29 Aug 2019

How to Lose Weight Without Exercise

Health and Wellbeing Advice

Can I be honest and say I really struggle to write articles to promote weight loss without exercise.

It goes against every fibre of my personal and professional life. Even researching the subject, my findings confirmed my already existing belief.

Which is the same advice as if given if exercise was included. Which is:

  • Reduce the portion size of your food (eat less food)

  • Get enough sleep

  • Drink plenty of water

  • Eat the correct amount of macronutrients (Fats, Carbohydrates and Protein)

  • Reduce your alcohol intake

  • Manage stress appropriately

  • Cut out sweets and junk food

  • Confirm you are on the correct medication.

A Personal Trainer's job is to promote a healthy lifestyle of diet and exercise and to educate clients to think long term. A lifestyle is just that, a life of regular exercise and eating well, not an 8-week challenge.

Granted the population of Australia is seeing a growing number of overweight and obese people. In 2017-18 the number had risen to 67% from 63.4 in 2014-15. There are numerous amounts of contributing factors to this statistic. Increase in the number of medications being used that causes weight gain, increase in disease rates that cause weight gain, inactivity mixed with an increase in caloric intake. A large portion of the food Australians are eating have very little nutrients in them, which has an adverse effect on gut health. Recent studies have shown that gut bacteria play an essential role in weight loss or weight management.

These studies have also linked poor food choices and well-known medications as contributors to reducing the number of good bacteria in the gut, which has a domino effect on other bodily functions such as the immune system. If you are suffering from any medical issues, then seek advice from your GP or Accredited Practising Dietitian. There may be alternative medications that may not lead to weight gain.

I do believe there will be times in people’s lives where exercise cannot be conducted due to a medical condition or lifestyle commitments. In this period if you need to lose weight without exercise, it takes a greater amount of control from the advice given earlier in the article — particularly when compared to losing weight with physical activities in tandem with a controlled diet.

The challenge I find with the majority of the population that may not sit in the category of people who cannot exercise is the mentality around losing weight without exercise. The body was designed to move and the for one study published in a journal of weight loss without exercise there will be 100 more studies around exercise and weight loss. And the results so far around nutrition for both categories are the same.

The studies around excluding exercise do not address the functional side of the body. Movement patterns, strengthen bones, joints, muscles and reducing disease rates, all things that come from physical exercise. So many recent studies are showing the positive results when it comes to the prevention of Alzheimer's disease, or sarcopenia (muscle loss due to aging) or increase in brain function due to the other components of fitness around exercise coordination, reaction time, cardiovascular fitness. These components only adapt when exercise is conducted.

The scales themselves can lie, and this has been a battle I have had with many clients over the years. Trying to educate them on how the body adapts to exercise and a healthy controlled diet is one of the goals to lose weight. We all know muscle weighs more than fat, and as you exercise you build muscle, muscle is the furnace that burns more calories.

The more muscle you have, the more calories the body needs to consume to maintain them. Which in turn, creates a fat burning machine, which will significantly assist in shedding those kilograms. So the health benefits of exercise and of course increasing muscle mass far outweigh the lifestyle of diet alone. Trying to lose weight and not enjoy the other amazing aspects of what exercise does for not only your physical body but your mental health would be a shame.

Get in touch with AIPT today.

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