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How to lose weight without exercising – The Star Online

Oct 27th, 2023

Who doesnt want to be lean and slim without putting in effort?

Physical activity or exercise has plenty of physical, emotional and mental benefits, but it doesnt necessarily mean you will shed the kilos easily by partaking in it.

Some people hate exercising and are not motivated to push or challenge themselves they simply dont get the same endorphin release as others.

Reluctant exercisers need external motivators to keep going, like the promise of boosting their overall health, to look good, or because their physician has said they must do so to stay alive.

Our ancestors remained active out of necessity, not choice: they had to move to hunt for food.

Once fed, they rested to conserve energy because there was nothing much to do.

When food supply diminished, theyd be on their feet, hunting again.

Resting is a natural human tendency, so dont beat yourself up if thats what you like to do.

With advances in technology and labour-saving devices, the world is now accessible with our fingers, and even minimal movement seems to have taken a backseat.

Thats why we are blossoming sideways.

Is that bad?

It depends on how much weight youre putting on.

One 2021 study published in the Annals of Epidemiology found that people who started adulthood with a body mass index (BMI) in the normal range, and became overweight but never obese in later life, tend to live the longest.

Adults in this category lived longer than even those whose BMI stayed in the normal range throughout their life.

However, those who started adulthood as obese and continued to add weight had the highest death rate.

So, a bit of extra weight is okay as long as you dont balloon out of control.

Any healthy person can lose weight without exercising you just need a lifestyle tweak and some discipline.

Prioritise what you enjoy doing instead of struggling to achieve unrealistic goals.

Try some of the following tips to help you trim down.

Chew your food thoroughly and savour every morsel before you swallow it to feel full faster. AFP

> Hydrate with water

Make it a point to drink two glasses of water after waking up to help activate your internal organs.

The water will help to remove any toxins before your first meal of the day.

Water helps regulate body temperature, lower blood pressure, carry nutrients and oxygen to various cells, and maintain optimal kidney function.

Replacing sugary drinks and alcoholic beverages with water can help reduce your daily caloric intake.

Whenever you feel hungry, you may actually be thirsty, or even slightly dehydrated.

So dont reach out for snacks, but drink a big glass of plain water first and ideally wait 30 minutes before eating.

Drinking water prior to meals can help you feel fuller and reduce your overall food intake, which can lead to weight loss over time.

If plain water isnt appealing, try adding fruit slices like oranges, or herbs like mint, lemon and rosemary, for extra flavour and nutrients.

> Eat slowly and mindfully

Instead of munching down solid food, especially poultry and meat, chew thoroughly.

Some time back, I attended a wellness retreat where we were told to chew every mouthful 27 times and savour all the flavours before swallowing.

The food almost turns to liquid by the time it goes down the throat.

Not only does this increase the amount of nutrients absorbed by the body, its also easier on the digestive process.

Additionally, longer chewing also helps develop a stronger jaw and chin, suppress hunger and gets you full faster, aiding in your weight loss journey.

> Load up on fibre and protein

You dont have to eliminate all carbohydrates, just minimise overly-processed ones, such as white breads and pre-packaged foods like cookies and crackers.

This is because such foods are rapidly digested and converted into blood sugar.

Instead, consume more protein and fibre.

Protein takes longer to digest and decreases the level of the hunger-regulating hormone ghrelin, making you feel fuller for a longer period.

Fibre expands in your gut like a sponge, so its a natural appetite suppressant.

It also moves faster in your intestines, which signals to the brain that you are full.

Along with lean meats and poultry, add on a good mix of fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains to make up the rest of the meal.

Even a five-minute break to take deep breaths at work can do wonders to bring down stress levels. AFP

> Scale back on added sugar

Sugar itself doesnt make the weighing scale jump up, but it tends to be in foods that have too many calories.

Whether its soft drinks, teh tarik or desserts, it should be the first thing to go if youre trying to lose weight.

The sweet stuff is also hidden in all sorts of foods from salad dressing to sauces to canned fruits, so dont be deceived that youre eating a healthy salad when youve doused the greens with salad dressing.

ALSO READ: You wouldn't expect to find sugar in these foods

When it comes to caffeinated beverages, skip the sugar, honey and creamer if possible, as these can quickly add to the calories.

Having your tea or coffee black is best, but if like me, you need to add some milk, opt for skim or low fat over full cream.

By eliminating sugar, you can lower your risk of heart disease dramatically because too much sugar in your diet heightens your risk of high blood pressure, obesity, and diabetes the three main risk factors for heart disease and cardiovascular decline.

ALSO READ: What you can do to reduce heart attack and stroke risk

> Manage stress levels

This is hard for everyone, but weve got to try.

When the body is under pressure, it releases the hormone cortisol, which is linked to increased appetite and fat storage.

Excess cortisol levels can increase appetite and cravings for energy-dense, comfort foods.

High cortisol levels over time have also been linked to abdominal fat gain.

Take time daily to do something to lower the stress levels: laugh, read a good book, play with a pet or just take deep breaths.

Find a quiet corner at work, close your eyes and spend five minutes mid-morning and in the afternoon to do a few rounds of deep breathing by inhaling through the nose and exhaling through the mouth or nose.

Do this again in bed, just before you sleep.

> Get proper sleep

Your body relies on sleep to restore and repair itself, and getting enough rest can also benefit your weight-loss efforts.

There is mounting evidence that people who get too little sleep have a higher risk of weight gain and obesity than people who get seven to eight hours of sleep a night.

Sleep deprivation changes your endocrine function and metabolism by affecting your production of the hunger-regulating hormones ghrelin and leptin.

This can make you feel hungrier than usual, increasing the likelihood of craving for unhealthy snacks.

Its no surprise that when youre exhausted, its harder to control your impulses for comfort food like cookies, chocolates and ice cream.

Practise good sleep hygiene by sleeping at the same time every day, switching off all gadgets two hours before bedtime and ensuring the room temperature is comfortable.

Revathi Murugappan is a certified fitness trainer who tries to battle gravity and continues to dance to express herself artistically and nourish her soul. For more information, email starhealth@thestar.com.my. The information contained in this column is for general educational purposes only. Neither The Star nor the author gives any warranty on accuracy, completeness, functionality, usefulness or other assurances as to such information. The Star and the author disclaim all responsibility for any losses, damage to property or personal injury suffered directly or indirectly from reliance on such information.

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How to lose weight without exercising - The Star Online

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