The holidays are over, and we may be two weeks into the new year, but that doesn’t mean we still aren’t feeling the effects of the festive break – especially around the waistline. it’s no wonder that comes January, gyms are filled to the brim and diet websites hit an all-time high as consumers begin to scramble in an effort to lose weight as quickly and effectively as possible.
That said, the information surrounding effective weight loss is one of the most confusing and contradictory in the world. This is because businesses continue to go out of their way to find different marketing to which they can effectively sell a form of fad diet. The concern surrounding these diets is the fact that fad diets, often known as yo-yo dieting, will result in quick weight loss but not necessarily long-term. This is because once you reach your weight loss goal, and quit the diet, you’ll end up regaining at least half of it – and sometimes more – within a few months.
Additionally, you may decide to renew your gym membership come January, yet you may find yourself quitting the gym before the month of January ends. With that said, how can you achieve your weight loss goals without adopting a crazy fad diet, or by breaking a sweat? Thankfully, there is a way.
How to lose weight without dieting or exercise
One does not need to go harder at the gym or begin an incredibly restrictive diet to achieve their weight loss goals. In fact, adopting simple and sustainable habits will help put you on the path to having a healthy and fit body during 2020.
1. Get plenty of rest
Sleep is important for our overall health, and it can also help you lose weight as research has found that lack of sleep can slow down your body’s metabolism (1).
This is because, according to research found in PLoS Med, lack of sleep has been found to disrupt appetite-regulating hormones like leptin and ghrelin. As a result, our hunger as well as cravings for unhealthy food increases.
Additionally, a study published in the journal Medicine found an increased risk for obesity amongst children and adults who do not get enough sleep.
Therefore, if you want to stay ahead of your weight loss goals, it would be advisable to get at least 7 to 9 hours of sleep a night.
2. Drink more water
Yes, you’re constantly bombarded with this repetitive information and that’s because it works. Drinking at least eight cups of water a day won’t only keep you healthy but can also help you lose weight.
According to research published in the journal Obesity, adults who drank half a liter of water about 30 minutes before meals not only reduced their hunger calorie intake, but they were found to lose 44% more weight over a 12-week period compared to those who did not.
It’s even better when you cut back on your intake of sugary drinks such as soda, which have been linked to increased body weight, and rather increase your consumption of water as well as green tea.
3. Slow down your chewing
You’re not in a pie-eating contest, so there’s no reason as to why you should be scarfing down meals. Your brain needs time to process what you’re consuming so it’s important to take your time when enjoying your meal.
For one, a study published in the International Journal of Obesity found that individuals who eat fast are more likely to gain weight than slower eaters. Additionally, separate studies have revealed that chewing thoroughly can help to reduce food intake (2).
So perhaps your 2020 dietary resolution would be to try chewing your food for at least 10 seconds. Doing so will give you the chance to really enjoy your food and allow your brain to properly register once you’re full.
4. Get more probiotics
Probiotics are good bacteria found in the gut that play an integral part in maintaining gut health. Maintaining the balance between the good and bad bacteria in the gut helps to maintain one’s overall health. A healthy gut will help you lose weight.
Probiotics can influence a number of factors ranging from mental health to brain function. That said, research published in the journal Hormones found that probiotics may help to influence weight by preventing as well as managing obesity.
In addition to over-the-counter (OTC) probiotics in pharmacies and online, probiotics can also be found in fermented foods such as kimchi, sauerkraut, kefir, and kombucha.
5. Update your cooking skills
If there’s one skill you need to improve in 2020, it’s how well you can put a meal together.
How so? Well, people who prepare most of their meals have a bigger control of what goes onto their plates. This then results in a reduced risk of consuming foods that aren’t beneficial for the body. In fact, a study published in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity found a strong association between weight gain and obesity and poor cooking skills. You could always store it for the next day at work or school and use a microwave to reheat your food rather than buying takeaways.
6. Use smaller plates
Believe it or not, over the years, the average dinner plate has increased in size, and it’s no wonder that the same can be said for the average person’s weight.
When eating, people tend to finish off all the food on their plates. This can contribute to increased weight gain. Yet, eating off of a small plate may trick your brain into thinking that you’re eating more than you are. For instance, a study published in the International Journal of Obesity found that a serving on a bigger plate can make said serving look smaller, causing one to add more food to the plate.
7. Eat more protein to lose weight
Protein is used by the body for cell growth and metabolism. However, it can also be used to help you lose weight. This is because protein has been found to regulate the appetite hormones GLP-1 and ghrelin. This then helps increase feelings of fullness as well as reduce hunger.
In fact, research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that increasing protein intake by 15% resulted in participants eating 441 fewer calories per day when then led to an 11-pound weight loss over a 12-week period – all without any intentional food restriction.
Increase your intake of protein by eating more chia seeds, hemp seeds, legumes, nuts, lean meat, fish, and quinoa.
8. Eat more fiber
According to research published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, a form of fiber known as viscous fiber has been found to effectively help with weight loss by increasing fullness and reducing food intake.
If you’re looking to increase your intake of viscous fiber, look to Brussels sprouts, asparagus, flax seeds, oats, and oranges.
9. Hide unhealthy snacks
If you really want to lose weight in 2020, you may need to reevaluate where you keep your unhealthy snacks, if at all. The first thing to do is to banish them from your home. Replace them with nuts. fruit and veggies. But if this is a leap too far, and you need them for entertaining guests, then store your cookies and cakes out of sight to reduce temptation.
Research published in the journal Health Education & Behavior found that keeping high-calorie and unhealthy foods in your line of sight can increase hunger and cravings, causing you to eat more and increase your weight gain.
That said, it’s preferable to store unhealthy foods out of sight, perhaps in your cupboards. Also, keep healthy foods such as fruits, visible on your countertops and front and center in your fridge.
10. Manage your stress levels
It’s a new year and with that can come new stressors, and that can soon lead to increased weight gain. This is because research has found that increased stress levels mean increased levels of the hormone glucocorticoids, which has been found to increase one’s appetite (3).
Great ways to better manage your stress in 2020 include yoga, meditation, breathing exercises, as well as spending time outdoors.
11. Focus on eating
It may be common to binge-watch while eating your favorite meal. Yet, this could be the biggest hindrance to your weight loss goals. Additionally, it’s not just watching TV.
According to research published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, any distractions during eating can cause one to eat about 10% more than usual. Therefore, moving forward, it’s important to focus and practice mindfulness when eating. So if you want to lose weight, then you must do your best to keep your phone away from the dinner table and keep the TV off.
12. Fast intermittently
Intermittent fasting is an effective way to achieve weight loss. Instead of running on fuel from the food you just eat, fasting allows your body to tap into reserves. For example, fat, which accumulates on the body, can be burned whenever food supply grows scarce. This results in a slow, steady weight loss that can be a huge benefit.
Fasting is often incorporated as a lifestyle change instead of a temporary fix. This type of diet is much more sustainable than many other “crash diets.” In fact, many studies support the practice as a valuable, reliable tool for weight loss and weight maintenance. Initially, you’ll see a marked weight loss as a result of losing water weight. However, according to the author of Eat Stop Eat, each day you fast will result in a loss of 0.5 pounds of true body fat.
Intermittent fasting tips
This type of fasting involves sticking to a diet that cycles frequently between a period of fasting and a period of non-fasting. There are various ways to incorporate intermittent fasting into your lifestyle – alternate day fasting, one day per week fasting, or 24-hour plans – but all provide similar benefits.
Intermittent fasting is one of the easiest ways to see the benefits of fasting without making huge lifestyle adjustments – but it certainly takes a bit of planning. Luckily, there are tons of recommended schedules to help you figure out when to eat and when not to eat, which means that there is an intermittent fast plan that can accommodate pretty much any schedule or lifestyle.
13. Using a red plate will help you lose weight
It may sound bizarre, but perhaps some color therapy is exactly what your weight loss program needs. Red is often associated with stop signals. Thus, this may be why the color can be used to stop you from overeating.
According to a study published in the journal Appetite, participants ended up eating fewer pretzels from red plates than from white or blue plates. Perhaps the next time you indulge in some unhealthy snacks, try placing them on a small, red plate.
There are a few ways to better manage your weight without going on a diet or exercising. That said, leading an active lifestyle may help you lose weight, but it will improve your overall health bar during the risk of chronic diseases and keep you happy throughout the year.