5 Simple Ways to Lose Weight For Free

Despite popular belief (or popular excuses), losing weight doesn’t have to be a big financial burden! If you’re ready to shed some unwanted pounds, here are five straightforward tips that will help you see and feel real changes without costing you a dime.

  1. Download an app: Let your phone help you slim down. Check out our favorite free weight-loss apps that can help you keep track of your progress when it comes to both healthy eating and workouts.
  2. Develop a support system: While certain name-brand weight-loss support groups can cost you, there are plenty of free resources out there like Spark People that can help hold you accountable. Growing your healthy network and connecting with folks who have similar goals in mind can keep you on track and focused. And don’t be afraid to reach out to your partner, roommates, and family! Getting everyone on board and aware of your goals will make them stick for good.
  3. Run for it: Bumping up your cardio is a part of an weight-loss plan , but there’s no need to hit up expensive boutique fitness classes or sign up for a gym immediately. Start an outdoor running routine! It’s free, you can do it anywhere, and it works. Just remember: you’ll also need to strength train to build muscle and boost metabolism. Instead of investing in expensive weights, let your body be the gym! These printable no-equipment bodyweight workouts can help.
  4. Start a healthy cooking club with friends: Healthy food choices are a huge part of losing weight, but it doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg. Instead of signing up for cooking classes or buying a ton of new cookbooks, get a group of friends involved and start cooking up our healthy recipes. You’ll begin to develop healthier eating and cooking habits and stay social in the process.
  5. Watch our videos: It’s true! We have hundreds of hours of free workout videos that can whip you into shape and help you shed pounds. Let us help you out and support you on your journey.

POPSUGAR Fitness

Why It Took Me 5 Years to Lose 40 Pounds – Don’t Make These Mistakes

My weight-loss journey wasn’t one of those amazing stories like you see on The Biggest Loser where the pounds just melted off. Oh no. I spent years making the same mistakes over and over, which meant not losing a single pound. If you’re on the quest to lose weight, learn from my story on what not to do and how I finally made the shift to where I am today.

Before - Circa 1999

  • Skipping breakfast: I knew I needed to eat less, so I would hold off on eating until I was absolutely famished, which meant nothing until lunchtime. Not only did this slow down my metabolism, but I also ended up feeling so hungry that I ate a much bigger lunch than I normally would have. This weight-loss tactic of mine actually made me gain weight. When I started eating breakfast, the pounds started to drop.
  • Nothing but yoga: When I was overweight, I felt really self-conscious wearing skintight pants in a group fitness class (my gym had huge mirrors), and I felt even worse running outside (it only took one rude comment out of a speeding car about my bouncing chest). Then, a good friend took me to my first yoga class, and I was hooked. The whole environment was so loving and supportive – it didn’t matter what I looked like, and no one was looking at me. I started going three times a week but was puzzled that even after a few months, I wasn’t losing weight. I didn’t realize that not all types of exercise are the same, until another friend suggested I start including cardio. I started with some short 15-minute runs a few times a week, and it was like a light switch turned on. The scale numbers started going down, finally.
  • I was a carb queen: Crackers, bread, cereal, pasta? Sign me up! I loved carbs, and even though I chose the complex variety, they were still carbs. I ate them for every meal and snack, which didn’t leave much room for high-fiber fresh fruits and veggies. I finally took a step back and realized that my diet consisted of mostly bread. My belly was not happy, and I ended up going gluten-free for six years. Of course, I didn’t do that right either, since I just replaced the carb-loaded foods I normally ate with ones that were gluten-free, but when I started eating more produce, that’s when I noticed a change in how my belly felt and looked.
  • Too much of a good thing: I inherited an enormous sweet tooth from my mother, and I knew I had to get that under control (and stop baking!). I started only shopping at health food stores and filled my kitchen with all the healthy foods I could find: cashews, dried mango, fresh juice, peanut butter, whole grains, and hummus. I cut out the cookies and ice cream, but it didn’t matter because I never measured a single bite of the foods I was eating. Of course, I gained weight spooning peanut butter from the jar and didn’t start losing it until I got a hold of some measuring cups and spoons to see what appropriate portion sizes really looked like.

After - Circa 2008

I was never naturally thin or fit, so when I gained that 40 pounds, I was probably already 10 or more pounds overweight to begin with. My weight-loss journey lasted about five years, much longer than it should have due to the mistakes I kept making. Once I started keeping track of my calorie intake, focusing on fruits, veggies, lean proteins, and whole grains, and was running and doing yoga regularly five times a week, it took about a year, losing a pound a week, to get me to my goal weight.

Being on the healthy path was so fulfilling, not just because it made me feel comfortable in my skin, but I just felt so much more radiant, more energetic. I wanted to share that with others, to help them feel that joy, so I became a yoga instructor in 2000 and a health and fitness writer in 2007.

Today

Even through two pregnancies, I was able to maintain a healthy weight and get back to my prebaby body; it just took time and determination. So don’t give up. Stick with your healthy ways, and you’ll soon have an “After” picture to show off too.

Happy healthy you. | POPSUGAR Fitness