6 Ways to Lose Weight

(that have nothing to do with food or exercise)

Image by Priscilla Du Preez

It's not all about food and exercise...

Any time you want to find out about losing weight or being healthy there always seems to be a huge influence on how you should eat and exercise.  Yes, sure, these things can make a difference when it come to what we want to see on the scales, but they're not the only reasons when it comes to weight loss.


So, if it's not just about food and exercise, what else is there?

Well, read on to find out more....

Woman at the Beach

6 Ways to Lose Weight (that have nothing to do with food or exercise)

1.   Getting out of The Stressed-Out Zone

Life is busy - crazy busy at times.  And as a result too many of us are breathing from our chest.  When we breathe this way we are activating our Sympathetic Nervous System (Stressed-Out Zone) which is responsible for our fight or flight response (i.e. "I'm under attack, I need to fight or run").  This causes our body releases adrenaline or cortisol, our stress hormone.  However, in our day most of us aren't under attack at all, but it can feel like we are due to work, family, financial stresses etc.  Being in this state for too long can cause issues for our body including inflammation, blood pressure and heart issues, digestive and sexual issues.

But it can also cause us to hold on to excess weight due to our body storing the fuel to use in a fight or flight situation.  Our body wants to be prepared for this perceived "attack" - that actually never happens.

Many people can be in this zone without even realising it - it's just become a normal part of their day.

So, if you need to get out of your Stressed-Out Zone (like many people do) try to make sure that you plan out your day and do not expect too much of yourself or say "yes" to too many things when you don't have the time to do them.  

2.  Getting into Your Peaced-Out Zone

The opposite of our Sympathetic Nervous System (Stressed-Out Zone) is our Parasympathetic Nervous System (our Peaced-Out Zone).  This is our rest and digest system. It lets our brain know we are safe.  It’s our calm place and it is the best state to be in to digest our food and enable us to get the nutrients we need. 


So, as much as possible, we want our bodies to be in the Peaced-Out Zone. The best way to activate our Parasympathetic Nervous System is through diaphragmatic breathing (see below) and taking time some time for ourselves each day so that our bodies can digest food correctly and fuel our us in the best way possible.

To activate your Parasympathetic Nervous System it's important to spend some time each day breathing into your diaphragm and then exhaling slowly.  Close your eyes, place your hands on your belly and breathe through your nose into your stomach slowly to the count of 4, hold for 4, then breathe out slowly through your mouth to the count of 4. 


Do this technique 4 times in a row.   Do this as often as you can – when you wake up in the morning, when you go to sleep at night, when the kids are driving you nuts.  Breathing this way connects your mind with your body, activates your calm place, gets you out of the Stressed-Out Zone and enables the food that has been eaten to nourish your body instead of storing the fat for fuel.

3.  Love where you're at Right Now


It can be so easy to get into the trap of feeling negative about our bodies, especially if they are not quite the way we hoped they would be.  This negativity can cause stress in our body, which then makes our body feel that it is under attack (see Stressed Out Zone above) and therefore hold onto fat and can lead to weight gain for many of us. 


Instead, learn how to love who you are inside and out right now.  Appreciate and notice the amazing things about yourself both physically and emotionally no matter what your weight is.  A sense of well-being will benefit your body in a huge way.

Image by DANNY G

 4.  Sleeping Well


We all know that getting a good nights sleep is optimal for our health and energy, but did you know that not sleeping well can also cause us to eat more? Our leptin hormone tells our body it is full when we are eating.  However, this hormone decreases if we don't sleep well, so, less sleep, less leptin, which means we’re hungrier and will eat more.  Plus when we are tired it is easy to go for sugary foods for an energy hit (which is always temporary) or consume too many coffee's - which promotes adrenaline and causes us to be in the Stressed-Out Zone again (if you want to read more about coffee and how it can cause us to gain weight, click HERE).

Make sure you get to bed on time and get a restful nights sleep (if sleep is an issue for you, please do not hesitate to get in touch).

 5.  Hydrate 


Drinking water is important for us all, but be mindful of the fact that many times when we think we are hungry we are actually just thirsty.  So, making sure you are drinking plain water throughout the day is highly important and can prevent reaching for food unnecessarily.  This will also provide us with more energy.


On that note it is a good idea to have a glass of water about 30 minutes before we eat as this prepares our body for digestion.  However, it's best if we don't drink big glasses of water with our meals – this can neutralise the acid in our stomach which can inhibit food being broken down correctly.  So drinking water when we are not eating is best.  It’s okay to have a few sips when we are eating, but not drinking a whole glass.

6.  Timing (Chronobiology)

Chronobiology is about understanding how our internal body clock interacts with external cues in the environment. If our body and the environment are not in sync this can cause issues in our body.


What and when you eat can affect your internal clock.  This is also the same for how and when you exercise.  Ultimately our body's key organs function at their best during certain times of the day - however this is different for each person (okay, I'll admit, this is kind of to do with food and exercising, but it's more about the timing of it).


Finding out about your personal timing for eating and exercising and doing it at the right time for your body-type can be one of the keys in losing weight.

Many more weight loss tips and learning to work with your unique body type is the basis of my Healthy Happy You Programme so that you can ditch the diet, gain energy, balance your hormones and get healthy.

Image by Alexa Suter

Daily Habits to Balance Your Hormones

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Positive Affirmations

to Reduce Stress

Image by Sorin Sîrbu

Coffee - Can it Make You put on Weight?