It’s no secret that the diet industry is massive. The weight loss market size was valued at 192.2 billion in 2019, and is projected reach $295.3 billion by 2027. Does this mean that your only option to lose weight is to invest a lot of money? No, not really. I did it for free and here’s how you can too.
Note: I discuss weight loss and calorie counting so if these topics can be triggering to you, please avoid this article! Everything mentioned is also based on my personal experience and not a substitute for proper nutrition/fitness advice!
Okay, I did cheat and bought a $13 food scale to help me measure my portions – other than that, all free!
Some numbers and a bit about me
I was 5.6kg (12 lbs) overweight at the start of my journey. Of course, I got a gym membership right away, costing me $80/month. After 8 months of hard work at the gym and eating healthier options – I weighed exactly the same. I was really frustrated as on top of my gym membership, I paid for personal training sessions and was buying expensive health foods.
I knew I had to try a different strategy.
And, it worked! I managed to lose 10kg in 5 months without spending any money.
1. Get a free calorie tracking app
One of the biggest mistakes I made previously was not counting my calories – it is one of the most powerful tools that can help you drop weight. The best part is that counting calories is free. While a phone app is really helpful, you can also use pen and paper. The internet is an incredible resource that can help you get started.
I love, LOVE food. Therefore, rather than eating the least calories possible, I always focus on eating the most possible calories that you can which will still allow you to lose weight. I am really careful about reducing my calories and won’t eat less unless I absolutely have to. For example, if I can lose weight eating 1,600 calories then I will refuse to eat 1,200 just to lose weight faster. My food is very important to me!
2. Exercise daily (even if it’s a small walk)
The incredible thing about exercise that is that while it provides you many benefits, it is also free.
I hate strenuous activity, I don’t get endorphins I just get uncomfortable and frustrated. Instead, my goal is to exercise for at least 30 mins daily which is usually low-intensity such as post-dinner walks around my area. I also use free YouTube videos for yoga and pilates to do at home.
While a gym membership or a fitness class can be a great investment in your health, you don’t have to if you’re on a budget. Plus, it’s easier to stay motivated to exercise when you know your $55 per session PT isn’t going to pressure you to lift heavy weights. It’s also a lot cheaper. Ugh, the PTSD.
3. Stop eating snacks!
This tip is a great one because not only is it free, it also helps you save money!
Confession time, I used to be a serial snacker.
I’d sit at my desk at work and eat snacks non-stop. I didn’t think this was so bad at the time because I’d be eating healthy options such as an apple, tub of yogurt or a handful of nuts. However, I was simply eating too much. Some days, my calories in snacks would be more than entire meals!
Just by cutting out snacks, I reduced my calorie intake significantly but also saves money grocery shopping! It’s also nice to not be thinking about food constantly. Now, I eat two meals a day and don’t think about food until my next meal.