How to Lose Weight on a Budget
Losing weight doesn’t need to be expensive. It’s possible to lose weight without breaking the bank as long as you do sufficient research, plan efficiently and stay on a strict budget. You don’t need to fall into the trap of superfoods that are all organic, fair trade, and locally sourced. Those are good for you, but they’re also buzzwords jack up the sticker prices more than they have to be. For us on a budget, we don’t have the money for kale chips and pre-packaged quinoa salad, but there is a way to lose weight without all of those.
Here are our GuruHub Health top 15 tips for losing weight on a budget:
1. Set A Budget & Stick To It
Giving yourself a budget is the very first step in your glorious journey to a healthier version of you. If you need to hold yourself accountable for your spending, download a financial tracker app or physically write out what you spend your money on food. If you don’t trust yourself to fully report all the money you spend on food, you can also have a family member or friend monitor your spending. You will more than likely stick to your budget if you know someone else is watching out for you.
2. Use A Calorie & Macronutrient Tracker
Did you know that it takes burning 500 calories to lose 1 pound?
Calories are not everything when losing weight, but they are SO important. You want to stay with your doctor recommended calorie intake for your age and getting the right amount of nutrients. What you put in is what you are going to get out. MyFitnessPal is an awesome free app that allows you to track your meals, snacks, water intake, and workouts.
3. Have a Reusable Water Bottle
We all know that drinking water is key to losing weight. It curbs cravings and makes you feel full, but more specifically having a reusable water bottle is good for your bank account and for the environment. Tons of establishments have water fountains that you can refill your bottle for free and even some places like Starbucks will fill it up for you. Your cost of water will be little to none with a reusable water bottle which is heaps better than playing 2+ US dollars on a case of water plus CRV.
4. Don’t Have Junk Food In The House
If it’s in the house you will eat it! Don’t waste your money and all the effort toward your fitness goals by having processed foods full of toxins, chemicals, and dyes in the house. Don’t buy, don’t waste money, and don’t gain weight.
5. Always Have Meals Prepared
You’re not always going to want to cook a full meal every night. Be prepared by dedicating a day to cook staple pieces, like hard boiled eggs or chicken breast, that are easy to grab on the go or reheat. It will cut out the option of falling prey to fast food and you will have no excuse to not eat healthy meals.
6. Pack Healthy Snacks
If you know you’re going to be out for a long period of time pack some healthy snacks. A bag of carrot sticks or grapes can be significantly cheaper and healthier than getting a pretzel while you’re out shopping at the mall. And if people look at you weird for bringing your own snacks to the mall, just remind yourself now you have more money to spend on those shoes since you saved on snacks!
7. Go Frozen
Frozen fruits and vegetables are convenient and CHEAP! You can get a bag of frozen green beans or sweet potatoes for under a US dollar. Plus frozen vegetables are flash frozen right when they’re harvested which means they’re at their peak nutrition content. You’ll get more of the good stuff when you go frozen, because when you get fresh produce they are losing nutrients the longer they are sitting on the shelf. There are benefits to both fresh and frozen, but for your budget, it’s best to go frozen.
8. Control Your Portions
Controlling the portions of what you eat is not only important for your calorie and macro intake but also is helpful for knowing your budget. If you know the portions of your meals and snacks, it can help you not overbuy when you’re at the grocery store and you will have less food that goes to waste.
9. Plan Your Day Around Your Meals
If you know you’re going to have a busy day prep meals and snacks ahead of time. This will help you eliminate the option of getting a USD 10 meal that isn’t healthy.
10. Skip Red & Expensive Cuts of Meat
Red meats are good for you in proportion, but they’re more expensive. Lean ground turkey and chicken breast are cheaper than any cut of steak. If you can’t give this one up completely, use this as a special treat or reward if you’re under budget for a month. It’s about moderation, not giving it up cold turkey.
11. Forget Fast “Healthy” Food
Premade salads from grocery stores or getting food from Whole Foods hot bar are convenient but expensive. Sometimes they end up not even being good for you, because of the amount of toppings in the salad or high fat content in the dressings. Know what you’re putting into your body by making it yourself. It will be cheaper too and you’ll have extra food for future meals.
12. Buy in Bulk
Buy your non-perishable items in bulk. It will save you time and most importantly money in the long run. Think grains like rice and quinoa and frozen chicken breast. You’ll also be saving gas money since you won’t be off to the market as much. This can also mean buying your plastic baggies and Tupperware in bulk, instead of buying everytime you need them.
13. Make Coffee At Home
Sorry Starbucks addicts, if you’re trying to lose weight you will have to limit your Starbucks visits. Unless you’re getting unsweetened tea or black coffee fast coffee joints pump their coffee and teas full of artificial sugars. Which elevates a coffee from a 5 calorie drink to a 150+ calorie drink. Making coffee at home will also save so much money because you are spending anywhere to 1-5+ USD on a single cup. When on average making your own cup at home is about 18 cents per cup. Plus with what you don’t use from your homebrewed coffee you can store in your fridge in a mason jar for iced coffee for the next day.
14. Forget the Fads
Pressed juices are all the rage in the health food community and are a good way to get nutrients and natural sugars fast, but they are so darn expensive. For those of you, ballin’ on a budget it’s significantly cheaper to just eat the fruits and veggies raw. Plus you’re burning a few extra calories when you’re chewing!
15. Reward Yourself
This all would be worthless if you weren’t working toward something to look forward to. If you meet your goal weight by a certain time or stay under budget for a number of months, treat yourself by buying a new outfit, seeing a movie or traveling. It will make all your hard work worthwhile and you’ll feel better about the journey. Plus you’ll least likely be resistant and it’ll be easier to save money and be healthy.
Leave us comments about your tips for losing weight on a budget.