Can You Lose Weight with Diet Alone?

When seeking to drop a few pounds, a number of components might affect your progress.

While weight loss program and train are sometimes mixed to advertise weight reduction, some might ponder whether you possibly can drop a few pounds by way of dietary modifications alone.

This article explains whether or not shedding weight is feasible by solely manipulating your weight loss program and contains suggestions that can assist you get began.

When it involves weight reduction, a couple of key components decide your stage of success.

Calories in vs. energy out

The issue that performs the most important position in weight reduction is sustaining a constant calorie deficit.

This is outlined as eating fewer calories than you burn each day.

Over time, this may result in weight reduction as a result of your physique can be burning by its fats and carbohydrate shops for vitality (1, 2).

While you’re in a calorie deficit, your physique turns to its fats cells and glycogen, the physique’s saved type of carbs, to make up for the dearth of vitality from meals consumption.

Dietary components

You can make use of quite a few dietary methods to lose weight.

The objective is to eat barely fewer energy than your physique wants for weight upkeep, selling a gradual weight reduction.

The number of calories you need to eat to lose weight is extremely variable and will depend on quite a lot of components, together with your intercourse, peak, weight, and different genetic components.

Some frequent weight reduction methods embrace (3, 4):

  • Low carb diets. Limiting your carb consumption to 50–150 grams each day might assist lower your consumption of generally overconsumed excessive carb meals. Low carb diets usually prioritize protein and fiber-rich greens, which assist handle starvation and promote urge for food management.
  • Ketogenic diets. Very low carb intakes of fewer than 50 grams each day can stimulate ketogenesis. This course of, by which fats is used as the first vitality supply, might assist regulate your starvation ranges.
  • High protein diets. Protein intakes of 0.5–0.7 grams per pound (1.2–1.6 grams per kg) per day promote constructing and sustaining lean physique mass, which helps your metabolism and should scale back overeating by serving to you are feeling full for longer.
  • Intermittent fasting. Restricting consuming to a delegated time interval might scale back your general calorie consumption and enhance weight loss program adherence.

While these methods might promote weight reduction, most consultants suggest decreasing your calorie consumption step by step and together with nutrient-rich, entire meals which might be excessive in fiber and protein.

This technique helps your general well being and reduces among the unfavorable negative effects of weight-reduction plan whereas selling noticeable weight reduction.

Exercise components

Exercise is one other essential device usually utilized to assist promote weight loss.

Physical exercise enhances the “energy out” aspect of the equation, additional selling a calorie deficit and fats loss.

When seeking to drop a few pounds, cardio workouts like operating, swimming, and biking are sometimes most well-liked over resistance workouts, as they have an inclination to burn extra energy minute for minute.

That mentioned, for a well-balanced coaching program, doing both cardio and resistance training gives the very best outcomes.

This is partially resulting from how common resistance train can enhance your muscle mass, which can assist enhance fats loss, as muscle burns extra energy than fats (5, 6).

Fortunately, a lot of immediately’s train applications embrace a mix of cardio and resistance coaching, checking off each containers without delay.


The most essential issue for weight reduction is sustaining a calorie deficit, which might be achieved by both your weight loss program, train habits, or each.

Though weight loss program and train are most frequently mixed to assist promote weight reduction, some individuals select to give attention to their weight loss program alone.

Doing so comes with a number of potential advantages.

Allows you to commit full consideration to weight loss program

Oftentimes the duty of shedding weight can appear overwhelming, particularly for individuals with a big quantity of weight to lose.

Though bodily exercise is essential for causes apart from weight reduction, eliminating it from the load loss equation permits you to commit your full consideration to your diet.

With one much less variable to give attention to, you might be able to higher adhere to your weight loss program, doubtlessly enhancing your long-term weight reduction success (8).

However, whereas most individuals don’t have bother shedding weight by weight loss program alone initially, they could battle with maintaining their weight loss in the long run with out including bodily exercise to the equation (7).

More time-efficient for these with a busy schedule

For these with a busy each day schedule, becoming in each meal planning and train through the day is usually a daunting activity.

A 2013 examine discovered that younger adults understand time restriction as one of many essential boundaries to enhancing their diets (9).

By specializing in weight-reduction plan alone, you possibly can unencumber beneficial time in your schedule, permitting for a extra sustainable strategy to weight reduction.

Once you identify a stable dietary routine, you possibly can step by step add train to spice up your weight reduction progress.


While dietary and train modifications are sometimes mixed to realize weight reduction, solely focusing in your weight loss program might assist commit your full consideration to your diet. It may additionally really feel extra manageable than together with train within the equation.

Although you might even see some weight reduction progress by solely focusing in your weight loss program, there are some downsides to think about.

Risk of weight regain

One of the foremost potential downsides of focusing in your weight loss program alone is experiencing weight regain after a while.

In truth, a latest examine in adults with obese examined the consequences of assorted train interventions on weight reduction (10).

They broke individuals into 4 teams: a calorie-restriction-only group, a energy coaching group, an endurance training group, and a strength-endurance group.

Each group adopted a weight loss program that supplied a 25–30% calorie deficit for six months, throughout which solely the train teams carried out bodily exercise 3 instances per week.

The examine discovered that every one teams initially misplaced an identical quantity of weight, although most gained a big quantity of the load again after 3 years.

The exception was the strength-endurance group. Those on this group stored the load off after 3 years, suggesting that train performs an enormous position in sustaining weight reduction.

By foregoing train, chances are you’ll be growing your probability of experiencing weight regain after a while.

You miss out on the optimistic metabolic results of train

Participating in common train will help burn energy, boost weight loss, and provide different essential metabolic advantages.

Metabolic advantages confer with how your physique converts the meals you eat into vitality. Having extra lean muscle and fewer physique fats helps your physique burn extra energy whereas at relaxation, which is advantageous once you’re seeking to drop a few pounds (11).

The essential metabolic results of train embrace (12, 13):

  • enhancements in muscle and bone mass
  • enhancements in insulin sensitivity, a key marker of carbohydrate metabolism
  • elevated resting metabolic fee, or what number of energy you burn at relaxation
  • the prevention of metabolic syndrome, which is a cluster of situations that enhance your danger of coronary heart illness, stroke, diabetes, and artery illness

Still, the particular metabolic results rely on the kind of train carried out.

For instance, a 2015 assessment of 66 research checked out varied remedy strategies for adults with obese, together with various kinds of train (14).

They discovered that resistance exercise was particularly essential for selling fats loss and supporting lean muscle mass.

Also, collaborating in common resistance workouts has been proven to advertise wholesome bone and muscle mass (15, 16, 17).

This is very essential as you age, as each muscle mass and bone density begin to slowly decline after the age of 30 (18).

It’s additionally essential to incorporate some endurance train, comparable to strolling, operating, biking, or swimming, as doing so has been proven to spice up coronary heart well being and reduce the chance of many ailments (19).

By passing on train, chances are you’ll miss out on a few of its optimistic metabolic results.

In the top, the very best strategy to weight reduction is the one you possibly can follow. Aim to discover a type of train you get pleasure from and may follow constantly, similar to you’ll together with your weight loss program.


Though attaining weight reduction by specializing in weight loss program alone comes with a couple of potential advantages, it’s essential to bear in mind among the advantages chances are you’ll miss out on by excluding train out of your routine.

Though combining dietary and train modifications is best for weight reduction, you possibly can absolutely accomplish healthful weight reduction by concentrating in your weight loss program alone.

How a lot weight do you need to lose?

An essential deciding issue is how a lot weight you’re seeking to lose.

For these with vital weight to lose, it’s most likely finest to incorporate each weight loss program and train for the very best outcomes (14).

Meanwhile, those that are solely seeking to lose 10–15 kilos (4.5–6.8 kg) will doubtless be capable of accomplish this by weight-reduction plan alone.

To get began, determine your calorie maintenance calories, then subtract about 500 energy to get your beginning each day calorie objective. This ought to assist you to lose 1–2 kilos (0.5–1 kg) per week (20).

A standard science-backed weight-reduction plan strategy focuses on consuming a nutrient-rich, high fiber, excessive protein weight loss program to assist enhance weight reduction progress (21).

That mentioned, chances are you’ll need to make the most of one of many aforementioned weight-reduction plan methods that you simply like the very best, as discovering an consuming sample you possibly can follow constantly is vital.

Keeping your protein intake fairly high ought to assist you to keep muscle mass and preserve you full. Aiming to eat round 0.5–1 gram per pound (1.2–2.5 grams per kg) might assist you to obtain this.

Some individuals like to extend their protein consumption even additional, as much as 1.0–1.4 grams per pound (2.3–3.1 grams per kg) of physique weight (22, 23).

The remainder of the energy will come from carbs and fat, relying in your choice.

While counting energy will not be essential to drop a few pounds, some discover it useful to make sure progress, and research have linked it to weight reduction (24, 25).

Several smartphone apps could make counting energy a lot simpler.

For extra particular weight loss program steerage, it’s finest to seek the advice of a registered dietitian.

Set lifelike targets

The extra energy you chop out of your weight loss program, the sooner you’re more likely to drop a few pounds.

Nevertheless, reducing your calorie intake too low comes with unfavorable negative effects, comparable to lack of muscle mass, elevated urge for food, nutrient deficiencies, poor vitality, and a lower in each day energy burned (26, 27, 28).

Therefore, it’s finest to set lifelike weight reduction targets of not more than round 1 pound (0.5 kg) per week to forestall these negative effects.

Lastly, in terms of weight-reduction plan, consistency is key. Thus, you’ll need to comply with an strategy you possibly can follow in the long run.


Healthy weight reduction might be achieved by dietary modifications alone, comparable to step by step decreasing your calorie consumption and setting attainable targets that may be adhered to long run.

While there are benefits to shedding weight by a mix of weight loss program and train, some selected to give attention to weight loss program alone to advertise weight reduction.

When seeking to drop a few pounds, an important issue is sustaining a small however constant calorie deficit, which you are able to do by manipulating your weight loss program, exercising, or each.

Healthy weight reduction might be achieved by making dietary modifications alone, although your progress could also be slower than if you happen to additionally included train. Also, chances are you’ll miss out on among the metabolic and well being advantages of bodily exercise.

Before committing to a weight reduction weight loss program, it’s finest to seek the advice of a healthcare skilled, particularly if you happen to take medicines or have any underlying well being situations.

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