Free & Low-Cost Tools to Help you Lose Weight 

Trying to lose weight can be frustrating, especially if you’re trying to figure out which exercises to do and what foods to eat. Fortunately, there are many tools to help you lose weight, with some available at no charge. Whether you want help with calorie burning or reduction, you can find a wide variety of tools to help you.

Take advantage of the many tools available to help you lose weight

Online Calorie and Heart Rate Calculators

A number of websites offer free calorie calculators that calculate the amount of calories you should eat each day to lose weight, the number of calories you’ll burn doing specific exercises and the amounts of calories in certain foods. Businesses such as the Stevens Creek software company help you calculate different target heart rates for exercise at their website at no charge, letting you put your personal data into their calculator.

Exercise Groups

Many communities have free exercise groups, often comprised of individuals like yourself who meet on a regular basis for biking, walking, boot camps, baby strolling, skating, dog walking or other activities. Some towns and cities offer free exercise programs at parks, municipal auditoriums or recreation centers. Check you local senior center for free fitness classes or workout sessions. If you can’t join a group in person, “join” an aerobics class on TV as you work out with the instructor and her students.

Internet Exercise Libraries

You can get lots of ideas for great workouts and individual exercises using exercise libraries like those found at ACE Fitness or Not only can you target specific muscles, but the libraries also show you how to do the exercises, complete with videos. In addition to these libraries, you can visit YouTube and type in just about any piece of exercise equipment or workout and find a number of videos on the subject.

Heart Rate Monitor

If you’re serious about losing weight, break down and buy a heart rate monitor! You can find many low-cost models, they help you compare different types of workouts, they’re easy to use and they can make your workouts fun. These monitors help you stay in your target heart range during exercise and give you post-workout information, such as calories burned, average heart rate during your exercise session and the number of minutes you spent in your target heart rate. Seriously — get one!

Where to buy heart rate monitors.

Free Publications

Government agencies, non-profit health organizations and commercial businesses provide a variety of free tools to help you lose weight. You can download a free copy of “Dietary Guidelines for Americans” from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s website. The pamphlet contains specific daily calorie recommendations based on your gender, age and activity levels. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration website explains how to read nutrition labels so you can make better choices as you diet. You can compare which type of exercises burn how many calories using an exercise chart like the one available at

Nutrition Labels

Learn how to read nutrition labels. It’s easy and can help you avoid tricks and traps food manufacturers use that can keep you eating more calories than you thought were.

Local Professionals

Depending on where you live, you will have access to a variety of free or for-hire health professionals to help you lose weight. Contact your local hospitals to ask about free lectures, workshops, seminars and health screenings in your area. If you can afford to consult a health professional, you can get highly detailed information to help you lose weight. Your physician can discuss your physical condition and recommend diet and exercise options that take into account your personal health situation. Based on medical problems you may have or for which you may be at risk, your doctor can reduce your risk from a weight loss program. A registered dietician can help you set calorie goals and create eating plans to ensure you get the nutrients you need while you’re cutting calories. A personal trainer can create an exercise program based on your personal condition.