Thinking of joining a popular weight loss program? What you may not know is that all of the features that the big weight loss programs offer can be found for free. Programs like NutriSystem, Jenny Craig, and Weight Watchers can be replicated for zero cost if you know where to look. Here’s how you can do it all, for free!
Writing down what you eat, when you eat it and why can be an insightful tool that can benefit your weight loss efforts. Programs like Weight Watchers have been using weight tracking food diaries for years with success. A great tool to use online is at www.fitday.com. This site has a food journal, exercise log, a calendar, and journaling space for free. Just sign up for a free account and you are on your way. I have been a member for years, and I can say that no spam emails or sales pressure is involved in this site, just a great free tool! Other options for online weight journals include www.3fatchicks.com, and http://www.thedietchannel.com/diary.htm . If you want to add to the accountability level, start a public blog of your weight loss journey. Try www.blogger.com for a simple, easy to start blog. Share your site and allow others to visit and comment, and you have a built-in cheering section!
Customized Eating Plans
Do you need a customized eating plan, like those offered by Jenny Craig and the like? Check out your local library for scads of books on diet and find a plan that fits you! If you want a quicker fix, try www.myfreediet.com. This site offers a customized plan, and even adjusts for different calorie requirements, and special diet needs.
Many people choose plans such as Nutri-System because they eat only their pre-measured, prepackaged food, and don’t have to think about what to eat. Plans like this can cost up to $300/month just for food. Do it yourself for free by pre-measuring your food into single serving sizes as soon as you buy it. Or try once-a-month cooking www.oamc.net. Once a month cooking is a method where you plan for one marathon cooking session every two weeks, or once a month, prepare all your meals, and freeze them.
The advantages are:
- You don’t have to think about what to eat or cook, it’s all done for you (or maybe I should say by you, but only once a month).
- You can control your portion sizes, amount of sodium, nutrient value, carb content, etc.
- The cost is much less than Nutri-system or even the pre-packaged meals at the grocery store, because you can buy in bulk.
- Prepackaged meals- supermarket or OAMC
A great resource for making sure you have planned your meals properly is the food journal at www.fitday.com.
On top of that and apart from your diet, you should be able to take weight loss supplement to support your system. One of the best brands that you can buy in the market is leptoconnect. This is one of the trusted brands in the market.
Professional Evaluation and Support
The first place to look for free professional support is your doctor. Your doctor knows your individual needs, and can help you develop a plan that will be the safest and most effective for you. If you have a reasonably good insurance plan, and you are overweight, a visit to your doctor can provide you with some great covered resources, such as a consultation with a dietician, discounts or free trial memberships at local gyms, or web support like the one available at Blue Cross Blue Shield’s website, http://www.ahealthyme.com/topic/weightlossplan .
Another great option is to call local gyms and check if their personal trainers offer a free initial consultation. Many offer this service, with body fat measurement, fitness plans, and instructions on how to use the equipment properly.
Plans like Weight Watchers attribute a good portion of their success to the support that members give each other at meetings, and online. Many local churches and community centers offer free support groups that allow like minded people to share their weight loss goals, successes and failures in a supportive environment. Other groups with this benefit include TOPS (Taking Off Pounds Sensibly), and Overeaters Anonymous. There is also a bounty of support available online. For starters, try www.3fatchicks.com, which offers message board for finding weight loss buddies, multiple challenges and motivational tools, online journals, and support for every type of weight loss challenge. A great site for those following a low-carb lifestyle like Atkins, or South Beach Diet, is www.lowcarbeating.com, which offers support, recipes, weight loss buddies, and tons of tips on following a low-carb eating plan. Another great resource for hooking up with others for support is www.yahoogroups.com. There are local groups, diet based groups, exercise based groups, and plenty of motivation in a list-serve format.
Losing weight for free can be done! Just use the resources available, roll up your sleeves and get started. We all know that is the hardest part. Once you have done that, you are on your way, and you can use the money that you save to buy that fabulous little pair of jeans you’ve wanted to fit into.