Budget-Friendly Strategies for Losing Weight
The United States’ weight loss market is now worth $72 billion, with people turning to supplements, products, and programs to help them on their journey. While losing weight can transform your life, the associated expenses can quickly accumulate if you aren’t careful. Gym memberships, personal trainers, healthier foods, and workout equipment all come at a price, which may deter you from sticking to your goals.
However, there are savvy ways to lose weight without overspending. The following tips can alleviate expenses and help you stay on track with your food and exercise goals in a budget-conscious way.
Embrace Virtual Workouts
Although rates vary based on location and amenities, the average gym membership costs an average of $58 per month, totaling $696 per year. The value of working out in a gym is a subjective matter which may solely depend on your determination and level of commitment. Missed workout days don’t just make you feel bad, but they are also a financial loss.
Rather than spending money on expensive memberships, take full advantage of free workout classes and apps available in abundance online. You can find plenty of YouTube channels dedicated to promoting free workouts, even for those without equipment.
Find Alternative Protein Sources
Many people eat meat as their main source of protein, which isn’t bad for your health—it just puts a dent in your wallet every time you go grocery shopping. If you’re on a budget, you can find plenty of protein alternatives that cost less than meat, like eggs, Greek yogurt, oats, beans, and lentils. To maintain a balanced diet without spending too much on food, try mixing up your protein sources and reducing how often you eat meat. A great way to gradually make this change is starting with meatless Mondays, then adding days from there.
Buy in Bulk
Once you find the healthy foods you like, make it a habit to buy in bulk. Not only will it be cheaper than buying small amounts, but it will also encourage you to eat what you have at home instead of going out to eat and cheating on your diet. You can buy plenty of healthy foods in bulk, like frozen fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, brown rice, oats, quinoa, beans, and lentils.
Know That Organic Doesn’t Always Mean Healthy
If you want to fill up on vegetables and fruits, you don’t have to purchase organic versions every time, especially if they don’t fall within your budget. Conventional fruits and vegetables offer the same nutrients and health benefits, whether or not they’re organic. The opposite is also true; organic foods often have the same calorie content as their non-organic counterparts.
Choose Your Supplements Carefully
Instead of falling into advertising gimmicks or grabbing whatever weight loss supplements you find on the shelf, do some research before buying anything. Read reviews, look for products backed by doctors, and understand the science behind a supplement before you spend money on it.
Also, make sure what you’re buying aligns with your specific weight loss goals. For example, you may want to try MCT oil for burning fat and curbing cravings. But if your main objective is to put on muscle, you may be better off using creatine powder to boost your energy performance while exercising, which can help you get more out of your workout.
Meal Prep to Reduce Waste and Practice Portion Control
You’ve likely seen health and wellness influencers posting meal prep instructions or videos and wondered why they put some much effort into planning, cooking, preparing, and storing their meals for the week all at once. Meal prepping doesn’t just help make it easier to get all the nutrients you need and practice portion control—it also makes grocery shopping easier and deters you from splurging on expensive foods.
Create a Detailed Budget Plan and Strategy
Losing weight doesn’t always have to be a tedious or expensive process. The first thing you should do is plan your budget for the month that accounts for the groceries, equipment, and supplements you’ve strategically chosen. With a detailed, solidified budget and strategy, you’re more apt to follow through on your goals for the long haul.