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How to Lose Weight When You Hate Sweating or Can’t Exercise

These tips on losing weight are for people who can’t exercise or hate to sweat…or both!

They’re inspired by a reader who has health issues that prevent her from exercising and burning calories.

“I have Parkinson’s Disease and had a heart attack six months ago,” says Win on Need Exercise Motivation? Top Tips for Working Out at Home. “I need to lose 40 pounds. What are your tips? I can’t walk very well and can’t get out on my own. What can I do to lose some weight fast?”

If you haven’t seen “chair exercises” or yoga for people who can’t do yoga, then you need to check those fitness DVDs out. Honestly, “exercise” doesn’t have to mean sweating, running, weight lifting, or doing a perfect downward dog in yoga. Exercise can mean raising your arms above your head ten times every hour, or walking around the block three times a day.

Joel Harper’s Fit Pack Chair Workout is one of the easiest, most popular low impact DVDs on Amazon. I encourage you to start really easy – just do ten minutes at first – and work your way up to a 30 minute workout.

Here are a few more tips for losing weight when exercising and sweating is not an option…

How to Lose Weight When You Can’t Exercise or Hate to Sweat

I think the best weight loss tip for people who can’t exercise is to figure out what motivates them to do anything in life. Me, I’m motivated by setting and achieving goals. Other people are motivated by being in a group of people or taking a class – their personality affects their weight loss efforts.

The trick to losing weight is knowing what makes you tick.


Relax – because exercise isn’t the best way to lose weight!

Exercise physiologists and weight loss researchers say exercise doesn’t lead to tons of weight loss. I read this just today in Time magazine, and I read it four years ago in some health magazine. Despite all the hype about exercising for weight loss, exercise isn’t actually the best way to lose weight. In fact, exercise can stimulate hunger and cause you to eat more. Many people who exercise compensate by eating more calories – perhaps as a reward for exercising. Or, they drink a high-calorie Gatorade or sports drink that replaces the calories they just burned – and then some.

You don’t need to sweat your buns off to lose weight. Some researchers say that frequent low level activity is better for losing weight than going to the gym.

Focus on the other benefits of a bit ‘o exercise

Just because exercise isn’t the best way to lose weight doesn’t mean you can sit on your as$ all day long! People who exercise have better moods, better cognitive functioning, better sleep, and healthier immune systems. Exercise prevents diseases from occurring – and prevents current diseases from getting worse. People who exercise are healthier and happier.

But remember: you don’t need to run marathons in order to get healthy and lose weight. All you need to do is increase your activity level, get your heart pumping, and stretch your limbs. Start where you are now: maybe you can barely make it to the sidewalk, barely make it ’round the block, or barely make it to the gym. That’s okay – just push yourself to your limit.

You’ll feel good when you succeed. And you won’t sweat while you’re at it!

Fill up on deliciously filling foods

Part of the reason I lost 20 pounds after I turned 40 was because I eat a ton of fruit and vegetables every day. I love salads without salad dressing – I eat them with pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and raisons instead. I love carrots dipped in hummus for lunch – but my absolute favorite is a big bowl of cooked mixed veggies scooped up with BBQ rice crackers.

I almost never eat meat, potatoes, or white bread. I try to avoid desserts – but I do eat more cookies, chocolates, and Cheetos than I care to admit. Fruits and veggies are a big part of the volumetrics diet plan. The idea is to eat a lot of foods that fill you up, but aren’t full of calories.

Here’s a popular book on losing weight when you can’t exercise or hate to sweat: Fat to Skinny Fast and Easy! Eat Great, Lose Weight, and Lower Blood Sugar Without Exercise. Weight loss is more about what you eat (or what you DON’T eat) than how you move your body).

Get a dog – or walk your neighbor’s mutt

I’ve lost more weight in the past five months than in the past two years because I adopted Georgie Girl from the SPCA! I take her on three walks a day – she forces me to get out of the house. If you can’t adopt a dog, go volunteer at the nearest animal shelter a couple times a week. You cover a lot of ground walking a dog, and you have so much fun, you barely notice that you’re exercising.

And you rarely sweat when you walk a dog.

Talk to a nutritionist or dietitian – get a personalized eating plan

If none of these tips on how to lose weight when you can’t exercise (or hate to sweat!) appeal to you, then book an appointment with a nutritionist or dietitian. Sometimes we can’t see how unhealthy or self-destructive our eating habits are until they’re brought into the light by a professional. Your doctor or specialist may be able to refer you to a nutritionist for a free consultation.

For more tips on losing weight when you hate sweating, read 12 Small Ways to Get Healthy That Make a Big Difference.

What about you – what are your tips for losing weight for people who can’t exercise? Comments welcome below…

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3 thoughts on “How to Lose Weight When You Hate Sweating or Can’t Exercise”

  1. “They” do say that your metabolism slows with age but I don’t really think that’s the case, I think it’s more that we become more sedentary and don’t watch our diet as well as we should. We can eat more when we are young because we are always on the go. I didn’t lose weight until I was over 50 and I did learn a great deal at Weight Watchers, I went for 2 1/2 years and it got me over the love/hate relationship with food :) really changed my whole emotional and psychological thinking about food which had become so skewed after 34 years of dieting!

    The walking DVDs are basically walking on the spot, forward, backward, sideways etc! They do sound a bit daft if you haven’t come across them before but they do give you a good workout if you get the advanced ones and the beginner ones are great for people who can’t do much as it at least gets you moving. So they would be good for your reader. The band came from WW as well with a DVD so you would probably be able to get similar from sports shops and places like KMart.

  2. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Thanks for your tips, Jan!

    The idea of a walking DVDs is wild to me, since you can’t do both at once. I mean, how do you walk while watching a DVD? I do yoga DVDs all the time, but a walking DVD makes me smile. :-)

    That’s great that you’ve tried Weight Watchers. It’s supposed to be one of the best ways to lose weight, especially for people who don’t like to exercise, because it teaches portion control so well.

    What we eat is SO important, isn’t it? Especially as we age because our metabolism slows.


  3. There’s some great info here Laurie. Research has proven that exercise isn’t a big factor in weight loss, mainly because you do get hungry and eat more, and particularly with women, if we exercise we tend to eat more without realizing it because we have “been good and done some exercise”. My leader at Weight Watchers told me that if you stuck to the diet and did no exercise at all you would still lose weight, so much of weight gain is related to what you eat. If you can’t do a lot of exercise but are motivated to try, Leslie Sansone has some brilliant walking DVDs that you can do at home and suit all levels of fitness. You can get them from The great thing with exercising at home is that you can stop when you need to – no embarrassment in front of a class. Another great idea is to use bands – you can get a very effective workout and you only need to do as much as you can.