I'm dieting on a daily basis, but I'm not working out. Will I be able to lose weight just by diet or do I have to workout and exercise? I just can't understand.

2 Answers 2


You lose weight when you consume less calories than you burn. You burn calories even when you do not exercise, because your body needs calories to maintain vital functions of the heart, kidneys, brain, to digest food, produce heat, etc.

So, even if you lie in bed all day and consume less calories than you burn, you will lose weight.

If you, as a sedentary adult, burn, for example, about 2,000 Calories per day, you need to consume less than this, let's say 1,500 Cal per day and you will lose weight, exercising or not.

How do you know how many calories do you burn? If you consume a certain amount of calories and your body weight remains stable for several weeks, you know that you consume about as much calories as you burn. So, you can count how many you consume and you will know.

To lose weight, it seems reasonable to consume about 500 Calories less per day than you consume. This is a deficit of 3,500 Calories per week, which equals about 1 pound of body fat.

Exercise is associated with several health benefits (systematic review, PubMed Central). You do not need to "work out" to call it exercise. Even walking is exercise.

  • 2
    Jan is correct. But be aware that not everyone burns 2000 a day - many people are closer to 1700-1800. Depends on your resting metabolic rate (which increases with greater muscle mass) and your level of activity, plus it tends to be lower the older you get OR if you've lost a lot of weight in the past. It's important to keep your diet balanced especially when you're eating fewer calories, focusing on highly nutrient-dense foods (not calorie-dense). Also, it's recommended not to go below 1200 calories a day without a health provider's guidance.
    – DoctorWhom
    Jan 25, 2017 at 5:57

I agree with Jan, but I believe in 80% diet and 20% exercise since dieting is hard and you'd want to build up a habit of exercise so that your body is used to burning calories. Anyone who wants to lose weight should start cutting down on meal portion size.

  • 1
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    – Narusan
    Nov 15, 2017 at 12:39

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