It isn’t necessary to hire a personal trainer, commit to mail-order foods or fork out cash for a fitness center membership to lose weight. Most of what you need to lose weight and keep it off is already in your home. If you have a little money to spend, you can buy inexpensive items that will expand your weight-loss options. It’s easy to shed pounds by combining a few common sense diet and exercise practices.
Use online tools and household items to take weight off
Create a Plan
You’ll lose weight much faster if you’re proactive instead of reactive — this means having a plan for eating and exercising. Learn how many calories you need to maintain your weight each day, based on your age, gender and activity level. This will help you set calorie-reduction and exercise goals.
Calculate your daily calorie deficit for weight loss. You’ll need to eat 500 calories fewer than you burn each day to lose 1 lb. per week. This means, if your USDA calorie guideline for weight maintenance is 2,200, you’ll need to eat 1,700 calories each day; or eat 2,200 calories and burn 500 calories through exercise; or create your 500-calorie deficit using a combination of calorie cutting and exercise.
Plan Your Daily Eating
Reading nutrition labels lets you quickly and easily keep track of your calories each day. The prepared foods you eat come with nutrition labels that tell you how many calories per serving the items are. Use these to help you create your meals each day. The FDA offers a free explanation of nutrition labels at its website.
Free Workouts and Exercise Groups
Take advantage of free workout sessions offered by your TV provider. Visit your cable or dish provider’s website to find if they have a fitness or health channel and if they offer aerobics, pilates or other workout programs.
Join a local exercise group. Many communities have free people- or pet-walking, cycling, tai chi, yoga or other exercise groups. Participants meet at a central location on a drop-in basis and do everything from jogging and cycling to pushing strollers and walking dogs.
Perform calisthenic workouts. You need little or no equipment to do situps, crunches, jumping jacks, burpees, chair dips, squats, lunges, rope skipping, pullups and chinups. Hold your soda bottle dumbbells when you do squats and lunges. Use your stairs to add cardio and resistance to your workouts. The American Council on Exercise recommends using these exercises to create calorie-burning circuit-training workouts.
Free and Low-Cost Equipment
You have lots of options for free and low-cost workout equipment. Buy a bike trainer if you own a bicycle, and turn your road bike into an exercise cycle. Fill large soda or juice bottles or gallon milk jugs to create weights you can use to add resistance to workouts. Put a metal bar through a sturdy wheel to create an ab roller.
Invest in low-cost workout equipment. You can purchase resistance bands, dumbbells, ab wheels, medicine balls and stability balls without a big outlay of funds, especially if you buy them used online or at a sporting goods stores that sell re-conditioned items. You can buy exercise machines that sell for many hundreds of dollars used, for as little as $50, if you’ll come and take it out of the seller’s garage or basement.