Losing Weight When You Can’t Work Out


Lisa Alioto

14 July 2020 44 comments

There may be many reasons why you can’t work out to help you lose weight.  My reason in particular is that I have a chronic illness that prevents me from working out.  But I still want to eat decent meals (and snacks) but yet maintain a good weight for my body.   So how do you do it?


I’m no expert by any means so I can only speak to what works for me but so far its been water.   The more water you drink, the more water your body allows you to deplete from your system.  Thus, you are not bloated and carrying around extra water weight.

How much water?  I have found that the standard is that generally you should drink about an ounce of water every day for each pound that you weigh.  This water drinking is no joke – you have to focus on drinking this amount of water if you are going to make it happen.   But it does work!  Plus, you feel so much better and energetic having drank this much water.  It’s really a win-win.

Medicine Weight

Many medications can cause us to gain weight. I’ve quickly learned that losing this kind of weight is not as easy as losing regular weight.  For me it’s all come down to consuming foods with less sodium and eating foods rich in potassium that flush out the salt from my system.  By flushing out the salt, I am also losing excess water weight.

Eating Right

Tied to the above, of course, is eating right. Not too many treats, and also potassium rich foods.  This means a lot of potatoes and bananas for me, among other food items!  It gets a bit old after a while but I really have found that it does the trick.


Above all, it takes patience.  The weight doesn’t come off as quickly in these circumstances.   And you lose the physique you get when you work out.   But I’ve found these to be good ways to keep my weight within my body range weight while still being able to enjoy the foods in my day-to-day life.

Working Out

I dearly miss not being able to work out for so many reasons, but when working out causes my condition to get worse, the choice becomes easy.   The consequences though are a bit harder.

What do you do when you can’t work out to maintain your weight?

Do you eat differently?  Do you eat just the same knowing you will be able to work out later on?   What if you too can’t work out at all – does maintaining a certain weight a concern for you?



  • Lifestyle
  • ,
  • Well being
  • #diet
  • ,
  • #exercise
  • ,
  • #medicine weight
  • ,
  • #weight
  • ,
  • #weight loss

44 thoughts on “Losing Weight When You Can’t Work Out

  1. I’ve put on a lot of weight during lockdown but I’m hoping to get some off now we can get out more! Lisa

    1. Lisa Alioto

      It definitely has been hard not to snack during lock down!!

  2. For me working out isn’t the best choice because of my physical health and still, I also want to look good and fit in that f****** summer dress! 😀 I have tried many different ways and found only one thing that helps me to lose and keep my weight – eating right! I have found out that things like bread, pasta, and snacks are the worst foods for me. And if I am trying maximally not eat these things – then everything else I can eat how much I want!
    You need to give something, to get something!
    And yeah – never stop, especially after reaching your goal! 😉

    1. Completely agree Sandra – when working out isn’t an option, it really all comes down to diet.

  3. I miss not being able to work out and eat right, my reactive hypoglycaemia has ruined my life. I need to eat every 2-3 hours or I can barely think straight and get dizzy, and my exercise intolerance is through the floor as my blood sugar drops within the first couple of minutes of working out, causing me to feel really unwell

    1. Lisa Alioto

      I hear you Unwanted Life – In different ways we are in the same boat when it comes to this! It’s definitely a challenge that’s hard to keep up with.

  4. Definitely just moving more during the day, that helps me!

    Love, Amie ❤
    The Curvaceous Vegan

    1. Lisa Alioto

      That helps me too Amie – it also helps avoid the stiffness that comes with sitting all day long for work.

  5. I’m not going to lie, I’ve always had that issue with eating the wrong foods, a few years ago I used to weigh around 13 stone, I’m roughly now 15.5 stone, I have bought a bike and going to get back into fitness, I really want to achieve that 13 stone goal again ????

  6. Lisa Alioto

    Best of luck to you Luke – I am sure you will hit goal in no time!

  7. These are some great options if you are unable to work out. Upping my water intake has definitely helped me in the past.

    1. Lisa Alioto

      Me too Kelly – it’s amazing how beneficial just water is

  8. I have put on a lot of weight, so I am currently eating better and going to find a workout from home that can help me loose weight but it is gentle. Thank you for sharing these tips.

    1. Lisa Alioto

      You are welcome Lauren – wishing you the best!

  9. These are such good points. I completely agree with drinking water and staying patient. I would also add sleeping well to your list!

    1. Lisa Alioto

      Yes, most definitely. Good point on the sleep!

  10. I feel awful if I don’t work out but sometimes it’s just not an option. I think going for a long walk can be a great, gentle alternative x

    1. Lisa Alioto

      I completely agree – a walk can not only be exercise but great self-care!

  11. This is something I’ve struggled with over the last few years as I get fatigued very easily and then take hours, if not days, to recover from a slight overexertion so thank you for sharing your personal experience and tips.

    I have also noticed improvements when I swap out all drinks for just water or very diluted squash. And I try to aim to do around 3000 steps a day even on my bad days which helps. I wish I could commit to higher step goals but I have a tendency to get upset on days when my body just needs to rest and then it all falls apart so it’s a relatively small goal but it works for me.

    Your post has motivated me to recommit to my health goals and maybe eat more potatoes! 🙂

  12. Lisa Alioto

    Your post so resonated with me Hayley – I am on a very high potato diet and my doctor has limited me to 3000 steps due to my health condition. It sounds like you have already figured out the magic to this whole thing.

  13. I’m always aiming to drink the right amount of water, it really is a difficult task though. Cutting down on the snacks would help too, but I like my snacks ????

    1. Lisa Alioto

      I do too Adam! I think the water really helps though flush out the “inpurities” though. 🙂

  14. This is great Lisa! That must be so frustrating not to be able to work out!
    I’m in a bit of a similar situation, though not to the same extent. I injured my shoulder at work on Jan. 2nd. I tore some things in there and it was very unstable, requiring surgery. But unfortunately my surgery was cancelled due to covid-19. I finally had surgery 2 weeks ago (6 months after the in accident), and now am looking at 6 months of recovery before I go back to my job. So for the last 6 months I haven’t been working (I normally have a very active job), I can’t participate in the sports I normally did, I’m very limited in my workouts (even running is too jarring for my shoulder). So I feel a fraction of your pain! It has been very hard not to gain tons of weight. I have tried to clean up my eating some, and been going on lots of walks since that’s one of the main exercises I can do. I love your tips about patience and the water especially. I find that if I drink a big glass of water right before a meal that I don’t eat as much. It helps my belly to feel fuller.

    1. Lisa Alioto

      Thank you for sharing your story Clarissa – definitely some similar threads/pain points – and successful options. I wish you the very best with your recovery from surgery! Thanks again, Lisa

  15. I definitely notice more of a difference depending on my diet. I exercise more for general health than for weight reasons, but I’d definitely miss it if I didn’t have the option x


    1. Lisa Alioto

      It’s amazing what a big role diet places in it all when you can’t factor in exercising.

    2. Imortant post. Good points. Yes, when there is no work out, I think diet is the most important thing. Though it’s really tough to be fit in this hard times, both physically and mentally too. We should not forget about the mental fitness.. A great piece. Thank you.

      1. Lisa Alioto

        You are absolutely correct Bodhisattya – mental fitness is so important as well.

  16. I always try to eat a bit healthier. If I am unable to work out, I always try to keep up some form of movement like going for walks (or stepping on the spot). Can definitely tell when I haven’t been as active, feel more stiff and sluggish!

    Thanks for sharing!

    Aimsy xoxo
    Aimsy’s Antics

    1. Lisa Alioto

      Thanks for sharing your strategies Aimsy!

  17. If I’m unable to exercise I try to adjust my diet to try and compensate for it. I don’t make many changes, just cutting out a couple of snacks here and there. x


    1. Lisa Alioto

      That sounds like a great plan Faye!

  18. For me, it’s definitely all in the food! Portion control and lots of patience has helped me in the past 🙂

    Anika | chaptersofmay.com

    1. Lisa Alioto

      I try really hard at the portion control and do pretty good with that; it’s the snacking that gets me every time!

  19. Water is really one of the most important things and a lot of people always forget that ????
    ???? Marissa Belle × marsybun.com ????

    1. Lisa Alioto

      I agree – water is so key!!

  20. Great tips. I put a bit of weight on over lockdown but I’m starting to lose it now mainly through eating better though I do try and do some exercise as well.

    1. Lisa Alioto

      Good for you Lauren!! 🙂

  21. Charity says:

    These are all such great tips! I try to workout as often as I can, but sometimes it seriously feels like there are just not enough hours in the day!

    1. Lisa Alioto

      Agreed Charity!! Where does the time go!

  22. It has been almost impossible to lose weight during this! I’m actually being treated for an binge-eating ED and I’m on medication that make me put on weight! I’m definitely going to use some of these tips to help me balance out my weight!

    Daisy xoxo | According to Daisy

    1. Lisa Alioto

      My best to you Daisy! 🙂

  23. This is such a good idea for a post because it’s not very realistic for everyone to be able to workout a number of times a week as much as we’d like to. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Lisa Alioto

      You are welcome Luci – glad you enjoyed the post!

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