Luckily for all of you out there who share this sentiment, there are numerous ways you can cut fat, teach the weight scale a lesson, and maintain a year-round, to-die-for physique without breaking your habits too much or leaving your youth in the iron jungle.
In fact, exercising only accounts for a small percentage of your total fat loss, and the age-old bodybuilding aphorism “a six-pack is made in the kitchen” still holds true this very day. With that in mind, here is your definitive guide to losing weight if you’re lazy AF and want to change your ways as little as possible.
Stick to pure aqua
There is probably nothing more lazy-friendly than drinking more water on a daily basis. How hard can it actually be? You keep a bottle of water next to you throughout the day, you sip, sip, sip, and your body does the rest. The truth is that the majority of people are chronically underhydrated, especially those who are active on a daily basis and tend to visit the gym from time to time.
Yes, there has been a lot of debate in the health and fitness world about optimal water intake and whether you should be drinking eight glasses of water a day, or as much as you feel like drinking. While it is true that your body is pretty amazing at auto-regulation and hydration control, the feeling of thirst is not actually a sign that you’re thirsty – it’s a sign that you’re underhydrated. It’s a warning signal.
So why wait to feel thirsty in the first place? Are you so lazy that you can make yourself a cup of coffee but you can’t drink a glass of water every half hour? Come on.
Regular water intake boasts a myriad of health benefits, but dropping the water levels in your body as little as 1% can significantly impair your daily performance, and overall health. So if you’re unsure how much water to drink, just ask a bodybuilder. According to Scott Abel, a world-renowned personal trainer, you shouldn’t go below 3L (approx. 1 gallon) of water a day.
The rest of equation is simple: you drink more water, you feel more satiated, and you eat fewer calories during the day. You lose weight. You feel better. You stay lean. Drink more water.
Forget the gym, just walk everywhere
You love driving everywhere, don’t you? It’s so convenient having a car, save for the stress you accumulate in traffic, finding a parking spot, adhering to regular maintenance, etc. In reality, owning a car or going everywhere via public transport is not only a pain in the ass, but it’s also effectively keeping you from losing excess weight. Not only that, but sitting all day long (we all do) only adds to your waistline.
It’s not an easy thing to imagine, but you need to be more active. And that doesn’t mean going to the gym. One of the best and easiest ways you can burn calories without breaking a sweat is by simply developing the healthy habit of walking everywhere.
It’s like steady-state cardio but without the smell of the gym. Walking can help you burn upwards from 120 calories per 30 minutes depending on your weigh, so ditch the car and head out for a nice long walk.
You can also try fast walking or simply walking long distances, instead of running if the second one is too exhausting for you. If you’re not a regular runner and want to have breaks between your running days yet still stay active, try walking. This amazing activity is pretty similar to running (in theory) but there are differences between walking and running and each has its pros and cons. While running helps you burn more calories, walking is easier on the joints.
Just like with any activity, the pace of your movement will make a difference in your calorie burn and weight loss. It’s natural that a person burns more calories when taking brisk walks when compared to slower, more relaxed walks. But, this still doesn’t mean you have to take your walks to the next level and run. Brisk walks will suffice, especially if you’re having your break day and just need something to lift your heart rate a little bit.
Additionally, your current weight also dictates how much calories you’ll get to burn when walking. Heavier people will burn more calories because they require more energy to walk a mile than someone skinny, so if you want to boost your weight loss, you can consider wearing a weighted vest. People who walk with a weighted vest tend to burn between 12 and 15% more calories than those who don’t walk with any added weight.
Another thing you could do to boost your calorie burn with walking is to try uphill walking. If you’re doing your workouts indoors, you can increase the treadmill gradient, but if you’re walking outside, find a nice hill and incorporate it into your workout routine. Walking uphill or going up the stairs two or three times a week between your runs will increase your calorie consumption and bring you closer to your weight loss goal.
Just like with speed play with running, you can try changing your walking pace in intervals. For instance, this is a good example of an interval walk: walk between 5 and 10 minutes in a moderate pace to warm up your legs. Then, increase your pace to an uncomfortable speed and maintain this speed for about 10 to 15 minutes before going back to your normal walking pace. If you do a few cycles of this on your walk, you will significantly raise your heart rate and put some stress on your legs which means more calories burned and more definition to your muscles.
Your distance also counts if you want to use walking as a workout instead of just a healthy habit. Experts recommend hitting at least 10,000 steps per day in order to lose some weight, but you can go more if you want to achieve better results. However, each step beyond your normal daily step count is a step in the right direction.
Tidy up your diet
There is no way around it, that’s why I’ve been easing you into it – you have to change your diet for the better. I know, I know, sugar is wonderful, you simply can’t ditch it no matter how hard you try, etc. But the truth is that you’re not approaching the problem from the right angle.
Diet is the most important element in a healthy lifestyle, whether you’re training for muscle mass, or simply looking to slim down to a respectable body fat percentage.
That’s why it’s imperative (using fancy words here so this part must be important) that you eliminate all unhealthy foods from your life and stick to healthy sources such as herbs and vegetables, lean meats, legumes, dairy (if you can handle it), and nuts and seeds.
Next, and don’t you dare skip this one, you can’t just eat as much as you want. Weight loss revolves around calories. If you want to lose weight efficiently, not only should you be in a caloric deficit, but you should also try a diet regime that fits your body type. In most cases, this would be something like a healthy keto diet, because it eliminates the consumption of carbohydrates, which we know are the biggest culprits of a prominent belly.
If you eat approx. 500 calories less than your daily maintenance value, you can expect to lose one to two pounds per week! However, don’t eliminate carbs altogether, as they are a natural source of energy. Well, this would be important if you were someone who actually works out. Which brings us to the next crucial point.
Okay, exercise just a bit
Come on, how difficult can it be? Rather than collapsing on the couch after work, why not get up earlier and get a workout in early in the day? Or why not head straight to the gym out of the office? Look at this, it sounds like I’m your mom and you’re my obese child who can’t stop playing Fortnite. And a desperate mom I am!
Working out doesn’t have to be a chore, it can be as simple as exercising for 15 minutes a day, or training for half an hour every other day. In order to boost your metabolism and burn fat effectively, you can stick to short HIIT workouts that will also improve your cardiovascular endurance. Alternatively, you can go swimming, skating, running, or just do anything else that requires you to move your butt some more.
By being mindful you can also lose weight
Overeating is a mindfulness problem too.
Just think about it. Most of the time we eat because there’s food around us, we have nothing else to do, someone offers us a meal, we have the habit of doing it while relaxing or watching a movie, etc.
It’s almost never because we’re hungry. So it doesn’t come as a surprise that we gain weight and aren’t in shape.
But what if you just stop for a while before putting something in your mouth and just ask yourself whether it’s a hunger you’re feeling, or something else.
Once realized, you get back control over your mind and can easily leave eating for later, or skip snacks in general. The same can be done for avoiding bad foods and learning how to make your body and mind
desire only healthy ones.
To make sure you never overheat, stop sometime after you’ve started eating, give your brain time to tell your stomach you’re full, and stop when you feel so.
Another benefit mindfulness has that concerns our eating habits is that we can find great pleasure in each meal and do it more slowly by being present. Turn each meal into a ritual. Prepare your food at home, experiment. Then, put some effort into setting the table. Experience every bite, don’t be in a hurry to swallow.
That’s another way to eat less because you’ll feel full sooner. In addition, you’ll enjoy your meals more and will stay fit.
Sleep like a baby… that wants to get shredded
Last but definitely not least, you need to chill the F out. And the best way to de-stress and wash away the troubles of the outside world (effectively decreasing your cortisol levels) is to stick to a healthy sleeping routine.
This doesn’t mean that you should sleep for 10 hours straight, but it certainly doesn’t mean that you should sleep less than seven either. Instead, make it a habit to go to bed every night at the same time, sleep about eight hours, and wake up at the same time every morning. Preferably naked.
This will help you decrease your cortisol levels, thus regulating your appetite, avoiding muscle atrophy and fat accumulation. Before long, you will start to see noticeable changes in your appearance and daily performance.
Hey, don’t worry, most of us are just as lazy as you are, so don’t believe everything you see online. The internet does a wonderful job at shaping your mindset and negatively influencing your sense of worth and self-esteem. So instead of thinking that you need to be a full-blown fitness model to maintain a killer physique, just follow these steps and you will have no problem dropping weight without sacrificing your most beloved habits.
Image source: Oliver Sjöström.