Exercise is definitely good for health but in no way is it the key to weight loss. To lose 1 pound of weight through exercise, you need to burn at least 3500 calories. That is equivalent to running 35 miles or spending about 7 hours (at the rate of 4miles per hour) on the treadmill!
As you can see, it would take a considerable amount of exercise to make such an impact on your weight loss goals. Thankfully, there is a system of healthy weight loss that is known to yield permanent and sustainable results.
Apart from losing weight with this system, you will also experience greater energy levels and fantastic overall health. So here are the most effective changes to incorporate in your daily regime in order to lose 15 pounds in a month with little or no exercise.
1. Fill up your plate with the "six section meal wheel"
In order to lose weight, all your meals should be well-balanced. For this, you need to consume the right mix of vegetables, fruits, proteins and grains. Imagine that your plate is divided into 6 portions.
Fill up one portion with protein, two with whole grains and remaining three with vegetables and fruits. This might not be possible for every meal but it is a good guide to losing weight. You can also use smaller plates for portion control or eat on coloured plates that show how much of each food group is needed for weight loss/weight maintenance.
2. Eat slowly-put down that spoon/fork from time to time!
Before taking the next bite, swallow the food in your mouth. Make sure you chew each morsel slowly. This will give your body time to send the ‘feeling full’ signal to the brain. Sending this signal requires hormones which take time to journey to the brain. So each time you put your fork or spoon down, you allow your body adequate time to send that signal so that the satiety hormone can reach the brain.
3. Limit calorie-intake
A woman of an average size and moderate activity levels needs 1600 calories per day whereas a man needs 2000 calories per day to maintain ideal body weight. So ideally, each meal should contain no more than 400 calories for a woman and 500 for a man.
These amounts allow for healthy variety and also keep one satisfied. Learn to estimate calories and portion sizes. You can also fill up on fruits and vegetables before each meal since they are lower in calories but higher in fibre that helps you remain full longer and eat lesser.
4. Drink green tea
Researchers have documented this for a fact. As per an article in the Journal of Nutrition, green tea catechins alter the body’s’ fat storage by stimulating its fight or flight response. Thus, drinking 2-3 cups of green tea daily can actually give you a flatter stomach.
5. Eat breakfast daily
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and you mustn’t skip it. Never leave your home hungry in the morning as it will only lead to unhealthy food cravings. Have a protein rich breakfast to fuel your body and mind. Also carry your own food to work or even to the movies so you are not tempted to indulge.
6. Watch out for hidden sugar and trans fats
Apart from soft drinks, candy and desserts, sugar is found in tons of other foods. So learn to read food labels. The same goes for hidden trans fats and sodium which are plentiful in so called ‘low-calorie’ foods. To compensate for the lower fats, manufacturers often add colours and other taste enhancers to packaged foods. So it is best to stay away from them.
7. Keep a food journal
A food journal will keep you accountable and can help you avoid mindlessly snacking on a bag of chips. In a food journal, you write down how much you have eaten and this helps you practice food portion control.
A food log also helps give you a reality check and awareness that whatever you are putting in your mouth will soon be recorded. A study has also proven that people who kept a food journal were more likely to lose twice as much weight than those who didn’t.
8. Focus on proteins
Men and women who ate a protein rich breakfast consisting of eggs were seen to lose 65% more weight and also had a 61% reduction in their BMI than people who ate an equal calorie bagel. Protein rich foods tend to keep you more satisfied until the next meal. Do not be afraid of consuming eggs- go for two egg whites and one egg yolk which can keep cholesterol levels low.
9. Snack on nuts
Nuts are rich in monounsaturated fats that are known to stimulate fat burning. Come mid- afternoon many people find their energy levels going down leading to unhealthy food cravings. These can sabotage your weight loss goals. Having about 20 nuts can provide you with high amounts of fibre and proteins to keep you full until dinnertime.
10. Eat 4 grams of fibre or more in each meal
According to a study in the Tufts University, women who ate 13 grams of fibre or less per day were five times more likely to be overweight than those who ate more fibre. Fibre works in a number of ways to promote weight loss:
- It lowers your total caloric intake without making you feel deprived.
- Fibrous foods require more chewing which slows down your eating.
- It also pushes down the food at a higher speed boosting your satiety hormones.
11. Stand more
According to a study conducted in Iowa State University, obese women stand for 2 hours less than lean women. This can actually make a difference of 300 calories! So stand more often at work or in the waiting room-you just might burn 100 calories more (by standing for an hour) than if you were sitting.
12. Take calcium
This is especially true for women. According to a study in the British Journal of Nutrition, obese women who took a calcium supplement lost 4 times more weight than those who didn’t. Some of the top food sources of calcium are: low fat dairy, cheese, yoghurt, beans, dark leafy green vegetables etc.
One of the most important factors behind unhealthy weight gain is stress. An Oregon Health and Sciences University study found that women who took up relaxation techniques like yoga, meditation or other mind body practices lost an average of 10 pounds in 18 months without starving themselves. Simply sit comfortably in bed or on a chair, close your eyes and focus your mind on your breathing. Do this for 10 minutes twice a day.
14. Drink more water
Thirst is often mistaken for hunger and dehydration can lead to unhealthy food cravings. One of the simplest ways to lose weight is to drink up before each meal. If you feel hungry, drink a glass of water and wait for 30 minutes to see if you are still hungry. Also choose water instead of sodas or coffee which will help you prevent unnecessary calories.
15. Slow and steady is the way to go!
95% of diets fail because they are not sustainable. The key to weight loss is a total lifestyle approach with slow and steady approach. It is recommended to try to lose no more than 1 pound of weight per week.
It is also proven that people who successfully lose 10% of their body weight and keep it off for more than a year follow simple rules like eating breakfast daily, focusing on high fibre, high protein and low fat foods and also maintaining an active lifestyle.
So try these 15 easy ways to lose weight in a month without exercise starting today.