Diets can be expensive. Gym memberships are expensive and require you to drive and use fuel. So are there ways to change your diet and exercise to lose weight while being frugal?
I have tried many things, including some of the fad diets that came and went. I found they were great for quick short-term results, but began to drain my money and my energy. Finally, in an effort to lose 10 pounds by December 19 (my second wedding anniversary), I found a few ways to help me lose without spending an insane amount of money.
Visually Leave Food Behind
Plan your normal dinner meal and dish out your typical portion. Then, as you eat, leave 1/4 - 1/3 of each item on your plate. The visual of food being left on your plate allows your mind to wrap around the idea that you don't need an entire plate of food to fill up. Wrap up your left overs and take them for lunch the next day. This allows you to only plan for one meal a day, saving you loads of money at the grocery store, and allowing your waistline to benefit as well.
Deprivation No More
Less Soda, Not Soda Less
I tried giving up soda. Let's say it went over as well as a Ford sitting in a Range Rover lot. I was cranky, suffering from caffeine headaches, and just plain miserable. I did notice a change in my energy level, so as I thought about what works with my lifestyle, I compromised with my goal of being sodaless, and focused on less soda. I used to drink two sodas per day, and now I am about four per week. I refrain from drinking soda at home, which cuts back on my insomnia as well as my budget. Having a soda while out to dinner or at work keeps me from going stir crazy and let's me feel like I am treating myself. I have replaced my morning soda with flavored water and still get that wonderful taste without all the calories and sugar.
We have a Wii Fit at home. I used to be hardcore at using it at least five times per week. Lately, it's lucky to see anything but the back of the couch more than once a month. But, my goal is to get it out three times per week and walk the dog at least two miles twice per week. No need to pay for a gym with a 75 pound dog and a Wii Fit.
So there are my helpful hints for frugal weight loss. What tips do you have?