The television has entire channels dedicated to weight loss products and exercise equipment that will magically eliminate those excess pounds if you happen to have a load of extra cash floating around the house. The internet and magazines are filled with ads for miracle diets that promise to make the weight drop off, providing you spend a small fortune on special products. But, actually, the same results can be achieved on a tight budget without any extra expense.
The good news is you do not have to pay vast sums of money to join a gym, buy special foods or supplements, or sign up for an online weight loss club. By having a plan and maintaining your focus, you can reach your weight loss goals by making just a few changes in your daily habits and eating healthier, portion-controlled meals.
Weight Loss on a Budget
Use Free Resources to Set Your Targets
Before you begin, you will need to determine your personal weight loss goal, and break this down into mini-goals. This will help you maintain motivation as you will see progress being made on a regular basis. The internet is a great place to find free information to help you decide on your own personal weight loss targets.
Lowering Calories Without Additional Expenses
Eating healthily does not have to mean putting more money into the family budget for diet foods. These ideas are inexpensive and healthy as well.
• Water is the most inexpensive drink available, and it is the healthiest. If you do not like the taste, add a squirt of lemon or lime.
• Use a smaller plate to eat all meals. Even if you fill it full, you are likely to consume fewer calories.
• Substitute inexpensive legumes for meat; they are a good source of low-calorie protein and fiber, and cost a fraction of the price of meat.
• Buy fresh fruits and vegetables that are in season to get the best price.
• Stock up on canned and frozen fruits and vegetables when they are on sale and use coupons whenever possible.
• Put olive oil in a spray bottle for a healthier way to sauté or season vegetables and fish.
• Combine frozen fruit, such as strawberries or pineapple, with skim milk in a blender to make your own low calorie smoothie treats.
• Substitute grape tomatoes for chips or fries.
• Make filling soups using low-fat, low-sodium broth and vegetables; add flavour by adding herbs, spices or a few pepper flakes or jalapenos.
• Plan your meals in advance, and if you’re really organised, buy ingredients in bulk when they are on sale at the grocery store, make up big batches of stews and soups, and freeze in individual portions.
Burning Calories with Economical Exercise
Exercise is almost as important to weight control as calorie reduction, and is certainly vital for good health. The problem is that exercise programs are quite expensive, and most of us have difficulty fitting them into our daily schedules. Try these alternatives that can be more easily incorporated into a busy routine:
• Put on your favorite music and get out the kid’s jump rope, hula hoop, or Wii.
• Invite some friends to walk around the neighborhood and help pick up litter.
• Use heavy cans for weights and a broom for stretching exercises.
• While bringing in bags of groceries or carrying the laundry basket, do vertical lifts to build muscle mass.
• Organize an exercise DVD exchange with neighbors or friends to get fresh routines without spending additional money.
• Ride bikes with the children each evening, or learn to roller blade to burn more calories.
• Take the stairs rather than the elevator.
• Consider walking or cycling on short journeys rather than taking the car.
Doing weight bearing exercises will strengthen the heart and muscles. It will also increase metabolism to burn calories more rapidly. When exercise is used in conjunction with a healthy diet, you should be able to reach your weight loss goals quite naturally, without spending a cent on expensive weight loss products or a pricey gym membership.
written by: Catherine Denton