Losing weight may seem costly, especially when you consider the higher prices of healthy foods, joining a gym, and following a commercial weight loss plan. In fact, in 2016, the “U.S. Weight Loss Market” was worth “$66 billion.” $2.77 billion of that was attributed to “commercial weight loss programs.” Many of us get bought by the promises these companies offer, and there is something to it. Many of these weight loss companies are knowledgeable, they know about portion control and nutrition, when you purchase from them, you’re also making use of the knowledge they offer. However, not everyone can afford to buy shakes or prepackaged meals every week. And, this is only part of the expenses when it comes to dieting. Exercise can also get pretty pricey, since there is a slew of equipment options you can purchase and a variety of gyms you can join. But, what if this isn’t an appealing option for you because of expenses? There is another way to lose weight and still stick to your budget. Losing weight isn’t just for people who can afford it.
If your budget-conscience, then take a minute to consider these options for losing weight on a dime:
- Make your own foods. You don’t need an expensive diet plan to eat right. Instead, cook your own meals. Learn about portion control. If you’re concerned about time, take one night to cook your meals for the week, you can use meal prep containers to freeze or refrigerate for later.
- Don’t fall for foods that aren’t really all that healthy. Just because something says low fat, doesn’t mean it’s healthy. In fact, usually if a food is made low fat, there is a lot of added sugar to make up for the loss of taste. Keep in mind, that some foods that can be healthy, can also be unhealthy, depending on how they’re made. Yogurt is a great example of this. Plain yogurt is the best, because it doesn’t have added flavors and sugars. Use it in smoothies or add your own mix to it: fresh fruit, real vanilla extract, honey, or maple syrup.
- Be a planner. By planning ahead, you can take control of your eating and your exercising. When you have meals planned you can cut down on how often you get takeout. Also, by planning ahead, you can schedule in your exercise, keeping you more accountable.
- Choose more affordable, healthy snacks. The best way to do this is to make homemade snacks. There are a lot of great ideas you can find online. Another way to save on snacks is to shop at discount grocery stores or farmer’s markets.
- Keep a diary of what you eat. You can download an app to record everything you eat or keep a notepad with you to jot everything down. This can help you be more cognizant about what you’re eating and how much of it you’re eating.
- Buy in bulk and stock up. Some stores will offer a better price for buying in bulk. You can also take advantage of sales when they arise, buying more than you need immediately. Purchasing extra and storing it for later allows you to have healthy food on hand when it comes time for meal prepping.
- Use up leftovers. Don’t throw leftovers out, not unless they’re spoiled. Food can typically sit out for up to 2 hours before it has to be pitched. If you’re concerned about how long food can last in your fridge or freezer consult the USDA’s site. There’s no need to throw food out unless it’s gone bad.
- Find affordable ways to exercise. You don’t have to spend a fortune to exercise. There are a lot of great videos you can find on YouTube. Just search the type of exercise you’re looking for: cardio, strength training, etc. You can even search by time, for example: 10 minute exercises, for example, here’s a 10 minute cardio workout from POPSUGAR Fitness. You can also get back to the basics: walking, running, riding a bike, etc.
Weight loss doesn’t necessarily have to be complicated or expensive. There are ways you can reduce the cost you spend on losing weight and still reap the rewards of a healthy body.