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5 Easy Ways to Lose Weight Without Really Trying

By Sheryl Kraft

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Did you read this headline and stop in your tracks, hungry for some advice? Or did you read this headline and skeptically think, "Sure, sure, another trick just to get me to read."

I want to share something with you. Don't hate me. (Why do I say this? Because when it comes to weight, people get really funny about things and take things very personally. It's a hot-button issue, for sure.)

Although I've never really had to battle my weight (except for the two times I gleefully—then remorsefully—gained 40-plus pounds by eating ice cream and cookies every night of both my pregnancies. Trust me, I'm hardly endorsing this behavior), after menopause things … changed.

I always swore it wouldn't happen to me, but it did. My once naturally thin body began to morph into something I didn't easily recognize. Where there was never a well-defined waist, now there was scarce evidence of one. How was it possible that I suddenly had pads of fat seemingly everywhere?

And pounds that used to steer clear of my small-ish frame suddenly felt very at home building a foundation.

For someone who was not used to dieting, I had to figure out how to rid my body of the extra stubborn pounds. I had no idea just how to diet, nor did I believe in it (the concept just doesn't make sense to me—either you're "on" a diet or you're "off" a diet). And although I've passed through menopause, losing weight has been possible.

Through my own personal experience and through some research, I've found some helpful ways to shed weight without dieting:

  1. Drink water first thing. This is not something I generally do, but after reading the tip in holistic health expert Winnie Abramson's book, One Simple Change, I'm going to give it a try. There are pretty good reasons to do this. Aside from the fact that hydration is healthy for your body, she says that just one glass of water is associated with a boost in your metabolism. But that's not the only way water helps: it also makes you feel fuller, plus it may be the answer to your hunger, since many people mistakenly feel hungry when all they really are is thirsty.
  2. Think about the scale. Personally, it helps me to weigh myself and record the number Every. Single. Morning. I'm aware that weight usually fluctuates between one and three pounds, but writing down a number makes me accountable. There's something about that "check-in" that helps me start my day on the right foot. Research is mixed on this notion; some experts caution against daily scale-checks and say you should limit it to once a week or even less. But you have to know yourself and what works best for you.
  3. Get enough sleep. There are numerous associations between sleep and weight. Most obvious is that if you get more sleep, it keeps you out of the kitchen and cuts down on your eating opportunities. Perhaps a bit less obvious is the fact that when you are tired, you tend to reach for a cup of coffee and/or a sweet pick-me-up. And then there's the metabolism connection: sleeping by itself won't help you lose weight, but being sleep-deprived can throw off your metabolism. Lastly and perhaps least of all obvious are those "hunger hormones," ghrelin and leptin. Ghrelin tells you when to eat; leptin tells you when to stop eating. And when you're sleep-deprived, all bets are off that they will do their job properly and send you the right signals.
  4. Chew more. Munch on an apple or orange, rather than downing some juice. Chewing takes time, and it also triggers satiety. Research has found that people who chew their food more take in fewer calories. Scientists found that chewing also produces less of ghrelin (that hunger-stimulating hormone) and more cholecystokinin (an appetite-suppressing hormone). And speaking of fruit, keep it within your line of sight—you'll be more apt to eat it if you can see it, say Cornell University scientists. That means keeping it in a bowl on the counter or at eye-level in the fridge.
  5. Shake it up. Mix up a shake with whey protein. Scientists found that a group consuming 55 grams of whey protein a day for 23 weeks lost an average of four pounds more than a group that consumed those calories in carbohydrates.

More Food for Thought:

Lose Excess Weight and Improve Your Overall Health

5 Weight Loss Updates You Might Have Missed

5 Reasons You Can Lose Weight With Peanuts

10 Strategies for Weight-Loss Success

Comments

I'm going to have to try the water first thing in the morning. Seems easy enough to do -- it's worth a shot. Thanks!

Let me know how it goes, Helene. Drink up!

I just love the fact that sleeping well helps monitor your weight. Talk about an easy tip to follow.

Sleep is an easy tip to follow, yes! (Providing we can get a good night's sleep, that is...)

I have heard this about water, that drinking it first thing is good for a number of reasons, not only weight.

I'm not sure there really is an easy way to lose weight -- but there are definitely small steps we can take that will help! Thanks for these reminders.

Small steps all add up, I say!

I really love that you record your weight every single morning. I've been doing Weight Watchers, where you just record once a week, but then all week long, I'm always wondering what my weight will be next week. I love the idea of taking the anxiety out of it by just recording it every day. Why not, I say.

Hope Weight Watchers is going well for you, Jane. And I'd be so curious to see if recording your weight daily makes a difference for you.

Great tips. I know from experience that the water really makes a huge difference. I just have to remember that and start drinking more every day. Thanks for the reminder.

After I had kidney stones a few summers ago, my nephrologist and nutritionist both told me - demanded - that I drink water first thing in the AM. To kill 2 birds with 1 stone, I now take Metumucil first thing. Poof! I'm then on my way to 64 oz a day!

Hey girlie, thanks for this one. Sigh. I'm going to try to drink a glass of water before my meals to see if that helps. I drink a lot of water first thing in the morning but tend to forget the rest of the day.

I am 57, retired almost a year ago, with the intention of loosing weight and I have again and again. I lost 25lbs at 14, got my ears pierced as a reward! gained over a number of years and lost 140lbs after reading about the nuns in Iran who used their captivity to loose wieght and fortunately were rescued after Jimmy Carters administration ended. I had a tummy tuck, liposuction and an arm proceedure. I maintained that loss for several years but got a job which prevented me from doing the 2+hours of exercise that had helped me maintain even continue to loose the weight. So I have done the roller coaster thing and taken of put back for years. I know that this is my journey but I would really like to find a programme and support network that will keep me going. I really need to conquer this issue and live the rest of my life.

I was not able to sign up for your newsletter because my postal code is not recognised by your computer, yes I am Canadian-why ???

These are helpful tips, but they won't make one bit of difference if you're eating the wrong foods.

The easy way to lose weight is to quit eating fattening foods. Highly processed food, take-out food and junk food snacks are the biggest contributors to weight gain.

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