OK, so your doctor has said it’s time to shed some pounds…or maybe it was your significant other…or even worse…YOUR MIRROR! No matter what started the discussion, it’s time you slimmed down. You know you will look better and probably live a longer life because of it, but now the question looms…where do you start?
One of the problems that smacks you in the face once you have decided to trim down is the COST of doing so. It seems that no matter which plan of action you choose to lose weight, there is usually a hefty price tag that comes along with it. Gyms can cost as much as $100 per month and serious exercise equipment purchased for your home can easily run into the thousands. Even the diet plans you see advertised 24-7 on TV can help your wallet lose weight faster than your body. What the heck is one to do if you want to eat well and stay in shape but you are on a budget?First of all, let’s start with the diet. It shouldn’t cost you anything to eat less…in fact, you should be saving money! Of course, you want to eat healthy foods which can get expensive, but by planning your meals in advance, eating a diet that focuses on vegetables, lean meats and fish, and plenty of fiber AND eating fairly small meals, you can get all the nutrients you need and by eating less calories overall, not break the bank while doing so.
One other tip that is crucial to eating well and staying in shape while on a budget is to substitute water for all other drinks. I know, diet soda has no calories…BUT, it is not healthy AND it is expensive. Eating healthy isn’t rocket science and it doesn’t take some new fangled diet plan that costs hundreds of dollars. Just eating healthy, and eat less…bottom line.
Now, as for staying in shape, we are all pretty much trained to think that getting in shape means spending money. It seems that every day there is a brand new fitness fad product hitting our tv screens that promises “6 pack abs” and “amazingly fast weight loss!” But, after plunking down the money, the gadget purchased usually winds up somewhere in the closet…covered in dust. The good news is, staying in shape on a budget is as simple as 4 letter….HIIT.
HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training and it will help you lose fat and get in shape more quickly than probably anything you have ever tried in your life…AND it’s free and easy to do. All you need to do is choose an exercise that will allow you to get your heart rate really high such as sprinting, and then do short sets of this exercise followed by longer ones at a lower intensity. For instance, if you sprint for 30 seconds, and then do a slow jog for 2 minutes that is ONE interval. Do 6 or 7 of these intervals and your workout is finished. Imagine finishing your workout in 20 minutes and getting more results than if you had worked out at the gym for an hour and a half?
Well, with HIIT, it’s possible. This workout method is so powerful that even after you stop working out your body will continue burning calories for up to 12 hours. So, while you are sitting on the couch watching tv (hopefully drinking some water and eating a salad) your body will STILL be burning calories.
Another tip that most of us know but rarely follow is just to substitute walking for any other mode of transportation whenever possible. Getting on an elevator? Nope…take the stairs. Escalator? Same deal. If you are at an airport, don’t step onto the people move, just walk faster next to it. All these steps add up and will help you to lose and maintain a healthier weight…all for no cost to you at all.
Eating well and staying in shape does take some effort, but it does NOT have to take a lot of money. If you are on a budget but want to get in shape, just follow the tips above and look for other ways not mentioned as well. If you are about to spend money on eating well and getting into shape, try to think of an alternative that will accomplish the same goal but not cost as much, or at all. Good luck and here’s to hoping your belly gets skinnier and NOT your wallet.