Losing weight doesn’t need to break your bank. Sure, memberships at fancy, state of the art gyms are nice. Yes, personal trainers are a Godsend and shopping at grocery stores like Whole Foods is like a playground for the health conscious. But, they’re not feasible for every budget.
There are numerous ways to accomplish losing weight without worrying about having money left for rent and all your other bills. Read on to discover our 6 tips to losing weight on a budget.
1. Utilize free exercise opportunities
Most gym memberships are expensive, there’s no doubt about it. But if you get creative, your home and the world in general can be your new gym.
Hear me out.
I’m not talking about popping in a cardio DVD and sweating it out in your living room. Although, this is not a terrible idea or without merit. I did quite a few Insanity workouts with Shawn T yelling at me to “Keep going!” back in the day. I don’t know if people are still using DVDs these days, but YouTube has loads of workout videos you can follow from the comfort of your own home. You could even gather a group of friends and do your own workout class using these videos for free.
Some people host book club, maybe you can host cardio club, sans wine.
There are also apps you can use to create customized workouts. Some of these apps are free, others offer year long memberships that are leaps and bounds cheaper than a gym membership. Having your workouts on an app means you can do them anywhere – indoor or out!
Speaking of outdoors…
Have you considered going outside recently? Get out and take a walk! Go for a run! Go hiking somewhere! Have a bike? Get out and ride it! Invite your friends to go with you. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve asked my friends to go on walks with me and they’re almost always happy to come along. Other times I pop in my headphones and hit the pavement by myself.
Of course this gets a little more challenging if you live in a cold climate, but get creative. There are still many ways to get outside and get your body moving without ever stepping foot in a gym. People have done it for millennia. You’re capable. I believe in you.
2. Shop in Bulk
Not everything is cheaper at Costco or Sam’s Club, but a lot of things are. Shopping in bulk (especially if you have a family) is a great way to fill your fridge, freezer and pantry with healthy food and not break the bank.
If you know you eat a lot of bananas or spinach, buying them in bulk will easily cut down on your grocery bill. Of course, when we’re talking about produce, it’s best to only buy it in bulk if you know you’re going to use it. Otherwise, you’re going to end up with more food waste than normal, which we want to avoid.
But, buying frozen foods in bulk might just save the day!
3. Buy Frozen
Utilize your freezer space!
The freezer section at Costco is my favorite section. Seriously, the anticipation of what I might discover always gets me hyped. Mostly because they’ve got an array of organic meat and fish options I live for.
I tend to stock my freezer full of organic, wild-caught salmon, organic shrimp, organic chicken breasts and organic, grass-fed beef patties. These are all insanely easy (and quick) to prepare. They’re also tasty and they help me avoid impromptu dinners out.
If you’re as guilty as I am about letting produce go bad in your fridge, start buying it frozen. Frozen veggies aren’t always as delicious as fresh, but they’re not without merit. And, they’re much healthier than not eating vegetables at all.
I also like keeping bags of frozen berries in the freezer for the sake of smoothies (great breakfast or snack option). And, if you catch your spinach or other non-frozen produce before it goes bad, you can chop it up and throw it in the freezer to use in smoothies later.
In other words, freezers have the potential to be your best friend. Use them. Talk sweetly to them. Don’t let things get lost in the back of them.
4. Be selective about your Organics
Organic food is all the rage and it’s no longer reserved for the wealthy. But, do you need to buy all your food organic? Sure, if you can afford it. But also no, if you can’t.
The most important foods to buy organic are meat and produce.
If you can’t afford to buy organic meat at the grocery store, buy it at Costco. They have loads of organic, antibiotic free meat options in their freezer section.
The other thing worth buying organic is produce. Organic produce is grown with little to no chemicals and pesticides. Again, shopping somewhere like Costco is helpful here, as they have loads of reasonably priced organic options.
Another great option if they’re available in your area are farmers markets. They typically have organic veggies and since they’re in season and local to your area, they’re usually affordable and you can’t do much better than that.
Also, if you’ve got an ALDI near you, GO!! They carry an array of organic produce and typically work with local farmers to stock their stores. They also have a variety of organic options in most every department.
5. Avoid Alcohol
If you’re trying to lose weight on a budget, skipping the alcohol is a must. Alcohol quickly adds up monetarily and calorically. If you don’t want to cut it out completely, then take yourself out for a glass of wine or beer now and then as a treat, but avoid bringing it into the house.
6. Drink more water
I frequently play a game with myself called, “Am I hungry, bored or dehydrated?” More often than not, it’s one of the latter two.
Let me tell you, water consumption is underrated.
If you haven’t had enough water to drink, you’re going to feel hungrier. When in doubt, drink a glass of water, wait 10 or 15 minutes and then see if you’re still hungry. Most people don’t drink enough water each day. If this is you, start carrying a 32 oz water bottle with you everywhere and challenge yourself to drink at least 2 of them per day. If you’re working out diligently or have a physically demanding job, drink more.
Don’t allow your budget to keep you from meeting your weight loss and fitness goals. If you’re not dedicated to changing your lifestyle, you’ll find countless excuses for why you can’t follow through. If you’re serious and dedicated to making changes, you’ll find a way, not an excuse.
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