Over the years, I have known and met people who have taken on weight loss programs either on their own or as part of advertised programs, most of whom were unsuccessful – even though most have spent substantial money on excessive gym memberships, personal trainers, personal coaches, expensive fad diets, Zumba classes, Yoga classes, boot camps etc.
The standard annual gym membership can cost between $500 to $600 a year. This does not include the hiring of a personal trainer, which can cost $80 per session. That means if you sign up for 3 sessions a week for 6 months, you’ll be paying roughly $6,000, and for 12 months around $12,000. At this rate, the only weight loss that will occur is on one’s wallet. Potentially, the money would have grown to $700K had it been invested for 480 months at 10%. And if you sign up for expensive diet meal plans, paid Yoga classes or Zumba classes, this will set you back more.
Instead of spending that much money on expensive weight loss programs, I can give you a few tips on how this could be achieved at little or no cost to you.
Buy an Inexpensive Weighing Scale
Goal is key. If you can’t measure where you are vs. your goal, you won;t have a clue. What better way to track your performance than a weighing scale?
You don’t have to buy those expensive ones that tells you your future. This is weight loss, not fortune-telling. It does not have to have bright LED lights. Get a cheap one from a garage sale or Kijiji. Heck, you can even borrow one.
Key to weight loss is finding motivation. I find that the best motivation is seeing you lose weight with your efforts. This will also help measure if you are on the right track. Without this, you will be flying blind.
Watch What You Eat
In simple terms, fat is stored energy, and all those excess food that you take in, is stored as fat. And it is considered as ‘excess’ because you take in more than what your body needs. It is the same thing as hoarding – you bring in more stuff into your house that you don’t really need, the only difference is that everything is dumped inside a body rather than a house. If you don’t need it, don’t bring it in. Imagine how much money is spent in hoarding. Now, imagine how much money is spent overeating.
It really does not matter how much you spend on gym memberships – if you take in more than what your body uses up, you will end up with the same problem.
Burning Fat: Simplified
As with de-cluttering a house, in weight-loss, we get rid of anything in excess. We burn the excess calories (fat). We do this by using up more than what we take in. In this case burn more calories than what we take in – so it burns up extra calories stored in our bodies. We watch our weight come down slowly as these are used up.
The trick is to find cost-effective ways to achieve this. You don’t really need an expensive gym membership to lose weight.
Take advantage of the FREE Gym
During warm months, make the outdoors your gym. Take up running – or simply walk 5 kilometers per day. Keep motivating yourself by walking in nature trails and taking in the view. Walk around the neighborhood, discover streets that you rarely pass by.
Take a hiking trip with families and friends in one of the national, provincial or municipal, parks.
I motivate myself by tracking my efforts using Run Keeper – a free app I downloaded on my Android phone. It tracks distance covered, pace, time, speed and provides metrics on performance. I am able to set goals and sends me notification on goal achievements.
During winter months, look for indoor running tracks while listening to music or podcasts. We have 2 indoor running tracks which are managed by the city and therefore free.
Stay active by keeping yourself busy tending the garden, volunteering after work. Increase your metabolism by taking a minimum of 10,000 steps per day.
Does it work?
Of course! I know this works because that I have done it and have lost 30 lbs. so far while saving a ton of money. It just takes commitment and discipline.
So, have fun! The weight you lose and the money you’ll save will give you a reason to smile more.