Fit and frugal: 5 easy ways to lose weight on a budget

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Contrary to popular belief, it IS possible to lose weight on a budget. From effective meal plans and grocery lists, to creating healthy packable lunches, to finding an affordable gym membership, there are heaps of things you can do TODAY to help make your weight loss goals a reality even when you’re tight on cash. Forget about expensive cleanses and detox diets and commit to these lifelong diet and exercise changes that will set you up for long-term success!

I was flipping through a magazine full of weight loss secrets a few weeks ago, and while I was making mental notes on all the things I’m doing wrong with my diet and exercise routine, I turned to a spread with tips from celebrities who have transformed their bodies from soft and lumpy to chiseled and fabulous in what feels like a ridiculously small amount of time.

The article offered lots of practical tips that undoubtedly make a huge difference, but I felt annoyed as I read through all of the success stories. While I know firsthand how difficult it is to lose weight and get back into shape, I couldn’t help but think these men and women wouldn’t have been nearly as successful in shedding unwanted weight had they not had the financial means to access the best of the best.

Personal chef? Check.
Personal trainer? Of course.
Personal nanny? On call 24/7.

Now, that’s not to say I wouldn’t jump at the chance to have all of those things at my disposal – who wouldn’t?! – but what the article failed to do was provide a breakdown of easy ways to lose weight on a budget.

There are so many ways you can shed pounds without paying through the nose for meal plans and trainers and babysitters you can’t afford, and today I’m teaming up with Fit4Less to share 5 easy ways to lose weight without putting yourself into debt each month.

1. SWITCH TO WATER

We all know H2O does the body good. From keeping us hydrated so we feel energized, to flushing out toxins and improving our complexion, to boosting our immune systems, water is where it’s at, but what few people realize is that it’s a fabulous tool for weight loss as well.

And it’s free!

Now, this isn’t to say you need to cut out all of the other bevies you enjoy, but if you make water your drink of choice and gulp a glass before each meal, you will be amazed at the long-term benefits. By proactively filling your tummy, you will be less likely to overeat, and once you nix those late afternoon trips to your local coffee shop, you’ll have more money leftover at the end of each month to stay ahead of your bills.

Don’t like drinking water? Try some of these delicious infused water recipes!

2. BROWN BAG IT

When I was working in the corporate world, I spent an average of $75 a week on lunch.

I’ll let that sink in for a minute.

I was spending $300 a month on takeout and coffee alone, and often spent Sunday afternoons throwing half of the contents of my fridge away, only to fill it up with food I wasn’t going to eat and repeat the same mistakes over and over again. I was making poor eating choices and my bum, thighs, and bank account were suffering.

I eventually started to pack my own lunches, which helped me stay on track with both my healthy eating and budget goals, and I’m a firm believer that the more purposeful you are with your meals, the more likely you are to stick with your eating goals. So make a commitment to pack your own lunch and only take the necessary things from your wallet to work each day (driver’s license, credit card for emergencies, etc.) so you are less likely to get sucked into bad eating choices that will do nothing for your goal to eat healthy and lose weight.

Need lunch inspiration? Check out these genius lunch in a jar recipes!

3. DITCH EXPENSIVE GYMS

Last year, my husband and I spent a staggering amount of money on our gym memberships, and while we both made it to the gym pretty regularly, we were NOT utilizing all of the added bonuses that came with our over-priced monthly fees.

Neither of us play tennis or squash, the spa services were almost double what our local salon charges, we never ate at the fancy restaurant or bought juices from the juice bar, and neither of our schedules allowed us to participate in many of the group fitness classes.

So, we were essentially paying through the nose so I could run on the treadmill and my husband would lift weights a few times a week.

It was ridiculous!

We ended up shutting those memberships down when we moved last May, and were excited to discover Fit4Less offers low cost plans that start at $4.99 every 2 weeks plus a joining fee*. With a 30-Minute Express Circuit™ and virtual fitness and virtual cycling, we can get the same high quality fitness out of a gym membership for one-third of what we were paying before!

Click here to find out more about Fit4Less!

*Special conditions: when joining, users will be required to pay a $44 joining fee plus applicable taxes based on the Fit4Less membership purchase of 1 year or a two-week commitment under the Black Card membership of $9.99 every two weeks. Payments will commence every two weeks based on your start date. No additional fees are required above the specified fees. Other conditions apply, see club for details.

4. MEAL PLAN LIKE A PRO

Another easy way to lose weight is to learn the art of meal planning. Set aside a chunk of time each week to plan out your meals, write up a detailed grocery list, and only buy the items on that list.

I’m serious.

Do not deviate from your plan, avoid going to the grocery store hungry, do not fill your cart with empty-calorie foods that will do nothing but derail your healthy eating goals, and make a commitment to yourself to prepare and eat all of the good-for-you recipes on your weekly meal plan.

To make things easy, I recommend learning a handful of recipes you can cycle through over the course of the month, and I also suggest make a little bit extra at each meal so you can package it up for lunch the following day.

Check out our 7-day clean eating meal plan here.

5. EAT PROTEIN ON THE REGULAR

My last easy tip for weight loss is to eat a portion of protein with every meal. Why? Because protein makes you feel full longer so you can go longer stretches between meals, and since it also helps build lean muscle, it’s a great choice to help you slim down, tighten, and tone. Just make sure you’re paying attention to portion sizes and choosing LEAN proteins like poultry, eggs, beans, low-fat dairy, and lean beef.

Need a little inspiration when you’re on the go? Check out this collection of high-protein snacks!

See?

It really IS possible to lose weight on a budget.

From effective meal plans and grocery lists, to creating healthy packable lunches, to finding an affordable gym membership like Fit4Less, there are heaps of things you can do TODAY to help make your weight loss goals a reality even when you’re tight on cash.

So forget about those expensive cleanses and detox diets and commit to these lifelong diet and exercise changes that will set you up for long-term success.

Your wallet – and waistline – will thank you.

If you found this collection of easy ways to lose weight helpful, please share them on Pinterest!

Contrary to popular belief, it IS possible to lose weight on a budget. From effective meal plans and grocery lists, to creating healthy packable lunches, to finding an affordable gym membership, there are heaps of things you can do TODAY to help make your weight loss goals a reality even when you're tight on cash. Forget about expensive cleanses and detox diets and commit to these lifelong diet and exercise changes that will set you up for long-term success!

And if you’re looking for more weight loss tips and tricks, please follow our fitness board where we share all kinds of great ideas!



This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Fit4Less. The opinions and text are all mine.

Gwen
Gwen
Gwen is a 40-something freelance writer and social media consultant who has an unhealthy love for makeup, hair, and fashion. She lives with her husband and 8-year-old daughter in Toronto, Canada and hopes to move to a warmer climate someday. Preferably tomorrow.