When you think of weight loss, the first thing that comes to mind is probably a restrictive diet. You might envision yourself counting calories, measuring foods, and craving things you just can’t have.

It’s true that almost no one enjoys dieting. But it’s not true that boring or punishing diets are the only way to lose weight! While none of the following solutions will peel off pounds magically, with no effort required on your part, adding them to your overall lifestyle can help you lose weight without the need for severe calorie restriction.

Exercise! Weight loss is a matter of calories consumed versus calories burned. If you burn more calories than you eat, you will lose weight. If you don’t want to restrict your calories beyond a certain point, then increase the amount of time that you spend walking, running, biking, or swimming.

Lift weights. While aerobic exercise burns calories, lifting weight builds muscle tissue that will continue to burn calories… even when you’re just sitting around! Add a few pounds of muscle to your frame, and your metabolism will work harder 24/7.

Eat breakfast. Eating may seem counter-intuitive to your weight loss efforts, but eating breakfast every day has actually be proven to boost metabolism. Breakfast gets your digestive system moving so that you burn calories throughout the rest of of the day. Plus, if you fill up on protein at breakfast, you’ll be less likely to experience cravings and binge on sugar in the afternoon.

Get plenty of rest. It’s easier said than done, but try to get eight hours of sleep every night. When you’re deprived of sleep, you release stress chemicals that cause your body to bulk up its fat cells.

Watch your liquid intake. We don’t think of liquids as being fattening, but many of our favorite drinks are full of sugar. Gatorade, fruit juices, and soda all contain calories. Just two of these drinks per day will seriously sabotage your weight loss efforts, but they don’t help you feel full at all.

Drink water instead. If you don’t appreciate the idea of giving up your favorite foods, at least make the switch to drinking only water. You would be surprised how many calories you eliminate, and after just a few weeks you’re unlikely to miss your old beverages. Water also keeps your digestive system and metabolism running smoothly.

Keep in mind, of course, that following these tips doesn’t mean you can feast on cheeseburgers and brownies every day. You still have to eat a reasonable diet. But if you do everything in your power to boost your metabolism, you might not have to work quite as hard at following a strict diet.