This post may contain affiliate links to awesome products that I love. I won't promote items that I don't use or think you'll find useful. The full disclosure policy can be found here.
How to lose weight for free
I feel like everyone is always trying to sell something. If you post on Facebook or Instagram that you’re trying to lose weight/get in shape, I can guarantee that you’ll be bombarded by private messages. There are people selling supplements, wraps, teas, you name it, it’s probably out there. These products exist because there are people out there who are absolutely desperate to lose weight. When you’re desperate, taking any kind of shortcut to achieve your goals sounds appealing. I am not saying that these products don’t work, or don’t help in some way, that isn’t what this post is about. What I am saying is that you don’t have to spend a bunch of money to lose weight and get healthy, I promise. There are simple steps that you can take that to lose weight without buying a thing.
Drink more water
Water is (almost) free. Replacing sugary drinks with water will drastically cut calories, cut sugar, and generally make you feel better. If you’re still drinking soda – stop! It’s definitely hindering your weight loss. If you need to wean yourself off of sugary drinks, try drinking tea, or coffee sweetened with your own stevia. In a pinch, try Zevia soda. I buy it at Target or the health food store when I can find it, but it’s available on Amazon if you don’t have a local store that sells it. It’s the most natural soda I have found, and is only sweetened with stevia. Zevia is pretty expensive, so I only drink them if I am really craving a soda. Otherwise try to drink as much water as possible. Water will flush toxins out of your system and generally make you feel better. This easy, tiny step of drinking more water can have a huge impact on your overall health and wellness.
Go for a walk
It doesn’t cost anything to go for a walk. It might be good to have a decent pair of shoes, but they don’t have to be expensive running shoes. I have hiked a volcano in Toms, so you can probably wear the shoes that you already have to start. The FitBit is my favorite way to track my steps (and my sleep) but most smart phones almost have step counters built in. I like the FitBit Alta for tracking things like activity level, sleep, and steps, but your smart phone should be able to track the steps for free. It’s a nice accessory, but the truth if that you don’t need one. Make sure to set a goal for yourself every day. If you’re a beginner, it doesn’t have to be 10,000 step goal. Start with small goals and work your way up.
You really don’t have to buy expensive steaming workouts, gym memberships, or equipment. These items and memberships are great, but they aren’t necessary. There are tons of free workouts available on YouTube, and many don’t require any equipment at all. I love the Blogilates channel. Cassey has so many different workouts for varying levels of fitness. Most of her workouts are Pilates based, but she also has cardio videos, challenges, and more. I started doing Cassey’s videos over five years ago. Baby #2 was 5 months old and I hadn’t even begun to lose the weight I had gained. Going to the gym wasn’t an option, so I worked out at home with only some light hand weights. I got in great shape mostly by using free videos and a Couch25K app. It is absolutely possible!
If Yoga is something you’d like to try, I absolutely love the Kino Yoga channel and I do her yoga videos almost daily. Kino has a lot of beginner videos and she will remind you to enjoy the process and not stress if something is challenging. If you’re up for more of a challenge, I also found a free P90x workout and a free workout from Beach Body’s new T25 series of workouts. Please note that I am in no way affiliated with any of these channels, but I have used them personally in my own fitness journey and wanted to pass them along to you. You’re obviously here trying to figure out how to lose weight for free, and these YouTube videos are absolutely free and can be done any time at home.
Get rid of processed food
It is true that healthy food costs more than say, ramen noodles. However, removing or limiting the amount of processed food in your diet is absolutely critical for your health. Eating quality food now will result in less healthcare costs both now and in the future, so that is something to keep in mind. That being said, eating healthy doesn’t have to be expensive. My biggest tip is to buy produce that is in season. In-season produce will cost substantially less than the same item when it is out of season. I found this handy seasonal food guide to help you find out what is in season in your area.
Foods like beans and lentils are also inexpensive, and can be used as a meat replacement a few times a week to save money. I try to be very careful about factory farmed meats, but start wherever you are and learn from there! You have probably heard to shop the perimeter of the store, and that tends to be true. Making a conscious effort to eliminate or reduce processed foods will make a big difference in your weight loss or fitness journey. Bonus: real food fills you up better, and for longer. When you eat processed food, you tend to feel hungry all the time. When you start eating real, fresh foods, you will notice that you feel fuller for much longer. Even if it seems more expensive, it may not be in the long run because it’s really hard to overeat when you’re only eating wholesome foods.
Use a Fitness and Meal Tracking app
I use MyFitnessPal, but there are lots of free apps out there to track your eating and fitness goals. Check out my blog post on calorie counting vs. macro counting to learn more. I do recommend counting something when you start, even for a little while. I do not believe in counting everything that you eat for your entire life, that doesn’t sound fun to me. However, taking a few weeks or months to track your diet can be very eye-opening. You might find out that you’re eating double what your body needs, or maybe you aren’t eating enough. Using an app like MyFitnessPal is totally free, you can pay to upgrade but I have never felt the need to do that. If you’re trying to figure out how to lose weight for free, using a free app like this one is one of the best places to start.
It is possible!
I hope that these tips on how to lose weight for free will help you in your weight loss and fitness journey. We all have to start somewhere, and the basics like drinking more water, getting more exercise, and reducing processed food will actually go a long way. Remember to set small goals (10 pounds, one pant size, no soda, etc.) and not overwhelm yourself with too many goals at one. Celebrate the small victories (not with junk food 😉 ) try to find accountability if you need it. I promise that it is absolutely possible to lose weight for free, at home, without buying any fancy gadgets or supplements.
P.S. I’m not saying that there are not some legitimate supplement companies out there, or that everyone who sells diet products is evil. I use some supplements and fitness gear on a daily basis. However, I know that you don’t have to. I have done the same thing with the same results using absolutely nothing except my own willpower. This post is simply to prove that it’s possible to see fantastic results for free.
If you’re at an absolute loss where to start on your fitness journey, I’d love to chat with you. Leave me a comment or send me an e-mail at email@example.com and let me help you get started!