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Is It Possible to Lose Weight Without Exercising?

Medically reviewed by: Mary L. Gavin, MD

Could you really lose weight just by eating healthy and not exercising?

Eating a healthy diet does not ensure that you will lose weight. Your weight is a balance between the calories you take in and the calories you burn. You will lose weight if you burn off more calories than you take in, and you will gain weight if you eat more calories than you burn off. You can lose weight by eating less, but adding physical activity allows you to burn more calories than dieting alone.

Any weight-loss plan that includes regular exercise is not only more successful — it's also healthier. By eating a healthy diet and exercising, you're keeping your bones, muscles, and heart strong. You also lower your chances of getting certain health problems, like high blood pressure and diabetes. 

Rather than dieting, focus on healthy habits, like eating more fruits and vegetables and exercising. Even if you don't lose weight, you will be healthier and you will feel and look better too. 

If you are concerned about your weight, talk to your doctor.

*Names have been changed to protect user privacy.

Medically reviewed by: Mary L. Gavin, MD
Date reviewed: March 2022