Lazy person’s guide to weight loss

Hate going to the gym and don’t have the willpower for extreme dieting? Here we share the cheats and tricks to losing weight and toning up – the easy way.

Body sculpting underwear
There’s lazy, and then there’s body sculpting underwear. Available in most lingerie departments and stores, body sculpting underwear helps to smooth the lumps and bumps, while giving you a lift where you most need it. It won’t actually help you to lose weight, but it’s a fast way to appear thinner when you need to look your best in a hurry. Think I’m only talking to the girls? Think again! Body sculpting underwear is available for men, too.

Swap your seat
If you spend a lot of your day sitting at a desk, or even in front of the television, then try swapping your chair for a Swiss ball. These round, blow-up balls come in different sizes, so you can ensure you are still following good ergonomics to avoid neck and shoulder pain. Sitting on one of these balls helps to tone your leg, back and core muscles, as you are constantly making tiny movements to balance yourself. You shouldn’t sit on one all day however, as they don’t provide any lower back support. To begin with, just try using one for one hour out of every four hours you are sitting. You can then build up to using it every other hour – it’s a great way to do exercise as you don’t have to change your routine at all.

Think about exercise
An American study found that participants who imagined flexing their biceps (upper arms) five times per week showed a 13 per cent increase in muscle strength after several weeks. The control group, who did not imagine flexing their muscles, showed no improvement. It’s no substitute for going to the gym, but next time you’re stuck at a red light why not pick a muscle group to think about?

Chew gum
A study has found that the average person burns 58 calories an hour when at rest. Chewing sugar-free gum increased this to 70 calories per hour. If you chewed gum during waking hours, this would be enough to lose almost five kilograms per year.

Forget about ‘working out’
Exercise always sounds like such hard work. As pumped as you might be for those first few gym sessions, once the novelty wears off it’s always a slog to get to the gym. So forget working out. Instead, think of something you’ve always wanted to try that involves standing up or moving around. Going to a class means you don’t have to motivate yourself – someone else has organised the time, location and has provided all the materials, so you just have to show up. Think about taking a beginner’s dance class, trying yoga, joining your local men’s shed or even volunteer to help at the local animal shelter. Anything which gets you up and about while still having fun.

Of course, the best way to lose weight is to exercise at least a few times a week and to eat healthily. But doing anything is better than doing nothing, and all weight loss has to start somewhere. And if you have a clever weight loss tip, why not share it in the comments below?