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10 Ways to Lose Fat That Are Not a Calorie Deficit

The only things you’ll be counting are steps and reps.
FACT CHECKED BY Christopher Roback

Calorie counting is not for everyone—if you want to lose fat but can't or won't count calories, there are plenty of other options. "Before you set out on your effort, make sure you know exactly what you're trying to achieve," says Harvard Health.

"Ask yourself, 'How much weight do I need to lose to be healthy?' Then set personalized goals, in achievable increments and introduce lifestyle changes to gradually lose weight and keep it off. Be prepared to adapt your lifestyle as necessary to maximize your chances of success." Here are 10 ways to lose fat without counting a single calorie.

Walk 10K Steps Every Day

Trail runner athlete using her smart watch app to monitor fitness progress or heart rate during run cardio workout. Woman training outdoors on mountain rocks. Closeup of tech gear.

A quick look at social media shows inspiring success stories of people who lost fat and got fit simply by walking every day. "Start with a simple goal, such as, 'I'll take a 5- or 10-minute walk during my lunch break.' When your 5- or 10-minute walk becomes a habit, set a new goal, such as, 'I'll walk for 20 minutes after work.' Find specific times for walks. Soon you could be reaching for goals that once seemed impossible," says the Mayo Clinic.

RELATED: 12-3-30 Walking Method: 20 Proven Tips to Lose Weight Faster

Eat Lots of Protein

Three poached eggs with egg yolk on a white plate on a marble board and golden forks

Experts say 10-35 percent of your meals should be protein. "Increasing the amount of protein you eat can help reduce the buildup of harmful fats in your body, especially around your belly (abdomen)," says the Cleveland Clinic. "Protein is used to build muscle, so it can also help prevent muscle loss as you shed pounds."

RELATED: 10 Protein Tips to Help You Lose Weight, According to Nutritionist Danni Patton

No Screens Before Bed


Screens are disruptive to good sleep, which is crucial for fat loss and overall health. "Checking your phone stimulates your brain," sleep medicine expert Michelle Drerup, PsyD, DBSM, tells the Cleveland Clinic. "You're more active and awake. Even just a quick check can engage your brain and delay sleep."

RELATED: 15 Bedtime Rituals That Enhance Fat Burning and Aid Weight Loss

Get a Personal Trainer

A beautiful girl and her well-built boyfriend are greeting each other with a high-five. They are happy to see each othr in the gym. Young people are ready to start their workout.

Using the expertise of a personal trainer could make the whole weight loss process much easier. "Personal trainers are results-driven and will work with you to achieve your fitness goals," according to the Southern California Health Institute (SOCHI). "They will help you set realistic goals and create a plan to achieve them, ensuring that you are progressing and getting the desired results."

Eat Satiating Food

Young woman eating a healthy salad after workout.
Shutterstock/NDAB Creativity

You don't need to count calories to know certain foods offer plenty of volume and nutrients without encouraging weight gain. Leafy greens, salad vegetables, and fruits such as berries are a great choice. The more you fill up on healthy food, the less you will be tempted to eat unhealthy options.

RELATED: 15 Superfoods to Rev Up Your Weight Loss

Eat More Fat


Healthy fats such as olive oil, salmon, and avocado may accelerate your fat loss. "The theory is that by eating so many healthy fats and restricting carbohydrates, you enter an altered metabolic state in which you force your body to begin relying on fat for energy, burning away your fat stores instead of sugar for fuel," says Harvard Health.

Use a Nutritionist

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A dietician can really help streamline the weight loss process. "There's so much misinformation and so many mixed messages out there," registered dietitian Tegan Bissell, RD, LDN, CDCES, tells the Cleveland Clinic. "As experts in food and nutrition, dietitians can help you sift through it all and point you to the science."

Start Weight Training

Man exercising with barbell. Male bodybuilder doing weight lifting workout at gym.

"Do strength training exercises for all major muscle groups at least two times a week," says the Mayo Clinic. "Aim to do a single set of each exercise, using a weight or resistance level heavy enough to tire your muscles after about 12 to 15 repetitions."

RELATED: 10 Proven Ways to Conquer Your Exercise Struggles

Find An Active Hobby

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It's so much easier to stick to exercise if it's fun. Try tennis, pickleball, swimming, volleyball… whatever keeps you motivated. Being active with friends and family is also a great way to stay accountable and enjoy social time while working out.

Avoid Added Sugars

Spoon with white sugar on the dark background

Added sugar will quickly derail your healthy eating plan. "I don't think we have enough evidence yet to suggest that sugar is the reason for the obesity epidemic," cardiologist Chiadi E Ndumele, MD, MHS, tells Johns Hopkins. "But there is enough evidence to say that elevated sugar consumption is an important contributor to weight gain."

💪🔥Body Booster: It's so much easier to stick to exercise if it's fun. Try whatever keeps you motivated.

Ferozan Mast
Ferozan Mast is a science, health and wellness writer with a passion for making science and research-backed information accessible to a general audience. Read more