This article will show you 4 effective ways to lose weight at home. The weight-loss methods below do not require a fancy high-tech gym or peppy personal trainer. Furthermore, you will not need to swing a down payment for a Udemy course or foot a monthly subscription bill.
It may come as surprise to you, what with all the misinformation bandied about, but you don’t need the fancy trappings of the modern fitness industry to lose weight, get in shape and stay healthy.
Believe it or not, the best way to lose weight is at home. Why? Because, besides work, home is where most of us spend the majority of our time. If our lifestyle habits at home contribute to weight gain, then a few weekly gym sessions alone will not compensate.
Lose weight at home with lifestyle interventions
When it comes to losing weight start with your home habits before running off to sign up to your local gym. By way of example of the power of changing home habits for weight loss, a friend of mine wanted to lose 2 stone.
However, he hates exercise and wouldn’t be seen dead in a gym. Each to their own. After doing a spot of research and scrutinising his home habits he realised that he was consuming too much bread and refined carbohydrates.
He resolved to cut out all refined carbs while increasing his fruit and vegetable intake. Being a bit of an extremist he completely purged his kitchen of bread, white rice, and white pasta. In addition, he cut out confectionaries and other processed foods.
Did this super simple lifestyle modification help him lose that 2 stone? Nope. It helped him lose nearly 3 stone! Yep, in a little under a year of dodging refined carbs, he shed 42lbs of fat. Imagine how his body would’ve transformed if he supported this lifestyle change with regular exercise.
How to lose weight at home
Below you’ll discover 4 ways to lose weight at home. The weight-loss methods featured throughout this article have been selected because they can be easily implemented.
In most cases, the following weight-loss methods demand little more than a minor modification of your current lifestyle habits. As outlined above, even small changes can exert dramatic impacts on fat loss. Who would’ve believed that you could lose 3 stone of fat just by cutting out refined carbs?
With that in mind, the first way to lose weight at home that we will start with is:
#1: Lose weight by cutting out carbs
While there is still a lot of confusion around whether carbs make you fat, it is well understood that weight gain is the direct result of consuming too many calories.
And though ‘gram for gram, carbohydrates contain fewer calories than fat’, they do readily convert into sugar. And ‘eating these foods too often can contribute to you becoming overweight,’ (NHS, 2021).
In addition, refined carbs are not as filling as their whole grain counterparts, Consequently, you need to consume a larger portion before you feel full.
It’s for these reasons and the fact that refined carbs are nutritionally deficient why you should cut them out of your diet. Or at least cut them down. Purging your pantry of processed foods is easy to do and, if you replace them with fresh or whole foods, you’ll lose weight and improve your health.
The table below provides you with a list of refined carbs to avoid and healthier alternative:
Try these 10 Super Easy Plant-based Recipes
#2: Lose weight at home by being more active
In a recent survey, researchers showed that UK children spend a total of 6.3 hours seated in front of a screen every day (NHS, 2020). Calculated over the week that equates to over 44 hours! Adults didn’t fare much better.
According to Ofcom, a government-approved communications regulator, the average UK resident watched video content for 5hrs and 40mins a day in 2019 (Guardian, 2020). More concerning still, this doesn’t include the time many millions of people spend in front of a computer at work or watching YouTube while riding the tube.
Inactivity – otherwise known as sedentarism – is one of the leading causes of weight gain and ill health. When we’re idling in a sedentary state the body burns fewer calories. Thus, the food we eat throughout the day is more likely to be stored as fat.
Swap the couch for steps
Though some may be prohibited from being more active at work, or making the daily commute by foot or bike instead of a car, most can swap the couch for physically stimulating activity. And there are a million and one ways to break sedentary habits. However, I’ll only outline three.
Lose weight with walking
One of the simplest ways of shifting the balance to a more active lifestyle is to habituate an evening walk. Simply turn off the TV an hour earlier than normal and force yourself out for a gentle 30-minute stroll. Over the course of a couple of weeks aim to increase the duration of your walk to an hour.
Pedal away the pounds
But what about those people who are so addicted to TV that they couldn’t pry themselves away even for a minute, let alone a whole hour? Well, for those poor souls there’s always the option of buying a budget indoor bike and peddling while you watch. This way you can (if you’ll excuse the pun) have your cake and eat it.
Lose weight with Yoga
The last idea to increase activity levels is simple and effective. And, what’s more, it doesn’t require that you sacrifice precious screen time! For the last hour of an evening pop on a YouTube yoga video and start practicing your downward-facing dog.
Yoga is a brilliant way to promote fat loss and improve health in general. Also, it has been shown to decrease stress, ease anxiety and tension while also improving the quality of sleep.
#3: Lose weight with outdoor fitness
In our other article – Outdoor Fitness | The Complete Guide – we show that you can maintain a high level of fitness and lose weight by exercising in your local environment. If you have access to a park or large patch of grass, you have all you need to keep fit and fight fat. In the above article, we provide you with training plans, workouts, and outdoor exercises of which can be performed with minimal equipment.
But there are more benefits of outdoor fitness training beyond accessibility. For example, the outdoor gym is always open. There are no busy times and you’ll never have to wait for that antisocial kit-hogger to complete his set-a-thon.
Outdoor fitness training vs. gym training
Some people may be incredulous that outdoor fitness training is as effective as working out at the gym. While it is true that there isn’t a wide variety of equipment available in the outdoor gym, it is more than adequate to improve fitness and lose weight.
To support this claim we use military basic training as an example. Few would argue that military personnel are far fitter than their civilian counterparts. Yet, the majority of military fitness training takes place outdoors. Moreover, military PT typically consists of runs, sprints, bodyweight circuits and a combination of the three.
If this terse overview has piqued your interest in the outdoor fitness training methodology, and you would like to adopt it as a weight-loss intervention, our complete guide will bequeath you with all the tools and teachings.
#4: Lose weight at home with intermittent fasting
Firstly, intermittent fasting, if you’re new to the concept, is where we extend the duration of time between meals and abstain from eating for between 10- to 24 hours. Intermittent fasting is easier to implement than the traditional day-long fasts because, if you organise your meals sensible, you’ll be asleep for most of the fast.
For example, you might start the day with a healthy plant-based breakfast then eat nothing until your evening meal – a light salad or bowl of fresh homemade soup (no bread! #1: Cut out carbs). From your evening meal you might then fast until lunchtime the following day.
Can intermittent fasting help with weight loss?
In an excellent article on intermittent fasting, published on the Johns Hopkins Medicine website, the author cites research showing that ‘intermittent fasting is a way to manage weight and prevent – or even reverse – some forms of disease.’
It has been shown that when we reduce calorie consumption for protracted periods, ‘the body exhausts its sugar stores and starts burning fat.’ This biological process is called ‘metabolic switching’.
Metabolic switching is believed to be an evolutionary survival strategy that enables us to conserve fuel reserves during times of food scarcity – something our ancient ancestors faced a lot. Emerging research suggests that intermittent fasting flick the metabolic switch from lipid/cholesterol synthesis to the utilisation of fat stores.
‘Thus, intermittent fasting regimens that induce the metabolic switch have the potential to improve body composition in overweight individuals,’ (Anton et al, 2017).
Weight loss and other benefits of fasting
As well as facilitating weight loss and encouraging the body to metabolise fat for fuel, intermittent fasting has been shown to be extremely beneficial for health in general. For example, Daniel Levitin, in his fascinating book The Changing Mind, brings our attention to research showing that caloric restriction ‘slows down an organism’s metabolism and therefore slows down that rate at which cellular damage accumulates.’
There’s also a growing body of research demonstrating the beneficial impacts of intermittent fasting on brain health.
It is believed that fasting and caloric restriction ‘stimulates the production of brain-derived neurotrophic growth factor’ (of BDNF for short). The presence of BDNF, it has been convincingly argued, promotes neurogenesis – that is, the birth of new brain cells.
The growth of new neurons has been linked to many positive outcomes. For example, studies have shown that neurogenesis maintains and enhances cognition as well as improving memory while also reducing the susceptibility of some brain-wasting diseases.
Furthermore (and the last point I promise), intermittent fasting can increase overall mitochondria, which are, if you’ll excuse the lay metaphor, like minuscule batteries that reside in each and every cell. Mitochondria, the National Human Genome Research Institute tells us, ‘are membrane-bound cell organelles (mitochondrion, singular) that generate most of the chemical energy needed to power the cell's biochemical reactions.'
So, in short, as well as supporting weight loss, improving brain function, promoting wellness, fasting also increases the body’s energy capacity!
Any one of the weight-loss methods covered in this article will yield results if implemented and rigidly observed. Of course, for best results, dietary reforms, being more active, exercises regimes, intermittent fasting, basically any lifestyle change, must be practiced over the long term.
If you swap and change the above methods without giving them time to work their magic, it is doubtful you will experience any positive outcomes. Furthermore, the 4 effective ways to lose weight at home prove their best results when combined.
The example of my friend who lost 3 stone in a year by cutting out refined carbohydrates is a case in point. By supporting this lifestyle change with exercise, he’d not only have lost weight but also improved his general fitness along with the health of his cardio-respiratory system.
With that said, start losing weight at home today.
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Adam Priest, former Royal Marines Commando, is a personal trainer, lecturer, boxing and Thai boxing enthusiast.