Let’s face it, the gym can be a hassle. If you happen to be overweight, even the thought of stepping foot in a gym can be anxiety-inducing. Once you’re in the gym, you have to use equipment other people used. Sure, you can wipe down the machines, but that doesn’t get rid of the gym smell. Believe it or not, you don’t have to participate in excessive exercise to lose weight. If you’re interested in burning fat without investing in a gym membership, we’ve got a few tips to help you get started.

Eat more fat-burning foods

The most critical factor in losing fat is what you eat. Generally speaking, if you eat more calories than you burn each day, you’ll gain weight. However, there are a few different types of foods that will aid in the fat-burning process. This is because they contain key nutrients that help boost your body’s metabolism. The most important fat-burning nutrient is protein because your body needs to work harder to digest everything. Lean, high-protein foods you should eat for fat loss include poultry, fish, eggs, greek yogurt, milk, and nuts. It’s also important to get your daily servings of high-fiber produce and whole grains. Fruits, vegetables, and grains that contain high levels of fiber help your digestive system while stabilizing your blood sugar. If you happen to have low blood sugar, you’re more likely to have intense cravings, which can lead to eating sugary, fatty foods. Opt for fresh fruits and vegetables instead, to prevent those cravings from happening as often.

Other important fat-burning nutrients include iron and Omega-3 Fatty Acids. Iron helps boost metabolism and can be found in foods like pumpkin seeds, lentils, beans, and spinach. Omega-3 Fatty Acids also play a role in weight loss, as they help lower inflammation and reduce feelings of depression. You’re probably thinking, what does depression have to do with fat loss? Many people turn to food when they are feeling down and depressed. Eating foods rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids, such as salmon, chia, walnuts, and flax seeds, can help you stay motivated and happy while on your weight loss journey. But remember, don’t overdo these foods. Omega-3 Fatty Acids are good fats, but they’re still fats. Try to maintain proper portion sizes as much as possible.

To make sure you’re hitting your diet goals, keep a daily food diary. There are several apps, such as MyFitnessPal, that will help you track your meals, macros, and calorie intake to help reach your weight loss goals. If you’re into planning, you may also want to invest in meal prepping. Many people opt to make a ton of food on the weekends to help them stay on track with their meals during the week. Meal prepping can keep you focused on eating the right foods on a convenient, consistent basis.

Liven up your lifestyle

Beyond diet alone, there are other strategies to lose fat without intense exercise. First, try incorporating light exercise into your routine. Simply walking around the block on your lunch break or joining an intramural sports team with some friends will help your body shed fat. Next, you may want to look into intermittent fasting. This is a technique where people only eat and drink for certain hours of the day and abstain from eating the rest of the day. One example of intermittent fasting is 16-8, where you fast for 16 hours and eat for eight hours. This may sound difficult, but it is rather easy to hit your fasting time if you fast overnight while you sleep. With intermittent fasting, you’ll naturally eat fewer calories each day while your body burns its fat reserves while you fast.