At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I too will say what has been repeatedly said by the fitness and nutrition gurus; ‘weight loss is 80% nutrition and 20% exercise’. And that sounds lovely if you are just saying it and not putting it into practice. The reality is, hitting that 80% nutrition correctly in order to lose weight is a challenge for most of us. It becomes an even bigger challenge when you are trying to lose weight at the same time as you are trying to live on a tight budget or looking for ways to save money. Eating healthy can turn out to be expensive at times because most healthy foods are ridiculously overpriced. Find out how to lose weight on a budget without having to live on water and broccoli.
The fact that most healthy foods are way more expensive than junk food shouldn’t be a stumbling block to meeting your goals in your weight loss journey. Unless you have a medical condition that makes it impossible to lose weight, there really shouldn’t be a reason why you mustn’t lose weight especially when you can’t afford the healthiest nosh.
The fastest and best way to lose weight is not about you eating organic this and that, or gluten-free this, and gluten-free that. You can eat clean on a budget and lose massive weight without spending thousands on food. Here is how you can lose weight on a budget:
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HOW TO LOSE WEIGHT ON A BUDGET
1. PLAN YOUR MEALS IN ADVANCE
This is the best tip ever when you want to lose weight on a budget. You will simplify your weight loss journey by sorting out in advance what you will eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. Planning meals in advance will become easier when you start writing down health grocery list that you will need for the week or month.
Once you learn how to plan your meals in advance and stick to it, you will ultimately figure out how to stay within your budget and save money. Meal planning will also become a control measure for you not to eat whatever is in front of you and may help you put a stop to mindless snacking.
2. COOK YOUR OWN MEALS
I will not dispense financial advice here but will say this: if you are currently living on a budget, dining out should be set aside until your finances start to look up.
Buying a ‘healthy’ sandwich here and there may also seem like a great alternative to eating fast food but if you need to stay within budget, and lose weight, those small amounts of money spent on sandwiches will add up and work out to be expensive in the long run. You do not have to learn how to cook world class meals but you can learn how to cook easy buy sumptuous meals in a flash. The cookbook, Meal Prep: The Complete Meal Prep Cookbook For Beginners promises delicious simple and healthy meals for weight loss and it delivers just that. If you can afford to buy this book right now, then I would advise you to buy it so that you can get started on learning how to cook your own healthy meals.
3. TRACK THE CALORIES
Weight loss is not and will never be about you eating gluten-free, organic, or vegan food and whatever fancy term someone will come up with. Weight loss is about the number of calories you eat versus the number of calories you burn. For example, if your maintenance calories (the calories you need to maintain your body weight) are 2000, you should subtract about 200 to 500 calories to arrive at the number of calories you should be consuming in order to lose weight. To understand this concept better, there are free tools such as MyFitnessPal that will assist you with calculating the calories, as well as cheap but effective fitness trackers like the $27.99 Wesoo K1 Fitness Watch that monitors your activity levels, including your sleep.
HOW TO LOSE WEIGHT FAST
4. DRINK LIKE A FISH
You must drink like a fish if you want to lose weight, whether you are on a budget or not. But just to clarify, the drink I am referring to here is water. I apologise profusely if you thought I was talking about wine and got you excited for a moment 🙂
Water is life as they say and when it comes losing weight, water is – you guessed it- the life that weight loss depends on. Apart from revving up your metabolism, water can also help curb hunger as well as help your body get rid of waste. Water helps to suppress appetite by filling you up and numbing those hunger pangs that make you want to grab a bite to especially when you are not hungry but just thirsty.
5. STOCK UP YOUR KITCHEN WITH A HEALTHY GROCERY LIST ON A BUDGET
This cheap grocery list is one of the easy ways to lose weight. These 12 foods will help you lose weight fast and should become staples in your kitchen and home.
- Tuna – cheap source of protein
- Beans and legumes (lentils, chickpeas and peas)
- Oats (stay away from instant oats)
- Chilli peppers to rev up your metabolism
- Greek yoghurt
- Rice (white or brown is fine as long as you track the calories)
- Broccoli and cauliflower
- Kale and spinach
6. WORKOUT AT HOME IF YOU CAN’T AFFORD GYM MEMBERSHIP
If you can not afford it, there’s no reason for you to sign up for a gym membership in order to keep fit and lose weight. There are numerous ways of exercising which cost next to nothing.
Running for instance if free and if you are a beginner, you can start by taking brisk walks outside, until you are fit enough to throw in a little jogging here and there, or run the entire distance.
Other ways that you can workout at home include the following:
- Working out at home using fitness DVDs
- Working out using YouTube workout channels
- Downloading fitness apps on your phone and following the training plans
- You can also check out these free weight training programs for beginners
Lastly, I will say this: Losing weight is full of ups and downs and there are a lot of ‘behind the scenes’ struggles between all the incredible before and after photos we always see. If you are struggling with weight loss, I want to ask you not to be discouraged to a point of giving up completely. You will be discouraged time and again especially when results seem slow. Just never ever quit. I have struggled with weight since 2005 when I had my first child and I know how it is like. Keep going until you hit the goal.