By: Amanda Belo
Don’t let the overpriced brands and media hype scare you; Contrary to popular belief, living a healthy lifestyle doesn’t mean breaking the bank! We’ve got some great ideas to help you get you in that frugal mindset so you can eat, exercise, and live your life while keeping money in your pocket! Check out our TLS® tips for weight loss on a budget below:
Drink all of the water!
Drinking water is good (and necessary) for your health. Our favorite part? It costs you little to no money which makes it perfect for weight loss on a budget!
Drinking water keeps your body hydrated, helps to regulate your body temperature, supports your digestive system, gets rid of toxins for healthy body functions and even boosts that natural glow. It also helps control cravings, decreases thirst signals that are often confused with hunger, and improves satiety by helping you feel full.
Invest in a good water bottle you’ll love carrying with you day-to-day, and consider adding an at-home water filter so you can avoid continuously buying bottled water from the store. That’s a move that does both you and the environment a favor! After that, it’s as easy as making sure you’re getting at least eight glasses per day!
Control Your Environment
You can’t control everything that comes your way, but there’s plenty that does lie within your control! It’s important to take stock of the situations and choices you have a say in, and do your best to make them work for you. Have trouble passing up treats in your pantry? Make a point to avoid buying it at the store! After all, if you don’t bring it into your home then there won’t be a midnight snack to grab!
Have a bad habit of aimlessly munching as you watch television? Try stocking up on healthy, high-volume snacks like veggies or air-popped popcorn! Even moving some of the more tempting snacks to the top of a shelf or somewhere less accessible can help.
Make a Budget (and stick to it!)
Weight loss on a budget requires…well, a budget! It’s all about planning here, so make sure you carve out a little extra time to get yourself together. Set aside 30-60 minutes to take a look at the budget you have for the week, then take some time to come up with foods and recipes that fit your lifestyle + budget!
Healthy meal planning for the week based on a pre-determined monthly budget – financial and caloric – can save both time and money, and support your weight management efforts by removing temptation. How can you go wrong with that?!
Cook at Home
With all of the pre-made and to-go meals at our fingertips, it’s hard to not consider them solely for the convenience they bring! For years home delivery of pre-cooked or pre-prepped have been surfacing and thriving for years, meaning all we have to do is press and click on our computers and wait for it to arrive on the doorstep. Convenient? Yes. We’re busy, too; We don’t blame you but, boy, does it add up!
Instead of opting for convenience, put your goals first and set aside time to find healthy recipes that are fast, easy, and simple enough to make at home! Depending on your skill level and schedule, you could designate a night or entire day to cook and prep meals so you can enjoy your own meals from scratch all week. Bonus: you’ll gain a sense of mastery while you’re at it!
Grocery Shopping Tips:
Overspending at the store can mean being forced to cut corners down the line, or even just additional stress when the end of a pay period comes around! Make the most out of your shopping trip by using these tips to help keep you on track for weight loss on a budget:
- Coupons, coupons, coupons – these are not just for your mom! Sites like coupons.com, KCL, and Retail Me Not are great for finding easy deals.
- Check out SHOP.COM for Partner Store Deals and Cashback on your favorite stores!
- Substitute store brands in place of name brands where you can. We promise most of them taste the same!
- Stock up on produce! Whether it’s fresh, frozen, or canned, produce is usually more affordable that pre-made foods and provides healthy nutrients to fuel your body.
Work Smart; Not (as) Hard
- Portions Matter
When you prepare food in their healthy and recommended serving sizes, you’re saving money and unexpected calories! Keep a close eye on those nutrition labels.
- Try eating vegetarian proteins.
Foods like lentils, beans, seitan, tofu or chickpeas tend to be lower in fat and less expensive than animal-based proteins.
- Take the doggy bag.
When eating out, it’s important to remember that the serving sizes are usually 2-3 times what the correct portion should be! Save future you some time in the kitchen + save half of the meal for an amazing leftover lunch!
- Try your hand at DIY snack packs.
It will keep you away from the vending machines at work and you don’t have to keep buying hundreds of overpriced 100-calorie snack packs. Just grab a food scale and ziplock bags, buy in bulk, and ration it out for the week!
- Eat the same thing every day.
It may sound boring, but this option is great for weight loss on a budget! It can mean less stress during the week and more control over your money for those who need that extra bit of control over their weekly finances. It might be helpful to switch this up every week or two so you don’t get bored, so try and find a few meals to have on rotation!
The gym is nice, but it can also be expensive – not to mention wasteful if you’re not actually going regularly! It’s a great investment if you can afford it and go frequently, but if you are one of many who sees your gym about as much as you do your taxes then it might be time to think about other options.
Whether it’s around your neighborhood, in your local park, or by the lake, this is a low-impact and cost-effective way to get in a workout in a way that’s enjoyable and sustainable.
- Online Videos:
Don’t forget the wonderful world of the Internet! Between YouTube and Instagram, there are plenty of online programs that cost significantly less than a gym membership and can be done in the comfort of your own home.
- Local Library:
While this may not be the first thing to come to mind, your library card can help you get your fitness on! Check out their DVD section and see what fitness DVDs you can snag for FREE! Of course, you can also buy affordable workout DVDs online.
- Bike to Work
As far as weight loss on a budget goes, this is a prime example of making it work! Not only are you saving money on gas and avoiding the temptation of convenience store snacks, but you’re fitting in fitness as well!
- Accountability Partners:
Skip the personal trainer and opt for accountability with a workout buddy! Not only are you less likely to skip out when a friend is waiting on you, but working out is usually better with a friend there to support you!
Weight management is essential for everyone’s health, but the finish line may look different for each one of us! Remember the last time you set a budget? Perhaps you had a big trip you want to take and need to save money, you’re between jobs, or you’re a college kid with limited funds. Whatever the reason, being purposeful probably helped keep you focused along the way!
Use this same tactic as you move towards your goal of achieving weight loss on a budget. Keep that end goal in mind as an incentive to eat healthily, stay active, and find money-saving tactics that work for you!
We’re only human so temptation can be hard to ignore – especially if you’re just starting out on a new healthy routine! Just because you make one mistake does not mean you have to throw in the towel for the rest of the day. Accept it, move on and get back on track!
This may be one of the most important things we have in our weight loss toolbox. Staying healthy is no easy task – it’s a lifestyle that constantly requires maintenance. It is the result of repeated, healthy, and conscious decisions that benefit your health and your livelihood. When you’re managing a tight budget on top of that, it’s especially important to recognize and reward yourself for staying on track! Of course, there are plenty of ways to do this without spending tons of money.
Maybe you’re a busy working parent and you want to treat yourself to some well-deserved me time. Take that 30 minutes to yourself without a shred of guilt!
If you want something more visual, you can buy yourself some flowers, treat yourself to a magazine subscription, a nice water bottle, or a yoga mat! We’re all human, so allowing yourself to indulge in a “cheat food” every now and again can be your incentive if you know you can get back on track. It’s totally up to you!
- Smith, J. (2018). 10 Money-Saving Weight Loss Tips. Retrieved from https://www.shape.com/weight-loss/tips-plans/10-money-saving-weight-loss-tips
- (n.d.). How to Lose Weight on a Budget. Retrieved from http://www.eatingwell.com/article/225582/how-to-lose-weight-on-a-budget/
- Scott, J. (2018, April 15). How to Lose Weight on a Budget. Retrieved from https://www.verywellfit.com/how-to-lose-weight-on-a-budget-3495617
- Marquez, N. (2018, April 1). 30 Ways to Lose Weight on a Budget and Busy Schedule. Retrieved from https://caloriebee.com/diets/How-to-Lose-Weight-and-Eat-Healthy-on-a-Budget
- Anas, B. (2016, December 6). 25 Genius Ways to Reward Yourself for Weight Loss. Retrieved from https://www.eatthis.com/ideas-to-reward-yourself/