How to Lose Weight Without Dieting

How to Lose Weight Without Dieting

Dreading going on a restrictive eating plan to lose the weight that somehow showed up over the past few months? (Years?) Don’t do it! Instead, lose the obsession with food and start using these other strategies to let the pounds melt off.

Change the focus of your workout
“Stop thinking about the pounds exercise is helping you lose,” says exercise physiologist Tom Holland, C.S.C.S., “and think about what you’re gaining by exercising. The benefits of exercise go far beyond a simple number on the scale—and even beyond what you can see in the mirror.” A stronger heart, a healthier cardiovascular system, the ability to race your kids up the steps and just being able to say yes to things—that’s what you’re after. Think of that first, and your motivation to exercise will surge as weight drops off on its own.

Sleep more
Simply getting the sleep your body wants can help you eat better without even trying. Research has found that people who extended their sleep to at least seven hours a night ate less sugar than they did before. A different study found that on the other side of things, cutting sleep short made people eat more at night and gain weight (as anyone who’s ever sleep procrastinated with a pint of ice cream won’t be surprised to learn). Those are far from the only two studies out there on this. The point: What your body really wants to be fed is sleep.

up view of man sleeping in bed
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When you’re eating, just eat
When you put away the devices, you’re eating mindfully, says Sharon Richter, R.D., founder of the Richter Reco in New York City. “You don’t just shovel a whole meal down in 20 seconds because you’re doing 20 other things,” she says. It’s not just meals; Americans eat all the time without even noticing it. You may want to set up some rules for yourself that help you notice what you’re eating, Richter says, like “’No grazing,’ or ‘No eating while walking.’” Those rules alone can often cut significant calories from your day.

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