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How to Lose Weight without Dieting

February 13, 2019

Trying to lose weight can be torture. You're cranky because you're depriving yourself and you're more than likely hungry because you're cutting out all the things you love and then some. While you may shed some pounds quickly, is it sustainable (and worth it)? And will those pounds resurface just as quickly? It's best to lose weight without dieting.

To keep weight off long-term, it's better to implement some lifestyle changes as opposed to jumping in to a diet. It will be more manageable (plus more enjoyable) and the results will be longer lasting. Here's how to lose weight without dieting.

How to Lose Weight without Dieting

Here are some ways you can lose weight without resorting to dieting:

1. Don’t Diet

If you're on a diet and are losing weight quickly, you can be losing muscle and water, not fat. And when you stop the diet, the weight goes back on as fat. So the next diet has to be stricter. This is when you end up yo-yo dieting.

Research shows that when you diet, your body undergoes a number of metabolic changes such as reducing energy expenditure (to conserve energy). This can be at rest, during exercise and during daily activities whereas your hunger increases. These changes then create the perfect conditions for weight gain once the diet is over.

2. Know that the diet industry wants you to fail

Slimming pills, replacement drinks, gimmicks such as fat-attraction pills, low-calorie this, low fat that – they’re all big profit makers. Like all successful businesses, the slimming industry needs repeat customers. The media feeds and supports this industry with endless magazine articles about weight loss, image makeovers, make-up, cosmetic surgery and anti-ageing creams. 

Example: estimates in the US for spending on weight-loss products vary from $40 to $100 billion, which is more than the combined budget for education, health and welfare.

3. Get your blood sugar under control

Almost everyone who struggles with weight has an underlying blood sugar imbalance. Fluctuations in blood sugar can cause a number of symptoms including irritability, aggressive outbursts, depression, dizziness, crying spells, anxiety, confusion, inability to concentrate, headaches, palpitations, forgetfulness, fatigue, excess sweating, digestive problems, allergies, blurred vision, excessive thirst, insomnia, nervousness, fears, muscle cramps and lack of sex drive.

Insulin is your fat-storing hormone so by getting your blood sugar in balance and off the rollercoaster of blood sugar highs and lows, you are reducing how much fat is stored. Insulin also stops your body burning fat. So when your blood sugar is under control, you lose weight as well as not putting more on.

4. Follow the 12:12 plan

Another way to lose weight without dieting is to follow the 12:12 plan. This means you eat within a 12 hour window, then not for the next 12 hours. For example finish eating for the evening by 8pm and then don’t have anything until breakfast at 8am. Or 7pm to 7am, 6pm to 6am – whatever works for you.

Research shows that restricting food intake to 12 hours a day prevents excessive weight gain, improves sleep and reduces age and diet-related heart deterioration.

Studies showed that when overweight people who normally ate during a 14-hour plus window were asked to eat only during a maximum of a 12-hour window for 16 weeks, they lost weight. They also had more energy and slept better and these benefits lasted for a year.

5. Have a way of eating that becomes a way of life

Eating is a time for sharing and socialising, food is to be enjoyed. There is nothing more disheartening than feeling like you have to turn down invitations to eat with friends because you're frightened you'll slip from your diet. You want to end up with a way of eating that helps you to lose weight, the weight stays off and also keeps you healthy for the long term.

Think of the 80/20 rule. Providing you eat well for 80 per cent of the time, the occasional lapses for birthdays, holidays and parties won’t hurt.

Please note, this blog is for informational purposes only and should not replace medical advice.

Checked and updated: 12 August 2021

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