6 Tips on How to Lose Weight on a Budget
According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, fewer Americans are trying to actively lose weight today, even though obesity statistics are at an all-time high. Admittingly, trying to lose weight becomes an expensive affair that often includes paying for fitness classes and training, falling for weight loss gimmicks, and signing up for passing fad diets.
But what if you could drop the pounds and protect your wallet? Most people simply give up after a point due to slim results or excessive cost. But there are certain ways to experience fat loss on a budget and we want to share some ideas on how.
1. Take advantage of portion control.
A lot of weight loss achievement lies in portion control, but pre-portioned meals are not the only way to do it. Those 100-calorie packed snacks can be tempting and convenient, but they come with too high a price tag to be a consistent method.
Instead, do your own research and use a kitchen scale, measuring cups, etc. to pack individual portions of healthy snacks like nuts or trail mix. Plan ahead so you can carry these DIY pre-portioned snacks to your work or the gym. This way, you will not end up stopping for junk food when hunger strikes during those long hours.
2. Cook at home.
Cooking up a storm at home is way cheaper than buying pre-packed meals or ordering take-out. Home-cooked meals are also an essential cog in the lose-weight-on-a-budget machinery. Eating out, no matter how “healthy” the menu may seem, is expensive.
Instead, look for easy, healthy recipes for low-calorie meals. The Internet is a wonderful place to find low-calorie meals that are quick and easy. When you are looking for recipes choose one’s that use staples instead of pricey ingredients.
Use the weekend to prep meals and snacks for the week. For example, chop and freeze veggies so that cooking low-calorie soup is a quick job. This will also further reduce spending on pre-cut veggies that are so tempting at the end of a tiring workday.
3. Use coupons for shopping.
Coupons are lifesavers for those trying to eat healthy within a budget. Clip and store coupons whenever you can and use them for groceries. Manufacturers of diet-friendly food products often give out coupons at stores and in newspapers to generate interest in their products. Go ahead and make good use of those offers.
There are plenty of good deals available online, too. You might also find discount coupons for meal programs, fitness classes, etc. Investing just a bit of time to find useful coupons and deals can help you save hundreds.
4. Shop smart.
It is not just about where and what you shop, but how you shop that can help manage costs, too. First, figure out your budget for the month/week, and take time to prepare a list. Contrary to popular notions, eating healthy does not always have to be about fancy, overpriced foods and choices – instead, stock up on whole grains, nuts, and canned beans in water.
Ditch the beef, and go for eggs, beans, tofu, cottage cheese, or lentils. If you are buying chicken, get the entire bird – not only will this be cheaper, but you can also use the different parts to cook a number of dishes for the whole week.
For fruits and vegetables, going seasonal is the key to eating fresh and cheap. If you can locate a farmer’s market to shop from, you can save even more. If what you want is not in season, always go for the frozen variety – it is both user- and budget-friendly.
5. Make water your beverage of choice.
Water is healthy, available everywhere, and keeps you hydrated while flushing out toxins for added weight loss. When trying to stay in shape or lose a few pounds, make clean drinking water your best friend.
Steer clear of sugary beverages and pre-packed fruit drinks, even those with ‘healthy’ or ‘energy drink’ labeled on it. Cut down on your intake of soda or morning coffee and replace those with plain water. If you want something flavored, infuse your drinking water with fresh herbs and fruits/vegetables like mint, basil, watermelon, cucumber, etc. for a refreshing drink. Carry a water bottle when going out so that you do not have to spend on bottled drinking water.
6. Opt for low-cost exercises.
Like with food, working out does not always have to mean expensive gym memberships and trendy fitness regimes. A good run in a nearby park, done consistently, will work just fine, without costing a cent. The key is to stick to a routine. Mix your workouts to keep it fun, such as walk briskly on one day and go jogging, swimming, or cycling on other days.
Getting a friend to work out with you is a good idea to remain consistent and regular. You can even set up a space in your home for yoga and other exercises, and swap cheap DVDs or stream workout videos for instructions.
You Can Do It
Do not let budget hassles derail your weight loss train. Use these simple tips to lose weight without dipping too deep into your bank account. Also consider adding an appetite suppressant to your diet plan to help you reach your body goals faster.