11 Proven Ways to Lose Weight Without Diet or Exercise


Fiber helps to fill you up so you stay full longer, meaning you're eating less overall. The recommended serving for fiber is 25 grams a day for women and up to 38 grams a day for men, but most Americans struggle to get even 10 grams daily, Katte says.

Foods that are rich in fiber include:

  • Beans. For example, a cup of black beans has 15 grams of fiber.
  • Broccoli. One cup contains 5 grams of fiber.
  • Pears. A medium pear has 5½ grams of fiber.
  • Raspberries. One cup has 8 grams.
  • Whole-wheat spaghetti or bread. One cup of whole-wheat spaghetti gives you 6 grams of fiber.
  • Nuts like pistachios, which are high in protein as well, contain 3 grams of fiber per serving, Palinski-Wade says.

Most fruits and vegetables are rich in fiber, Palinski-Wade adds. Make sure to increase your water intake as you add more fiber to your diet. Otherwise, the extra fiber could be too hard on your digestion and may lead to constipation.

Eating more fiber-rich foods while drinking more water is a winning weight-loss combination, Weisenberger says. Water helps to fill you up more, just like fiber does.

Here are a few ways to increase your water intake:

  • Carry a water bottle with you.
  • Set a water drinking schedule, so you make sure to drink water regularly during the day.
  • Add fruit or vegetable slices to water or just a splash of 100% fruit juice to add flavor if you get bored drinking plain water.
  • If you're working, make it a point to get up regularly and refill your water. This could mean going to the water fountain or the kitchen more regularly, Katte says. In either case, you're getting more water and sneaking in a few extra steps.

Water also can replace sugary beverages such as soda, which can easily add 250 to 500 calories a day to your diet, depending on what you drink, Katte says.

If you know you can’t exercise but want to lose weight, it can be easy to assume skipping meals is a good solution. Not true, Bonci says. That’s because skipping meals and going for longer time periods without food can result in muscle breakdown. Plus, skipping meals often makes you overly hungry. “That can be a recipe for disaster when you finally do eat,” says Ashley Bannister, a registered dietitian and coach with the weight loss app Noom in New York City. You then may find yourself binge eating once you reach your next meal.

Skipping meals may also backfire if you're recovering from an injury and your body is relying on food for healing nutrients, Bonci adds.


Your body and brain need fuel after you’ve slept. A healthy breakfast can help you literally break that fast and minimize chances for overeating later in the day, Bonci says. A healthy breakfast combines protein, fiber and some fat to add flavor and make you feel full longer.

Some healthy breakfast options include:

  • Two scrambled eggs with spinach, peppers and onions in a high-fiber wrap with two tablespoons of guacamole.
  • A smoothie made with a half cup of milk, 5 ounces of Greek yogurt, 1 tablespoon of nut butter, one-fourth cup of oats and a half cup of berries.
  • Overnight oats made with Greek yogurt or milk of your choice.
  • Premade egg muffin cups made with veggies along with whole-grain toast.

Although we all need a healthy mix of complex carbohydrates, healthy fats and protein, protein-rich foods in particular can help you fill up and fuel your body, Weisenberger says. She recommends about 25 to 30 grams of protein per meal instead of eating a massive amount of protein at once. This keeps your body fueled throughout the day. Working with a nutritionist or registered dietitian can help identify the best amounts for you.

The current federally recommended daily allowance for protein is 10% to 35% of your overall daily calories, but many health experts favor ramping that up under certain circumstances, including weight loss.

Here are a few protein-rich food choices:

  • Atlantic salmon, 3.5 ounces: 22 grams of protein.
  • Canned tuna, 3 ounces: 20 grams of protein.
  • Chicken breast, 3 ounces: 27 grams of protein.
  • Greek yogurt, a half-cup: 11 grams of protein. Weisenberger adds a dollop of Greek yogurt to black beans, another protein-rich food, and stews.
  • Cow's milk, one cup: 8 grams of protein.

Let your weight loss goals push you to get more z's. Adequate sleep helps to regulate the hormones tied to hunger. When you're sleep-deprived, your body often signals that it's hungry. It also raises your cortisol levels, the stress-related hormone that triggers your body to hold on to fat. Plus, being sleep-deprived can distract you from your weight loss goals. Most adults need seven to eight hours of sleep a night.


We've all been there: You're ready for a snack and open up the pantry. You see chips, cookies and other less nutritious options. It's only natural to want to reach out and make those unhealthy choices. To help avoid this trap, stock your pantry with healthier snack options, keep the fridge filled with chopped veggies and have a fruit bowl in plain view. These healthy, lower-calorie snacks will keep you full longer, which will help support your weight loss efforts.

If you’re an emotional eater, you’re not alone. Eating to cope with stress or worry is something many people do. Sweating out your emotions with a tough workout is a popular alternative. However, if you can’t exercise or simply don't want to, you have one less outlet to let out those challenging emotions. The solution? Plan ahead on how you can avoid emotional eating with other strategies, Bonci recommends.

Some other ways you can cope with emotions include:

  • Doing arts or crafts that you enjoy.
  • Journaling.
  • Meditating.
  • Taking a bath or doing something that relaxes you.
  • Talking to a close friend or family member.
  • Using a stress ball.

It’s also common to use food to celebrate positive achievements, Bannister says. If you use food to celebrate, consider other ways to reward yourself. This may include a new shirt or pants, a new book or self-care acts like a nap or a massage.

Tracking what and when you eat helps make you more aware of what you're consuming and helps keep you accountable. There are a few ways to track what you eat:

  • Write what you consume daily on paper or in an electronic device.
  • Use an app that helps with food tracking, such as MyFitnessPal.
  • Take pictures of your meals and snacks.

Bonci also advises keeping track of hunger between meals and fullness after meals. Don’t worry if your notes about your meals aren't perfect — there's no such thing. “We know there will always be some error in tracking, so I like to focus more on the awareness it’s creating rather than being 100% accurate,” Bannister says.

A Final Word About Exercise

If your health care provider has recommended you limit physical activity, you should respect that. However, if you can still do some movement during your weight loss period, you'll get a multitude of health benefits. Physical activity can give you an energy boost, improve your mood and help with weight management, for instance.

Here are some easy ways to work in simple movements:

  • Start out where you can with exercise and aim to do something every day.
  • Get up every so often and walk around. Start taking movement breaks between calls or binge watching.
  • If you have to rest one part of your body, see if you can exercise other parts of your body. For instance, if you can't exercise your legs much, perhaps you can use dumbbells to exercise your upper body, Weisenberger says.
  • Ask your health provider what physical activity is OK versus what's not OK. This will help you know what exercise is safe for you versus what isn't.
  • Think about physical activity that makes you happy – what Kimberlain calls "joyful movement." "Exercise shouldn't be something that people dread but rather look forward to," she says.

With a combination of thoughtful healthy eating, it's possible to lose weight without exercise.