Even though a balanced diet and regular exercise are the most efficient methods for losing weight, you don’t necessarily need to follow a specific diet to shed those extra pounds. There are alternative options such as intermittent fasting, staying hydrated, and getting sufficient sleep that have shown to be effective in losing weight.
Incorporating a combination of these approaches can provide better outcomes, but it’s crucial to keep in mind that overeating can still result in weight gain. By adopting these healthy habits into your daily routine, you may find that weight loss becomes more manageable and achievable.
1. Do Cardio In The Morning Before Eating
Cardiovascular exercise such as running, cycling, or stair climbing can do wonders for burning calories and reducing your body fat. And while those who avoid dieting probably don’t want to start rigorous exercise routines, you can get amazing results by doing short cardio workouts before eating.
A study from the British Journal of Nutrition found that those who did cardio in the morning in a fasted state (i.e. before eating) burned a whopping 20 percent more fat than those who ate a meal beforehand. This is because when your body is in a fasted state, it burns fat for energy instead of carbs. As such, working out for just 20 minutes each morning can work wonders.
2. Get More Sleep
Even if you’re not a fan of reducing your calorie intake or increasing your physical activity, you can often lose a few extra pounds simply by working on your sleep schedule. Sleeping less can make you feel more fatigued throughout the day, but it can also cause you to gain more fat.
A 2010 study in the Annals of Internal Medicine journal found that just three extra hours of sleep resulted in subjects burning 400 calories a night. In addition to that, subjects who got 8.5 hours of sleep per night lost 60% less muscle than those who got 5.5 hours of sleep per night, and extra sleep helped boost their metabolisms.
3. Drink More Water
Another proven way to lose weight that doesn’t involve going on a strict diet is to simply drink more water. Some people worry about drinking more water as the extra water weight can raise the number on the scales. However, this weight gain is only temporary and you’ll ultimately burn a lot more fat.
What’s more, a 2013 study in the Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research found that girls who drank 500ml of water before each meal lost more weight and reduced their body mass index without any other dietary changes. As such, you should try drinking half a liter of water before each meal to boost your metabolism and reduce your hunger.
4. Get More Protein
Increasing your protein intake is one of the best ways to boost your metabolism and lose more weight. A 2008 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that protein increases feelings of fullness, reduces your hunger, and naturally helps you eat fewer calories. It’s also great for building muscle, which will result in more fat loss.
Fortunately, you don’t have to change your entire diet to get more protein. Many people see positive effects simply by drinking a couple of protein shakes each day. However, you might want to enhance your results by eating a high-protein breakfast to kickstart your metabolism and make yourself feel more full.
5. Try Intermittent Fasting
Dieting isn’t the only way to burn extra fat. Interestingly, you can consume a lot of calories each day yet still manage to lose weight as long as you only eat your daily meals within a short window. This is known as intermittent fasting and many athletes swear by it.
Intermittent fasting generally involves getting all your daily meals within an 8-hour window and fasting for the remaining 16 hours before eating again. When your body is in a fasted state, it’ll turn to fat stores for energy, resulting in you lowering your fat mass and ultimately losing weight. However, you’ll still need to avoid overeating during the eating window.
6. Avoid Stress And Anxiety
Daily stress and high anxiety levels can be incredibly counterproductive for those who want to lose weight. Stress and anxiety elevate your cortisol levels, which induces hunger and cravings for comfort food. This can quickly result in you overeating if you’re not careful.
Fortunately, there are various natural ways to manage your stress and anxiety levels. Exercising is a great way to reduce stress while also losing weight. Ensuring that you get more than 8 hours of sleep each night will also help significantly. You should also avoid daily stressors. For instance, if you find your daily commute to work stressful, try walking or cycling instead.
7. Lift Weights Regularly
If you’re not a fan of dieting, one of the best ways to keep your body in check is by resistance training. Training with heavy weights not only helps you burn calories but can also help you build extra muscle. For every extra pound of muscle you gain, your body will burn more calories even when it’s resting.
It also has other benefits. For instance, when you lift weights, more of the food you eat will go to repairing and rebuilding your body, meaning you can gain muscle while losing fat. In many cases, those who lift weights even find that they can eat more than they usually would while still maintaining or even losing weight.
8. Boost Your Vitamin D Levels
While various vitamins and minerals help to keep your body in check and potentially boost weight loss, vitamin D is arguably the most important. Many people suffer from vitamin D deficiencies, which can often result in metabolic syndrome, depression, and anxiety, all of which will contribute to weight gain.
It’s also surprisingly easy to boost your vitamin D levels. Spending 30 minutes in the sun each day can help naturally increase your vitamin D levels. Certain drinks, such as fortified orange juice, are also high in vitamin D. You can also take vitamin D supplements to keep your vitamin D levels high.