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5 Ways To Lose Weight (Other Than Dieting And Exercise)

There are so many ways to slim down and stay healthy that don’t involve counting calories. Plus, being obsessed with every snack and meal will only prohibit weight loss, not to mention make your life that much more stressful. Eating should be enjoyable, especially after a run—so here are some alternatives to help you lose weight while still enjoying your food.

Build Stronger Relationships

How many times have you passed on a lunch or dinner invitation because you were too busy or had a long run in the morning? When was the last time you grabbed a group and went to the movies? Have you heard your best friend’s voice in a while or do you communicate solely via text? Accept that happy hour invitation, invite a friend to the movies and dial your bestie’s number to instantly feel more connected, less stressed and supported by your circle of friends and family.

One published study on the effects of social relationships and health found that strong social connections lead to a 50 percent increased chance of longevity. “Social connection strengthens our immune system, helps us recover from disease faster, and may even lengthen our life. People who feel more connected to others have lower rates of anxiety and depression,” researchers claim.

Keep A Food Journal

It’s one of the oldest recommendations for a reason: it works. Accountability goes a long way toward deciding what to put into your body. Also, if you start tracking not only what you’re eating but when you’re eating and what kinds of foods, you may find patterns you can either encourage or avoid in the future.

You can be as detailed or vague as you like, but recognizing your personal food patterns can go a long way toward weight loss.

Get Quality Sleep

It should be so simple, but if you’re running a household, have a full time job and are trying to train for a race, you know that sleep is often first to be sacrificed. However, when it comes to weight loss, sleep is incredibly important.

According to a study published in the journal Appetite, those who prioritize getting a full night’s sleep eat less than those who are sleep deprived. This is primarily because the tired brain tends to crave more high-calorie foods. Sleep on that!

Manage Stress

Several scientific studies have documented the direct correlations between stress and weight gain, like the one published in The U.S. National Library of Medicine Journal. The study focusing on American adults was done over a nine-year period and showed that “psychosocial stress was associated with greater weight gain among both men and women with higher baseline body mass indexes if they experienced job-related demands, had difficulty paying bills, or had depression or generalized anxiety disorder.”

If these stressors sound familiar, there’s a reason. Life and stress often go hand in hand, but how you react to the stress or even plan for it can make all the difference. Here are a few tips for how to manage your stress levels better:

  • Change your vocabulary. Instead of being “stressed out,” be “energized.”
  • Turn negative stress (e.g. job loss) into a positive or good stress (e.g. a new opportunity).
  • Find alternatives to eating your problems or relieving stress with food. Try going for a run, binge-watching a series on television or reading.

Start Meditating

Meditating doesn’t have to involve a lot of time or any kind of harp music and incense—it can be done in as little as three minutes a day. Not only has a meditation practice been linked to weight loss: it can also make you a better runner.

Here are some of our favorite guided meditation apps:

  • Mindfulness: Like a little meditation assistant, this app alerts you when it’s time to step back and take a breather. In addition to setting a particular time and day, the app also allows you to set GPS reminders telling you to meditate when you enter certain locations.
  • Meditate: The timer lets you set multiple chimes, intervals and even cool-down sessions. Sounds including bowls, tingshas and bells give your practice an authentic tones. The app also provides statistics, including sessions completed, your average session length and your total meditation time.
  • Stop, Breathe and Think: Feel the calm in just five minutes, explore more than 50 meditation and “emotion-based” activities, select your current emotion to find the right activities for you and track your progress day by day.
  • Breathe and Relax: Get into the habit of connecting with your breath in a natural, relaxed way with this app. Many of us hold our breath when we’re stressed and could use a moment of zen in the middle of the day. Short, guided exercises will remind you to just breathe.

Related:

7 Easy Ways To Reduce Daily Stress

What Happened When I Started Meditating Before Every Run

5 Ways Getting Enough Sleep Contributes To Weight Loss

Allie Burdick

Allie Burdick

Allie is a freelance writer, athlete and mom, but not in that order. Her work has appeared in Runner's World, Triathlon Magazine and ESPNW. On her blog, VITA Train for Life, she chronicles her life as a runner/triathlete and hopes her successes and failures help to motivate and inspire others, even the over-40 crowd she somehow found herself in! The rest of her time is spent raising her twin boys with her husband in the Northeast where they live a big life! See it all on Twitter and Instagram.