I feel that more middle aged men and women focus on the question “can you lose weight without exercise” versus the younger generation. My personal experience with exercising for weight loss kind of mirrors this trend. When I was younger, single, lived in an apartment, and had a fairly low stress and low responsibility job I had a lot more time on my hands. I could get off work around 5 each day and hit the bike trail and then the gym, eat a pretty unhealthy meal at home, and still have free time before going to bed. Furthermore, I wasn’t focused on exercising for weight loss at that point in my life – biking, running, and the gym were almost more social activities at that stage in life. Back then I assumed you had to exercise to lose weight.
As I aged, however, got married, settled down and bought a house, and then began having my kids, time for exercise evaporated. As my career progressed I also traveled more, had longer hours at work, and arrived home exhausted almost every night. The dramatic change in my daily life lead to not only not exercising, but also my eating habits got worse as often we ran out of time to really think and prepare the right foods for lunch or dinner. This combination of factors lead to an increase in belly fat, general weight gain overall, and the beginnings of longer term impacts on my health. Haven’t you ever realized that you wake up one morning and realize the spare tire around your waist actually was the result of years of effort – even though it seems like the belly fat appeared overnight!
Natural Ways to Lose Weight
In my mid forties now, I finally began researching how I could lose weight without exercising – and to learn a natural way to lose weight – without the use of artificial pills or magic solutions. I needed information on how to make changes to the way I ate and even thought about food choices, but recognizing that I wouldn’t be able to free up any time near term for a regimented exercise program. Much to my surprise I found that our bodies are pretty well optimized to lose weight naturally – and to keep the weight off long term. My findings, however, indicated that to lose weight without exercise you needed to get back to providing your body with what is was originally designed to function on – which bears little resemblance to our current day diet.
My natural approach to weight loss resulted in me purchasing the diet solution – a well researched, credible program by a certified nutritionist that was based on fairly recent research over the last 15 years or so regarding the glycemic index. Basically the glycemic index is the key to natural weight loss, as it measures the effect different foods have on your blood sugar and insulin levels both short term and long term. The beauty of this approach is I didn’t have to worry about how many calories I should eat to lose weight – I could eat as much of the natural foods as I wanted. When you approach weight loss from a natural perspective, and provide your body with a diet that is focus on low glycemic foods it becomes almost impossible to overeat.
I avoided the extreme diet pills and weird supplements, as well as “the diet of the week” that promised to make me lose weight within 7 days. Digging deep into these type of programs I realized most of them were tricking my body into an unhealthy state for a short term gain – with dangerous long term risks. I wanted a natural healthy approach to weight loss that mirrored how we evolved as humans, which is also one reason why I ended up moving more towards the caveman style of eating mentioned in diet solution program.
My results following a natural approach to weight loss? By following the key tenets of the diet solution and caveman diet approach I’ve lost about 2 inches off of my waist over a period of 3 months – losing weight without exercising at all (aside from normal life activities), and never feeling hungry or being focused on counting calories to lose weight!
My Experience Losing Weight with Diet
So I am not a doctor, and can only relate what I’ve learned and experienced – you have to do your own research and determine what will work for you given your goals, health conditions, and perspectives on the facts and hype that can surround weight and fat loss approaches. I do plan on trying to introduce some form of exercise in the near future – not for weight loss per say, but more to contribute to my overall health, keep my muscles in shape and limber as I age, and ensure my cardio health is maintained or improved.
Here are key elements of the natural approach for fat loss that worked for me based on the Diet Solution approach:
- Eliminated grain products from my diet – breads, rice, pasta, etc.
- Eliminated dairy products
- Changed buying and eating habits to focus on servings of lean protein, vegetables, and fruits at EVERY MEAL
- Focused on buying free range chicken and eggs, grass fed beef, and selectively organic fruits
- Introduced new “super” vegetables to my diet – i.e. Kale
- Fixed extra portions of my healthy dinner meals on Sundays and froze them to “grab and go” during the week
- Keep a bag of walnuts at work to snack on between meals
- Incorporated a “cheat day” every week where I could enjoy some of the foods I had eliminated, without feeling guilty or forcing myself to fall off the wagon
These changes around my natural method for weight loss only took about 4 weeks to incorporate into my lifestyle. Now I don’t think twice about shopping for more natural foods and making the right selection and substitutions when eating out [i.e. we recently ate at Red Lobster and I swapped out pasta in one dish for fresh seasonal vegetables]. I didn’t have to find time and energy to implement a rigorous exercise program – I was in fact able to naturally start losing weight without exercise.
Some people may not be able to follow this approach, but the nice part about the diet solution is you can implement various pieces of it gradually and still see amazing benefits [whereas the caveman diet approach is a bit more extreme] that are based on real science and research around what your body naturally WANTS to do with the right foods!
Good luck on your journey for natural weight loss – depending on where you are at in your research, I highly recommend learning more about the diet solution program – for $47 you get not only a step by step approach, but also the research and learning behind it that may change how you think about “diets” forever! Furthermore, Isabel [author, certified nutritionist for the program] provides a ton of resources and ongoing support and information that keeps you informed on the latest approaches and things to try – for example she explains below why Protein is such an important element of a natural weight loss approach: