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America’s Top New Year's Resolutions to Lose Weight and Save Money

CINCINNATI, OH (PRWEB) December 29, 2005 -- Every year, two of the most common New Year’s resolutions among Americans include losing weight and saving money—and for good reason. An estimated 65 percent of Americans are overweight, and our nation’s savings rate is negative for the first time since the Great Depression, meaning that collectively Americans are spending more than they earn for the first time in about 70 years.

Although the implications of these issues on American's health care system and economy are complex and difficult to fix, on a personal level they don’t have to be. In fact, it may be possible to tackle both resolutions at the same time by saving money on diet and fitness expenses this year.

Marketdata, a market research firm that has tracked diet products and programs since 1989, estimates that the average dieter spends about $652 per year on diet and fitness products and services. Although investing in your health is a good thing, it does not have to cost a lot.

Americans can get fit on a thin budget this year by using these three simple strategies:

Find Free Diet Resources- buy the latest diet book or hire a personal trainer to put together a solid program. In fact, “diet” books may lack a personalized and balanced approach, while personal trainers too often focus on exercise and neglect giving adequate nutritional guidance. A good option is to look online for a free website that can help you set up a personalized weight-loss program that covers both fitness and nutrition.

According to Ronette L. Kolotkin, Ph.D., psychologist and consultant on obesity and quality of life, “Web-based programs that allow you to set personal goals, monitor your progress, and receive professional and peer support can be valuable aids to reaching and maintaining your goals”. There are a number of web-based programs to choose from, both fee-based and free. One option to consider is a free program and comparable to popular subscription-based programs like Weight Watchers Online and eDiets. Other free resources include and Diet-Blog for independent diet news and reviews.

Stick to the Fundamentals - Spending money on weight-loss products or programs that don’t focus on limiting calories and increasing exercise is probably a waste, and often results in gaining weight back in the future. By sticking to the time-tested fundamentals (eating less and moving more), Americans can ensure that you’re not wasting money on losing pounds that are likely to come back in a few months.

To Gym or Not to Gym? Americans should choose Wisely - Be careful when considering this. Many people have great intentions when joining a gym, but stop exercising regularly after only a few weeks of signing up. If joining a gym, make sure it is convenient to get to and is open at convenient times. Otherwise, it may end up being an unecessary monthly expense. Also, be wary of long-term contracts or escalating rates.

Buying fitness equipment for a “home gym” is another common expense. If just starting a fitness plan or are on a tight budget, don’t dive in headfirst by making a big purchase. Consider starting with some inexpensive—but effective—products like an exercise ball, some resistance bands, and a simple dumbbell set, all of which can be found in most sporting goods stores or websites like This simple setup delivers a great workout, at a cost of about $50.

About SparkPeople: is a premium weight loss and healthy living website that teaches people to stop dieting for good and make the transition to a permanent, healthy lifestyle. The SparkPeople philosophy, combined with smart motivational strategies and a collection of personalized online tools, has helped thousands of members lose weight and keep it off. is the only premium diet site to offer their services for free.

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