A sedentary lifestyle contributes to weight gain. But what if you can’t exercise due to excess weight, joint pain, or other limitations? There is a pathway to weight loss without exercise. If you take it, you’ll help your body burn fat and reduce joint pain and fatigue, ultimately helping you feel so good that you want to exercise. This blog post shares how to get your metabolism working for you.
Lose Weight Without Exercise – Summary
- When you cannot exercise, you face physical barriers (i.e., reduced calorie burning and insulin resistance) and mental barriers (i.e., boredom eating) to weight loss.
- To lose weight without exercise, use intermittent fasting and a low-carb diet to train your body to better use dietary and stored calories.
- When insulin is high, you store fat, and when it’s low, you release fat. Fasting and a low-carb diet keep insulin levels low.
- To feel your best as your body transitions to being a better fat burner, supplement your diet with an electrolyte supplement.
To Lose Weight Without Exercise, Get Your Metabolism Working for You [Video]
In this video, you’ll learn…
- The barriers to weight loss from not exercising.
- How and why our bodies gain/lose weight.
- Three factors that help you lose weight without exercise.
Barriers to Weight Loss without Exercise
When you cannot exercise, you face physical barriers to weight loss, including reduced calorie burning and insulin resistance, meaning the calories you take in are not used efficiently. You also face mental barriers, such as boredom eating.
No one boredom eats broccoli. Instead, we pass the time with refined carb snacks like cookies, chips, and soda. These quick-digesting junk foods have an addictive nature that spikes cravings, putting you into a vicious cycle where you are constantly hungry but unable to burn the excess calories you’re taking in.
Now, you’ve likely heard of behavioral changes, like chewing your food more thoroughly and eating off a smaller plate, aimed to help you reduce your calorie intake. It is good to be mindful when eating. However, those actions require a lot of focus and are not going to do anything to change your metabolism.
Breaking out of that vicious cycle can be done without exercise by training your body to better use the calories it is fed and more efficiently pull energy out of fat storage between meals. That can be accomplished by using intermittent fasting and restricting your carbohydrate intake enough to induce an increase in fat burning.
With those actions, you are working to change your metabolism to one that relies less on carbohydrates and more on fat for energy. Achieving this change will not happen overnight. There will be a transition period that can last a few days to a few weeks where you feel low on energy and generally worse rather than better.
Supplement with Electrolytes
This transition period is due to the fact that your body has not yet developed all of the enzymes and pathways it needs to rely on fat as its primary fuel. To feel your best during this transition and beyond, supplement your diet with a high-quality electrolyte supplement.
Electrolytes are essential minerals like magnesium, potassium, and sodium that your body needs to regulate muscle and nerve activity and stay hydrated. Electrolytes partner with water. When you cut carbs and practice intermittent fasting, the resulting low insulin levels allow for the release of water.
That water flushes out of your body, and electrolytes travel along with it. If you don’t replenish them, you will be prone to headaches, muscle cramps, fatigue, and cravings.
Understanding Weight Loss without Exercise
To appreciate how lowering your carb intake and fasting help you lose weight with or without exercise, it’s helpful to understand how weight gain happens. Insulin plays a key role in the sculpting of body fat. When insulin is high, you store fat, and when it’s low, you release fat.
This knowledge might give you the impression that insulin is a bad character you’d be better off without. In reality, you couldn’t live without insulin and its fat-storing ability. Although it is sometimes hard to imagine, body fat is important! Without a way to store energy for later use, you could not survive. However, adipose tissue is a seemingly endless storage closet. If it grows too big, it becomes uncomfortable, impedes activity, and creates inflammation and painful joints.
So, insulin is the hormone that helps fill our fat cells, but we can’t blame insulin for the weight epidemic that has hit our society and led to obesity rates exceeding 35 percent of the U.S. population.
Insulin is merely doing its job. It would be like blaming the mail carrier for an overstuffed mailbox. Insulin, like the mail carrier, is just delivering the goods. If we want to prevent the overstuffing of our fat cells, we need to eat in a way that gives insulin less to do.
That’s not easy to do in our modern world of abundance. Unlike our ancestors, we have 24/7 access to food, so insulin is continually called into work. Many of the foods available to us have been altered from their natural state to increase their shelf life and crave factor.
Our bodies digest and absorb these refined foods quickly, which requires insulin to spike as it deals with the rapid influx of nutrients. These processed and refined foods are calorie-dense, which helps explain why the average person’s daily calorie consumption has increased by 24 percent since the 1960s.
How to Get Your Metabolism Working for You
In other words, we’ve gained weight because of abundance and excess. To lose weight, some restrictions must occur.
To get your metabolism working for you, first, limit your intake of calorie-dense refined carbs. Omitting those foods will naturally control cravings, making it easier to limit the hours that you eat, which will naturally reduce your calorie intake and support fat loss.
Lowering Your Carb Intake
Lowering your carb intake is a vital tool for accelerating fat loss, but it can be intimidating to think about implementing. You don’t need to jump from a high-carb diet to a very low-carb/keto diet in one day. A different approach is to reduce your carb intake, starting with the most metabolically damaging carbs.
The first to go would be soda and sweetened drinks. Many of them have high fructose corn syrup as a main ingredient, which will not only lead to more inflammation that impairs exercise but also lead to non-alcoholic fatty liver and other metabolic disorders.
The next thing to go is refined snack foods like chips, cookies, cakes, and candies. Next, cut back on refined mealtime carbs, like bread and pasta. Some of you will already see results with those foods omitted. For others, you’ll need to limit starchy vegetables, like corn and potatoes, and high-carb fruits.
This sounds like a lot of food, but there are many satisfying low-carb foods that can take their place. If you’d like a list, you can download my list of 100 low-carb foods.
You will find that once you stop eating the quick-digesting carbs, your body will crave them less. This reverses the vicious cycle of weight gain discussed earlier and makes it easier to practice intermittent fasting.
Adding Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting is also a great tool for accelerating fat loss, but as with any change in your routine, it can be intimidating to try. To make fasting an effective fat loss tool that you can live with, start with a 12-hour overnight fast.
You will give your metabolism a big helping hand if you start your overnight fast three hours before going to bed. That fasting period before bed allows your insulin level to stay low overnight, which is a state that encourages fat release from fat cells. When you are comfortable with 12 hours of fasting, extend your fast, aiming for 16 hours of fasting a day.
I am in my mid-fifties. I understand that regular exercise is valuable throughout life and a vital part of aging gracefully. But, if you find yourself in a place where exercise is not feasible, feed your body a diet free from inflammatory refined carbs and give your system periodic rest from the demanding job of digesting and absorbing food. In other words, give your body what it needs, and it will give you what you want: more energy, a sense of well-being, and a new desire to exercise that will surprise you.
Thank you for reading and have a wonderful week!