September 17, 2023

10 Weight Loss Tips for if you have a Sedentary Lifestyle

Woman eating a cake at her desk while working

Weight Loss Tips for Individuals with a Sedentary Lifestyle

Are you living a sedentary lifestyle and eager to lose weight? Lucky you!

This all-inclusive article is dedicated to all who spend most of their day sitting.

We will explore a broad spectrum of themes all designed to give you a leg up in your weight loss journey, even with your long hours of sitting. Let’s start


What does it mean to be sedentary?

If you spend most of your day seated – maybe at your desk job, binge-watching your favorite series, or tirelessly scrolling Instagram – then you’re leading a sedentary lifestyle.

Sadly, this form of lifestyle is becoming more prevalent in our modern age.

Shockingly, the World Health Organization (WHO) revealed that lack of physical activity is the fourth primary risk factor contributing to deaths worldwide, causing a staggering 3.2 million deaths every year.

Some of the many problems associated with a sedentary lifestyle include:

  • Obesity
  • Heart disease
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Increased risk of certain cancers
  • Depression

The good news is, by simply managing your weight more effectively, you can improve your overall health and reduce these risks significantly.


woman going outside to buy healthy food to reduce sedntary lifestyle


Here’s The Tips for People with Sedentary Life

#1 Customize Your Diet Plan

With respect to weight loss management, diet plays an essential role, particularly for those who lead sedentary lifestyles.

In order to achieve your weight loss goals, you’ll need to find the perfect balance between calorie intake and output.

Don’t just follow something you find online. Make sure it is customized for you!

It’s wise to consume foods that are lower in calories yet packed with nutrients. Some healthy options include:

  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Lean proteins (e.g., chicken breast, turkey, fish)
  • Whole grains (switching from white pasta to whole-grain options)
  • Healthy fats (include avocados, nuts, and seeds in moderation)

To set yourself up for success, try implementing these practical tips:

  • Plan your meals ahead of time
  • Fill half your plate with vegetables
  • Minimize processed foods and added sugars
  • Stay within your daily calorie limit

Remember, consistency is key when it comes to maintaining a healthy diet.


#2 Movement Breaks

You might wonder how to stay active without hitting the gym. Well, you can!

There is fantastic way to combat long hours of sitting is by incorporating regular movement breaks throughout your day. Stand up, stretch, or walk around for a couple of minutes every hour.

If space is a concern, have no fear! There are plenty of simple exercises that can be performed even in tight quarters, like:

  • Desk push-ups
  • Seated leg lifts
  • Wall sit
  • Couch dips
  • Stretching exercises

Make it a priority to integrate movement breaks into your daily routine and stay consistent to enjoy the benefits.


woman doing a movement break by going outside to shop for some healthy food


#3 Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT)

NEAT, or Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis, is the energy you burn during daily activities that are separate from exercise, such as walking to the store or doing household chores.

Increasing NEAT is a fantastic way to boost weight management, even for those leading sedentary lives.

Consider following these activities into your day to enhance your NEAT:

  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator
  • Park farther from your destination
  • Use a standing desk
  • Do household chores with gusto
  • Stretch or pace during phone calls

Every small action above adds up, and consistency is crucial. Keep a positive mindset, and you’ll soon see the fruits of your efforts!

#4 Stay Hydrated

A study by Virginia Tech found that people who drank water before a meal ate up to 75 fewer calories during that meal – and this reduction could add up to weight loss over time.

Here are some tips to ensure you’re sipping enough water throughout the day:

  • Greet the day with water: Kickstart your morning with a glass of water to rehydrate after a long night’s sleep.
  • Invest in a reusable water bottle: Having water within reach encourages you to drink more.
  • Set drinking reminders: There are apps (like WaterLama or Hydro Coach) that can prompt you to hydrate at regular intervals.
  • Amply flavor your water: Add slices of fruits like lemon, cucumber, or berries, or even herbs like mint to enhance the taste.


woman staying hydrated while working at ehr desk


#5 Track Progress

Stepping on the scales isn’t enough. Today’s tech offerings – fitness trackers, apps, and smart scales – can keep you accountable, offer insights into your progress, and provide guidance tailored to your needs.

Take, for instance, Christine Magnus Moore, who lost 30 pounds with the help of her Fitbit during the lockdown. It’s not just about tracking fitness; apps like MyFitnessPal can log dietary intake, counting calories, and adjusting goals based on lifestyle factors.

To remain engaged in the journey, here are a few strategies to try:

  • Set SMART goals: Goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.
  • Form a virtual support group: Connect with friends, family, or online communities for moral support.
  • Celebrate progress: Don’t just focus on the end goal; every milestone, no matter how small, should be celebrated!


#6 Mental Health Plays Role Too!

The connection between mental health, stress, and obesity is a topic highly discussed in health circles. A study by University College London found that long-term stress could lead to weight gain and, ultimately, obesity.

If you’re leading a sedentary lifestyle, here are a few stress management techniques:

  • Practice mindfulness: Meditation, yoga, or just sitting quietly can calm your mind.
  • Deep breathing: This simple technique can be done anywhere, anytime, and it’s proven to reduce stress.
  • Prioritize self-care: Investing time in activities that you find enjoyable, like reading a book or gardening, can significantly reduce stress.

Practicing mindfulness has also been shown to help with weight loss. It helps create awareness of one’s eating habits, physical cues, and feelings of hunger and satiety.


#7 Small but Consistent Adjustments

Changing all aspects of your lifestyle at once can be daunting, but fret not! It’s the small, consistent changes that can have the most significant impact on weight loss.

A study in the British Journal of General Practice showed that making small adjustments could lead to sustainable weight loss and improved health.

To help your weight loss journey, get started with these easy-to-incorporate changes:

  • Get up for a bit: Stand up and stretch every hour.
  • Walk it out: Use your breaks effectively by taking short walks.
  • Opt for healthier munchies: Swap the donut for a handful of nuts or a piece of fruit.
  • Portion control: Instead of three big meals, eat smaller, more frequent meals.



Can house chores contribute to weight loss for sedentary individuals?

Yes, indeed! House chores, like vacuuming, dusting, doing laundry, and cleaning can help burn some calories. Besides adding movement to your day, these activities make your home more pleasant – a double bonus. To increase calorie burning, perform these tasks at a brisk pace and incorporate more energy-demanding chores like mopping, scrubbing, or lifting heavy objects.

How could improving my sleep schedule benefit my weight loss journey?

Adequate sleep plays a significant role in maintaining a healthy weight. Lack of sleep can disrupt your body’s hormonal balance, increase hunger, and lead to unhealthy food cravings. By ensuring 7-9 hours of restorative sleep each night, you’ll not only feel more energized but also help manage your appetite and reduce the risk of weight gain.

Are there desk exercises that can help me burn calories while working?

Yes, you can try “deskercises” that are easy to perform in an office or home environment. Examples include seated leg lifts, torso twists, chair dips, and isometric exercises. Additionally, VARIIS by Equinox has an article on 5 workouts to try at your desk. These activities might not replace a gym workout but can aid in burning a few extra calories and keeping your muscles active.

What’s the best way to curb unhealthy cravings while living a sedentary lifestyle?

First, maintain a well-balanced diet to avoid nutrient deficiencies that can provoke cravings. Second, recognize the difference between true hunger and emotional or boredom eating. Hydrate, engage in stress management activities, and when cravings strike, opt for healthy alternatives like fruits, vegetables, or a small portion of dark chocolate.

Should I use supplements to boost metabolism for better weight loss results?

While some supplements claim to increase metabolism and promote weight loss, it’s crucial to approach them with caution. Always consult with a healthcare professional before taking any supplements. Focus on consuming a nutritious diet and implementing practical strategies discussed in this post for sustainable weight loss results.

Is there a specific type of yoga beneficial for individuals with a sedentary lifestyle?

Various yoga styles can be helpful for people with sedentary lifestyles. Restorative yoga involves gentle, rejuvenating poses that help induce relaxation and reduce stress. Hatha yoga is another option, focusing on physical strength and balance. Most importantly, choose a type of yoga that aligns with your physical capabilities and personal preferences.

Could listening to music or watching TV while eating be detrimental to weight loss?

Yes, distractions like music or TV while eating can hinder your weight loss journey. These distractions make it challenging to be mindful of the food intake, leading to overeating or unhealthy food choices. Try eating without any diversions and focus on savoring each bite – practicing mindful eating.

Can using smaller plates and utensils actually help in weight loss?

Using smaller plates and utensils may have a psychological impact on portion control. It’s called the plate size illusion, where a smaller plate makes serving sizes look larger, accidentally limiting calorie consumption. Switching to smaller plates and utensils can be a simple and effective method to help control portion sizes.

How do I identify emotional eating, and how can I overcome it?

Emotional eating stems from using food to manage stress, suppress negative emotions, or fill a void. To identify emotional eating, pay attention to patterns of eating when upset, bored, or stressed. Overcome emotional eating by addressing the underlying emotional causes, seeking support from friends, a support group, or a therapist, and practicing healthier coping mechanisms like exercise or hobbies.

Are short bursts of high-intensity exercise more effective than longer low-intensity workouts for sedentary individuals?

Both types of exercises offer benefits, but high-intensity interval training (HIIT) has gained popularity due to its time efficiency and calorie-burning effect. Short bursts of high-intensity exercise followed by periods of rest can efficiently raise metabolism, burn calories, and build muscle. However, listen to your body and choose exercises suited to your current fitness level, gradually progressing over time.

Final Thoughts

We’ve looked at holistic weight loss strategies for those with a sedentary lifestyle – hydration, accountability using technology, addressing mental health, and incorporating small yet consistent lifestyle adjustments.

A sedentary lifestyle doesn’t doom you to an unhealthy life, and if this post proves something, it’s that the power to change is in your hands.

Remember, it’s never too late to start making healthier life choices. Every change, no matter how small, can inch you closer to your weight loss goals.