Cutting calories is a reliable way to lose weight, with or without exercise. If you diet without exercise, you will need to eat the right foods and accept that your weight loss will include more muscle loss than if you worked out to lose weight.
Similarly, you may ask, can you really lose weight by counting calories?
Why Calories Count. One review found that weight loss programs that included calorie counting led to an average of around 7 lbs (3.3 kg) more weight loss than those that didn't (9). Bottom Line: When you eat more calories than you burn, you gain weight. Counting calories can help you eat fewer calories and lose weight.
How many calories are needed to burn fat?
Determining a Calorie Deficit for Weight Loss. A pound of fat equals 3,500 calories, which means, to lose 1 to 2 pounds per week, you need to burn off 500 to 1,000 calories more per day than you consume -- or between 3,500 and 7,000 calories per week.