So I often have people say to me ‘Simon, I’d like to slim down. But I hate to exercise. Is it game over?’. Well, I can happily say ‘Not necessarily’. Before I stop them walking on their merry way with a ‘Buuuut..you will find it way harder to lose weight without working out’.
You see. Losing weight comes down to one basic premise. Creating a calorie deficit. I spoke about it in a recent video.
As mentioned in the above video you can create a calorie deficit in 2 ways. You can either eat less. Or you can move more. So by just putting less food in your stomach you can defiantly drop weight (Hooray!!).
However (Booo!), there are downsides to this approach. Firstly, you can only restrict your calories so far. Experts advise no more than 20% of your daily needs. Some people may go as low as 50% (Bad idea for a long term plan though). For the average person this will result in around a kilogram of weight loss per week. Not bad you might think. But you have to keep in mind that this won’t all be fat. Your body will be cannibalising your muscles too.
This can be stopped though. By using exercise. Especially high intensity, short burst exercise. This results in your body maintaining your lean tissue (technical term for muscles). Think of it this way. If you’re not really using your muscles, then your body will think ‘Ok. Our protein intake is low. But there is a ton of protein available right there (Points at muscles). So let’s just break that down and use that!’. But if you are training then your body will say ‘Well dam! That was tough. We really need to keep these muscles. Go for those fat stores to cover our calorie needs!’.
Although this is an insanely simplified form of how the process actually works in your body, you get the point. If you’re not taking in enough calories and you’re sat about then your body will use both available energy sources, fat stores and muscle. But if you’re training at the same time then your body will prioritise using the store that isn’t required to move.
Hopefully it is also clear here that taking in enough protein is essential! If you don’t then your body will have to break down muscle to use the protein within in the bodies other tissues. Because protein is required by every cell in your body to function and keep you alive. Not just muscles. You can get a better idea on how much protein you should be intaking in my video below
There is also an additional benefit to using exercise. Improving your health. By exercising you stimulate an insanely large number of processes in the body. These provide, among many many others: Improved heart and lung function, reduced blood pressure, reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and cancers and a lowered risk of injury.
All this being said you don’t have to use traditional exercise. Although it’s the smarter choice, it’s not the only option. Consider your NEPA, or Non Exercise Physical Activity. This is everything else that you do. Standing, walking, climbing stairs, playing with your kids etc. This all counts! Although the lower intensity will not stop muscle wastage all together it will help to vastly reduce it. And if your just not going to stick to a workout plan, then hey its better than nothing!
So in conclusion you can defiantly lose weight with no exercise. You can even lose weight quickly with no exercise. But you would be far better off doing at least a couple of short and intense workouts a week. And don’t forget to stay active the rest of the time (as much as possible) too!
I hope that answers your questions. If you have any more then please feel free to let me know in the comments. And to keep on top of all of my latest weight loss tips jump onto the Facebook page for my app. I’ll be uploading more articles every week, as well as videos every day.
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to make a difference in your life.
I’ll see you again in a couple of days!