How To Lose Weight When You Don’t Have Time To Exercise

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One struggle we hear about a lot around here, is the lack of time you have to work out.

It seems that if life wasn’t so busy, and you could spend more time at spin class or cranking it out on the treadmill, you’d be able to lose the weight.

This belief is misguided.

It’s based on the idea that calories burned vs. calories consumed is the basis of weight gain and loss, but it’s not.

Today I want to address that concern and share our solution to losing weight when you don’t have time to exercise. It may surprise you.

Don’t worry about exercising so much, it doesn’t help you lose weight anyway.

A few weeks ago I wrote about the real reason we get fat and what to do about it. I explained how eating less and moving more is not an effective way to combat weight gain because eating more and moving less are not the causes of it.

Our hormones are the cause of weight gain. And they’e controlled by the type of calories we eat, and our body’s response to those calories, not the amount. You can put your FitBit and your pedometer away now if you like.

Eating fewer of the same type of calories that made you gain weight in the first place, won’t help you lose it. Neither will exercising to burn more of them off.

Unless of course, you’re able to maintain the incredibly uncomfortable and difficult feat of staying in a perpetual state of semi-starvation. That will only last for so long though, before your natural instincts kick in, and you wind up eating an entire pint of Ben & Jerry’s (which I have 1000% done before).

But feeling hungry and tired is actually a side effect of your body deciding to accumulate fat. You eat more because your hormones flip a switch that shifts you into fat accumulation mode. The energy from the calories you consume then goes straight to storage in your fat cells, forcing you to eat more in order to have adequate energy do the other stuff you body needs to do. You’ll also feel tired as your body attempts to ration calories by expending less energy.

So if you want to lose weight, you don’t need to exercise more. You have to change the type of calories you eat, and flip that hormonal switch back to normal, non-fat-accumulating mode. Does that make sense?

Losing weight should really be called “correcting weight”, because you’re not meant to store excess fat like that. If you’re doing so, something has gone awry and that something needs to be fixed. And once you fix the cause, you’ll naturally release fat and have more energy as well, you know, to work out, if you want to.

Exercise is good for us, for many reasons. We’re not disputing that.

It’s part of a healthy lifestyle for sure. Weight bearing exercise may improve bone density, cardio can keep our hearts healthy, and stretching relieves tension and stress.

What we are disputing is the idea that it’s going to help you lose weight. It’s not.

In fact, while experts agree that exercise is important in order to ‘promote and maintain health‘, they actually fall short of saying research has proven it helps us lose weight. The best they can prove is that it may help prevent unhealthy weight gain. But even then, it’s only a ‘may’ and it’s only when you exercise is above the recommended amount. Besides, preventing weight gain and losing weight are not the same thing.

Essentially, it might stop us from gaining more weight, if we do enough of it, but it’s not going to help us lose the weight we’ve already gained.

And if you look at the current obesity statistics, they’re not promising either. Americans have been exercising more and in greater numbers than at any other time in history, and yet the epidemic rages on, getting worse every year.

So here is our solution: Stop worrying about exercising so much. Focus on the food.

You don’t have to spend hours at the gym each week or get up early to go to spin class if you don’t want to or you don’t have the time.

You don’t need to exercise in order to lose weight.

If you want exercise for health reasons, that’s great. We’re all about it around here. Do a 10-minute bodyweight circuit in your bedroom a few mornings a week, go to yoga on the weekends, go for a walk after dinner. But most importantly, relax about it, because stressing yourself out because you don’t have time for barre class five times a week isn’t helping.

The best way to lose weight if you’ve been having trouble is to switch your body out of fat accumulation mode.

To do that, avoid processed grains and sugars and any other easily digestible carbohydrates like soft drinks and beer. Eat more healthy fat and vegetables and high quality protein and less of everything else.

Eating this way will stabilize your blood sugar, reduce your insulin secretion and help you release fat. And once that happens, you’ll start to lose weight, feel better, and gain energy – which will leave your body naturally inclined to stay active.

Trying to burn off calories with exercise in order to lose weight is not effective. So don’t stress out if you don’t have enough time to spend hours at the gym each week. Focus on stabilizing blood sugar and reducing insulin and the weight should start to come off, regardless if you have time to hit the gym or not.

If you’re interested in our totally FREE 3-day cleanse to get you started losing weight today, pop your email in below and we’ll send it over to you immediately.

Also published on Medium.



  1. Ladies…while I’m a huge proponent of 98% of what you write, I HAVE to speak up on one point. I believe you are doing your readers a disservice in promoting exercise as good for health but not for weight correction, loss, management,etc. To lump all the cardio crazed exercise programs and their faults, into “exercise” in general, is misleading for many who do not understand the various benefits and types of exercise out there. What is lacking in high proportion cardio based exercise regimes is strength training. I encourage you to promote, especially to your younger (than me) readers the absolute value that decades of a basic strength training routine- more than 10 minutes of body weight ex’s on your floor- could bring to weight and better health in later years. My generation didn’t have this advice but you have a opportunity to impact all of your readers for decades to come.

    The metabolic effect of maintaining and building muscle mass is proven to help your body perform its processes more efficiently and reduce body fat percentage. Of course we prevent injury, are able to perform more physical activities and prevent muscle imbalance, but simply from the perspective of managing weight- I object to blanket statements such as above where you stated: “what we are disputing is the idea it’s going to help you lose weight. It’s not.” Women , over time (and men btw) NEED strength training if we are to combat an age related muscle loss and subsequent slowing metabolism- and throw in pre/post hormonal meltdown as well!

    Please consider the huge benefit that strength training can bring to feeling healthier, stronger, and assisting sound healthful eating in overall weight management.
    Sara Tarca

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