The dream weight loss scenario would be to have Oprah’s cook preparing delicious low calorie meals, which would be served to the entire family after a day spent with a personal trainer at the best gym in town.
Unfortunately, few people can afford such luxuries. But this does not mean that it is impossible to reach weight loss goals while sticking to the family budget. A little creativity in purchasing food and finding inexpensive ways to exercise can help you reach your weight loss goals without breaking the bank.
Saving on Meals
The staples of a healthy diet, fresh fruits and vegetables, can be quite expensive, and lean meats and fish may be tough to fit into any budget. In order to make the most of the grocery dollars available, try these great tips:
- Buy fresh fruits and vegetables when they are in season.
- Check out the prices at the local farmer’s market or a pick-your-own farm.
- Grow potted tomatoes, peppers, and herbs on the patio or window sill.
- Divide portions into small containers before the meal and freeze all but that needed for immediate consumption.
- Use coupons to reduce the cost of any prepackaged frozen meals.
- Replace some meats with dried legumes which are cheaper and packed with protein.
- Stretch any recipe using meat by adding brown rice.
- Buy whole grains and vegetables in bulk and split with a dieting friend.
Saving on Exercise
Yes, it would be lovely to leave the kids behind and go to the spa each day to be petted and pampered after a tough workout with a trainer who inspires and motivates. For most people, this is not a viable option. Instead, try these tips to burn some serious calories:
- Go online and use a free weight loss estimator to help you establish your personal goals and set realistic timescales.
- Ask a friend to become an exercise buddy and meet to walk, run, or lift weights several times a week at the same time so that the plan becomes routine. It is important that someone else is expecting you to exercise and will hold you accountable when you do not do it.
- If weights and stretch bands are not in the budget, use items around the house. Fill two liter water bottles or use the largest cans in the cabinet to serve as weights. Do isometric exercises using your own hands.
- Form a group with other people who enjoy the same type of activity. This may be a running club, a bike club, a dance club, a swim club, or an exercise video club, but the goal of the club should be movement.
- Check out exercise videos from a local library or search for them online.
- Keep an exercise diary to record achievements and the effects of each activity.
After setting realistic weight loss goals, you may find that they need to adjust your diet and exercise plans periodically to meet your targets. You should not, however, have to put their family finances in jeopardy to gain a healthier lifestyle.