Human nature can vary to an amazing degree. On one side of the spectrum, there’s a personality type that is naturally in love with exercise – very athletic, fitness-crazed people who genuinely love to work out just for the sheer joy of it.
On the other side, there’s a polar opposite personality type that absolutely hates exercise of all types. These people simply get zero pleasure from fitness, and would do practically anything to avoid it.
Most of us fall somewhere in-between these types, but the majority of people are closer to the second example than the first one. A lot of us just aren’t wired to enjoy exercise, no matter how much we force ourselves to participate. It’s not surprising that people hard-wired with the “fitness nut” mentality are typically in better shape and have little problem maintaining a healthy body weight.
But, what about the rest of us? Almost everything you read about losing weight revolves around two concepts: Diet and exercise. That can be a bit discouraging for those of us adverse to exercise. In fact, trying to make yourself do something which you’re just not naturally inclined to enjoy can be counter-productive and can sabotage your plans each and every time.
The best advice for someone in that situation is, surprisingly, forget about exercise. The truth is, exercise is highly overrated as a weight loss method. Yes, it can certainly improve your results if you stick to an exercise routine, but for simple weight loss it just isn’t necessary. You can meet your goals without exercise.
The Math: Diet vs. Exercise
To compare the power of simple dietary adjustments verses excruciating exercise, let’s look at an example. Let’s say, on average, you consume 2800 calories per day (you can track this for a few days before beginning a diet if you’d like to establish your current baseline) and are maintaining your current weight, even if it is a higher-than-ideal number.
If your goal is – and this is just an example – to lose one pound per week, you’ll need to create a calorie deficit of 500 calories per day (one pound of fat is equal to 3500 calories). The first way to do this would be to drop your food intake by 500 calories daily – so if you’re at a 2800 calorie-per-day starting figure, you’d need to eat 2300 calories daily instead.
Assuming you aren’t already aggressively dieting, this is actually quite a bit easier than it sounds. An average person could achieve this by cutting out sodas and juices, switching to a breakfast of egg whites, and incorporating more lean proteins into their diet to keep them full throughout the day. All-in-all, not a very painful process.
Now, let’s look at the exercise approach. Depending on your frame and athletic ability, to burn 500 calories you would need to do a full hour of outdoor running each and every day. For people who enjoy running, that may not sound so bad, but for the rest of us – it’s a laughable comparison. Most people would rather change a few of their eating habits and work on snacking less often, instead of finding a full hour every day just to run around outside.
Hopefully that puts your mind at ease. You absolutely can reach your goal weight without doing any exercise. It may take slightly longer that way, but real results are usually made in the kitchen – not the gym.
It can be hard to put together the perfect meal plan that fits in with your personal tastes and goals, so while you’re here, make sure to spend some more time reading this site for some great methods you can use to get started.
One Parting Note
This post is here to show you that exercise isn’t a prerequisite for losing weight. This shouldn’t, however, be interpreted as giving you the green light to never exercise. Some level of physical activity is vital for ideal physical health. Staying active lowers your risk of developing many of the most common diseases, increases quality of life, and is almost guaranteed to help you add numerous years to your life.
You don’t have to be a fitness nut – but if you despise traditional exercise, try to find a creative way to stay active on a regular basis. Playing a favorite sport, spending regular time in the swimming pool, or even taking up a physical hobby like gardening are all great examples of ways to “trick” yourself into getting some exercise.