Losing weight is a common goal for many of us. For others, the goal is to get healthy, eat better, or have more energy throughout the day. As someone who is deeply committed to a regular workout routine, I can relate to most of these goals.
But one obstacle that stands in the way of pursuing our health goals, is the cost of workout programs and eating plans. There are so many methods, programs, and equipment available to help you lose weight. This makes the workout process not only expensive but overwhelming.
We often find it hard to commit money to a program we don’t know will work. Because of these obstacles, many of us take no action, or go it alone trying to follow a book, or some loosely-defined program on the internet.
3 Must-Haves of Weight Loss
To successfully lose weight, a program has to have three components:
- Nutrition: The program must set guidelines for participants to follow. Participants must be able to track what they eat, to ensure they’re eating the correct types of foods, as well as following the right portion size. You need the right kind of food to fuel your weight loss routine.
- Accountability: The program must have a way to measure progress, or lack thereof, that makes it clear to participants whether they are doing the right things to achieve their goals. To stay on track you need someway to measure your progress.
- Support: When attempting to achieve a difficult goal, it is imperative that a support system is in place to share success. You need help throughout this process (otherwise you wouldn’t be here to begin with) as well support for encouragement when you feel like you’ve failed.
My wife recently decided that she wanted to get healthier and lose some weight. Since I want to support her, and the fact that I am already pretty disciplined with my own workout routine, we decided to do it together.
Creating a Free Custom Program
Our original plan was to join a well-known weight loss program that we had success with in the past. However, as we started talking about it, we connected with neighbors and coworkers who were also in a place where they wanted to make a change and get healthy.
From there, it all seemingly fell into place almost by accident. We found ways to implement our own program that includes all three necessary weight loss components, without costing any money.
I’ve known about the MyFitnessPal app for awhile but never tried it out. Now, when I downloaded it for free from the iTunes store and started using it, I was extremely impressed. After entering my personal information, it gave me a target calorie number for each day’s worth of food.
The app’s food database is massive, and it grows daily as users are able to add items to it. The app gives us the nutritional guidance we need every day, as well as calculates how many calories we’ve burned based on certain types of exercise.
Cost = Free
Private Facebook Group
As a group, we decided to keep each other accountable and show support by creating a private Facebook group. This community is where we share recipes, our challenges, successes and failures. We constantly share our thoughts throughout the day, providing a steady stream of support and encouragement.
While we haven’t set any rules about how often, or even if we’ll share our exact weight loss mile-markers, some of us already have, and I plan to share my exact numbers every Monday. This Facebook community gives us the accountability and support system that we need to be successful, and the information is only available to members we invite.
Cost = Free
Losing weight and getting healthy doesn’t have to be expensive. By using the MyFitnessPal app, and a social media community, our group already has all the tools we need to be successful, and it didn’t cost us a penny. You can do it too!
Do you use any free apps for your fitness and nutritional needs? What kind of workout routine do you have?
About the Author
This article was written by Travis Pizel and originally appeared on moneyning.com. Moneyning.com is a personal finance blog where insights are shared on how to carefully save money, invest for the future, and live frugally and happily – because it’s the little things that matter in achieving financial freedom.