Everywhere you look, the world seems obsessed with fad diets, calorie counting, and meal plans that promise fast results. But let’s be honest: Most of us know deep down that drastic changes to your diet can sometimes be challenging to stick to and unsustainable. We’ve all been there—caught in a cycle of dieting, feeling restricted, then rebounding. But what if you shifted the story you’re telling yourself? What if instead of focusing on what you eat, you reflect on the habits and tweaks that you can incorporate daily that don’t involve dieting? Eat This, Not That! spoke with an expert who breaks down seven of the best ways to lose 10 pounds without dieting.
We’re not suggesting that nutrition isn’t a critical component of weight loss. It is. However, it’s also true that sustainable weight loss involves more than your eating habits. It’s about mindfulness, movement, and healthy choices that benefit your physical and mental well-being.
In this article, we chatted with TJ Mentus, CPT, a certified personal trainer at Garage Gym Reviews, who explores seven transformative ways to lose 10 pounds in a month without dieting. Say goodbye to strict meal plans and counting calories! These strategies revolve around lifestyle changes and habits that seamlessly integrate into your daily routine. Plus, they’re designed to make your weight loss journey enjoyable, manageable, and, most importantly, effective.
Read on for Mentus’s top recommendations for losing 10 pounds this month without dieting. Then, don’t miss out on The #1 Bodyweight Workout for Women To Melt Hanging Belly Fat After 30.
Just 30 minutes of brisk walking daily can help burn calories and improve your mood. In addition, a 2011 study found that walking right after meals benefits digestion and weight loss.
“A 30-minute walk can burn between 100 to 300 calories depending on how fast you’re walking,” says Mentus. “Doing this daily can lead to an extra 1,000 to 2,000 calories burned a week through low-intensity exercise that can also be helpful with lowering stress levels.”
Remember when your parents constantly told you to drink more water? Turns out, they were on to something. According to 2019 research published in the Cochrane Library, drinking more water can lower your caloric intake and boost the number of calories you burn. So focus on zero-calorie beverages.
“Calories through liquids are the easiest to consume, which adds up quickly and makes weight loss more challenging,” explains Mentus. “If you regularly drink soda or high-calorie drinks loaded with additives, then swapping them out for water or calorie-free alternatives can save you hundreds of calories a day.”
While an occasional glass of wine with dinner might seem harmless, those calories can add up quickly. Drinking can even make you more likely to reach for unhealthy, calorie-dense foods.
Mentus tells us, “Regularly consuming alcohol can make it tougher to lose weight not only because of the extra calories but also because it puts stress on your body to process the alcohol out of your system. In addition, when you drink, it makes it easier to make unhealthy choices concerning food and overeat.”
Eating out can be a delightful treat, but it’s also a sneaky way to consume extra calories without realizing it. A 2018 study published in the Journal of Preventative Medicine and Hygiene found that fast food meals were correlated to abdominal obesity.
“Eating out makes it tough to know exactly what’s going into your food,” states Mentus. “There can be lots of added oils and sugars to meals that increase calories significantly more than if you made the meal at home. Eating out also shows you all the options available, which can make someone want to eat more than they normally would between appetizers, entrees, and desserts.”
Staying hydrated helps satiate hunger pangs, aids digestion, and can even boost metabolism.
“When you’re dehydrated, it’s harder to get full, which can reduce the amount of food eaten,” says Mentus. “It’s also important to stay hydrated for the body to function optimally. Dehydration can decrease mood, leading to worse food choices and lack of motivation to eat healthy.”
Writing down what you eat, how you feel, and your daily activities is a game-changer. A journal offers insights into your habits, helping you spot patterns and make better choices. Interestingly, a 2011 study observed that self-monitoring is a crucial component of any healthy weight loss program—and journaling does just that.
“Keeping a good journal (and reviewing it) allows you to be aware of what’s going into your body and how much and how often. It might not seem as bad when you just think about your food, but looking at it on paper will clearly show the mistakes and encourage better future decisions,” says Mentus.
Out of sight, out of mind—it’s as simple as that. Keeping junk food out of your house minimizes temptations. Instead, fill your pantry with healthy snacks and watch how effortlessly you reach for them when hunger strikes.
“If there’s junk food in the house, it’ll be hard to resist eating it,” cautions Mentus. “If you don’t buy it, then there’s no temptation. If you have cravings, force yourself to at least have to go get it and think your choices through.”