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Can I lose weight ‘for free’? Let’s see…

Ever since the age of 10, I have been paying something or someone to help me lose weight.

This has been going on for four decades.

From storefront meetings to online meetings, meal delivery plans to psychologists, I have been feeding the coffers of the weight loss industry for far too long.

Can I do this without paying?

I’m going to try.

There are so many great, free resources nowadays – My Fitness Pal, SparkPeople, Lose It, RunKeeper – that it’s easy to have an arsenal of great no-cost tools on your smartphone. And there’s another one that actually pays YOU to do the right thing.

Pact screenshotI know it’s been around for a while but a few weeks ago I signed up for Pact, which used to be called GymPact. You make a pact with the app to log your meals, eat so many servings of fruits and vegetables, and go to the gym or walk at least 10,000 steps on Fitbit. The food logging Pact is connected to My Fitness Pal, the gym uses GPS to find where you're at, and the fruit and veggie logging is done by taking a photo of your food and having the Pact community give you a thumbs up or down on it. (My teenager calls it "Tinder for vegetables.")

I’m already up to $35 on Pact, and every week I make the stakes a little higher. You choose how many things you’ll do for each Pact and how much you’ll give up if you miss the mark.

I have learned a lot from all the things I have paid for, but it’s time to cut the purse strings and do it for free.

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