First, there is no such thing as free weight loss. If you want to lose weight, you will have to invest in a combination of time, money, energy, willpower, etc. That said, there are many low-cost ways to lose weight which, from a purely economic standpoint, can be considered free.
Free Weight Loss Through Increased Activity
You do not have to join a gym and pay gym fees to lose weight. In fact, many people who really need to lose weight will probably feel too self-conscious in gym clothes or activewear to be comfortable working out at the gym anyway. However, increased activity does not necessarily have to mean structured aerobics routines or time dedicated to weight sets or treadmills.
Housework, for instance, burns a considerable number of calories. Anyone who claims that weeding a garden does not tone muscles through the abs, buttocks, and thighs has spent way too much on mulch. And no one who has played tag with young children will claim that aerobic workouts must be done in a class. One of the most ridiculous phenomena of American culture is our tendency to drive half a mile to spend time on a treadmill, take the elevator to the workout room for half an hour on a Stairmaster, or handing our kids over to a babysitter during a step aerobics class.
Free Weight Loss Through Healthy Eating
While it is unfortunately and disturbingly true that healthy food is more expensive in the United States than junk food, there are ways to switch to a healthier diet without breaking the bank. Whole grain bread and pasta, for instance, are usually worth the extra investment because most people will eat less of these more filling grains. Be sure to check that the bread you have selected is actually whole grain; some breads labeled multi-grain or high fiber are part or mostly processed white flour, and most wheat breads are basically white bread with brown food coloring.
Fresh fruits and vegetables can be expensive, but they can also be grown easily in a small amount of space, indoors or out. Pots, plant lights, and heat mats can be reused; and plants and seeds will cost much less than the harvested produce. This may not be free weight loss at the outset, but it will more than pay for itself down the road, as you and your family enjoy salads year round for the cost of a week’s worth of store-bought or restaurant salads.
Free Weight Loss Through Regular Activity
One of the greatest enemies of any weight loss program is boredom. The solution to this is, of course, to fill your life with tasks you enjoy and people who keep you mentally and emotionally engaged. When I spent week volunteering in an elementary classroom, I ate significantly less in a day than I would normally consume in one meal, simply because I was too busy and too eager to move on to the next task to think about whether I was hungry. Visiting neighbors, volunteering, and playing with children are cheap ways to keep busy and interested in life—you may be surprised how little you think about food.
Free Weight Loss Through Fluids
Drink water. Drink skim milk. If you get hungry, drink a full glass of one of these slimming beverages before you even think about eating. Drink a full glass (8-12 oz.)of water or skim milk with each meal or snack, then wait at least twenty minutes before eating again. If you do not like plain water, try adding mint or lemon, or drink unsweetened teas with or without skim milk. If you must have a sweet beverage, mix one part water with one part fruit juice, but avoid sugary beverages like sodas and energy drinks. By avoiding the sugar, calories, sodium, and additives in sugary beverages you can cut an amazing number of calories from your diet.