Can you lose weight in a healthy manner, without exercising?

Since my car accident, I haven’t been able to move around much and don’t get as much exercise as normal. As a result, I’ve gained about 10 pounds. So far.

Tomorrow, I should find out whether or not I need surgery and if I do, then the point is moot for a while. But, in the meantime, I don’t like the fact that I’m putting on weight. I generally eat high protein, low carb, just because that’s my preference. I drink between 32 to 64 oz. of water a day. I like lots of vegetables, but not so much fruit. But, I’ve been pretty sedentary for 2 months and there’s not a whole lot I can do for exercise. Everything hurts and I can barely walk upright. I suppose the weight gain is one of the least of my worries, but perhaps it’s the one thing I can actually do something about.

Any suggestions?

Though i have no qualifications and know nothing about your case, I’m going to say “No.” Though you might be able to do isometric type exercises, even if you can’t go out jogging.

You’re going to gain a bit of weight if you’re mostly sedentary. It’s something you kind of have to accept. Since you’re not doing much, you’re not using too many calories.

But you have to eat!

Sounds like you eat healthy, too. So I’d say don’t sweat it and continue to eat right. Once you’re able to move again you should be able to drop the excess baggage fast enough.

I am not a nutritionist.

It is absolutely possible to lose weight in a healthy way without exercise. It just takes as long to take it off as it did to put it on, or longer, so if you’re eating a balanced diet, slowly cutting down the portions will cause you to slowly lose weight. Quickly cutting down the portions is called “dieting” and might not be healthy.

Perhaps you could talk to your doctor about a referral to a nutritionist to help you control your weight while you’re forced to be sedentary and/or a physical therapist who could help you develop a safe exercise routine as you recover.

I would also say that yes, you can. Losing weight essentially boils down to taking in less calories than you burn - no matter how you do that, you should lose weight. Granted, it’s easier to lose when you add exercise into the equation, but you should still be able to lose even without the exercise so long as you carefully watch what you eat - it just might take longer.

Try this: find a calculator (there’s probably lots on the web) that will help you calculate how many calories you burn just by being alive based on your height, weight, and activity level. It won’t be entirely accurate, but it’ll give you a ballpark. Next, chart the calories you eat. You could keep a food diary for a week or so, write everything down, then total up the calories and work up a “diet” from there, or you could track your intake daily to keep it lower than your “burn rate.”

If you’ve got a PDA, there’s at least one program I know of for the Palm OS that will help you do this pretty painlessly - that’s how I’ve lost 25ish pounds through diet and exercise. It calculates your burn rate, then based on how much you want to lose in whatever time span, it’ll tell you how many calories you can eat each day. You use it’s built in food diary to enter what you’ve eaten, and it automatically total everything up. I’m sure there’s something like it for the PC, as well. It’s a lot like the Weight Watchers Points program - except with calories. I know how many calories I can “spend” that day, and if I spend more, I can make up the difference with exercise.

Oh - be sure to consult with your doctor. If you’ll be recovering from surgery, it might be wise to put off the weight loss plans for a little while.

Best of luck to you - I think you’ll make it.

Yes, you can! If you are still eating at the same level before you were injured and forced into your sedentary recovery, that will gradually pack on the pounds. When you become less active, your body needs less fuel so you need to cut back on what you eat. It does not have to be a drastic reduction, just some trimming through out the day. You should discuss your plans with your doctor because it is very important to not cut back too much while you are healing.

Starting with a food journal for a week is an excellent suggestion because it gives you an idea of how much you are really eating. is a free website where you can track everything online, and is fairly comprehensive. There are many versions of software available. I’ve used Diet Power for a couple of years to track my nutrition, hydration and exercise. IMHO it helps you set realistic goals. They offer a 15-day free trial.

Good luck! Don’t get discouraged! It can be done!



If you can’t make the meetings, you can do it online at I actually started that way, then after a month decided to go to the meetings. I love the program and I kick myself for not starting it a LONG time ago.

These are some great ideas. I do have a PDA so I can find a calculator, and I’ll also check out

Thanks, guys!

I’m going to second the notion of seeing a physical therapist for an exercise regimen. While you probably need to counterbalance your lack of exercise with reduced calorie intake, the right exercise may help get rid of the pain you are suffering.

Try here for a BMI calory intake thingymabob …

Exercise has many benifts other than weight loss. I would definately recommend incorporating it into your lifestyle.

Epimetheus - Did you miss the part where Heloise said she’d been in a car accident and could barely move?


[pedantic]If it’s weight you’re looking to lose, zero gravity is always an option! :D[/pedantic]

Okay, I spoke with a physical therapist, and I am doing some very light exercises on one of those large rubber balls. When I say very light, I mean it. I don’t think you can burn much in the way of calories by doing them, but I also think these are the best kind right now, because the pressure on my body doesn’t aggravate the pain in my back and leg. Too much, anyway. It still hurts, but I’m a bit determined to do something. And, it’s a start.

What you guys need to know, is that this woman is absolutely gorgeous, and that 10 pounds more or less do not change that one bit. :slight_smile:

But, I’m glad you’ve answered her questions so well anyway - even though she needn’t worry about her weight at all, IMHO. So, thanks!

I realize you’re injured (unlike some of the other posters), but exercise is the key. Do you think you could swim, or do some other water based/assisted exercise? You might ask the therapist about this; it may also be part of your PT if you have orthopedic surgery (not knowing what the sawbones have in mind).

The big question here is have they told you that you need surgery yet?

I’ll second using (it’s easy to lose track of how much you eat sometimes), and if your doc says it’s okay, the water exercise, if you’ve got a YMCA near you. Every little bit of activity will help, but I didn’t need to tell you that. :wink:

Wow, I didn’t even think about trying the Y, and there is one close by. Thanks! That’s helpful. I can’t swim, but I can do some water exercises, I think.

When I’ve tried exercising, I have a few minutes before pain actually settles in, but not a whole lot of lead time on it.

I asked a very similar question to my doctor.

His opinion is that one cannot live a healthy life without some form of exercise, whether or not one is gaining or losing weight. Some people are lucky in that their daily routines provide enough activity on their own without resorting to planned exercises. Everyone else must exercise or they will be less healthy than they can be.

It seems to me my daily routines are just active enough so I don’t need any organized energy. :stuck_out_tongue: