Four Non-exercise Ways to Lose Weight

According to an article today in Forbes Magazine the following four ‘activities’ good ways to lose weight that do not involve any exercise—assuming you eat relatively normally but just don’t seem to be able to lose any weight.

(1) Sleep

Anyone who has had any serious weight loss counselling will not be surprised at the number one way to lose weight that does not involve exercising. I have certainly been told this as least twice by doctors in recent times. For the average person three hours sleep burns about the same number of calories as a one hour walk on level ground at a normal pace. A good eight hours sleep burns off as many calories as a two and half hour walk—every single night you sleep.

This is because the body has to use energy to maintain body functions while you sleep. Almost all body functions are working away while you sleep, especially your energy burning brain (which technically NEVER rests). Even muscles ‘at rest’ still burn off energy. Also your body has to maintain body temperature, which requires the burning of huge (relative) amounts of energy. This is also why some ‘diets’ recommend sleeping cool and not piling on the blankets or turning off the electric blanket. The colder you sleep, within reason, the more energy you body has to burn to maintain body temperature.

To get the best benefit from calorie burn-off overnight you should eat an early evening meal at least four hours before you go to bed that is low in carbohydrate and sugar content. If you MUST have a night time snack then make it sugar free, or as sugar free as possible (see next point). Then have a solid seven to eight hours of sleep.

Sadly the benefits of calorie burn off during sleep are negated if you do not get continuous sleep. So for someone like me that wakes up about four or five times most nights the sleep-time calorie burn off will not be as beneficial as it should be.

(2) Cut Back On Sugar

For people trying to lose weight sugar is your biggest enemy when it come to food. Not only does excess sugar get very easily converted to stored fat, consuming sugar will instantly—within seconds—stop your body from using energy reserves.

So if you did do exercise, like a 20 minute brisk walk or 15 minutes on your walker, and then you have a drink of commercial orange juice the sugar in the orange juice will instantly stop you body from drawing stored energy. It is like a switch. Sadly it then takes a long time (up to an hour) before you body goes back to drawing stored energy because the sugar takes a long time to be fully used.

(3) Vitamin C

A key chemical required by our bodies to convert stored fat into energy ready to burn is carnitine. Apparently vitamin C prompts the body to produce carnitine.

The best way to get sugar-free vitamin C is by low-dose vitamin C tables or low sugar fruits such at kiwi fruit.

The most effective times to take a vitamin C hit are during times of stress and first thing in the morning.

(4) Eat (Unsaturated) Fat

There are a few reasons why we need to eat fat. Firstly there is strong evidence that fat is a key component in how our body signals that we are full when we eat a meal. Hence if there is insufficient fat in the meal then the full bell never rings. So then we eat too much, generally consuming more sugar in the process.

Secondly, fat does not make us fat. Sugar does. But sugar will not ring the ‘full’ bell. You will get sick from sugar overload before the ‘full’ bell rings.

Thirdly, it takes fat to burn fat.

So that is part of the theory on losing weight without exercising in the health section of Forbes Magazine today.

Now if only I could actually sleep for seven to eight hours a night. I used to when I was younger. I used to sleep for twelve hours on weekends. Maybe that is why I was a skinny teenager and young adult. Maybe I started to put on weight as I lost the secret to sleep. Could be . . .