How to Lose Weight Without Doing One Minute of Exercise

Screen shot 2010-03-04 at 1.16.53 AMThis picture has absolutely nothing to do with today’s article.  I just love Homer, and I wanted to get your attention…although you might be eating a doughnut right now as you read this.  Let’s hope not.

Before I start, I want to let you know I’m not condoning zero exercise.  In fact, exercise is freaking awesome and something you should try to do every day. However, I am here to tell you that if your primary concern is weight loss, exercise is merely the icing on the cake.  90% of your waistline battle is won or lost in the kitchen (or at the restaurant table, or at the drive-thru window, etc.)

Warning: this will ask you to possibly make some substantial changes to your diet – are you up for it?

Eat Real Food

I’m a huge fan of the food philosophy presented in books like The Paleo Diet, Good Calories Bad Calories, and sites like Mark’s Daily Apple. Why?  Because they make this diet thing so simple and logical even a caveman could understand it.  My apologies if you’re a caveman.  If you’re new to the “Paleo Diet” concept, here it is in a nutshell.  Rather than list what you can’t eat, here’s what you CAN eat:

REAL foods – veggies, lean meats, fish, eggs, fruit, and nuts.

Why does this work? Because you’re only eating foods that you’re genetically engineered to thrive on: high quality, high energy REAL foods.  Not from a box, not from a bag, not from a window.  Food from the earth.  Yay nature.

Cut Way Back on the Rest

Bread, cereal, pasta, fried food, rice, bagels, doughnuts, waffles, chips, tortillas, candy etc. – these things are all loaded with carbs (and if they’re processed – refined carbs and sugar), and I’ll bet a million Monopoly dollars they’re the cause of 99% of the population’s weight problem. I’m not telling you to give all of this stuff up completely – I’m just telling you that this is probably the reason the weight isn’t coming off of your frame.  Here’s why:

Most grains, refined carbs and sugar were nonexistent way back in the day, which means our bodies never quite adapted to properly process them.  If you want to understand more why our bodies have such an issue with grains and carbs, this is the best article I’ve readHere’s a great video to explain why refined carbs make you fat:

Video – Why You Got Fat

Today’s general recommended diet ratio of 50-60% carbs, 30% protein, 10-20% fat is so far off it’s ridiculous. I’m sorry, but it is.  This ratio has been pushed on the public for decades, and new “low fat” items continue to pop up every day…and yet the country continues to get wider and bigger and fatter.

Something’s not right.

How I Know it Works

Although I’ve recently added some grains back into my diet to bulk up (oats, flaxseed bread, and brown rice), I can attest to the fact that the Paleo Diet absolutely works.   In the four months that I switched to a Paleo diet (my ratio was probably 40% fat, 40% protein, and 20% carbs), my body fat percentage dropped from 12% down to 5%.  Besides myself, many NF readers have lost quite a bit of weight from making this change as well.

If you’re interested in giving the Paleo Diet a shot, check out this GREAT resource.  Pick a few things on the list, put together your meals, and you will lose weight.  If you’re interested in learning more about ‘going paleo,’ Mark’s Primal Blueprint 101 is a great place to get your feet wet.

Cut Out Liquid Calories

Soda, beer, juice, margaritas Gatorade, vitamin water, cappuccinos, fruit coolatas – avoid them whenever possible (except for beer on St. Patty’s Day…come on.) These beverages are all loaded with sugar which immediately turn to fat in your system.  And switching from a 12 pack of Coke to a 12 pack of Diet Coke might not solve your problems either.  Read my article why Diet Coke might make you fat. My advice: chug water like it’s your job.  It will curb your appetite, keep your insides running properly, and give you an excuse to get up and go for a walk to the bathroom every thirty minutes.

No Paleo? Eat Less Than Before!

Don’t want to change what you eat?  Welp, you’re just going to count calories (using a site like DailyBurn).  It’s a pain in the ass, but it works.  Here are the three equations you need to know:

  • Calories consumed > Calories burned = weight gain.
  • Calories consumed < Calories burned = weight loss.
  • 3500 less calories per week = 1 pound of fat weight loss.

As explained in the video above, the types of you food you eat is more important than these equations let on, but just creating a caloric deficit will still produce weight loss (although far less efficiently).  Tyler over at has had incredible results by continuing to eat his favorite foods in moderation.  However, along with eating his favorite foods in moderation, Tyler also spends hours and hours in the gym burning off all of those calories, which is incredibly time consuming.  I just don’t have that kind of free time and I guess that you don’t either, so why not work smarter instead of harder? Rather than eating bad foods and spending hours working it off, instead eat GOOD foods, put in only 20-30 minutes of solid exercise, and then enjoy the rest of your day.  Life’s too short to spend it doing stuff that’s just not necessary.

The Choice Is Yours

I’m not going to yell at you and force you to only eat grilled chicken and steamed vegetables for every meal – I’m not your mom (phew, that would be weird).  Besides, you’re a grown individual and you can make choices for yourself.

I AM, however, telling you that if you want to see results without spending hours upon hours in the gym, you need to get your diet under control, and this is the most efficient way for you to get there.  The more you can change to what’s been listed above, the quicker you’ll get to your goal weight.  Switching to a 100% Paleo Diet after years of eating bad carbs is a recipe for disaster.  Instead, try finding a way to implement a change or two along the way until you start to see those results.

I realize this is much easier said than done, which means this isn’t really about your diet: it’s about your will power and finding a good balance of changes that you can successfully manage. Whenever somebody says “I can’t give up that food” or “I just don’t have time to prepare a healthy meal” all I hear is, “I don’t want it badly enough yet.”

I’m okay with that.

If you’re not at that point yet to take control of your life, I’ll do my best to inspire and motivate you to get there…but the desire to change has to come from within you.  If you ARE at the point where you really want to make a change, I’m here to help, along with a community of people on our message boards who are there to support you.

Do we have any Paleo Dieters here? How did you successfully make the transition from a modern diet to a healthy one?  Do you have concerns about giving up carbs and eating more fat? I’m only writing from experience and my own research, but would love to hear some stories on your weight loss successes or failures and I know others would too.

Let’s hear it!


28 Day Challenge UpdateOn March 1st I put a call out for people to join me on a 28-challenge.  Over fifty new people signed up for the Nerd Fitness Message Boards and about a dozen bloggers signed up to post their challenge results on their own websites.  Sounds like a dedicated bunch of fools to me.  You can follow my challenge here – I’ll be writing every day throughout.  Join us!


photo: Greg Easton Photography

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  • Kristen Jay

    Cutting back on your caloric intake is how you lose weight. I don’t waste my time working out at a gym 2 hours a day. I do moderate exercise mainly to get my cardio vascular system healthy as Im losing.
    Studies have shown that people who exercise AND cut back the calories don’t lose more weight than those who simply cut back daily caloric intake

  • John Crooks

    It’s about leading a healthy lifestyle and feeling better in yourself not necessarily losing weight. But if you eat right and exercise regularly your body will see the results and feel the benefits.

    What you put into your body makes a huge difference.

  • Dr Shikta Mohanty

    Really great post. Very descriptive and informational. I also wrote some recipes and health topics for eating healthy while trying to lose weight. Any one trying to lose fat but still want to eat tasty food can follow this blog and mine too at

  • Faisal Yousuf


  • Tung Le

    I’ve just known one site about weight loss diet for men. What do you think about it ? Please help me understanding it. Thank you so much !

  • Cal Fife

    When I was younger I was the fat girl in my school. It was when I moved out after high school that I saw there was more to life. I knew the one way I would get to enjoy that life was to lose weight first and foremost. To give myself some courage and confidence after having been the school chubby chub (which I completely imposed on myself, no glandular problems, eating disorders, jonah hill fetishes etc.). So I remembered the Atkins diet and the kid on Bad News Bears that carried around a baggy of bacon and thought I could do that too. Fat girls love bacon you know. I dropped like 20 pounds in the first few weeks. But then I plateaued and knew that 8 lbs of what I lost was water weight that would return right whenever I ate some carbohydrates again.

    I started looking what was up and I found the slightly more extreme Bulletproof diet of 70% fat, 20% protein and 10% vegetabley carbs. So I tried that out, made some of the “Fat Bomb” treats and kept them in my freezer and I continued to loose an additional 40 lbs over a few months. No exercise, although that would have helped. The diet claims its not necessary to exercise to loose weight if you are on this diet, which turned out to be completely true. Now if anyone is like me, I did not want to go to a gym as an excessively flabby person (or EFP if I may) so it was great to first loose weight sitting at home, doing collegely study-like things, reading, video games, etc and then be able to start exercising (I chose swimming because its fun and I have large breasts that make it hard to run in public, not bragging but very true nonetheless. They are all submerged when you swim). I gained confidence and even competed in the cosplay contest in Salt Lake City ComicCon 2015 as a Borg drone and won second place (that is bragging). I continued on the diet simply because my BRAIN WOKE UP! I could think so much clearer on a carbless diet and I swear grades went up because of it. The greatest difference was my ability to focus on things. I went from focus-of-a-knat to focus-of-a-cat (I assume they are good focusers?). So that was, after the weight loss, the reason I kept on the diet. But I often break from it for icecream. Hopefully that’s not going to turn the tides on me…

    Anyway in conclusion, I was able to go from carby diet to no carby diet very easily because I love bacon and mayonnaise, and the Bulletproof Diet had recipes for “Fatbombs” that are basically sweetened butter cream cheese and dark chocolate which are very sweet but 90% fat. Oh and Quest bars.

  • Cal Fife

    Oh and I know the main problem of this type of diet is price. What I did was live off canned spinach like popeye and other dark leafy greens, eg asparagus. I have a steel belly so I ate they cold from the can but there are also fantastic recipes w canned veggies. I know its not natural and cavemen cant operate can openers or whatever, but as a college student, it worked for me. I also ate bologne. You also eat less quantities because meat and fat is more filling anyway.

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  • Farhan Khan

    I did my coolsculpting at home and it worked for me as i lost 3 inches around my waist in 2 months by using blue fat freeze system (fatfreezekit/com).