How can I lose weight if my health keeps me from exercising?

The good news for you is 2-fold: 1) you don’t need traditional exercise to lose weight and 2) “exercise” can be as simple as moving any way you can. Diet, or reducing calories is by far the single most powerful way to lose weight. Once you determine how many calories you burn based on physical statistics and daily activities, you simply need to eat fewer calories than that number. Any remember, your Sharecare Move It and Lose It program will calculate your numbers for you.

Studies comparing reducing calories with exercise only yielded the following: the group who reduced calories lost an average of 19.8 lbs in 6-months, while the exercise alone groups lost less than 2 pounds in the same period. So you see you can lose weight without “exercise.”

That said, as long as you can stand and move at any level, you can improve health and boost weight loss because you will burn more calories even if it’s not traditional exercise. In fact standing burns ~1.5 times more calories than sitting for the same time and normal walking or pacing can burn 2-3 times more. For example, if a 175 lb person can stand and/or walk 1.5 hours per day more than before, they can burn an extra 150 calories per day. That translates to a 15 pound weight loss after a year.

Final note: only one single fact determines the rate of weight/fat loss: the average daily calorie deficit. This is defined as the difference between how many calories you burn and how many calories you consume no matter how you do it. The body never stops burning calories so even a bed ridden person can lose weight. Unfortunate, because they can’t move, they won’t be able to eat much because the more you move, the more you can eat.

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