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As I’m watching television, eating chips and writing, I notice that the new season of The Biggest Loser has just started. I empathize with the contestants. At one time, I was seventy pounds overweight. I slowly lost twenty pounds over three years. Then, three years ago, spurred on by the show, I got serious. In six months I lost over forty pounds through diet and exercise. A lot of both. My wife (and weight loss partner) lost over thirty pounds.
Now, I’ve gained some, but not all, back. I’ve become a little more serious lately and hope to work my way closer to my ideal weight again. As I’m about to doze off into a carb-induced coma, I realize why I’ve gained some of my weight back.
No matter the amount you want to lose, it can be very difficult. A “weight loss” search is likely to yield a myriad of websites trying to sell you gimmicks, pills, powders, or exercise equipment. You rarely find free weight loss sites that are actually free and helpful when it comes to weight loss.
After scouring the internet, here are some of the best free weight loss sites to help you on your weight loss journey. Remember to consult with a doctor before beginning any special diet or exercise regimen.
The Mayo Clinic weight loss website provides some basic, yet useful information. Count on this medically oriented site to guide you reasonably and safely on your journey. If you are a beginner, this is a key place to start. If you have hit a brick wall in your weight loss, this is a place to return to the basics. Sometimes just doing that will spur your weight loss once again.
WebMD has a Healthy Eating and Diet Center, which much like the Mayo site, provides doctor approved tips and tools. There are calculators, galore and a “Diets A-Z” section that includes the low-down on various diets like the Cookie Diet, the Atkins Diet, and the Cabbage Soup Diet (never mind that retching sound in the background – just gimme a sec).
A cool feature of this site is their free Food and Fitness Planner. You enter the basics and the Planner takes you step-by-step through providing a meal and exercise plan to reach your goals. The Planner’s settings only allow you to pick modest goals, but research has shown that slow weight loss equals longer term success.
As a huge (no pun intended) fan of “The Biggest Loser”, I am disappointed in their “official” site. It appears simply a sales and marketing tool. Almost any selection will take you to products you can buy. There are a few free resources, like an occasional recipe here and there, but nothing substantial. However, going to NBC’s Biggest Loser website will provide better results. The site has video, blogs, recipes, exercises and tips – all free!
If you think you need community motivation, try. This is free to join, and requires a simple registration. Complete your profile, set your goals, and track your progress. There are League challenges that you can sign up for and earn points. You can set up your own individual challenges or form a team with family or friends and create challenges for the team. Points simply allow you to move up in rank in the League, but earning points may keep you losing weight. The variety introduced through the challenges will keep your journey fresh.
You can upload your photos, and view a weight loss time-line. The site’s targeted feature is that of creating community, or building a team. The added accountability of partners may be all you need for motivation.
Prevention Magazine is a Biggest Loser partner, so it’s no surprise that their sites are linked. However, Prevention itself offers some additional resources. The coolest thing I found was their Weight Loss Simulator for women. This offers a 3-D comparison of your “virtual” body now versus what you might look like when you lose weight.
You enter specifics about your body, including height, current and goal weight, and you can even change your avatar’s look. To save the profile you have to register with My Virtual Model, which is a free process. Since Prevention is primarily targeted for women, many of the tools, like the Simulator, are geared for women, but there are charts, calculators, food diaries, and many other free resources anyone can use.
Weight loss is about the basics – intake versus output; keep your online weight loss tools basic and you will see results! Remember, when using weight loss tools like calculators, be honest! You have to have a true assessment of where you are now to accurately measure results.
Which weight loss tools or free weight loss sites do you use to plan and track your diet progress? Let us know in the comments.
Image Credit : jmacphoto.com