Losing Weight On A Budget

Fewer Pounds Doesn’t Have To Mean Fewer Dollars!

Anyone who’s tried to lose weight before knows that dieting can get very expensive, very fast.

But does a smaller waistline have to mean a smaller wallet? Nope! There are tons of ways you could start losing weight and regaining your health, without spending tons of extra dollars.

1. Ditch the beef.

Going meatless one night a week is a surefire way to knock off pounds and save money, says nutritionist Rania Batayneh of Essential Nutrition for You.

Skip the butcher and look for hearty and healthy meat substitutes like beans and mushrooms.

“A can of chickpeas might cost a dollar, whereas deli meat is much more expensive,” Batayneh says.

Hint: Buying dried beans that you rehydrate yourself is a great way to save at the grocery store. You’ll also knock all the added sodium that comes with canned beans.

2. Buy healthy foods in bulk.

There are pros and cons to buying in bulk, but it can be a great way to budget for long-term savings and weight loss.

For example, try buying a whole chicken.

“Buy a whole chicken and throw a portion of it together one night with steamed veggies,” says Nicole Chase, a registered and licensed dietitian. “Throw the leftover chicken on top of a salad with light dressing the next day for a quick and healthy meal.”

At the grocery store, try getting a massive container of oatmeal rather than sugar-laden individual packs. The same goes for buying big bags of rice and frozen veggies versus individual containers.

3. Stick to the perimeter at the grocery store.

Chase recommends shopping around the perimeter of stores as an easy way to avoid the expensive convenience foods that are usually stocked front and center.

“Middle aisles contain packaged and processed foods, which tend to be higher in sodium and have a tendency to be more expensive due to the costs associated with packaging,” Chase says.

That leaves the produce and frozen foods sections, which both offer great low-cost and healthy alternatives.

4. Steer clear of the salad bar.

Rather than blow $10 on a swanky salad bar, load up on whole veggies while they’re in season and at a lower price point, Chase says. Then dish up your own salads at home.

If you’ve got a hankering for butternut squash or sweet potatoes in summer, you’ll still be able to find pretty affordable options in the frozen food section.

Just avoid those convenient steamer bags. You pay more for their fancy packaging and could save that cash by steaming them the old-fashioned way.

5. Skip “healthy” convenience food.

Weight loss has much to do with portion control, but those helpful little 100-calorie pack snacks are nothing but a budget suck.

“We have portion distortion in this nation and even though I like that [100-calorie packs] are pre-portioned, that can be a more expensive option,” Batayneh says.

Instead, keep a measuring cup in your desk drawer to scoop out perfect portions of whatever you’re munching on at work (almonds, trail mix, etc.) rather than paying more for packaging.
– via Business Insider

Weight Loss That’s Easy And Cheap!

When you’re always busy with work or family obligations, it can often feel easier to run by a drive-thru rather than making your own food.

But not only is that not as healthy, it’s also more expensive in the long run. By putting a little extra thought into your planning, you can come out with healthier food, a better budget, and a smaller waist!

1. Drink Lots of Water

Water is healthy for you and necessary for our bodies to survive. Our bodies are 50-70% water and the rest blood. You can survive up to eight weeks without food as long as you have water. I do not recommend trying this out unless your life is such that this is unavoidable but rather include this to highlight the importance of water. For many cultures, water is life or is associated with life.

You should be drinking water throughout the day, whenever you are hungry, whenever you are bored, whenever you remember, and before meals. In fact, you should be drinking water right now. Your body needs an average of 8-10 cups of water to replenish the water that our bodies lose each day and it takes more water to replenish our water stores when we are involved in activities, heat, etc. It also takes time for your body to absorb the water that you take in and your body cannot take in all the water that it needs in one sitting.

There are many health benefits to drinking water and losing weight healthily on a budget is just one of them.

When You Drink Water You:

  • Stay hydrated
  • Give enough time for the message to reach your brain that you’re full=prevents over-eating
  • Moisturize your skin
  • Detox
  • Ensure proper circulation
  • Cushion your joints
  • Prevent constipation
  • Strengthen your immune system
  • Maintain body temperature
  • Stay energized

Drink Water When You Are:

  • Hungry
  • Thirsty
  • Hot
  • Cold
  • Bored
  • About to eat/Beginning your meal
  • Feeling fine
  • Dehydrated

2. Eat Slowly

Too often we eat quickly and in a hurry. On top of that, we often continue eating. This form of eating leads to over-eating.

It takes time for the message to get to your brain that you are full. In addition, the body is better able to make use of the food that we eat when we take the time to chew it thoroughly as opposed to eating it quickly and not chewing it thoroughly.

In order to avoid over-eating, to give time for your brain to receive the message that you are full, and in order for your body to make to the most out of what you eat, eat slowly.

3. Eat to Nourish

We eat for a lot of reasons. We eat because we are hungry. We eat because we are bored. We eat to cope with stressful emotions.

We also eat to get full. And when it is something that we like, we eat our share and then some.

All of these reasons for eating are a no-go! We should really only be eating to nourish our bodies. We should not be eating for our emotions and we should not be eating to the point that we are full and uncomfortable.

We should be eating to nourish our bodies. And if you eat to nourish your body, your body will be satisfied and you will be refueled.

4. Only Eat What You Pack

I have a rule that I try not to break and that I break only on certain days during the week and on occasions when people bring food to the workplace or when there is an occasion for veering off of what I had planned and that rule is:

If I don’t pack it, I don’t eat it.

This rule is as healthy-eating based as it is financially-based. If I do not pack it, I should not be eating it. You have more control over what you eat when you pack it yourself. By packing food yourself you ensure that you are eating things that are healthy and within your means.

5. Actually Eat What You Pack

This relates to the previous “If I don’t pack it, I don’t eat it” rule but it adds to it in that if you do not eat the healthy food you pack, you are not doing yourself any favors financially or in terms of health. It also does not do you any favors if you opt out of eating what you brought and instead spend money on unhealthy and overpriced food.

Sometimes I pack food that I am not the most enthusiastic about but I still make myself eat it. When I am tempted to opt out of what I brought and buy chips or something that I did not bring, I remind myself of how it is a waste of money and food, and how overpriced the other food is. I try to remind myself of the fact that it is also healthy and better for me to eat what I brought but normally wasting money and resources is what keeps me in line for the times I do not feel like eating what I pack.

You will figure out what works for you but for anyone who is truly on a budget or who is truly in a constraint of resources, this should be manageable.

When you do not have the money to spend, you do not spend it. When you know what it takes to make resources work, you are more mindful and careful with them…even if they do not taste great!
– via CalorieBee

How are you losing weight on a budget?

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