About 5 years ago, I realized I had gradually gained 15 lbs., thanks to stress, overeating, and total unawareness of the calories I’d been consuming. I woke up one day and realized if I didn’t lose the weight now, I may never shed it. So I worked out and changed my diet. I jogged, lifted weights, monitored my calories, and cut back sweets, but made no drastic changes. Now, I’m back to a healthy weight and I’ve taken basic measures to simply maintain it. I hate exercise, but I love cupcakes. For the lazy person in all of us, here are 18 different ways to help you lose weight and keep it off: no gym membership required. This worked for me!

1. Drink Water

Lots of it! It’s not only good for you in flushing out toxins and keeping your organs operating optimally – which further aids in shedding pounds – but water also fills you up so you eat less.

1 - A Glass of Water, Susan Nilsson

2. Sleep More

If you’re sleeping, you’re not eating, and more sleep means the less energy your body needs from caloric foods. Aim for 8 to 9 hours a night, or at the very least, 1 to 2 more hours than you’re used to getting.

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3. Eat Breakfast

Fruit, whole grains, or even a to-go bar. Giving your body energy in the morning kick starts your metabolism to help burn calories for you and keep your hunger pangs in check.

3 - Breakfast on Caltrain, Richard Masoner

4. Walk 30 Minutes A Day

Listen to music, ponder your life’s purpose, or call your mom. Just stay active for 30 minutes a day and you’ll start to see the effects.

4 - On A Walk, John Anes SMALLER

5. Eat As Much As You Want!

Of carrots, apples, oranges, edamame, or any fruit or veggie that satisfies your need to nosh. These are filling foods that are good for you, and after a few days, your body will crave those instead of that bag of greasy potato chips.

5 - babycarrots_beets_tomatoes_2009, Christopher Paquette

6. Keep Coffee And Sweets, But Have Them Early

If you’re craving that piece of cake or a cup of coffee, don’t deprive yourself. Just have them early in the day, not right before bed. The sugar and caffeine will inhibit a good night’s sleep, which can lead to overeating the next day.

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7. Forgive Yourself

Don’t beat yourself up for missing a workout or feeling tight in your jeans. Negative thoughts contribute to depression, which can contribute to weight gain and overeating.

7 - Blong Girl Thoughfully Watching A Sunrise, Ed Gregory, Stokpic

8. Snack MORE!

Eating smaller bites throughout the day will keep your blood sugar from spiking and keep you from overeating if let yourself go hungry for too long.

8 - Girls Hand Reaching accross Mexican Tapas Cafe Table, Ed Gregory, Stokpic SMALLER

9. Keep Calories In Food

Don’t drink them. You’ll feel fuller if you have food over a soda. If water doesn’t do the trick, add lemon or lime juice, or a bit of orange zest for a kick. If you’re ordering an iced tea, keep it unsweetened if you can.

9 - Bells Milk Bar, Spider5

10. Chew Gum

Curb your eating out of boredom with a stick of gum.

10 - Chiclete na boca, Guilherme Yagui

11. Cut Out Alcohol

Despite the calories on the label, the way your body processes alcohol is not as straightforward. Alcohol lowers your metabolism, suppresses fat-burning testosterone, and converts to insulin, keeping the pounds packed on. Essentially, it fuels your body’s desire for fat storage. Give it a rest until you meet your goal, and then introduce alcohol back into your life gradually.

11 - Elijah Craig, Ryan Hyde

12. Watch TV While Lifting Weights

Depending on your body frame and goals, lifting 3-lb. to 10-lb. weights is easier to do while you’re watching your favorite show. Or pick up some small ankle or wrist weights to help tone and strengthen your muscles, which will help burn fat without much extra effort. Just be cautious and don’t overexert yourself: these wearable weights will alter your movements and can possibly cause damage to ligaments and bones.

12 - Heavy Weight, Maik Meid

13. Slow Down Your Meals

Savor your food! You’ll enjoy eating and feel more satisfied. You’ll also become more aware of when you’re full, helping you lessen the chance of overeating.

13 - Franklin Heijnen

14. Meditate And Breathe

Anxiety and stress contribute to weight gain. Meditating helps you calm down and take a moment for yourself. Think positively and focus on your goals. Not only will you feel better and gain more direction, but you’ll be encouraged and re-energized to continue getting healthy.

14 - Man Watching Sunrise On Balcony, Ed Gregory, Stokpic

15. Use A Smaller Plate

The psychology behind this seems trivial but it is effective. If your plate looks half empty, you’re going to feel starved; if it looks full, you’ll feel full. So help slim your waist and help fill your stomach, and fill up the plate but make the plate smaller. Try some of these great recipes for healthy but delicious options.

15 - Street Food Festival, StateofIsrael

16. Brush Your Teeth

Right after dinner especially will help curb your need to nibble on dessert. After all, us lazy folks don’t want to brush our teeth twice in the same evening, do we?

16 - Day 221 of 365, Arek Olek

17. Do The 7-Minute Workout

Realistically, tests exhibit noticeable results if you’re at it for 20 minutes a day. Still, 7 to 20 minutes of a heavy workout may require a real effort, but hey, it’s only as little as 7 minutes out of 1,440 in a day. That’s two Pandora songs. You can handle that, right?

17 - Time Out, Chris Combe

18. Kill The Craving

If you need a cookie, eat a cookie. Just don’t eat 5 cookies. Want a cupcake? Try cutting it in half and save the rest for tomorrow’s dessert. Just be sure to put the rest away before digging in, so you’re not as tempted to reach for more.

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Featured photo credit: Piotr Szczepankiewicz/Flickr via flic.kr

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