There are some people who are actually enthusiastic when it comes to attaining their weight loss goals and have an adequate amount of time and money to join a gym and exercise every single day. On the contrary, there’re some people who don’t want to take an expensive gym membership and don’t have sufficient time or find gym too boring.
According to most health professionals, one needs to follow the recommended diet and regular exercise. Of course, this combination has a proven track record of helping in losing weight and maintaining the same for a prolonged time. Though moderate intensity exercise is beneficial for improving and maintaining your health, over fifty studies have revealed that exercise may not be the ultimate way to lose weight.
Exercise can definitely help you maintain a svelte physique and develop fat-burning muscle but there are other ways that you can apply to shrink your waistline. In a nutshell, you don’t necessarily need to join an expensive gym to maintain your daily exercise regimen. According to several studies, dietary changes can have a significant effect on weight loss compared to regular physical activity. Furthermore, there are lots of other ways to exercise and lead an active lifestyle that doesn’t involve hitting the gym.
However, if you want to have a toned body, here’re 10 easy non-gym techniques that’ll help you shed those extra pounds.
1. Commit to a lifestyle change
To lose extra pounds, you need to have a proper calorie deficit program in place. This means you’ll have to consume less amount of calories and burn more of that. Lifestyle changes can greatly help you to attain that. Developing healthier habits can help you to reach your overall goal of weight loss.
Many people fail to lose weight by following the latest trends such as diet drinks because they can provide you with an adequate amount of nutrition but fail to get you moving, change your mindset or make you accountable. Here’s a list of some key things that would help you to change your lifestyle and thus lose weight.
- Try to have seven to nine hours sleep every night because inadequate sleep increases your hunger and cravings the next day
- Maintain good sleep hygiene such as turning off all electronic devices and lights
- Keep track of your daily food and beverage intake
- Maintain proper nutrition and diet
- Increase your daily activity levels
- Set healthier habits and mindset
- Be accountable
Sometimes, weight loss becomes an uphill task, particularly when you’ve been trying to lose weight for the prolonged time. Getting support from family members or friends is a good idea to stay motivated.
2. Focus on your diet
In today’s hectic lifestyle, many people don’t have sufficient time to give a thought about their body’s requirements and fill it with processed, unhealthy foods such as chips, burgers etc. and that’s one of the main reasons they fail to succeed in their weight loss endeavor. Regardless of the fact, you’ve joined a gym or not, consuming clean and staying away from junk food, is a definite way to lose extra weight. You need to make sure that your intake of carbs is paired with protein or fat. This combo will help you avert your blood sugar as well as insulin levels from increasing and then back down to aid you to feel fuller, thus cut calories effortlessly.
So, it’s advisable that you should concentrate on eating less but healthy instead of suffering yourself on a skipped workout. Here’re what an ideal diet plan should include.
- Keep your intake of high-calorie at a moderate level
- Eat five to six small meals instead of three big meals
- Try to consume most calories before the noon
- Eat whole fruits than fruit juice
- Go high on vegetables
- Eat only when you feel hungry
- Stay away from white foods such as sugar, white rice, white bread etc.
- Consume grilled or boiled foods
- Concentrate on eating lean protein and fresh fruits
- Stay away from mindless snacking
3. Go cycling
Whenever we talk about weight loss, the equation is quite simple – calories out must be excess than calories in. So, you’ve to burn more calories compared to the consumed and cycling perhaps is one of the most enjoyable and simple ways to do that.
Cycling comes with a multitude of benefits. Apart from making blood circulation better, improving cardiovascular health, muscle toning, this simple form of medium physical training helps to burn calories – 400 to 1000 per hour, based on the rider weight and intensity. Here’re some additional health benefits that you would get from cycling.
- You’ll have quality sleep
- It lowers the signs of aging thus making you look younger
- Boost your bowels
- Sparkle your brain power
- You’ll be able to beat the illness
- You’ll burn more fat
- It’ll make you happy by releasing feel-good endorphins
- It’ll lower cancer and heart disease risk
- It’ll help you to control diabetes
- It’ll reduce depression and stress
Apart from all these benefits, cycling empowers you to keep the environment pollution free to a great extent as it lowers the emission of the greenhouse gases such as carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, hydrocarbons, oxides of nitrogen and sulfur oxides.
4. Turn up the music
While you can find some motivational and upbeat music constantly playing in today’s gym to boost the members’ motivation, you can still reap the benefits of music when you’re performing physical activities somewhere else. Make your workout sessions an occasion for wearing the iPod or MP3 player and listening to some favorite tunes. Music is widely considered as a great motivator and it becomes even more enjoyable when you can perform to the beats. Many athletes across the globe listen to their favorite music while training because music leaves a positive effect on the limbic system of our brain.
Millions of people from the realm of fitness world use music as a great driving force. Simply re-stocking your playlist can trigger a pleasant boost in your workout intensity. In addition, music can simply modify your mood meaning even if you’re feeling tired, playing a particular song can dramatically modify your mood and raise your workout intensity almost instantly while making you distraction free and extremely focused.
According to research conducted by Brunel University School of Sport and Education, listening to music while exercising can enhance your endurance up to 15 percent. Furthermore, motivational music can help you finish the final four reps of a difficult exercise set. In case of music isn’t your favorite cup of tea, you can always try simple instrumental or sounds of the Mother Nature instead.
5. Go to sleep before 10 PM
Sleeping plays a crucial role in maintaining our overall health, but it becomes even more critical when it comes to weight loss. According to studies, insufficient sleep affects the body’s hunger hormones thus enhancing your hunger and cravings the next day.
Less sleep is synonymous with high levels of stress hormone cortisol that increases your appetite. A study conducted by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition revealed that sleep-deprived people usually eat approximately 300 more calories each day. So, if you’re not sleeping enough, sleeping poorly, or having problems going to sleep, you must address the underlying problem. Getting an adequate amount of good sleep aids to optimize the levels of the hormones ghrelin and leptin, both of which play a significant role in controlling your metabolism and hunger levels. It may sound actually daunting to miss out on your favorite serial late at night but that one hour of extra sleep can pay you off, especially when your goal is to lose weight.
Here’re some tips that you can follow to have an adequate amount of good night’s sleep each day.
- Try to have seven to nine hours of sleep every night. This is a common recommendation and should provide a sufficient amount of rest for most of the adults.
- Exercise good sleep hygiene such as stop using stimulating devices like TV, tablets, smartphones, laptops etc. – approximately thirty minutes before trying to fall asleep.
6. Drink lots of water
Did you know we often fail to differentiate between hunger and thirst and end up eating when what we really needed was just a glass of water? Yes, that’s true. 60% of the time, people respond to their thirst by eating (and not drinking water) as they get confused and think of that as hunger. So, drink a glassful of water and wait for 15-20 minutes to see if the hunger subsides. If it does, you would have done yourself a great favor by avoiding unnecessary snacking. Drinking adequate water (about 2 liters a day) will keep you feeling fuller.
You may even drink a glass of water before your meals to ensure you eat less, which would let you beat the flab. Drinking lots of water would keep you hydrated, encourage improved digestion, let you have clearer skin and make your body metabolize fat better. However, don’t drink aerated drinks and sugar-laden beverages to quench your thirst as they do more harm than good. Opt for plain water instead to enjoy the true benefits.
7. Skip elevators, use stairs instead
Taking the stairs, especially for going up, will give you a low impact workout that offers optimal benefits in minimum time. Remember – stairs are almost everywhere though they are rarely used as a means of staying in good shape. Rather than cycling or jogging at a moderate pace an incline, stair climbing can help to shed the flab due to the vertical component in it. Since it makes your body work against the gravitational force, it’s a bit more challenging and lets you burn more calories than you would when cycling or jogging for the same period.
Since stairs give you a free workout where you don’t need to buy costly equipment or pay for a steep gym membership fee, you can include this form of exercise in your daily routine. Apart from helping you in losing weight, climbing stairs can even help your knees and joints. So, skip elevators the next time you see the stairs and take the latter instead to keep your body moving as part of your daily physical workout.
8. Learn to manage stress
Stress has become an inevitable part of the modern lifestyle and you can’t run away from it. So, the next best thing is to manage it well. When you are stressed, you often end up eating wrong, unhealthy foods, which add to your weight. You even have problems with sleep and may encounter other health ailments, all of which would eventually make you sick. So, find ways to cope with and manage stress effectively.
Exercising daily, practicing meditation and deep breathing techniques, tai-chi and Pilates are some ways that many have put their trust in to beat the blues. You too can take your pick from these to manage stress.
Additionally, lean back on your social support system (family, friends etc) to discuss matters that can trigger stress to find solutions or coping mechanisms. Being proactive in this way would help you to steer clear of stress which would have otherwise buckled you down. Plan your day before starting work or your household chores to tackle each element on your agenda on time and efficiently as being unorganized too can create a lot of stress in your life.
9. Skip TV
Being a couch potato would do you no good. Of course, you can watch your favorite TV show or the news but spending the majority of your waking hours perched in front of the TV would only add to your weight. So, keep moving to stay in shape. Do the household chores, rustle up a quick meal, enjoy a few laps in the local swimming pool, go out to shop for the groceries, or simply play out in the open with your friends. Take a walk in the park, or go cycling in the neighborhood – do whatever you feel like to stay active rather than sitting idle all day long in front of your TV and eating loads of unhealthy snacks.
In case you find skipping TV an uphill task (which most of you may!), at least make an effort to limit the perils. For instance, you could do a few squats or pushups every time a food-related ad is aired, or do a couple of jumping jacks during the TV commercials to challenge yourself.
10. Have Fun and Don’t Give Up
Fitness isn’t just about gyms and treadmills. You can stay fit by planning your regular activities to give you some necessary workouts without the need of having to go to the gym. From taking the stairs instead of the elevators and walking down to your grocery shop, to find a fitness buddy who can give you company during those morning runs or evening laps in the pool, it’s all about striking a balance between what you love and what your body needs to stay fit.
Rather than being boring, your ideal exercise session should be fun and interesting. Despite the sweat session, you should be eager to get back to the routine the next day – that’s what true fitness and real motivation are all about! There would be days when you may feel like running away or simply stopping, don’t give in to the temptation. Keep saying to yourself you are doing this for your own good and stick to the plan. Continue having fun while giving your body the necessary workout and you will soon find that the consistent effort gets paid well in the form of a fit and active body that’s radiating a healthy glow.
Author Bio: Emma Johnson
Emma Johnson works as a content editor for Best Brands HQ. She likes to blog about Fitness and Camping. In her free time, she loves to cycle, swim and trek a lot.