Losing Weight on a Budget

Published on Jun 22 2013 // Written By // Personal Finance

There are a million excuses people use when it comes to answering the question “Why can’t I lose weight?” Bad metabolism, not enough time to exercise, it’s too expensive.

These may all seem like valid reasons, but really, they’re just valid excuses. While joining a gym or buying healthier food does cost money—money should not be a deterrent of leading a healthy lifestyle.

Losing weight on a budget doesn’t have to be an expensive undertaking. Here are the top tips and tricks to lose weight on a budget:

Meal Plan. The number one way to save money on groceries is to create a meal plan. Plan out your healthy meals in advance and only go shopping once a week for the ingredients you need that week. This will cut down on numerous trips to the grocery store where “milk” turns into “cake, cookies, peanut butter, and anything else I get a craving for.”

These days, places like Pinterest and blogs make it easy to find healthy recipes to reduce the monotony of sticking to chicken and veggies every day for lunch. There are plenty of places where you get ideas for healthy meals, such as skinnytaste.com.

To lower your grocery budget even more, try and use one ingredient for several meals. For example, choose an in-season or on-sale produce item, like zucchini and peaches and use those items to make several different recipes. Or if a certain cut of meat is on sale at your local grocery store, search for recipes that use that type of meat.

Work out on your own. You don’t have to join an expensive gym to get the exercise you need. While what you eat is definitely more important than working out when it comes to losing weight (“You lose weight in the kitchen and get fit in the gym”), it is still important to get your body moving.

Don’t feel that you have to do it all at once either. Use your 10-minute work breaks to go for a walk around the block. Download a fitness video on your Ipod and go outside during your lunch break to get moving. Go for a run outside. Find a meetup.com fitness-oriented group. Find a workout buddy. Use Groupons and Living Social to try out different fitness classes and boot camps.

Track your food intake. You don’t need to sign up for an expensive weight-loss program or purchase a fancy fitbit to figure out how many calories you’re consuming and burning. With free sites, like My Fitness Pal, you can easily track your calorie intake and estimate how many calories you burned through exercise.

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These days there are plenty of ways to lose weight and get in shape without breaking the bank. So stop coming up with excuses and get your body moving.



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About

Erika blogs at Newlyweds on a Budget, covering topics relevant to managing finances for newlyweds and young couples. She focuses on frugal living and trying to live a big life on a small budget.

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