Losing Weight Without Exercising - What Are The Considerations?

Edited by 
    Mike Evans


Losing Weight Without Exercising - What Are The Considerations?

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Losing Weight Without Exercising - What Are The Considerations?

It's not easy to shed extra weight. Many people assume that intense diets are the best and easiest way to lose weight. Although diets can help reduce calories by a lot, it's important to remember that exercise is also beneficial for other bodily functions such as metabolism and hormones.

Although dieting without exercising may be effective in reducing your weight in the short term, it is difficult to predict if the weight loss will last. It's a complex topic that has many discussion points. Let's begin by separating fact from fiction.

Photo: Active Health

Truth: Good diets (safely done!) can help you lose weight

A weight-loss program must create a caloric deficit. Weight loss is when your body uses more calories than it needs. This is why many diets encourage you to eat fewer calories than your body needs. The common goal is to reduce your daily intake by 200 to 300 calories.

Myth: Weight loss is not caused by fat

Losing Weight Without Exercising - What Are The Considerations?

Weight loss is not only about losing weight through dieting. Water - and sometimes lean muscle mass - are also affected by dieting. Fluid loss can be misleading as it can be temporary and fluctuate on a daily basis. However, losing muscle is more dangerous. It affects your strength as well as your metabolism and insulin sensitivity. People with less muscle mass burn fat more efficiently.

Myth: An intensive diet can compensate for a lack of exercise

Your body will go into starvation mode if you experience a sudden drop in calories. This is where your metabolism slows down to conserve energy. This natural response is normal because the human body considers self-preservation to be a priority over all else. The body responds to a situation it perceives as famine-like. If you return to your normal diet, your metabolic rate will decrease, which could cause you to gain more weight than you originally started.

Truth: Weight gain can be caused by exercise

Exercise alone won't help you lose weight. There are scientific reasons for exercise causing weight gain. Exercise can increase your appetite, which could cause you to eat more during meals. Exercising too often can cause imbalances in appetite-regulating hormones. Exercising too often can temporarily ruin your appetite, leading to an overeating response.

Myth: Weight loss is not about how many calories you eat and how many calories you burn.

You might think that successful weight loss is possible only if you have a balanced diet and exercise. True, but your weight is not only affected by caloric balance. Lifestyle habits and genetic expressions also play a role in this equation.

What follows are some common problems that can hinder your weight loss efforts:

Losing Weight Without Exercising - What Are The Considerations?

• Artificial additives in food

It is one thing to eat less, but it is equally important to eat well. Artificial additives and preservatives can alter gut bacteria levels, which can lead to poor gut health. This can lead to weight gain by altering your metabolism.

• Inherited traits

Friends who eat like horses and still manage to stay slim are common. They have a reason. Their reason? You shouldn't compare how you weigh with slim friends who don’t need to exercise or diet to get that skinny pair of jeans.

• Night shift

Although it may seem counterintuitive, people who work night shifts burn fewer calories than those who work during the daytime. Your body's circadian rhythm is what makes this possible. It regulates how your body uses nutrients, sleep, and metabolic rate. You might want to consider investing in more nutrient-rich foods if you are struggling to lose weight after working late at night.

Losing Weight Without Exercising - What Are The Considerations?

Photo: Active Health

We know that diet and exercise must be balanced. You can't lose weight and get the health benefits of both diet and exercise alone. But that's not all exercise can do for your long-term health. These are just a few of the many ways exercise can make a difference in your life.

Other benefits of exercising

• Stress and anxiety relief

Exercise releases endorphins, which can help you feel happier and clear your mind. Even a 30 minute walk a day can reduce stress and anxiety and combat depression.

Memory enhancement

Losing Weight Without Exercising - What Are The Considerations?

Exercise is not only good for your mood, but it also improves your ability to focus and retrieve information. Exercise improves your cognitive function by increasing the levels of hormones in your brain.

• Control of blood sugar levels

Exercise is an effective natural aid for people with diabetes. It helps the body regulate its blood sugar levels. Exercise produces a special chemical called cytokine interleukin-6 that removes glucose from muscles and into the bloodstream. This helps to maintain healthy blood sugar levels.

• Reduce your cancer risk

Exercise can be a powerful tool in reducing breast cancer risk for women, but it's not the only thing that can do this. Regular exercise is beneficial for women who are in recovery.

Some exercises can also help you lose weight. Cardiovascular exercises like cycling and running, as well as resistance training such as weight-lifting, are great ways to lose fat. Resistance training is especially beneficial because it helps build muscle mass which can increase your metabolism rate. There are many other options that you can use to help you reach your weight loss goals.

Losing Weight Without Exercising - What Are The Considerations?

Photo: Active Health

Weight loss with real foods

How can you cut calories and still be healthy? Real foods are simple, single-ingredient foods high in nutrients that don't have artificial additives. Unprocessed meats, brown rice, sweet potatoes, and whole eggs are just a few examples. It is important to ensure that you get a balanced intake of real food in your macronutrients: fat, protein, and carbohydrates.

Losing Weight Without Exercising - What Are The Considerations?

This is because real foods have a higher nutrient density than isolated versions. They don't contain trans fats or refined sugars, which can lead to worse health conditions than weight gain. Real foods are healthier than processed food because they contain more food and have fewer calories. Just look at a baked chicken breast versus one deep-fried.

You might believe that organic produce is a big deal, given the increasing popularity of organic produce. The health benefits conferred by organic produce are negligible, even though they use more traditional methods of growing and harvesting them.

According to Cheryl Teo, a Singapore Sport Institute Sport Dietitian, "Some studies have shown organically produced foods to be higher in certain nutrients such as vitamin C, vitamin B, and phytochemicals." "Despite these minor differences, there is no added benefit to eating organic food for overall health. Noting that many variables can also impact the nutritional content of food, including field variations and growing seasons, is important."

Good fat vs. Bad fat

Most people would be aware that recent advances in food science have rewritten the notion of dietary fat as unhealthy. This was a belief that gained popularity in 1980s. But that does not mean that you should eat a lot of fatty foods. There is a difference between nutritious fat and unhealthy fat. Industrial/artificial trans fat (as opposed to the naturally occurring ones found in some meat and dairy products) is still something worth avoiding entirely due to its toxic properties.

The three types of dietary fat are monounsaturated (polyunsaturated), saturated (saturated), and polyunsaturated (saturated). As balance is crucial to healthy living, one must ensure that all three categories of fat are covered in the appropriate amounts. Monounsaturated fats such as the omega-9 fatty acid found in avocados, macadamia oils, and olive oil, and polyunsaturated oil (e.g. Omega 3s and 6s, which are often found in oily fish or tree nuts, have a variety of health benefits beyond weight loss.

Losing Weight Without Exercising - What Are The Considerations?

Saturated fats are no joke in the health department. Medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) and lauric acid both have made a name for their abilities to improve cognitive and immune function. Although the benefits of dietary fat are undeniable, moderation is still a good idea for all nutrient intake. Not all nutrients are equal.

How to change your eating habits and lose weight

Although it sounds like a clever trick, serving smaller portions of food to yourself can have a significant impact on how many calories you eat. If you are tempted to indulge in a special treat, smaller portions will encourage you to eat more. Red-colored plates can also reduce food intake, so you might consider putting unhealthy snacks on a red platter next time. You can stop snacking by removing junk food from your home or getting rid of it altogether.

It's easier to eat that bowl of fresh fruits when it's all you have in your sight. So do yourself a favor and resist temptation. It is important to keep your dining area clean and free from distractions. This means no eating in front of the TV which might sound cruel but will do you a lot of good because distracted eating can cause you to overeat at a later time as a way of "making up" for the less-than-satisfactory meal experience you created by incessantly staring at the screen.

Losing Weight Without Exercising - What Are The Considerations?

Photo: Active Health

Weight loss can be both a science and an art. Experts in body transformation will tell you how crucial it is to pay attention to your body's reactions and respond accordingly to keep progress. Blindly following a weight-loss plan, or any other person's, won't ensure success. Although trial-and-error is time-consuming, it can help you gain a better understanding of the process as well as how it affects your body. Everybody has a starting point. Why not start on a high note? Visit our Active Health Labs to get professional advice about how to kick-start your weight loss journey. There will also be helpful tips about the best exercise routines.

Losing Weight Without Exercising - What Are The Considerations?

Medical Disclaimer

No Medical or Personal Advice:  The information in any of our handouts, e-books, written material, whether provided in hardcopy or digitally (together ‘Material’) is for general information purposes and nothing contained in it is, or is intended to be construed as advice. It does not take into account your individual health, medical, physical or emotional situation or needs. It is not a substitute for medical attention, treatment, examination, advice, treatment of existing conditions or diagnosis and is not intended to provide a clinical diagnosis nor take the place of proper medical advice from a fully qualified medical practitioner. You should, before you act or use any of this information, consider the appropriateness of this information having regard to your own personal situation and needs. You are responsible for consulting a suitable medical professional before using any of the information or materials contained in our Material or accessed through our website, before trying any treatment or taking any course of action that may directly or indirectly affect your health or well being.

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