How To Lose Weight Without Dieting – 10 Amazing Tips To Try Now In 2024

by

Reviewed by Chelsea Rae Bourgeois, RDN
how to lose weight without dieting
It is possible to lose weight without restrictive dieting. Photo: ME Image/Shutterstock

Each article is created without any external influence. When you use our provided links to buy products, we receive a commission as an affiliate. To understand how we generate revenue, please read our advertising disclaimer.

If you want to lose weight, you’ve probably explored several different diet plans. While dieting is a common method for achieving weight loss, not everyone wants to diet. Sticking to a diet requires time and effort. You might have to avoid certain foods, miss out on dinners with friends, or spend hours tracking your calories.

Diets work for some people. However, you may not have the time to worry about tracking everything you eat. So, you can lose weight without dieting?

By making some habit changes, such as practicing good sleep hygiene and making time for exercise, you can lose weight without dieting. These tweaks can help you to be in a calorie deficit for weight loss. 
Below, learn several strategies for how to lose weight without dieting. These strategies will help with weight management, but you won’t have to stick to a restrictive diet.

How To Lose Weight Without Dieting

People often want to learn how to lose weight without dieting. If you make healthy lifestyle changes, you can lose weight without a restrictive diet. Consider these strategies:

  1. Prioritize protein.
  2. Increase fruit and vegetable intake. 
  3. Consider supplementing.
  4. Drink water before meals.
  5. Get regular sleep.
  6. Include dairy in your diet.
  7. Include fiber in your diet.
  8. Take regular walks.
  9. Try high-intensity interval training. 
  10. Incorporate intermittent fasting into your routine.

10 Proven Tips To Lose Weight Without Dieting

If you want to lose weight but you’re not interested in restrictive dieting, you can still be successful. Diets help with weight loss because they allow you to be in a calorie deficit. This means you’re burning more calories than you consume, and you’ll lose fat.

Restrictive dieting is not the only way to be in a calorie deficit. You can make slight tweaks to your habits to reduce your calorie levels.

With the strategies below, you can reduce calories and cut weight without following a strict diet.

Prioritize Protein

You don’t have to follow a strict plan to lose weight without dieting, but you do have to maintain a healthy diet. When you eat nutritious foods, your body will be nourished, and you’ll feel more full.

Increasing your protein intake is one strategy for achieving weight loss without a strict diet. In fact, numerous clinical studies[1] have found that a higher protein intake is better for weight loss.

If you’re interested in how to lose weight fast, naturally, and permanently, protein may be your answer. Not only is protein intake linked to weight loss, but research also shows that protein can prevent you from regaining weight.

Protein is beneficial because it keeps you full for longer, so you consume less food. Protein also helps you to maintain lean muscle mass, which helps you burn calories.

Be more mindful of your protein intake, and increase it by choosing foods like meat, fish, eggs, yogurt, and beans. Read the nutrition labels of foods at the grocery store to find which are high in protein.

Increase Fruit And Vegetable Intake

how to lose weight without dieting
Fruits and veggies are beneficial for weight loss. Photo: YARUNIV Studio/Shutterstock

Fruits and vegetables should be a part of your how-to-lose weight diet plan. Now, this doesn’t mean you’re following a rigid diet. It simply means you’re intentionally trying to eat more fruits and vegetables.

Research[2] has shown that fruits and vegetables can contribute to weight loss. It’s particularly important to focus on whole fruits and vegetables rather than juices. Whole produce provides fiber and increases feelings of fullness, with very low calorie and fat content. This can lead to a calorie deficit and in turn, weight loss. This is especially true if you replace higher-calorie, fatty foods with produce.

Consider Supplementing 

Supplements can be part of a successful weight loss program. In some cases, they may help to address underlying deficiencies that make it more difficult to lose weight.

For example, when people have difficulty losing weight, it can be due to a vitamin D deficiency.[2] In such cases, supplementing could help with weight loss.

A randomized trial[3] with overweight and obese individuals found that taking vitamin D supplements for six weeks was beneficial for weight loss. Compared to people taking a placebo, those taking vitamin D experienced significant weight loss. They also lost size off their waistlines.

Vitamin D isn’t the only supplement associated with weight loss. For example, chromium has also been found[4] to be potentially helpful for weight loss. It can help to maintain lean body mass, which has metabolic benefits. Green tea extract has also demonstrated[5] benefits for reducing body weight and fat mass. These benefits are a result of its caffeine and catechin content.

You may have to explore before you find the best supplement for you. Keep in mind that supplements will not magically result in weight loss. They can be beneficial as part of an overall weight management plan.

For safety, talk with your doctor before trying any new supplements. They can give you guidance on suitable choices for weight loss.

Drink Water Before Meals 

If you wonder how to lose weight without dieting or exercise, drinking water before meals can help. Water can help you feel fuller, so you’re less likely to overeat. This will ultimately result in eating fewer calories.

One recent study[6] found that when participants drank water before a meal, they consumed less food. This was compared to when they did not drink water before a meal, as well as when they consumed water after eating.

The study found that despite decreased food consumption after drinking water, participants still felt full. So, water can help you reduce your food intake without leaving you feeling hungry.

Drinking water could help you to lose weight without you even noticing that you’re eating less.

Get Regular Sleep 

If you don’t have time to hit the gym, you may wonder how to lose weight without exercising. One of the best tips to encourage weight loss and prevent weight gain is to get more sleep simply. It’s also important to develop a regular sleep schedule, especially if your current schedule is erratic.

A recent study[7] found that weight loss efforts were more successful when people had a consistent sleep schedule. Getting enough sleep, defined as seven to nine hours a night, was also linked to increased weight loss.

Adequate sleep can make it easier to stick to lifestyle changes that promote weight loss. You’re less likely to seek out junk food and sugary drinks for energy when you’ve had a good night of rest. You’ll also be better equipped to make healthy choices, as well as energized for physical activity.

Include Dairy In Your Diet

how to lose weight without dieting
Dairy contains protein to support a healthy metabolism. Photo: Ekaterina Bratova//Shutterstock

Rather than just cutting foods from your diet, add some dairy products. Dairy products like yogurt and cheese can help with weight loss when incorporated into a healthy eating plan.

A long-term study[8] that followed women for 12 years found that those who consumed more dairy products were less likely to become obese. As the study authors explained, dairy products contain whey protein and essential amino acids. These support healthy metabolic functioning by promoting the maintenance of lean muscle mass.

If you’re on a weight loss journey, dairy products can keep your metabolism functioning well to help you burn fat.

Include Fiber In Your Diet 

Fiber has also been linked to successful weight loss. Research[9] has found that each 10-gram increase in daily fiber intake is linked to significant fat loss.

Furthermore, fiber is associated with fat loss regardless of calorie intake. This suggests that fiber is helpful for losing weight without dieting. You won’t have to worry about tracking every calorie or avoiding certain foods.

When you consume more fiber, you’ll feel more full, which prevents overeating. Add fiber to your diet by consuming high-fiber fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole grains. If you aren’t sure about fiber content, check the nutrition facts.

Take Regular Walks

You can lose weight without dieting by incorporating walking into your exercise plan. Daily walks will increase your calorie burn, so you can potentially lose fat.

Research has supported the effectiveness of walking for weight loss. A meta-analysis[10] of 32 different studies found that walking significantly reduced waist size and body weight, along with other benefits to your overall health.

The studies included assessed the effects of walking only, compared to a control group that didn’t walk. This means that those in the walking group did not diet or make any other changes that would explain weight loss.

Walking for weight loss doesn’t have to be complicated. You can take an evening walk after dinner or go on a walk during your lunch break. Consider joining a local walking group or walking with friends to make it easier.

Try High-Intensity Interval Training 

High-intensity interval training is a popular form of exercise. It can be beneficial for weight loss, and it doesn’t require a significant time commitment.

This type of training involves alternating high-intensity bursts of exercise, like running, with recovery periods at a lower intensity. For instance, someone performing a HIIT workout may alternate four minutes of walking with 90 seconds of sprinting.

A meta-analysis[11] of 13 studies found that HIIT was beneficial for reducing weight and waist size. While it wasn’t any more effective than training at a continuous intensity, it required less time commitment.

If you’re trying to learn how to lose weight without dieting, perhaps you’re interested in saving time. If this is the case, HIIT is an optimal solution since it allows you to achieve weight loss with less time spent exercising.

Incorporate Intermittent Fasting Into Your Routine 

You can also lose weight without dieting by timing your meals with intermittent fasting. This approach doesn’t require you to follow any specific diet plan.

Instead, you will pick an eating window and a fasting window for each day. For example, you might choose an eating window of 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and then fast from 6 p.m. to 10 a.m. the next day. By limiting your eating to just these windows, you’ll naturally consume less over the course of the day. This allows you to still enjoy the foods you like without a caloric restriction.

There are different ways to do intermittent fasting, but the research[12] shows this method works. Studies have found that intermittent fasting improves blood sugar control and reduces body mass index.

Can You Still Lose Weight Without Dieting?

It is possible to lose weight without dieting. The reason people choose diets for weight loss is to be in a calorie deficit. While diets can be helpful for avoiding extra calories, there are other ways to reach a deficit. For example, if you start an exercise routine but eat the same amount of calories, you’ll still be in a deficit.

Similarly, if you make small changes to your eating habits, you can achieve a deficit without a strict diet.

Safety Tips For Weight Loss At Home

If you choose to lose weight, it’s important to do so safely. This means staying in regular contact with your doctor and registered dietitian. Before starting a new exercise routine or eating plan, consult your doctor.

You can ensure safety by engaging in slow, steady weight loss. Sometimes people want to know things like how to lose weight in two weeks without exercise. While it’s natural to want to see quick results, it’s not always safe or sustainable.

Using extreme methods for weight loss isn’t healthy, and it may result in weight gain once the restrictions are lifted. Choose nutritious foods, and do not try any extreme methods, such as long fasts or an unregulated fat burner, without seeking medical advice.

Conclusion

It is not always necessary to follow a strict diet to lose weight. If you make slight changes to your eating and exercise habits, you can drop weight without a diet plan.

Many strategies discussed here will help you to lower your calorie intake naturally. Others will increase your calorie burn, making it easier to stay in a calorie deficit. What all these strategies have in common is that they will not require you to follow a restrictive diet or track everything you eat. Instead, you’ll make small changes that may not be that noticeable.

After reading through these strategies, you might still be wondering, “How long does it take to lose weight?” While this is a common question, the truth is that the answer differs from person to person.

Everyone’s body, metabolism, and lifestyle are different. Some people may lose weight faster than others. However, slow, steady weight loss is preferred for the most sustainable results. The strategies here may take time to work, but they will not require a strict, unsustainable diet.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I lose weight without dieting but with exercise only?

Exercise can increase calorie burn, making it easier to stay in a calorie deficit. If you increase calorie burn through exercise you can lose weight. However, you won’t lose weight if your calorie intake also increases.

How long does it take to lose 20 pounds?

Weight loss should be slow and steady to be sustainable. Given this fact, it can take two to three months to lose 20 pounds.

Can I lose 20 pounds in a month?

Losing 20 pounds a month would mean losing around 5 pounds per week. This is rapid weight loss, and it’s likely not sustainable. It’s better to lose slowly and steadily, at around one to two pounds weekly.

How do you speed up your metabolism?

Studies suggest that higher protein intake can speed up the metabolism by increasing lean muscle mass. Muscle mass burns more calories.

+ 12 Sources

EHproject has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We work mostly with peer-reviewed studies to ensure accurate information. We avoid using tertiary references. You can learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate and current by reading our editorial policy.

  1. Moon, J. and Koh, G. (2020). Clinical Evidence and Mechanisms of High-Protein Diet-Induced Weight Loss. Journal of obesity & metabolic syndrome, [online] 29(3), pp.166–173. doi:https://doi.org/10.7570/jomes20028.
  2. Dreher, M.L. and Ford, N.B. (2020). A Comprehensive Critical Assessment of Increased Fruit and Vegetable Intake on Weight Loss in Women. Nutrients, [online] 12(7), pp.1919–1919. doi:https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12071919.
  3. Khosravi, Z., Marzieh Kafeshani, Parastoo Tavasoli, A Hassan Zadeh and Mohammad Hassan Entezari (2018). Effect of Vitamin D supplementation on weight loss, glycemic indices, and lipid profile in obese and overweight women: A clinical trial study. International Journal of Preventive Medicine, [online] 9(1), pp.63–63. doi:https://doi.org/10.4103/ijpvm.ijpvm_329_15.
  4. Willoughby, D.S., Hewlings, S. and Kalman, D. (2018). Body Composition Changes in Weight Loss: Strategies and Supplementation for Maintaining Lean Body Mass, a Brief Review. Nutrients, [online] 10(12), pp.1876–1876. doi:https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10121876.
  5. Willoughby, D.S., Hewlings, S. and Kalman, D. (2018). Body Composition Changes in Weight Loss: Strategies and Supplementation for Maintaining Lean Body Mass, a Brief Review. Nutrients, [online] 10(12), pp.1876–1876. doi:https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10121876.
  6. Jeong, J.N. (2018). Effect of Pre-meal Water Consumption on Energy Intake and Satiety in Non-obese Young Adults. Clinical Nutrition Research, 7(4), p.291. doi:https://doi.org/10.7762/cnr.2018.7.4.291.
  7. Papandreou, C., Mònica Bulló, Andrés Díaz‐López, Miguel Ángel Martínez‐González, Corella, D., Castañer, O., Jesús Vioque, Romaguera, D., Martı́nezA., Napoleón Pérez-Farinós, José López‐Miranda, Ramón Estruch, Bueno‐Cavanillas, A., Alonso‐Gómez, Á.M., Tur, J.A., Tinahones, F.J., Luís Serra-Majem, Martín, V., José Lapetra and Vázquez, C. (2019). High sleep variability predicts a blunted weight loss response and short sleep duration a reduced decrease in waist circumference in the PREDIMED-Plus Trial. International Journal of Obesity, [online] 44(2), pp.330–339. doi:https://doi.org/10.1038/s41366-019-0401-5.
  8. Lee, J., Cho, A-Ra. and Kwon, Y. (2022). Association between dairy protein and body composition in middle-aged and older women: A community-based, 12-year, prospective cohort study. Clinical Nutrition, [online] 41(2), pp.460–467. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.clnu.2021.12.015.
  9. Kahleová, H., Dort, S., Holubkov, R. and Barnard, N.D. (2018). A Plant-Based High-Carbohydrate, Low-Fat Diet in Overweight Individuals in a 16-Week Randomized Clinical Trial: The Role of Carbohydrates. Nutrients, [online] 10(9), pp.1302–1302. doi:https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10091302.
  10. Murtagh, E., Nichols, L., Mohammed, M.A., Holder, R., Nevill, A.M. and Murphy, M. (2015). The effect of walking on risk factors for cardiovascular disease: An updated systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised control trials. Preventive Medicine, [online] 72, pp.34–43. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ypmed.2014.12.041.
  11. Wewege, M., van den Berg, R., Ward, R.E. and Keech, A. (2017). The effects of high-intensity interval training vs. moderate-intensity continuous training on body composition in overweight and obese adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Obesity Reviews, 18(6), pp.635–646. doi:https://doi.org/10.1111/obr.12532.
  12. Cho, Y., Hong, N., Kim, K., Sung joon Cho, Lee, M., Yeon Hee Lee, Lee, Y.-H., Eun Seok Kang, Cha, B. and Byung Wan Lee (2019). The Effectiveness of Intermittent Fasting to Reduce Body Mass Index and Glucose Metabolism: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Journal of Clinical Medicine, [online] 8(10), pp.1645–1645. doi:https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm8101645.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jennifer Jacobsen is a university professor and mental health professional with over 10 years of experience writing in the health and wellness space. See More