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Can I lose weight by exercising and drinking only water without a restricting diet?

I want to lose about 30-40lbs but I don’t want to do a restricting diet only to gain the weight back as soon as I reach my goal weight and stop dieting. Right now I eat between 1700-2100 calories per day and I use the elliptical machine for 35 minutes daily. For fluid intake, I am only drinking water. Can I still lose weight this way?

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6 Responses to “Can I lose weight by exercising and drinking only water without a restricting diet?”

  1. Jane said :

    As long as you burn more calories than you take it, you will lose weight,.

  2. said :

    Good Question. The basic answer is: Yes! You can absolutely lose weight just by exercising. In fact, it is better to lose weight more by exercising than by dieting (like you mentioned, dieting with your calorie intake too low can slow the metabolism and cause you to regain weight). Exercise will speed up your metabolism and burn calories at the same time! The exact amount will depend upon your height, weight, age, etc. I’ll post a general guide below for you that I typed for another answer. I’ll keep her specific info in there so you can see how it applied for her. She didn’t want to have to diet (asked to ignore the “diet portion”), but was exercising and wanted to know how much weight she could lose in 5-6 months. Just so you know where my numbers were coming from, she was 188 pounds, 5′6″, and 17 years old, walking 2.2 miles/day for 30 minutes, and wanting to lose 40 pounds in 5 months (as with most people, she’s setting an awfully fast weight loss goal; the turtles keep the weight off better than the hares!).

    “1.) Calculate your basal (or resting) metabolic rate and your daily needed calories. This is the amount of calories your body burns just from keeping your lungs breathing and heart beating without including any exercise you get. There are lots of online calculators that can do this for you (using a couple different formulas), but the formula I usually use is based on weight, height, gender, and age. In your case, your BMR is going to be aprox. 1700 calories.

    Now, if you do anything other than lie in bed 24 hours per day, you are going to end up burning more due to walking around, cleaning your house, shopping for groceries, climbing stairs, etc. To calculate this simply multiply your BMR by the appropriate number below. So, even if you are sedentary, your body is burning at least 2,000 calories/day. I like to calculate based on sedentary (daily activities and such), and then calculate intentional exercise and workouts based on actual calories burned. For example, sedentary is BMR x 1.2, and lightly active is BMR x 1.375.

    2.) Determine proper nutrition and healthy/safe calorie deficit in your diet. Generally, you should only make a maximum deficit of 500-1000 calories (lightly overweight stick to the 500 side and obese can slide towards the 1000 calorie side). In this case, you said to ignore this. In fact, you can’t really ignore this if you are serious about your weight loss. However, let’s assume you eat about 2,000 calories per day (which is fairly easy unless you are eating junk food; Avoid soda/chips/fried foods, since these will easily sky rocket your calories). Then, your weight loss will be completely determined by your exercise.

    3.) Now, calculate the calories you burn during exercise. Again, there are lots of online calculators you can use. Most need the speed of your exercise, though. So, first determine your walking speed. In your case, 2.2 miles/.5 hour equals about 4.4 miles/hour. Input this, along with your weight (and maybe gender/height) into an online calculator to see how much you burn. SO, you are burning about 258 calories in each half hour workout. Now, if you do this seven days per week, you are burning about 1,800 calories/week.

    4.) Determine speed/amount of weight loss and set goals. So, at your current activity level, you will lose 1 pound (3,500 calories) about every two weeks (13.5 days). Now, your time frame is about 5 months (6 if you are talking about the end of June). So, you have about 20 weeks in your schedule. At 1 pound per two weeks, that means you will lose 10 pounds by the start of June. However, losing weight by exercise instead of diet means you may lose faster than the calculation (whereas dieting can make you lose slower than the numbers due to the metabolism slowing). Also, by exercising, you will lose more inches (and tone up your body) more than you would by dieting.

    In general, you shouldn’t push too fast to lose weight. As I said before, if you do want to make it faster, doing it with exercise is MUCH better than doing it by eating hardly any calories, but you should still be careful of going too fast (my disclaimer is that you should consult your doctor before beginning any diet/exercise program). Losing weight too fast can cause stretch marks and saggy skin (not to mention that overall “bag-like” look). Keep in mind that the exercise will tone you and make you look a lot smaller (losing inches) at whatever weight you get to as compared to dieting alone. With exercise, you may find that losing 25 pounds and toning your body makes you look as good as someone who lost 40 by over dieting and losing water and muscle mass.”

    So, the same basic principles apply for you. So long as you keep your average caloric intake at your maintenance level of calories (BMR x # for activity level), you can lose weight based solely on exercise.

  3. i just answered your question said :

    yeah you can just burn more calories than you eat or eat portion sizes not sure if that would be a restricting diet

  4. Krystyne said :
  5. Kim J said :

    I think you have great motivation. The trick is tipping the scale in the weight-loss direction.

    I actually got a fulltime job a few months ago and haven’t really exercised at all – but I started taking 8 Hour Energy (my trainer recommended it, so I figured it was worth a go)… and lost like 15 pounds without changing my diet. I actually noticed the weight loss after a week-long trip to Vegas, where I ate waaaayyy too much… so it was quite surprising.

  6. mansionghost said :


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