written by: Dorothy Bland•edited by: Laurie Patsalides•updated: 10/17/2010
Losing weight shouldn't be more expensive than staying unfit! Don't let media hype confuse you; low cost and free weight loss solutions do exist. Read on to learn money saving tips for trimming away the pounds; designed to help you lose weight for free while keeping your budget fit as well.
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A Hefty Burden
Data from the Center for Disease Control shows that over 60 percent of Americans are classified as overweight or obese. Globally, the World Health Organization states that there are one billion overweight adults. Not surprisingly, the increasing number of overweight adults has helped the weight loss industry become a multibillion-dollar business as those trying to lose weight look for the fastest and most convenient method.
Unfortunately, these methods are expense and often are not effective for long-term weight loss. Customized weight loss meals, protein bars, shake, and at home fitness gyms can break your budget. By being willing to put in more effort, families and individuals can just as easily lose weight for free with money-saving tips and smart, healthy choices.
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Stop Bad Grocery Shopping Habits
Top selling weight loss programs such as NutriSystem restrict dieters to prepackaged meals to help them lose weight. Though low-calorie, the monthly cost averages around $300 and dieters will still have to shop at their local grocery store for fresh fruit, vegetables and other supplemental items. For many, the weight loss is often temporary once portions are no longer prepackaged. Dieters who can't afford the cost find budgeting and smart grocery shopping can assist them with getting the healthy food items they need to battle the bulge.
Start your weight loss efforts with money saving tips designed to help you better spend your grocery budget. Though protein snack bars, frozen meals, candy bars, sodas and cookies taste good they are considered convenience foods and do nothing for your figure. Additionally, items like bagged precut salads and vegetables may save time but the cost is higher and products will have a shorter shelf live. Instead, lose weight on a budget by focusing your grocery shopping on fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean cuts of meat. Take advantage of seasonal discounts and buy in bulk. For example, strawberries often go on sale in the summer months and can be frozen or preserved for later use as can many other fruits and vegetables.
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Take advantage of reward programs often offered by grocery stores. Online programs such as MyPoints.com allow shoppers to take advantage of electronic coupons for money saving tips. Though you may prefer shopping at a particular store, you can lose weight on a budget by purchasing private label brands. These products are often of high quality but don't carry a high price tag.
Dollar stores also allow shoppers to find name brand products at a discount. Canned goods are affordable on any budget and taste similar to fresh items. For the budgeter who wants free weight loss consider starting your own garden. Seeds cost only a few cents and beginners can find books and plenty of resources for caring for a garden and canning their own produce.
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Free weight loss is not a myth! It really is possible to lose weight without gym memberships, expensive at home gyms, and specially designed foods. Be willing to get creative and make use of these money saving tips; designed to get even the most unmotivated individuals to lose weight on a budget.
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Avoiding Weight Loss Traps
Your weight loss efforts will be worthless if you don't start budgeting how you spend your money on food when away from home. Track how much you and your family spend a month on eating out and come up with creative solutions for free weight loss. Instead of buying your lunch everyday pack a lunch from home, hold a weekly potluck in your office, rotate sharing meals with a coworker or get your company to sponsor lunch once a week.
Do you spend a large amount of your budget on buying bottled water each month? Consider using tap water instead, it is just as safe and helps save the environment. A filtration system can be purchased for a one-time fee to clean up the taste and appearance of tap water and a refillable bottle can be purchased for drinking on the go.
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Money Saving Tips for Exercising on a Budget
At home fitness equipment, books and DVDs can be a budget breaker. Consider trying before you buy by checking out a fitness DVD or book from your local library. Used books, DVDs and exercise equipment can often be found in great condition at Amazon or eBay. For low cost weight loss, start with basic line equipment including a set of dumb bells a jump rope and an exercise ball.
For free weight loss, walking or biking allow you to experience nature as you burn calories. Dieters can also lose weight on a budget by turning to the Internet. A number of sites offer systematic guides through completing different exercises and many offer free streaming exercise workouts. Sites like SparkPeople.com allow dieters to create a free diet plan, to count their calories, track exercise and receive support and fitness advice from experts.