Seriously. If you’re overweight and looking to lose weight, get healthy, and to make a change in your life that will last longer than the Holiday Season, then commit to a no-exercise November. Why? Because if weight loss is your goal, then exercise is not the best way to go about getting it done. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to become a gym rat, a psycho-cyclist, or a running fool. All you need to do is change your diet.
Now, I’m not talking about going “On” a diet. I’m saying you need to change your diet. Change what you eat, how often you eat, and how much you eat. Let’s break it down Gumby-style (as we say in the Marines).
What you eat. I follow the Paleo Diet, but Whole30, keto, Atkins, or any other low-carb diet will be successful in helping you lose weight and will definitely help in making you healthier. I cut anything with added sugar, grains, alcohol, legumes, soy, and dairy. Why? Because it works for me and many other people I know. I lost 150 lbs on this lifestyle, and 110 lbs of that was within the first year.
How often you eat. I used to eat 5, 6 or even 7 times a day. Snacks were just a thing I did without thinking. Now, I eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I don’t get hungry between meals unless I didn’t eat enough at the previous meal. Limiting yourself to meal times is actually good for you and helps your body get used to regulating its energy levels.
How much you eat. Being sensible in portion sizes takes time to learn, but the general rule of thumb is that if you make a cup with both your hands, your food should fit into it. More than that, and you might be over-eating. If you must snack (and let’s face it; sometimes, you just need to), make a cup with one hand and fill it half-way with nuts and eat them slowly. I used to eat very large portions, and I ate those large portions quickly. I’ve since learned to slow down and eat smaller portions. I find it fills me up faster, and allows me to eat a smaller amount of food.
I exercise because I need to remain fit. I’m in the National Guard, and a part of my job is to remain physically prepared to deploy at a moment’s notice, but if you’re not someone whose job or career depends on being physically fit and you find yourself overweight, skip the exercise for now and concentrate on your diet and lifestyle. You might surprise yourself by losing more weight than if you’d have spent your time and energy in the gym instead. Remember, you can’t out-exercise a bad diet, but you can out-diet the lack of a good exercise program as it pertains to weight loss.