if you don’t burn enough calories through your exercise routine, then those excess calories are going to turn into fat.

To lose weight effectively, eat healthy and watch portion sizes so that your excess calories are burned away with movement rather than stored as fat. Also remember to be patient—losing weight takes time, and there’s no reason why it has to be a quick process. Don’t try to rush things along; just stick with your new diet/exercise routine until results show.

If you are interested in learning how to lose weight and keep it off forever, be sure to check out the Nutrition2change weight management and nutrition course.

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