Weight loss is a hot topic year in year out. Wherever you turn it, looks like you somebody is talking about or promoting weight loss or weight loss products. You may wonder: is everyone in the US trying to lose weight? Well, nearly half of the adults in the country are attempting to lose weight! In fact, according to the CDC, about 49.1% of the US population were trying to lose weight between 2013-2016.
It is very likely that the number of people trying to lose weight has got even larger with time because obesity continues to be a problem. Many people who want to lose weight are looking for the easiest ways to lose weight. Dieting has become a thriving industry. Gymnasia are sprouting up all over the country. People recognize that dieting and exercise are the two principal ways to lose weight successfully. But what if there were ways for you to lose weight without dieting or exercise?
SIMPLE WAYS TO LOSE WEIGHT WITHOUT DIET OR EXERCISE
In this blog, I present 11 simple ways to lose weight without diet or exercise. These are things that anyone can adopt to help with their weight loss journey. Here goes!
#1. STAY WELL HYDRATED
Many people underestimate the value of drinking water to weight loss. Drinking lots of water can dull hunger pains and prevent you from eating more than you should. This leads to you ingesting fewer calories on a daily basis. The fewer calories you consume the more likely you are to lose weight. This simple trick is much ignored and many people reach for a snack when they should be grabbing a glass of water.
If you want to eat less, drink a glass of water before meals. You must drink about 30 minutes before the meal. This will reduce the amount of food you eat. Remember to drink water, not just any liquid and certainly not milk. In fact, consider milk as food rather than a drink.
Keeping well hydrated throughout the day also can help with other health conditions. In his ground-breaking book “Your body’s many cries for Water”, Dr. F Batmanghelidj, MD reported that unintentional chronic dehydration (UCD) produces stress, many painful degenerative diseases and chronic pain. This, and other research, shows that keeping well hydrated all the time has significant health benefits.
#2. USE SMALLER PLATES AND EAT SMALLER PORTION SIZES
Eating large portion sizes is one of the factors that have led to the obesity crisis in the US. I remember several years ago when I was travelling to another state with my family. We had not packed lunch as we normally do so we stopped at a restaurant near the freeway. We ordered some french fries and I was shocked when the waiter brought the place. It was so much that I asked if he had put all our 5 orders together. He replied that it was one order. We ended up asking for 3 orders instead of 5 and we ate our fill.
Using smaller plates is a very effective way to automatically eat smaller portion sizes. We are conditioned to empty our plates when we eat so as not to waste food. Thus when we use smaller plates, we trick our brain by telling it that we have finished our plate and usually we will feel satisfied. Which makes me wonder why in some fancy restaurants, the plates are so large and the food is so small, sitting in the middle of the plate. Maybe, it serves to make us feel unsatisfied so we can order more!
#3. EAT SLOWLY
The faster you eat, the more likely you are to eat more than you should. I know people who take 4 or 5 chews and then swallow the food. Chewing your food slowly helps break it down for better digestion. It also helps you eat less! A good piece of advice is to chew your food 32 times before you swallow. Obviously softer foods wiel take fewer chews. But the idea is to chew your food longer in order to reduce your total intake of food and thus calories.
The reason most people eat fast is that they are in a hurry. All they want is to “grab a quick bite”. To succeed in eating slowly, give yourself time when it comes to meal time. If you are at work and you have a 1 hour lunch break, don’t use 10 minutes to eat and 45 minutes to go on Facebook. Relax and concentrate on your food and take the time you need to eat it slowly.
#4. AVOID SUGAR AND ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS
Sugary, fizzy drinks have been the bane of America in many respects. Many believe that drinking of sugary soda drinks has contributed to the obesity epidemic that the US and many other countries are facing. In fact, in a study published in the American Journal of Public Health, researchers found that a 1% increase in the consumption of soft drinks (soda) led to an increase of 4.8 overweight adults per 100, 2.3 obese adults per 100 and 0.3 adults with diabetes per 100.
It makes sense to avoid sodas if you are trying to lose weight. Almost all sodas have either sugar or artificial sweeteners. In fact, a 12-ounce can of a famous cola drink is said to contain 9.75 teaspoonfuls of sugar in the form of high fructose corn syrup. If you are drinking a few of these cans a day, you are accumulating lots of calories without even knowing.
Several years ago, a patient came to me with vague complaints of aches and pains, anxiety, depression and insomnia. I could not find anything physically wrong with this young lady in her mid twenties. Then I found out that she was drinking 2 liters of Coca-cola a day and drinking hardly any water. She wanted pills for anxiety and depression and wanted “pain pills”. I advised her to first reduce and eliminate the soda and drink water equivalent to half of her body weight in ounces. After protesting and resisting for several weeks, she did what I suggested. In a few weeks she felt much better and did not need any prescription for her symptoms.
#5. EAT VEGETABLES OR FRUIT FOR SNACK
When we think of snacks, we think of chocolate, cookies or a small sandwich. But have you considered vegetables for snacks? A few baby carrots or however you like your carrots can serve as a satisfying snack. Another good vegetable snack is celery sticks. With a small amount of peanut butter, this can also be a nutritious and filling snack. “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”. This famous saying can be rephrased as “an apple a day keeps the weight off” if you eat an apple for snack instead of traditional high calorie snacks.
#6. EAT MORE FIBER
Eating more fiber in your diet gives you bulk that makes you feel satisfied quicker. This way you end up eating less and getting less calories on a daily basis. This is one of the reasons, among many, that I highly recommend a vegan diet. Eating lots of vegetables and a decent amount of fruit and legumes will give you lots of fiber in your diet. Eat whole grains instead of refined grains.
Apart from helping you to lose weight, a fiber-rich diet will also help prevent or relieve constipation and ultimately colorectal cancer. A high fiber diet has also been found to reduce LDL (bad ) cholesterol) and improve the levels of HDL (good) cholesterol. This combination of benefits reduces your chance of coronary heart disease, the leading cause of death in the US. So, eating a high fiber diet is a good deal altogether!
#7. INCREASE YOUR PROTEIN INTAKE
This advice is given with some caution. I personally prefer plant proteins such as beans, quinoa, lentils and almonds. High protein diet from animal sources can be problematic in many ways beyond the scope of this post.
Quite apart from the fact that these high protein plant proteins also have high fiber, the protein itself leads to a reduction in appetite. The reduced appetite is thought to be due to a reduction in the levels of the hunger hormone, ghrelin. Ghrelin is produced by the stomach and is released when you are hungry and works by stimulating appetite. Researchers have found that an increase in dietary protein from 15% to 30% of energy, at constant carbohydrate intake, produced a sustained decrease in food intake.
#8. PRACTICE INTERMITTENT FASTING
Intermittent fasting (IF) has been a hot topic recently. Intermittent fasting comes in different forms but the one that is least restrictive is called “time restricted feeding”. It involves eating during only certain hours of the day. Usually you eat during an 8 hour period and fast for 16 hours. This is called the 16/8 method and is one of the more popular forms of IF. For instance, if you eat your first meal of the day at noon and your last meal by 8 pm you would have fasted for 16 hours.
Intermittent fasting has been shown to improve glucose tolerance and improve control of type 2 diabetes and enhance weight loss in a recent study. So adopting intermittent fasting into your weight loss regimen is likely to benefit you especially if you have type 2 diabetes as well.
#9. SLEEP WELL, SLEEP DEEP
It is increasingly recognized that sleep deprivation may be causing disturbances in metabolic regulation that may be leading to excessive weight gain and obesity. Having a good night’s sleep is crucial to the working of hormones such as human growth hormone that help repair our cells and reduce the damage done by oxidative stress, while we sleep.
In the non-REM part of sleep called N3, we experience the deep restorative sleep that leads to repair and mopping up of harmful free radicals that have been formed as part of oxidative stress resulting from our daily activities. Sleeping for 7-9 hours is more likely to lead to deep, N3 sleep than sleeping for short periods.
In recent times a special supplement has also been formulated, after much research, that can deliver deep sleep and its great benefits.
#10. AVOID STRESS
In states of stress, the concentration of the stress hormone, cortisol, is increased. Cortisol can lead to glucose intolerance and poor insulin sensitivity and hence worsening of the control of diabetes. Further, stress can lead to weight gain. Cortisol does this by increasing sugar cravings and also reducing your metabolism.
Stress does not only lead to release of cortisol and also lead to release of adrenaline (epinephrine), the “fight or flight” hormone. The result is anxiety and sometimes palpitations. In turn, this can lead to insomnia and create a vicious cycle stress-insomnia-stress. All these lead to further weight gain that can make our weight loss project fail.
Therefore, avoiding stress is a good way to lose weight without a diet of exercise. You can reduce stress in various ways beyond the scope of this blog. But some ways include: prayer, meditation, avoidance or resolution of conflict. It is interesting that some foods can also cause stress. This list includes refined sugars, factory farmed eggs and factory farmed dairy.
#11. KEEP A FOOD JOURNAL OR DIARY
It is interesting that most of us don’t keep track of what we eat. Keeping a food journal or diary will allow you to keep track of what you are eating as well as the portion sizes. This makes you aware when you are eating something that will set your weight loss project back. Keeping a food journal makes you more mindful when you are preparing your food. Therefore this simple tact will likely help you in your weight loss without diet or exercise.
Almost half of the US population are trying to lose weight. The pillars of weight loss are an appropriate diet and exercise. But there are some simple things that you can do in order to help with your weight and fat loss without having to go on a diet or do extreme exercise. In this post, I have provided you 11 simple ways to lose weight without diet or exercise. But remember that if you are on a weight loss diet and doing exercise, these 11 things can help you accelerate your weight loss.
Until next time, this is the Natural Medicine Ninja, signing off.