What should be a simple concept– eating less and moving more– becomes a significant challenge.
For those looking to lose weight without breaking the bank, there is a multitude of ways to avoid the costly gym memberships and superfood labels.
Here are 6 tips for losing weight on a budget.
1. Use a Meal Prep Service
While meal prep services can be costly for some, they end up being cost efficient for those who tend to eat at restaurants rather than making food at home. As restaurant food is rarely diet-friendly (even the salads have a way of sneaking up on you) most people end up burning through their budget in a hurry.
By using a meal prep service that focuses on healthy meals, you can reduce the trips out to eat and know that food is ready for you at home, even if meal prep isn’t your forte. Furthermore, you can look for coupons and deals on Mighty Diets to further your savings. This is a great way to try a few different services before settling on one that you like.
2. Make it a Family Affair
One of the biggest challenges people face when trying to lose weight on a budget is dealing with competing interests in the home. A spouse who isn’t following the same program or children who are pickier in their choices create a longer, more expensive grocery bill.
While your children may not be willing to try the same meal plan you are, you can make it as closely aligned as possible. Focus on sharing the same core meal, but swapping out sides to make them more kid-friendly. Give your family a voice in the meal planning process, encouraging them to try new things and compromising on healthier versions of their favorites.
3. Eat Meatless Protein Sources
While opting for an entirely vegetarian or vegan diet isn’t for everyone, there are numerous benefits to cutting back on meat consumption, particularly for the budget. Meat-free protein options are often more affordable and versatile. Some of the best choices for meat-free protein include:
You can also buy pasta made from protein sources for an added boost to your carb-rich dishes. Start by celebrating meatless Mondays and expand to a few days a week to save.
4. Move More
You don’t need an expensive gym membership to start losing weight. There are plenty of bodyweight exercises that can be done at home as well as affordable equipment such as resistance bands and free weights. Walking and hiking can progress to running with minimal investment; all you really need is a pair of good shoes.
In addition to exercising, there are simple daily tasks that you can do to burn a few extra calories and boost your metabolism. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Walk to the coffee shop down the street. Get off the bus a few stops early. Put on your favorite music and dance as you clean. Every little bit counts.
5. Drink More Water
There are a lot of hidden calories in beverages, with some Starbucks drinks containing more than a typical meal. Your body also has a way of getting your signals crossed, causing you to feel hungry when you’re actually slightly dehydrated. By focusing on drinking more water throughout the day, you’ll reap the benefits of proper hydration, including better digestion and feeling fuller longer.
6. Fuel Your Body
Notice that none of these suggestions involve depriving yourself of food to lose weight on a budget. Focus on adding more: more vegetables, more exercise, more legumes and stop thinking about being less.