Anyone lose weight without incorporating exercise?
A not-so-close friend of mine on FB was about 30lbs plus overweight, and managed to shred all of it in a decent amount of time, just by eating better. She's in her 30's and doesn't have saggy skin. She looks fantastic. Guess I'm just curious as to how common this kind of result is. Any of you mostly just focusing on eating habits with minimal to no exercise? How is that working for you?
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Losing weight without exercise means you are losing muscle along with fat. You will not have that toned look and muscle definition. You can't have a healthy lifestyle without incorporating at least 30 minutes of exercise every day. Losing 30 pounds usually does not result in lose skin.
HW 356 pounds - CW 135 - GW 137
Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass. It's about learning to dance in the rain.
I could see that working, but for me, it would take a whole lot longer of time to lose and I am the type of girl that needs to see results asap for reassurance that what I'm doing is actually working. For me, I LIKE the exercise part. I feel accomplished and very proud of myself after a workout. The exercise part is the easy part for me, now training myself to eat right is the real struggle.
I've lost weight without exercise before, and I'ven known a lot of people of all starting weights who have also, but exercise does a lot more than help you lose weight.
In the book Refuse to regain, and the other (two) books I've read (title's escape me now) that interviewed successful maintainers reported that nearly every person who maintained their weight loss for more than five years, all had incorporated exercise into their maintenance (if not their weight loss).
For myself, "this time" I can't tell you whether the weight loss or the increasing activity level has been the most important in improving my mood, health, strength and endurance. I'd guess pretty much both equally (and stress-management and good sleep have been just as important).
There's some research support suggesting that active overweight folks are healthier and live longer than sedentary thin folks, so exercise may be as or more important than weight for health.
That doesn't mean you have to start spending hours in the gym to look and feel good, but it may mean that exercise isn't optional for good health.
You don't even have to "exercise" (as in work out). "This time" I've only started to recently (in the last year) go to the gym to exercise on equipment like the treadmill or the elliptical. Instead I looked for fun ways to move more. The only real "exercise" I could do was swim. And getting to the water was harder work than swimming itself (because once in the water, I was free from gravity).
That's not going to be your issue at your starting weight, but you still can decide to "move more" without adding in exercise routines. You may though find that you actually enjoy moving more, whether that means taking extra shopping trips on the weekend, riding a bike for fun, or going out dancing more often...
Exercise isn't necessary for weight loss, but it may be necessary for truly good health. You don't have to incorporate it right away, but don't put it off indefinitely, because in the long-run it may be even more important than the weight loss.
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I've lost most of my weight by not increasing my fitness level very much. I was always very active and have maintained a consistent cardio/lifting routine for several years. But despite the working out, I was 100lbs overweight because I didn't work on my nutrition. My favorite saying is...'you can't outrun a pizza'.
I focused on my nutrition, only increasing my workouts as I got closer to goal, but I attribute the majority of my success to changing my nutrition intake. I have loose skin because I lost nearly 100lbs, not because I wasn't maintaining or increasing my muscle mass. I did not start seeing the loose skin until 50+ pounds lost.
Initial goal 135 - reached March 3, 2012
Second goal 125 - reached May 24, 2012
as everyone so far has said, exercise is essential to a healthy and fit lifestyle. but weight loss can happen due to only eating better--and that's because, ultimately, the science behind weight loss is due to calories. if you eat more calories than you expend, you WILL gain weight. if you spend more calories than you eat, you WILL lose weight. unless there is another factor preventing normal metabolism from taking place, this is how it goes.
but, like QuilterInVA said, if you are not incorporating a decent amount of exercise as well, this mass that you lose will be fat AND muscle.
I had to take some time off from my exercise routine for a couple of months, which simply consisted of walking and lifting dumbbells. I'm trying to get back into it again now that the doctor has cleared me, but I haven't noticed any difference with the rate of my loss. I've remained relatively active regardless, just less structured.
I've lost the weight I have with practically no exercise, a fact I'm not necessarily proud of. I do notice some loose skin. Could exercise help me with that? Probably some, but if you have a LOT of loose skin really the only thing that can help would be time and possibly surgery.
Exercise is necessary for fitness- aerobic for cardiovascular and lifting for muscle. Dieting is for losing weight.
You're right in saying that dieting loses both muscle and fat. Lifting weights while dieting can help you maintain some of the muscle you're losing and cardio can burn some extra calories, but exercise in general is not necessary to lose weight for most people.
i feel like i've lost all my weight simply by counting calories. the loss of muscle scares me, so i do plan on beginning to lift one of these days...however..i consider myself to be pretty active as i have a demanding job. i'm sort of "lifting" everyday already anyway...sixtel kegs, beer cases, boxes of soda syrup, etc...
Last edited by valalltogether : 08-11-2012 at 02:57 PM.
I've started losing weight gradually from changing my diet (I used to eat horrendously now I truly look at it with new eyes!). I haven't upped my exercise yet but working on flexing more (trying to get strength back in places that got weak when I was injured last year). I suppose it's possible to lose that much though I question how healthy that can be
For now I'm only focusing on changing my eating habits. I'm one of those people that does better if I take on one thing at a time as opposed to trying to change many things about myself and my life at once. Once I feel I have my diet under control, then I'll add fitness into my daily routine because it is important. My ultimate goal isn't to be skinny, but healthy.
I have trouble losing weight when I'm exercising intensely. It makes me extra hungry. Instead, I focused on adding lots of activity to my day, without it seeming much like exercise. Just walking my 8yo to school and back (morning, noon, and afternoon) every single time rather than jumping in the car, would have me walking 9km over the course of the day. Add in an errand to pick up milk or bread and I'd walk over 10km in a day without ever thinking about it as exercise. No sweating, no getting out of breath involved.
Obviously it did burn calories though, and improved my fitness level. Now that I'm close to goal, I want to get back into running again. A few weeks ago, I was able to just head out and slowly jog 5km without walking breaks. I hope I'm at a point where I can fight the extra hunger than intense exercise causes me, but if I'm not I know I can just cut back to walking a lot and stay fit and lose weight.
I, personally, don't think there's one way to do something for everyone. We're all different, our bodies are all different, and our results will be different. I can understand taking a day at a time, and in a step by step process. I think too often we set ourselves up with placing too much on our plate - so to speak. But moderation is key. I don't believe you have to hit the gym, or do X number of push-ups or X amount of time on a treadmill, to incorporate exercise. Certainly, as some of you have already mentioned, walking from point A to point B instead of driving, is a good way to get exercise. I also agree, that having children, especially young ones, really keeps you "on the go". I have a 10 month old and she literally keeps me on my feet and chasing after her!
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Exercise is actually terrible for weight loss. The amount of effort it takes to burn even minimal calories is so disproportionate to how easy it is to just eat less. This video is an excellent example of why:
It's totally possible to lose any weight you want to lose without ever taking a single step, much less intentionally exercising.
That said, what exercise is good for is sculpting your body and building muscle. When you lose weight, you're not just losing fat - you're also losing water and lean muscle mass. Exercising properly while losing can help to prevent losing quite as much muscle mass - this means that the scale often goes down much more slowly, since you're not losing the water/lean mass that contributes to the total, but the end result is much better. The more lean mass you have, the higher your resting metabolic rate, and the more calories you will be able to eat while maintaining weight - which makes keeping the weight off easier, since you've got more room to work with. And there's a huge aesthetic difference between someone who's 140lbs and 35% body fat and someone the same weight and height who's 15-20% body fat.
This is a great link that really illustrates how muscle mass impacts how your body looks:
Now, even if you don't want to lift heavy and get super cut like the person above, you can still see the difference. It takes an enormous amount of work to get to her level, it won't happen accidentally.
And it's also critical for good health, as has been shown time after time in study after study. The more activity, the better - not just exercise, but movement throughout the day in general. Obese people who start exercising moderately can experience dramatic improvements in health markers even if they don't lose a single pound. Exercise is really really good for you. But it doesn't have to be in a gym, it doesn't even have to be structured - it can be any activity you really enjoy doing. It's better to do something less "effective" than to do nothing at all!