How to Lose Weight without Spending All Your Time at the Gym

Losing weight is a goal many women have but few women really know how to achieve. Losing weight isn’t easy and looking for a quick fix is only going to lead to disappointment. With that said, you don’t have to spend all of your time in the gym to achieve your weight loss goals. There are simple things you can do in your every day life to get in shape and lose inches off your waistline. Give them a try and see how they work for you.

You don't need your car for every trip. (photo by MIKI Yoshihito)

10: Leave the Car in the Garage.

Choosing to travel on foot whenever possible instead of taking your car offers benefits far beyond losing weight. Whether people choose to believe it or not, the facts are there – our world is in serious trouble and we’ve reached peak oil production. Gas prices are going to continue fluctuating wildly until only the rich can afford to gas up. Do your part to help the environment and help your bank account while getting in shape by leaving your car at home. If you can walk to your destination then walk. I know many, many people who drive to the store when the store is in walking distance. It’s faster, sure, but you’re really not doing yourself, your earth or your wallet any favors by saving a minute or two.

A great workout opportunity. (photo by 邰秉宥)

09: Take the Stairs.

Again, it takes a few extra minutes, but skip the elevator or escalator and take the stairs at work, in the mall or at school. It might not seem like a big deal, but those few trips up and down the stairs each day can make all the difference in the world. Climbing stairs is a great cardio workout and is a great cardio workout you can do several times each day. I have a crippling fear of escalators so I can tell you first hand, any mall worth visiting will have stairs for those who can’t or refuse to use escalators or elevators.

An easy and efficient workout (photo by Istolethetv)

08: Invest in an Exercise Ball.

Exercise balls are those large colorful balls you’ll find in the fitness section of just about any department store. They’re fairly inexpensive and offer a great workout. If you work in an office, use your exercise ball in place of your office chair for an hour or so every work day. Your coworkers might think it’s strange at first, but when you start losing weight and getting in shape, don’t be surprised if you discover you’ve started a trend. If you’re not comfortable using your exercise ball at work or your job doesn’t allow for such things, use your exercise ball at home while you’re watching television or using your computer. Exercise balls work by forcing you to balance yourself on them; strengthening your core and your legs at the same time.

Worth the expense. (photo by Keith Ramsey)

07: Invest in a Stationary Bike.

While your exercise ball will be great, if you’re serious about losing weight, you absolutely need cardio. You need to get your heart rate up. Don’t worry about having to break the bank on some piece of top of the line, name brand equipment. Look in the local want ads for people selling their home gym equipment. Check want ads online. Look at department store clearance sales or check out yard sales. You can often find great equipment at a great price fairly cheap if you’re willing to look for it.

Don’t worry about finding something with all of the bells and whistles. Ideally, the equipment you get should have a heart rate monitor (although you can buy one separately) and a display that shows you the speed and distance you’ve traveled. Look for something with moving handles so you can get a good workout for your arms and legs. Something that folds or has wheels can be more easily moved so you can use it in the living room while you’re watching television and then store it somewhere more out of the way.

Find something you like. (photo by Cumi&ciki)

06: Find a Fitness Class You Will Enjoy.

Getting your butt to the gym when you don’t feel like working out is damn hard. If you can find a fitness class that you actually have fun with, it will be much easier to convince yourself to continue going. The class you choose doesn’t even have to be a fitness class. Dance lessons are a great way to get in shape. You could also look at what recreational sports are offered in your area. Recreational sports are a great option if you thrive on competition and enjoy learning new skills or strengthening existing skills. Boxing classes are also a great way to get in shape and offer the added bonus of helping you work off any pent up aggression from the week. Just make sure you clip your nails if you take boxing classes, ladies. I got a few nasty cuts on the palms of my hands from my nails when I took lessons.

Glass of Wine (photo by Alex Ranaldi)

05: Cut back on the booze.

I know this one is going to be hard for some folks because who doesn’t like a drink every now and again. The key words on this one though are cut back. You don’t have to stop drinking entirely. If you’re going out with the girls for a night, there’s nothing wrong with having a drink or two. Or ten. Just don’t make a habit of it. The ‘beer gut’ is a real thing, ladies. Keep that in mind. Have a glass of wine with dinner. Have a beer with your friends but if you’re serious about getting in shape, don’t go overboard with the booze.

Balance On One Foot (photo by Steve Jurvetson)

04: Stand on one foot as often as you can.

I am well aware that this one sounds ridiculous but it actually really works. Standing on your foot forces you to try to balance which tightens up your tummy and strengthens your core strength. It’s also something you can easily do anywhere at any time. Just make sure you don’t hold on to anything while you’re doing it. Balance is the key. If you’re holding on to something, you take away the benefit the exercise offers.

Toned Belly (photo by Russ Anderson)

03: Suck in that tummy.

Sucking in your tummy while you exercise, while you’re working, while you’re relaxing or while you’re doing pretty much everything else does not only make you look slimmer, it actually helps you get slimmer. Sucking in your stomach works your abdominal muscles and helps lead the way to a firmer, more toned midsection. While you’ll still need to do other exercises to work the rest of your body, this is a great way to get your tummy in shape.

Gets plenty of rest. (photo by Randen-Pederson)

02: Don’t skimp on the sleep.

Rest is vital. The trick to getting the right amount of sleep for you is to listen to what your body tells you. There are people out there who function better with less sleep. My husband needs more sleep than I do, for example. I thrive on little sleep but that isn’t the case for everyone. You know your body better than anyone. If you’re a short sleeper, then make that work for you. Recognize that and don’t fight it. Everyone has their own ideal sleep time. Do what you can to identify what that is for you and then do everything you can to get that amount of sleep every single night.

Healthy Foods (photo by William Cho)

01: Stop eating junk food!

This one is so very important it warranted an exclamation point. Junk food is delicious, convenient and extremely bad for you. You don’t need to rely on junk food, even if your work schedule doesn’t allow you much time to eat healthy, home cooked meals. To begin with, many fast food restaurants are now offering healthy alternatives on their menus. If you go online and search for the restaurant, you can get an idea of what those healthy alternatives are.

When it comes to a lunch for work or snacks at home, head to your local grocery store and look at their fresh fruit and veggies. If you don’t want to take the time to chop up veggies for a snack on your own, don’t! Buy precut veggies and fruit. Almost all grocery stores will have fruit and veggie trays ready for you to take home in place of potato chips. It’s a much more healthy way to go and will help you get that body in shape.